Discussion in 'Politics' started by Diode-Man, May 22, 2012.

1. ### BellsStaff Member

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20,069
I actually couldn't laugh through it. There are a few reasons.

I'll be honest, when I was first diagnosed and when it came back again and again, it did cross my mind.. that if I got to the point where it was terminal and I was approaching the stage where I would no longer be able to wipe my own backside or wash myself or feed myself.. it was something I thought about in the dead of night.

And I thought, would I be strong enough to do it? Which was always countered with 'do I want my children to see me in that state' and worse, do I want to risk my children finding me or being there as I died, be it by my own hand or by it. It played alot on my mind. Or would I be weak and allow my selfish desire to spend more time with my children result in my children seeing me in the state that the final stage takes you.

It is a horrendous proposition to have to think about. And I thought about it. A lot. I remember telling my best friend what I had been thinking and how I had been feeling and he just looked at me, held my hand and cried. Granted at that point my hair had fallen out and he'd just helped me clean up after being quite ill, so he may have been crying at the position he'd volunteered himself into by staying with me.

I can't laugh about it because it is still very vivid to me. Making yes and no lists in my mind. It is a horrible thing to have to consider and frankly, I have respect for people who do it as much as I have respect for people who choose not to. It is personal and I guess, until you've been there and faced the possibility for real.. I guess without that, it is kind of funny.

But most of all, I can't laugh about it because when I was much younger, my best friend killed herself and her father and I found her. That stays with you for life. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her, nor is there a day that goes by that I actually do not see her again as she was at that time. I don't recall her alive. I still see her as she was when she died. And not a day goes by that I don't think about our last conversation and why I let her hang up the phone or when I had last seen her and why I didn't notice. She suffered from severe depression after a childhood filled with being raped by her step-father. In the end, she killed herself as she was entering adulthood. She never recovered. That article, to me, while many find it funny, to me it is just a sad reflection of reality.

The moment the thought of ending it enters your head, you have to tell someone.

Last edited: May 22, 2012

3. ### Buddha12Valued Senior Member

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2,950
Just a few facts. Did you know that over half of the money spent by the government helping people with hospitalization is for their lkast 3 to 4 months in ICU before they die? Most of those people are already very old and frail and their systems are all shutting down. They are put on life support which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars so that every time another of their systems fails another machine is pluged in to help them stay alive. That's a tremendous cost just to save a person from dying in the end anyway and that money could go to save younger people who might have problems but no way to get financial help to hospitalize them for it.

Does this mean we should unplug those already on their way out or should we keep trying to save them as long as we can until theirs no more macines that can keep them going?

5. ### BellsStaff Member

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20,069
Umm..

Okay..

Wow..

I don't think I want to respond to that. But thanks for letting us know..

7. ### StryderKeeper of "good" ideas.Valued Senior Member

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Consider this (a conspiracy theory if you like);
<<< CONSPIRACY WARNING!!! >>>

Some governments (notably Communist ones) would likely utilise behavioural control modification systems on people that break specific laws (like for instance using drugs which they might actually give a death penalty for in their native country), they might well use such systems to cause a person to become "Ill" as to "teach the criminal a lesson".

One method of beating said conspiracy would be to say, stop taking drugs?!?
<<< CONSPIRACY WARNING END!!! >>>

As for "euthanasia", in extreme cases this makes sense, like for instance a person that is suffering from extensive forms of untreatable cancer that feels absolute pain with every waking moment, or an invalid that can't function in the world or even be conscious of it to the point where they are more like a mould than a person.

Like I mentioned however those are extreme cases.

A person suffering a psychological disposition that is likely caused by either drug usage or some external interaction shouldn't consider euthanasia as an option. In fact an argument can be put forwards similar to how parents attempt to get their children to eat greens, in their particular scenario they point out that in other parts of the world people are starving and they would be lucky to have greens to eat.

What I am pointing out is that you have an able body, you have potentially a mind that only currently suffers in trying to work out a real direction since it's clouded with artificial delusional constructs.

You have more things going for you than the poor sod that's bedridden with no capacity to move limb, constantly on drugs to control pain and waiting for their imminent death which has been slowed down by people attempting to "aid" them.

