Ohio Man’s Shooting of Ailing Wife Raises Questions About ‘Mercy Killings’

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posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 12:15 AM
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www.nytimes.com...

This guy has my support.
It takes a real MAN to do what he did....to do what I am sure he promised his wife of 45 years he would do if something like this ever occurred.

I feel for him.....
I am sure prison or the prospect of it means nothing to him at this point. He is living inside a prison either way. The one inside his mind...One FAR more profound than any cell can ever be....
I will be sending some positive thoughts his way...



Prosecutors and judges have struggled to determine what level of punishment is appropriate in so-called mercy killings. Donna Cohen, a professor of aging and mental health at the University of South Florida who has studied the issue extensively, worries that, though such killings are rare now, their numbers could rise as baby boomers — who are more prone to depression than their parents’ generation — grow older and geriatric care lags behind.

Sentences have ranged from time served with probation and mental health treatment to, on rare occasions, life in prison. In March, a Washington State man accused of fatally shooting his wife told a judge his wife had an inoperable brain tumor and had begged him for several months to kill her. He is free without bail while prosecutors weigh charges.


I have a serious problem with people being sentenced to prison terms for these so-called "mercy killings". If it proven to be, in fact, without a shred of doubt, a "mercy killing" I say let them walk. What is it with this society and trying to continue life rather than being about quality of life?

I suppose I will never understand....
But then again, I have watched the elderly suffer...
I have taken care, day in and day out, of both my grandfather and my great uncle. I have seen the pain in their eyes and the agony of the loss of dignity that occurs when one must rely on others for every little thing. I have changed bandages on bed sores and listened to the screams of torment...I have been begged for mercy. I have been cursed and told to leave. I have been asked by another "just kill me".

In the case of my great uncle (who passed away about a month ago) I thought many times about a "mercy killing". He was a diabetic and I knew for a fact that I could "put him out" with ease. I even researched how much I would need online. I had many conversations with two people that I trust to the fullest extent...but in the end, nature took its course before I could make that decision. Looking back I wonder, why didn't I? Why did I watch that suffering, knowing that he wanted me to do it? There was no autopsy, no one would have been the wiser....Was I a coward? I wonder....
I watched as his feet, and then his legs, slowly turned black...He refused (when he was still in his "right mind") to have them amputated....He didn't want people to see him that way.
I changed bandages on bed sores that were beyond what I will describe here. The sights and smells sometimes nearly made me faint, but I did it....It was necessary. It is what family does.

In the end...I wish I had the guts this guy had...maybe I don't. Maybe I do, I just waited too long. It doesn't matter at this point...but I still think about it.

So what say you ATS? Should this guy be imprisoned? Should he walk?
What is your take on so-called "mercy killings"?




posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 12:28 AM
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I think Americans have too many guns for their own good.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 12:30 AM
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I think they need to strike some balance. I don't want to see a man in this position punished. My own wife has health issues that..well..someday we both dread where things could go.

Having said that... It doesn't seem like something in this modern age we can encourage in any way, either. There are far too many murders of convenience because a sick or dying spouse just isn't considerate enough to die quickly.
It's a real mess of an issue, IMO



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I think your one line response (violation of the T&C) has nothing to do with anything I just posted (another violation of the T&C)......I'm not really a "rules" type of guy, but if you are going to use the site...follow the guidelines or use another site...



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 12:39 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I will have to agree with you Wrabbit.
I just cannot see that, in this case, given he has no criminal history on top of things...that he should be punished.
I do, however, see your point...and have thought that as well. Many would just "get rid of" an ailing spouse and claim it to be "mercy" when indeed, sometimes it might not be the case.

It really is a mess. It is sad really.
This case isn't really a good example, but I think in many case (terminal illness) these type "killings" are a by-product of our politically correct society being against "self-termination".

I have already vowed....if that is the case for me..I will be delivering the round to my own skull (if at all possible) while I still can....I know my great uncle wanted to, but in the end...just wasn't able to even do that. He asked for a gun many times...my cousin was bringing him one before he came to live with me (right when he first got really sick) but crashed his car because he said he had to get drunk (yeah I know, drinking and driving...wasn't me though) just to bear to do it...but couldn't bear to tell him no.

But I suppose that is a conversation for another time....



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 12:50 AM
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reply to post by Jakal26
 

Well, it seems linked and related enough, especially when you are the OP.


I thought about this a bit....and there is one way to at least mitigate this if the nation could ever sit down and have an honest and blunt discussion about end stages of illness and how individual rights ought to determine what decisions we make. My only hang up is the abuse angle.... So...

