Physician assisted suicide -- your thoughts.

Formerlyjerseyjack

Ledger has had a  couple of articles on this issue, now that it has been reintroduced to the legislature.


Your thoughts?


Mine? The same as abortion. If you don't believe in it, just don't do it. Don't use your beliefs to deprive others of their rights.


joanne
The biggest problem on this, though, is the impact it leaves on those you leave behind and especially on the one who finds you. So you kinda need to know they're of the same mind and won't disrupt your last Will etc. speaking from experience.

Formerlyjerseyjack

Since N.J. would require consultations with professionals, it is unlikely anyone would walk into a dwelling or room and unexpectedly  find a deceased person.


I believe this would require active participation on the part of the sufferer.


Jaytee

Absolutely. It's the humane way to clock out...death is normal. Birth is normal...you feel nothing coming in or going out. It's the chaos of religion and other assorted living conditions that creates this confusion of life's end.


joanne
Formerlyjerseyjack said:
Since N.J. would require consultations with professionals, it is unlikely anyone would walk into a dwelling or room and unexpectedly  find a deceased person.


I believe this would require active participation on the part of the sufferer.

 Mum spoke about it for years, and we all supported her plans. Then the time came, and turns out ‘support’ meant different things to each of the people actively involved in carrying out her plans, from the doctors through to each of her children. (Exactly how convinced are you of the lethality and finality of her thoughts tonight, compared to the possibility of say, tomorrow morning? Exactly how close to her hands/bedside will you leave those pills/glass of water etc? What if she falls out of bed? What if she chokes on her own vomit? Etc). Then there’s ‘actually I don’t really agree with this, but I love her, and I don’t want her to suffer. It’s her decision not mine’. 

And then, ‘oh gd, she’s had a stroke. Was that because something went wrong? Was it stress? Was it our fault? Did we make her wait too long?’...


bub

I would distinguish here between suicide and physician assisted suicide.  Re the former, people will do what they do.  There should be some concern and guidelines, however, about physician involvement.  For example, should doctors help people suffering from depression commit suicide?  I would think and hope the profession would police and regulate itself about what is appropriate and not.


tjohn

The law needs to specify the rules. I would hope that doctor assisted suicide is limited to cases of terminally ill people whose only prognosis is pain and suffering. 


I would exclude mental illnesses even though the pain and suffering are real. It’s just too murky. 


drummerboy
tjohn said:
The law needs to specify the rules. I would hope that doctor assisted suicide is limited to cases of terminally ill people whose only prognosis is pain and suffering. 


I would exclude mental illnesses even though the pain and suffering are real. It’s just too murky. 

I'd expand the "terminally ill" to include Alzheimer's patients. I don't fear death particularly, but I do fear being that kind of burden to my family.


steel

If we don't own our own bodies, what do we own?

What is the quality of mercy? In this country some lives are drawn out mercilessly.

My late mother used to say that she didn't want to live as long as her mother and end up like her. I'd say "Don't worry Ma. I'll take care of it. You'll never see it coming". She'd laugh and laugh and say "Oh thank you. You're such a good boy!"


tjohn
drummerboy said:


tjohn said:
The law needs to specify the rules. I would hope that doctor assisted suicide is limited to cases of terminally ill people whose only prognosis is pain and suffering. 


I would exclude mental illnesses even though the pain and suffering are real. It’s just too murky. 
I'd expand the "terminally ill" to include Alzheimer's patients. I don't fear death particularly, but I do fear being that kind of burden to my family.

 Agreed.  


Red_Barchetta

Let people go.  If I want to move on - terminal illness or not what business is it of anyone’s?  I don’t owe anyone anything.  Yes those who love me will be hurt but that’s my decision.  Ideally I should go in a respectful manner but other than that, let me go.  


tjohn
Red_Barchetta said:
Let people go.  If I want to move on - terminal illness or not what business is it of anyone’s?  I don’t owe anyone anything.  Yes those who love me will be hurt but that’s my decision.  Ideally I should go in a respectful manner but other than that, let me go.  

I think society has a role to play here to define when it is appropriate for doctors to aid the process the process of ending the life of a terminally ill person.  


conandrob240
Red_Barchetta said:
Let people go.  If I want to move on - terminal illness or not what business is it of anyone’s?  I don’t owe anyone anything.  Yes those who love me will be hurt but that’s my decision.  Ideally I should go in a respectful manner but other than that, let me go.  

I think the “not” is the problem here. If a severely depressed 17 year old walked into an office asking for assisted suicide, you’d do it? Just because they wanted it? 


I think absolutely for terminal illness and illness like Alzheimer’s. The only problem I see is a slippery slope of who/when and the greed/$ that will emerge from the industry blurring that grey line.


Red_Barchetta
tjohn said:


Red_Barchetta said:
Let people go.  If I want to move on - terminal illness or not what business is it of anyone’s?  I don’t owe anyone anything.  Yes those who love me will be hurt but that’s my decision.  Ideally I should go in a respectful manner but other than that, let me go.  
I think society has a role to play here to define when it is appropriate for doctors to aid the process the process of ending the life of a terminally ill person.  

 Right, agreed.  


Jackson_Fusion

How would someone suffering from dementia or Alzheimers give informed consent?


https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/11/29/more-trouble-for-belgiums-system-of-euthanasia/


While I understand no law is currently under proposal here regarding mental suffering, it is important to realize that the most notable step is the explicit legalization of assisted suicide. Like many issues, “under what circumstances” will be a matter of creep as time goes on.


