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Euthanasia – for Pets and People

By Dr. Andrew Jones

pet_euthanasia_1229

Today’s topic is touchy – but one that you’ll likely need to deal with.

Fortunately you have the option.

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Euthanasia
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I happen to perform this pretty regularly – I had two sick, older pets that were euthanized yesterday.

The decision is personal – based on your Veterinarian, yourself and ULTIMATELY with one overriding factor:

The health, well being and QUALITY of life of your pet.

It’s a decision that is NEVER taken lightly – and I and MOST Veterinarians do NOT perform ‘convenience’ euthanasia.

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what is the definition?
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Euthanasia (from the Greek ????????? meaning “good death”: ??-, eu- (well or good) + ???????, thanatos (death)) refers to the practice of ending a life in a painless manner.

And it is painless.

In all cases I sedate the pets first, then once they are comfortable, inject euthanyl( Sodium Pentobarbital).

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What about people?
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I am grateful that I have this option.

But for some reason, our so ‘advanced’ society makes this ILLEGAL for people.

So in spite of having a terminal illness, you are forced to endure UNREASONABLE pain, LOSE your dignity, and die of ‘natural’ causes.

Some countries are changing laws.

But NOT yet here in North America.

I know that when the time comes my Dad would sure like the option – yet it does not exist.

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P.S. Your thought?

Leave a comment here:

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Pet health | 116 Comments »

116 Responses to “Euthanasia – for Pets and People”


  1. jean Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I totally agree that humans should be allowed to be euthanized if they so wish.

  2. Debra Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 8:50 am

    I think that euthanasia for animals is fine but I believe what is in the Bible that says that God created man and it is up to God to remove man from the earth. I think that death would be a lot easier if we could euthanize, but I just don’t believe that is the way God intended for it to be.

  3. Linda Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I have had to put 3 cats and 2 dogs down. You know when it’s time, even though upsetting. You know you are doing the right thing. I think people should have this same choice especially if you are in pain, no chance for improvement and you have no quality of life. Should be discussed with family members.

  4. Anna Wilson Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 8:54 am

    To me it seems odd that we euthanize our pets out of compassion but we make people suffer unbearable pain needlessly. This seems a bit twisted. Empathy and compassion for animals but not for people??? Perhaps it is the pharmaceuticals behind this, after all even the last bits of morphine pumped into a dying person will generate some profit. The almighty dollar always seems to win.

  5. Laura Osgood Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I am completely in favor of euthanasia for the terminally ill. My mother died from lung cancer in 2000, and my biggest fear was watching her waste away in a nursing home somewhere because she required around the clock care. The nurses gave her morphine for the pain, and her body was already so weak that she died within 48 hours. I was grateful. I truly believe that if a person tells you they have come to terms with their life; said the things they want to say; and are at peace with dying, who are we to tell them they can’t? To me, it is the ultimate profession of love. Just like it is with the animals we love so much. We do not want to see them suffer, so why is it so different with people?

  6. Rosemarie Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I realise it is hard for those in intolerable pain and for those watching.I had to have my 7 year old cat put down because of renal failure and I swear it was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I asked the vet “If he could commit suicide, WOULD HE?” the vet said after some thought “Yes, I think he would he’s in so much pain” you can either have him put to sleep quietly and gently or I can give you some painkillers and you can take him home and watch him die, I opted for euthanasia.I kissed him as he gave his last twitch. My Friend was also in unbearable pain and bedridden so he overdosed himself intentionally on morphine, he told every one of his friends he was going to go.It is an option for those patients at home to “accidentally” overdose on pain killers and sleep into death if they have drugs like morphine on hand and perhaps someone willing to turn a blind eye but be there for them.Its not impossible.

  7. Maureen Shaw Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I definitely believe in euthanasia for people with extended suffering with no hope. Unlike suicide, which leaves devestated loved ones left behind; euthanasia is agreed upon by all parties of family/friends. It is a collective agreement with the intention to cease pain and suffering; the same reason we do it for our beloved pets.

  8. beverly Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Just a thought. When I put my “Lil Pup” down. I did feel bad like I murdered him. He kept having seezigers,had eye problems, couldn t see good, eye ducts were not working,had lungs full of water from falling in the pool, had prooblems walking, and some labored breathing. Vet said she couldn’t say even a 50 chance of fixing him up I always feel like I should have waited to see if his lungs could clear but she was speaking of him getting pneumonia also. Since 2003 I have a heavy heart about this. Keep having dreams about him on the table/

  9. Stephanie Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:02 am

    This was a very strong subject for me. I have put many dogs down over the years (all due to old age, thank God) but I have often said that we should be able to do this for people as well. I watched my mother and, just recently, my older brother, both suffer from cancer. It’s not fair to see someone suffer so much before they finally get to their final resting place. I pray to God I never have to suffer like that.

  10. Astrid Jankielsohn Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:05 am

    This is a very difficult decicion to make for your pet. I had to make this decision about 12 years ago when one of my spaniels was 14 years old. She was totally blind and deaf and suffered from terrible arthritis. She was in a lot of pain and finally her bladder gave in and she had no control over her functions. That is when I decided it was time. Thinking back I let her suffer for a very long time and I should have let her go earlier. I promised myself that I will never again let an animal suffer like that. I am now again faced with that decision. I have a male spaniel that is 17 years old. I believe that the reason he is older is because I have learned not to feed my dogs any junk and I wathced his diet for most of his life. But now not even the herbs I feed him help anymore. He is very frail and suffer from constant ear and eye infection. It is also difficult for him to get up and he stumbles and falls down a lot. Despite this he still goes for his daily walks and waits at the gate when it is time for their walk. I sort of use this as an indication. I said that as long as he still enjoys his walks he has a reason to live and as soon as he is not able to go for a walk then it will be time. But what if I’m wrong, what if he is suffering and I am making the same mistake that I made with my other spaniel. It is just such a difficult decision to make. If anyone has any ideas on this I would really like to know what they think.

  11. Ted Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:09 am

    This is a hard thing to do NO MATTER WHAT! I said I’d never do this to my pet and let him die without this benefit I didn’t realize HOW CRUEL I was until he expired. The remorse was immense and still gives me a twing today when I think about it. To see a pet suffer is cowardly when you keep them alive for YOURSELF. The pain in euthenizing a pet is there BUT you also know after that IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. I had previously thought this was a TABOO for humans but I now think differently. A family member had a severe delibitating stroke that left him without speach and very little mobility. He asked repeatedly that someone PLEASE get an load his rifle so he could end his torture. Of course none of us could as we would have been accomplises BUT the Dr’s kept him alive for a year in an almost vegative state before GOD decided it was time. Why can’t D’s help GOD in making that decision when it’s clear the person debilitated wants that option. I’m sure this will stir a lot of pro and con controversy….

  12. Michele Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hmmm, i am on the fence about euthanasia for people. Some are a little fearful because if this law is passed, eventually, euthanasia might be forced upon someone. If it would remain a personal choice for a dying person then…ok, however, it would definitely have to remain an option and never be forced upon someone for example because he/she becomes a burden to either society or a family member.

  13. Fifi Matos Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Hi Dr.:

    On October 22, 2009, I had my 14 year 11 day-old
    Chihuahua euthanized. I would have like if she
    died naturally, but she was just suffering for too long (I’d say, about a year). I know it sounds like a long time, but I was being selfish and wanted her even longer than the 14 years I enjoyed her. Thinking back now, I should have done it way sooner.

    Yes, I am for Euthanasia for people too. I know if I’m ever really sick and in pain and there is no getting better, I would like to go that way.

    I’m so sorry about your Dad, but my beliefs are such that we all choose prior to coming to this life, how we want to leave it. I know it is all in his plans and it is for his own evolution and spiritual growth.

    May God bless you and your family and not allow you Dad to suffer too much.

    Regards,
    Fifi

  14. Debra Owen Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I live in the USA and have watched my sister die with ovarian cancer..she was 42 and left behind an 8 yr old daughter and a 16 yr old son. She only survived 8 weeks after the diagnosis. I watched my maternal grandmother slowly deteriorate and die from Alzheimers. I have had to euthanize a 17 yr old cat when his pancreas failed and had to put down an 8 yr old German Shepherd due to a spinal disease and she was losing her balance – both were in obvious pain. As a whole we are kinder to our animals than we are to sick or older people – we are more humane to our sick and ailing pets. I think we should have a personal choice….I don’t think it’s playing God to want to leave here to escape pain – when we are dying anyway. Makes me wonder sometimes..if we love our animals more than we do ourselves…I think it should be a personal choice and everyone should be given an opportunity to document their wishes in writing in case they get to where they can’t talk or respond when they are in pain and the end is near. It should not be an act of convenience – but one that is carefully weighed, considered and documented. I hate to lose a family member or my pets..but I hate to see them in pain that will result in their death as well. I would rather go out with a smile on my face and knowing that I am being held by someone who loves and cares for me -more than life itself. They gave my sister medication – but it would wear off and she would beg to die. My grandmother would often cry, she fell & broke a hip and laid in the bed for 3 days before my aunt visited and made them take her to the hospital. They knew she was in pain, but they would not give Maw Maw medicine. She died from having several strokes after her hip replacement surgery. Euthanasia should be a personal choice. Due to sidebar agreements, bribery, & lies, the US health care bill (ObamaCare) is a mysterious controlling – expensive MESS – we may get to leave here prematurely out of not being able to afford necessary medication and timely medical treatment. May God bless your Dad, you, and your family. This is a very difficult time in his life and yours – make it special – spend time with him and tell him everything about your dreams and hopes – and let him tell you about his life and his dreams and hopes. Get the Jesse Duplantis CD about going to heaven – watch it together – it will BLESS everyone who watches it. Take care, Debbie

  15. Dan Simonds Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I must agree 100% on this issue. Our society is more humane to our animals than with our own people. Sometimes I envy my pets knowing they will never have to suffer before dieing. Humans suffer a lot because of the large amounts of money involved and everybody believes they should get a cut.I often wonder how things got so backwards in our world.

  16. Nancy Cleveland Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Totally agree, Dr. Andrew. I wouldn’t exactly say it’s a “last resort” knowing there are treatments available etc. but I do feel it is often the best. For our companions and for ourselves quality of life is the primary criteria to making such choices. Three times in life I’ve to had to choose to euthanise a beloved pet…my Lhasa-Poo of fourteen years was the first and it was difficult, of course. She had developed liver failure and, admittedly, I had had her undergo treatments for some time..probably, I felt, too long for I was being selfish. It was a very difficult time in my life..still grieving the unexpected death of my only child and Scruff was the most amazing comfort to me but one day, when we went for her treatment, her eyes told me she had had enough. The second I did for a dear friend and her 22yrs. old Yorkie. This little girl had reached a stage in her very elderly life where quality of life was pretty much non-existent..she was blind, deaf, and had multiple problems. My friend could not bring herself to do it even though she believed her choice was the best one. The last was our Peke-a-Poo…a young dog (we had rescued him) whom we’d discovered had a growth on his liver which was compromising other organs. His illness was very sudden and devastating for him. It’s not an easy thing to do but I DO wish we humans had the same choices. Should I get to a point in my life where my options are limited, knowing that I may have months, perhaps a year or so left but that time will be consumed with hospital stays away from my loved ones, being poked, prodded, poisoned with toxic treatments, and my days filled with sickness, no life, no energy…let me choose to go. Give me something to control whatever pain I may have for as long as it will bring relief enough to allow me to enjoy the time I may have and, when it becomes unbearable for me and my loved ones, let me choose to go with dignity, gratitude and relief. Having a short time left on this earth should not be filled with pain, fear and anger but rather time to make the very most of it in full knowledge and comfort. Thank you for allowing me to say this.

