Thursday, March 10, 2005

Dying need a 'peaceful pill' available

A Peaceful Pill Needed For The Terminally Ill
Who Want One

(Sensible suggestions solicited by Nutech.)

From the problems and statistics currently coming out of Oregon that the medical profession and the medical sciences are not interested in improving the procedure
of physician-assisted suicide.

It needs to be flawless to give people confidence in using it.

Doctors now are rarely at the bedside, even if they have prescribed the lethal overdose to be taken orally; no scientific work has been done on perfecting the sophisticated use of drugs to achieve a speedy, painless death if desired by terminally or hopelessly ill patient.

There is a organization known as New Technology in Self-Deliverance (NuTech for short) which has been working for the last five years on finding the exactly right, medically acceptable, legally safe, means of killing oneself by popping a deadly pill.

It is an ad hoc international group of some 30 physicians, pharmacists, medical technicians and social workers who meet once a year to pool their knowledge about all forms and experiences of euthanasia (help with a good death). And plan alternatives. Thus far NuTech has invented the technique of a person choosing to end his or her life with the use of inert gas inside a plastic bag. Scores of Americans have already used this method for unconsciousness within seconds and death within ten minutes. This way does not break the law because it is the patient’s own actions which cause death.

But what NuTech is truly looking for is the so-called ‘peaceful pill’ which a dying person< could elect to swallow and expire instantly. Dr. Philip Nitschke, a physician and physicist in Australia, has been leading the hunt for this, as have noted physicians like Dr. Ben Chabot and Dr. Pieter Admiraal in the Netherlands. It has not yet been found but they are working at it.

--Derek Humphry
Junction City, Oregon

The writer founded the Hemlock Society in 1980 and authored the #1 bestseller ‘Final Exit’. He is the international liason officer for NuTech.


Blogger dan said...

i am dan bloom in taiwan
here is new word from Japan

POKKURI = means to ''pop off'' when we die

see my website here and spread the word

do you like this term?

Dan Bloom, reporter, Taiwan


and here is a social commentary soon to be published in a major US newspaper oped section:

When my time comes, I hope I will just ''pop off''

[oped commentary by Dan Bloom
(c) 2005

When you get ready to meet your maker, do you want to die a long slow, painful, costly death -- or do you just want to "pop off"?

I ask this question because there's a unique Buddhist temple in Japan where people go to pray that they will just "pop off" when they die and not be a burden on their families during their final days.

They ask the gods to let them "pop off" --"pokkuri" in Japanese -- and die a sudden death, preferably on a quiet night in their sleep, or via a sudden heart attack, without spending a long time in a sickbed at home or in a nursing home or hospital.

I read about this temple in the newspapers the other day and was immediately drawn to the subject. I want to ''pop off'', too, when I go. What about you?

An elderly Japanese housewife was quoted in the article as saying, "I want to pop off (''pokkuri''). I think more and more people feel the same way in a graying society."

She had gone to the temple to pray for a quick end when the time comes. And she knows, as we all do, that the time will come someday.

This Buddhist temple was set up over a thousand years ago in Japan by a monk whose mother had passed away peacefully after she wore clothes that he had prayed over. A tradition was born, and ever since then, pilgrims across Japan have been coming to the Kichi-denji Temple to pray for a discreet, quick, popping-off kind of death.

"Let me pokkuri," they say.

Maybe that's a good word we ought to borrow from the Japanese -- as we have done with sushi and sashimi and wasabi -- and make part of our postmodern American vocabulary.

"God, grant me a good life, a useful (and meaningful) life, and when it's time, let me 'pokkuri' in a dignified, discreet way. Amen."

That's my prayer. What's yours?

The Buddhist priest at this temple in Japan told a reporter that the pokkuri prayers offered there represent "a simple desire for people to hope to die a peaceful death."

"It's natural that children should wish that their parents have a long life," he said. "However, seeing aged parents anguishing in bed or too senile to recognize their own children makes many people, especially daughters here in Japan, come to hope that their parents will die quiet, quick, discreet deaths."

Well, I'm paraphrasing, since I can't read Japanese very well. But I think I know what that priest was getting at.

According to news reports, around 10,000 people come to this temple in northern Japan every year to pray the Pokkuri Prayer. They pray that they will not be a burden to their families when they meet their maker.

A 76-year-old woman interviewed for the news story said that her husband of 40 years died suddenly a few years ago from a heart attack, after repeating telling her that he wanted to "pop off" -- and pop off he did."

His prayer was answered," she said. "I want to follow suit some day."

I can relate to that.

Life's been good, I've had a great ride, and at 55, I still have a few more years to go, I hope. But like those pilgrims at the Kichi-denji Temple, I hope that when I go, I can just"pop off" in a quick, quiet way.

Give me pokkuri, O Lord, when you give me death, yes!

Nowadays, many Americans are debating such issues as assisted death and assisted suicide. Oregon's Death With Dignity Act has some people up in arms, and others quite satisfied.

Meanwhile, the US federal government's Controlled Substances Act has other people up in arms, and the debate about doctors using certain medications to help some patients die continues to heat up.

One of my neighbor's father is almost 90. He's in a good health, except that he doesn'treally know what he did yesterday, he's more or less blind, he can't hear too well and well, you know, he's getting ready to meet his maker. I pray that he will have a "pokkuri moment" and leave this Earth in a quick, quiet way -- preferably in his sleep, in a dreamstate, headed back to the stars.

And when my time comes, as come it must, I'd like to "pop off", too.

What about you? Do you want a long, drawn-out death or a pokkuri moment of release?

6:09 PM, March 24, 2005  

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