I’ve seen people die hard deaths and am sympathetic to those with feelings on both sides of this issue. I would suggest however that whatever we end up with will not be perfect and at times may be downright ugly. 


Socially we are changing something fundamental about an aspect of our healthcare. Today, when you go into a medical setting it is to get better- whether that is a realistic goal or not, it is the goal. That would no longer be the only goal.








tjohn
Jackson_Fusion said:
How would someone suffering from dementia or Alzheimers give informed consent?

 What if a person has crafted a living will spelling out their choices under specific circumstances?

Jackson_Fusion said:

Socially we are changing something fundamental about an aspect of our healthcare. Today, when you go into a medical setting it is to get better- whether that is a realistic goal or not, it is the goal. That would no longer be the only goal.

Or maybe we are starting to accept reality. In many cases, the lion's share of medical expenses are in the last few months of a persons life.  Now, I know that kind of logic is circular in the sense that you spend most on serious medical conditions that may end up being fatal.  But, what is being talked about more and more is knowing when a person has fought the good fight and just needs to let nature take its course.  I would think my response to, say, cancer would be different if I was 40 with dependent children versus 80 with no dependents.


joanne

Sorry: I had to sleep, and couldn’t respond. 

Mum was dying of cancer, hers had come back 5 times in 9 years (yes, declared ‘clear’ then it would pop up somewhere else, the last time inoperable and untreatable). She’d been given an end-date and was last it, exhausted. She had other chronic conditions, and was just beyond caring anymore.  She refused all treatment of any kind. 

Where she lived didn’t officially endorse Death with Dignity, however if you were terminal andin hospice, doctors might see you were ‘comfortable’. She refuse palliative care and hospice. She did stockpile lethal pills (cupboards full!). As I said, for decades, before we knew anything about any fatal illness, we had all discussed this scenario (D knows what I wish), and she said she’d choose her own time.

She rang us all to say goodbye. Said she’d be dead by morning. My religious brother asked for an extra day, so we could have a last meal together. She said yes. We all travelled across the nation to reunite.

During the day, she had a TIA. Her GP, in tears, said she would be alright at home but was said she was refusing treatment. He couldn’t stop crying. He tried every competency test he could think of, she gently smiled and said ‘you a good young man, it’s just my time’. The paramedic team behind him were also crying (she refused to go to hospital on that occasion; she knew all the ambos serving the local area). 

My sister and BIL told her to rest, and ‘tomorrow we’ll talk about it, ok? Love you.’ And went home after saying of course it was still her right, her decision - but yelling at me for making sure her tablets and water next to the bed.

I’d said to Mum ‘I don’t want to say goodbye yet, but if you want to, everything is here where you can reach it. It’s all your choice, I love you and I thank you for everything’.

In the middle of the night, she had another TIA and fell out of bed, hitting her head on bedside table. 

Was she trying to reach those tablets my sister had moved? Was she trying to get to a stash in the closet? Was she just going to the toilet? Who knows? Instead we had to wait 6 hours while another ambo crew could come around (now there was a strike, and they had to work around her previous refusal...), the GP had to come back and declare she was now incompetent (she was in a semi-coma, incontinent and not herself) and she was finally carted off to hospital.

She did have a DNR. We made sure the ambos had that, and they guarded her fiercely, stopping anyone trying to do anything other than preserve dignity. I’m so grateful to them. We were all in tears and shocked. We spent 4 days in hospital as she, comatose, eventually died. Apart from a little hydration for comfort, no treatment was given, her wishes understood. She was never alone. 

It was not the death she wanted. 


Even with excellent planning and detailed design, everyone in agreement, it’s very very hard and exceptionally emotional. Over 20 years later I still wonder if I was supportive enough, in the right way, did she know? I still replay over and over, in detail, that last week. 

Be very very clear what you’re asking another person to do for you. 

Someone is always going to have to find you. Mourn you. Be the one to announce to the world that yes, today was actually the day you couldn’t take another breath. Remember that the person who makes that announcement might not be your partner today, your child today but someone else with different emotional responses.


mjc

joanne, honey, let me say to you what my sister said to me when i worried i should have done more for our mom at the very end, and hope it might help a little:  She's not sick any more.

I am so sorry for your loss, and so very sorry for the family discord.  

It seems very clear her memory is a blessing to you.


joanne

oh, please understand we’re all grateful she’s peaceful now, that that horribleness is over. 

And there wasn’t any squabbling. 

But everyone second-guesses exactly which ’now’ is meant, exactly what the preferred methodology, decided on sometime before, truly means now it’s time to take action in the real world. There are so many variables, so many things to consider that no-one tells you about. 

And we’re a family solidly in favour of being able to decide your own way. 


Formerlyjerseyjack

One objection to P.A.S. is that a person might be pressured to pull the plug, concerned about cost to survivors or being a burden.


Would a downloadable form that refuses assisted suicide be the solution? Anyone can download this form while in good health (or not). It could be presented to attorneys and primary physicians.




Morganna

I actually believe that if the option were available it might help people to hang on, knowing that there is a safe exit if physical or mental pain becomes unbearable. 

Its infuriating that the state wants to tell us what to do with our own bodies.

Found this. Its the 7th state.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hawaii-legalizes-assisted-suicide_us_5ac6c6f5e4b0337ad1e621fb







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