Posted by: Christine Johnson | June 4, 2007

Who Said It?

First quote:

Capital punishment as it exists today offers a golden opportunity to break…limits [on human experimentation] by introducing into the situation an involuntary factor without destroying the necessary safeguard of consent. I propose that a prisoner condemned to death by due process of law be allowed to submit, by his own free choice, to medical experimentation under complete anesthesia (at the time appointed for administering the penalty) as a form of execution in lieu of conventional methods.

Next quote:

Of course, capital punishment has always been rationalized as being “retribution” — allowing the condemned to “pay” with their lives. What nonsense! Payment means transfer of value. With execution there is no such thing; there is only total loss — and, of course, vengeance.

That no longer need be true. The fortuitous convergence of lethal injection and of our incredible success with organ transplantation promises to validate at least the erstwhile repayment. Many of the more than 1,200 men and women now crowding our states’ death rows are eager to suffer more meaningful death by donating vital organs to dying patients…Here finally, we have the opportunity to extract true payment — literal transfer of life from the condemned to the dying.

Quote number three:

Postwar analysis of Nazi experimentation on human beings seems to have been so excruciating that it blinded the civilized world to a very important point in the formulation of the Nuremberg Code. Nowhere in the code is there any reference to experimentation (under anesthesia) on those who chose and desire it as an act of atonement when condemned to death by due process of peacetime jurisprudence…In the United States where death rows are once again becoming over populated, all condemned persons should be allowed to choose to submit to experimentation, or to organ donation, under strictly controlled anesthesia before ultimate death by lethal thiopental injection.

Quote four:

The so-called Nuremberg Code and all its derivatives completely ignore the extraordinary opportunities for terminal experimentation on humans facing imminent and inevitable death…[including] the extraction of medical benefit from the process of judicial execution from those dying of irremediable illness or trauma and from suicide mandated by inflexible religious or philosophical principles or by irrevocable personal choice. Other potential subjects include comatose, brain dead, or totally incapacitated individuals as well as live fetuses in or out of the womb.

Fifth quote:

I feel it is only decent and fair to explain my ultimate aim….It is not simply to help suffering and doomed persons kill themselves—that is merely the first step, an early distasteful professional obligation (now called medicide) that nobody in his or her right mind could savor. [W]hat I find most satisfying is the prospect of making possible the performance of invaluable experiments or other beneficial medical acts under conditions that this first unpleasant step can help establish—in a word obitiatry.

Last one:

If we are ever to penetrate the mystery of death—even superficially—it will have to be through obitiatry. Research using cultured cells and tissues and live animals may yield objective biological data, and eventually perhaps even some clues about the essence of mere vitality or existence. But knowledge about the essence of human death will of necessity require insight into the nature of the unique awareness of or consciousness that characterizes cognitive human life. That is possible only through obitiatric research on living human bodies, and most likely centering on the nervous system…on anesthetized subjects [to] pinpoint the exact onset of extinction of an unknown cognitive mechanism that energizes life.

Know who said it? The same person who is spoken of in these terms elsewhere.

This page says “[H]e is about compassion, choice and dignity. He is a brilliant, caring doctor with honesty, courage, and integrity. His recent conviction on second degree murder is a step backwards and an inhuman decision for the suffering and dying around the world.”

This article has the following quote:

“I’m relieved that he’s getting out of prison, I of course never felt that he should have been in prison to begin with.”

This article has the following quote:

“We don’t think it’s fair that they made it a criminal penalty for what he was doing,” said Pam Hawley of Fort White, Fla., who was visiting family in Coldwater and came to the prison to show her support. “He’s a compassionate, caring man and we need to change our laws.”

And the same article has comments from readers which include these gems:

** “[He] is a true American hero standing up for what is the right of every human being.”

** “If we have a dying pet who cannot verbally express their desires to us and we make the decision to have the pet euthanized then it is called being compassionate and we are ridiculed and called selfish by society of we do not end this life. But if we have a loved one terminally ill and living a painful existence who can express their desire to be free of this life, then it is called murder. I do not understand why we should be denied making this decision.”

By now I’m sure you know who we’re talking about, right?

Isn’t it sad how we think of animals as equal to human beings in every way? And how euthanizing a cat or dog isn’t any different than euthanizing Grandma or Grandpa? Sick and sad.

Pray for the soul of Dr. Kevorkian and all his supporters. And pray for the souls of the more than 100 people he helped to kill. May God have mercy on the souls of them all.

[First set of quotes are from this article at NRO. Head over to read the whole article written by the brilliant Welsey J. Smith.]

UPDATE: Smith himself linked to his article and made further comments here. I think I’ll be adding him to my blogroll, which needs some tweaking.

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