Myth Buster: Assisted Suicide is Not a Rapid or Peaceful Death
While doing my research in Europe, some stats came out of Netherlands indicating a relatively higher failure rate than publicly indicated by advocates. There were mixed numbers ranging between 25-72% often based on eyewitness reports as opposed to gov’t official stats. With intake of sufficient quantities to cause death of anything poison to the system, there is almost always some kind of rejection reaction by the body, regardless of personal intention (regurgitation, anaphylaxis, etc.). It is uncontrollable for the most part. It is a physiological norm to sustain life by the body, to rid itself of what causes damage. The act of inducing death “prematurely” may not be seen as a violent act by some definitions of violence. But the body reacts to reject the forced destruction of itself. Thus PAS is a violent act in a physiological definition of trauma.
I think for PAS advocates, wishful melodrama takes charge instead of reality. Deaths by poisoning are not as often devoid of trauma than they profess. Natural death has a far greater chance of peaceful passing, but that is not what is depicted in movies and TV shows. Drama sells publicity. Hence the desire to avoid the pain of death is misdirected and inaccurate.
Philosophical note: why they chose Hemlock as an inspiration is not clear unless they look up to Socrates (probably the most famous death by Hemlock), and that was a court ordered execution, not his choice. Hemlock ingestion deaths are often ugly and fraught with regurgitation, and not always immediate. Usually the death is by asphyxiation on regurgitation from the rejection reaction. Bad news.
Deacon Bill Gallerizzo