For patients with terminal cancer who have exhausted all treatment options, being as comfortable and relaxed as possible during their final days often becomes a priority. Staying out of the hospital may be key to attaining that frame of mind, a new study suggests.
Georgia's Supreme Court on Monday unanimously struck down the state's assisted suicide law, a decision that results in the dismissal of criminal charges against four members of an assisted suicide network.
No one has come out yet and explicitly suggested that old folks like me (I am about to turn 83) should be treated the way the Eskimos, as folklore has it, used to treat theirs: put on an ice floe and left to float away into the sunset. We are, however, coming dangerously close.
James Powell could barely speak on the day he died; cancer had confined him to bed and heavy painkillers left him only semi-lucid. Yet the mood was almost celebratory as 25 people -- family, friends and volunteers -- gathered in a large living room to tell stories and say goodbye on the day Powell chose to end his suffering.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan pathologist who put assisted suicide on the world's medical ethics stage, died early Friday, according to a spokesman with Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. He was 83.
Joseph Maraachli, the infant whose family refused to accept a recommendation by a Canadian hospital to remove the boy's breathing tube and allow him to die, is now breathing on his own without the aid of a mechanical ventilator.
Thinking about death can be frightening, no matter your age or medical condition. As we get older, the reality of our own mortality tends to come into clearer focus; this doesn't make talking about death or life-sustaining treatments any less frightening though.
Theresa Brown's thoughtful essay on end-of-life care reminded me of a recent clinical encounter. It was a hot July afternoon when I found myself in a quiet hospital lounge, having "the family discussion" with a patient newly admitted to my medical service, a sweet middle-aged woman whose lung cancer had spread so extensively that it now encircled the vital vessels of her chest.
A German court on Friday absolved a women who cut the feeding tube of her mother, who was in a persistent vegetative state, saying passive assisted suicide is legal in cases where the patient has expressed the desire to die.
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan once believed a federal law to ban physician-assisted suicide was a "fairly terrible idea." The handwritten remarks were part of more than 46,000 documents released Friday, as Senate lawmakers prepare for confirmation hearings for the 50-year-old Kagan.
In his essay "The Myth of Sisyphus," Albert Camus writes, "Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy." It is not a question we like to think about.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer says he's just a regular fellow "trying to get things accomplished." As a result, the Oregon Democrat tells me, he spends much of his time "looking for ideas that can bring people together -- simple, straightforward ideas that would help people and their families."
The director of public prosecutions in Britain issued a new policy on assisted suicide Wednesday, making clear at what point he believes people should face charges if they help a loved one go abroad to die.
An Australian high court ruled Friday that a quadriplegic man has the right to refuse food and water and can be allowed to die, a rare legal finding that some see as a major victory for right-to-die campaigners.
Neither of Dr. Arthur Kellerman's parents wanted to die in a hospital. His father had metastatic cancer and his mother had had multiple strokes, and Kellerman wanted to respect their wishes about the ends of their lives.