  17. Dana Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I agree…human beings should be allowed to die by choice if the only other option is a long, painful, agonized demise. My father died from pancreatic cancer in April of 1998. I believe had he had a choice, he just may have chosen to die before he suffered so sadly and for the last month or so of his life.
    I’ve had to have 3 cats euthanized, two within 11 months of eachother. The first had HCM and threw a femoral clot, in April of 2004. One minute he was fine the next moment he was paralyzed in his rear legs…it was so devastating. He was jumping up on the table to get his daily medicine…I can barely speak of it. Our lives changed forever in one second, literally, one second.
    The second had terminal FIV, in Dec. 2008 and the last one had acute renal failure in Nov. 2009; he seemed fine, then suddenly stopped eating and within a few days was diagnosed and two days later, the deed was done. The pain of having to kill my animals is almost too much to bear even though I knew I was doing the right thing; I really had no other choice, but at least I was able to make that choice.

  18. Annette Baker Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:33 am

    I believe that medical science warehouses people that would have died a natural death, without medical intervention. Instead, they endure painful, invasive procedures that lengthen their live, but with no quality of life. When we have a pet euthanized, it is out of our deep love and concern for their welfare and not for our convenience. Human beings should have the same privilege as our precious pets.

    Annette and Bruce

  19. Hollye Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I believe that Euthanasia is wrong for people especially. We are created by God and made in His image. His word tells us “not to kill” in the Ten Commandments. To destroy a life on purpose would be wrong. We are not God and to take someone else’s life, even if they agreed to it, is still wrong. Both parties (the one injecting the medicine and the one who wanted to die prematurely) would be held accountable on the day of judgement.

  20. mary jo Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Dr. Jones,

    I believe physician assisted suicide is legal in the state of Washington in the U.S. The patient has to go through a series of psychological tests and have a terminal disease from which there is no recovery.

  21. Marie Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Thank you Dr. Jones. My dog Odie, a German Shorthair Pointer, it seems had a stroke and the vet said putting her down would be better. I never sat thru this so to say it was a shock to my system even though it was quiet, is saying it mild. To know that the vet did it right per your writing, makes me feel better. I always was afraid that they were just putting them to sleep and once you leave, wake them up and use them for experiments. Thank you again and God Bless.

  22. Laura Andrews Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:46 am

    This is sad but I do agree with you… people say they are against euthanasia because they respect the sanctity of human life, but what kind of sense does it make that we allow animals to die with more dignity than humans???? If we see an animal on the side of the road suffering and dying we would want to help to mercifully end its suffering, but not if it’s a human! What kind of sense does that make? I don’t think humans should try to “play God”… but if a person is DYING anyways, do you think God really cares if they die today rather than tomorrow? I’m not so sure… I believe God knows the time of our deaths whether it be because we chose to hasten it or not, God is God. And yes there are lessons we can learn in suffering, but today technology is so great that maybe it is actually a greater evil (or sin) to prolong and sustain human life at any cost as we do now.

  23. Karen Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I just had to put down my 21 year old cat. She had been on SubQ fluids since August and I knew the time was coming. The comment I want to make to pet owners is that if you know your pet’s time is coming really, really be prepared. I thought I was but have been having second thoughts ever since. I didn’t not stay with her and “watch” the procedure – I know this is a personal issue but really think about it. Now I wish I had been there for her and not chickened out. She is buried in our back yard but now I’m not sure I could ever move. Think about your options from backyard burials, pet cemeteries, cremation, etc. Read up on all of your options and really, really be prepared. I truly hope this advice helps someone down the road so that others won’t second guess their decisions as I have.

  24. wanda serfass Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:19 am

    i think euthainasia should also be legal for humanes if you have a illness with no cure my mother has alzhiemers disease which has no cure and does not want to live in a nursing home they strip you of all your privacy and dignity i also am a nurse and wuold be the first one to give her the shot if it were alowed.

  25. Lorna Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I am appalled that society and the legal system does not recognise the absolute need for humans to opt to choose their death. I have had to help a few of my beloved pets to ‘cross over’ and would not hesitate to do the same for a family member or dear friend – law permitting. It is frightening that people are kept alive or suffer a painful and often slow death when other options are available to the animal world and should be for humans too. I would NEVER watch my pets die a painful and lingering death so why is it OK for humans to suffer? In Switzerland it is legal to opt for euthanasia and some people travel there for such help.

  26. Steve Varonka Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I had to put my best pal, Gizmo, to sleep after 16 great years. I was blessed to be able to be with him like I promised him. It is so nice to be able to have the choice. It is the most emotional thing I have ever gone through, but when you love someone, you do not want to see them suffer.
    If there is no chance for a recovery….then it is the logical choice. We just watched our Mother suffer through a masive stoke and all we could do was watch her slowly suffer and slip away. It would have been nice to have that option. I am very religious, but still think we need to fine tune the laws. Gizmo and Mikki…..we miss you.

  27. Sue Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Dear Dr. Jones,
    It’s sad, but true that we have no option when it comes to chosing to end our time here on earth. We must just endure the suffering. Thankfully, there are medicines that can help us through the pain of it. We just lie around in a vegitative (sp) state and await the inevitable. You should be able to justify the difference between the quality and the quanity of life.

    I wish your father well.
    Sue

  28. sharon Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I am extremely passionate about this subject and strongly believe that people have the right to choose how and when they should die. It is a shame that we have to go to Switzerland to do this and cannot do this at home with our loved ones. My family are already aware of my wishes should the nead arise.

  29. Kay Ivey Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I am appalled at your comments. My father died because my sister, without the consent of the rest of the siblings, pulled his feeding and fluid tubes. In the few precious hours before he died, he was conscious. I saw the pleading in his eyes, he was afraid, and did not want to give up on his life. Until you stare the death of your own father in the eye, reserve your callous comments about ending his life.

    I am truly disappointed. An animal, while precious to us, cannot tell you how it feels about your decision to put it to death. Owners of animals put their pet the death because of how THEY feel about the animal suffering. NOT because the animal has expressed the desire to die.

    To translate your callous attitude to a human is, in my book, unthinkable.

    I bought your course to educate my 11 yr old daughter, who has a great love for animals. It is obvious to me that I will have to be more careful about what she in listening to in your course. I don’t want her to develop such a callous attitude toward human life as you have.

  30. Rayna Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I strongly believe that euthanasia for humans should be made a personal “option” if all medical treatment will be futile or unsuccessful and quality of life is compromised. We should have that choice for ourselves. I too believe that the prolonging of a life by simply administering numbifying drugs is a crime and a money sucking machine for the pharmaceutical companies and medical profession. Although the decision to euthanize my animals has been a painfully sad and difficult one over the years, I was thankful that I was able to relieve them of further deterioration and ultimate long suffering.

  31. Karen Williams Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I’ve been there for each of our pets and we made the decision together. THEY KNOW. It’s the hardest thing to do and the right thing to do all in one kind act. I don’t think humans, as a whole, will ever catch up to the rightness of doing what should be done.

  32. Elena Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I believe also that euthanasia should be an option for humans. All of the needless suffering that would be avoided, certainly makes it a sensible option.

    I do not believe that any compassionate Creator would demand that one of his should suffer an agonizing end. It is not only incongruous, but downright cruel.

  33. Paula Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I soon will be facing this problem, we have a Scotty with a liver problem. In the last month she has really changed. Had her to the Vet. twice already, going back today. So very sad. Love her so much. Hope your Dad sees some improvement.

  34. Lora Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I believe in euthanasia for pets and people. Why let something suffer more than they have to. I work in a long term care facility and see people asking to die very often. They are in pain and have no quality of life anymore. All I ask is this the way you would want your final days to be? I can not imagine spending my days in pain if someone could help me not to. I hope when my parents final days come I can have a kind heart and let them go as peaceful as possible. My bother will be difficult to convince but I hope he sees the big picture of loving them enough to let them go. Both my parents have voiced their desire of not suffering if they can not have a quality of life they are used to. Put your self in how you want to be treated when it comes to people and pets. Do the right thing for them not what you want.

  35. M Mayer Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I agree with euthanasia as a final resort and welcome relief to both humans and animals who are suffering and in pain and can’t be helped. It’s time Canada and the United States changed their laws regarding assisted death. No living creature should be made to suffer.

  36. NancyG Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:42 am

    This is a timely message for me. I know I will have to do this in the not-to-soon future for my border collie. She will be 13 soon and moves slowly these days.

    As for humans – Oregon has a death with Dignity Law and the statistics are interesting: Of all the people asking for and receiving the drugs from their doctor, only 4% actually use them. The important part of having the drugs is that the individuals needing them feel a sense of control over their destiny. They can choose the time to go which eliminates the sense of helplessness which is a torture of its own kind.

    One of my dear friends was dying of lung cancer which migrated to her brain. She had the drugs next to her bed. She didn’t use them before she died, but she had the choice. I believe that’s what matters; having a choice is empowering to all of us.

    just my 2cents worth…

  37. Kathy Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I think Dr. Kevorkian was just ahead of his time.
    I have always hoped that by the time the Baby Boom generation took over Congress (which hasn’t happened yet, I grant you) and state legislatures, that we’d see some relaxation in the criminal laws against assisted suicide. I still hold that hope.
    But make no mistake about it: euthanizing people does occur. We just don’t call it that. My 50 year-old husband was in horrific pain when his liver shut down (“fallout” from chemotherapy due to leukemia, which cured the cancer but ultimately killed the patient) and his blood pressure was dangerously low. Any pain drug in the morphene family would cause his blood pressure to drop even further and we’d lose him. I asked him if he wanted the pain medication even though it would take his life, and he said yes. The nurse started the morphene IV and within an hour, he had slipped away, nearly pain free. God knows how long it would have taken him to die, and in what unimaginable pain, had the doctor not “offered” the morphene drip.

  38. Maryann Davidson Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I’ve never commented in a blog before but the subject of euthanasia prompted me.

    It’s almost unbelievable to me that I received this email from Dr. Jones this morning, as today is the 5th anniversary of our beloved Bichon Frise Montague’s (Monty) death at age 11. My sweet “little man” had so many health issues, including 5 bladder surgeries for stones and a ruptured disc in his back. We dealt with all of them as they happened knowing that some people would not have gone to the expense we did. We always felt that when you brought a pet into your life it was your responibility to provide any and all care that you would for any living being.

