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  #1  
April 14th, 2012, 03:38 PM
*Leslie*'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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This has always been a passionate topic for me, but as I have gotten older and more open-minded (thanks in large part to this site), my position has softened/changed.

I watched the Dr. Phil episode yesterday about a women who wants to euthanize her severely handicapped adult children. They were diagnosed during childhood with a very rare disorder (sorry, can't remember the name) that has progressed to where their quality of life is clearly very little. The son has had a feeding tube for 17 years, and the daughter for the last 5 years. There is no evidence that they know one person from another or that they can see or hear. They are very close to a total vegetative state.

Now, I can't totally say that I am for assisted suicide, but I do have a problem with the fact that in some states you can legally starve a person, yet can't put euthanize them with a more humane and dignified way. The one opponent they had on said sarcastically, "so, we should put them to sleep like we do criminals and pets". She said this like it was helping her argument, but really I think it said a lot to change my opinion. We are giving pets and criminals better treatment in end of life issues than we are our most vulnerable of citizens.

My feelings haven't totally shifted, but I am definitely more in the middle now. I think it can be a muddy issue when you are dealing with guardians having to make the decision, how do we measure quality of life, etc.

So, what do you think?
A little more information on the show:
Dr. Phil.com - Shows - Deadly Consequences
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Last edited by *Leslie*; April 14th, 2012 at 03:41 PM.
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  #2  
April 14th, 2012, 03:42 PM
*Dayna*'s Avatar Aussie Mama
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I'm in the middle as well, and can't make a decision.

I keep seeing this woman on television begging to be euthanised and then she got better.

Then I think about how they starve people to death.

I hate this question but find it interesting at the same time.
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  #3  
April 14th, 2012, 03:47 PM
*Leslie*'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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The probability of these two getting better is non-existent, so that doesn't necessarily play into my feelings on this case. However, I know what you mean. I know three people well that were in bad accidents and have TBI's. They were all three given a very bad prognosis, and all three have had very different outcomes. I think those circumstances warrant different thoughts vs. a disease that we do know about the progression.

One thing that bothered me about the women on the opposing side was that she kept saying she has 2 disabled children. I got the feeling that her kids weren't disabled nearly to the extent of this women's kids.

I really felt for this women and I think I just realized that people should be able to make that decision in these kinds of cases, and if I haven't been there, I couldn't possibly know what it's like for someone else. They will make the decision that they feel is best for them, and that's the way it should be.
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  #4  
April 14th, 2012, 03:49 PM
*Dayna*'s Avatar Aussie Mama
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I agree with you.

If I was so disabled, I would want to be euthanised. Not starved to death,because that would be torture but given an injection and left to go to sleep forever.

I met a lady whose son had been in a terrible accident, and she made the decision to turn off his machine. She said it took a long time,weeks maybe "(?) for him to die. She said it was the worst decision she had ever made.

I'm not sure why we can put our pets to sleep but not ourselves. It doesn't make much sense.
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  #5  
April 14th, 2012, 03:55 PM
*Dayna*'s Avatar Aussie Mama
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Banned Exit Euthanasia Ad.wmv - YouTube

Banned commerical in Australia.

I feel for him.
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  #6  
April 14th, 2012, 04:08 PM
*Leslie*'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We took my mother-in-law off life support last month and she only lasted 5 minutes. That was hard enough. I can't imagine it being days or weeks (my great-grandpa made it 3 days).
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  #7  
April 14th, 2012, 04:09 PM
*Dayna*'s Avatar Aussie Mama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesliek0211 View Post
We took my mother-in-law off life support last month and she only lasted 5 minutes. That was hard enough. I can't imagine it being days or weeks (my great-grandpa made it 3 days).
5 minutes. Were you there?

That's horrible and I'm sorry.

3 days is heartbreaking.
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  #8  
April 14th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Dayna* View Post
5 minutes. Were you there?

That's horrible and I'm sorry.

3 days is heartbreaking.
No, I wasn't. DH was, and he handled it really well. I think if it had drug out for an extended period, it would have been a different story. And, we know that's what happens with vegetative patients that are starved. It just seems so inhumane.
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  #9  
April 14th, 2012, 04:19 PM
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Hmmm guardians making that choice. I'm not so sure about. I think that it should be a choice that the person, while in good mental health, can make. Just like someone signs a DNR, I feel they should be able to say that they would like to be euthanized if their quality of life would be so poor that they wouldn't have a real life at all.

