Jump to content
Political Discussion Forums
Mighty AC

Euthanasia

Recommended Posts

I read this story today and it reminded my of my father. He died after battling cancer for many years. I helped him die a painful, ugly death at his home because the same march to death in hospital was less dignified. At one point early in the process, he asked me if I would kill him if he gave the word. I promised I would. I later cried eyes out, despite being one of those godless, atheist a-holes.

Unfortunately he degenerated past the point of communication too quickly to ask me to kill him. For a solid few weeks I struggled with the knowledge that he wanted to die with some dignity, but couldn't be sure if he just missed the chance or changed his mind. Doubt and grief are a painful, agonizing combination.

Our talk about taking his life was private. My father had bravely battled the horrible disease for many years. Despite feeling like absolute shit, he would crack jokes and play down his pain. Thus when he became non-communicative it was left to me to decide whether or not my old man, would have preferred a quicker more dignified end. I didn't want to share his talk with me for fear of tarnishing his image as a rock. A strong, solid, fighter.

I didn't kill him. Instead I left my job and spent weeks helping him die at home. I handled some of the most disgusting and dehumanizing situations that only nurses usually encounter. All the while though, I struggled with the knowledge that he indicated that he didn't want this.

He finally passed after a series of grotesque convulsions that I will not ever shake from my memory. I took his final pulse and let my family know of his passing. I watched hid body get zipped into a bag and then carried off by funeral home employees. All the while agonizing over the question of whether or not he wanted out weeks earlier.

Read the story or watch the video. Isn't it about effn' time we allowed people to go out on their own terms?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude, I feel for you!

You story could easily be mine with one exception. On the last day, the nurse came in and told me and my father of procedures they could do to extend things, a couple days - maybe a week, but they wouldn't be comfortable. My dad looked at me - struggled for words and just said "no more". I told the nurses to just stop everything. I called in the family, they visited and went home - he died a several hours later. I sat counting down his breaths per minute until it was over, my mom showed up and seemed genuinely shocked.

I believe that people should have a choice on how and when. What scares me is that legally it can become a slippery slope such as we're seeing in Europe. I like it better as a don't ask, don't tell rule.

Edited by Charles Anthony
deleted Opening Post re-copied entirely in quotation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that people should have a choice on how and when. What scares me is that legally it can become a slippery slope such as we're seeing in Europe. I like it better as a don't ask, don't tell rule.

It's never easy but I'm glad your dad was able to voice his wishes. Anyway, we have living wills, I think documentation could easily be drafted to extinguish any slippery slope fears. Edited by Mighty AC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from the office of Peter MacKay - Harper Conservative Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada:

We would like to extend our condolences to the family of Mrs. Bennett during this difficult time. Assisted suicide is an emotional and divisive issue for many Canadians. It is our Government’s position that the Criminal Code provisions prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia are in place to protect all persons, including those who are most vulnerable in our society.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Liberal Party of Canada - accepted policy resolution:

Death with Dignity: Legalizing Medically-Assisted Death

WHEREAS, the choice to take one’s life when terminally ill is extremely personal, and adult patients suffering from a terminal disease should reserve the right to decide when their life ends and when their suffering ends;

WHEREAS health care professionals, the family and the patient would be better protected by a regulatory framework for medically-assisted death;

WHEREAS Canadians and national bodies such as the Royal Society of Canada and the Senate of Canada have recognized that end-of-life decision-making is a critically important public policy issue;

WHEREAS Quebec has recently made the argument that medically-assisted death constitutes an important part of end-of-life care;

WHEREAS the evidence from jurisdictions which allow some form of voluntary medically-assisted death demonstrates that the vulnerable can be protected;

BE IT RESOLVED that voluntary medically-assisted death be de-criminalized after a public consultation process designed to make recommendations to Parliament with respect to the criteria for access and the appropriate oversight system for medically-assisted end-of-life.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada commits to working with the professional medical community and relevant stakeholders in a collaborative effort to establish professional protocols in relation to de-criminalizing medically-assisted death in Canada.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a concern that until we have quality palliative care in this country for everyone who needs it, euthanasia could sometimes be a shortcut. And I know in many cases it wouldn’t be. But if we’re not getting quality, end-of-life care, then there is an idea that maybe it would be cheaper or easier to simply engage in that. And that’s one of my real concerns about going down that path.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm reminded off the line I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens.

My brother was still a young strong man when he was stricken, he didn't want to go but his pain was so hard on him. He was so heavily drugged that he was mostly unconscious near the end. When he did come too it was mostly to scream in agony.