Assuming society gets a little more willing to drop pretenses and talk...then it occurred to me, things like Wills and Trusts are currently something that can be recorded with the County here, at least in the places I've lived. If ensuring the will of the ill is clear and that is the sole factor, why not draw up some new document that would require notary and witness just like a will, with recording at the county? No questions about what happened, why or by who then.

I know..it could still be abused as wills are sometimes abused today, but it would at least leave men like your story is about, out of the criminal justice system for the ultimate act of love, kindness and mercy to someone he cared the most for in life.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 12:57 AM
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reply to post by Jakal26
 


I want to go on the record here.

I would shoot my ailing wife in a heart beat.
All she has to do is say the word.
Probably wouldn't even get it completely out of her mouth.
It would be tough no doubt but....I would man up and do what needed to be done.

I love you honey.


On an even more serious note,
The fact that this is even a discussion should tell you everything you need to know about just how far out of control our government is when it and it ALONE determines who is allowed to die and who is allowed to live in matters such as this.
edit on 24-8-2012 by Screwed because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 12:58 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
I think Americans have too many guns for their own good.



Ohhh Jesus tapdancing CHRIST!!!!
Not this again!!!!
Really?!?!?!



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 01:03 AM
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reply to post by Jakal26
 


I'm very much pro-voluntary euthanasia.

While this may be a slight digression - were a person to be provided with the means, capability and support to choose to end the suffering of their terminal illness, in many cases loved ones could be spared the trauma of a mercy killing.

Your account of your own experiences is a gut wrenching read - I'm not so sure how I'd cope with it.

It seems most Western nations don't want to have to deal with the topic of mercy killings/euthanasia and still consider it as murder.

The guy has my support as well.

This is the key area though....


If it proven to be, in fact, without a shred of doubt, a "mercy killing"....


edit on 24-8-2012 by Perhaps because: because



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 01:03 AM
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reply to post by Jakal26
 

Complain about my post, then, and let the staff decide whether or not I am in violation of the site terms and conditions.

In most civilized countries, a man would find it rather difficult to get hold of a gun and shoot his wife with it. In America, it's easy, so these things tend to happen. America is also a country with a long and unpleasant history of citizens taking the law into their own hands, and this is one more example of such an action. Another American going for his moment of tabloid killing-spree glory, and terrifying a roomful of intensive-care patients in the process.


The Aug. 4 shooting, coming just weeks after a gunman killed 12 people in Colorado, sent panic through the hospital ward that another rampage was under way. “I hear screaming out there,” a breathless nurse told an operator in a call to 911. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

What is 'off topic' is your suggestion that this incident has anything at all to do with the euthanasia debate.

edit on 24/8/12 by Astyanax because: to add quote from OP article.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I'm not getting into a gun control debate on this thread with you.
It isn't that hard to use some common sense...if he couldn't get a gun then he would use something else...ie a knife, a pillow to suffocate here...hell, he could use a thousand different things. If you can't apply enough common sense to see that then it is your problem, not mine.

You gun control junkies find any reason to inject your ignorance don't you?
WOW...

Agreed with screwed...."Jesus Tapdancing CHRIST!
Wake up and off your high horse you go....

I hope my comment here is deleted as well...it just detracts from the thread...it had NOTHING to do with the weapon used...



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 01:13 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I think that is a logical and reasonable idea Wrabbit.
It seems that in the western world many aren't ready for that discussion and don't find it necessary. Most simply cart their sick "old people" off to some nursing home and forget about them. They don't have to see and live it...they don't hear the screams of torment and look into those people's eyes when they ask "why are you doing this to me" because they can no longer understand what is going on...when they think YOU are the one "abusing" them. They won't understand because they don't want to.

So many fear death to the max....and because of that, logical and serious discussion about it is not on the table. They have the out of sight out of mind mentality and would rather just shut it out and pretend it isn't there at all.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 01:18 AM
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reply to post by Jakal26
 


I'm not getting into a gun control debate on this thread with you.

That's fine by me. There is nothing to debate. I have made my statement, and there it stands.


if he couldn't get a gun then he would use something else...ie a knife, a pillow to suffocate here...hell, he could use a thousand different things. If you can't apply enough common sense to see that then it is your problem, not mine.