    All that being said, Monty developed a cancerous tumor in his prostrate. Our vet said that there might be some specialists who would probably have given a “go at it” but after everything that Monty had already gone through (ironically, he had his 5th bladder surgery a week before his diagnosis and our decision to end his suffering).

    The heartache that followed, as I sure many of you have experienced, was like losing a child. We have what we call “Monty moments” when memories of him come flooding back. That’s the kind of pet he was. There were no strangers in his life, just friends he hadn’t met yet.

    Whether anyone reads this or not doesn’t matter to me. It’s been cathartic to write this all down here.
    I’ll always miss you MONTY, MY LITTLE MAN.
    8/8/94-3/31/05

  39. Lynn Buchholz Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Having been a Hospice Social Worker, Meds do help with the pain to the point that morphine accelerates death. At least they die comfortable and at HOME.
    My dad died just 3 years ago of cancer and my step-mother listened and he spent his last two weeks of life with Hospice.He denied pain that long.Full blooded German, of course.

  40. Annette Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:59 am

    1st we’ve been given dominion over animals.
    I try to determine their “time” by thinking,
    ” If I were suffering the same illnesses my animal has, at what point, would I want God to mercifully take my life?” I almost feel that
    this is not a decision a person of faith should make alone, but only with prayer and divine intervention. I do believe we will be held accountable for how we treat animals.

    Humans, on the other hand, unlike God, cannot create life, therefore in my opinion it is not theirs to end either. This is also scripturally accurate. Do I want myself or my loved ones to suffer? Of course not! But how do we know WHY God is allowing it (not taking them sooner)?

    Mother Teresa said it was ABSOLUTELY WRONG as those last moments are necessary for spiritually preparing us to face our Lord. Suffering may be a cleansing, it may be the ONLY way we will recognize our need for God and change our hearts, it may be that we will be rewarded in heaven. Our last moments on earth is evil’s last stand and of course the battle for the soul is escalated.

    I love St. Francis (the patron saint of animals).
    When he was dying those who knew him said he was in such pain, he prayed that God take his life quickly. Supposedly he relayed to his friends that God answered him telling him, “I will take your life now if you choose, but if you will endure, your rewards will be great.” So St. Francis replied, “Your will be done, Lord, not mine.” Witnesses at his deathbed claimed he died
    peacefully within hours after that prayer.

    I watched my father fight a 7 year battle with cancer starting at age 74. I also watched him die. Too much detail to go into, but I can honestly say it was a holy and beautiful moment when the soul responds to God’s call.

    Last, when setting up my living will, I discussed with my doctor that should I be dying & in extreme pain, I’d like to sign a waiver NOW saying that I’d like enough pain meds as necessary, even if the dose was “Potentially” lethal (NOTE: NOT “INTENTIONALLY” Lethal)with no doctor being held liable. She said it wasn’t necessary as they have ways of dealing with that regardless of legal limitations.

    I don’t believe the answer is that humans should CHOOSE when a life (their own or a loved ones) is taken. BUT I do believe that when someone has a fatal illness, there should be a point when pain killers are given more liberally– even if the result may be POTENTIALLY life threatening. If the pain killers result in death or not will still be up to God, but the person could suffer a LOT less.

    The push to decrease PAIN meds in the US, but allow for human “mercy” killing, in my opinion is
    the OPPOSITE of compassion. Inconveniently conceived infants are slaughtered in the womb up to the point of delivery, with partial birth abortion approved by our president. If one cannot have compassion for an INNOCENT baby, I certainly don’t trust them with the decision to dispose of a sick loved one whose care is inconvenient.

  41. Carmen Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    As citizens of free countries, it would seem these decisions should not be governed by anyone other than the patient…not the doctor, not a judge…the patient. In the U.S. it is possible to arrange for terminal sedation, but this does not in itself end the life of the patient. The patient can opt to end all life sustaining measures such as water and nutrition while sedated to the point that all awareness is gone. This allows the patient to tolerate the physical and psychological effects of starvation and dehydration. Normally death occurs within two weeks. The alternative may be months of seemingly endless suffering with no hope of recovery. If a person were left to die on his or her own, this person would not be eating or drinking anyway…so the addition of intravenous fluids and feeding tubes is unnatural. It should be up to the patient, or by written legal directive from the patient, when the withdrawal of life-sustaining measures should occur and what level of sedation is desired during the dying process.

  42. Kim Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I fully agree that people should be allowed to die on their own terms. Of course, the decision needs to be reviewed and approved by a medical panel to avoid the ‘getting rid of grandma’ fear.
    People who believe “the Bible that says that God created man and it is up to God to remove man from the earth” need to remember that often the sick person is ONLY still breathing because of high tech medical intervention. I think people should be required to have a health care proxy (who knows your wishes and can follow through with them) & advanced directives on file. I’m 40 years old and have had fought several bouts with cancer, a zillion surgeries and am lucky enough to be cancer free since a bone marrow transplant 20 years ago. Everyday’s a blessing but I sure hope assisted suicide (or whatever you want to call it) is an available option when my health declines.

  43. Ali Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    In all honesty while many people view human euthanasia or assisted suicide as a slippery slope leading to people being killed without cause I have to say that I feel differently. Have the folks who oppose human euthanasia at the choice of the person suffering from terminal illnesses ever watched someone die by inches over a period of weeks, months or even years? It’s not a nice thing to watch and if I was in such a position I’d really like to have the choice to end my life in a painless dignified manner rather than suffering until my body finally gives out and I draw my last breath. Think back to the case of Sue Rodriques in BC several years ago – she had ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gherig’s Disease and she never wanted her children to watch her suffer over a period of weeks to years depending on how quickly the illness progressed and she opened the door to serious questions about humane euthanasia options for people. Luckily someone had the compassion to help Sue through the last part of her journey from this life into the next, however the way that Canadian law is written currently if any law enforcement officials can prove who assisted Ms. Rodriques with her final wish to die a quiet, dignified and pain free death that person stands to serve prison time. By the way, most people don’t realize that ALS patients usually die a slow and agonizing death from gradual suffocation. Essentially the process goes something like this – first every part of your body slowly shuts down confining you to a wheelchair and eventually a hospital bed where you’re dependent on 24 hour nursing care, throughout this process and until your dying day you are 100% mentally aware of what’s happening to you and you have absolutely no control over anything that happens to you. Eventually you lose your ability to breathe without support from a ventilator, CPAP machine or other such device. As it becomes more and more difficult for you to breathe you are still 100% aware of what’s happening to you and you’re still unable to do anything about it. Now, I ask everyone out there – Is this the way you’d like to die or watch someone you love die? Probably not. As it stands right now Canadians who would like to have legal assistance in ending their lives must travel to places like Switzerland in order to obtain the care that they need/want. People want their loved ones to remember them well rather than be traumatized by the last days of suffering until their friend/family member finally draws his/her last breath.

    The laws surrounding assisted suicide/human euthanasia in these countries are designed in such a way that the physicians assisting a patient with their death must have medical confirmation of what disease process is happening, a psychological/psychiatric assessment to determine whether the person is making the decision to die with a clear understanding of what that means and the proceedings are video taped as the process is explained to the patient and verbal consent is obtained. It is made very clear to these patients that if they choose to move forward with taking the doses of medication that they will die, they must give clear consent and demonstrate understanding of what this actually means before the proceedings are allowed to continue.

    The medications must either be consumed orally without any assistance beyond someone holding the glass or straw in place to allow the patient to drink the cocktail medicines that will end their life or the patient must push a button on their own that will start the IV medicines that will end their life under their own power. I believe that these proceedings are very well organized and they protect the patient as well as the family and friends of that patient. If Canada changed its laws and allowed patients to make this choice for themselves I think that it would be a positive step forward provided of course that the law clearly defined the process and there were certain requirements that had to be fulfilled before a patient was allowed to consider this option.

  44. Annette Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    PS.
    We have the right to refuse any life sustaining medical practices if we choose. We don’t HAVE to accept chemo for ex if we have cancer, or even heart surgery if the odds of success are low.
    That, to me, combined with pain meds is the natural choice. I do agree that doctors often will try every last little thing regardless of the quality of life it offers (to people or pets) and this is WRONG.
    My living will states that NO life-sustaining methods be used on me regardless of their success. IF I am facing death for ANY reason, just make me comfortable, unless at the moment I am alert and choose otherwise.

    The day my dad died, they asked US (ignoring his wishes)”IF his heart should stop do you want us to start it up again?” His wife said, “YES”. Thankfully my sister and I were able to outvote her and say “NO” in compliance with my dad’s wishes. When we spoke with him, relaying WE were given that option, he was thankful for our decision.

  45. Deborah D Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    The timing of this post has really hit me. I put my dear Carley down on March 1st of this year. She had a large tumor on her spleen and several other growths. She was 14 yrs old. She had a major bleed but she was such a tough little girl. But I made the decision because I knew that even if she were to eventually gain back some of her strength, it would happen again. I stayed by her side many days and nights trying to spend and take in every moment I could with her. I held her as she left. This was a very difficult decision. Just 6 months earlier I had to make the same decision with my other dear friend. Cheney was 16 and had many health problems also. I also held her as she passed. To have made this decision twice within 6 months. I have felt guilt and everything in between. I don’t know if it was right or wrong. In the end their quality of life had changed drastically. They both seemed so sad and lost. And it is kind of twisted that we can make this decision for our furry friends but not our humans. I don’t think there will ever be anything agreed upon. We have all been brought up with our own belief systems, cultures and our life lessons. We can only do what we feel is the best thing to do. With prayer, spiritual guidance and listening to the hearts of those involved we can know that what we do will be done in love. I know the decisions I made came from a place of love but it is still very hard and I miss my girls so very much.

  46. Melissa Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Ok, I feel emotionally that it would be o.k. to help a person in pain and great need. But resposibly I could not do it. Not only could I not do it, but I could not suggest anyone else do it either. I have had loved ones die after a painful episode with cancer. But those last days, hours, moments of their life were also so precious to them and to the rest of our family. I know that this sounds selfish, but if you can look at it from this perspective for just one minute… During that time those of us who were with our dying loved one, found something deep inside of us called compassion. A lesson from God.
    We also found deeper spirituality, talked to God more, talked about Heaven more, talked to our loved one who was suffering about life more, realized that Jesus suffered for us MUCH MORE, we were able to come closer to each other, and there were other benefits for the dying and the living. Not to mention there are some people who recover even from a terminally ill disease. What whould your dreams be like if you thought you might have murdered a loved one. That they might have came through. It has happened. I know it has happened. What do you think about answering to God for taking the life of anyone. What about taking away their ability to say “I have run a good race, I have endured the trials of this life and overcome” even in death we are triumphant.
    Animals are loved deaply, it is our Christian duty to subdue, and take care of them with a God given love. BUT, we are the only creature created in God’s image, our soul given by Him, it is His place to take it back, in His time according to His plan. We are in a corrupt world full of pain and sickness and death. Thanks to sin. But we might miss a great blessing by not going through what ever God’s allows us to endure. I for one would not want to be “PUT TO SLEEP” by my family unless I was only being kept alive be machines.
    So sorry to hear about all of your lost loves ones,pets and people. I will pray for those who are in pain, that God will show mercy and ease them.

