Monday, March 24, 2008

Euthanasia Debate Comes to French Forefront

A French woman who suffered from an incurable cancer which developed a painful and disfiguring tumor on her face is dead. But not of natural causes.

When a court refused her plea for euthanasia, she appealed to a television audience. After medical testing, authorities released a statement saying only that she did not die from natural causes; they did not say what had killed her. In fact, the examining doctor stated that there was no immediate cause of death.

The tumor in her nose had robbed her of her senses of smell, sight, and taste, and left her in continual agony. It had disfigured her head and face to the point that children screamed and ran from her. She pleaded to be allowed to die -- to be allowed to end her pain, suffering, and humiliation -- but was refused her dignity by the Puritanical laws of French society.

Death is simply another stage of life, as we are constantly reminded -- so why is it that, when the only possible option for helping someone is to give them that release, so many create such a problem? Obviously, there are people with debilitating psychological problems who wish to die -- and we should probably do what we can to disabuse them of that notion and stop them -- but cases such as this are an entirely different matter.

We go out of our way to overmedicate people who feel "down" or "just not right" with medications they have to take on a regular basis and must be weened off of (when possible), yet we subject those in chronic pain to batteries of tests and constant medical evaluations to ensure they do not become "addicted" to drugs they absolutely need to survive with any Quality of Life.

The fact here is that, as in most medical cases: You don't make money healing people; you make money "treating" them.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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