Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Someone Else can Administer the Lethal Assisted Suicide Dose to the Patient

This article was published by Choice is an Illusion on July 10, 2017

Margaret Dore
By Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

The South Dakota measure allows someone else, such as a doctor or family member, to administer the lethal dose to a patient. This is true for three reasons:

1. The Measure Merely Says That the Patient “May” Self-Administer the Lethal Dose

The measure says that a patient may self-administer the lethal dose.[1] There is no language that administration “must” be by self-administration.[2]

2. Generally Accepted Medical Practice Allows Someone Else to Administer Medication to a Patient

The measure describes the lethal dose as “medication.”[3] Generally accepted medical practice allows a doctor, or a person acting under the direction of a doctor, to administer medication/drugs to a patient.[4] Oregon doctor, Kenneth Stevens, states:

Common examples of persons acting under the direction of a doctor, include: [N]urses . . . who act under the direction of a doctor to administer drugs to a patient in a hospital setting; . . . and adult children who act under the direction of a doctor to administer drugs to their parents in a home setting. (Emphasis added).[5]
With self-administration not mandatory, generally accepted medical practice allows a doctor, or a person acting under the direction of a doctor, to administer the lethal dose (a “medication”) to the patient.

3. “Self-administer” Is Specially Defined to Allow Someone Else to Administer the Lethal Dose

The measure states:

Terms used in this Act mean:

(11) “Self-administer,” a qualified patient’s act of ingesting medication to end the patient’s life . . . (Emphasis added).[6]
The measure does not define “ingest.”[7] Dictionary definitions include:
[T]o take (food, drugs, etc.) into the body, as by swallowing, inhaling, or absorbing. (Emphasis added).[8]
With this situation, someone else placing a medication patch on the patient’s arm qualifies as self-administration because the patient will be “absorbing” the lethal dose, i.e., “ingesting” it. Gas administration qualifies because the patient will be “inhaling” the lethal dose, i.e., “ingesting” it. Putting the lethal dose into the patient’s mouth qualifies because the patient will be "swallowing" it, i.e., “ingesting” it. With self-administer defined as ingesting, someone else is allowed to administer the lethal dose to the patient.

Footnotes:

[1] The Initiated Measure, § 1(6), states:
“Informed decision,” a decision by a qualified patient, to request and obtain a prescription for medication that the qualified patient may self-administer to end the patient’s life . . . (Emphasis added).
[2] See the measure in its entirety at this link: https://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/assisted-suicide-euthanasia-act.pdf
[3] See § 1(6), which states:
“Informed decision,” a decision by a qualified patient, to request and obtain a prescription for medication that the qualified patient may self-administer to end the patient’s life . . . (Emphasis added).
[4] Declaration of Kenneth Stevens, MD, 01/06/16, ¶10,
[5] Id.
[6] Initiated measure, § 1(11).
[7] See the initiated measure in its entirety.
[8] Your Dictionary.com (defining " ingest").

2 comments:

Sean L. Tobin said...

This is nothing but simple murder. There must be built in safeguards to protect elders from people determined to get rid of them because they are a stress on their lives or have something they want. No one person, not one doctor or other medical professional and certainly not a family member should be allowed to conduct an officially sanctioned murder.

Helga Horoba said...

You have not given your live. God gave you life and God is the one to take it.
I'm not to happy about this law to be alought to take life . I am now 83 years young and I don't now if I can be killed of if I get to the end of my life. I just like to pass in peace when the time comes.

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