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No Belgian Waffling Here
The right to die with dignity. No, we don't have it here in America, where the religious freaks rule. Belgium is the modern nation that legally grants people autonomy over their own lives -- and facilitates their right as well. In Belgium, according to this TF1 article (unfortunately, only in French), doctors can get a kit, available in 250 pharmacies across the country, to help a patient with "constant and unbearable physical or psychic suffering" to end their life in their own home.

The kit costs 45 euros ("not reimbursed by Belgian social security," the article mentions!), and includes the anaesthetics Pentothal and Norcuron. According to a pharmacist interviewed by the newspaper, the first drug "quickly causes death" in 90 percent of the cases, and the second finalizes it. The doctor brings surplus drugs back to the pharmacy.

What a civilized procedure. What a shame that we, in the US, seem to be going backward, not forward, in civilization.

Posted by aalkon at April 20, 2005 8:39 AM

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The article mentions that Belgium is the second nation
that conditionally allowed euthanasia. The first one is "Pays-Bas".
To save others the research time, Pays-Bas is the Netherlands.

Posted by: Ron at April 20, 2005 6:06 AM

Does anyone else out there think that that freedom to end your own existence on your own terms at some point in the future may be a great relief to the stresses of worrying about dying broke and alone?

I use as a film example Maude, who carried on after her beloved husband was killed in the concentration camps, but didn't really see the point of living past 80 years old. She saw her last weeks and lived them to the fullest.

If you know the endpoint, maybe you can live your life fully without worrying about saving your last dollar for medical expenses. If it is a sin, as Patti said, it belongs to me. Not anyone else.

ANNNNNNNND years ago Tom Petty had a line in a song that went:

I don't want to end up
In a room all alone
Don't want to end up someone,
That I don't even know.

Me? I hope a great Bourbon with sleeping pills in Maui watching the sunrise January 12th, 2040. Or jumping off the cliffs of Dover. There are so many cool ways to go...

Posted by: eric at April 21, 2005 8:38 PM

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