Dr Oz: Dr. Keith Ablow Vs Montel Williams
Do you have the right to end your own life? It’s a controversial question that has been a hot topic in American medicine for the last three decades. Dr. Oz asked television personality Montel Williams, a chronic MS pain sufferer, to represent the opinion of those who believe we have a Right To Die.
Representing the opposite opinion was Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and contributor for Fox News. Dr. Ablow believes that the American government should not legalize suicide, calling it “a prescription in bad medicine.”
Dr. Keith Ablow: Don’t Legalize Euthanasia
He urged all doctors and the entire medical community to support prolonging patients’ lives and giving them hope for the future. He gave an example of the Netherlands, where the practice of Euthanasia is legal. There, he said, feelings of despair and hopelessness are as much of a motivator for suicidal patients as chronic pain might be.
Dr. Ablow believed that this puts doctors in the ethical quandary of attempting to determine whether a patient is depressed or actually ready to end their life due to a terminal condition.
Dr Oz: Dana’s Right To Die
Dana is a woman who has been suffering from chronic illness for a long time. She was once an athletic honor student and young mother of two kids. In her younger days, she was excited for the future.
But around 2003, she noticed she was having trouble grabbing things, like dishes in the kitchen. Doctors found she is suffering from Degenerative Nerve Disease and has since been confined to a wheelchair. Her movement is so limited that she cannot bathe herself, brush her teeth or even scratch an itch.
Dana said she is tired of pretending to be brave, and is exhausted both mentally and physically. She is especially tired of being told to appreciate what she does have by people who insist her life could be worse.
Does Dana Have a Right To Suicide?
Dana describes her daily life as “living in hell.” She is currently confined to her bed most of the time, and can’t enjoy spending time with her two children. Though her life expectancy in 2003 was three to five years, it has now been almost nine years since her diagnosis, and she feels like she stopped living a long time ago.
Though he hates seeing his mother in pain, Dana’s son Anthony does not want her to die. But her daughter has watched Dana suffer through these past several years, and she just wants her mother’s pain to end, if that is what Dana wants. She supports her mother’s desire to kill herself using a drug cocktail.
Dana told Dr. Oz that she would kill herself if that was an option. She has spent a lot of time thinking about it and believes that most people don’t understand what she is going through. She does not want to continue living like this.
Do you think Dana should have the right to take her own life, or not?