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Assisted dying - so angry

(164 Posts)
specialsubject Fri 18-Jul-14 20:22:11

No-one is saying it will be compulsory. But it looks like it is going nowhere. And this kind of comment is why:

Archbishop of York says: "Dying well is a positive achievement of a task which belongs to our humanity"

tell that to Tony Nicklinson's family, and many others.

I am no more terminally ill than any other healthy person. But if I become so, I would like the choice. I have seen the suffering of someone who didn't have it.

It was ok for George V. It is ok for suffering animals. Why isn't it ok for terminally ill humans who want to make that choice? Why is this choice not allowed?

TessOfTheFurbyvilles Fri 18-Jul-14 21:22:04

Totally agree with you.

When terminally ill people speak out against assisted dying, and say they're happy and wouldn't want to end their lives, I think to myself 'well that's good for YOU, but it isn't how everyone feels."

I don't like saying this about people who are terminally ill, but I think those who are against it are a bit selfish about the whole issue. It's like they're saying, "because I wouldn't want to end my life, no-one else should want to, or indeed be able to."

settingsitting Fri 18-Jul-14 21:24:32

The way it was described whereever I saw it, when they were showing the debate in parliament, it came across as pure murder.

PersonalClown Fri 18-Jul-14 21:28:53

I have to say that I agree. I just don't know how it can be implemented without people being pressured into making a decision they don't want to.

I'm all for choice. If you wish to end your life in a peaceful, safe, pain free state surrounded by your loved ones at a time that suits you, I'm all for it.

If you wish to live every single day that you are meant to be on this Earth? I'm all for it.

glenthebattleostrich Fri 18-Jul-14 21:29:05

I've just finished reading Me Before You which is a novel about a paraplegic man who wants to die. It describes a suicide attempt which leads his family to agree to take him to dignitas if he gives them 6 more months. The main character also talks about how its his life, why can't he choose how it ends. That made sense to me.

I think it is a persons choice when they go. Provided safeguards are put in place it should be legal. And if you don't want an assisted death, then don't have one.

edamsavestheday Fri 18-Jul-14 21:33:51

I agree with you, but I think some of the opposition from disabled people is principled - they are concerned that desperately ill and disabled people will come under pressure to end their lives or that doctors will come to regard their lives as less worthwhile.

I disagree, and think these objections can be dealt with by safeguarding - and making good palliative care available to EVERYONE which it certainly is not at the moment. But I respect where those disabled people who are concerned about the law are coming from.

Of course, they don't speak for all disabled or chronically ill people. Terry Pratchett, for example. I believe in the right to self-determination - if someone wants to hang on until the bitter end, they should receive the very best care to help them do so as comfortably as possible (which is not always the case) and if someone else wants to end it all, they should be able to.

specialsubject Fri 18-Jul-14 21:34:54

right with you, personal clown. The choice you describe is what this law it about.

the idea that we will all be free to knock granny on the head to get the inheritance beggars belief.

BackforGood Fri 18-Jul-14 21:47:08

Have to agree with everyone else.

Have they voted yet?

Nerf Fri 18-Jul-14 21:51:40

Actually, I think the safeguards now might be good, but are a slippery slope to a gradual erosion of rights and treatment of ill/disabled people. Termination is now so easy compared to the intention of the original legislation - two doctors signing that it's the right thing? I saw a nurse at the clinic, per signed form already there, no proper counselling, termination within a cple if weeks.

Nerf Fri 18-Jul-14 21:52:05

Sorry, pre not per

ICanHearYou Fri 18-Jul-14 21:55:24

Trying to remove all emotion from it (which I think is important when dealing with social policies)

We can't afford top of the range cancer treatments for many people who want to live

Yet we spend money keeping alive people who WANT to die.

Ridiculous, we need to get our priorities straight and move on from this 'pro-life regardless of quality' bullshit.

zumby Fri 18-Jul-14 21:57:05

I don't know. I have witnessed close family members dying horribly slowly and suffering.

But, if I was in that position I think I would feel so pressured by what I thought my family wanted that I wouldn't be able to make that decision, and my last days would/could be clouded by worrying about this huge issue - what do I do for the best?

7Days Fri 18-Jul-14 21:58:28

I'm another who worries about right to die slowly segueing onto Duty to Die.

