By Charles F. McKhann
Drawing on in-depth interviews with those who have been loss of life and with the physicians who cared for them, in addition to on his personal studies as a doctor, Dr. Charles McKhann argues persuasively that physician-assisted demise could be made legally to be had below sure conditions.
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Extra info for A Time to Die: The Place for Physician Assistance
The pain of a broken bone is also meaningful. It demands protection from movement, the reward being complete mending. This pain inspired the ancients to use splints and the moderns to apply casts to immobilize broken limbs. Again, the pain is temporary and the gain is obvious. The meaningless pain of terminal disease, on the other hand, is permanent and destined to increase. It has no protective value, and it certainly is not blessed by any reward. The classic example is the pain felt with cancer.
Barring a joyous afterlife, reports of which are infrequent and indirect at best, most of us have a very reasonable concept of what it's like to be dead. We do it all the time when we go to sleep. The difference is not in going to sleep but in failing to wake up, and frequently the fervent wish of the person who is dying is that sleep tonight will end it all, that there will be no tomorrow. On several occasions patients have said to me before surgery, "If you can't make me better, please just let me die on the table.
The first clue that I had of any problem was after my cousin promised to leave the key to her apartment so that we could use it when she was away. She has a nice apartment in Washington, near a park, which she let us use from time to time when she was out of town. This time she forgot to leave the key and it took many calls to locate her and finally get permission to be let in. " This was not the case with my cousin. She < previous page page_22 next page > < previous page page_23 next page > Page 23 could not recall promising anything three days before.