As for "euthanasia" as a solution, the only people that are going to consider that to be true are "sociopaths" that would prefer to see everyone else wiped out so they can just "take" anything they want from their cold dead clammy hands. They are the archetypes of people that really do need the psychiatric drugs.

One of the main reasons that Humankind has managed to survive on this planet, isn't just down to Darwinistic "Survival of the fittest", it's also down to learning how to survive as a civilisation by sharing any burdens with others. Sometimes just because a person is confined to say a wheelchair, it doesn't mean they can prove of use to the world in large scale, if anything it's a limitation in one area allowing them to specialise in another.

Survival of the fittest is really about learning how to utilise all resources at their full potential. (Destroying "resources" is therefore idiotic) Of course a resource doesn't mean a person should be forced into indenture slavery or other types of slavery, but that's when we start to look towards defining what human rights are.

8. ### Buddha12Valued Senior Member

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2,950

So those people who allow this to be a law in Oregon are all "sociopaths'?:shrug:

"On October 27, 1997 Oregon enacted the Death with Dignity Act which allows terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose. The Oregon Death with Dignity Act requires the Oregon Health Authority to collect information about the patients and physicians who participate in the Act, and publish an annual statistical report. "

9. ### Buddha12Valued Senior Member

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2,950
Just trying to try and understand when and where euthanasia should or could be administered, that's all.

10. ### StryderKeeper of "good" ideas.Valued Senior Member

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You know it could be classed as intellectual dishonesty to pick particular passages of text while ignoring any precursors, notice in my text body you'll find.

The portion of you quote:

Is likely seen an extreme case

11. ### Billy TValued Senior Member

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21,978
In ref to post 22, I have had prostate removed nearly four years ago, but still have quite active cancer. Recent studies show re-occurrence even after radial prostatomy (or radiation etc.) is not a question of if but when - for many it will be more than 10 years.

My PSA after the operation was doubling every 30 days and was 0.8 at nine months post op. I.e. I have bad genes and very aggressive form of the cancer, but with diet I developed after about 100 hours of reading journal articles found via PuB Med site, and less than 50% of time on simple drugs, I am now controlling it quite well but in what may be a slowing losing battle.

There are some very expensive drugs for those who have advanced to Hormone Refractory stage (CRPC)*. - The first FDA approved one costs about $95,000 (Dendron´s) plus >$10,000 more for its administration and testing. On average it gives about three months extra life.

I.e. You would spend at least half a million dollars during the typical three or so years you would live in this CRPC stage. I could afford that, but would prefer to die three months sooner and leave those funds to my heirs - Death is not preventable. Long period of great pain is.

* I have not - I´m holding my PSA <0.1 but if I were following the normal pattern, especially for one with aggressive cancer, I should be a CRPC case by now.

Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2012
12. ### CptBorkRobbing the Shalebridge CradleValued Senior Member

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5,030
Well like I said, the humour is pretty harsh in that one, ie. a lot of people won't be laughing. But I thought it brought up some very important points for consideration. Not only will depressed people often seriously underestimate the impact of their death on their friends and family (and even strangers they never met or barely knew), but there are some other subtle details they probably don't know about.

Statistically the vast majority of suicide attempts fail and risk leaving horrible lifetime injuries for the survivor to deal with, and the survival rate is surprisingly high even for falls and gunshots. One of my closest friends had an acquaintance who went to extreme lengths to take his life and should have died 5 times over (and in fact died twice on the operating table), but he was still rescued, resuscitated and sent back to square one as a cripple minus a lot of his family's previous support. It might frustrate some people that developed medical systems will do anything they can to keep them alive, but that's the way it still works, regardless of how much the patient might plead to be left alone. Plus after all the trauma of surviving the suicide attempt itself, there's a pretty good chance the attempt will land the patient in a psych unit for an extended period of time, which doesn't look very pleasant at all.

Another consideration is that there's a huge gap between the Hollywood depiction of death and the reality. What might sound like a "quick and painless" way to go is usually anything but, sometimes even after consciousness is lost. I have a pretty strong hunch that a lot of people who succeed in taking their lives end up with a far more horrific experience than anything they were anticipating, which usually seems to be the case based on the testimonies of those who ultimately survive. Self-administered death is a far cry from euthanasia, since the latter in a medical setting would generally be performed by individuals vastly more capable, competent, well-equipped and experienced than the patient, and in the case of the former there's no one available to monitor and make sure everything's going as it's supposed to. Lots of bad info out there on ways to end one's own life, and just remember it's all written by people who were still alive at the time of the writing.

