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August 4th, 2010
01:07 PM ET

Selfless Sacrifice...or Assisted Suicide?

Garry Phebus, 61, is dying of ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's disease. He wants to end his life prematurely so his organs can be harvested while they are still healthy. It is a noble gesture, but one the medical profession cannot honor. CNN's Don Lemon speaks with Phebus, his daughter, and medical ethicist Arthur Caplan about the moral dilemma posed by Phebus' unorthodox request.

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Don Lemon
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Ray

    I wish people would understand that there comes a point in time when quality of life is no longer there, when that ends the pain and suffering begins not only for the individual in question but their entire family. I'm 57 and my health is deteriorating by the day. The pain is so bad at times that just laying down doing nothing is extremely painful. There is no surgery that can fix it only prolong the pain and suffering. I do not wish to end up in a bed, drugged up so bad for the pain that I don't even realize that my family is there. If a soldier throws his body on a gernade to save his fellow soldier and gives his life for him, then he is a hero, decorated and celebrated by all, and to do what this gentleman would like to do, that could save many is wrong and considered suicide. The laws in this country are made by politicans, the same people who campaign one thing and do another, who are they to say that what this man wishs to do, the sacrifice that he wishs to make for others so that they may live is wrong. The laws in this country need to change. This man should be allowed to do what he feels in his heart is right, and should not be made to suffer until he dies.

    August 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  2. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    This guy has lost his will to live and is afraid of a slow and painful death maybe he should do some of the things that use to make him happy and take advantage of the time he has left .

    August 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  3. Marty Murray

    The other thing Gary or anyone else in this position should do is look into healing himself.

    Any sick person can heal. It just takes awareness and determination.

    August 5, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  4. June Clendening

    This gentleman has one last wish that as his life ends, he can give life to another. I'll bet this man has given to others all his life and to deny him his last wish denies him peace and takes away from those making the final denial.

    August 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  5. Chuck


    I don't Twitter, hence my email to you re: Michelle Obama. Shame on her for flying to Spain for her vacation with how many other friends of hers? You mentioned today on Rick's List that the Frist Lady is flying to Spain on AIR FORCE 2 and that's wrong. Air Force 2 is the Vice President's plane and Michelle is NOT the Vice President yet. She's still just the First Lady. I don't think that they assign a # to the plane that the First Lady flies on, but it wouldn't be Air Force 2. Thank you.

    August 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  6. grace sette

    hi don,
    michelle obama and daughter deserve a vacation. too much adoo about nothing. on a personal note, i enjoy rick sanchez but is it necessary for him to do 3 hours on cnn. do you have another position besides the one you do for cnn. you ara a terrific journalist, continue what you are doing.

    August 6, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  7. jerry

    this is the most discusting topic that is out there assisted suiside please give me a break this guy should be charged with murder

    August 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm |