When Ratterman Brothers Funeral Homes — a family-run business serving the Louisville, Kentucky community for nearly 150 years — recently conducted a free, open seminar for Louisville seniors on the need to pre-arrange funeral services for themselves or a loved one, Carl and George Ratterman were shocked to find how many people were woefully unprepared for the inevitable.
“The turmoil and financial ruin visited on families from an unexpected death and the lack of planning is heartbreaking and unnecessary,” said Carl Ratterman. “This lack of planning is what can put a family in a painful position if something unexpected happens.”
According to Agingcare, less than 30 percent of the population has a living will and even fewer have some kind of pre-arranged or pre-planned funeral service. 70 percent of Americans say they want to minimize the burden, financial or emotional, of their death for their loved ones but only 24 percent have done anything about it.
Ratterman Brothers have a pre-planning form which is easy to use and will put some perspective on how many decisions need to be made for funeral arrangements. Making these decisions now without the stress and emotion related to preparing for a funeral can save loved ones thousands of dollars and the emotional strain of trying to figure out how to pay for the services and what they would have wanted.
A conversation about death can be uncomfortable but should be discussed just like planning for retirement. Every adult should take a few minutes to think about the situation and make plans. Families can prevent the added pain of having to deal with burdensome will and funeral arrangements by planning ahead.
“The loss of a loved one can be devastating to a family, especially if it is unexpected. If the deceased does not have the foresight to plan ahead, they will have left their family with hundreds of decisions to make without any guidance as to what the deceased would have wanted,” said George Ratterman.
You are bewildered if you have had a parent or grandparent enter the system and stay there until death. You also already know the scam. It’s all about extracting the last dime first from private wealth and then from the taxpayer through government programs, until all excuses run out and the patient is finally and mercifully allowed to die.
Not only has the system gradually turned into a gigantic financial racket that plays on people’s normal sense of wanting to prolong life as much as possible; it is the cause of wrecked families, massive heartache, and terrible suffering spread far and wide, not to mention pillaged family estates.
Doctors think they are being asked to prolong some patients’ lives unnecessarily and describe such cases as being tantamount to torture and abuse. Doctors’ moral distress is surrounding resuscitation and treatments that they believe may be futile at the end of life and has implications as more power is handed from doctors to patients’ representatives around end of life issues.
Doctors who are required to perform procedures, such as resuscitation, which they feel are futile or harmful have significant moral qualms that they are prolonging suffering as opposed to providing care. Some cope with these by developing detached and dehumanizing attitudes towards patients.
Ways of coping range from formal and informal conversations with colleagues and superiors about the emotional and ethical challenges of providing care at the end of life to a tendency among some to dehumanize the patient.
There is a moral distress among physicians when they feel obligated to provide treatments at the end of life that they believe to be futile or harmful. Their words, such as torture, gruesome, abuse, mutilate, and cruel, evoke images more fitting of penal regimes than hospitals. The moral toll exacted upon these physicians is evident in descriptions such as feeling violated and traumatized. Previous research shows that moral distress can have significant negative effects on job satisfaction, psychological and physical well-being and self-image, resulting in burnout and thoughts of quitting.
In hospitals with cultures and policies which prioritize patient autonomy over the patients’ best interest, physicians tend to give patients a menu of choices without guidance or recommendations over whether resuscitation would be beneficial or merely prolong suffering. It explored the effect of moves towards greater patient autonomy over end of life decisions. Although this was an understandable reaction to the paternalistic approach often adopted by doctors in the past, the paper voiced fears that the pendulum may have swung too far, to the detriment of patients themselves.
Governments and their connected private interests want something even more than your death: your money. This is why the system has become exploitative in the most perverse way. It urges you to live as long as possible provided you can keep feeding the greedy health-care machinery. It’s all about getting money from your bank account to theirs, and, when that runs out, tapping the taxpayer for as long as possible.
It’s striking how many people are blissfully unaware of how the system operates until that fateful moment when Mom, Dad, Grandpa, or Grandma faces a health crisis. The doctors take charge, along with the insurance companies and the institutions that house barely conscious people for a decade after all quality has drained from their lives.
The condition worsens, the feeding tube goes in, the machines are hooked up, and suddenly you find your loved one as part of a decaying throng of octogenarians living off technology while the bank account slowly and systematically drains from $1 million to $0 in the course of a miserable 10 years.