What struck me about the cracked.com link is the comparison to horror movies. In a lot of those ghost movies and whatnot, what's the worst possible thing the spooks can do to the victim, what's the biggest reason for fearing them? Granted in some horror movies the deaths are relatively quick, in others they're gruesome and dragged out, but the latter also applies for most successful suicides. Humans are evolved to survive and when one's body recognizes its very existence is imminent danger, I can imagine the nervous system is really going to flip out in those final moments. So unless they're a battle-scarred elite veteran commando, those last moments stand a good chance of being by far the most traumatic the suicidee has ever experienced in their entire lives.

So compared to the trauma involved in ending it all, I think seeking and exhausting all available sources of help is really a far more preferable option. No one lives forever anyhow and if you go the natural way, your chances are far greater of it being quick and clean or having professional assistance to make it as comfortable as possible. Plus really, young people give themselves far too much credit when it comes to knowledge about how their lives might turn out if they put in a sustained effort.

But to get back to the topic at hand, I do think there's a point when someone has suffered enough that if the prospects look bleak for them to ever feel better and happy to still be alive, they shouldn't be dragged indefinitely through a life they never wanted in the first place.

13. ### BellsStaff Member

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20,069
But that is a decision the individual has to make for him/herself. And I do think that it is something they need to get counselling about first, to make sure of their frame of mind when making the decision. For example, are they wanting to do it because they feel they may be a burden on their loved one's or because they feel their loved one's would be better off if they did not have to cope with the illness.. Or do they want to go out on their own terms..?

What I do strongly believe is that it is cruel to force someone to suffer against their will (in the case of a terminal illness). And if that person wants to end that suffering, then no one should force them to endure further suffering.

14. ### quadraphonicsBloodthirsty BarbarianValued Senior Member

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I tend to agree - but there's that troubling statistic that a large majority of people who try to commit suicide, but fail, end up glad that they failed in the end. Not sure how strongly that applies to people who are suffering from terminal illness, but it would suggest that there should be some mandatory counselling/psychological assessment to ensure that the person is of sound mind and really is committed to dying.

15. ### BellsStaff Member

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20,069
I agree. I think people with terminal illness should get mandatory counselling regardless, or it should be made available to them.

I also think counselling is important to discuss why the terminally ill wants to die. Some may feel that they have an obligation to their family, for example, to not be a burden on them in their last years or months or weeks. And I think, personally, that is wrong. You shouldn't kill yourself because you don't want to inconvenience your loved ones. It doesn't feel right to me. Saying that, it is a valid concern. I know it's something that plagued me during those bad moments. The sense of guilt I felt when I was so sick, because my family and friends were going out of their way to care for me and to help me.. I even felt a sense of guilt when I separated from my husband.. That I had driven him to it and that I had caused it by being sick and yes, the thought had entered my mind very briefly that if I wasn't here, it wouldn't have happened like this. I can understand why some may want to end it early for that reason, but I do think it is not a right reason.

And extensive counselling is so important. Depression during illness is normal and depression can make people believe and feel some horrible things, which combined with the terminal illness makes for a dangerous and potent mix and can result in a bad decision being made, one that the patient may not have wanted to consider if they were not depressed.

16. ### steampunkRegistered Senior Member

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278
I think everyone has the right to change their expiration date.

17. ### Mrs.LucysnowValued Senior Member

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9,762

Actually if you check the suicide prevention site Sucide.org there is the following article stating the opposite:

After a Suicide Attempt;
Risk is Still High for Suicide

by Kevin Caruso

Some people erroneously believe that after someone attempts suicide that he or she will not do so again.

That is a myth.

The reality is that when someone attempts suicide, he or she is likely to attempt suicide again at some juncture in the future. Thus, it is imperative that everything possible be done to help the person.First, a short-term crisis plan needs to be enacted. This almost always begins with hospitalizing the individual until he or she is stable. It should also be noted that some individuals die by suicide while in the hospital. The individual might die by suicide at any juncture while in the hospital, but the greatest risk is in the first few hours after admission. The next greatest risk is in the first few days after admission.

