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Medical assisted euthanasia... for or against?

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posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 02:18 PM
Hello folks,

Quite new here and occasionally add a smirky reply to some threads that are posted throughout ATS "But all with a sense of humour!)

For once i have a serious question to ask all of you out there who are willing to respond seriously and with compassion and empathy to those who are or who have suffered or who know someone who is suffering from a sickness that will lead to a sadly painful death.

My personal history in a nutshell : 10 close blood related relations who have all suffered and died from various types of Cancer in the UK... over the last 30 years (All these relatives were pushed to their limits in regards to medication, chemo etc... without the family having a say so as far as the doctors go!)

My wife’s history in a nutshell : 5 blood related relatives with the same medical conditions leading to much suffering followed by long and painful death... and the same issues as far as doctors go too!)

Her father who is 66 has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer as well as tumors on the lungs and on one rib, doctors have decided to put him through the whole works of Chemo for a year’s period every 15 days with 3 different molecules (as well as morphine, nausea treatment etc etc…)... he knows very well that he will not make it through this period and expects to have at least another 6 months to live... to top it off his wife has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (early stages (she knows what is happening right now and is frustrated and depressed that she cannot help him through this extremely difficult period)...

My father in-law and I have had many heart to heart conversations and yesterday he let it all out to me and told me that if he could be legally assisted in “leaving” without causing pain not only to himself but also to family members he would do so… for which I totally agree. (To be noted that his family have been educated as per the catholic religion for traditional reasons but the family in general are down to earth realists).

We reside in France and a couple of countries surrounding us have over the past couple of years or so finally adopted medically assisted euthanasia… Unfortunately the past couple of French Governments have not had the guts to come up with a law yet concerning medically assisted euthanasia (although this might be starting to change apparently to something which will be called medically assisted suicide!!!!!)… YEP, if the patient decides to do away with him/herself the doctor has nothing to do with it… basically just pull out the plugs while hospital staff are not looking.

As for Alzheimer patients in terminal stages, strangely enough in France they all seem to pass away very often at the end of night shifts (around 5 to 6 in the morning)… strange huh?

So…. Taking into consideration the different cultural and religious differences that are to be found here on ATS, what would your decision be if you encountered this situation?

Please for the respect of those who suffer, I do not wish for people to give morality lessons here but straight out honest replies to my underlined question.

Thank you

Many respects to all


Ps. If I don’t respond straight away I will get back to you as am now going to work… night shift!

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 02:26 PM
I am definitely pro assisted suicide

If you've lived a full life, or are crippled by a physical or mental disability, or find out you have some type of inoperable cancer, or are brain dead and going to be in a vegetated state for as long as you live (God only knows for how long, it could be decades).

Here's a video on how they do it in Europe.

Assisted Suicide Video

Its the short and sweet version, but educational none the less

If we don't let our pets suffer, why let our humans!
edit on 18-12-2012 by Xquizit because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 02:26 PM
I'm certainly for it although there has to be absolutely no other solution.
It also has to be the sufferer's decision and their's alone.

There can be no persuasion nor coercing from anyone else.

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 02:31 PM
Absolutely for it. I hear people say that it's a "weak way out" and stuff like that, but sometimes pain can make life not worth living, it can be unbearable. How are you going to tell somebody they can't off themselves if they are dying of brain cancer, in pain and agony, with their senses and emotions dulled. Better let them kill themselves than kill everyone around them when they go insane.

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 02:32 PM
I'm very much pro as well.

My father died a horrible death after a battle with cancer that lasted less then 6 months. He was in so much pain and all the painkillers in the world couldn't ease his suffering. Well, the legal limit they give you in hospitals that is....

me and my family learned very quickly that the night nurses are the ones to talk to (or beg to) when the day time staff refuses to do something, 'anything'.....
He died peaceful in his sleep during the night shift.

btw, I live in Belgium, next to France...

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 02:33 PM
reply to post by Rodinus

I'm so sorry for the loss in lives of you and your wife.

Personally I am for medically assisted euthanasia in the case of a terminal or even probably terminal circumstance. I think that it is part of our rights in living to have some say over when and how we are ready to die. However, it must be the expressed wish of the individual, not some medical panel, and not even their family, which means some for-thought will have to go into the matter.
edit on 18-12-2012 by redhorse because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 02:43 PM
reply to post by Rodinus

All I have to say is this, if it is legal to kill unborn babies, then where does a government get off telling a grown adult that it is illegal and wrong for them to choose ending their life??

