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Writing Prompt #97 “Ktenology” March 8, 2015


Ktenology has quite a sinister meaning as is implied by above image. It is the science of putting people to death. I recently heard some disturbing news about lethal injections being available for purchase online for terminally ill/chronically depressed individuals. How do you feel about this? Ever since I can remember my mom has insisted I pull the plug rather than let her live out her life hooked up to machines. Even knowing her wishes I hope I never have to make that call.


I am sure you have heard stories about doctors who murder their patients (Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy) as well as stories about doctors who euthanize terminally ill patients (explore the ethical implications). Capital punishment involves the murder of criminals (you could explore the perspective of the scientist, the executioner, the prisoner or provide your own moral perspective and offer potential reforms for the penal system). What about animal shelters? In Sweden the shelters have a no kill policy but in my hometown unadopted animals were put down on a weekly basis. You can write from the perspective of a terminally ill patient. From the perspective of the doctor. From the perspective of the victim or the victim’s family.  You might even write as an alien or a governmental agency whose goal is the extermination of a species.  A very dark topic that has a lot of moral and ethical implications.

About mindlovemisery

Music: PJ Harvey, Radio Head, Fleetwood Mac, David Usher/Moist, Johnny Cash, Portishead, Damien Rice (basically I am a 90s kid I like alternative, grunge, Industrial and other types of metal, oldies, punk, rock etc.) Authors: Sylvia Plath, James Baldwin, Edmund White, Arthur Rimbaud, Jim Carrol, Jeff Noon, etc. Movies: A Clock Work Orange, Fight Club, House of Flying Daggers (I like a lot of cult movies, horror, comedy, drama, I don't like action and fantasy is terrifying lol) Philosophical Beliefs: Buddhism, Daoism, Shintoism (before it changed under Nationalism), The Transcendent Order Favorite Video Game: Planescape Torment What I do: read, write, yoga, pilates, weight-lift, walk, study philosophy and psychology, dance like a crazy person, paint, dream etc. Qualities: stubborn, sarcastic, teasing, playful, open, flirtatious, eccentric, passionate, forgetful, open-minded.

11 comments on “Writing Prompt #97 “Ktenology” March 8, 2015

  1. Pingback: Writing Prompt #97 “Ktenology” March 8, 2015 | mindlovemisery

  2. Pingback: Writing Prompt #97 “Ktenology” March 8, 2015 – The Decision | Morpethroad

  3. C.C.
    March 8, 2015

    Thank you for the introduction to a new word…never heard of ‘ktenology’ before and I love learning new words, so thanks 🙂

  4. Cara H (The Real Cie)
    March 8, 2015

    I certainly do not think that the materials for lethal injection should be legally available online. I do, however, approve of physician assisted suicide if it is done according to a strict code of ethics. In Holland, for instance, it is my understanding that three physicians must approve the procedure.
    After watching my father suffer for an extended period of time as both his physical and cognitive abilities deteriorated, I was very grateful for the services that hospice provided him in his final days. No-one should be forced to keep on living in a body that is deteriorating to a degree which causes unbearable suffering.
    I know that this may not be a popular opinion, but having worked with people with dementia for years and in more recent years having witnessed the decline of people whom I care about to dementia (which is not a blissful twilight state, it is hell) I have come to the conclusion that should I be diagnosed with dementia, I will commit suicide. I do not wish to go through this type of deterioration, and I do not want my son to have to bear the burden of caring for me. What little money I would be able to leave to him would be gone in a heartbeat to the cost of maintaining a life that could not be salvaged. I refuse to do that.

    • mindlovemisery
      March 8, 2015

      I agree with you. My stepdad is in his 80s now and many of his siblings have passed on. Cancer is a frequent occurrence and often his siblings die with multiple forms. One of his brothers had brain, eye, and bone cancer he was in horrendous pain that medication couldn’t alleviate my mom took care of of him and in the end made the decision to disconnect the machines because he was in screaming/unbearable pain. We can extend the life well beyond the limits and I do think there is a point where that just becomes cruelty. Imagine if they could have kept him alive for weeks or months in that state that would be unspeakable cruelty.

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  6. julespaige
    March 8, 2015

    I chose to incorporate this into The Electric Series of Brian Strong:

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