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to think that belgian voluntary enthanasia is murder

(80 Posts)
ReallyTired Thu 03-Oct-13 09:29:53

When you have someone who is terminally ill and in extreme pain then I think there is a case for enthanasia. However I think there is a fine line between helping someone to have a dignified death and helping someone with possilby treatable depression to commit suicide.

This poor transexual was allowed enthanasia because of a botched sex change operation. I feel that he/she should have had treatment for depression/ councelling rather than being helped to commit suicide. I imagine that the fact that Nathan Verhelst was rejected by his parents for being born a girl had caused him untold pychological issues.

Prehaps Nathan Verhelst was poorly supported through his sex change operation and its tragic that he never found happiness. I hope that he rests in peace and I feel its sad that he was not helped to find peace in this world.

LookingThroughTheFog Fri 04-Oct-13 09:54:58

And so many sympathies to you, Expat.

LookingThroughTheFog Fri 04-Oct-13 09:54:40

Once again, I'm left with the unsettling feeling that some people out there think that suicidal people simply aren't working hard enough at being well.

Most of us work bloody hard every single sodding day, and there's often no end in sight. Yet you're still told that suicides are selfish, that they should only choose certain ways, that they only need X, Y or Z.

I'm actually fine at the moment. I'm doing relatively well. I'm happy for my children's sake that they still have a mum around, but I'm not happy for me specifically. I don't think 'thank God I didn't end it! Life is lovely now!' I'm hanging on for them, and life is currently manageable but no more than that. I'm very well aware that this is not likely to be a permanent situation. I'm aware that there is more pain to come, and more work to do. And whatever happens, there will be people sitting in judgement that I'm not working hard enough.

Yes I do think 'I'd like to be around for my children's weddings.' I also know that the reality is that this might not happen.

MorrisZapp Fri 04-Oct-13 09:43:43

Oh expat. No words really. Hugs if you want them.

expatinscotland Fri 04-Oct-13 00:03:37

I lost my daughter to 'natural causes', pneumonia from cancer treatment. It was horrible. Her lungs failed after weeks of battling two infections and leaked the air they were unable to exchange, whilst she was on a vent. The poor doctor was so, so kind. We asked what would happen if the vent were not turned off. He told us the truth, and I've learned from other doctor friends that it was indeed the truth. Those patients wake up, no matter how heavily sedated, as the build up of air literally crushes them to death from the inside and finally their hearts cease to beat due to pressure. And he said, very softly, 'It haunts me.' We had no wish to visit that on her nor that man, who was very kind, nor anyone else. We switched her off. Other people chose differently, that is their choice.

We have since come to know countless other bereaved parents whose children died of other natural causes and the stories I can tell you would make a statue keen with grief.

Despite all the best palliative care, it is not drifting off to sleep much of the time. The human body clings and fights for life.

Death is not pretty or romantic. Changes happen very quickly to the body.

As an adult, I would seek to avoid this if possible, and I resent others dictating what they think it best for me because it doesn't sit well with their comfort zone and their parameters.

I do not judge others who opt differently but that is just it, it should be a choice, and I do resent others who think I, or anyone else, should not have that option, to die with as much dignity as possible, with loved ones who chose to be there, and treat me and those people like criminals.

Loopytiles Thu 03-Oct-13 20:03:24

People with terrible degenerative conditions have the choice to commit suicide or travel somewhere like switzerland before they want to die,while they can still physically do this, depriving them of time; to ask someone to help them die (potentially risking prosecution and a huge emotional burden); or go through whatever their condition has in store.

The option of a dignified death when they choose would be much better.

Loopytiles Thu 03-Oct-13 19:59:06

yabvu to suggest that doctors and nurses would find euthanasia easier than caring for people until "natural" death.

And "slippery slope" / could make murder easier arguments are often used by people against any euthanasia to try to disuade people on the fence. Scaremongering. Checks can be put in place.

Even good palliative care (not always available) can't always make people comfortable. Motor neurone disease, for example.

CaptainPoop Thu 03-Oct-13 19:36:02

As someone who has attempted suicide 8 times (probably only 3 were serious, the other times i didn't want to die, I just didn't know how else to make the pain stop) using multiple methods I can say to all the posters who believe it is a preferable alternative to euthanasia, that it is the most painful, undignified and traumatic experience.

People will never see euthanasia as an option if they are not willing, begging, to die to begin with. It's not an 'easy' option, EVER. Only the most desperate of souls look to death to ease their suffering.

quoteunquote Thu 03-Oct-13 18:56:25

You only get one life, what you do with it is entirely up to you, as long as you do no harm to anyone or anything it is nobody business what you actually do.

The only shameful thing in this is our failure as the human race not to meet everyones needs.

You cannot take decisions from people, that would be stealing, they belong to each individual, every person is entitled to their choices.

cavell Thu 03-Oct-13 18:42:01

I'm glad for this man that he was able to end his life at a time of his choosing and in a peaceful, pain-free manner.

