Lewes Forum thread

Go on, tell 'em what you think

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On 29 Mar 2013 at 2:08pm Nixon Scraypes wrote:
The sceptics were debating this last night and I'm sure many good and sincere arguments were made both pro and con. Personally,if I was suffering with no hope of a cure,I would want a loved one to end my misery.No one else. Once the State and the law get involved all hell breaks loose. The tiniest hole will eventually destroy the strongest dam.The biggest advocates of euthanasia are the eugenecists,the mental hygienists,the racial hygienists,you know the sort who cloak their nasty plans with the sweetest terms.I've just read a short book on line-"The Men Behind Hitler"by Bernhard Schrieber which shows how slyly his murderous regime was able to attain its foul ends without people realizing what was happening.Euthenasia was the key,once you legalize killing murder slips through the open door.Not a cheery post I know but because it has been debated I had to speak up.
On 29 Mar 2013 at 3:16pm huw wrote:
If you want a good discussion on this subject, the Headstrong club are having a talk on euthanasia and assisted suicide at the Elephant and Castle tonight from 8pm. Tickets on the door and only £3.
Follow the link for a bit more information.

Check it out here »
On 29 Mar 2013 at 3:45pm Deelite wrote:
Nixon. The state in the form of National Health hospital staff has been involved in euthanasia for decades.
On 29 Mar 2013 at 8:30pm grafter wrote:
Not in favour of euthanasia (could be a slogan?) but I am interested in how we are going to survive with so many people living well into their 80s without saving for retirement. Those who have saved will also find their pensions will be rather disappointing compared with what was promised. My father has now been retired for nearly 30years after a 47 year career including 4 years military service. He has got his worth out of that but I fear most of us will not have final salary schemes etc. Any ideas?
On 30 Mar 2013 at 9:01am Sussex Jim wrote:
We are going to have to return to the old days of families sticking together with Granny sitting in her rocking chair in the corner of the room.
She could earn her keep by answering the phone, and pretending to be stupid if it is a junk caller.
Seriously, I foresaw the financial problem years ago, when I learned that people would be living longer and in practice retiring earlier. And yet the Government thinks the problem will be solved by people working longer! They should try getting a job in their sixties, or even late fifties. Employers just don't want to know.
On 30 Mar 2013 at 2:47pm jrsussex wrote:
This is a good example of what is at times wrong with this forum, the last two posts, grafter and Sussex Jim, have no bearing on the subject of the original subject. Apologies to both of you but the subject is euthanasia and our thoughts on it.
My view is relatively simple, I am very aware that any legislation on euthanasia would have to be very restrictive but the fact is we do not allow the unnecessary suffering of animals and yet daily we do allow painful suffering coupled with indignity to fellow beings. Under the very strictest controls I personally would support euthanasia.
On 30 Mar 2013 at 3:24pm Deelite wrote:
Denying people the right to death is a bizarre concept. If I want to die why shouldn't I? It's my life after all. Anything less condems many people (and often their friends and/or relations) to years of pain and misery.