My intention is not to bring up abortion, but to show the hypocracy of governments and society as a whole.....
edit on 18-12-2012 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 02:57 PM

Originally posted by seeker1963
reply to post by Rodinus

All I have to say is this, if it is legal to kill unborn babies, then where does a government get off telling a grown adult that it is illegal and wrong for them to choose ending their life??

My intention is not to bring up abortion, but to show the hypocracy of governments and society as a whole.....
edit on 18-12-2012 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)

I fully agree!
although I don't think it's hypocracy. Death is still one big taboo, everywhere.

People hate grieving over a lost loved one and they don't realize that they are only grieving for their own pain, not the deceased, the deceases is freed from the pain.
I had a couple of suicides close by.... one assisted and a few attempts (not by myself!). It's a difficult subject, but more difficult for the bystanders then for the troubled person himself (be it mental or physical)

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 03:06 PM
We offer our pets more dignity in death than our own relatives.

Messed up? You betchya!

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 03:11 PM
reply to post by Rodinus

I believe a person should be able to die with dignity, not on a hospital bed, in excruciating pain, wallowing around in their own piss, feces and vomit, while their family watches them die a slow horrible death. Who is anyone to tell anyone else when they can and can't die?

F it. when i get old and senile, I'm going out with a bang..... Ive always wanted to skydive, why not try it without a parachute?

edit on 18-12-2012 by MessOnTheFED! because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 11:28 AM
If I were sick and miserable with no hope of recovery, I feel sure I would be in "ready to die" mode. Feeling the pain floating away and then transitioning to whatever it is that awaits us is how I hope it is for me, except for all the pain and suffering that would precede that, of course. I too believe it is a personal decision that we should be free to make beforehand, as in a Healthcare Directive.

I'm in the U.S. where we have hospice care for those who have 6 months or less to live. When my father and then my mother a year later were dying, they chose hospice care. Dad chose to be at home, and my mother was hospitalized. In both cases, they were given "the" major pain killer and they were comfortable. Initially, they became quite animated. Both lived very difficult lives and were very serious people, so to see them light-hearted for even that one day was a blessing for me. It also made obvious the fact that they had been suffering.

It took about a week in both cases for their bodies to let go of life, but they were not in any pain. They slept a lot the second half of the week and then just didn't wake up. It sure as hell beat the alternative of having the inevitable occur but take months. My father would have preferred immediate euthansia, but that's not an option here.

My heart goes out to you, OP, for all the death and pain and suffering you have had to witness.

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 11:40 AM
I am for assisted euthanasia 100%

I think it is unfair and selfish of people to tell those who are deathly ill they can't die. If someone is going to die and they have no other option and the meds or methods like chemo only make them worse and they want to die with dignity they should be allowed! It is wrong of the family to make this person suffer just because they don't want them to die. If someone I loved was in this situation and they wanted to end the suffering I'd support them 100%.

I watched a documentary a while back via Netflix called "Suicide Tourist." It was about a man who had Lou Gerhigs disease aka ALS and chose to end his life before it became too much for his family or himself. It was a sad documentary. This man had a wife and grown kids and his wife had been there for his entire sickness. He didn't want her to suffer and he didnt want his kids to suffer. He had a pretty good sense of humor as well through it all. He wanted his family to remember him how he was and not sick. He went to Switzerland for an assisted suicide program they have there. I don't think what the doctor did was wrong at all it was this mans choice.. I think what he did was hard to do but to him it was the right thing to do and his family stood by his choice.

Here you can watch the documentary.
Suicide Tourist PBS

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 11:41 AM
I am most definitely in favor of a person- at any stage in their life after reaching adulthood- to decide how they want to exit this existence. In my opinion anything else is compulsory serfdom. This is one thing that is absolutely no one else's business.

However, there would have to be some type of system of fail safes involved that would preclude coercion. For example, I could see this happening in many extended care facilities...

"Hey Carl, go tell Bernice she wants to die now. She's on good meds so she'll agree, but she hasn't paid her bill in two months and we need another bed."

This decision must be kept personal and must take a period of time that involves at least one counseling session with a specialist from a competing institution if the patient is confined in any way.

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 11:53 AM
Hi again folks,

Sorry for my belated come back but you know what RL and other things are….