The nurses gave us a device that let us administer pain medication to Mike when he was unable to. Later we found out that while it would only administer a set amount no matter how many times we pushed the button it was also recording just how often we pushed the button. We pushed it some 50 times or more in one hour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously a very nuanced discussion, that at some point, will touch everyone. Though I’m fortunate to still have my parents both in their 70s & 80s and in good health, I’ve seen my wife’s parents pass from Cancer and a stroke after suffering from dementia for many years.

Though I would favour doctor-assisted suicide as an extension to current end-of-life planning, I do also understand the slippery slope argument….First, what of a child with a terminal illness? Second, what of a person suffering from a severe mental illness? Third, what of current life insurance policies that don’t pay out for suicide? Is doctor-assisted suicide only an option for adults and people of a sane mind?

I feel until we can answer, in-depth, any possible scenarios that could befall such a course of action, as a society, we should tread slowly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... I do also understand the slippery slope argument….First, what of a child with a terminal illness? Second, what of a person suffering from a severe mental illness? Third, what of current life insurance policies that don’t pay out for suicide? Is doctor-assisted suicide only an option for adults and people of a sane mind?

I feel until we can answer, in-depth, any possible scenarios that could befall such a course of action, as a society, we should tread slowly.

I understand the slippery slope argument. I, like others inn this thread, has had to deal with decision making on another persons death.

I suggest that it is time to legalize the process and wait to see if the slippery slope really is slippery. If it is, then we can deal with it if/when it happens. Meanwhile, lets stop all that needless suffering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand the slippery slope argument. I, like others inn this thread, has had to deal with decision making on another persons death.

Really? Isn’t that ultimately the individual’s choice?

I suggest that it is time to legalize the process and wait to see if the slippery slope really is slippery. If it is, then we can deal with it if/when it happens. Meanwhile, lets stop all that needless suffering.

Since you’re experienced in dealing with decisions relating to other people’s lives, you should be able to answer how we as a collective society would euthanize children and the mentally ill. In other words, how do we decide to kill societies most vulnerable? Do we consider impute from a 7 year old dying of leukemia? What of a bipolar person that is off their medication?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really? Isn’t that ultimately the individual’s choice?

Not necessarily

I stopped the Dr from doing anything more and he did. My dad was dead in a few minutes.

Since you’re experienced in dealing with decisions relating to other people’s lives, you should be able to answer how we as a collective society would euthanize children and the mentally ill.

No one is talking about physically healthy operating children being offed

Edited by Guyser2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not necessarily

I stopped the Dr from doing anything more and he did. My dad was dead in a few minutes.

Had your father signed the various DNR like papers beforehand?

No one is talking about physically healthy operating children being offed

I never suggested otherwise......clearly I said children with a terminal illness........So do we start deciding upon the fate of sick children?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had your father signed the various DNR like papers beforehand?

No

I never suggested otherwise......clearly I said children with a terminal illness........So do we start deciding upon the fate of sick children?

You mention one 7 yr old but the rest of that post was not clear, you left the rest of your examples as ill defined

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You mention one 7 yr old but the rest of that post was not clear, you left the rest of your examples as ill defined

Context is important.......From my previous post, to which member Big Guy replied:

I do also understand the slippery slope argument….First, what of a child with a terminal illness?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think people should have more control over their own deaths but if they won't sign DNR papers before hand, it is not fair to ask others to make that decision for them.

Euthanasia is a whole other subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really? Isn’t that ultimately the individual’s choice?

Since you’re experienced in dealing with decisions relating to other people’s lives, you should be able to answer how we as a collective society would euthanize children and the mentally ill. In other words, how do we decide to kill societies most vulnerable? Do we consider impute from a 7 year old dying of leukemia? What of a bipolar person that is off their medication?

In my particular case, I had to make a DNR decision on my mother who had been suffering from bone cancer, her skeletal structure had been compromised, internal organs were being squeezed and was now unconscious with her breathing sounding like a flag fluttering in the wind. During previous visits, she complained of excruciating pain and the doctors would not increase the dosage. It was at "maximum that she could process without killing her" - which I found ironic.

The second was my father who had been hospitalized for a reoccurring heart problem. This last heart attack did him in and the only thing keeping the heart monitor ticking was his pacemaker.

I am sure my story is being repeated hourly in large hospitals.

As to your other examples, I believe that each case is different and would have to be dealt with accordingly. Hypotheticals are difficult to comment on.

I guess that if you had enough money, you could transfer the dying to a country which would allow the process.

I also believe that there are many, many cases to-day, where the attending physician has made the choice of ending the suffering of a terminal adult patient. I believe that it is time to legalize the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We pretty much have euthanasia as it is now.

Dr's allow a drip to be administered, knowing full well that enough of it will render the patient dead.