Secondly, what a position to be in to see a loved one, very probably a parent in pain, misery and bad health and to be asked by then to help them die. If you do you are criminal. If you don't could you take guilt of watching then die slowly in pain knowing that they wanted you to relieve them of it, but you didn't?
On 30 Mar 2013 at 3:42pm pope wrote:
Grafter, in answer to your question of how we are going to survive when this planet gets over populated is simple, Culling, its the only way. But who will volunteer to do this. Other than that it would have to be birth control, but even countries with starving children wont practice it so what hope have we got. You imagine, if no more children were born in the next say 40 years the population would be so small that there would be ample food for every man woman and child on this planet, and plenty of parking space. Before I get any nasty replies I hope you read this tongue in cheek.
On 30 Mar 2013 at 5:33pm padster wrote:
JRSussex is right the forum was going off topic. I for one am strongly against any legislation that allows someone to be assisted to die. Deelite if you choose to die you may , the law does not stop suicide like it use to, so if you feel your right to die is being denied to you by the law you are wrong. Please donā??t try to prove me wrong. Euthanasia or assisted suicides to me are wrong. It really is a can of worms. We always think of the suffering person in a hospital bed unable to wash or feed themselves and say why keep this person in such a state. That is fairly rare and by promoting this myth is fairly disrespectful to the wonderful work to hospice care in this country.
Nobody needs to die in pain or die of an illness where they lose their dignity. Allowing legislation that states a person can choose to go somewhere and drink a cocktail of sedatives that will kill will ultimately lead some people opting for it to not burden their families. I wonder how many saw Terry Pratchets documentary on assisted suicide, it gave only a nod to the care of the dying and was so self righteously in favour of euthanasia that we saw a young man with MS take his own life and a man well but diagnosed with motor neuron disease also take his life before his disease progressed. I must say a place like digitas in Switzerland should not be allowed. I say this from a neutral ethical and moral framework and my religion need not have any bearing on the reasons I am against euthanasia.
On 30 Mar 2013 at 6:07pm Deelite wrote:
The common scenario is when people are already too incapacitated to to take their own life. What would you do then if asked to provide some pills to a bedridden parent?
On 30 Mar 2013 at 6:24pm Southover Queen wrote:
Yes, Deelite. I'd also think of the case of Tony Nicklinson who was quite unable to end his own life by his own hand but perfectly able to make it very clear that he no longer wished to live.

People with disabilities worry that introducing very limited legislation in the case of someone like Nicklinson would produce pressure on society to regard them as somehow disposable. I think, rather than worrying that they would feel obliged to commit suicide in adult life, legislation to permit some kind of assisted dying would somehow devalue their whole existence. Also the hospice movement objects because they insist that there need be no pain or discomfort associated with the end of life.

I'm not so sure. I think if you are quickly losing the ability to determine the course of your own life and that your life will become profoundly undignified and intolerable then I think it's humane to allow someone to appoint a proxy and help you to end your life, tenderly and with love. But I agree: it's an ethical minefield.

Padster, the difficulty with the examples you give is that they only travelled to Dignitas when they did because they feared not being strong enough to travel if they left it later. The chances are that if you give someone the assurance that they will be able to determine when and if their life is brought to a close they would either not do it at all because their disease evolved differently, or they would go ahead but at a much more advanced stage.
On 30 Mar 2013 at 7:42pm Local wrote:
We've been here before, and it looks like this time there will be the same steadfast refusal by some people to recognise that there MUST be a legal way for people to opt out of life when they so choose, without their loved ones becoming criminals and without other people claiming that they know better.
On 31 Mar 2013 at 7:52am Pope wrote:
How come when we see an animal suffering the cry goes out to put it out of its misery. And yet when it's a human in the same situation and is clearly asking for an end to its misery all the do-gooders say no its wrong. I would like to know where God is in your hourl of need, just he just shrug his shoulders and say " My son suffered so what are you whinging about". I hope not.
On 31 Mar 2013 at 9:48am Serendipity wrote:
We believe that animals don't have feelings.... oh hang on..... that doesn't add up on any level at all. :-]
On 31 Mar 2013 at 5:31pm padster wrote:
Right then what sort of legislation should be brought in ?
Some things to think about . Who decides the individual or a doctor is there an age limit can a 10 choose to die because they have cystic fibrosis ?
Should there be a psychiatric assessment carried out. What if the doctor decides the peron is depressed and so unable to take such a huge difference.
Who carries out the assisted suicide ? G4S ? The nhs ? What if the family strongly disagree with their loved one choosing to die. Do they have a say. Will the courts have to decide on each case.
I could go on.
On 31 Mar 2013 at 5:33pm padster wrote:
Sorry 10 year old
On 31 Mar 2013 at 5:34pm padster wrote:
Sorry huge decision
Bloody phone
On 31 Mar 2013 at 7:06pm pope wrote:
Go on Padster blame the phone. Phones have feelings you know.
On 31 Mar 2013 at 8:51pm Horseman7 wrote:
Padster dear, just take your time with the bloody phone and check what you're typing - or rather what it's typing for you.

You're raising some excellent questions here and I don't think there's an easy answer to any of them.