My deepest sincere and most heartfelt thanks go out to all of you who answered my question (s).

The answers I have read also add to my own belief that it is up to each and every person who is in this situation to choose their destiny (if I may put it in these words?)

Special thanks go to my Belgium neighbor… I read between the lines and I also think that night shift staff are more reactive to this kind of situation as day time staff are just understaffed and rushed off their needs…Hats off to all the nurses and general staff but my hat still stays on for the doctors who only care about what goes into their wallet at the end of the month!

If I was in the same situation, I would also like to go out with a bang (but not a bang that would leave a mess for my family members to clear up!... that would be just too much for them and I think that they would also have suffered enough too. Maybe if someone just tripped over the cable leading to the plug in the wall??

As for the parachute… well… taking into consideration that the world will end in roughly 24 hours and some people are talking about loss of gravity… what good would a parachute jump do?… more like a parachute float!? *wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

For info, my father in law started Chemo day before yesterday and has come home with the drip, he is starting to feel the first side effects… nausea and feeling cold etc… especially feeling cold as he is someone who is always outdoors… this is the first time in his life that he has spent the entire day in his pajamas lying on the couch!

AND… just to add extra info which I did not mention in my OP, all the people who have suffered from various cancers in my in-laws family were of agricultural background… mainly cereal and winegrowing… guess who their main suppliers of Insecticide and herbicide products were up until about 10 years ago when the French Gvt decided to hit hard on certain products? (I may start another post about some of the anecdotes that my in-laws family have shared with me concerning sales techniques from the same company).

Once again, thank you all and have a great Christmas with those that you care for.



posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 11:56 AM
I am for it but only if the sufferer is 100% sure that's what they want. It shouldnt just be go to doctor find out you have inoperable tumor and then say that's it right there. It should be thought over and talked over and the doctor needs to be sure this is what the person wants not just something they said in a heavily medicated state.
My family had to make a choice on whether to let my mom go when she past into a coma. She always said "I dont ever want to live hooked up to a machine, ever" we all knew this so we let her go because it should always be their decision to make, always. It is selfish for others to hold on when they were asked to let go, even though it can be hard. In these type of cases to ask someone to suffer when they are ready to move on is not right, if they are ready let them go.

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 11:57 AM
reply to post by Rodinus

When depression is just brain states.....

Why couldnt you just change the chemistry slightly.... why kill yourself?

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 11:58 AM
reply to post by Rodinus

i think that when you are of a sane state of mind
and you opt into some sort of contract that if you
become ill and a painful death is to come your way
then i think we should be able to do so

in my family on my mothers side us males
all die of blood clots causing heart attacks

thrombosis sucks

also on my dads side its cancer that gets us
but my dad beat it luckily

edit on 19/12/2012 by maryhinge because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 12:00 PM
For me there would have to be no other way out, I am all for a person who is terminally ill and uncurable being able to decide to not live through the situation they are in. But I feel if there are still options for you too keep on living I would hope we as humans are fighters till the end, and would look death in the eye and will ourselves to beat it. But when all other options are relequished and its nothing but hell everyday then yes a person should have the power to be able to not suffer any longer.


posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 12:28 PM
My opinion as a human being and as a med student is that I support right to voluntary euthanasia. Many incurable patients would choose to go peacefully when they want instead of waiting for death. Modern medicine wont let anyone go so easily, and I think there is a point when prolonging life at all costs is not in the best interest of the patient anymore.

It is also important to realise that there is a great mismatch between current legislation and public opinion in this area. Usualy great majorities support right to euthanasia, yet only a handful of places have legalised it. A lot could be changed if we only put a little pressure on our representatives.

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 01:51 PM

Action T4 (German: Aktion T4) was the name used after World War II[1] for Nazi Germany's "Euthanasia programme" during which physicians killed thousands of people who were "judged incurably sick, by critical medical examination".[2] The programme officially ran from September 1939[3][4] to August 1941, but it continued unofficially[5] until the end of the Nazi regime in 1945.[6]

This is a slippery slope.

First it's "patient choice". Then it's "family's influence and choice". Then it will be the governments choice.

Because you are in the governments healthcare plan.

And they are not going to waste the taxpayers dollars to keep a sick sheep alive. It's for the good of the heard for the sick sheep to be culled. No matter the age.

Belgium is considering a significant change to its decade-old euthanasia law that would allow minors and Alzheimer's sufferers to seek permission to die.

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