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Found this story on euthanasia a bit unsettling for some reason

(70 Posts)
Monkeytrousers Mon 25-Aug-08 19:44:55


I am broadly in favour of euthanasia and assisted suicide when it will ease an otherwise terrible death - and though this woman fitted that bill, I got the feeling reading it that she wanted her family to fight for her - to argue with her - to at least try to talk her out of it, hence her barely hidden rage (I thought).

Would be interesting to hear others opinions of it.

3andnomore Mon 25-Aug-08 23:14:17

It is uncomfortable to read, isn't it!
However, I don't think the arguments were a sign of the mum that she wanted to be talked out of it!
I think her rage was more at be in that situation, to feel out of control, to be scared of death but more scared of declining further, scared of teh pain.....! She wasn't really ready to die, I suppose, but felt that under the circumstances it was the lesser "evil".

Well, that is the conclusion I came to anyway.

policywonk Mon 25-Aug-08 23:17:04

That's an interesting way of looking at it MT. I was aghast at the writer having an argument with her and going off to see his friends a couple of days before she died.

3andnomore Mon 25-Aug-08 23:20:50

Hm, he might just needed to be away for a was a very pressurised time and of course he might have wanted to give his Dad and Mum some time together, though?

LynetteScavo Mon 25-Aug-08 23:22:21

I agree, it didn't seem to me she was ready to die.

I was almost trying to read between the lines, wondering what the whole story was. A newspaper article is never going to have space to include the whole story.

I was left with a lot of questions I'd have liked answered.

choosyfloosy Mon 25-Aug-08 23:25:30

I found it quite chilling, although I think the editing was part of that - it was very short. Also I felt (ridiculous I know) a sense of loss - I wanted to know what she thought and felt, not just the writer's perspective. That's the point about death I suppose - it is a deprivation, no man is an island etc etc, but in this case the death was not 'natural' and the loss felt unnatural too. I certainly feel less positive about euthanasia after reading it.

msdemeanor Mon 25-Aug-08 23:26:58

I think it is really chilling, tbh. Yes, I felt she wasn't ready at all to die. I am so surprised nobody talked her out of it. She sounded really scared - of the illness of course, but also of being killed.

3andnomore Mon 25-Aug-08 23:31:15

choosy, I suppose the writer could only give his point of view....
he did seem detached, though, BUt I wonder if that was more down to the fact that he wrote about something that will never be easy to write about and it wa very close to home, of course...

weeonion Mon 25-Aug-08 23:32:12

i'm not sure how i felt about it. i do support euthanisia after supporting some family members through terminal illnesses. the thing that struck me was that she knew the exact time of her death or the possibility of it at least. when people say they are ready to die - do they know the precise day and hour it will happen?. usually not but she did. maybe that made the difference?
i dont know if i could say i was ready, when still physically active but on a rapid decline. i still want this option for myself though.

dittany Mon 25-Aug-08 23:34:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mazzystar Mon 25-Aug-08 23:36:14

I think its the way that it is written. Its all very stark, very factual. There is very little about the author's feelings in it. Without wishing to sound callous - I sort of don't really see what the point of the article is.

3andnomore Mon 25-Aug-08 23:37:19

weeonion....don't think that will ever really become an option over here....did an Essay on Physician assisted suicide and enthanisia (sp) last year and Lord Joffe's Bill to change the law so far has always been overruled....and without it put into law it is a very dodgy grey area.....

TheFallenMadonna Mon 25-Aug-08 23:50:00

I found that very shocking. I struggle with euthanasia, and I think this crystallises my concerns.

As a portrait of a family I found it very sad, and I hope it isn't an accurate reflection of their last days all together.

Monkeytrousers Tue 26-Aug-08 09:11:18

I think had they argued with her it would have harderned her resolve to do it - I think she did want to do it, but she also wanted them to mourn her, to show her they loved her and would miss her. But maybe it was all taken out inb the edit..but why?

They did not seem like a family who knew how to talka bout their emotions to each other, so the only way she could express her fear and confusion was by nagging and controlling. I cant help feeling as if, if they could have said something, it still would have been a declaration from them to her of their love which would have helped her prepare herself. As it was it seemed to emotionally desolate...poor woman.