With guardians making that choice, I just don't know. I don't feel like they would always be making a choice that's in the best interest of the IP. Working at my old job I was able to see how some guardians can be towards their IPs. They can get greedy and only care about the money instead of the person.
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  #10  
April 14th, 2012, 04:19 PM
*Dayna*'s Avatar Aussie Mama
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I feel extremely sorry for your DH

Suffering is horrible.

I'm pretty sure just thinking about this is making me lean towards 'pro'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K.A.T View Post
Hmmm guardians making that choice. I'm not so sure about. I think that it should be a choice that the person, while in good mental health, can make. Just like someone signs a DNR, I feel they should be able to say that they would like to be euthanized if their quality of life would be so poor that they wouldn't have a real life at all.

With guardians making that choice, I just don't know. I don't feel like they would always be making a choice that's in the best interest of the IP. Working at my old job I was able to see how some guardians can be towards their IPs. They can get greedy and only care about the money instead of the person.
That's a very good point. Maybe it should be a guardian and someone such as a doctor? Specialist? I'm not sure.
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  #11  
April 14th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K.A.T View Post
Hmmm guardians making that choice. I'm not so sure about. I think that it should be a choice that the person, while in good mental health, can make. Just like someone signs a DNR, I feel they should be able to say that they would like to be euthanized if their quality of life would be so poor that they wouldn't have a real life at all.

With guardians making that choice, I just don't know. I don't feel like they would always be making a choice that's in the best interest of the IP. Working at my old job I was able to see how some guardians can be towards their IPs. They can get greedy and only care about the money instead of the person.
In states where this is legal, I'm almost positive it is done in conjunction with many other professionals. My issue is that it is already illegal, yet we won't allow the person to make the choice to do it in a more humane manner. So, the guardian can make the decision to take off the feeding tube and starve them, but can't choose to give them a lethal injection that will end their life quickly and without pain.
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  #12  
April 14th, 2012, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesliek0211 View Post
In states where this is legal, I'm almost positive it is done in conjunction with many other professionals. My issue is that it is already illegal, yet we won't allow the person to make the choice to do it in a more humane manner. So, the guardian can make the decision to take off the feeding tube and starve them, but can't choose to give them a lethal injection that will end their life quickly and without pain.
I am now reading stories and I need to stop. Some of these people suffer for weeks before they finally pass. This isn't right.
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  #13  
April 14th, 2012, 04:51 PM
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I am 100% in favor of assisted suicide, when there's nothing left for the person to look forward to.
DH and I just talked about this last week. My ex husband's mother in law just died of stage 4 liver cancer. She died at home, hospice was there. I made the comment that I hoped she was comfortable in the end and DH said something about how "unfortunately" he thinks many times a fatal dose of morphine will be administered. I told him there was nothing unfortunate about that. There was nothing left but for her to go in peace.
A PP mentioned pets, and I totally agree. When my animals are beyond all hope I don't torture them by artificially prolonging their lives. And if my dogs deserve the respect to die with dignity then surely humans do as well.
I told DH that if my time comes before his to just let me go and not drag it out. And if I end up with something severe and terminal, I will have a "Do Not Resuscitate" order.
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  #14  
April 14th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Dayna* View Post
I am now reading stories and I need to stop. Some of these people suffer for weeks before they finally pass. This isn't right.
When feeding tubes are removed, the patient dies from dehydration and starves in the process. It's a horrible death, and one I wouldn't wish on anyone. I hate that this is the only option for some people to make. This is the reason the mother on Dr.Phil is letting them live, because she can't bear the thought of letting them starve.
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  #15  
April 14th, 2012, 05:56 PM
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This makes me think of the cousin I just lost... Her feeding tube kept her alive for 5 years since she could not swallow, speak, walk...

I am for assisted suicide. I am NOT for with drawing nutrition or hydration. I think it's horrible that we allow people to starve to death, when as someone said... a large dose of morphine could do it. My mother begged a nurse to give my father something that would make him pass faster... since there was 0 chance of survival.. but all they could do was keep him comfortable. In the end mom asked them to drop down his hydration to just enough to survive, to see if it would make his heart give out. 12hrs later, he was gone.

The problem lies where to draw the line. Do we allow everyone to do it? Do we have a set list of disorders? Do you have to suffer with it for a specific length of time? etc.




And now I realize while I have discussed what I want done after death with my husband... I have not discussed what to do if this arises. I guess he'll get another "morbid" conversation this week. Life Foxfire, if I have a terminal disease, if my heart stops, it is not to be started again.
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  #16  
April 14th, 2012, 06:28 PM
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I have always sat middle of the road on issues like this. I can find merit on either side and neither one pushes more for or away. I'm not sure I'd ever come to an all or nothing conclusion in ANY situation. (obviously I wouldn't expect to come to one that includes all).

