This should bring together a bunch of interesting groups:
CNN.com – Man survives doctor-assisted suicide attempt – Mar 4, 2005
PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — A terminally ill cancer patient who tried to end his life with drugs prescribed under Oregon’s assisted-suicide law awoke three days later, alert and talkative, his wife said.
David Prueitt, who had lung cancer, took what was believed to be a fatal dose of a barbiturate prescribed by his doctor in January. He fell into a coma within minutes, but woke up three days later, said his wife Lynda Romig Prueitt.
Prueitt’s wife told The Oregonian newspaper that he asked, “Why am I not dead?”
Prueitt, 42, lived for two more weeks before dying of natural causes at his Estacada home, about 35 miles southeast of Portland.
Hmmm. I missed the class in pharmacology where we were told how to calculate predictably lethal doses of medicines. I’m not familiar with this Oregon law, and this isn’t an ED thing, so it’s off my scope for the most part.
Complications with doctor-assisted suicides are rare. In 2001, a patient took 37 hours to die after ingesting a lethal dose, and in 2003, a patient took 48 hours to die. Neither regained consciousness.
So, can a physician be successfully sued for a failed assisted suicide? A wrongful-life suit? Pain and suffering?
There’s an insurance company trying to figure out what to do right now. I’m betting they don’t know, either.