As regards the depression element, that is an illness too. So should depression alone, with or without any associated physical ailment, be a reason to end it all anyway? I think yes.
On 31 Mar 2013 at 9:42pm Southover Queen wrote:
I believe a lot of medics already do "assist suicide" by withdrawing certain kinds of treatment. In fact they did precisely that for my mother after she'd had a stroke. There was no chance of a meaningful recovery and she made it quite clear to the medics and to us, her family, that she did not wish to be treated. We all knew that without antibiotics for her lung infection she would die and the doctors satisfied themselves that she did not want to take them. They supported her and us through a rather beautiful time when no-one was making heroic efforts to "cure" her and she died peacefully and, oddly, very contentedly.

She was lucky, because she knew that pneumonia would kill her. A lot of people who seek leave to have someone help them commit suicide don't have that strange luxury. I can't see any difference ethically myself.
On 1 Apr 2013 at 1:19pm padster wrote:
Dear Sq I know you were not looking for sympathy in your honest and open description of your mothers final days. You are quite right doctors do decide to not aggressively treat or start stong pain relief which might hasten death. People also have the right to refuse medication or interventions but this is not assisted suicide by the back door. Firstly you have the right to refuse treatment that's not asking for soneone to actively kill you. The giving medication to ease suffering but may hasten death is know as the docterine of double affect. Your primary aim is to ease pain the subsequent hastening of death is not euthanasia.
I am sorry for your loss I am glad she died well.
On 1 Apr 2013 at 2:38pm Southover Queen wrote:
Thank you padster. We were incredibly lucky and it was a very beautiful experience for everyone, including my mother.

I suppose my point would be that this was a decision my mother could make. She knew that by refusing antibiotics she was effectively ending her life because she was a heavy smoker and very susceptible to lung infections. Others, such as someone with motor neurone disease, can't make that decision meaningfully because refusing treatment for them means dying horribly and that would be awful too. I just think that people who are dying or who have a terminal disease should have the same right to self-determination that my mother had. As a family we knew beyond any doubt that this is what she'd wanted and we were so grateful to the hospital staff for their support and sensitivity. It could be like that for others, but we do have to relax the law to allow it.
On 1 Apr 2013 at 3:17pm padster wrote:
Dear Sq i take your point, but i still disagree in a change in the law. There is a danger that we make assumptions about certain illnesses. Had the law been different when Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with MND what decision would he of made? The beauty of hindsight is that he has gone on to live a good life despite his disease. A disease like MND affects people in different ways , and how it progresses and affect that person will be unique to the individual. My uncle died of MND it mainly affected his swallow he lost a lot of weight and neck control. Believe this or not he cycled to the hospice where he died some hours later with out pain and looked after by some great doctors and nurses at the hospice. Some people are surprised that there are consultants in palliative care such is the good work that goes on to say, you may have a terminal illness but we are here to support you and look after you. This approach i prefer to the idea of someone being allowed to end it all because they worry what the future holds. I am for free will but laws are in place to protect us and others. The law should stay as it is.
On 1 Apr 2013 at 4:23pm Southover Queen wrote:
I've worked in hospices quite a bit one way or another, and I couldn't agree with you more. Most people with a terminal illness would choose that route - although the provision is under pressure and some people don't get a place until late on (that happened to my dad). They're wonderful places but there aren't enough and some will not accept people who have a degenerative rather than a terminal diagnosis. However I do agree that those who are supported by a good hospice probably wouldn't opt to end their lives sooner, and I know many palliative care practitioners worry about slackening the law on assisted suicide.

However I still believe that if you are unable to take your own life but it is your sincere wish to be allowed to then I can't see why you couldn't offer assistance. I think it would actually prolong the life of many who would stop worrying that they might not be able to do the deed later on and would face increasing frailty knowing that they retain the means of self-determination.
On 1 Apr 2013 at 4:47pm padster wrote:
i guess this a debate about rights / freedoms V legislation that curtails our freedoms e.g you cant drive a car without a licence.
I think we have to agree to disagree and ultimately we want the same thing.
I cant imagine any government would be interested in changing the law not that many votes in it.
On 2 Apr 2013 at 3:31pm truth wrote:
we need it for this country cos of the bloody conservativesl.

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