Euthanasia: Last Stop for Depression?
Originally published on KellyBroganMD.com.
If you felt like you were being aggressively and relentlessly chased by a menacing stranger, then as you approach the edge, jumping off of a cliff might seem like your only option. But what if the person chasing you was trying to tell you something you needed to know?
What if you completely misunderstood the circumstances leading to your fear and act of self-sacrifice. What if there was another version of the story that, had you known it, could have shifted you immediately into a space of relief, gratitude, and clarity.
The Story of Mental Illness: Dependency, Struggle, and Hopelessness
Millions of people, the world over have bought into a story of mental illness. That it is an inherited disease, a chemical imbalance, that they will struggle with for life, requiring active pharmaceutical management as the only legitimate treatment option.
As these people bump up against the glass ceiling of conventional treatment, they may learn, first hand, that there is no magic pill, as they encounter the bind of limited efficacy coupled with an inability to easily discontinue medication. Patients are labeled “treatment resistant” when medication after medication inexplicably fails sending them, repeatedly, through the revolving door of the hospital system. They are stripped of their civil liberties, mandated treatment, and even injected against their will like my patient Robin.
Is this just the nature of mental illness?
Do these tragic situations sometimes warrant the compassion and dignity of physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia?
You heard me right.
I’m about to tell you about a place on this planet where euthanasia is offered to those with a diagnosis of mental or behavioral disorders.
124 Flames Extinguished
Presented to Parliament on October 7th, the biennial report from Belgium’s Federal Commission on the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia confirms that 124 of the 3,950 euthanasia cases in Belgium involved persons diagnosed with a “mental and behavioral disorder” from 2014-2015. Lethal injections were administered, upon the request of 5 non-terminally ill people with schizophrenia, 5 with autism, 8 with bipolar disorder, 29 with dementia, and 39 with depression, according to the report.
Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 for patient suffering “unbearably” from terminal or non-terminal conditions that are considered “untreatable”. Accordingly, requests may be fulfilled within one month.
What if they knew there was another way?
I used to believe in euthanasia.
I thought it was short-sighted and cruel to force people to endure their tragically slow decline in health simply for the sake of appearances. To support the commitment that conventional medicine upholds to “never quit.” Are people meant to be kept alive at all costs?
I used to think they should be allowed to die, with dignity, if their condition was hopeless.
If their condition was hopeless.
This is the operative term.
Now, with my awareness of documented cases of spontaneous remission, my knowledge of radically transformative healing paths, my work with Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez and his long-term care for the terminally ill, and my own cases of total reversal of mental illness diagnoses within the space of months, I no longer believe anything is hopeless.
With the right tools and the right mindset, the body is capable of negentropic feats of healing.
The failures of psychiatry are only a source of hopelessness if you don’t believe there’s another version of the story, another way, and a deep meaning to your struggle.
Help me spread the word that radical healing is possible, safe, and accessible. Here are two tools you can use today to heal your body and free your mind.
A Mind of Your Own– The science and support for my approach to non-drug treatment of depression
Vital Mind Reset– The companion 44 day online community healing program
For evidence-based information on depression, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard.
Dr. Brogan is boarded in Psychiatry/Psychosomatic Medicine/Reproductive Psychiatry and Integrative Holistic Medicine, and practices Functional Medicine, a root-cause approach to illness as a manifestation of multiple-interrelated systems. After studying Cognitive Neuroscience at M.I.T., and receiving her M.D. from Cornell University, she completed her residency and fellowship at Bellevue/NYU. She is one of the nation’s only physicians with perinatal psychiatric training who takes a holistic evidence-based approach in the care of patients with a focus on environmental medicine and nutrition. She is also a mom of two, and an active supporter of women’s birth experience. She is the Medical Director for Fearless Parent, and an advisory board member for GreenMedInfo.com. Visit her website.