Of course it would be better that no-one was ever in a position where death seemed the preferable option to a continued life of suffering - whether psychological or physical. But, sadly, people do find themselves in such positions. And there isn't always a solution or an answer to bring an end to their suffering.

stringornothing Thu 03-Oct-13 17:45:53

This is a really fascinating article which explains why I'm very wary of official sanction of suicide for depression. But NB that it does not argue that suicide is never a legitimate response, only that the bar should be set very high.

stringornothing Thu 03-Oct-13 17:34:12

Many many people who are prevented from committing suicide do recover and go on to be grateful for being saved though. Presumably most of them thought there was no hope at the time. I'm very wary of the idea that their decisions should be respected.

But assuming that this tragic person's condition was incurable, which is the official medical stance, should the parents be tried for manslaughter?

mrsjay Thu 03-Oct-13 17:25:51

people are becoming a little hysterical nobody is going to kill disabled child, and you can withold treatment now from a severely ill/disabled child so it can go on without any legislation they just let nature take its course,

expatinscotland Thu 03-Oct-13 17:25:37

Same here, Secret. My decision, no more comfortable with my right to die being dictated than I am with reproductive rights being dictated.

mrsjay Thu 03-Oct-13 17:23:28

So would I secretwitch

SecretWitch Thu 03-Oct-13 17:16:23

If my physical or emotional pain were so great that I wished to die, I would want to go to a country that allows me to do so with dignity and compassion.

expatinscotland Thu 03-Oct-13 17:12:38

Love this romantic ideal that people who are terminally ill with cancer all die swiftly, unconscious, pain-free. That is a load of crap. I know people whose loved one, whose children have woken suddenly on heavy painkillers with wild fear in their eyes, unable to speak and then die.

expatinscotland Thu 03-Oct-13 17:10:45

'are we saying that for some there is no cure and they should be allowed to choose to die.'

There is no cure for many mental illness. And many do in fact chose suicide.

samu2 Thu 03-Oct-13 17:09:38

Actually, depression isn't always treatable ReallyTired

My husband has bi-polar, he is pretty much always depressed. All the meds and therapy in the world hasn't cured him or even controlled it enough for him to lead a 'normal' life. And he has been trying for 18 years.

If someone doesn't want to live their life that way then I don't blame them, I also don't blame them for wanting to do it a more dignified manner and I think everyone should have that right to do so.

expatinscotland Thu 03-Oct-13 17:08:58

Depression is treatable and the symptoms of terminal cancer can be relieved in a lot of cases with strong pain killers like heroin or cancer.

Sometimes it most certainly is not and often enough, those who present with depression have also another mental illness for which there really is no treatment.

Similarly, it is BS that all those with terminal cancer can die pain free. I've known and heard of those who did not. There was nothing that could alleviate their pain and tbh, why on Earth should they be subjected to your idea of what is quality of life? It is their body and their life.

They should be allowed to end that with dignity and loved one around, not jumping off a bridge like Tony Scott.

thoroughlymodernmillie Thu 03-Oct-13 16:46:50

To have a terminal illness, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. No cure. I don't know much about mental illness to be honest but are we saying that for some there is no cure and they should be allowed to choose to die.
A close family member committed suicide a couple of years ago. All I can think is that they must have been in the depths of despair. However it was a permanent solution for a temporary problem which they may have recovered from.

Madeleine10 Thu 03-Oct-13 15:49:16

"Voluntary euthanasia for those over 18 is relatively uncontroversial in Belgium. Parliament is now considering expanding the law to under 18s as well."

This is seriously frightening, I agree HaveToWearHeeals.
This is exactly the sort of mission creep that so many people against euthanasia fear, and that so many supporters have said could never happen for X,Y,Z reasons - and yet here it is under consideration in Belgium.

The fact that it could apply minors is dreadful, but it is a genuine concern for all vulnerable groups.

I'm sympathetic, however, to the principle of end of life/terminal illness assistance.

ScoobyWho Thu 03-Oct-13 15:03:09

You're not killing the victim, you're allowing them to make a choice to end their own life. You mightn't believe it's the right choice but to be fair thats not really the issue.

ReallyTired Thu 03-Oct-13 14:58:50

"depression isn't just being a bit sad.

severe depression is as crippling as widespread cancer"

Depression attacks the soul in a way that no other condition does. The person loses the ablity to think. This is why people with severe depression who refuse help are sectioned, but people with cancer are allowed to refuse treatment.

Surely both conditions should be treated rather than killing the victim. Depression is treatable and the symptoms of terminal cancer can be relieved in a lot of cases with strong pain killers like heroin or cancer.

I think the difference between terminal cancer is that death is inniment anyway. The person 's life is not being significantly shortened.

thebody Thu 03-Oct-13 14:21:23

depression isn't just being a bit sad.

severe depression is as crippling as widespread cancer.

poor man. I hope he is at peace now.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 03-Oct-13 14:13:42

YANBU but this is the danger of legalised euthanasia. It starts with those who are terminally ill, develops to include those who are suicidal and the risk is that it doesn't stop there.

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