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Thread: French woman who sought euthanasia dies

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    Default French woman who sought euthanasia dies

    RIP. This sort of story makes me see why some would want euthanasia.

    French woman who sought euthanasia dies


    By MIKAEL HOLTER, Associated Press Writer Thu Mar 20, 12:37 AM ET

    PARIS - A woman who suffered from a painful facial tumor and had drawn headlines across France with her quest for doctor-assisted suicide was found dead Wednesday, an official said.

    Chantal Sebire, a former schoolteacher and mother of three, was found at her home in the eastern French town of Plombieres-les-Dijon, a government official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The circumstances of her death were not immediately clear.

    Sebire, 52, was diagnosed nearly eight years ago with esthesioneuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. The illness left her blind, and with no sense of smell or taste, her lawyer said. She could not use morphine to ease the intense eye pain because of the side effects.

    On Monday, a court in the city of Dijon rejected Sebire's request to be allowed to receive a lethal dose of barbiturates under a doctor's supervision. It refused the request for doctor-assisted suicide because of French law and out of concern for medical ethics.

    Sebire's case revived a debate in France about the right to die. She received national attention after the media published heartbreaking before-and-after pictures that made her suffering instantly apparent. The tumor had burrowed through her sinuses and nasal cavities, causing her nose to swell to several times its original size, and pushing one of her eyes out of her head.

    Unlike in France, euthanasia is legal in both Belgium and the Netherlands, and Luxembourg is in the process of passing a law to allow it. In Switzerland, counselors or physicians can prepare the lethal dose, but patients must take it on their own.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080320/...8Q8CGb8cUDW7oF

    I mean....could I live with this?

    Before the tumor:



    After the tumor:




    Before and after:
    "If you want to know who you are, look in the mirror. Written on your face is countless generations that have survived to reproduce, and the only thing you can realistically do at this point is thank them and then move forward." ~Meredith F. Small


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    Non-Compost Menthos
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    When I first saw the story I focussed on the intense pain angle, especially because my acquaintances in Europe say they aren't as free with pain relieving drugs as the US is.
    Talking to GOD, and She's pissed off.

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    It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed,
    the lips acquire stains,
    the stains become a warning.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alyallen View Post
    Unlike in France, euthanasia is legal in both Belgium and the Netherlands,
    Couldn't she have just gone to Belgium or the Netherlands?

    But perhaps she wanted to help change the law for others??

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    Here is a video of her talking about her position.

    http://video.aol.com/video-detail/fr...ate/2481343310

    She did say that if she didn't get the ruling she wanted that she would go elsewhere. It may be possible that she decided to take her own life but for now I can only assume that the tumor finally took her....
    "If you want to know who you are, look in the mirror. Written on your face is countless generations that have survived to reproduce, and the only thing you can realistically do at this point is thank them and then move forward." ~Meredith F. Small


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    We leave no choice to people who are suffering but to shoot themselves in the head, hang themselves and jump off buildings. Then there are those who are unable to do those things and must live in agony for years and years.
    You can wipe out your opponents. But if you do it unjustly you become eligible for being wiped out yourself. ~Ernest Hemingway

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    When Is Sedation Really Euthanasia?

    Friday, Mar. 21, 2008 By KATHLEEN KINGSBURY

    Adrianna Williams / zefa / Corbis

    In the contentious debate over whether people have a right to die, the staunchest opponents on either side could usually agree on one point that the terminally ill ought to be made as comfortable as possible in their final days. But a controversial procedure is now calling into question even that accord.

    Terminal sedation is the decision to keep dying patients, who cannot be made comfortable in any other way, unconscious until they die. As a last resort, such drug-induced sedation is legal in most countries including the U.S., and it is widely accepted as a mainstay of end-of-life care.

    Opponents of terminal sedation argue, however, that some doctors misuse the practice as a substitute for euthanasia. A study published last week in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) indicates this may be the case in the Netherlands. Physician-assisted suicide has been legal there though highly regulated since 2001, but its use has dropped in recent years. At the same time, Dutch physicians have turned more often to terminal sedation to treat patients at the end of life 8.2% of all deaths in 2005 involved terminal sedation, up from 5.6% of deaths in 2001. These findings suggest that "continuous deep sedation has possibly increasingly been used as a relevant alternative to euthanasia," the study's authors write. "We do not know whether such substitution is always in accordance with the patient's wishes and with legal and professional guidelines."


    Palliative sedation is common practice in hospitals worldwide. Burn victims or patients in intensive-care units are often sedated while doctors perform sensitive procedures or determine the next best pain-management treatment. One thing that distinguishes routine sedation from terminal sedation is that the latter often goes hand-in-hand with cutting off other medications or removing a patient's feeding tubes. On its face, this may sound to many people as automatically hastening a patient's death. But that's not the case, says Dr. Ira Byock, chair of palliative medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, who has performed terminal sedation for his patients. "This is a practice, when used correctly, that's only done in the final stages of life," Byock says. "At that point, nutrition or antibiotics can usually do nothing to prolong life." Indeed, Dutch researchers found that in 94% of the 6,500 cases they studied, the patient was sedated for less than one week before death.