Who wins? The medical establishment. The nursing homes. Big pharma. Insurers. Bureaucrats. They are the new parasites living off barely alive flesh, and they are determined to do this at the expense of every one of us, making sure that we can never inherit nor pass on money to the next generation.
But what about morality and medical ethics? There’s no point in going into a long discussion of this unbelievably complicated topic. Suffice it to say that life is better than death, and we should all do what we can to prolong it. But when is “what we can” too much? The old standard was pretty clear: we should provide ordinary means like food and water, but we are under no moral obligation to provide extraordinary means that only modern technology makes possible.
This seems like a reasonable standard, one that needs to be revived. As for those who say that money should be no object when it comes to preserving the life of another, I say: false. Money is a proxy for property, which in turn is about quality of life. No one has a right to another’s fortune, even if it is confiscated in the interest of prolonging life as long as possible.
Ask yourself this question: Would you rather live an additional two years on this earth, in a state of near unconsciousness, hooked up and doted on by professionals, inconveniencing your entire family and spreading waves of maudlin suffering everywhere, or pass $500,000 on to your children so their children can have a head start in life?
It’s a pretty easy decision. The problem is that it won’t be up to you. The choice to keep you alive by machines will be the decision of others, namely your children. And they will probably be too fearful or too intimidated by experts — and often the law itself intervenes — to make the right choice to let you die naturally.
For some very strange reason — and even though death has been going on a very long time — the current generation can’t seem to come to terms with the fact that we will all die at some point. If we have the choice either to go gracefully and leave something for those who follow us, or to die grimly while imposing enormous costs on those around us, we should choose the former route. Everything about the current system is designed to make our deaths as grim and expensive as possible. That really does need some rethinking.
Life is a game with winners and losers. Any loser must have the right to get out of the game, to cut his losses short. Any person must have the right to die peacefully, and under circumstances of his own choosing. The State should not stop his exit to the other side. His body belongs to himself, not to the State.
Millions of people wish to die, but governments refuse to let them go to the other side. Whose body is it anyhow, yours or your government’s? Adding insult to denial, people who want to die are sent to a psychotherapist, instead of a euthanasia center! But many sick people, old people, inmates, and people who cannot support themselves demand euthanasia now. Moreover, their departure could save society trillions of euros in health care, retirement benefits, welfare, and jails. Socrates was given a clear choice, exile or euthanasia; he chose euthanasia. We are all entitled to the choice of euthanasia.
Medical advances have created longer lives and sometimes, ironically, longer and more torturous deaths. The World Federation of Right to Die Societies is aware of the increasing concern to many individuals over their right to die with dignity. Believing in the rights and freedom of all persons, they affirm this right to die with dignity, meaning in peace and without suffering.
Churches oppose euthanasia, because they want more believers and more income. Moreover, suffering tends to lead people to religion. Governments oppose euthanasia, because they want more subjects, more taxpayers, more slaves, and more victims. Government is the #1 enemy of the people and the source of most misery. Most kleptocrats are harmglads and sadomasochists.
All competent adults – regardless of their nationalities, professions, religious beliefs, and ethical and political views – who are suffering unbearably from incurable illnesses should have the possibility of various choices at the end of their life. Death is unavoidable. We strongly believe that the manner and time of dying should be left to the decision of the individual. The voluntarily expressed will of individuals, once they are fully informed of their diagnosis, prognosis and available means of relief, should be respected by all concerned as an expression of intrinsic human rights.
I declare euthanasia is a rite of life and should be celebrated with a ritual. All countries should legalize the right to euthanasia. Euthanasia is now lawful in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Albania, Oregon, Washington, and Quebec.
The most popular euthanasia substance on the market is Nembutal, an acronym for Na (sodium) + ethyl + methyl + butyl + al (common suffix for barbiturates). Most people buy pills of Nembutal, the peaceful pills, on internet. However, Dignitas uses an oral dose of an anti-emetic drug, followed approximately 30 minutes later by a lethal overdose of 15 grams of powdered nembutal dissolved in a glass of water or fruit juice.
