An advocate for patients' rights says the doctors researching drugs to make assisted suicide, in their view, a more pleasant experience are treating their patients worse than animals.
Lonny Shavelson, a California doctor who earns most of his income as a photo journalist, runs a shop in California where he euthanizes human beings by request. Noting that many people who take the drugs experience uncomfortable and even painful deaths, he is now doing experiments on human beings to find a drug that offers a more bearable dying experience.
Attorney Rita Marker of the Patients Rights Council thinks the descriptions of the deaths of inmates who died of capital punishment are noteworthy here.
"People are finding that the very same drugs used for assisted suicide and up in Canada for straight-out euthanasia are the ones that were used for capital punishment," she reports. "There was just a big article on NPR about the fact that after getting these drugs, people actually die after they're gasping for air, and they're drowning in their own fluids."
And as Shavelson and others in the profession are trying different drug combinations on people so they can find the best life-ending cocktail, Marker points out that the research is not performed rats or pigs.
"They probably wouldn't because they'd probably say that's cruelty to animals," she reasons. "It's the sort of thing you wouldn't do to an animal. And then to sit there and document it and see how long it's taking -- it's just ghoulish."
The advocate for compassionate treatment and care for those who are most vulnerable adds that it sometimes takes days for a patient to die – far off from the quick and "pleasant" experience for which they had hoped when they requested assisted suicide.