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Assisted dying

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The right to die?

Post by astradt1 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Yesterday we had the High court rule that 'Locked -in-Syndrome sufferer,Tony Nicklinson's could not have anyone to help him died..

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Has anyone on here known someone with the same or similar condition?

What do you feel the judgement should have been?

Have you thought about what you would want if you were in the same position?

Mr Nicklinson has indicated that he regrets that the ambulance was called when he had his stroke....

Should it be about Life to Years or Years to Life?
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:27 pm

No politician or Doctor is ever going to hang their professional future on the line by supporting the idea of killing people legally.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by astradt1 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:55 pm

I believe when terminology such as 'Killing' is used it becomes a problem, Tony Nicklinson wants to be able to die not be killed, it's just because of the extent of his illness he is not able to do it himself......

Even setting up the equipment would leave anyone who helped him open to charges......

If you were in his position would you want to be able to die at a time you chose or would you just want to be kept alive no matter what?....
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by moonbeam on Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:54 pm

Personally, if I am unable to live a productive life - and by that I mean that I am fully dependent on others for everything, and/or I'm in constant pain - I should be allowed to make a decision as to whether I wish to continue on. If I wish to end it via overdosing or something like that, I should be able to ask for and receive a prescription so that I may do so.

I've never known anyone in the situation, and I can only imagine how it must feel to be mentally aware but physically unable to do a thing. To me, that is not "living", but I think everyone (assuming they're mentally fit) should have the right to decide for themselves in a case like that.



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Re: Assisted dying

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:02 pm

The topic is a minefield for Law-makers and -enforcers. Who owns my body if it isn't me? Females have battled for years over their right to abort an unwanted foetus, which in many other circumstance would be dismissed as nobody's concern but the owner of the body. Many sins are committed in the name of Religion, which all too often manifests itself as a Power Game.

I'm not afraid to die. It's an illogical fear anyway, because inevitable, though I would prefer to die in the manner and time of my own choosing, please. But that's a choice unavailable under current Law. Thousands of people die a lingering death from incurable illnesses, because no Lawmaker has the guts to decree otherwise. Because the other side of that coin lists frivolous reasons for dying like debt or divorce, drunkeness or a feeling of uselessness. A clear danger exists from "caring" relatives who have a direct interest in the Will, however. How much pressure could they exert if euthanasia were freely available? Someone who has been caring for a geriatric parent might be forgiven if they exerted a wee bit of psychological pressure on dear old Dad.

Unless and until there can be a dispassionate decision by computer or some such, there will be no change to the present predicament.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by astradt1 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:03 pm

Abdication of the choice to a 'PC or some such' is even more fraught with danger than any other option........

I currently work with the elderly infirm and almost on a daily basis look after a patient who may or may not have 'locked-in-syndrome' ...

They have been fed by peg tube (Direct into the stomach) for the past year due to having no swallow reflex, they are not able to indicate what their needs are, staff talk to them but although they look at staff when they speak to them there is no sign that they are aware of what is being said to them.

Staff provide all the care, regular turns to prevent pressure sores and such, staff provide mouth care, regular changes due to the patient being doubly incontinent. staff put on CD of the patients previous favorite music but still there is no visible response......

The patients elderly spouse is only able to visit once a month and then all they can do is sit there and talk about the family but get nothing in return....

Is this the sort of life anyone would want?

I would not advocate ending this life and I would hate the thought that some PC program could decide because sure as eggs are eggs, one of the criteria would be cost which currently stands at £900 plus each week.....

I believe that individuals should be provided with information with which they could a make a decision before a stroke or other such debilitating illness were to take hold and be able to write a living will which would clearly set out what they would like to happen to them in the event of them becoming 'Locked-in' for want of a better term.........'
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by astra on Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:48 pm

A friend took his Lurcher to the vet with a very obvious broken front leg. First offer by the vet was indeed euthanasia. This started a riot, fido's leg treated at another vet, and the dog is almost back to "normal" (for a lurcher!)

If I treated my GSD, him on the left, like the Medics are treating these people, I would be castigated and rightly so.

Which takes me to the NHS, what is the point of having the best hospital in the country, if the GP's around it are absolute CRAP? Another neighbour found with Bowel Cancer this week, suffering severe chronic pain for over a year, having been given Gaviscon by the GP 2 days prior to seeing a consultant - who was not appointed by the GP.

He is No 5 now in this STREET!


EDIT

Astradt, when I was in the hosp - 5 days to yesterday, many of my peers were saying that the GP wanted them to sign a NO RESUS declaration.
Have you heard anything along these lines? I would not sign such, (have NOT been offered) and when Ambulance Driving never turned my back on anyone!
(Maybe in the altruistic hope that when/if I need help it will be given)
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by astradt1 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:58 pm

Astra

There is the system of not for Resus at the home I work in but it is only put in place after long discussion with the patient, family, unit staff and the GP.......

It should be borne in mind that most of the patients are over Seventy are have multiple health issues and as such has been admitted due to it not being able to be cared for at home or end of life care.

