Another drawback of slow euthanasia is the restriction on the range of drugs that a doctor might use to help a person die. The doctor’s defense must be that they were treating the patient’s pain (as opposed to causing death). This is why a pain-relieving drug like morphine must be used.
A doctor could not, for example, administer a large dose of a barbiturate. While a barbiturate might provide the most peaceful and quickest death, barbiturates are not pain-relieving drugs. A claim that a barbiturate was being used to treat pain makes no sense.
The use of morphine by doctors to end life has led to the common community misconception that the best drug to use to end a person’s life is morphine - it must be. That’s the drug that doctors use! This unfortunate misunderstanding leads to many failed suicide attempts.
‘Double M’ Therapy
For a person to die of a medically-administered morphine overdose, the process must be slow. Indeed, slow euthanasia can often take days or even weeks. Often the patient is given a sedative that keeps them asleep through the whole process; midazolam is the drug of choice.
Coupled with morphine, this morphine - midazolam mix (known as ‘Double M’ therapy) places the patient in an induced coma for the time needed to raise the morphine level sufficiently. Double M therapy allows the patient to sleep through their own death and gives rise to another name for the process - ‘pharmacological oblivion.’