He could, but he'd miss all that lovely noise and fuss and mess, wouldn't he? Where's the fun in that? Where's the tabloid exposure? Where's that glorious moment on network television when he walks to the police car through the boil of flashing cameras and reaching microphones, handcuffed and exalted, amongst his official bodyguard of stern but grudgingly respectful-looking cops, his American dream of celebrity and fortune come true at last?

edit on 24/8/12 by Astyanax because: some people don't even begin to get it.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 01:22 AM
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reply to post by Perhaps
 


I agree...it would have to be a very clear cut case of "that is what they wanted" and it wasn't just to get rid of the spouse (or loved one) and that is a slippery slope.

When it comes to how would one deal with it?
You just do it...you don't think about it...you just do it because it is the right thing to do. I am from a very community and family oriented region of the country (the appalachian mountains...."the country" many call it) and here, we don't just cart off our loved ones to some nursing home. We do what it takes and what is necessary to make their last days comfortable as we possibly can.
The worst part....the doctors didn't even have him on pain meds (besides Ultram) until the last 2 months. I called and called and complained and yelled and screamed and did everything I could before I finally had to literally threaten people (I did NOT want to do that btw) before I got my point across and they put him on a time-released pain patch....so for 3 months, I listened to screams of terror....I watched what used to be one that others said was a "badass" old moonshiner from the old days cry like a baby....I did what I could to minimize that and help with the pain but I cannot discuss that here because it is a violation of the T&C I would imagine. But let's just say that I went to some of the grimier neighborhoods around to "help him out"...

I agree with your "self-termination" position as well and that is one of the points I was kind of hoping to bring up in this thread. I just don't understand a society that won't allow such a thing. I don't understand how it is anyone's business and I don't understand why doctors would rather continue life rather than aid in "termination" if there is no quality of life (well yeah, I do...MONEY)

Like I said though, if I happen to be going out that way...I have vowed that I won't lay in my own puss and vomit and defecation...I won't put my wife through that. I will put one in my own skull in a heart beat when I get to a point where I cannot care for and manage myself (if I am able..sometimes things happen and one might not be able though) Hope that never happens.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 01:28 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Jakal26
 



if he couldn't get a gun then he would use something else...ie a knife, a pillow to suffocate here...hell, he could use a thousand different things. If you can't apply enough common sense to see that then it is your problem, not mine.

He could, but he'd miss all that lovely noise and fuss and mess, wouldn't he? Where's the fun in that? Where's the tabloid exposure? Where's that glorious moment on network television when he walks to the police car through the boil of flashing cameras and reaching microphones, handcuffed and exalted, amongst his official bodyguard of stern but grudgingly respectful-looking cops, his American dream of celebrity and fortune come true at last?


You seriously have a very warped view of the world and I am positive with your statements here that you would have no idea what it is like to watch another die in such a horrible fashion.
I will no longer feed your negative, ignorant thoughts. You're either trolling or just have no idea what you are talking about. Plain and simple....

And no, the euthanasia debate isn't off topic at all. Given that I brought it up in the OP (but I doubt you would know that because in your has to post your gun control rhetoric here you probably didn't read beyond the headline and first few lines) it is not off topic. The OP dictates the conversation with the OP...that is how it works...

Just talk to yourself if you post anymore...I'm done with you!



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 02:06 AM
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All being fair and just, I do agree with this sort of “mercy killing”. Maybe not with a gun or a knife. I think an over dose on morphine is a better method. Painless and dignified. Guns or other violent means are a bit messy and somewhat disrespectful. But it’s hugely open to abuse, and will be abused by some for financial gain and the like. For that reason I can’t see it becoming legal, unless hugely regulated probably to the extent that it’d be nearly impossible to be granted permission to do so legally.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 02:26 AM
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reply to post by BlindBastards
 


I agree. Shooting the person is a bit messy but I can rationalize the reasons for it in this case and some others when people don't feel they have another option. Like the article said, I believe the guy was going to shoot himself as well but it is claimed that the gun jammed after one shot. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't...I would have no way of knowing that. But I "get it"...I can see how he thought that was the only way, or maybe even the "best" most assured way.

Like I said in the OP...when it came to my great uncle, I spent quite a bit of time trying to decide if I was going to "mercy kill" him. When I finally decided that I was going to do it, I bet you I went through a thousand different methods in my mind...I researched quite a few of those. I knew I couldn't shoot him (I have seen gunshot victims, not just once either) and knew I didn't want it to be that way (I have family that live with me...my wife and my crippled father as well) I couldn't put them through that and didn't want to go to prison for it anyways. In the end I thought I could do it with the insulin...I spent a lot of time researching the amount I would need (he was on humalog insulin pens) I discovered that just a few pens would "put him out"...