It's very difficult.

Viviennemary Fri 18-Jul-14 22:02:56

I don't agree with it. Sorry. I don't agree with prolonging life. But to administer a substance which will cause death will open the floodgates.

Flexibilityiskey Fri 18-Jul-14 22:02:58

I'm hoping by the time my time comes I have the right to decide when I've had enough. I think that would take a lot of the terror out of terminal illness, knowing that when you feel you can't take any more, you don't have to.

Blondieminx Fri 18-Jul-14 22:15:57

We have a family member dying of cancer ATM - they are utterly fed up and would like to be able to choose to go peacefully rather than slide further into painful decrepitude.

Putting individuals (and the families who watch and care for those people) though a long painful slow death when they could choose a dignified exit just seems ridiculously cruel sad

edamsavestheday Fri 18-Jul-14 23:36:24

I don't want to be forced to endure prolonged and hopeless suffering if the end of my life is unpleasant. I feel desperately sorry for people with hideous progressive conditions like Motor Neurone Disease - if I was ever diagnosed with that (like poor Chris Woodhead, ex-Ofsted, I believe) I would want to have the option of a civilised way out before I reached the stage of suffocating on my own saliva, thanks very much.

More pertinently, the worries about people not wanting to be a burden... my Mother is currently hale and hearty but is VERY clear that if she ever is a burden, she wants out. This is based on witnessing her Grandmother's slow and hideous decline through Alzheimers. After her Granny died, her Mother had a nervous breakdown through the strain of caring for someone in such misery.

I think my Mother has a point and as a fully competent, well-informed adult, is entitled to say firmly she doesn't ever want to be in that position. She worked for a medical charity for years, has been at close quarters with excellent doctors and nurses and does NOT want to be at their tender mercies as a vulnerable elderly person with no hope of recovery.

I'm sure there are some people who may be vulnerable in terms of undue pressure or self-sacrifice, but people like my Mother who have a settled, long-expressed wish not to be a burden should have their wishes respected. I just hope a right to assisted suicide is there should my Mother ever need it - or if I do, or anyone I love. If not, I hope I'd be brave enough to carry out my Mother's wishes, even if that carries a hell of a risk for me.

SantanaLopez Fri 18-Jul-14 23:42:00

It's not just a personal choice though. Someone has to administer that medicine and that is a huge, huge burden to put on someone.

There are too many risks IMO. No amount of adequate safeguarding can be put in place.

edamsavestheday Fri 18-Jul-14 23:45:00

Doctors would be able to opt out, just as they are not obliged to have any involvement in abortion. There are plenty of doctors who would opt out, but there are others who would be prepared to relieve suffering by causing death where that was the patients' settled intention.

ICanHearYou Sat 19-Jul-14 02:40:06

In many cases the patient could self-administer, they just have to be given the tools to do so.

In other cases it could be an impartial body on understanding of a will or contract.

the (small) risk of some abuse of power is far outweighed by the many years of pain and suffering that many people go through at the end of their lives. It is about least harm caused and at the moment we allow most harm because of tiny risk, which is backwards.

Nerf Sat 19-Jul-14 06:52:49

I don't think you can say there is a small risk of abuse. What basis do you gave for that? I would imagine there are far more elderly and sick people vulnerable to pressure than a few for whom palliative care is not working.

lunar1 Sat 19-Jul-14 07:25:30

I agree with the right to die in principle, but the practicalities scare the hell out if me.

There are families out there who would rather grannie popped off early to avoid spending all the inheritance.

I know that drs would be able to opt out if this, dh is a dr and there is no way he would be involved. While most people involved would be there for good reasons, the role would be attractive to people with bad intent.

I think this is one area where we can't have one over riding law. It needs to be on a case by case basis. I just think a sweeping law concerning right to die is to open to abuse.

lunar1 Sat 19-Jul-14 07:26:39

I would like to see the evidence that the risk if abuse is small.

crescentmoon Sat 19-Jul-14 09:37:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GalaxyInMyPants Sat 19-Jul-14 09:39:37

I agree. The last couple of weeks of my dads life were awful. He was terminally ill. A slightly too big morphine injection would have been a blessing I'm sure.

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