  47. Dr. Monroe Brown, J.D., PhD, Research Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Please be well convinced Dr. Jones, that in the USA, especially in the conservative southern states like Tennessee, euthanasia is specifically and emphatically practiced in the form of residential and/or home-visit hospice care. Often without reasonably telling you, they put our parents, spouses and children to death by slow (and sometimes not very slow, say 4-6 days) morphine overdose. This almost always causes respiratory or other system failure, and the so-called ‘patient’ slips away. I watched both of parents die in this manner. In the US the hospice industry is a huge concern with millions of dollars on the table. Hospitals all but insist that you place any older person who is non-specifically adjudged to by “terminal” in hospice care, or in a hospice unit, residential or home care. The effect is the same, unless rigorously watched and scrutinized, and the patient dies, in most cases, soon thereafter. One reason this is wrong is because the family is ‘often’ not fully apprised of their rights in such a case, or with the true facts of what is about to happen. Intelligent consent by close family members is one thing, and there is ‘plenty’ of this. Fraud, deceit and fooling the family members regarding what is about to happen, in this writer’s opinion, should be a criminal offense, stiffly punishable. But more and more, nurses run the entire show, with only ‘cameo’ appearance or ‘written record entry’ only of a responsible M.D.; and these nurses, whether by home or residential forum proceed quite efficiently with the ‘so-called’ painless execution of matters. Hospice is murder; hospice is wrong, unless the family is ‘fully informed’ and reasonably and legally consents. I can only imagine, surely that Canadians have a very similar hospice service in place, but I do not know.
    Just my opinion. Dr. M. Brown

  48. Dale Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    My mother should have had the option though being Catholic,she wouldn’t have chose it. After living with Alzheimer’s 14yrs with pain then starving to death after the Doctor pulled the feeding tube. It wasn’t pretty to watch and the pain with the spasms her body went through, it was terrible and we could not do anything to help her legally. If she would have known the way she was going to go, she may have made a different decision after all. Watching her, I wouldn’t want to go like that. We should have that option and it is the kindest easiest way to go for pets and humans.

  49. antoinette sides Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I ‘ve heard that Oregon allows euthanasia but I am not 100% sure but you can check in to that?
    I am PRO euthanasia and the way we do it in Holland is with full written and signed agreement from patient and two family members and family physician! When the time comes the doctor will attach the morfine with a slow drip so there is no pain and most people are already on morfine!
    Within several hours they increase the dose slowly and the patient will pass in his/her sleep within about 3 to 5 hours It is very human and totally peacefull Most people think it will go the same as with pets very quick but that’s not the way they do it with humans at least not in Europe. I had a family member and experienced it upclose and people; IT IS THE MOST HUMAN WAY if someone is in sooo much pain. Hope this helps Hugs for your Dad and warmest regards

  50. Susie Shapiro Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I am a nurse practitioner and have been an RN for 32 years. I have felt that euthanasia should be available for people for years. I supported Dr Jack Kevorkian’s efforts a few years ago. Individuals who call on the Bible forget that people didn’t survive most illnesses as long as they do now. If you want to let God choose when you should die, then don’t treat illnesses that were fatal in biblical times.
    I’ve had to euthanise many pets over the years and it has proven to be the most humane thing for the animal and the most painful decision for me (as it should be). It should not be easy to euthanise any living thing, but after weighing all the options, the possibility of having a quality to life and the pain that must be endured must be the deciding factor. An animal can only tell us by his eyes and the way he acts. Humans have the advantage of telling us verbally.

  51. mary Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    it is offered here in US.
    i should know cuz i’m ill n have an open invitation to it. it’s called “hospice”. kinda hush hush from that perspective, but factual. wise to not be obvious cuz we could lose it or worse, made mandatory… like health insurance. 😉

  52. Cynthia Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Of course peope should have the option of euthanasia if in pain with no hope of recovery. It shouldn’t matter what the Bible says. Not everybody believes in Biblical writings. Whatever happened to the separation of church and state and individual determination?

  53. Diane Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I believe it is a question of the soul. Animals have a life but are not deciders of what is right or wrong. We train them to our view of behavior. Animals have instincts and are governed by need. People have a soul and are guided by more than instinct. They have a life purpose and therefore should not be cut short of that until God brings them to their appointed end. The purpose is incomplete. Physical suffering is a terrible thing. We all suffer through life. If it is a choice between suffering but staying with my family, for their betterment, then I will choose suffering than untimely death.

  54. Mary Kirkpatrick Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I think that we should be allowed to euthanise people. Why should they sit & suffer til death when we are allowed to do it to our pets? I watched my mother die from 3 kinds of cancer & would have welcomed the opportunity to let her go in peace instead of suffering til her last breath. I dread the day I have to make the decision to let my dog go, but, if it means he won’t be in pain then that will be the greatest decision I will ever make…why not make the same for humans especially if the person doesn’t want to suffer either? I don’t think my mother would have picked to be euthanised, she wouldn’t even use pain meds during her last few weeks, but we should have the option if the person/family want it.

  55. Dennis Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I recently went through the whole hospice experience with my father who was dying from prostate cancer. The social worker in hospice felt like we treat our animals better at end of life. My father had to suffer for days on end,filled with every hard core drug they could administer. It was not someting you will ever forget. He had a very painful passing. You wouldn’t let a pet go through that.

  56. rapunzel210 Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I just had to put a 16-year-old cat to sleep, and it was so very difficult. However, it needed to be done to spare her needless pain. If/when the time comes, I will make plans to check out peacefully. It’s a hard decision to make, but it should be MY decision, not the state’s.

  57. Kate Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I agree totally that we are often able to make decisions that will ease the suffering of our pets but are unable to to likewise for the people we love. No doubt many folks would oppose this feeling that there might be the slight chance of abusde in such situations.
    We wish you father well and make the mostof you time left together.

  58. Candy Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I agree with Debra. It is up to God when humans die. Humans have a soul and animals do not. As much as I love my pets, I think humans are different. No one likes to suffer or see anyone suffer.

  59. Mildred Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    In my life time of 82 years I have had four dogs put to sleep. It certainly never gets any easier. I have a 14 year old Beagle mix now and am happy to say that she is doing very well. We live alone and she is my baby but I would never let her suffer. I hope that when my time comes that some one will do the same for me.

  60. Kelly Foster Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    My dad always had to put our pets down so I never experienced this until I had a dog. In 2006 I had to put my 15 year old GSP(German Shorthaired Pointer) down as she had cancer. I stayed with her through that time. It was the most difficult and hardest decision I have ever had to face. In 2007 I had to put down my 12 week old GSP puppy as she was very sick. I’ve never really gotten over both. But I know I did the right thing. I now have a very healthy 3 year old GSP (I got her when she was 12 weeks old). I know, even though it is hard to do, it was the right thing to do. I let them go with dignity and love. I believe that people, whether they believe in God or not, should have that option available to them. Whether they choose to take that opportunity, it is their right to decide for themselves.

  61. Sharon Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    This is so difficult to answer, but your post timing is amazing….today we have to take my son’s old dog to the vet to be put to sleep, as she has cancer and we don’t want to prolong her suffering by putting her through endless surgeries. It’s the hardest thing in the world to do, it’s taken my son 3 weeks to get up the courage to agree to it and today will be a heart breaking time, but we know that we are doing the right thing today, because she’s been a wonderful, lively, loving pet and she deserves to go without suffering. Why can’t we be that humane with ourselves as well? Old people in hospitals are “deliberately” starved to death, because they can’t eat enough to sustain themselves and without family members there to help them, the staff are too few and too busy to make sure these oldies get proper nutritional quantity and they get weaker and weaker and can’t eat. I know, I lost both grandmothers that way, it was just so cruel and damn frustrating. I know that they would have passed away eventually anyway, from their illnesses, but it is so undignified and heartbreaking. I thank God we can be kinder to our pets, but when are we going to wake up to ourselves and be kind to our own too. I hope your Dad can maintain his dignity and self value, most importantly he has you and his family to love him through this. My prayers are with you all.

  62. Pat Patterson, J.D. Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Comments 20, 47, 48, 49, 51, 55 affirm my impression that euthanasia is available to your father if he has the right doctor or lives in the right state. Americans were originally given freedom but those in authority seem bent on removing our freedoms whenever they think they know better than we do. I believe there are doctors everywhere if you ask around, who will do what is best for the patient after consultation with the family.
    Those in government display their ignorance by assuming they know what is better for you than you do. Case in point: forced health insurance premiums in the form of ObamaCare. Why stomp out the freedom of folks who keep themselves well through proper diet and exercise, and if sick use effective alternative health remedies instead of supporting ineffective Big Pharma?

  63. martha ann Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    it is true, we are better to our animals that we are people at the end of life. i know that god has the say in our life, but i really believe he doesn’t want us to suffer a horrible death and if there is no hope, we should be able to make that decision.

  64. bre Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    I have no qualms about taking my own life if it lacked quality. I don’t want to suffer. Yet last year I had to put my beloved 20 year old cat, Purr to sleep. He died peacefully, in my arms. I could not let him die alone or with strangers, even though my vet and her staff were far from that, as he had been ill for many years. He battled cancer and pretty much beat it after 5 operations. He threw a clot and lost the use of his back legs. He still tried to recover, but finally, the clot completely shut down any function in his hindquaters. He still did not want to leave, would drag himself to the water and food and try to go to the bathroom. Letting him go was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. He wasn’t ready, but if I didn’t finally do it, he would have died a very painful death. I could not let my best friend suffer. I think about him everyday and even though I know I did the best and right thing for him, my heart is broken. Even though I deeply love the rest of my furchildren, I don’t think this pain will ever pass. I know I did the right thing for Purr, even if I suffer because of it for the rest of my life. I know we will be together again one day, along with all my other beloved cats that have passed over the years and that helps me to go on. If I were to get sick and there was no hope to recover, I would end my life and if I wasn’t able, I would hope that the legal and medical professions would show me the same compassion. There are worse fates than a peaceful death. Anyone who says this is wrong in God’s eyes is a fool. What kind of monster is this God you believe in if he would want us to suffer? I am grateful I don’t believe in him!

  65. jenni Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    A person should have the option to have no medical intervention if they are terminally ill or a non resustiatation order but in saying that people should have the best care available and pain relief that works like in the hospice. If the pain medication keeps them pain free but also happens to stop their breathing or kills them then Ok at least they are not in agony. Too many doctors and nurses are scared to allow someone to die pain free and in dignity and try all interventions at all costs dignity, emotional and monetary. As a nurse I have seen it too many times to count and I would rather give the ordered pain medication to relieve the suffering and if the patient passes then Ok but then if not keep them comfortable and keep their dignity.

  66. Connie Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I am very much in favor of euthanasia for people…in theory. In practice I’m afraid it would be too easy for it to be misused by people caring for dementia patients, or the very ill to misuse. While some people would not want to live with whatever disease they have that has no cure or no possibility of cure or remission, some want to live no matter what, and some caregivers, I’m afraid, would take advantage of euthanasia just to be rid of the burden, or in some cases reap the inheritance.