DNR's are pretty much the same. The big diff is that these are end of game only , and while a patient may wish to go earlier, that option is off the table

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As to your other examples, I believe that each case is different and would have to be dealt with accordingly. Hypotheticals are difficult to comment on.

I see a difference between an individual making the decision, or legally consenting to another making the choice prior along the same lines of a DNR. Where I have issue, is others making the choice for society’s most vulnerable: Children, the mentally ill and the elderly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see a difference between an individual making the decision, or legally consenting to another making the choice prior along the same lines of a DNR. Where I have issue, is others making the choice for society’s most vulnerable: Children, the mentally ill and the elderly.

next someone will raise the "death panel" boogeyman! You said, "I feel until we can answer, in-depth, any possible scenarios that could befall such a course of action, as a society, we should tread slowly"... you're clearly not going to get "that conversation" initiated by Harper Conservatives. So... what then?

I quoted the Liberal Party of Canada policy statement... let me again quote the 2 resolutions as a part of that policy statement: would you be in favour of a "conversation" that started with these:

BE IT RESOLVED that voluntary medically-assisted death be de-criminalized after a public consultation process designed to make recommendations to Parliament with respect to the criteria for access and the appropriate oversight system for medically-assisted end-of-life.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada commits to working with the professional medical community and relevant stakeholders in a collaborative effort to establish professional protocols in relation to de-criminalizing medically-assisted death in Canada.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a summary accounting of relevant court proceedings/decisions:


- 1993 --- the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the criminal ban on physician assisted suicide in a 5-4 decision on a Charter of Rights and Freedoms infringement case filed by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) sufferer Sue Rodriquez.

- June 2012 --- the BC Supreme Court ruled in favour of the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) "Dying with Dignity" lawsuit (on behalf of ALS sufferer, Gloria Taylor), and struck down the ban on medically-assisted dying.

- October 2013 --- in a split 2-1 decision, the BC Court of Appeal rules in favour of a Harper Conservative government appeal of the June 2012 decision; accordingly, Canada’s criminal ban on physician-assisted suicide is upheld.

- January 2014 --- the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) accepts an appeal by the BCCLA of the Oct, 2013 decision of the BC Court of Appeal ruling that upheld Canada's criminal ban on assisted suicide. The SCC advises of a 'fall 2014' timeframe for its decision.

- June 2014 --- Quebec becomes the first province in Canada to legalize doctor-assisted death as part of comprehensive end-of-life legislation, "Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care".


- from the office of Harper Conservative Justice Minister, Peter Mackay: "It is for the courts to decide if any province is legislating within its jurisdiction. It is our government’s position that the Criminal Code provisions prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia are constitutionally valid, and in place to protect all persons, including those who are most vulnerable in our society."

- Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette: "the province received advice from legal experts, including the Quebec Bar Association, indicating it could win a court challenge. Bill 52 cannot be legally defined as euthanasia or assisted suicide because it extends health-care services, which are provincial jurisdiction".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that we should be allowed to die on our own terms with dignity but I too am concerned about the 'slippery slope',

the path from physician assisted suicide to involuntary euthanasia.

Belgium now allows euthanasia for terminally ill children

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/08/22/jackson-doughart-the-path-from-physician-assisted-suicide-to-involuntary-euthanasia/

It is disingenuous for PAS proponents to say that the problems waiting on the other side of legalization can be simply willed away by the platitude of “proper restrictions.” Recent history suggests this to be more of a wish than a thought. The repurposing of doctors from caregivers alone to the added role of deathgivers signifies a veritable revolution in medicine, whose implications have been nowhere near subject to proper consideration.

Abuse has been rampant

In Europe http://www.adfmedia.org/files/BelgianChildEuthanasiaMemo.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is disingenuous for PAS proponents to say that the problems waiting on the other side of legalization can be simply willed away by the platitude of “proper restrictions.” Recent history suggests this to be more of a wish than a thought. The repurposing of doctors from caregivers alone to the added role of deathgivers signifies a veritable revolution in medicine, whose implications have been nowhere near subject to proper consideration.

talk about platitudes... how grand of the NP to give a platform to a 'conservative (grad) student'... a year out of school and what 'life experience' does this guy have? To simply offer a cursory hand wave to 'Physician Assisted Suicide', simply claiming proper restrictions aren't possible, is the epitome of platitude!

Abuse has been rampant

if you have presumed abuse to speak of, detail it... don't make someone peel on through a document, particularly one from the likes of your source: "The Alliance Defending Freedom"... how grandiose is that? Formerly called the Alliance Defense Fund - sourcewatch:

Edited by waldo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a big fan. What I wholeheartedly despise though is the PR: Death With Dignity. Eff that. I could not give a God damn about dignity. If you really hurt so bad you have to kill yourself we do not need to dress is up with platitudes to make it sound like a better situation than it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regular readers of this Board may have seen my earlier thoughts on this matter and I apologize for any repetition. Except where indicated by quotation though I am not "cutting and pasting".

