Saturday, April 23, 2022

Do unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness include the right to die and end horrible suffering?

The other day, I ranted to a retired veterinarian friend somewhat younger than I, with his own medical ails. I ranted that it is very strange to me that we put down suffering beloved pets, but it is murder to put down suffering beloved ones down. Instead, every effort is made to keep them alive, regardless of their suffering and the cost$. The longer they live, the more money the medical profession, hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and the pharmacy industries make, and the more money insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid and Obama Care pay, and the more families are left financially destitute. 

I said I hope I don't go out that way. I asked if he knew how I might find hemlock, for when the time comes? He nodded, said a doctor recently was found not guilty of murder, after he had prescribed Fentanyl to terminally ill patients. I nodded, said, back in the time of tribes, the very old pulled away from their tribe when it moved on, so as not to be a burden on the tribe. Then, nature had its way with them. My friend, nodded.

The American Declaration of Independence recognizes unalienable rights to life, liberty and pursuit happiness, and women, more or less, have the right to abortion, but under no circumstance does an American have the right to be helped to die and end his or her horrible suffering.

In that vein, some things that happened in the wake of Chapter 8: Street Law and the reluctant shaman Kari Dangler:

When I lived in Key West, t
wo journalists from The Guardian interviewed Kari and me for an article on Key West and other American cities making homeless people's lives miserable, to try to get them to move somewhere else. The Guardian journalists seemed smitten by Kari. They told me that when they went to the city's homeless shelter and told the shelter workers that they had interviewed Kari and me, the shelter shelter workers looked spooked and were reluctant to be interviewed in depth.

When I lived in Key West, I met a fellow, who had heard of me from someone else. Cory told me that when he wasn't doing a "real job", did video cam interviews of people he found interesting, which some day he might try to do something with and make some money in that way. 

Cory interviewed me several times at various outdoor locations, when I was homeless and sleeping nights in the Key West police station front lobby, because I was banned from the city's homeless shelter after publishing at my blog that homeless addicts, who kept using, would be better off dead, than to keep living in that way. The shelter manager said I was banned, because I had threatened to kill homeless people. 

In those interviews with Corey, I covered the physical and metaphysical waterfronts in Key West.

Corey also interviewed Kari. I wasn't there. I recall Corey telling me Kari was drunk and that made interviewing her more challenging. 

Like every homeless person I had known, Kari had a great deal of horrible psychic pain, and vodka muted it for her. 

My mother and father had muted their very great psychic pain with vodka, and nobody put them down, and arrested and put them in jail, for drinking in public, which happened to Kari and to lots of homeless people in Key West, where the national pastime is drinking and using legal and illegal drugs.

This morning brought this from Corey in my Facebook messenger, to which I responded.

So sorry to hear about Kari, Sloan. Maybe we should do something with her interview tape.

What might you have in mind? Based on my and a friend’s dreams about Kari , she is doing just fine, while we left behinds are still hoping for God, FEMA, the ACLU, Homeland Security, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, a rich uncle, or ET to make it all better for us.
Told a retired veterinarian friend the other day that we put down beloved pets when their suffering is beyond human help, but we throw the kitchen sink and huge sums of money at keeping our suffering beloved humans suffering even more, and that’s really fucked up. He said a doctor recently was found not guilty of murdering terminally ill patients he had prescribed fentanyl. 
I saw a very old man day before yesterday at urology oncology clinic, I was there for a check up only. Prostate radiation beam therapy had nearly killed me in early 2021. The very old man (I'm 80) needed assistance getting off a walker and using toilet. I hoped I didn't end up that way. 
It was my very fortunate privilege to know Kari, and it was my moral duty to use metaphysical means, not aware I was doing it, to put her down and end her suffering. I had done that twice before for people I loved, who suffered horribly. Ongoing, I grumble Kari did not take me with her.

When I lived in a trailer on an acre of wooded land - my "Walden" - on Little Torch Key, about a 40-minute drive up US 1 from Key West, I met a very interesting woman, with whom I had a brief fling. She had a 2-seater Harley Davidson, on which I rode a bit behind her. I called her "Biker Chick" on my blogs, after she turned a lot of people's lives upside down by publishing on the very popular "Coconut Telegraph" public forum, a recount of our fling and that she had been healed by "Sloan's angels" during the high point.