  67. Susan Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I do not agree with euthanasia for humans and I now seriously question euthanasia for animals, unless in extreme circurcumstances, and this would also apply to a human. An example: Patrick Swayze suffered immense physical pain but he fought so hard to live. Animals who are loved deeply also fight to live even though they endure immense physical pain. I believe euthanasia of animals is another form of human domination over other species. Another consideration, if euthanasia of animals was stopped, this might also stop the “killing fields”.

  68. linda villard Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I would like this option if I were in pain with no quality life in sight . We should rethink this for people if they wanted it !

  69. joyce Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I believe in god and that he alone has the right to take a life For the lord giveth and only he has the right to take a life We must endure his trials for us and not intefere in his plan for us
    .

  70. Gail rogers Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Hi my heart goes out to you dr. Andrew and your family.In 2009 i lost my father fight for every breath he had copd. I had the honor to spend three beautiful years to stay home and get to know my dad.Two weeks before dad passed my brother shot him self in the heart said he could not do it any more .At that time my beloved kato was showing signs of having a hard time to walk .So on december 26 he could not get up any more . Although i mise my best friend at least he did not suffer like both my parents did .I wish we had that choice ,its not the money its way society just is .Iam thankful for every day i get to play with my dogs and horses.Life is a beautiful thing but quality is more important to me .Now i have my memorys and they are priceless.

  71. Terry Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    As euthanasia isn’t officially sanctioned, I believe that many terminally ill people are quietly assisted in ending their suffering. I just wish there were a system in place (within hospice for example) whereby euthanasia would be offered, when expressly desired (by the patient) and deemed medically appropriate by a team of doctors.

  72. B.J. Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I have made the painful decision to euthanize several pets over the years. I’ve always wondered about it for humans until our bassett, was diagnosed with a tumor on his heart and we knew his days were numbered. Being a Christian I would pray over him as I petted him each day, knowing and also fearing he could go at any minute if the tumor ruptured. The Lord spoke to me one day and said, “just as I sent Gabe at an appointed time, I will take him at an appointed time.” Gabe had shown up 2 weeks after my firstborn left for college. I missed her so much and after exhausting all avenues of finding the dog’s owner decided to name him Gabriel because he seemed to be an angel dropped from heaven to fill the void.
    God gave Gabe to us one more Christmas-he passed away the day after Christmas 3 years ago. I am now convinced God is in complete control and for whatever reason we linger-HE has an appointed time for each of us.

  73. Peter Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Euthanizing pets is very different than euthanizing people. With pets there is little communication as what the pet feels like, how much it wants to live versus how much suffering it wishes to live with etc. There is also the chance of recovery as many diagnosis may be wrong, mainly due to the inability to communicate as well as we would like, or need to.
    Euthanizing humans is legal. The fact that the courts make distinctions between those that are born alive versus those preborn, we call it something else, but in reality it is euthanasia. It became legal under certain circumstances as an effort to prevent abuse of this practice. The courts removed this legal ammendment and consequently this form of active euthanasia is done for any reason. If and when there is a new law to allow active euthanasia for the terminally ill or aged, we can be assured that the courts will strike it down to allow others to call the shots on anyone in this situation no matter what the patient wants.
    With pain mamagement options available to us, there is no need to deliberately terminate human life, but if the person dies as a result of high doses of pain relief, then that is not considered as active euthanasia.

  74. Betty Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 12:22 am

    I have watched love ones that can talk and tell me where they hurt, and they wished they could stop the pain. Our pets can’t tell us where they hurt and I wouldn’t want them to suffer.I think it is more humaine to put them down when their gualiy of life is gone.But I do believe you should stay with them till the end, after all you would with any loved one in the family and they are family.Sure it is hard,but it is the right thing to do for them.

  75. Michael Rhodes Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 12:35 am

    I truly believe.. for the majority of people who believe euthanasia is good for animals, but not for humans, have never suffered the kind of pain people like myself face everyday. I understand their reasoning.. most of them have nothing to compare between a really bad day with (not mild, not moderate) “severe pain” verses a day without it. I wish everyone (if only for a minute) could experience severe pain, I wonder how many would still choose to not let humans, who’ve lost their abilities to move, eat, sleep, or simply laugh with his children, grandchild, or wife. Since 1975 to date, just little ole me has had multiple amputations of the fingers,& both legs, countless skin, & bone grafts, Flap operations (i don’t remember the medical term), and one Angelchik prosthesis inserted,then a week later removed then two fundoplication Ops.. for a hiatal hernia, spine fusion’s (plural).. along with other operations I won’t bore you with. I have a couple (give or take a few) points for bringing up my past medical travels. First, & foremost.. after having all these operations, putting my family through hell in the hopes of decreasing my pain (with some of those Ops..), & all they ended up doing, is cause more medical problems, & increase the pain. And I understand the following fact, so please don’t say to me.. “its called the PRACTICE of Medicine for a reason.” All that excuse does, is give the medical establishment a license to maim, & destroy. My 2d reason for bringing up my past ops, is I’ve seen people worst off then myself, & know there are millions more like em (if not billions). Some wanted to go peacefully, but couldn’t get the help they needed to do it. Others didn’t ask for help, & took care of it by themselves. So Nay Sayers.. what do you say to someone like myself.. Who has a good, caring doctor that does what he can to make people like me comfortable, but because were opiate tolerant, or some have opiate allergies.. there’s no real way to come back to a normal, meaningful life. Someone who knows, one day he too will come to the place in the road, where there’s so much pain, rationality can’t break through it, so said person makes a drastic choice in the spur of the moment. Will you tell that person, “sorry, got to wait for God?”

    BTW. I am a believer, & I’ve known believers in the same boat. At-least ten of those believers are gone at their own hands. I Personally don’t believe God put us here to suffer the kind of pain some of you are judging without knowing. Unfortunately.. none of us are immune of the things I speak of (i.e. disease, accidents, death, etc).

    I keep Psalms 23:4 in my wallet at all times, because God.. (Not Man) keeps me in this place. My wife, children, & grandchild are all my reasons for getting out of bed, & going through it all again. What about the ones who feel alone, isolated, or ostracized by the medical community that can’t even get an prescribed aspirin because some doctor entered into his chart he/she’s “drug seeker.” Remember those 10 I told you about gone at their own hands.. that was their end. Its kind of sad to me that Veterinarians are are more sympathetic to these issues then M.D.’s.

  76. Susan,. Victoria, BC Canada Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 1:51 am

    There is a very good article in this week’s
    MacLean’s magazine, featuring a 95 year old woman
    who wans assisted suicide..It is very well written, and if you read this, it will expain just how she feels. She is very intelligent, and
    discusses this topic fully. I think you’ll find this just what you’re looking for.

  77. Robert Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 4:35 am

    I am SO tired of listening to complete strangers who think they have the right to decide the fate of other strangers. Each and every person should have the right to choose when and how they terminate their life when they have a terminal illness, or other likewise debilitating disease from which there is no recovery and no quality of life. Most of my family has died of various cancers, and we lost our youngest son last year (which is a whole other story!), and I respect that none of my family who succumbed to cancer wanted to end their lives short of trying every attempt to treat/cure their condition. None of them would have been a candidate for euthanasia, but had they wanted to end the pains, I would have been 100% supportive. My mother-in-law was the only one who managed to come home from the hospital on hospice (she had an inoperable brain tumor), and was cared for on a daily basis by her daughter (a nurse) and nurses from hospice. She ended up not knowing anyone and was in a fair amount of pain after the cancer began to spread. She was on very little medicine until that point, and her husband would allow nothing to be done to let her go any sooner than necessary. He is also afraid of dying (at 87) and can no longer get around on his own, or live alone, yet he has a living will that says to withhold lifesaving efforts, yet he refuses to allow anyone to follow that when he is in the hospital. (he has become fundamentally senile, yet none of his family will face the situation, they act as if they ignore it, it will go away.) He is the type of patient that doctors love to see, as they can test and treat out the wazoo on him and he will allow all of it. It’s sad that he is not the man he used to be, he is living in a fantasy world that he’s created for himself. No, I wouldn’t euthanize him, but he is/has/and will be taken advantage of by some of the unscrupulous doctors that he sees on a regular basis.
    I have had to euthanize two of my dogs in my lifetime so far, one was a 18 year old royal standard poodle, the other was a 12 year old English cocker spaniel, Charmain (the poodle) was old and her systems were failing. Brandi (the spaniel) had a fast spreading neurological disease that was causing her breathing difficulties and she was unable to stand or walk, couldn’t eat, or control her bladder or bowels. I carried her into the emergency vets office and held her while they gave her the shot to relax her and put her to sleep, then the shot to let her have her final rest. She was my companion from a puppy and we spent her final minutes cuddled together just like we did at home when we sat in our chair. She loved to curl up in my lap in our special chair, I’ve never had another companion like her, and I miss her tremendously. As I miss all my companions, each in their own special ways.
    My vote on euthanasia: Pets-yes; People-yes(with no interference from the government)

  78. Marie Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 4:55 am

    In at least one state, Oregon, assisted suicide IS legal… Granted, there are stipulations, and it is not available in all situations, but I believe this current law/option is a real step in the right direction.

  79. Amie Foster Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I would never wish my two dogs to go through any suffering that could not be put right – as much as I loved them it would be out of love that I would have to let them go – painlessly and comfortably.

    I have had to watch both my parents suffer and die under horrific circumstances and I know without a shadow of a doubt that had my mother been able to communicate to us her wish would have been to put her to sleep and let her rest in peace – I know this because we were always so open about talking about these issues when she was well. Instead we had to watch her go from being a healthy woman one day through a major brain oepration and not recover at the other side of it – instead we had to watch her over a 10 month period fall into a vegatative state with no possibility of recovery. It was an awful way to die.

    I too have made it perfectly clear to my husband that should I ever be diagnosed with a terminal illness where there was no chance of recovery that I would prefer to be taken to Switzerland (the UK does not permit euthanasia) and put to sleep with dignity.

    I am not religious in any way and do not consider God as my maker or look to the bible for answers – however I respect that there are people out there who do and that their wishes should be respected from a religious point of view. However, as a non-religious person I would equally expect these religious people to respect my wishes also. I see no place for a religion to dictate my suffering.

    Of course there are boundaries which should be set for such acts – and yes there are ethical issues – but surely if an illness is undoubtedly terminal why oh why would anyone want to prolong a person’s pain and suffering. I believe it is right under the right circumstances. Of course this is the grey area!!

  80. bill bailey Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Hi Doc, I’m with you 100%. I was diagnosed with what is called “failed surgery syndrome” early in 2003 when my neurosurgeon discovered that I would not get the relief my third spinal surgery had promised. I now have ten pieces of metal and a space in my back where there is no spine. I believe that stem cell application might correct this but that isn’t possible on medicare.
    Then my doctor told my that my pain would not be going away and he was right about that one. After 8 years of pain management, I now take pain meds in the form of 200 mg of methadone and 60 mg of oxycodone (percosett) daily. My outlook is that it will most likely get worse till I die. I can’t walk anymore without two special crutches. I would certainly like to bee able to have the option of euthanasia when the time comes. How can we be “humane” to our pets and not to our brothers?

