How in the tank for assisted suicide are the media? This much. A headline in the Mercury News about assisted suicide exclaims: “How Doctors are Fixing How We Die.” Good grief.
The story is about Lonnie Shavelson, formerly a part-time ER doctor who spent most of his working life as a photo journalist. He first came to my attention years ago when he wrote A Chosen Death, a book about witnessing assisted suicides (this, when it was still illegal in California). One story recounted how he watched a Hemlock Society leader murder a disabled man — when he tried to change his mind about dying — by tying a plastic bag around his head He. Just. Sat. And. Watched.
Shavelson is now a death doctor charging $2000 to make sick people dead and has become the toast of the media. But guess what? Assisted suicide turns out to be much less easy than its sellers promised. Indeed, some people have a very tough time when they take prescribed poison, lingering hours or days.
So, Shavelson and his cohort of death doctor pals decided to conduct human experiments. From the puff piece:
While sitting at the bedsides of several six-hour deaths, Shavelson pondered what was going wrong. He speculated that one cardiac drug was rendered ineffective by the large quantities of the other drugs. So he separated that out and gave it earlier, so it had time to act.
When some delays persisted, he replaced one of the heart-slowing drugs for a heart-damaging drug.
Based on newly compiled data from Academy [a grouping of death doctors] clinicians, the formula is about to be improved again, pending confirmation of results.
Let’s label this what it is: Shavelson using sick suicidal people as human guinea pigs in being made dead:
“We’re learning. Hypothesis, data and confirmation. This is what science is,” he said. “Our job is to stop the heart; that’s what they want us to do.
This is incredibly unethical. But that’s how Shavelson rolls.
Doctors are supposed to heal and bring comfort, but Shavelson and his ilk are just about stopping hearts. Ugh.
Those with eyes to see, let them see.