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I wish I could just be this man's friend...

(12 Posts)
pointythings Thu 18-Aug-11 20:46:31

story here

So under recent guidelines, family and friends could help this man end his life, but because none of them have the guts to do it, he is stuck with living the way he is, forever.

I am livid. If ever there was an argument for sensible, safeguarded legislation on assisted suicide, surely this man is it?

And yes, I know I am probably provoking a bunfight here, but I just don't care. It is an obscenity that this kind of misery should be allowed. I can kind of understand his wofe's point of view - though my DH has already said that he would hope I would be strong enough to support him should it happen to him - but why is there no-one who will help?

Flame me, it's sort of chilly anyway.

TaudrieTattoo Thu 18-Aug-11 20:50:09

I'm with you.

I wouldn't let a dog exist under those circumstances. It's beyond cruel.

That poor man.

Hassled Thu 18-Aug-11 20:51:59

I think "because none of them have the guts to do it" is way too harsh. It's a huge, huge thing. I hope I woudl have the strength if it were DH - but maybe I wouldn't. You can't predict, and you can't judge.

But I'm not flaming - fundamentally I agree with you. I hope he's successful.

pointythings Thu 18-Aug-11 21:00:42

Hassled fair point, just tells you how angry I am. It is a huge thing, but if we had sensible laws on assisted suicide, then this poor man wouldn't have to put his wife or his friends in this position.

Legislation on this would need to be very, very strict, but with 'Martin' as the benchmark - he comes across as so completely articulate, no psychiatrist could argue that he is doing this out of depression - surely we can do better than to just keep saying 'slippery slope'?

And if you want harsh, I feel sorry for his wife, but I also feel that she is weak and not loyal enough to her husband. Sorry in advance, but it's how I feel.

nancy75 Thu 18-Aug-11 21:03:52

I have mixed feelings about your post. 10 years ago my cousin (then aged 17) was seriously injured in a motorbike accident. He has the same injury that Christopher Reeves had and is now paralised from the neck down. He has lived like this for 10 years and has often said that he wishes he could just die. His parents at present would not be able to help him die. Although they see his pain and frustration every day (he lives at home with them & they are his primary carers) they also still see him as their much loved 27 year old son and they cling on to the hope that tomorrow there will be a cure or something that will make his life better. For them it is incredibly hard because although he often feels his life is worthless, to them his is just a young man with the same worth (for want of a better word) that he always had.
I know that in my cousin's situation I probably wouldn't want to live, but I also know that my Aunt and Uncle couldn't live with the though that they had killed their child. Some might see them as selfish, but it's just because they love him too much to let him go.
I hope to god I am never in the situation where I would have to end a loved ones life, and I really can't judge anyone who can't do it.

Ivortheengine8 Thu 18-Aug-11 21:14:16

A very difficult decision for the family to make. I don't think you can call someone 'weak' because they cannot commit to assisted suicide. I don't really think you can judge it correctly unless you have been there in that situation and had those feelings to deal with.

pointythings Thu 18-Aug-11 21:16:43

nancy75 fair point from you too, but I am speaking as someone whose grandmother (in the Netherlands, I'm Dutch) had the choice and made the choice, so I've been there too.

I think 10 years should be enough for anyone to realise that 1) the person in question has found ways to make their new life worthwhile, or 2) to realise that the person's wish to die is genuine and founded on sound reasoning.

And once again I reiterate that if we had sensible assisted suicide legislation, no-one's family would have to be put in the position where they had to make those choices - it could be left to the person themselves, as long as they were capable of making that decision.

mrspear Thu 18-Aug-11 21:28:05

The video is very hard to watch but it clearly shows he is of sound mind and very determined. I do think we need to look at these laws again; yes i do think he should be allowed to die.

nancy75 Thu 18-Aug-11 21:37:32

pointythings - I do understand your point about the need for a real discussion about this issue, and I do agree if we had a way that doctors could, in these cases assist suicides it would take away the guilt of the family. However your points about the wife being weak and not loyal enough are way off the mark.

pointythings Fri 19-Aug-11 21:01:44

We'll have to agree to disagree then Nancy - I take 'in sickness and in health' very seriously.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Aug-11 00:08:01

I heard the interview and have every sympathy both for the man in question and his wife. It is the most appalling thing imaginable that someone would have to kill... and let's not be mealy-mouthed about it.... their husband in cold blood. I can perfectly understand why she doesn't want to do it, in spite of the pressure from her husband.

More generally, I don't think there should be wholesale changes to the laws on murder and assisted suicide because I think it would have serious & unintended consequences. But I do think that doctors and relatives should be able to openly discuss end of life care with patients within an 'ethics committee' framework and that exceptional cases should be considered individually.

TheyCallMeMimi Mon 22-Aug-11 21:24:23

I want to ask a related question: if someone is perfectly fit (physically) but possibly not mentally (severe depression for 4 years), and repeatedly expresses a desire to die, insisiting that every day is torture, should you try to stop them? Or help them? Or what?

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