Biker Chick Facebook messaged me yesterday:
Sorry about Kari, I know you loved her and hope you're feeling better and beat cancer.

Thanks. Maybe the prostate cancer was defeated. PSA scores are good. Other parts of me wearing, or worn, out. Hope you are doing well.

Biker Chick
That is great news! I have terminal ovarian cancer but using RSO oil.
No chemo or medical treadmill. My doctor said I have about a year left. Deer Ed was so sweet to me when I over shared on the Coconut Telegraph.

Aw shit. I’m so sorry for you. My beloved niece went out that way in late 2020. Chemo didn’t even slow it down, and made her feel horrible. I think sometimes of finding hemlock, or similar.

Biker Chick
How are your daughters and grand babies? I hope you have some good dreams from Kari.

My daughters, their husbands and children seem to be doing well, I have good relationships with them. Have various medical ails and good I have Medicare and live in Bham where great med care abounds. A retired veterinarian friend told me yesterday of a terminally doctor being found not guilty of murdering his terminally ill patients he had prescribed fentanyl.

Biker Chick
Where can I get some fent? I am terminal and because I did not buy their chemo at $10k a month, they are now not letting me in Home Hospice.
I have stockpiled when it's time. I do not want to go out starving on a morphine drip for months. Come visit me in Indy. I stay alone. My son has his own place.
There are two comfy beds and it may be kinda fun company.

Long trips not in my horoscope. It’s all I can manage, getting through each day. Maybe someone you know knows a compassionate doctor. A friend told me last night that an ailing friend of his took about 15 Valium and a pint of Jack Daniels, and left peacefully.
I had called him bearing the unpleasant task of telling him about a dream a mutual friend had the night before, about him having spots on his lungs, and another mutual friend of ours and I were there, I had arrived on a Harley with a double seat - your Harley. The other friend said it was cancer. I didn't tell my friend the cancer part of the dream, when I called him. I said I hope he gets a chest X-ray. He said he has an appointment with his doctor soon and will get that done. He thanked me for the heads up. That your Harley was my transportation in that dream, and I had only just learned of your cancer, I figured my friend has lung cancer. He seems to have figured his own way out, when the time comes.

When I lived in Key West, I met a retired RN nurse, who had taken up writing novels, and we got to know each other somewhat, before she moved to West Palm Beach, where she could afford the rent. Key West rents were out of sight and rising. After she moved away, we had many discussions on Facebook, and she provided a lovely review for my previous book, A Southern Lawyer Who Became a Mystic, published by a Key West firm and available at Amazon in kindle.

Peggy Butler
I'm so sorry, Sloan. As I tried to comment at the end of your blog on her, I didn't know Kari had died. I hope your friend's dream about her in the afterlife is true, for she certainly deserved better than she got on this earth. So sad that she died without ever seeing her daughter again or knowing her grandchildren. I'm sorry for you, too, because I know you had a special soul relationship with Kari and I know you're hurting. I didn't know Kari, only saw her once at a city commission meeting, and no one can judge her for the life she lived. She certainly tried to stay within the law, but she just didn't stand a chance against law enforcement. If you recall, I wrote a scathing letter to the editor about all the tourists and locals, too, walking around with their open containers and never accosted by the police, but let a homeless person do it and they are in jail. I agree with you that it would be wrong to hope the homeless could drink themselves to death, but it was wrong for them to get arrested for it when no one else was being arrested for it unless he or she caused an altercation of some kind. I really hope that dream was true about her and that she is somewhere in another realm enjoying all those flowers around her little cottage. God bless you, Sloan.

Gloria's dream report:

I'm sitting, with my friend Kari, at a small table on a patio just outside of a door on the side of a charmingly beautiful small cottage. There are flowers all around - some in pots, some planted. The patio is made of large irregularly shaped, attractive, paving stones.  I comment on the loveliness of the patio and the house and ask her "How did you find this wonderful place"? Kari replies, "I had to leave where I was."  With her comment, I find myself suddenly stark awake.

