Daily Topics - Wednesday October 29th, 2014

Join Thom in our chatroom during the program!

Be sure to check out our new videos: CARBON & LAST HOURS
- both narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio

Hour One: Death with dignity...at 29? Barbara Combs Lee, Compassion & Choices

Hour Two: Trick or treat...money in politics - Paul M. Sherman, Institute for Justice

Hour Three: Thom Hartmann University Book Club - Dan Sisson, The American Revolution of 1800


mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 5 weeks ago

Since parity of mental and physical health has been an issue lately, though mostly neglected, how about allowing suicide for mental anguish as well as for physical pain? People sue over mental anguish, so it's already a legal concept.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 7 years 5 weeks ago

If I could single-handedly rewrite the Second Amendment, I'd phrase the right as belonging to the community, so that it wouldn't be interpreted as an individual right. It would strike a balance by letting the exact level of armament allowed vary from place to place.


Gary C. Stein Ph.D 7 years 5 weeks ago

Thom: I agree with you about 98% of the time, but was horrified at your comments this morning, when I heard part of your interview with Barbara Coombs Lee. I met her in 1997, as the Supreme Court was deciding the “death with dignity” cases. I didn’t like her arguments then, and certainly don’t like them now. I’m a liberal/progressive, and not a religious conservative (I’m a Reform Jew). I believe that anyone has the right to kill him/herself. I don’t believe in “physician-assisted suicide.” It is not a doctor’s job to kill anyone.

I did some research on Jack Kevorkian’s early cases. 18%-20% of his KNOWN patients had multiple sclerosis (MS), which is not a terminal disease. What they were all lacking was community support, adequate medical care (including things like wheelchairs), and family support. Also, probably because of the depression that can accompany MS, they were afraid of becoming a “burden” on their families. My wife was diagnosed with MS 34 years ago. She has been through some very difficult exacerbation of the symptoms, but with support and proper care, she thrives.

Another example: While listening to a radio talkshow out of the Washington, D.C. area, the hosts were commiserating with the last patient Kevorkian had (the one he murdered) and how awful his life had been. But just the week before, those same hosts were celebrating Christopher Reeve as an inspiration. The only difference between Reeve and Kevorkian’s victim was that Reeve had the money for proper care, family support, and a professional community that stood behind him.

“Death with Dignity” is a misnomer when it comes to physician-assisted suicide. The Oregon law was passed after a state referendum of the general population. How ridiculous is that? I have relatives in Oregon—fine, smart people, but they are not competent to determine what is or is not medical practice. State medical boards usually make those decisions. What will we see next, votes of a state’s general population to determine the safety and efficacy of new drugs?

To give the issue a broader perspective, you should also have interviewed someone from Not Dead Yet, an organization that opposes assisted suicide. See www.notdeadyet.org.

Thanks for the opportunity to spout off.

Gary C. Stein, Ph.D. (History)

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

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