Brittany Maynard ended her life

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Ransom, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. Ransom

    Ransom Former Member

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  3. cynsleuth

    cynsleuth New Member

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    Oops it says Brittany Murphy...

    Sent from my LG-LG730 using Tapatalk
     
  4. PrimeSuspect

    PrimeSuspect New Member

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    Sorry ransom, it's Brittany Maynard . ( I read title and said, Hello, what's this then about B Murphy :) )

    Very sad to hear it came to this, but she did seem at peace with her decision. RIP Brittany Maynard.
     
  5. Ransom

    Ransom Former Member

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    Sorry about the wrong name. My bad. Have no clue how to "report" this thread to fix the title. :(
     
  6. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    On the bottom left of your post is a triangle with a ! in it. Click on that to have title changed.

     
  7. Ransom

    Ransom Former Member

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    Thank YOU so much. Didn't even notice that there. I was looking in the "old" place. HA
     
  8. nomoresorrow

    nomoresorrow New Member

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    R.I.P Brittany Maynard :rose:
     
  9. oh_gal

    oh_gal New Member

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    Sad that such a beautiful life ended so soon; happy for her that she died with peace, on her own terms.
     
  10. lilyet

    lilyet New Member

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    Rest in peace Brittany, praying for you and your loved ones.
     
  11. Disguiseduser0308

    Disguiseduser0308 New Member

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    After watching How to Die in Oregon (highly recommend no matter which side of the fence you're on), I gained perspective about death and our inability to control it. Thank you, Brittany, for sharing your struggle with the world and bringing awareness to the Death with Dignity laws. Fly high, Brittany! Rest in peace, dear angel.
     
  12. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    You're welcome. If you catch a title error within a few minutes you can go to 'edit post' and then 'go advanced', change the title, then hit 'save changes'.

     
  13. gregjrichards

    gregjrichards Well-Known Member

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    R.I.P Brittany I am so sorry you didn't get the chance to have the long happy life you deserved. Your husband and family are in my prayers.
     
  14. oh_gal

    oh_gal New Member

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    This post will surely show my ignorance on such things...but I'm guessing I'm not the only one wondering these things. How long does it take you to die from this type of procedure? I imagine you just fall asleep and stop breathing...but I can't help but think this might have been an agonizing thing for her family to stand by and watch happen. (I know...either way, it was going to be agonizing for them.)
     
  15. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    The brain tumor was a tragedy; how she chose to deal with it was not. Good for Ms. Maynard. Good for Oregon!
     
  16. Lulu14

    Lulu14 New Member

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    Rest in peace, courageous woman.
     
  17. MagicRose99

    MagicRose99 Watch out for my thorns!

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    I was wondering that myself. How is this procedure different from how States administer the death penalty?

    RIP Brittany - be at peace
     
  18. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    Execution by lethal injection takes typically about 10 min from the start of intravenously administered meds (referred to as "chemicals" in state laws and prison policies). The person is unconscious within seconds if the IV line is functioning properly. This is the same as a general anesthetic in the OR-- the person loses consciousness within seconds of the induction meds administered IV (not to be confused with sedation), and is apneic (unable to take a breath) seconds past losing consciousness. Induction meds are usually a combination of benzodiazepine, opioid, and propofol, plus a paralyzing agent (short acting, usually.) In general anesthetics, typically we administer a paralyzing agent also, to facilitate endotracheal intubation. The most common paralyzing agent in the OR is rocuronium (Zemuron), which will paralyze skeletal muscles (breathing muscles as well as arms, legs, etc) for about 25-40 min. In the OR, of course, we take over the task of breathing for the patient, using the mask and circuit on the anesthesia "gas" machine. We support blood pressure and heart rate, and once intubated, we "turn on" the anesthetic agents ("gas" + oxygen, and sometimes nitrous oxide).

    In a judicial execution, no one takes over the task of breathing for the inmate, once he/ she loses consciousness. Cardiac arrest follows respiratory arrest. Each state uses different meds, or a combination. The end result is the same. The process is not painful as long as the doses are administered properly, and in huge enough amounts to effect unconsciousness within seconds. Execution doses of anesthetic meds are typically 10 to 20 times what we would use for a "normal" anesthetic. (And they have back up syringes, usually, for a second dose if needed.) A few states have a protocol for intramuscular shots as a back up plan if the IV fails, etc, but I have a lot of issues about that. (I'll spare you the lecture!)

    Now, in compassionate end of life overdose, the meds prescribed are oral meds. Could be pills, or more effectively would be liquids, to speed absorption and onset, and ward off vomiting. State laws, as I understand them, require the terminally ill person to take them unassisted. I don't know for sure exactly which meds would be prescribed, but an enormous dose of highly concentrated opioids like dilaudid is most likely. ** Edited to add-- I'm wrong here! Secobarbital is the most commonly prescribed. See post #19 below for links. (Paralyzing drugs as used in general anesthetics would not "work" if administered orally, and these would not be used.)

    If taken on an empty stomach to facilitate rapid absorption and defer vomiting, I think it's reasonable to assume the person would become unconscious within something under 30 min, and possibly much faster, depending on their level of debilitation. There is typically no air hunger with an opioid overdose-- opioid overdose is usually quite comfortable and peaceful. No anxiety. (This is why we worry about pain meds in the hospital so much.)

    The person gently loses consciousness, and breathing becomes more shallow, breaths further apart. They will make snoring sounds if their airway is obstructed, which can often be relieved in a thinner person by simply tipping their head back. Once respiratory arrest has occurred (no further attempts to breathe), the heart will begin to go into fatal rhythm patterns. This is not noticed or painful by the dying person. Depending on the level of debilitation of the patient, and the health of their heart, this shouldn't take long-- maybe another 4-10 min. From my knowledge of anesthesia and meds, I'd think the whole process would be maybe 30-45 min at the most, and possibly a lot less.

    RIP Brittany. I'm glad she got to leave on her terms, in the arms of her loved ones.
     
  19. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    I thought I'd put in a recommendation for this new book, since the topic fits with this thread. I have the audible version on my phone for listening in the car, and am about half way thru it. Atul Gawande is a great author-- I love all his books. This newest one is just released Oct 7. It's a gread read (or listen!) for any interested.

    http://www.amazon.com/Being-Mortal-...8&qid=1415114576&sr=8-1&keywords=being+mortal
     
  20. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    Couple more links.

    This is from the website/ blog of the founder of the Hemlock Society. He's the author of "Final Exit", a book about assisted suicide first out in the 80's, and now in its 3rd edition. Humphrey says a barbiturate is commonly prescribed, not an opioid. (Barbs are faster. Pentothal, which we used in anesthetic inductions for decades, is no longer available for IV administration. I wasn't thinking about oral barbs.)

    http://www.amazon.com/Final-Exit-Practicalities-Self-Deliverance-Assisted/dp/0385336535

    http://assisted-dying.org/blog/2006/04/12/drugs-used-in-judicial-executions-and-assisted-suicide/

    http://www.finalexitnetwork.org/

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/742070_3

     
  21. Hiandmighty

    Hiandmighty Active Member

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    We are all going to die. This is a fact.

    Brittany was right when she said the medical establishment needs to get real (I'm paraphrasing obviously) about how it regards death. Death for all of us is inevitable.

    I'm glad she had the choice, though sad that she was required to use it-- and sad she had to move to a different state for the law.
     

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