Thank you, Peggy, from the bottom of my heart. The friend who had that dream about Kari and I then had dreams of Kari nudging me in things I’m dealing with. Kari seemed just fine in those dreams. It was me who was struggling to get on top of my business.  
Such as, although I offered quite a few times, our friends at Key West the Newspaper (, which rocked just about every conceivable boat in Key West and the Florida Keys, declined to investigate or have anything to do with Kari. I emailed them the post to which you responded, and they did not reply. And, while our mutual friend Sam Kaufman, Attorney at Law, and Key West City Commissioner, helped Kari sometimes after she was arrested by city police, as a city commissioner, he did nothing to try to stop city police from harassing her. And, our mutual friend and Key West mayor Teri Johnston, who actually met Kari, did not do anything to get city police to let up on her.
Yesterday, my longtime friend Gloria Reiser, who had that dream abut Kari at her cottage, told me she'd had a rough time with her sister earlier yesterday. Her sister is very big on church and so forth. She told Gloria she was going to die and burn in hell, because she did not attend church and know Jesus. Gloria told her she did not understand Jesus. I said that is true. The planet belongs to Jesus, he owns it, and if your sister, or you, knew the Jesus I know, both of you might not care for him . I think the Christians who are convinced only such as them die and go to heaven are doing to be surprised when they die and reach the other side.

Peggy Butler
You know, one of the big regrets of my life is that I told some classmates the same thing because they wouldn't attend a tent meeting where little Jackie Fletcher, aged 15, was preaching. I actually told them they were going to hell. We were all only around fourteen or fifteen at the time. I'd get up there every night and sing and play that piano, with Jackie saying his Amens a few feet from me and me, fantasizing that we were a team. Of course, every one knows what happened to little Jackie Fletcher, that gifted orator preacher at 15. He grew up to get a prostitute for one of well-known televangelists. I grew out of that holier than thou stage, thankfully, but I just hope none of those students were hurt by me. That woman should have grown out of her holier than thou stage years ago!

Sorry to see on your timeline of your daughter needing needing blood playlets. My beloved niece died of ovarian cancer in late 2000 after two rounds of chemotherapy didn't slow down the cancer a bit. The chemo made her feel awful. She died in horrible pain, screaming, until they doped her up so much she didn't scream. You are a retired RN and I imagine you saw your share, or more, of terminal patients in hospitals. In the past few days, I had different conversations with people about the stark, and bizarre, difference between putting down beloved pets, while doing all possible to extend beloved people's suffering. I think I will write about that contrast to the unalienable rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness, but not death, if that makes us happy.

Peggy Butler
Thank you, Sloan. Thankfully, Suzy isn't in pain and we're hopeful for her that the immunotherapy will work where the chemo failed. I was adamantly against chemo for years, until Suzy was airlifted to Tampa General last month. It has improved her condition, just hasn't gotten her into remission, as hoped. They use a combination of modes of treatment, more of a holistic approach along with the aggressive approach. Her sister Karen and I have been very impressed with the hospital and doctors. Tampa General truly is a different kind of place. And they've allowed and even encouraged her husband Brian to stay with her, which he does almost 24/7, just leaving to go back to the Airbnb his family got for him, to do laundry and cook her some favorite meals. Otherwise, he is right there and sleeps on a sofa in her room. We're all still hopeful that all the treatment combined will save my beautiful and wonderful Suzy! She was on duty at her position as hospice admitting nurse at the hospital here when her doctor called her to tell her to stop what she was doing and walk directly to the ER where they were waiting to give her a transfusion of platelets. At that time, her platelets were down to 15,000, and he told her if they had been 5000 less, she'd have been dead. They've been able to get them up considerably, but a far cry from the 150,000 we all need to prevent us from being ill. If Karen is a bone marrow match for her, it will be all over and she'll go on to live a healthy life, but we're not there, yet.

I'm so very sorry, Peggy, for Suzy, and for her loved ones. You know I lost a child to crib death, and it wrecked me, and eventually I emerged from it very changed. Yet that’s very different from watching your child be ravaged by cancer. I wished it was me, instead of my niece, in 2020. I hope Suzy does experience a remission, that lasts, and I’m glad she seems in good and caring hands now. And, I hope the cost$ are covered by insurance, and she and her loved ones are not ravaged financially because of something totally beyond their control. Amazing, in your truly deep distress, you are able to write to me about Kari’s passing. God bless you and Suzy.

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