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Dignity In Death


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  #1  
August 30th, 2011, 01:08 PM
foxfire_ga79
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Choosing death can be like a 'birth,' advocates say - CNN.com



Thoughts?

I know how I feel about it but I having a hard time finding the right words. I'll get back to y'all on that.
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  #2  
August 31st, 2011, 12:21 PM
MindyRambo's Avatar Super Mommy
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I'm in a bit of a rush, and printing the article to read it in depth later, but at first glance (skim) I completely support this Act, and I wonder why it took so long.

We euthanize our pets so they don't suffer, but humans aren't afforded the same right, and I think that's awful.
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  #3  
August 31st, 2011, 02:18 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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I agree with Mindy.

I have an acquaintance in Canada who wants to do this. Her spine has been degenerating for the last few years and is to the point she can no longer stand. She's also heavily medicated with pain killers, but is quickly running out of options and is in constant pain. When she gets to the point she cannot stay awake due to pain, her wishes are to take her sons and go somewhere in Europe where she can end her suffering. Other than her bones and the occasional bout of pneumonia from not being able to sit up enough to keep it at bay she doesn't have any other health issues. Her sons are fully supporting her.
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  #4  
August 31st, 2011, 03:03 PM
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I'm all for this as well! We don't let our pets suffer but we let human being suffer. It's humane when we put our pets down but it's inhumane for people to make their own choices. I've never gotten this!
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  #5  
August 31st, 2011, 03:10 PM
foxfire_ga79
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I'm like 95% in favor of this. My one problem comes with suicidal people with no physical problems.
Because who gets to say whether or not another person's life is worth living? The cancer patient says they are suffering, they are going to die anyway, please let them die with dignity instead of the cancer having the final word. The suicidal person says they are suffering, they are going to die anyway, please let them die with dignity instead of a rope having the final word.
Does any person with a chronic condition causing them to suffer get to say when they want to die? Does the medical establishment get to say to a person "no, your illness is mental and not physical, you don't know what you're talking about right now, you have to keep living"?
I know those are different situations. I just don't know how it would be handled if a person with severe depression or some other psychological disorder came along and said they've been suffering long enough and wanted to be done with it.
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  #6  
August 31st, 2011, 04:16 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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I'm pretty sure the places that do allow this require either prolonged uncontrollable suffering with no quality of life (like my friend), or terminal illness to be present before they will even consider it.

I suffer from depression, and I have in the past (in my early teens) attempted and failed to commit suicide. It runs in my family, runs in DF's too. Neither of us would even consider this as an option for people with depression.
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  #7  
August 31st, 2011, 06:31 PM
foxfire_ga79
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But depressed people do suffer. And it's not even just depression. What about severe bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Let's say someone's diagnosed at 20, is living through their own personal hell, and then at 45 or 50 just can't take it anymore? Is 25 or 30 years of suffering long enough for a person to deserve to die in a calm and peaceful way as opposed to having to do it alone and in a way that might not even be lethal but cause things to be worse? It's easy to claim they're not giving "informed consent," but what if their whole existence is such a nightmare? There are some people who would spend the rest of their life in an institution. Should they be forced to live in not only the prison of their own mind, but the cold reality of not having their own home, family, and rights to make their own decisions?

I'm not suggesting anyone with depression who wants to die gets an assisted suicide. But there are conditions out there that are not terminal but prevent living an even tolerable life.
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  #8  
September 1st, 2011, 04:01 AM
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While I get what you are saying, I don't think you can really compare the two. The article clearly states that you would need to suffer from a terminal illness with 6 months or less to live.

"Is 25 or 30 years of suffering long enough for a person to deserve to die in a calm and peaceful way as opposed to having to do it alone and in a way that might not even be lethal but cause things to be worse? It's easy to claim they're not giving "informed consent," but what if their whole existence is such a nightmare? There are some people who would spend the rest of their life in an institution. Should they be forced to live in not only the prison of their own mind, but the cold reality of not having their own home, family, and rights to make their own decisions?"

This might sound trite and presumptuous but I would assume anyone with those illnesses who feel that way are not properly medicated (wrong dosage or medication) and I'm not saying that people don't still suffer, but if you are properly medicated your life and existance should not be a nightmare. I know several people with bipolar disorder, and when they are medicated properly they are very happy people, and they wouldn't consider their lives a nightmare. Although I'm sure there are exceptions that are miserable no matter what. No easy answers, but I really don't think you can compare physically excrutiating pain to emotional pain (although I'm very much of the mind that people should not ever compare pain, and when they do, someone will always be hurt)
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  #9  
September 1st, 2011, 01:11 PM
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I am all for it, personally. But there is one part I don't agree with and that is