Last edited: May 23, 2012
18. ### Mrs.LucysnowValued Senior Member

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9,762
@Bells

I also think its too personal an issue for anyone outside of the individual to make. As you point out your concern centered around not being a burden to others but it seems many terminally ill are more interested in having control over their physical being, not suffering further physical degeneration. Here's the problem with these folks seeking counseling. If you are in a nursing home or hospital and tell a staff member you want to take your life for any reason they are by law forced to intervene, that means taking your freedom away. The same goes for anyone who walks into a therapists office. There is no process whereby a terminally ill person or a emotionally ill person or someone who's just sick of the show can simply talk to a professional about whether it is a good idea or not without it being reported, that's the law. Most professionals cannot allow someone to walk out of their office if that person says they have decided that they are going to take their life as the professional would be held accountable. Professionals are not allowed to accept the conclusion of suicide as a personal choice but to prevent it from occurring. This is why those who are serious about suicide keep the idea to themselves. The entire subject of suicide is taboo in our society and is always regarded as something whereby other people must intervene to stop the person from ending their life. At euthanasia clinics in Switzerland they always screen their patients first to make sure they actually do have a terminal illness and aren't just looking for a way out for other reasons. There is a story of an elderly couple from Canada going to Switzerland to end their life together (maybe one was terminally ill?) and both of them being refused. These clinics tend to look at the severity of the illness more than whether the person is depressed or not since its natural to be depressed if one has a life-threatening illness, in other words being depressed is part of the package but not a reason not to aid in the termination of an individual if that is what they have decided to do.

Personally I don't think anyone can really intervene on someone who is truly determined to take their own life. All the arguments made in these discussions are objective whereas the decision to take ones life is always subjective. I wouldn't oppose a law whereby the act was legalized and people were able to find help in clinics.

There is a film on this subject with actress Julie Andrews called "Duet for One" about a famous violin player who suffers from multiple sclerosis. I remember feeling disturbed by the film as it exuded a coldness due to the isolation and alienation from life that occurs due to the reality of the illness. Its very moving as it highlights how very alone the character is in her attempt to negotiate with reality. You can find the whole film on Youtube I believe. Anyway it starts with this character going to a therapist to discuss her depression due to the illness and her fears and the first thing you realize is how absolutely useless therapy is in terms of her problem.

Last edited: May 23, 2012
19. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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23,559
The Washington Post has been paying a lot of attention to this issue for the past year or two. One doctor gave the pithy quote:
When a ninety-year old person dies of an ailment typical of simple old age, we medical professionals always say, "Well, we did all we could." There's something just terribly wrong with that attitude. There was nothing we could do! The guy was dying. All we did was drag it out.​

20. ### quadraphonicsBloodthirsty BarbarianValued Senior Member

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9,391
Well, not quite. The statistic I've heard asserted something a bit more specific - not that they won't attempt suicide a second time, but that once they have recovered from depression or whatever they are glad they didn't die. The material you quoted seems to deal with the period wherein the person is still depressed and suicial. Would that I had a link, but I can't seem to find one... Anyway, again, that stuff may not apply to the terminally ill, because it's not like their motivation for suicide (the illness) is going to go away.

Meanwhile, I recall reading about the suicide tourism industry in San Diego a while ago. Apparently people fly in (largely from Australia IIRC), take a day trip down to Tijuana, purchase suicide drugs from vetrinary stores there, and then return to Australia with them to die. It was crazy to me that enough people are looking for ways to do this that there's an entire grey-market industry...

21. ### BellsStaff Member

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20,069
There are doctors who are sympathetic and mine, thankfully, was.

In an ideal world, people would be able to discuss this freely without fear of police involvement or being reported to the authorities. But I do understand what you mean.

People still do it.

22. ### Billy TValued Senior Member

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21,978
Not always. Although not technically Euthnasis, just personality killing (lobotomies) were forced on many disturbed WWII veterans by well meaning VA psychiatrists. Fortunately that procedure has been recognized by almost all now as more harmful than any benefits justify. Here is what did happen.
(Be warned - it is difficult to read part and to see some of the photographs)
http://projects.wsj.com/lobotomyfiles/?ch=one&mg=inert-wsj?mod=WSJ_article_EditorsPicks
,