When dd2 was on life support one time when she was a baby(she's been there many times, this just happens to be the worst one, of those times), the doctors wanted me to sign a DNR. They told me she had no quality of life and never would recover, ever.
That's a very terrible place to be, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

I never did sign that DNR. For all kinds of reasons. Not the least of which it simply did not feel right, even slightly.

DD will be 11 on the 27th. I look at her now, my beautiful little midget(she's very petite, due to her issues, and calls herself a midget, lol) so full of life, and I can picture exactly what she looked like when they told me she had no quality of life, at all.
It's mind boggling how we've come from there, to here.

It's not the same as any other situation, as I strongly feel no two situations are ever alike. But it's a situation I play through in my head all the time.
What will I do, if it ever happens again, because it's a very real possibility?
Will I ever be able to come to the conclusion that letting her go is the best choice?
I can't answer either of those. It's something that bothers me to this day.

I've had to sign to have end of life measures taken for two different relatives, so far. But even that, didn't feel the same. I knew it was right, despite how much it hurt. It wasn't an easy decision(and it never should be, imo) But I still knew it was right, deep down, and best for them. Though that's not the same as assisted suicide, of course.

But with dd, it NEVER felt right. It didn't even feel right thinking about it, much less doing it. Still doesn't and I can honestly say I don't think it ever will.

I've seen others go through the pain of having to let a family member go. I've also seen others go through the pain of living with and caring for a family member who will never have any quality of life again. It breaks my heart. I can see why some would rather let them go, than hold on to them. I understand what compels people to believe it's the best choice, a good choice, and a humane choice. I understand that some people have beliefs that tell them this is always the best option. I understand exactly why some people wished there were ways(legally) they could simply help them go.

I also see the other side though. I see why some believe it's not the best choice. I feel why some are tormented by the mere thought of having to do something like this. I understand that some people have beliefs that tell them this is NOT an option for them, or shouldn't be. I understand why some struggle with even the notion that helping others go, is humane.

I do sometimes wonder how some people can be so very sure of their thoughts-regardless of what side of the fence they sit on. Because I'm not so sure, and I most likely never will be. I do find it's an interesting topic, which might make me a bit morbid.
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  #17  
April 15th, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
I am 100% in favor of assisted suicide, when there's nothing left for the person to look forward to.
DH and I just talked about this last week. My ex husband's mother in law just died of stage 4 liver cancer. She died at home, hospice was there. I made the comment that I hoped she was comfortable in the end and DH said something about how "unfortunately" he thinks many times a fatal dose of morphine will be administered. I told him there was nothing unfortunate about that. There was nothing left but for her to go in peace.
A PP mentioned pets, and I totally agree. When my animals are beyond all hope I don't torture them by artificially prolonging their lives. And if my dogs deserve the respect to die with dignity then surely humans do as well.
I told DH that if my time comes before his to just let me go and not drag it out. And if I end up with something severe and terminal, I will have a "Do Not Resuscitate" order.
This.
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  #18  
April 15th, 2012, 09:07 PM
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But it's not really suicide if the person themselves isn't the one consenting is it?

I don't know where I stand. I feel sick thinking if it was my kids. Some parents can be cruel to their handicapped children, so it makes me worry that if this was legal that they'd do it just to their handicapped children off their hands. Or what if people just assume that someone has a crap life but really they don't mind because it's the only life they knew, or what if they didnt' want to die but can't communicate? I mean there are just so many what ifs I can think of that make me uneasy thinking of it being legal.
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  #19  
April 16th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHippy View Post
But it's not really suicide if the person themselves isn't the one consenting is it?

I don't know where I stand. I feel sick thinking if it was my kids. Some parents can be cruel to their handicapped children, so it makes me worry that if this was legal that they'd do it just to their handicapped children off their hands. Or what if people just assume that someone has a crap life but really they don't mind because it's the only life they knew, or what if they didnt' want to die but can't communicate? I mean there are just so many what ifs I can think of that make me uneasy thinking of it being legal.
It is legal already in some states, but the only means is to withdrawal life support, which in some cases is just a feeding tube.
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  #20  
April 16th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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I had no idea it was legal to remove a feeding tube and let somebody die. Wow.

I am not sure how I feel about this. I have the same feelings as most of you.
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