At Sat, 23 Sep 2000, Bernie and Beverly Doucette wrote:
You know Chrissy,
It is interesting that you should mention Jack Kavorkian.
I do not intend the following to be a downer; but at times we will be exposed to some very heart wrenching information that may offer us some food for thought.......
I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to one of his assisted suicide patients; and, out of respect for her, maybe her death will not have been in vain; but can help us to understand that what we are dealing here in the International Adhesion Society is as important and devastingly destructive to our lives as any other known debilitating disease in the world! Please take a moment in memory of Marjorie Wantz, who died October 23, 1991.
 In Memory of Marjorie Lee Wantz, age 58, from Sodus, Michigan:
Marjorie was a former elementary school teaching assistant on disability. She had unexplained and untreatable vaginal pain. Marjorie Wantz had a long history of depression and other psychiatric problems. She died by lethal injection in a double suicide in a cabin in Oakland County's Bald Mountain Recreation Area. An autopsy found nothing that could have caused the pain, which Wantz described. Wantz was married.
( There is a photo of Marjorie at this web site:
The second " client " of Dr. Jack Kavorkian was a 58 year old female named, Marjorie Wantz, of Orange County Michigan...who suffered for years with undiagnosable chronic pelvic pain! When Dr. L.J. Dragovic, pathologist of that county, performed her autopsy...he found no abnormal pathology that would offer a basis for her complaints of pain. This pathologist stated that there was NO anatomical evidence of disease at all in her body!!
He also said that she constantly " insisted " she was suffering from some form of pelvic pain; and despite SEVERAL operations, she claimed no relief!! All she was complaining about was unsubstantiated pelvic pain!
( Bev's comment.......May Marjorie rest in peace as she is out of pain now - but so am I. If only she had had a support group like the International Adhesions Society to have contacted back then, agree? )
( Bev's comment.......Let's look at Majorie's fight with her " chronic pelvic pain. " It may help us understand her thoughts of wanting assisted suicide...)
Please start here:
KEVORKIAN'S KNOWN VICTIMS:
Date - Name - Age - From
1. 06/04/90 Janet Adkins 54 OR
2. 10/23/91 Marjorie Wantz 58 MI
INTERVIEW WITH ARTHUR CAPLAN, PH.D.
Q: How is the Marjorie Wantz case different from Sherry Miller's.
A: Miller suffered from MS.
Caplan: The Wantz case takes us into an area that I don't think has been adequately understood by people who have been trying to follow the assisted suicide/euthanasia debate; because it gets us to the question of how do you assess competency and what is competency. Wantz had severe mental pain and there is no doubt in my mind that she did; and that was real to her and very disabling to her. But at the same time she had a long history of psychiatric and psychological problems.
When you are dealing with assisted suicide, one of the things that I'm dreadfully afraid of is that you will bring out people who are depressed, who have mental disorders, teenagers who go through intermittent depression; and you're going to find them coming forward and saying I can't go on any more.
When we think about assisted suicide, I don't think we have in mind helping people - who are depressed or despondent - seek death from a doctor. Maybe Jack Kevorkian is. I'm certainly not. And I think most people - who are even proponents in this area - don't want to get into anything like that but are trying to say: Ok, if we're not going to use terminal illness as the cut off - if you've not passed that definition of terminally ill - we're going to move it over into some notion of sufficient suffering or sufficient despair. The realm of mental dispair is certainly as large and gaping as anything having to do with physical pain. It's probably easier to manage the physical pain side of the street, so the Wantz case makes us have to address the question: do we need to include her? Someone who has gone from psychiatrist to psychologist to mental institutions. Is she immediately disqualified just by her past? Or are we going to say no, even so you can still make it over the barrier and have death once you finally decide that you can no longer bear your depression.
CNN News report:
Oct. 23, 1991 - Sherry Miller, 43, of Roseville, Michigan; and Marjorie Wantz, 58, of Sodus, Michigan.
How: Died together in a rented cabin near Detroit. Miller died by inhaling carbon monoxide through a face mask; Wantz by injecting potassium chloride.
Condition at time of death: Neither was terminal, Dragovic says. Miller, the mother of two teens, had multiple sclerosis and was unable to use her legs and arms; Wantz, who had undergone numerous operations, had severe pelvic pain for which doctors could find no physical cause.
Background: Miller was a divorced homemaker. A female friend witnessed her death. Wantz was a teacher's aide and was accompanied by her husband, William.
( Bev comments....Even though her autopsy showed no adhesions, she did suffer from chronic pelvic pain that was not effectively treated or understood...at least it wasn't to her. Note her attempts to fight the pain by the use of the " Duragesic transdermal Fentanyl " patches that were found on her body. To me it doesn't matter what caused her pain. She had pain - and she was not treated effectively for it.
How was she treated is my question; and why did she take this route? Was it due to the way she WAS treated by the medical community back then? Is there a whole lot of difference today in how chronic pain patients are treated when it comes to undiagnosable chronic pain? I don't think so; and that is why it is imperative for all who suffer, as Marjorie did, to educate themselves about every symptom they have so that -when you do present to a physician - you have the knowledge of your prior medical treatments and intervention methods...why they were done...who did them...and what was done...as well as the outcome of the interventions! If it was surgery, get your operative reports and educate yourself as to what is written there; so that when you do consult with Drs. and ask questions of them, you know what you're talking about - as well as you have some idea as to what the Dr's answers should be!!!
That is why I think this autopsy report is important - not so much as what DID cause her pain but why she elected to die versus continuing to seek help for her pain!!! And can we really trust this report as being fact! Without Marjorie's prior medical and operative reports, we have no idea why she had her hysterectomy and seven surgeries...interesting, huh!! )
So now we know about Marjorie Wantz....Go figure huh!
I am sure you didn't know all of this Chrissy, my dear; but it sure lends credence to the horrible suffering of those who have had to endure the debilitating pain of ARD! I can tell you personally that when I was suffering like Marjorie and without hope of help...well, Kavorkein was always in the back of MY mind!!!!
For years there WERE no support groups for chronic pelvic pain disease. I for one thank our GOD that we DO have a support group - the International Adhesions Society !!
IN MEMORY OF:
* Marjorie Wantz - October, 1991
* Christina Buelteman - January 2000
* Marian Lewis July 2000
May their memory be a testament to the seriousness of Adhesion Related Disease ( ARD ) - and our need for this International Adhesions Society support group!!
( You can read Christina's story on the IAS quilt. )