The nembutal overdose depresses the central nervous system, causing the person to become drowsy and fall asleep within 10 minutes of taking it. Anaesthesia progresses to coma as the person’s breathing becomes more shallow. Death is caused by respiratory arrest, which occurs within 30 minutes of ingesting the nembutal.
Levenseindekliniek, the end of life clinic, serves as a point of contact for all Dutch people who want to die. The clinic has mobile euthanasia teams, each consisting of a doctor and a nurse. When an individual qualifies for the program, a team makes a house call to inject two drugs. One puts the patient into a deep sleep, while the other stops all breathing, leading to death.
Many medical advances are merely medicine gone mad, delivered by maddocs, maddog doctors who cannot face failure. Quality of life can disappear under a forest of needles, wires, electronic gadgets and surgical proceedures. There are myriads dying trapped in hospitals waiting for useless tests when they want to be at home. Others in coma following accidents or strokes often linger for months, hovering in that twilight zone between life and death, sustained by massive effort even when there is no hope of meaningful future existence.
The limits of life are constantly expanding, without regard for the well-being or will of the patient. In some emergency rooms, half of all admissions now come from nursing homes. If someone who is chronically ill has a heart attack or gets pneumonia there, the most sensible thing to do is to make sure that they don’t suffer, and to refrain from doing anything else. But this is all too rare. Instead, old people, who are dying, are torn out of their familiar surroundings, rushed off to hospital in an ambulance, resuscitated and given artificial respiration.
Many patients want their doctors to help them end their life with dignity, because they can no longer tolerate their suffering. There are situations in which it isn’t just ethically justified, but in which doctors have a duty to do this. There are myriad situations in which a doctor is called upon to relieve the suffering of someone who is severely ill, and in a hopeless situation, and to conduct this in the manner in which the patient wants. In this sense, the doctor should see assisted suicide as a kind of palliative measure.
In a spirit of compassion for all, every competent adult has the incontestable right to humankind’s ultimate civil and personal liberty, the right to die in a manner and at a time of his own choosing. Whereas modern medicine has brought great benefits to humanity, it cannot entirely solve the pain and distress of the dying process.
Kleptocrats oppose euthanasia, not for religulous reasons, but because they want many slaves around to pay taxes, with most of the loot finding its way to the secret offshore accounts of kleprocrats. Most Europeans want the establishment of euthanasia. Why a poor old guy who suffers from huge pain cannot escape from his misery to the other side?
The cost of State healthcare and insurance could be drastically reduced, if euthanasia were allowed. The summation of infinite costs for myriad diminishing returns add up to astronomical levels. Prolonging painful deaths at huge costs does not make any sense. Those toward the end of their lives are accounting for 90% of the total healthcare bill.
If we really are going to change how we spend money on health, it means we must change how we spend money on death. The growing traffic in death tourism is an indictment of a healthcare system that seems to incentivize everything except the peaceful death to which we all aspire. Let the people die in peace, and let society breathe in peace.
Live and Let Die (1973) is the eighth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Roger Moore as the fictional 007 agent James Bond. Euthanasia refers to the practice of ending a life in a painless manner, to live and let die. Euthanasia provides a way to relieve extreme pain, provides a way of relief when a person’s quality of life is low, frees up huge medical funds from diminishing returns on health to help other people, and is manifestation of selfownership. In active euthanasia, something is done to end the patient’s life; in passive euthanasia, something is not done that would have preserved the patient’s life.
Withholding food and fluid isn’t painful for those who are dying. Food deprivation provokes changes in metabolism that result in higher levels of ketones, chemicals produced when fats and fatty acids are converted into energy, leading to a mild sense of euphoria. However, administering nutrients and fluids artificially can potentially lead to medical complications and increase suffering for patients near the end of life.
You can diagnose dying people with diseases, plug them to tubes and treat as for as long as you want. Some people call that medical care. But when their condition dictates it, you need to understand that the organs are degenerating and it’s time to let them die.
THE LAST YEARS OF MY LIFE
By Basil Venitis
Gone are all the power years
Avoid now any strife
Shifting now slow gears
The last years of my life.
Life is a real game
Peace and prayer are now rife
Have accomplished my aim
The last years of my life.
Euthanasia is coming
Marching now with a fife
Thank you much for all the hugging
The last years of my life.
All alone and no wife
Looking back at my life
Wondering about afterlife
The last years of my life.