Quote:
In order to use the law in Oregon, a patient must be over the age of 18 and have a diagnosis of a terminal illness with six months or less to live.
Terminal illnesses just aren't that cut and dry sometimes. Prognosis is often wrong. Many people suffer for years with something that they were told would take them in months' time. Some suffer for year's never getting a specified timeline at all. Some people never even live out the time they are told they have. So I don't agree with that particular stipulation. Any person with a terminal illness whose quality of life is so diminished that they are not really "living"(as determined by them and them alone, since we cannot decide for others what "living" means to them) and is able to express themselves that they wish to die with dignity, ought to have that right. We do have the right to life, and I honestly believe that, when it comes to having a terminal illness, we ought to get to determine what "life" means to us and when we're ready to let go. (within reason, of course)

I know the entire idea leaves a lot of room for gray area for some, and that at least some stipulations need to be in place before something like this can be done. But I honestly feel it should exist in every state in this country. My dad's cancer wasn't considered terminal, even though it was ripping his body apart from the inside out. He suffered for 6 months with something that he was told would take at the very least a year or two before reaching the stage of terminal, if it ever got terminal to begin with. He would have to go a year or two with no signs of remission before it would be considered terminal. Had he been able to choose to die with dignity, on his terms, he would have. Instead he spent the last two months of his life in pure hell. While we got to look on, helpless, unable to do anything for him. He died in his sleep and as hard as it was(and still very much is) to think about, I am glad his suffering finally ended. It's very hard to watch someone go through that. His treatment never worked from the time he began until the day he died. There was never any indication it would work, either. Yet they never even mentioned terminal, which means he got no end of life care, nothing of any sort that may have made that last couple of months less painful for him.

I once told my oncologist if he accidentally switched my meds with something lethal, I wouldn't hold him responsible(that doesn't go over very well by the way). My cancer wasn't terminal, but I was(more than once) told to begin making my plans in case we ever got to that point(I actually had doctors who cared, go figure). I was living in my own hell, terminal or not-it felt terminal to me for quite some time. Obviously, I eventually went into remission. But I do have some understanding of feeling as though you aren't even part of yourself anymore and slowly watching your own body die, and not being able to do anything about it. Also watching your loved ones looking over you and not being able to lessen their pain. If I had ever gotten to the point where my father was, I very well may have opted for something like this, if it were allowed here. Not so much to end my own life on my terms, and die with dignity, but to lessen the effect on my friends and family who are forced to sit and watch me die. Prolonging a life that's not really "living"(again, defined by the person), just doesn't seem fair to me.
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  #10  
September 2nd, 2011, 09:59 AM
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I'm really torn on this. The below statement really resonates with me, but then the Christian side of me slaps me Gibbs-style and says I just can't condone this. So I'm torn, but will have to stick with my own moral belief system for now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
I'm all for this as well! We don't let our pets suffer but we let human being suffer. It's humane when we put our pets down but it's inhumane for people to make their own choices. I've never gotten this!
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  #11  
September 2nd, 2011, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MindyRambo View Post
While I get what you are saying, I don't think you can really compare the two. The article clearly states that you would need to suffer from a terminal illness with 6 months or less to live.

"Is 25 or 30 years of suffering long enough for a person to deserve to die in a calm and peaceful way as opposed to having to do it alone and in a way that might not even be lethal but cause things to be worse? It's easy to claim they're not giving "informed consent," but what if their whole existence is such a nightmare? There are some people who would spend the rest of their life in an institution. Should they be forced to live in not only the prison of their own mind, but the cold reality of not having their own home, family, and rights to make their own decisions?"

This might sound trite and presumptuous but I would assume anyone with those illnesses who feel that way are not properly medicated (wrong dosage or medication) and I'm not saying that people don't still suffer, but if you are properly medicated your life and existance should not be a nightmare. I know several people with bipolar disorder, and when they are medicated properly they are very happy people, and they wouldn't consider their lives a nightmare. Although I'm sure there are exceptions that are miserable no matter what. No easy answers, but I really don't think you can compare physically excrutiating pain to emotional pain (although I'm very much of the mind that people should not ever compare pain, and when they do, someone will always be hurt)
Sorry but some mental illness like severe bipolar & severe schizophrenia are very hard to medicate properly. If medications do work, sometimes it's only for a while and then they loose their effectiveness. I know a few people that struggle with severe bipolar & it's no way as easy as popping the right pill. 1 person I know is even a peer counselor for others with bipolar. He's very, very educated & intelligent. He's also very torture - hear voices, has suicidal ideations, memory loss, unable to concentrate,etc. Now I don't think he'd want to do this at this point (he's in his late 50's) but he might some day get to the point.

I do agree though that there has to be a line drawn as to what would qualify for this procedure. And the person should have to exhaust all other options.


Came back to add:

If a person truly wants to die, then they are going to take their life anyway I
I'm not trying to sound cold but it's true. There are people who attempt suicide who are crying out for help. They do it when they know someone will find them - some even threaten to loved ones. But there are people who go ahead and plan it - do it when there's no chance of finding them. Shouldn't they have the right to end their life in a more controlled, less painful manner?
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Last edited by My2miracles; September 2nd, 2011 at 11:40 AM.
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