No one is 'forced' to have a No Resus' status and if one is not in place all normal emergency care is given........

The aim of the home is to provide care with dignity this includes a dignified and as pain free death as possible.....

Where possible surrounded by their loved ones and if that is not possible with a member of staff to comfort them.......

Staff also provide comfort and support to relatives during that difficult time.....

I'm sure you can appreciate the pressure that puts on staff but it can be more distressing for staff to have to perform resuscitation on a patient who they know is suffering pain and distress.......
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Assisted dying

Post by astradt1 on Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:56 am

In the wake of the House of Lords debate on Assisted Dying, what is the general feeling about a change in the law which would allow doctors to provide the means to enable those with terminal illnesses to end their own lives at a time of their own choosing?
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by stuart torr on Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:42 pm

Excellent idea, if the dr did not help me, I have enough tabs to do it myself anyway.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:02 pm

I keep a DVD of a Tory Party Conference handy, for when the time comes...
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by stuart torr on Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:00 pm

Well at least you will die laughing Phil.  Laughing 
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by Ivan on Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:15 pm

The Assisted Dying Bill 2014, which the House of Lords debated last Friday, would allow adults of sound mind with no more than six months to live the right to end their lives at a time of their choosing. It’s based on a similar law in Oregon and it could lead to around 1,000 people a year in England and Wales choosing an assisted death. However, there seems no realistic possibility that it will become law without government support and parliamentary time.

In the unlikely event that this bill ever becomes law, a doctor would be able to prescribe drugs for a terminally ill person to take their own life. At present, the Suicide Act of 1961 makes it an offence to encourage or assist a suicide or a suicide attempt. Of course, anyone who is rich enough has, for about ten years, been able to go to Zurich and get an assisted suicide at the Dignitas clinic there.

Scientist Stephen Hawking supports the bill, saying it was "discrimination against the disabled to deny them the right to kill themselves that able bodied people have”, but adding that safeguards would be needed to ensure the person really wanted to die. On the other hand, paralympic gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson is worried that disabled people might eventually be included in the legislation, even though it was just intended for the terminally ill. She said: "I already have a number of people who stop me in the street who say I wouldn't want to live if my life was like yours.”

I think stuart torr has answered this one. If people want to die that much, then they will end their suffering by their own actions. Even if this bill became law, people would still have to take their own lives; it would just allow a doctor to prescribe sufficient drugs for anyone who is terminally ill and doesn’t already have a lethal collection in their medicine chest.

So, is assisted dying a fundamental human right for the terminally ill? Should people be allowed to control how and when they die? Or could it be the thin end of the wedge and in time lead to pressure on disabled people not to be a ‘burden’ on relatives?
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:45 pm

astradt1 wrote:In the wake of the House of Lords debate on Assisted Dying, what is the general feeling about a change in the law which would allow doctors to provide the means to enable those with terminal illnesses to end their own lives at a time of their own choosing?

Good question, astradt1, but with no answer that satisfies everybody, as we saw in The Lords on Friday.
The GPs are a sturdy bunch, but not anxious to become the conscience of The Nation all on their own. In an ideal world, we might have voluntary euthanasia facilities as numerous and as accessible as public toilets, but there remains the problem of elderly and/or less-abled people being "railroaded" into a decision by greedy relatives or a general lack of compassion.

I don't think Politicians are anywhere near being willing to accept responsibility for the problem, so it will continue to be a sub rosa decision taken by NHS staff as it always has been.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by stuart torr on Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:39 pm

As an ex nurse oftenwrong, so many decisions like this are left I'm afraid to the N.H.S staff, which is an extra burden they have to endure.
Most of the politicians could not make a decision, on whether to take one sugar or two.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by methought on Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:23 pm

I'm dead against assisted dying.
Doctors sign the Hippocratic oath to do no harm.

This subject was debated on the old MSN along with Euthanasia, and too many people said they supported euthanasia because they didn't like to see their parent change into someone who was no longer their loved one when they were clinging to life beyond usefulness. I'm also pretty sure the Tories would like all non-useful persons to volunteer....

Pain relief - yes - as much as people feel they need, as long as they are not being 'oops' overdosed routinely.

And anyone over 85 who wants to risk staying in their own home when they can't look after themselves should be allowed to choose house arrest imprisonment in their own home, with occasional unwanted visitors, rather than incarceration for life in a place full of nutty strangers....

All too often older people's wishes are over-ruled by risk-averse legislation that does not respect individual autonomy or the right to property, for older people who would choose not to be incarcerated with strangers, and to be robbed of everything they own to pay for the privilege. It is surely time for more open debate around end of life quality and dying anyway.

Hello again - by the way Smile
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by stuart torr on Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:38 pm

Well they won't stop me if I know my times up, off I will go. Sad 
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by boatlady on Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:52 am

I do think an Assisted Dying Act would be a dangerous thing.
It would start, of course, as a totally benign measure to enable people with painful terminal illnesses to choose their time to go, and who could argue with that?