I even went as far as trying to ask him repetitively "is this what you want"....he was, for the most part, out of his head a lot of the time...between the infection coursing through his body and the pain he really didn't know what I was trying to ask. One night when he was really bad off and his sugar was really low anyways, I decided I would ask one more time and then I would do it if he said yes or didn't say anything at all...The only way I wasn't going to was if he said no......I asked....4 times I asked....he did not respond....So I focused my mind and tried to ask him that way......I got a response that night. He said "not right now" but not verbally (and yeah, maybe my brain made that up...but I don't think so...I am not generally that type) so I let it go for about a week.....

I struggled with that day in and day out for a over 2 months....it was constantly on my mind. I couldn't sleep because I knew he was suffering...I sat with him and did everything I could....I fed him food I would put in a blender through a straw.....antibiotics, through a straw....anything he asked for I tried my best to get it for him (he didn't ask for much....watermelon...he LOVED watermelon)
I went to grimy neighborhoods and dealt with shady people to minimize his pain because, like I said...the doctors....(I don't want to get started on those &#^#&#**)@)

Anyways...I agree, it would be abused....
I don't know if there are any real solutions besides really looking into it before calling these people murderers....it isn't murder in my eyes. I asked devoutly religious relatives (only two and they are two I trust wouldn't have said anything even if I had done what I thought about....they respect others that way and see that "gray area" despite their faith) about the "murder" aspect.......It wasn't really about that to me though. I would have done it either way...but like I said, nature took its course and I was glad of that....though I will miss him, he lives within me....

I just feel for this guy....and others like this, in this situation, whether they do it or not. I feel for them because I have been placed in that position...not once but twice. My grandpa had cancer and nearly the same thing happened....bed sores on his back you could literally stick your entire fist in....able to see the spinal cord...horrible smells, having to keep incense lit 24/7......etc....other things I won't speak of here because they are too horrible to write....

I guess most, especially in the western world, haven't lived it...they speak from a cold place of no understanding....others understand without having to have lived it...
It is just a sad situation all around, but is one that needs to be addressed....whether people like to talk about death or not...it is a very real and natural part of life.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 02:28 AM
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reply to post by Jakal26
 


You seriously have a very warped view of the world

Is this because I think people who shoot their wives in hospital betray a craving for notoriety and celebrity?

Have you heard the phrase 'copycat killing'? Did you ever wonder what motivates the copycats? Did you ever wonder what motivates the dozens of innocents who pester the police with spurious confessions whenever a particularly gory or spectacular killing is under investigation? Did you even consider that serial killers who send teasing notes to the police, leave 'calling cards' behind at the scene of the crime and so forth, might be doing what they do at least partly because they relish the publicity?

Or did you decide that, just because this particular shooter has found a fresh PR angle to justify his gun-lust, he's somehow different from all the other tabloid- and TV-bedazzled crazies?


I am positive with your statements here that you would have no idea what it is like to watch another die in such a horrible fashion.

By shooting, or in the course of a terminal illness? I have seen the latter. Visited the patient most days of the week and was at his side when he finally checked in his ticket. I haven't seen the former, but I have witnessed the results almost immediately afterwards, more than once; I lived through a civil war. The terminal patient died more easily, less shockingly, and the proceedings that followed were decorous, not a messy public spectacle.


in your has to post your gun control rhetoric...

In your haste to post about my gun control rhetoric, you forgot to finish spelling haste.


My 'rhetoric', as you call it, was a simple, one-line statement of fact. But you're right; I didn't read the whole of your post. I read enough to get the gist of it, but as soon as I got to the sentimental stuff, I quit.


The OP dictates the conversation with the OP...that is how it works...

Look to the left of this panel, and you will see how long I have been a member of this site.


I'm done with you!

Not as long as you insist on having the last word.



edit on 24/8/12 by Astyanax because: of the last word,




posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 02:29 AM
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reply to post by BlindBastards
 


Euthanasia for patients with terminal illnesses, is legal in the Netherlands - why can't we be humane here in the states?

Personally, I believe that 2 factors are keeping it from being legal

- Money, as has already been stated by the OP, as you can't keep charging a corpse

- The religious nature of our society, and that taking one's own life is against "God's plan" for that person.



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 02:32 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


You're disgusting. You're trying to derail a thread on the ethics of taking another person's life to end their suffering from a terminal illness, by bringing up gun control.

Get out of this thread. It has nothing to do with guns, beyond being the vehicle used to kill another in the article posted by the OP to start off the debate. As the OP stated - there are a lot of ways to end life, and the tool used isn't the focus of this thread - it's on the ethics of "mercy killings".
edit on 24-8-2012 by Evil_Santa because: (no reason given)





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