I am still in favour of this kind of euthanasia, but it certainly poses some questions about preparng to die in emotionally dysfunctional atmospheres.

Monkeytrousers Tue 26-Aug-08 09:12:34

But this is maybe all my projections - I am just trying to see it from her perspective - nigh on impossible I know.

dittany Tue 26-Aug-08 15:53:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilfSell Tue 26-Aug-08 16:08:20

I read it completely differently to some of you. My MIL just died recently of secondary cancer, including metastasised brain tumours. They made her completely doolally and not at all herself. I interpreted the article as a family grieving for the loss of the person before she died because of dramatic personality changes caused by brain tumours.

Monkeytrousers Tue 26-Aug-08 19:46:48

Yes, I admit that might have been part of it, but the end seemed to hint that they had never been close. It was just a bit sad, a sorry close to a life - but still a mercifully pain free one, which is a great gift to have and naybe outweighs the other considerations.

3andnomore Tue 26-Aug-08 21:49:51

wilfsell...I read it from that kind of perspective...I's one I carry through.....I used to work in Oncology as nurse, but I still felt the same when , forinstance, my Nan died, after long suffering, and basically losing herself, and a few limbs on the way (diabetis, dementia, etc...)...yes, my nan got to a grand age, but she didn't live all that, in the real sense of the word!

Like I said before the articel seemed detached...but some might be "lost in translation" the author is from the Netherlands, and just like us germans his style will be different, more abrupt..
and also, it was a professional article...

but also, it won't happen here anyway...because there could be such backlash to remainding family and t is all up to the judge to, your loved one could serve a life sentence or whatever for murder, or get community service...but you won't know....until after....

policywonk Tue 26-Aug-08 22:29:07

My mother died recently from cancer, and she also had secondary brain tumours (although she remained largely herself until the end). I absolutely could not have contemplated going away for the weekend if I'd known she was going to die a couple of days later, much less have an argument with her over something trivial.

I know everyone responds to grief differently, so it's wrong to judge people's reactions really, but in writing this article this man has put his family's experience in the spotlight. My reaction was the same as MT's - this family seems to me to be emotionally constipated, and this woman might well have been desperately sad at the muted reaction her decision received. But of course we'll never know for sure.

3andnomore Tue 26-Aug-08 22:34:52


I don't tink anyone feels entirely comfortable with the way that piece waas written...and yes, it feels wrong the way it was wrotten...doesn't mean it was wrong what happened...not everyone is good at writing down felt to me like a "factual account" of what happened...but of course...unless I knew the person writing the piece I can not tell if that is the way they are or not...iykwim.

It certainly gave a very stressed out feeling...not a content one....but tbh....unless you are really passed that sage where you can cope, when it is to late any decisions, you may never seem ready...

I have only really dealt with people either dyng because it was their time, due to illness/age....or after tehy had an accident...when, it is a totally completely different situation

lisalisa Tue 26-Aug-08 22:49:32

I dont believe in euth anyway but reading that cementged it. I think the mum felt pressurised to go through with it - one more thing she could control - perhaps having suggesgted it initially she felt she couldn't pull nback from it ( being someone who clearly liik,ed to direct the whole show). It left a sense with me that she was sad to go nd wold have liked her relatives to fight fo her - perhap[s she felt unloved and unneeded which was part of her reason?

Tommy Tue 26-Aug-08 22:52:56

I found it a difficult read as well. I honestly thought she was being selfish - it didn't seem to me that she had considered anyone else's feelings when she made her decision

3andnomore Tue 26-Aug-08 23:29:30

just out of interest...why did you feel she was selfish, Tommy

Tommy Wed 27-Aug-08 10:23:53

because she was only thinking about herself - she didn't seem to have considered whether her family thought it was the right thing to do, or their feelings about it all. I sincerely believe that every thing we do has an effect on other people and we have to take lots more things into account than just what is best for us. Her sons and husband didn't seem to have had any say in any decision and I just thought that was really sad - they are the ones who will be left behind with all the grief, guilt etc

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