The state of the “art” of Euthanasia, the so-called “medical aid to die” shows a lack of a universal protocol, shortage of doctors willing to help people die and many patients have been exposed to lethal drugs.

A widespread myth is that once the patient has decided to end his life and has the medical and legal approval to do so, the suffering is over. 


In this sense an article published in The Atlantic (Jan 22, 2019) affirmed, In 2016, a small group of doctors gathered in a Seattle conference (United States) room to find a better way to help people die. They included physicians at the forefront of medical aid in dying—the practice of providing terminal patients with a way to end their own life.

The meeting of the 2016 group set in motion research that would lead the recipe for one of the most widely used aid-in-dying (euthanasia or assisted suicide) drugs in the United States. But the doctors’ work has taken place on the margins of traditional science. Despite their principled intentions, it’s a part of science that’s still practiced in the shadows (for physicians enter a field other than medicine).

For years, the two barbiturates widely used for hastening death in terminally ill patients were pentobarbital and secobarbital. But since 2015, they’ve been largely unavailable. U.S. pharmacies stopped carrying pentobarbital approved for human use, and the price of secobarbital, under the brand name Seconal, doubled from an already historic high after Valeant Pharmaceuticals (today is known as Bausch Health) bought the manufacturing rights.
A few years ago, a lethal dose cost about $200 or $300; now it can cost $3,500 or more. To help patients who could no longer afford the drug, aid-in-dying groups sought a fix. In Washington, an advocacy organization called End of Life Washington briefly advised prescribing a drug mixture with the sedative chloral hydrate to about 70 patients. “We know this is going to put you to sleep, and we’re pretty sure it’s going to kill you,” Robert Wood, a medical director at the organization, says they told the patients. It worked, but with a tragic catch: In a few cases, the chloral hydrate burned people’s throats, causing severe pain just at the time they expected relief. Together, Parrot and Law (the first a retired anesthesiologist who, like Law, is one of the most experienced aid-in-dying doctors in the U.S) have written perhaps 300 lethal prescriptions over the years and observed the effects of medications on numerous patients. Neither set out to be an aid-in-dying advocate; they turned to End of Life Washington after witnessing the suffering of some dying patients.

300 lethal prescriptions over the years have been experimented in patients by organizations so-called End of Life Care in the U.S.

About eight years ago, Law says she was asked to prescribe lethal medications for a dying woman whose regular doctors had refused. She agreed to see the woman and realized how difficult it was for some aid-in-dying patients to find doctors. Parrot says she was profoundly affected by the deaths of two close friends who asked her to help hasten their death, but who lived in states where the practice was illegal. She was unable to help them, and began volunteering as an aid-in-dying doctor soon after she retired. Most medical professionals don’t participate in aid in dying. Some physicians are concerned that their Hippocratic oath prohibits intentionally helping someone die, or that aid-in-dying requests originate from treatable pain or depression. Some worry about the broader repercussions for a society that accepts medically aiding the deaths of the terminally ill.
 The American Medical Association remains officially opposed. Without the support of the rest of the profession and much of society, aid-in-dying research methods don’t fit the model of good medical research, says Matthew Wynia, the director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado (read the entire article HERE) ”

The bioethical approach of using euthanasia harmful lethal drugs

The state of the “art”, that here is resumed, shows a lack of a universal protocol and that many patients have been exposed to doubtful and harmful lethal drugs.

Is the patient properly informed of this information and the eventual duration and suffering of the assisted suicide or euthanasia process in countries where these are legal?



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