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Ethics expert calls for psychoactive drugs (shrooms/mdma) to 'enhance' death

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  1. KomodoMK
    It might be termed the hallucinogenic way of death. Psychoactive drugs such as "magic mushrooms" could be used to enhance the experience of dying, according to an expert in medical ethics.

    Robin Mackenzie, director of medical law and ethics at the University of Kent, is to call today for people to be given more choice over how they die at a workshop in London organised by Exit International, an Australian organisation advocating voluntary euthanasia.

    Studies are underway into the effect of drugs including ecstasy and psilocybin in terminal cancer patients to ease the process of dying and encourage closer family bonding in the final hours. But there is widespread resistance to the use of psychedelic drugs.

    Ms Mackenzie said: "We have the technology to enhance the experience of dying. With neuroimaging [brain scans] we can measure the impact of different practices, such as meditation or drugs, which would allow us to orchestrate our dying, just as we choose the form of a funeral service."

    Interest in ecstasy has centred on its "empathogenic" effects, fostering a sense of well-being and warmth towards family and friends. It and psilocybin are also being investigated for their effect on anxiety in terminal conditions. A study at the University of Los Angeles is due to complete in December and research is also ongoing in Spain.

    Today's planned workshop is due to be hosted by Philip Nitschke, the Australian founder of Exit International, who has been nicknamed "Dr Death" for his DIY suicide kit. A similar workshop was banned in Bournemouth on Friday by the local authority.

    Dr Mackenzie said: "My research into the demedicalisation of dying suggests that there is a groundswell of people wanting to exercise choices in dying beyond euthanasia and palliative care options.

    "We are encouraged to manage our lives and managing our deaths could be part of that. I can see good reasons why doctors don't want to be involved. But that will increase the demand for self-help measures."

    Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-s...-calls-for-drugs-to-enhance-death-959300.html

    # By Jeremy Laurance
    # Monday, 13 October 2008

Comments

  1. Synesthesiac
    Terminally ill people should be given hallucinogenic drugs to 'enhance [...] dying'

    From the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/a...ugs-enhance-experience-dying-says-expert.html




    Terminally ill people should be given hallucinogenic drugs to 'enhance the experience of dying', says expert


    By Tammy Lovell
    Last updated at 1:50 PM on 13th October 2008


    A medical ethics expert has said hallucinogenic drugs could be used to enhance the experience of dying.

    The controversial suggestions include using ecstasy and 'magic mushrooms' to encourage closer bonding with family members and reduce anxiety in the final hours of life.

    Robin Mackenzie, director of medical law and ethics at the University of Kent, will speak out at a workshop in London today to call for people to be given more choice over how they die.




    [​IMG]



    Hallucinogenic death: Drugs such as magic mushrooms could be used to enhance the experience of dying according to Dr Robin Mackenzie
    Dr Mackenzie told the Independent newspaper: 'We have the technology to enhance the experience of dying.


    'With neuroimaging [brain scans] we can measure the impact of different practices, such as meditation or drugs, which would allow us to orchestrate our dying, just as we choose the form of a funeral service.'
    Research is being carried out into the effects of psilocybin - the drug found in magic mushrooms and ecstasy in terminal cancer patients.

    A study at the University of Los Angeles is due to complete in December and research is also being carried out in Spain. Today's workshop is being organised by Exit International, an Australian group which advocates voluntary euthanasia. It will be hosted by founder Philip Nitscke, who recently sparked outrage with plans to hold the first DIY suicide workshop in Britain.


    [​IMG]

    Controversial: 'Dr Death' Philip Nitschke will host a workshop about voluntary euthanasia in London toda.



    The euthanasia expert dubbed 'Dr Death' was banned from holding his workshop in a council-owned venue in Bournemouth at which he planned to show off his suicide kit.


    Dr Nitschke, 61, was the first doctor in the world to administer lethal injections to controversially end four patients' lives in Australia. He will hold another workshop in Bournemouth on Thursday this week. Councillor Pat Lewis, Bournemouth's council spokesman for elderly people, said she was 'extremely concerned' about the visit. 'It sounds like he will be giving the exact advice we don't want to give people. 'And why would he choose Bournemouth? The people and families concerned are the most vulnerable. It is very worrying indeed.'


    However Dr Mackenzie insists there is a demand for information about different methods of dying. She said: 'My research into the demedicalisation of dying suggests that there is a groundswell of people wanting to exercise choices in dying beyond euthanasia and palliative care options.


    'We are encouraged to manage our lives and managing our deaths could be part of that. I can see good reasons why doctors don't want to be involved. But that will increase the demand for self-help measures.'
  2. Panthers007
    Re: Terminally ill people should be given hallucinogenic drugs to 'enhance [...] dyin

    THE HUMAN ENCOUNTER WITH DEATH, Stanislav Grof, M.D. and Joan Halifax: For those interested in the use of psychedelics with the dying, this book is a must-read. Published in the early 1970's, it is the classic above-ground work on the subject. And for some time, was one of only two available. The other being THIS TIMELESS MOMENT by Laura Huxley - the daughter of Aldous Huxley who, at the wishes of Aldous as he lay nearth death, administered injections of LSD25.
  3. Wandering Buffalo
    Re: Terminally ill people should be given hallucinogenic drugs to 'enhance [...] dyin

    Very interesting. I've thought about this quite a bit... but not too much because I plan on going down fighting. Or skydiving with no parachute. That sorta thing. Cancer can't kill this!
  4. yaba
    There is the Peaceful Pill Handbook.. from the same doctor, he also designt a syringe drive connected to a lap top with three questions, the last one said if you press yes now you die in 15 seconds do you want to die ? This way terminally ill people could die with dignity.
    Swim works on a EMI unit (elderly mentally infirm) And takes a intrest in this kind of thing, for the right resons not the wrong ones !!

    Please note Swim doesn't believe in suicide, but in some cases of terminal illness swims opinion changes.. Swim seen some very ill and death people true his work. Swim knows how not to die...
  5. enquirewithin
    Yes, people should be able to die with dignity-- and high if they wish. Good to see such issues discussed in the mainstream press.
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