    Still, what's troubling about the new findings, Byock says, is the implication that doctors may be issuing the treatment either too early or without the patient's consent or that they are using it to sidestep legal requirements to perform euthanasia. Nine percent of the patients in the study had in fact asked for euthanasia before being sedated. "Sedating someone until they die is a one-size-fits-all solution, but thoughtful pain management requires time and money," Byock says, noting that plans should always be discussed with patients and families well in advance. "One shouldn't be a substitute for another."

    How frequently terminal sedation is used in the United States has never been studied, but estimates range from almost never to as much as 50% of the time in hospice care. The practice has been sanctioned in the U.S. since 1997, when the Supreme Court, in a decision outlawing euthanasia, explicitly ruled terminal sedation legal under the Constitution. But the procedure didn't make big headlines until 2006, when some experts suggested that it may have played a role in the deaths of four critically ill patients trapped in a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina. (Louisiana prosecutors went further, charging the patients' doctor and two nurses with second-degree murder; a grand jury refused to indict them.) Two years prior, in a 2004 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Timothy Quill, a professor of medicine at the University of Rochester, described using sedation to help his father die. Cases like these have fueled public unease with the practice.

    Still, palliative care specialists who have administered terminal sedation say that choosing to do so is rarely a difficult decision for suffering patients or their families. Rather, the option to sedate can be a tremendous liberation, says Dr. Porter Storey, executive vice-president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. It relieves patients of their "fear of dying or not getting adequate help at the end of life," Storey says, before adding, "Good doctors don't intentionally shorten life."
    http://www.time.com/time/health/arti...724911,00.html
    "If you want to know who you are, look in the mirror. Written on your face is countless generations that have survived to reproduce, and the only thing you can realistically do at this point is thank them and then move forward." ~Meredith F. Small


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    French euthanasia woman overdosed on barbiturates: prosecutor

    1 hour, 24 minutes ago

    DIJON, France (AFP) - A severely disfigured French woman, found dead this month after a court rejected her request for euthanasia, took a lethal overdose of barbiturates, a prosecutor said on Thursday.

    Former schoolteacher Chantal Sebire, 52, suffered from a rare and incurable tumour which severely deformed her face and caused her to lose the sense of smell, taste and finally her eyesight.

    Her body was found at her home in Plombieres-les-Dijon on March 19, two days after the high court in the eastern French city of Dijon decided current French law did not allow her doctor to prescribe her lethal drugs.
    "The tests conducted reveal the presence in the blood of a toxic concentration of barbiturate, Pentobarbital," prosecutor Jean-Pierre Alacchi told reporters in Dijon.

    "The concentration found is three times the lethal level for this product," he said, adding that investigators were working to establish how Sebire obtained the drug, which is not delivered by French pharmacies.
    The drug Pentobarbital is commonly used for animal euthanasia and can be legally prescribed for assisted human suicide in Switzerland, Belgium and the US state of Oregon.

    In her request to the high court, Sebire said she wanted to put an end to "atrocious suffering" and an irreversible worsening of her condition, called an esthesioneuroblastoma.

    The mother-of-three had said she would not appeal the decision and that she would find life-terminating drugs through other means.

    Before-and-after pictures of Sebire, along with her account of frightened children who ran away at the sight of her, attracted a strong outpouring of sympathy in France.

    The case prompted doctors, politicians and intellectuals calling for a debate on a change to French law to allow euthanasia in exceptional cases.
    Legislation adopted in 2005 allows families to request that life-support equipment for a terminally-ill patient be switched off, but does not allow a doctor to take action to end a patient's life.

    Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are the only European Union countries that currently allow active euthanasia.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/franceco...bNMWS7JFcDW7oF
    "If you want to know who you are, look in the mirror. Written on your face is countless generations that have survived to reproduce, and the only thing you can realistically do at this point is thank them and then move forward." ~Meredith F. Small


  8. #8
    John Barrowman
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomaster View Post
    When I first saw the story I focussed on the intense pain angle, especially because my acquaintances in Europe say they aren't as free with pain relieving drugs as the US is.
    My doctor friend in the US says US doctors aren't free enough with pain medication. So many doctors see addition as a moral issue. When someone has less than two years to live why not let them get addicted?

    This friend of mine is licensed in both internal medicine and psychiatry. She says there is no reasonable reason for euthanasia with proper pain management and psychiatry.

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    I came to Korea to work with youth in Asia.

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    John Barrowman
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    There's another reason doctors don't do good pain management. In the US if you give out too much drugs you could have the DEA breathing down your neck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alyallen View Post
    The drug Pentobarbital is commonly used for animal euthanasia
    How do they know the animals want to die?

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