The Current State of Mercy Killings in North America vs Europe

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HOSPITAL_SHOOTING_NEVADA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-01-20-05-35-03

In the above news story, there is a married elderly couple consisting of one loving spouse and one spouse who is terminally ill and suffering from an excruciatingly painful disease such as Cancer. Then, there is a botched murder suicide attempt.

After reading this story, I would imagine that many of us will recognize this case is hardly unique. Seems like in North America, we are seriously lagging behind some of the European nations when it comes to finding some kind of relief from this situation via medically approved (but illegal) drugs or mercy killing.

We are all hope to become elderly one day, providing we are lucky enough. And, unfortunately, for those of us who are married, it is almost inevitable that one of the spouses will begin to suffer from an excrutiatingly painful disease (such as Cancer) before the other spouse does. If and when that happens, we will become desperate for some kind of relief. Perhaps we will first try to find relief with medically approved (although illegal drugs such as MJ or THC). If we are unable to find relief there, perhaps we will next seek to find relief via some kind of painless murder suicide. But that is really terribly scarey.

I would really strongly hope we could find some kind of intermediate step. If we can’t find medically approved drugs to relieve our spouse’s pain, it sure would be a tragedy if the only other choice available to us was murder suicide.

But suppose that is true. And suppose after discussing the matter with our spouses, other family members, religious support people, our doctors and other support people, our lawyers and other support people, we decide to choose murder suicide. How to go about such a thing? Wouldn’t it be of supreme importance to avoid the tragedy in the above news story? My point with this thread is that it would be so much better to have made our choice and be prepared to execute our choice instead of beginning to look into things at that time.

So, wouldn’t it make sense to get some information together before we need to make a decision and maybe prepare for that day before hand?

There is a thread in the IMHO forum that I found to be very interesting and informative. It was started by Crotalus. The title implies it’s about selecting a handgun to carry around with you. But there is a wealth of information in that thread regarding various kinds of guns and ammunition and perhaps it would be a good idea to make a copy of that thread now and maybe get some of the info that thread discusses now and not have to wait until there is no time left to plan for the inevitable. I tried to contribute a few posts to that thread talking about guns and ammunition. But, there were some other people who posted in that thread and who knew an awful lot more than I did. If you fear that you may ever may have to go down that road - even if it seems almost impossible to you now, you might want to save a copy of that thread because there are some excellent posts by some members who are far more knowledgeable than I regarding the kinds of guns and ammunition you should know about.

If you object to guns, maybe you would prefer to find some kind of alternative? Point is to find some way to prevent your spouse from dying an agonizing death as the result of Cancer or other disease.

If that sad day ever should come, the last thing in the world that you want to happen is what happened in the following news story. If a gun jams or you are using the wrong kind of gun or ammunition, what you hoped would be a painless event could turn out to be a big mess. Here is the link.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=711914&highlight=magnum

In the above thread, people like Gray Ghost, Patch and Doyle make some excellent posts that are extremely informative and refer to other sources that will help you to come to the best possible decisions that you can.

I don’t want to push you into choosing any extreme course of action in order to cope with a terminal and extremely painful disease. But if it ever should come to that, I hope you might find some info in that thread that will help you find the best decision for yourself.

The Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying was written back in 1991, and was intended to accomplish that goal: informing people on how to die well.

The Wikipedia article mentions helium. That and other non-toxic asphyxiant gases (argon, nitrogen) are available from any welding shop and seem like the ideal way to go: cheap, easy, painless, and clean. Bag over the head, taped snugly-but-comfortably at the neck, with a tube into the bag from the gas bottle. Open the valve, turn up the regulator to create a gentle flow of gas into the bag. Breathe normally; in short order, any oxygen that was in the bag (or in your lungs) will be displaced via the leakage around your neck, and in less than a minute you’ll comfortably pass out. If someone is checking on you, they should not remove the apparatus until your heart and breathing have definitively stopped.

A method like that seems a lot less horrifying for anyone who will be discovering your body. This includes your spouse, if they’ll be witnessing your departure, or first responders (which, depending on circumstances, could be friends or neighbors). I’d rather find a dead-but-intact body with a bag over its head than one with a halo of blood and gray matter all over the room.

An added benefit is that there need not be a murder-suicide. If a couple is intending to snuff out together, then they can die simultaneously via this method; all it takes is a tee in the line so that the gas flows to two bags instead of one. If you’re going to go out together like this, then Overnight-Express a letter to someone informing them of what you’ve done so that the authorities can be summoned to retrieve your bodies in a timely fashion. Include a key for easy access, and a note warning about the presence of asphyxiant gas. Probably want a second note on the door of whatever room you do this in (if the gas bottle is small enough then the rest of the house should be safe).

OTOH, if you’re still well enough travel to Switzerland, you can get professional help.