  81. Debra Owen Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 10:23 am

    To Kay #29 – I witnessed the pain that my cat and dog suffered before I relunctantly had them euthanized. Animals have an ability to communicate with their human owners. I saw the pain in their bodies – and in their eyes.
    I am so sorry that you lost your father in such a horrific situation, but he needed to have communicated his end of life wishes in a living will..and to all of his family members – to lessen the chances of dying an undesirable death. We actually euthanize our sick and dying – and we call it other things (sedation, dying with dignity – Hospice). The Hospice nurse told me that if I were to ingest the amount of morhphine they were giving my sister prior to her death…it would kill me. When the meds would wear off and she would beg to die…I can’t describe the horrific thoughts that ran through my mind…is their a way I could help her die to end her suffering?..all kinds of ways to end her life entered my thoughts…the last thing that I could ever really act out..and I hated myself for thinking such horrific thoughts. Thank God she left here under sedation – and we were with her – holding her hand as she crossed over into the precious kingdom of God. Most people are scared when they die – some folks are just not ready to leave. Uncertainty in life – and death – is something we all have to face. The best thing we can do – is to prepare for our eventual demise while we have the opportunity…and let others know about our wishes. Dr. Jones is an ethical man – who have given us an opportunity to express our feelings about a very controversial topic. Thank God we still have an opportunity to express our opinions. The doctors should have given your dad some relaxation medication before he crossed over – to humanely help him and the family. God bless. Don’t be so hard on the Doc for providing a blog…, Debbie

  82. Eva Klostreich Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Hi Dr Jones,
    I cannot agree. What appears to be mercy, ends up feeding the power greed of those impassioned by money. Take a look if you will at the data from the countries where euthanasia has been made legal. The stories create nightmares. Had I been in a euthanasia country I would now be dead, but I am healthy alive and strong. I came only days away from dying, and am now well. Any physician with the right to declare euthanasia would have put me down qnd rightly so by the paradigm currently used to measure. I suggest that the paradigm is inadequate.
    Eva

  83. Marina Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    The fact is, we all grow attached to our pets and do not want to see them die. Also, because of how emotionally taxing euthanasia is, this is mainly why I myself didn’t become a veterinarian. On the other hand, it would seem selfish to keep an animal alive who is suffering in agony. A friend of mine had a cat for over 15 years. Finally, his cat became very sick with many health issues, including diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure, obesity, among other things. It was a choice of keeping this cat alive with many expensive medications, as well as the cat baring all the pain. Of course, the veterinarian recommended euthanasia. It was the right choice because my friend knew the cat would suffer every day of his life and continue to get worse sick.

    Being a pet owner myself, in my opinion if an animal is no longer able to recover from illness and as a result the quality of life is nothing but pain and suffering every day, then euthanasia would be the right decision. However, if there is a strong chance the animal could heal and live a good quality life, as well as overcome many obstacles, then I believe the animal should be given a chance to be treated before taking this matter further.

  84. Wendy Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Having lost both my dogs and my 21 1/2 year old cat along with my mom all within 2 years..my animals went peacefully I watched my mom slowly die from kidney failure. There was no chance of mom regaining her kidney function and if euthanasia were an option it would have been much easier to deal with.

  85. Erick Says:
    April 2nd, 2010 at 12:31 am

    I too have seen a great deal of suffering, both human and pet. I have had to euthanize 2 dogs. It tore me apart each time, yet it was the right thing to do. The first was a 5 y/o Australian hunting dog. I can’t remember the breed, but he slipped a disk in his spine, and was laying in the front yard when we came home from Church one Sunday. The disk was worked back in place and he was fine for another year and a half. Then, I started to have to carry him up and down stairs, and coax him to go outdoors. He just didn’t want to move. One morning, he could no longer move his legs and was winning and crying incessantly. He had slipped a disk again with unrepairable spinal cord damage. I couldn’t let him live with such pain. I wouldn’t want to. The second was a 6y/o German Shepherd rescue. She was 9mo old when I got her (her papers had been pulled for euthanasia, but their vet had left for another position). She was the most intelligent animal I have come across, loyal and protective to the core. One day she went out and hid under the bushes. An action many animals do when they are dying. It appeared some weeks earlier, that she had suffered a stroke. When I got to her, she didn’t want to come out. Eventually, I convinced her to. When I checked her over, I found she had gurgling in her lungs (pulmonary edema). Severe enough she could barely breathe. Treatment was considered and dismissed as not a viable solution. Nothing would have helped significantly. She would have drowned in her own fluid. I wouldn’t have wanted to die that way, and I figured she had already told me she wouldn’t either. To extrapolate, I have voiced the opinion that “we don’t let our pets suffer needlessly, yet people have to endure horrific pain and debilities”. I was a Fire Fighter and Advanced Life Support Provider (Paramedic) in the USA. I have watched people die in many a manner I would rather not,yet could do little to help them. I watched my own father die from a lung condition that basically he was suffocating to death. Fortunately, his doctor prescribed enough medication to “keep him comfortable and reduce his anxiety” which allowed him to die with dignity and not suffer unfathomable pain and emotional distress. I understand the reluctance of some to accept this as a viable alternative to suffering, (due to the greed that runs rampant in our society and the possibility of someone taking unfair advantage of a persons’ unfortunate situation). But, people need to be able to place themselves in the type of unrelieved pain and distress that makes this alternative not only acceptable but preferable. I have received some serious injuries in my day, from multiple spinal fusions to arresting, so I feel I understand the appeal AND apprehension to the idea, yet I still feel it would be the right thing for the person who makes such a request in such an adverse situation. Wouldn’t your pet make the same request if they could? Pet owners attuned to their pets understand the unspoken request through actions and mannerisms that the owner has learned to read. Wouldn’t you want the same for yourself or a loved one? I don’t understand the degree of reluctance to give people the same opportunity to avoid such suffering as animals are afforded. It all comes down to the level of “quality of life” that we are willing to accept or deny another. No one is willing or able to make the determination of where to draw the line. Yet, it should ultimately be the patients’ decision. Be sure to write out an advanced directive. Keep a copy for your files and submit copies to your local hospital and with your doctor/s.

  86. Brigitte Says:
    April 2nd, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Euthanasia is never an easy decision. However, I believe that people often jump the gun and deprive themselves and the pet of valuable time and lessons. People are too busy and emotionally unprepared to give hospice to a pet, and, yes, it’s difficult to do. What does the animal want?

    There is another partner in the pet’s support team we should consult: the animal communicator. I’ve done so on numerous occasions, not just life or death, and have ALWAYS been pleased with the results. When my heart dog developed cancer and i considered euthanizing her, she told the communicator she wasn’t ready. A signal was agreed upon. Six weeks later, she gave the signal. We made the trip to the vet (the house call vet wasn’t available). By the time we got there, she was so out of it already that he didn’t even sedate her; I doubt she would have lasted much longer on her own, but we had an agreement. A couple years later, she came back to me in a new, strong body, and immensely grown spiritually. I call her my Angelgirl, for that is what she feels like to me.

    Last year, another elderly dog prepared to transition. I’d felt a lump in her shoulder early in the year, but it had “disappeared” when the vet checked her out. She had issues with intermittent lameness, but nothing seemed to work (antibiotics for Lyme, chiro). She was not a particularly outwardly affectionate dog, but she said good-bye to each vet with a kiss on her last visit. She systematically said good-bye to people and places as she became less and less mobile. Yet, she never lost that glint in her eye or her love for food, esp. ice cream. She told two different animal communicators that “she” was not suffering, despite what her body told us, and that she did NOT want assistance in passing. My partner and I took turns staying with her. On that last night, she woke him to say good-bye; he said she looked like a puppy at that moment. After that, she became restless, so he woke me to comfort her. He went to sleep, and she, her head on my arm, went into what felt like labor pains, pushing herself out of her body. After a while, she gave three little gasps and looked at me — then she was gone. That look, that moment, all i could see and feel was Light and Love. It was the most glorious moment of my life! What a beautiful experience I would have missed had I euthanized her when I thought I should! And what a wondrous gift I would have deprived her of giving!

    Please consider including an animal communicator in your pet’s support team. There are many very talented ones around now, and some will even do an end of life consult for free.

  87. Sue Taylor Says:
    April 2nd, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Since there is absolutely no value in a pet’s suffering, euthanasia, when a pet is terminally ill, is definitely reasonable (and/or desirable). However, I’m not so sure about human beings. I believe that there is value in suffering (and perhaps my feeling about this would change were I to witness a loved one in that situation). I believe that the sufferer and often their onlookers (relatives and friends) learn valuable life lessons in suffering. But again, perhaps I would change my way of thinking if someone I loved was suffering unbearably.

  88. Lee Says:
    April 3rd, 2010 at 1:27 am

    I am a hospice Chaplain, and hospice allows a person to die with dignity and without pain.

  89. mike kelly Says:
    April 3rd, 2010 at 4:40 am

    dear dr. andrew, my heart is broken. i had to put my own cat down by crushing up an oco….i don’t know how to spell the whole word but it was a narcotic pain killer intended for humans because my vet was in a meeting and said she would have to put him to sleep in the morning. the cat had advanced luekemia, had lost a lot of weight and could barely eat. it had gone into convulsions. after crushing the pill into powder form my wife administered it with water and eye droper. our call to the vet was about 6 pm. how was a meeting more important than driving back 50 miles to relieve it’s suffering. i mean if dr. rife isn’t educated enough now and still has to go to meetings, she doesn’t really care. our old car couldn’t make the journey to the emergency clinic in rockwall, texas and she knew it. the cat finally succumbed in my wifes and a friend holding it’s paw at 4:10 a.m. 10 frigging hours of suffering. it was raining that night but i went out behind my house and dug a grave. a 2nd cat she did put down yesterday who had been diagnosed with a tumor on it’s heart. she cried as if she cared. she has given us breaks on fees but just on fixing female cats but we have to pay for all the male cats. both of us are on disability but we make sure they eat first and a lot of times we don’t eat. we presently have 8 cats left. we don’t seek out cats. these are ones different people have left knowing our compassion not to let another living being go hungry. i am 70 years old and my wife is 50. it’s all a lie that there will always be someone around to ease there pain. i certainly know it is when it comes to humans. i have never seen a person die peacefully. i am not so much afraid of dying since i don’t have an option as i am of being in extreme pain at 2:00 o’clock in the morning or on a weekend when there is no doctor available. do people even care anymore? i know you do. thanks for listening to an old man. to be truthful, i am scared most of the time. i simply know too much. regards, mike kelly in greenville, texas

  90. Dannette DeWeese, DVM Says:
    April 4th, 2010 at 2:18 am

    I whole-heartedly agree with you! I think we do treat our pets more humanely at the end of their lives. Even though it is a hard decision and a sad time it also makes me happy that I can help them to not be sick our painful any more. When I was on my externship my senior year one of the doctors told his clients “this is the last nice thing you can do for them”. I found that so thoughtful that I tell my clients the same thing!

