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The Forum > Article Comments > Ease their pain: don't help them die > Comments

Ease their pain: don't help them die : Comments

By Katrina George, published 5/5/2005

Katrina George argues against voluntary euthanasia and self sacrifice by women.

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By all means Katrina, improve palliative care to the point where nobody wants to go But dont knock the CHOICE of a TERMINALLY ILL person to decide WHEN and HOW THEY (male or female)want to die whether it's to relieve their loved ones of the anguish of waiting and watching or because they are in pain.....
Not every one wants to go out in a drug induced stupor or a morphine overdose mercifully administered by a caring physician.
Think like a person instead of as a feminist.
Maracas
Posted by maracas, Thursday, 5 May 2005 11:29:08 AM
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Feminists are people, maracas, and so they think like people. In fact, that is feminism's entire basis; that women are people first and women second (just like men). But, otherwise I agree with you. People will choose suicide, whether we like it or not. Paul Hester is a tragedy, but it is a personal tragedy about depression, not about euthanasia. If I ever face a future of slowly drowning in my own fluids from motor neurone disease, a position a courageous woman I knew found herself in a couple of years ago ( she appeared on 60 minutes arguing her right to die) I will turn to people like Phillip Nitschke not Katrina.
Women may well be more courageous about finding their own solution, rather than accepting the one someone else thinks is okay for them, because they have always taken more responsibility for their own health and well being than men do. We are much more in touch with our bodies, and much more aware of what can happen to them.
Katrina seems to assume it is the people who die in a way of their own choosing who are victims. I imagine many victims are also those kept alive in misery and hopelessness by advances in medical health that can't cure the agony but can, unfortunately, prolong it.
Posted by enaj, Thursday, 5 May 2005 12:13:44 PM
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I am a 63 year old man. I wonder how old Katrina is. I don't think anyone should pontificate on euthanasia until they have passed the "It really is going to happen to me" point. For most people that happens some time after the middle fifties. A moment comes, often when friends of similar age die, when for the first time in your life you really believe it might happen to you and quite soon. That's how it happened to me a few years ago. And the difference it made is that I really do worry now that the next visit to the doctor may produce a death sentence. It did to my friend who went in for a persistent cough, came out with kidney cancer and died a year later. Passing the "It really is going to happen" point forces you to think carefully about what you want. And personally, if I find myself in my friend's situation, I do not want to spend my final months in the hands of medics, in pain or drugged out of my mind. Once the final result is beyond doubt, and if that result involves a kind of death I do not wish to have, I want to be allowed to end my life with my family around me, my mind clear and with no fear of legal reprisals. I, along with many older Australians would like to be able to make this decision for myself.

I accept it is vital to ensure the law governing euthanasia is framed carefully to make it impossible for people to be pressured into taking their lives. The results in Oregon and Holland show that can be done. And contrary to what Katrina argues, I agree with Enaj that the reason more women than men have been willing to assert their right to die publicly, hard though it currently is to do so, is not because they are more susceptible than men to pressure from relatives but because they are stronger than us in taking tough decisions of this sort.
Posted by Tchamala, Thursday, 5 May 2005 6:11:59 PM
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A long bow indeed author. You may as well equate seal huntimg with dwarf throwing. This article has nothing to do with females or male, it's about everyone's right to die. It's not about Paul Hester's life or anyone else taking their own life for reasons of their own that we may not be privy to or be so inclined to judge. The parallel this author offers in her article about feminism is just what gives that good word a bad name. Get over linking old age and the right to choose to die properly with the fact that it's a male doc that's had the balls to stand up (consistently) to an issue that is so not related! To sink/link your dumb blonde teeth into this "issue" is puerile and obnoxious.

It may be a generational thing about when George dies, what do I do with the farm? But don't tie any of us in that Dr Death is out stalking us women to be buried alive.

Women live longer than men, Katrina, so more often the good doctor we may need to call. When we need to call him. So what is your point? he's gonna mistake a cough for a coffin?
Posted by Di, Thursday, 5 May 2005 9:12:57 PM
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I am a 39 year old woman and I've supported my mother and grandmother as they died from terminal illnesses - leukemia and Alzheimer's disease respectively. It's said we die as we live, and they did. They faced this inevitable passage with courage and dignity, including the pain and the loss of functionality, without the need to artificially hasten any element. I am so grateful that my foremothers could pass to me the heritage of witnessing such honourable death. They were strong women and many are not, however. In the culture of my partner's family, I observe exactly the elements of which Katrina writes - women who stay in situations of severe domestic violence because they are too afraid to leave and think they 'owe it' to the violent man. Women who if their husbands told them to take a Nietschke death pill, would obliging do so. I think as feminists we have an obligation to protect them and let them know there is a stronger and more honourable way to live, and to die.
Posted by diamond, Friday, 6 May 2005 10:33:03 AM
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If pain reducing drugs are over administrated then it can lead to death from overdose, which would be a form of manslaughter. This then becomes more than an ethical problem for doctors.

But feminists have long suggested that there is less medical research carried out women and women receive less medical treatment than males, but when more intensively studied, these suggestions are nearly always found to be a fallacy.

A search of 3000 medical journals listed in the Index Medicus found that for every article written on male health, there were 23 written on womenís health. In areas such as heart attack treatment it was found that women were generally having heart attack treatment at an older age, which made the treatment less likely to be successful, so heart attack treatment for males and females are not readily comparable.

Recently a group of feminists were found to be reporting false statistics to the UN regards women and menís health http://www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2005/0309roberts.html and there have been high profile feminists such as Naomi Wolf and Gloria Steinem who have written in texts that up to 150,000 women die of anorexia each year in the US, but other research found that the number was closer to 50. http://www.fathersforlife.org/health/anorexia8.htm

No matter how pro-female someone is, it now becomes extremely difficult to believe any statistic or doctrine being put forward by feminists. But ultimately males die at a younger age than females, and such things as the gap in retirement ages between males and females do seem to be an important factor. Perhaps males working longer than females is a form of self-sacrifice, but a form of self-sacrifice that is largely expected.
Posted by Timkins, Friday, 6 May 2005 12:27:43 PM
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