Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Do euthanasia drugs cause a painful death?

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The question of a painful euthanasia / assisted suicide death is important as recent news articles and the euthanasia lobby promote death by lethal drugs as a death with dignity.

Hannah Martin writing for Stuff News published an article concerning the New Zealand euthanasia referendum where she quotes Dr Cameron McLaren, an oncologist in the Australian state of Victoria who states that he has assisted more than 80 people to access assisted death drugs. McLaren is the most active euthanasia doctor in Victoria, as the recent statistics indicate that 124 people died by an assisted death in the first year of its euthanasia law.

Cameron's comments should be questionned since a death by lethal drugs that does not go as planned would lead to opposition to euthanasia. Nonetheless, Martin reports McLaren as stating:

There is no chemical reason why a person taking these medications would feel any pain, as they are simply sedatives, he says. 
When a person is put into that level of medically-induced coma, there is no reason to have pain. 
Even if there was pain, the body would be unlikely to register it because of the profound nature of the coma, he says. 
McLaren says of all the deaths he has been present at, the word which keeps coming up is ‘beautiful’.
A recent American court case concerning the use of euthanasia drugs for execution challenges the assertion that these drugs provide a pain free death. An article by Candace Sutton published by News.com.au reported:
An autopsy performed on (Wesley) Purkey ... revealed he suffered “severe bilateral acute pulmonary oedema” and “frothy pulmonary oedema in trachea and main stem bronchi”. 
This means fluid quickly entered Purkey’s lungs and trachea, causing “a near-drowning” sensation which a medical expert described as “among the most excruciating feelings known to man”. 
The information from the autopsy was made public by the legal team that was trying to prevent the capital punishment death of Keith Nelson. Sutton reported:
Dr Gail Van Norman, a medical expert retained by Nelson’s lawyers to interpret Purkey’s autopsy, said the flash flood-like filling of Purkey’s lungs could only occur when a person was still alive. 
“It is a virtual medical certainty, that most, if not all, prisoners will experience excruciating suffering, including sensations of drowning and suffocation from (the drug) pentobarbital,” she said.
This is not the first time that an article opposing capital punishment stated that Pentobarbitol caused a painful death. An article by Josiah Bates published by Time Magazine stated:
In 2014, Oklahoma used a combination of pentobarbital, potassium chloride and vecuronium bromide to execute convicted murderer Michael Lee Wilson. As the drugs were administered Wilson said, “I feel my whole body burning” before he died.
In February 2019 I published the article - assisted dying can cause inhumane deaths based on research by Professor Jaideep Pandit that was published in the British Medical Journal. Pandit researched complications with assisted suicide and capital punishment deaths which included:
difficulty in swallowing the prescribed dose (up to nine per cent) and vomiting in 10 per cent, both of which can prevent proper dosing. 
Re-emergence from a coma occurred in two per cent of cases, with a small number of patients even sitting up during the dying process, the authors said.  
After oral sedative ingestion, patients usually lose consciousness within five minutes. However, death takes considerably longer.  
But in a third of cases, death can take up to 30 hours.
Due to the cost and availability of Seconal and Pentobarbital, the assisted suicide lobby began to create new lethal drug cocktails for assisted suicide.

An article by JoNel Aleccia published by Kaiser Health News in March, 2017 examined the experiments by assisted suicide activists to find a cheaper alternative drug cocktail for assisted suicide. The article states:
The first Seconal alternative turned out to be too harsh, burning patients’ mouths and throats, causing some to scream in pain. 
The second drug mix, used 67 times, has led to deaths that stretched out hours in some patients — and up to 31 hours in one case. 
These lethal drug cocktail experiments were human experiments. Even though people suffered greatly from the lethal cocktail, the lethal drug experiments were done on 67 people.

An article by Jennie Dear published on January 22, 2019 in the Atlantic reports on the development of these lethal drugs cocktails.

I wrote about the drugs used for capital punishment since these are the same drugs that are used for euthanasia. The euthanasia lobby and the media want you to believe that euthanasia is a quick and peaceful death. The fact is that some of these deaths take many hours and are sometimes painful.

Dr Jacqueline Abernathy wrote an article on the connection between lethal injection and assisted suicide. She explains that: "Lethal injection supplies the same class of drugs as assisted suicide does. It uses the same means toward the same end: premature and imposed death."

Lethal drugs do not provide a dignified death and as I have previously stated assisted dying can be an inhumane death.

More articles on this topic:


informedchoices said...

Absolutely the death can be considered a tortured annihilation! At least two attempts were made to exterminate my life partner. In the first, she was drugged and left in pulmonary edema eyes wide opened, thrashing trying to breathe as she was drowning in the fluid filling her lungs. Where was the MD? He had the nurses give the drugs without our consent and against our directions. it was done secretly and he left my partner in agony. I was threatened with arrest by the hospital spokeswoman for insisting on a doctor and treatment. The Md arrived complaining he had to come in. He looked and turned and left her struggling to breathe - drowning. Thanks to a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor who rushed in and counteracted the meds, my partner survived THAT attempt. The final extermination by drugs was no peaceful death! Against her wishes and my directions, this woman who was awake, talking was forcibly injected with drugs rendering her unresponsive. By unresponsive I mean she could not cough, but her lungs filled with fluid to the point that it filled her mouth. She could not swallow so I was handed a suction catheter. This went on for 10 HOURS!!! No help came. No doctor there. a refusal to even help turn her sideways to let fluid drain from her mouth. With eyes opened, unable to blink, swallow, talk, motion for help, she was left to suffer drowning with no relief. MDs stupidly began using Chloral Hydrate to aid in their killings. Had they been thorough, they would have discovered what nurses could have easily told them - chloral hydrate burns - it is VERY uncomfortable. Death by euthanasia (murder by physician and/or nurse) is by no means "beautiful" except for the Canadian MDs who collect $400 for each murder. Try watching someone drowning for 10 hours with no help and tell me it's "a beautiful death".

ulli said...

I am so sorry for what you had to go through.... And your lady!! I cannot imagine! I do believe euthanasia is murder and not right before God or man.