  91. Susan Chandler Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I regret that your dad died so suddenly. 77 is such a young age. I hope your family and extended family feel that this was God’s way of saying no more pain, come with me and be healthy. Again it is with great sadness that I read this early this morning.

  92. walter daniels Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 10:31 am

    It saddens me greatly to read that the same outdated thinking still lives. When y mother died of Lung cancer in 1965, the gave her minimal doses of pain killers, “lest she get hooked.” Since then, thank God, the policies changed, except in some backwards minds.
    Bt the middle ’70’s, there was no longer a concern about addiction. The dying were given medication in necessary amounts, even if it risked death. I’m sorry if this was not the case with your father. It should have been.
    We euthanize pets, because God puts them in _our_ care, as we are in his. No Man has dominion over me, including myself, so no man has the right to decide my death. The sole exceptions are if I become a danger to society, or threaten another. Otherwise, we pretend to be God ourselves.

  93. Kim Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I do believe in it with all my heart. I have read many of the comments from other people that posted here and alot of them voiced their beliefs in wonderful way’s. As I read them trying to keep and open mind as I am pro-euthanasia and some of the anti’s or on the fence comments really made me stop and think really hard but I am till pro on the topic and for all the reasons that have already been said.

    Dr Jones;

    May God be with you and yur family during this difficult time. As I just lost my mother last year at this time I can relate completely to your feelings now.

  94. Marianne Harlos Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    First I would like to offer my sympathy for the loss of our father, I lost my mother this Jan. 3, 2010. Hers was through stroke. I feel we should be allowed to go as we please, whether natural or not. Most doctors would never let their pets suffer the way most people do with terminal diseases. If a person could put this in their will it should be honored. Unfortunately we are not allowed and I feel this is wrong. Their are far to many does and don’t for what is suppose to be a free country. Again my sympathy is with you and now your father rests in peace.

  95. Marianne Harlos Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Putting down your pet to me is like putting down your child, even though they are not. I recently lost my Bassett hound in Nov 09, because some idiot turned in my driveway and hit him he was gone very quickly. Not marks on him what so ever, internal injuries though. How can any one just drive away, I feel pain when I hit a squirrel or any creature, and you feel it with your vehicle they can’t say they don’t. Had he have lived I would have done anything to save him he was only 3 and 1/2 yrs old. I heard him cry and went outside and he was there laying in my driveway. It still hurts today I had him since he was 7 weeks old. I have never had to put down a pet but know that if there is no other way and they are suffering I would have it done properly. I recently took in a mini poodle that will be 12 in Aug, because the owner could not look after him any more and was going to put him down, he is in perfect health and well mannered so why? Now he lives with me and my 3 month young female bassett hound. Both are happy and I love them both. I know that one day the mini poodle will have his time but but for now he is great and decision will be a tough one. Until then regards to all, Marianne

  96. Sylvia Dickens Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Andrew,

    First, I offer my condolensces re your father. Even when we know it’s coming, it’s never easy. Your description of him suits the opinion I got the moment I saw that wonderful photo.

    Re euthanasia…

    I understand how people might want the same opportunity to escape some of the horrors that can take away the quality but not the life.

    I’ve been fortunate in that my dogs were almost gone when the vet helped them through those last few moments. I thought I’d be devastated at seeing that life slip away, but it was not nearly as bad as I thought. I knew my last 2 dogs were going to die – One was suffering, and the other was already slipping into a coma or something. I was glad they didn’t have to suffer for long.

    Re people…

    The biggest issue for me is that it is not our place to take a life, even though I do understand why it is desired by so many. The other problem is that you have to be careful about euthanising people because it can get so ugly. There must be rigid guidelines – not just because someone is depressed and wants to leave the earth. A great deal of thought must be put into any laws that come into effect to prevent careless and unethical use of this capability.

    Sylvia

  97. Sylvia Dickens Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I just have to add another note – re the comment by Marianne Harlos

    I totally agree. Some people would rather take the easy way out than try to find homes for pets they do not want. I’ll never forget when I was about 12 seeing a man coax his big black dog out of the car and into the wilderness, then race back, jump in the car and drive away. The dog came back to the spot as the car was pulling away. I felt what he must have felt at being abandoned like that. He looked so sad. Just the thought of it pains me even today.

    Some people will deliberately steer their cars or speed up in order to hit an animal in their path. They do not care. If they are so cold to animals, imagine how they feel about humans. It is unimaginable that anyone could not feel something for life, whether it’s a cat, dog, bird, mouse or squirrel.

    I’m sorry to hear about your dog, Marianne. But it sounds like he died almost instantly, which was good. It probably saved him from a lot of pain and suffering.

    Sylvia

  98. david Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Since we don’t have any children our dogs are our children and we dote on them as much as we can. The loss of a pet is something that can take years to get over. Everyone says to get another pet, ie dog, cat,etc. and you will get over it. It might help ease the pain a little but you will never quite get over it. My first dog was named Sheba, I found her at the Pulaski County Humane Society. I was looking for a male dog when I went in but those big brown eyes locked on mine and I couldn’t say no. She was the last of the litter and had been sickly and the staff was afraid she might die if she wasn’t taken in soon. I didn’t even have to pay the usual charge they were that sure she wouldn’t have lasted. She started as an inside dog (no good for apt’s.Golden Retriver mix)who thought she was the boss. We we moved we put her outside and she seem just as content to be outside as in. Later on we moved to a rural part of the state and she loved running and playing in the pastures and the pond. We noticed that she was losing weight but just thought it was the weather (hot humid in summer months), I noticed that she wasn’t eating her food right and took her to the vet. She had what the vet thought to be an enlarged esophagus, she would eat her food but if she tilted her head down it would come back out. I had never heard of anything like this and was trying to find out any thing I could about it. We left her at the vet so they could administer fluids on Friday and went home. Monday I was anxious to go see my baby but it was not to be. Seems sometime Sunday night something ruptured in her throat and she died. It still bothers me that I left her in a strange place by herself. I was responsible for her and she trusted me and I let her down. My wife told me that I was being to hard on myself but that pain is still with me today and Sheba has been gone since March of 2001.

  99. Joy Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Sympathy to you and your family on the leaving of your father. Thank you for sharing your beautiful eulogy with us.

    My mother left us on Christmas Eve a few years ago and somehow I found the time of departure to be comforting as you probably feel about Easter — a time of renewal and new beginnings.

    Love and hope to you and your family.

    Joy

  100. Carol Pentz Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I have had pets all my life and been in the animal / pet business for 37 years. I have studied the progression of life and death in nature. I have had to make that aggonizing decision to put my loving pet out of pain or stop the torture of wasting away when time is near. A few weeks ago I had to say good-bye to my 13 year old English Bulldog(an amazing age for a Bully).Her life was good and full of love and friends. She was blind her last two years but managed quite well as long as things didn’t move in the house. My 100 pound male American Bulldog acted as her seeing eye dog those last years,leading her by the ear if she became confused or lost.We did not give up,nor would I ever until she was ready to quit herself. She started to lose interest in food,wanted to stay in her kennel(door was open) and not associate with the others,altho’ the big male would crawl into her kennel with her and wrap himself around her to keep her body temp up as it started to drop the last month.He’d clean her ears and wrinkles…showing her great respect.I have my guys creamated…so now she’s back home.The rest of the family,canine and human have followed the mourning route(of course the male had it the roughest).Letting an animal suffer is wrong…the decision must be made wisely by you,the vet,and your pet.YOU SHOULD KNOW YOUR PET’S BEHAVIOR! When that changes to indicate difficulty in LIVING,not just getting around such as my lady’s blindness,she still functioned,but true LIFE’S QUALITY,that’s the time to make decisions. Don’t be selfish by keeping them alive and horribly unhappy because you can-t bear to lose them. BE KIND.
    As far as people……I believe the same. BUT YOU NEED TO BE SURE THAT THE DECISION YOU MAKE IS NOT JUST OUT OF PAIN! When I was in my 20’s,I had a 109 temp for days. My body ceased to live,I rose above myself and heard the doctors give up as I slipped away. It was as you have read in many places ,I’m sure….bright light,lightness of feeling,no pain,gentle sounds,the glowing tunnel.This happened before all the after death books hit the stands by a number of years. I then felt like I was meant to return back to my baby daughter,and the next thing I knew I was back in the hospital bed packed in ice and the pain and heat had returned.It was 2 more weeks before I went home.I repeatedly returned to the hospital. My situation is complicated,but Thirty plus years later I still have a great deal of pain at least 50% of the time…I pass at least 6-8 kidney stones a year…I was told in ’75 that my body would not be able to manage more than 15 more years,never seeing my daughter grow up…and I would have a good deal of brain damage from the fevers.I was depressed,racked with pain,I could and wanted to die.But If I had made that move…..I’d never seen my daughter marry have two boys…one is turning 20 this year,and I will be 60.So I guess I’m saying,alot needs to be accounted for…and to me ,pain is not the most prominent one,but it seems most often mentioned in these posts. Pain is there to tell you something is not right…listen to it,address it,then meditate and let it disapate to at least a tolerable point. It can be done if you work at it…it’s only pain. What needs to be investigated more is functionality.Existing without use of machinery(if that’s what you want) and artificial support systems. Your age and ability to live with a happy heart with any condition you may have. Everyone is different. But if we were to say,ok, you can end your life due to the pain you are in,what if it improves,or you adjust?? My Mom passed 3 years ago. We removed her oxygen after she had seen and/or spoken to all family members and friends she wanted. She wanted and had a do not ressusitate order,and she asked me to choose the time.She asked me to help her over as I had crossed the bridge years ago and she’d feel safer in my arms.That situation is very close,as we made the decision of time and she held me and I held her as she closed her eyes and went to sleep.I miss her so much. We feel,however,that she went to heaven stood straight up and went for a long walk.She had severe Osteo which affected her severely in dozens of ways. She hadn’t been able to stand straight for a few years or take a full breath,and we all loved to go on long walks. Follow your heart,your reason,your soul.Think wisely and not with any selfish intentions……..IN EITHER CASE!!!!!

  101. JEAN Says:
    April 10th, 2010 at 1:56 am

    TO DR. ANDREW JONES,
    I DO NOT GO ALONG WITH ENUTANASIA. GOD IS THE ONE TO DECIDE WHEN WE ARE TO DIE. ABSENT FROM THE BODY PRESENT WITH THE LORD. WE ARE MADE OF BODY, SOUL, AND SPIRIT. IT IS APPOINTED ONTO MAN & ONCE TO DIE. WE MUST DIE BECAUSE OF ADAM & EVES SIN. SATAN IS RESPONLSIBLE FOR WHAT IS HAPPENING. IF IT WAS NOT FOR ALL THE DRUGS GIVEN TO ANIMALS AND PEOPLE WE WOULD LIVE ALOT LONGER. WE HAVE WENT AGAINST GODS LAWS. WE ARE REAPING WHAT WE HAVE SOWN. THIS COUNTRY AND THE FOREIGN COUNTRIES ARE FOLLOWING SATAN AND HIS DEMONS. HE IS THE RULER OF THIS EARTH.
    I AM SORRY THAT YOUR FATHER HAD TO DIE ,BUT ABSENT FROM THE BODY PRESENT WITH THE LORD. THE LORD HAS A PLAN FOR ALL OF OUR LIVES. IF WE FOLLOW THE AMA OR ANY OTHER DRUG COMPANY WE ARE SURELY GOING TO SUFFER. MY FATHER ACCEPTED THE LORD AND DIED IN HIS SLEEP. THANK GOD FOR WHAT HE CAN DO FOR ALL OF US.

