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T50 Project: The Mental Health Affairs Euthanasia Program

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Eu·tha·na·sia, is the painless killing of a patient suffering from chronic unresolved and intolerable illness.

People who know me very well probably knew that this post was coming for a long time. I don’t believe in suicide, and I don’t like to see people suffering. People should be able to live free of pain and discomfort. 

The devastating impact of intramuscular injection- IM) to treat my schizophrenia diagnosis over the last ten years has wreaked havoc on my body and health.  

The impact on my metabolic rate has been staggering. I have gained over a hundred pounds, and I now have diabetes. Any further damage to major organs or systems in my body would be catastrophic and leave me at a quality of life lower than I would choose for myself if left to a natural passing.

Given all the possible complications that can interrupt a peaceful passing, I believe in state-assisted suicide or adult euthanasia. 

I don’t think the government should walk around and decide who dies and lives. Instead, while people retain mental capacity, I think they should make personal decisions around quality of life. I know from my own experience, and I’ve been in such pain and confusion-such as extreme agitation that it would’ve been easier and less painful to let go and accept death. Resuscitation and CPR are even more confusing and disturbing for people in distress.

So when I think of Special Projects and enter into the conversation of end-of-life and transitional life care, this ethical dilemma is deferring the patient’s wish comes at the quality of life of the medical patient (the person resuscitated). My final solution in palliative decision-making and authority over the body is euthanasia.

We need a government-sponsored adult euthanasia program. 

The reality is that by ignoring the enormity of the pain and agony and human suffering and making decisions that take away a person’s choice to move forward in their transition. Why not be humane in our most profound beliefs and government practices?

Termed the ‘T-50’: We must devise policy after an open discussion around trauma-informed practices for deploying adult euthanasia in all 50 states. Either way, this entire conversation is too often avoided in mental health circles. You have to wonder, does everybody think their life will always go according to plan? Can we at least talk without shame and taboo smoke screens for those who don’t?

People think that they’re always going to be able to recover. It is a lot more complicated than that, though. When you’ve experienced contemplating this idea of the quality of life so often, you have a perfect view of what you demand from your reality or health

For example, for me and my preferences, further loss of airway restriction because of additional weight gain will have serious health ramifications for my preexisting conditions. In the event of x,y.z, I have several plans for life preservation for my doctors. Why shouldn’t the government only facilitate the transition process if we won’t ever recover? 

If my only option for living is an extremely unhealthy state… 

THEN Sign me out right now!

I’m not suggesting eliminating the medical industry from the dyeing process. I am not saying removing ventured interests from investing in our program, operating its machinery, or the labor force to keep it going.

We must regulate every industry involved in the final solution to maintain a standard operating apparatus. After all, if our culture rejects or demands the strength to bring it into being. The plan at least needs to answer to regulations and other ethical and moral meters-sticks for professional conduct. 

About the Author

J. Peters

Max Guttman is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice in New York City. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist, and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a ‘2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10’ award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association.

Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes about his lived experiences with schizophrenia.

‘I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery,’ Guttman says. ‘After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my ‘break,’ I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others.’

‘In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity, and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and Recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients.’

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