Right To Die

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Right To Die

Post by Doc on Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:13 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19341722

Very sad case in the courts last week. Tony Nicklinson lost his fight to end his life, so went home and starved himself to death. So he got his wish, but would imagine it to be a slow inhumane way to go, especially for his wife and daughters.

I uderstand that changing the law could open a can of worms, but surely in open and shut cases like this, exceptions should be made. This guy was very sane and compasmentious, so no danger of any underhand dealings. The judge did say however that he felt sorry for the guy, but was powerless to do anything even if he could, because it takes an act of parliament to change the law.
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Re: Right To Die

Post by LondonJonnyO on Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:42 pm

I think that his family are going to face problems as if he was starving himself they should have been phoning the hospital or something.

Voluntary manslaughter I would imagine. Or something similar.

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Re: Right To Die

Post by LadyPutt on Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:52 pm

LJ - it was stated in the media yesterday that as he died of natural causes (according to the doctor on the death certificate - pneumonia) there will be no police involvement and no inquest. thank goodness.

This is such a tragic case - as are all the others when people with perfectly competent minds but damaged bodies decide their lives are not worth the pain and humiliation and do not want to carry on, but can't do anything about it on their own. We put down animals when they are suffering because it is the kindest and most humane thing to do - so why can we not assist people to die if their so-called lives (if you can call an existance a life) are so intolerable? What is humane about that?
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Re: Right To Die

Post by LondonJonnyO on Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:18 pm

I think putting them down is a good thing.
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Re: Right To Die

Post by BlueCoverman on Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:24 pm

I have spoken about it on here before and so some of you may be aware that my Father was diagnosed with Dementia in 2008. For some time with the help of the drug Aricept and our care he managed a fairly normal life. This only began to change at the latter end of last year as the disease began to rapidly deteriorate and he was admitted to a specialist hospital in January for assessment. It took six months for them to fine tune his medication to a point where he was able to be discharged to full time nursing care in July.

By this time however he was unable to walk and spent his days in the nursing home sat in his wheelchair. Doubly incontinent and unable to say more than a couple of words, although he still recognizes us on our regular visits. On Tuesday morning the nursing home phoned me to say that they had called an ambulance for Dad as he was very unresponsive and they suspected he had a stroke. Dad has now been in hospital since then and although the head scan showed that he had not had a stroke he does have a serious infection and is very poorly.

We do put down animals when they are suffering that is true, but would my Dad liked to be assisted to die? Christ I don't know, the poor chap can't tell us.

You may think that putting them down is a good idea LJ and you are entitled to that opinion. All I know is that I don't want my Dad to die, I can't begin to even bear to think about it. And I dread to imagine what that would do to my Mother, who is seriously ill herself.
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Re: Right To Die

Post by LondonJonnyO on Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:43 pm

but who are you to make that choice?

If they are able to make a decision legally then surely it is up to them? I appreciate what you are saying in not wanting to lose them but if they feel they are unable to bear it surely you should respect that. And possibly even assist in order to ease their suffering.
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Re: Right To Die

Post by BlueCoverman on Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:58 pm

LondonJonnyO wrote:I think putting them down is a good thing.

It means the same as assisting to die of course, just felt that your choice of words was discourteous as if you were talking about a dog or a cat...
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Re: Right To Die

Post by LondonJonnyO on Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:32 pm

which was my point.

Whats the difference between the two when one is considered humane
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Re: Right To Die

Post by BlueCoverman on Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:03 am

I guess that with a human being there is usually always a feeling of hope.

Glen a friend of mine tells the story of his Father Jack who all through his life had said that 'when I get old and ill I don't want to live, I just want to be put out of my misery'

When the time came he lay in his hospital bed gravely ill and in pain. Glen said that there was not a word of 'put me out of my misery'. Jack fought and clung to life for as long as he could.



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Re: Right To Die

Post by LadyPutt on Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:21 am

I understand your dilemma BCM but I am talking about people who are perfectly alert mentally (as with Tony Nicklinson) but in an unresponsive body. He was quite mentally capable of saying he did not want to continue his "locked in" existance and therefore his wishes should have been granted. It is quite different for people who are unable, mentally, to state their intentions.

I have stated in my Will that I do not wish to be resuscitated or kept alive artificially and so has LordPutt (who saw his first wife die painfully of cancer) but whether my wishes will be adhered to, I doubt and that fills me with dread.
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Re: Right To Die

Post by LondonJonnyO on Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:31 am

Incidentally. On the "putting down" thing. If someone pulls the plug when another is unable to make or communicate a choice does it amount to the same thing?
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Re: Right To Die

Post by Doc on Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:09 pm

As I said in my opening post, this subject is a can of worms. On the one hand you have a cut and dried case of TK, who is obviously highly articulate (Via PC) and switched on, but should have the right to switch off, if you'll pardon the pun.

There are people who cannot communicate, and maybe their families are at the end of their tether, and want it to end, but for selfish reasons. There will be cases of, nursing home staff wanting to make choices on behalf of some patients. There will be cases like BC's, where nothing has ever been mentioned regarding the subject, but in this case the family would never think of it, even though BC's father may wish it to end, but cannot communicate it. (Over simplification BC)

There will be cases like LP's example which concerns DNR, but could well be 'please switch off' if my quality of life has gone. LP had a living will done, but maybe these living wills, which concern DNR or switch off, should be updated each year (Signed/dated) so that the document is deemed as current, as I suspect there will be many cases of peoples views changing overtime. We've seen it many times where someone says one thing at an earlier age, only to change their minds as the years go by.

Cut and dried cases should different in my opinion
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