I read this story today and it reminded my of my father. He died after battling cancer for many years. I helped him die a painful, ugly death at his home because the same march to death in hospital was less dignified. At one point early in the process, he asked me if I would kill him if he gave the word. I promised I would. I later cried eyes out, despite being one of those godless, atheist a-holes.

Unfortunately he degenerated past the point of communication too quickly to ask me to kill him. For a solid few weeks I struggled with the knowledge that he wanted to die with some dignity, but couldn't be sure if he just missed the chance or changed his mind. Doubt and grief are a painful, agonizing combination.

****************
Read the story or watch the video. Isn't it about effn' time we allowed people to go out on their own terms?

I have had two experiences going down this road, the first brief and a long time ago, as 1972 turned into 1973 and one that 's been ongoing since November 2011 and is still turning my family's life upside down.

My father was dying of cancer at age 47 in December 1972. My mother and I stopped at New Rochelle Hospital on what must have been the night of December 30, 1972 and saw his legs waving purposelessly in the air and his arms tied to the side of the hospital bed. His feeding and hydration tubes were out. He had been intubated since December 15, 1972. We asked the nurse why and she said the tubes were making him uncomfortable. We understood what was up and said nothing.

His brother, and unfortunately his sister both came to visit in the wee hours of New Year's Day 1973 (in a night dress and smashed drunk) and ordered the tubes reconnected. Fortunately death arrived in the wee hours of January 5, 1973. I was offended by the continuation of medical care against my mother's (and my) will. I was 15 at the time so didn't have much voice.

The other experience, after Hal's quote, concerns my mother.

Dude, I feel for you!

You story could easily be mine with one exception. On the last day, the nurse came in and told me and my father of procedures they could do to extend things, a couple days - maybe a week, but they wouldn't be comfortable. My dad looked at me - struggled for words and just said "no more". I told the nurses to just stop everything. I called in the family, they visited and went home - he died a several hours later. I sat counting down his breaths per minute until it was over, my mom showed up and seemed genuinely shocked.

*******

I believe that people should have a choice on how and when. What scares me is that legally it can become a slippery slope such as we're seeing in Europe. I like it better as a don't ask, don't tell rule.

My mother and I were early on deprived of this chance and this choice by the mendacious reading of medical reports by a doctor. He was allegedly a proctologist and in my opinion was full of what comes out of a healthy rectum.

In July 2008 my mother had a hysterectomy for uterine cancer, endometrial (sp) to be exact. It was followed by chemotherapy and radiation since the surgeon knew it had spread. The recovery was relatively uneventful.

At the end of November 2011, right after American Thanksgiving she began to experience nausea, pain and loss of strength. She took a colonoscopy during mid-December 2011 and the probe was blocked. The pathology indicated "malignant suggestions" or words to that effect. I asked Dr. J. if the blockage could have been related to the earlier uterine cancer. He cut me off with a curt "no." Famous last words.

She was operated on on January 23, 2012 The pathologies indicated that it was a metastasis Had we been told the truth I am certain that my mother would have refused surgery. As it turned out she was plunged into rather horrible dementia for the duration of her 28 day hospital stay. She had somewhat of a rally to lucidity in rehab, so fortunately she was able to sign a power of attorney, and renew an earlier living will and health care proxy. The summer of 2012 wasn't too bad but what followed was. From around mid-December 2012 she has been sliding, first into irrationality and belligerence and now into total helplessness.

As I posted here (link) I wound up vetoing an MRI for aggressive care. Now, her weight has dropped to the point that she is a "bag of bones" wrapped in skin. She still recognizes me, my wife and her grandchildren but can barely talk. Death is days or weeks away.

We should be able to end life when it's not worth it any more. We treat our animals better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you're clearly not going to get "that conversation" initiated by Harper Conservatives. So... what then?

I quoted the Liberal Party of Canada policy statement... let me again quote the 2 resolutions as a part of that policy statement: would you be in favour of a "conversation" that started with these:

I fail to see the Liberal’s point of public consultation when their own resolution has a predetermined outcome………and from your quoted Trudeau passage, it appears he also has reservations on the file.

And from a report earlier this year:

Physicians themselves are torn, with a Canadian Medical Association poll last year finding only one in five doctors would be willing to help a patient end his or her life if euthanasia were legalized

It seems Doctors too share reservations on the subject.

Have the Liberals actually adopted doctor assisted suicide, or like the majority of their policies, keeping their actual stance close to their chest until the writ (and further polling) has dropped?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...