Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Undercover fake terminally-ill patient busts Right-to-Die group

Late last month I commented on the now-famous Right-to-Die advocates ring, the Final Exit Network, that got busted and is due for court. This is a continuation of that story as new details and updates occur.

I'm not certain when this occurred, but a report states that an undercover state investigator posed as a terminal-phase cancer patient and asked for the ring's aid in his supposed assisted suicide. Naturally, the good people of the Final Exit Network agreed to help carry out the sleazeball's 'final demands', and in return, got busted (again?).

ATLANTA — An undercover state investigator told a right-to-die network that he wanted to kill himself. In response, he later testified, officials of the network planned to have him asphyxiate himself with a helium-filled face mask while holding down his arms.

After an investigation, four officials of the group, known as the Final Exit Network, were arrested last month on charges of racketeering and assisted suicide.

The arrests raised questions about whether the group, which has helped some 200 people commit suicide since 2004, merely watched people take the leap into death, or pushed them over the edge.

There isn't much I can say here that wouldn't be plainly and flatly repeating myself for the umpteenth time. I believe the group's actions, if they're as advertised, are noble and honorable and never should be anywhere near a courtroom setting. This is once again self-serving, self-righteous assholes deciding who gets to live or not depending on their own stupid beliefs, something I shall never condone or be respectful towards.

The chief claim against the Final Exit Network is it's alleged 'hands-on' approach; while other Right-to-Die support and advocate groups generally tend to be more like counselors or guides, members of the FEN are said to be directly involved in the actual assisted-suicide acts themselves, which – predictably – some say damages the movement instead of helps it.

Other groups are concerned that the network will portray the movement negatively.

“People don’t want to do this underground or covertly, with hushed tones, with great risks to themselves and their loved ones,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, the president of Compassion and Choices, which supports end-of-life decisions. “They want to have their physician involved. They want hospice care involved. They want their family there without shame or risk.”

Even if she's also a Right-to-Die advocate, I have to disagree. How can she, or anyone from either side of the fence, proclaim to know what people want in their final hours? Sure, some do want to be surrounded by loved ones and family for moral support and all that. Perhaps even a certain amount of the majority. But certainly not all – it's simple statistics that some will want to be alone for whatever reason. Perhaps they are ashamed and just want it over. Perhaps they don't want to have their family and cared ones see them suffer. And then, what about those who may not even have any friends or loved ones at all?

And this bit about them wanting their physician involved along with hospice care – sorry, that's just rubbish. I can hardly imagine that the location where the patient chooses to die would be a cold hospital, rather than their comfy home with familiar surroundings, and as for the physician, unless they were more than 'doctor-patient', I don't think the patient would care all that much at all. It's just another face in a white lab coat.

I know if I ever was about to be guided through assisted suicide, I'd want to do it at my home, with the few people I cared for; the presence of my doctor would be entirely dependent on how I got along with him or not.

But of course, one thing you can depend on is close-minded idiocy from this basic right's opponents.

Opponents of assisted suicide were harsher.

“These are people who instead of pulling you back from the ledge, they shove you off,” said Stephen Drake, a research analyst for Not Dead Yet, an advocacy group for the disabled that opposes assisted suicide. “Legally, we may not know what this means. But in a personal sense, it can mean the difference between life and death.”

Seems Mr. Drake doesn't write much; his sentence structure leaves quite a bit to be desired, casting some question marks upon his relevance. But irrelevant; he speaks like any other imbecile, blowing it out of proportion ('shove you off [the ledge]'), bringing up the legality as if that had anything to do at all with if it's right or wrong instead of merely permitted or not, etc. And his last comment about it being 'the difference between life and death' ... well, no shit, Einstein. Some genius, isn't he?

His group's name, 'Not Dead Yet', doesn't seem particularly wise a choice in terms of the impression it imprints one with, but now I'm just getting petty and nitpicky. (Why not?)

Overall, I think the only right thing to do is ... Well, why don't I let Mr. Dincin, a member of the Final Exit Network, say it for me?

“There are millions of people who think what we do is just awful,” Mr. Dincin said. “They think we shouldn’t touch a person’s natural course from living to dying, but I think people have a right to decide for themselves.” [My emphasis]


Post a Comment

You can post any sort of feedback or questions you like, just as long as you abide by the rules detailed in the About section. =)