I think, in the fullness of time, though, it would be used as a coercive measure to push people over the edge who were seen as having no usefulness to society.

Certainly, under the type of government we have currently, I think the passage of an Assisted Dying Act would be to hand over a number of hostages to fortune. On another thread Ivan posted a copy of a well-known Nazi propaganda poster making the case for euthanasia - I believe this government has the will to go in that direction if the law allows even the slightest possibility.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by boatlady on Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:53 am

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here's the image
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by astradt1 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:04 am

I wonder how many of you have watched the slow, lingering painful death of someone who has chosen to die but not had the physical ability to do so.......
I know that there can be 'adequate' pain relief but the line between adequate and too much is so fine as to be almost impossible to judge......
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by boatlady on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:43 pm

I know, and I do think there's not a right answer for everyone - I just think enshrining in law the permission to take away anyone's life is so dangerous.

Maybe sometimes 'adequate' pain relief is just the amount that will shorten life, and maybe there has to be a case by case decision and review of that decision.

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Re: Assisted dying

Post by stuart torr on Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:14 pm

Hi boatlady.
I'M afraid it goes on anyway, you just do not get to know about it.
A little extra morphine or whatever unnoticeable drug, in the IV, and nobody asks any questions about an 80 year old lady passing away love.
You only need a law change to make it legal.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by Ivan on Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:06 pm

One of my relatives is a nurse and she told me that her duty is to relieve pain. The implication is that if the pain becomes so severe, the dose of medication required to alleviate it might, on occasions, be lethal to the patient. Yet as a Christian, she is strongly against euthanasia.

After having several strokes, my father was unable to speak and slipped into a coma when he was close to death. Along with my sister, I sat all night by his hospital bed. In the morning, the nurses persuaded us to go home, have a rest, a shower and some breakfast (not that we felt much like eating). About an hour later, I received a phone call to say that he had died. I’ve always suspected that he was helped on his way, but I would never have considered complaining for two reasons. Firstly, I didn’t want him to continue in the state that he was. Secondly, I know that he wouldn’t have wanted to go on any longer.

If my father was given an overdose of drugs, it was illegal. It still would be if Charlie Falconer’s bill ever becomes law. Clearly my father had less than six months to live, but he was no longer of sound mind and not in a fit state to give himself the lethal overdose.

If  I’d had a vote on this matter last Friday, I would have abstained. I hate the idea of people suffering when they have no quality of life left, and if we allowed a pet to do so we might well be charged with animal cruelty. I also think that doctors should be allowed to treat each case on its merits and do whatever they think is best for their patients without risk of prosecution. On the other hand, I share the concern of methought who said:-

I'm also pretty sure the Tories would like all non-useful persons to volunteer....

This could be the thin end of the wedge. People who are no longer useful, who are a burden on the state, who are an inconvenience to relatives waiting for their inheritance, could be expected to ‘do the decent thing’ and shuffle off this mortal coil. I really can’t come down on one side or the other on this issue.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:47 pm

As a notionally civilised society we ought to have a better alternative than "falling under a train" for those determined to end their existence.

Abstaining from public debate hardly deals with it.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by boatlady on Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:09 pm

As Stuart says, it goes on anyway - rather than making it law, I'd prefer if a very flexible tariff was introduced, perhaps ranging from unconditional discharge to life imprisonment, and each case be looked at on its merits.

This would be clunky and might be stressful but there would be a full review of each reported instance where a person was helped to go to sleep - far from refraining from public debate, I suggest we debate each case on its merits - after all each case is an individual human being whose continued life has been truncated. If the person has prepared a living will, this could be brought into evidence, and would of course help to convince a judge that the decision was made on positive grounds and in accordance with the individual's own wishes.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by stuart torr on Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:19 pm

I have no wish to upset you in any way whatsoever Ivan, but that is the usual way, that the nursing staff get the relatives out of the way in such circumstances.
I would hate the thought though Ivan, of it being used just to get an inheritance.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by boatlady on Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:47 pm

That's why I would suggest we acknowledge it happens, but ensure each case gets reviewed in a court of law, rather than make assisted suicide legally sanctioned across the board
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by stuart torr on Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:40 pm

That would be the best way all round I believe boatlady, then that way you would know that it is not done for the inheritance, and maybe a house too that may go with it.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by Penderyn on Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:54 pm

A friend of mine went to Switzerland, and I'm off to hospital myself soon, but I don't trust people not to push the 'unnecessary' to sling their saintly hook. What about fitting us up with poison in our teeth like the Nazi leaders?
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by stuart torr on Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:48 pm

Penderyn, unless you are seriously ill then no-one is going to do anything, it's when your in your dying stages anyway.
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:18 pm

It is perfectly legal for a Veterinary Surgeon to "put down" a dog or a cat which has reached the point at which it can no longer maintain a dignified existence.

What do people think is the difference where humans are concerned?
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Re: Assisted dying

Post by stuart torr on Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:37 pm

There is no difference where I am concerned oftenwrong, the only difference is we need a law for humans.
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Re: Assisted dying

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