  102. Nancy Golinia Says:
    April 10th, 2010 at 3:36 am

    Dear Dr.Andrew, Our condolences on the death of your Father. You wrote a beautiful Obituary for him.
    As for euthanasia for pets, yes. As heart wrenching as it is pet owners should do the right thing for their pets when they are suffering with no hope of getting better. and they should try to find the courage to stay with their pet. Veterinarians should understand that people don’t want to walk through a waiting room when they have been crying. A side door to leave would be a kindness.
    As for humans, if and when doctors can’t control the pain, then they should be allowed to help patients either die or speed up the dying process with pain drugs or whatever if that is their patients wish.

  103. Coralie Says:
    April 10th, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I was sad to hear about your Dad as I have been following your news regarding his illness, however it was a beautiful obituary and I could feel the love and enjoyment your Dad has given to so many people.God Bless him.

    If we would all live a life like that, what a difference there would be in the World.

    Regarding euthanization, I think it is wonderful to be able to ease pain and suffering for people and pets. As I see it we would not allow religious beliefs stand in the way, but that is just my personal opinion.

    Some of us are lucky to die peacefully, but not all animals or people do. If there was a freedom of choice I am sure far fewer souls would want to suffer during their passing process.

  104. Sharon Odehnal Says:
    April 11th, 2010 at 4:03 am

    I am a former Certified Nursing Assistant and I spent 5 years working in home health hospice. There are laws and ways in hospice to make people completely pain free..even if it involves what is called “snowing” them. Which means to basically keep them under until they pass. This is done at the patients request with family involved and it is totally legal when done in hospice care.

    We cannot let euthanasia for humans come to pass for when we do though it will start out as a “humane” way to deal with the dying…I can assure you it will not remain that. Within a few years the laws will begin to pass to ease the burdens of the “taxpayers” (us)and nursing homes will soon be euthanasia centers. Then it will continue…to the mentally ill who are “suffering” and can’t be released, children who are “handicapped, paralyzed, wards of the state…where does it stop?

    If you don’t believe this just look at the progression of Row vs. Wade and how little time it took from the original legislation to partial birth abortion.

    You are looking at this from the aspect of love and ending suffering. But just ask yourself…how many animals are euthanized everyday just because there’s no place for them in our society? People will soon be no different.

  105. Pat Cline Says:
    April 15th, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I have had many pets and have had to put down a beautiful german shephard and a great and loyal doberman in the past 20 years, plus 4 cats. What absolutely imazes me is how some people have love for animals and then others are just so cruel. I have seen and heard stories of people neglecting their pets and just being miserable human beings to other humans. I watched my mom die from osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s and I know she was in a lot of pain with her spine and I felt her pain. We were brought up to be kind to animals and to treat others the way we would want to be treated. I just don’t get how people can be so cruel to both humans and pets. We now have a dog and two cats and we take very good care of them and I taught all my children to have respect for all forms of life, which I am afraid is lacking in many people sadly. I stopped buying veal when I saw a documentary on how the calves are treated, and that was almost 30 years ago. I believe that if a human is suffering, and there is no hope for them, why let them suffer in pain, and there should be some type of euthanasia for humans also. I had to put down my animals because they would all suffer and I did not want to keep them alive, in pain, just so I could have a few more weeks, days, months or years with them.

  106. Rachel Says:
    April 15th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    We have been given “free will” by our creator, but it is still up to Him to decide when our life ends. I totally agree (and have been in the position of) with Annette (#40). In our advanced world now, we have so many painkillers available, that one can choose that over an INTENTIONAL ending of life. I, too, have a living will just as my mother did–that no “extraordinary means” be done to prolong my life. This leaves the time limit of my life to God, but still offers me release from suffering. My mother died after slowly going into a comotose condition, but nothing was done to hasten her death;–just to make her comfortable until death came to her. Whenever you have surgery, become sick, or have an injury there is always the possibility of death occurring–because there is always a risk involved. I had a friend die on the operating table having knee surgery. But we make the decision to endure/go through these things in order to preserve life and continue on……..so choosing a medication/painkiller to free us from pain also holds that risk of death…but it is not INTENTIONALLY telling God I will do what I want rather than what He determines. There is a reason for everything that happens on this earth, but so often we look at it through our own human reasoning and miss what God has to teach us through our sufferings and pain. Sometimes emotional/mental anguish can be as painful as the physical…….if the patient is not “mentally capable”—who decides then? WEhen we put our pets down, we are playing God, as we make the decision for them….but we are also given “dominion” over them by God. He expects us to care for his creatures, but they are not creatures with a soul that He breathed into them and that He died for. Do we allow others to make the decision for us based on how they perceive our suffering?–or if we make the decision ourselves, are we telling God what we want and not what he would will for us? I totally agree that it is all a matter of where you put your faith and beliefs. If I believe the Bible and believe God put me on earth for a purpose, than I submit to His will for me, knowing my ETERNAL life (without suffering) is secure. My life is in His hands and I trust in His decisions, not mine. So–let His will be done.

  107. Ellen Says:
    April 15th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Some of us want our pets to have the same rights as people and not be considered property. Yet, they are allowed to die and not suffer like humans. I can tell you after watching my father slowly go for 6 months this is cruel. He was 91 which is a pretty good number of years to live. But to have a life end undignified is beyond terrible. I had no control over the situation as I would have ended this insanity months sooner. Let your loved ones go like you do your pets.

  108. Lynn Says:
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    I am a nurse and I believe in Euthanasia for pets and people. I am glad to see that so many people are for Euthanasia for people if there is no hope of their recovery and they are in pain and want it done. I know it would be hard to do this but it also is hard to see them suffer. I feel that the ones that are against it will change their mind if they end up suffering from an encureable disease and in a great deal of pain.

  109. Arai Says:
    April 16th, 2010 at 3:09 am

    I went back home last year to acompany my grand mother after she was diagnosed with pancreas cancer. It took two months for this wonderful 90 year old woman to go from active to completly incapacitated. She was a very catholic woman and yet I could see she was ready to leave us long time before her body gave up. I asked her if I could do something about her pain (hinting at eutanesia) if she would want me to. She seriously thought about it and then said only god has the right to do that…and I respect that. I think you must have that choice. It is the humane thing to do.
    As for pets, I have not had to make this painful decision but I hope my four legged best friends will let me know when it’s time.
    Once more, my sincerest condolences for your father’s departure.

  110. Jennifer Says:
    April 20th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Based on my personal experience(s), I fully believe that the decision to end a life – of any kind – is a decision that is God’s alone.

  111. Marcine Stubbs Says:
    April 26th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I have had to make the tormenting decision to put my dogs to sleep before and although it is extremely painful for people, I know that it is one last favour we can do for our pets.
    I watched my mother suffer and lose all dignity with Alzheimers and I wish I could have done the same kindness for her. I dont know that I would have been able to say when, but I do know that she wouldnt have wanted to go through that if she could have decided herself. I have 2 brothers that would have agreed that she was suffering terribly. She could no longer eat, so she basically starved to death. Thank God she didnt have to suffer for as long as my uncle who also died of Alzheimers after a very long battle with the disease. He was tied in a chair, couldnt talk, walk or move. He couldnt eat, drink or anything. The last time I saw him is stuck in my mind like something out of a torture movie. He was tied up in a chair, not able to move or speak but with tears rolling down his face. It is something I will never forget for the rest of my life. I also watched my ex-mother in law suffer and die of cancer. Anyone that has family dying of these diseases would surely change their mind if they dont believe in euthanasia for people now. I know that God is suppose to determine when we die, but if we had the option to end someone’s suffering, then God would tell us when it was the right time to end it.

  112. human being Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    i don’t have some long story but seriously? i agree with the right to choose euthanasia for humans. Its our right by God and for those who don’t believe in God, its a human right. All the people hiding behind “its playing God” and that “its not our decision its God’s” need to use the mind God gave you and educate yourself in your religion before making those asinine statements as it is the complete opposite, written in your book, in black and white for you to read. just because you don’t understand it doesn’t make it wrong. I’m not going into all that, as i’m not even going to try to educate those who won’t listen and they can read their bible for themselves. Also if you see this as some sort of democratic murder or suicide, open your eyes. Especially for the terminal, 99.9% of the time, its either they have got that way from doing something to themselves or something that someone else did, directly or indirectly. So the damage is already done, look at that part as suicide/murder not the euthanasia part. (by the way to the person that made the comment about the 10 commandments, read it again, they never use the word kill or killing) I also agree with the person that made the comment about it not being forced on us, but more a personal decision. Call me crazy (which i’m sure some narrow minded people already have) but i don’t believe any government or any kid of religion should be the ones to decide whether i live and suffer or pass away.

  113. Lynn Says:
    September 1st, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    We do need to keep one thing in mind in the case of human euthanasia. First, I don’t believe that any person could ask another loved one to do this for them. I have had to make that decision for my 12 year old dog, and the guilt to this day is horrible.
    I can’t imagine that one wouldn’t suffer horrendous guilt if making that decision for a human loved one as well. It would be questions like, what if the next day they discovered a new drug or a cure. It’s not totally unthinkable for that to happen. AND, if one decides to end their own suffering by taking an overdose of their pain meds, remember, insurance will not pay if suicide is suspected. That would keep me from ending it myself. If I’ve paid insurance premiums all my life, I want to make sure my family gets the money due to them. I don’t want to leave them to have to pay for funeral cost etc.
    Also, there is that old belief, that if you commit suicide, heaven won’t be your next destination….

  114. Marilu Way Says:
    June 17th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Why are we much more humane with our animals than we are with our sick and elderly humans? I am so happy for Michaael that whe waited until he returned home and passed in his arms. Last Oct. I lost my 15 year old Pekingese as she passed in my arms. What a wonderful relief to know that I was holding her, kissing and telling her how much I loved her. They are such a blessing in our lives. As the saying goes – Pets make our lives whole…………. Marilu

  115. Agien Says:
    May 18th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    If there is anything we own it is our life and to a certain extend our dignaty.In the Netherlands euthasia is legal under circumstances,but even here it is not always easy.My pledge is a pill that finishes your own life if you chose to do so.Where is this so called christin demand not to make it possible coming from.I respect everybodys religion unless theis religion forces thingslike that on me.

  116. Greg Says:
    February 27th, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I believe that euthasia is legal in Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington and some other states.

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