Question of death with dignity

Discussion in 'Community' started by JesseJames, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Considering some of the posts here on old age and senility, I'd like to pose a question to all the folks here.
    If you or a loved one were diagnosed with say a degenerative neurological disease i.e. alzheimers, would you want the option to end your life with dignity?
    Basically, assisted suicide. Or would you rather let nature take its course and slowly lose your mind and let your body follow?
    Personally, I don't want to fade away slowly. Be it from disease or old age. I'd rather go out on my feet with my faculties.
    I believe this is going to be a forefront issue in the next 20 years as the population ages and people just sit around in their old age.
    I don't know about you but slowly fading away in an old folks home sounds like a fate worse than death itself.
     
  2. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a

    iLikeMyiMac

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    #2
    I think the answer will vary from person to person and the severity of the condition. If I am being kept alive by machines all the time and all I can do is lie on my back and stare at the ceiling then for me I think it would be best just to turn off the machines and let me slowly slip away.
     
  3. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #3
    Whatever happened to good 'ol Kevorkian anyways?
     
  4. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #4
    Part of me says that I would prefer to just go - so as not to be a burden on my family. Really, if my mind is going, will it matter to me? Maybe, but probably not, since by definition my mind would be gone.

    However, then I think about the advances in medicine and things that we've be able to cure over the past 10 or 15 years that we never would have dreamed of. What if I choose to end it all, and 2 years later they find a way to reverse the effects of my disease through stem cell research or some other technology?

    What I would probably prefer to do is set up something in a living will that describes where I should be placed, how I am to be cared for, and under what circumstances I would want to be taken off life support or other assisted living devices. That way, I made the decision while in sound mind, but didn't necessarily seal the deal before there was essentially no hope of improvement.
     
  5. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    #5
    since you ask this question i am guessing that you obviously don't know anything about watching a loved one die - i, however, do. and there is no such thing as a dignified death - only a quick one.

    i am not trying to be a jerk but its a ridiculous question as worded - change it to say "question of death with speed" and i will certainly agree id rather go fast than slow.
     
  6. dotnina macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I definetely think more states should follow Oregon's example and implement a "Death with Dignity" initiative.

    As long as there is a strict system to ensure that the patient is not mentally ill and all treatment options have been exhausted, I see no reason why we shouldn't allow people to choose a graceful exit.
     
  7. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #7
    http://www.detnews.com/2002/metro/0204/11/metro-462888.htm
     
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    I don't believe in forcing someone to live regardless. I believe that ending life when you're only on the verge of losing yourself is a good thing. To me, it's not sensible to only survive 23.5 hours of the day. Life is about living and enjoying. Who enjoys being ill with only thoughts of their own demise?
     
  9. virividox macrumors 601

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    #9
    i dont think its right for us to chose for our family members, and i dont think you should chose foryourself.
     
  10. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #10
    The use of the services of Hospice is the best option. They provide services at the end of life. The main goal is that the patient is comfortable. They follow the wishes of a patient. Try to make sure that the patient receives pain medications for comfort. It is a plan to die with dignity. A choice to die in the hospital, nursing home or at the patient's home.
     
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #11
    What? It's my body. It's my life. I can't chose?
     
  12. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #12
    Many times the patient is in denial about his/her condition. Often the family assist's the patient to accept his condition. Doctor's often wait until the patient and family to accept the dying process. It is often nurses like my wife that talks to the patient and family to help them to realize their condition. To explain the advantages of Hospice.
     
  13. rhpenguin macrumors 6502a

    rhpenguin

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    #13
    This is something I've been pondering lately (don't really know why, but i think it has to do with a friend that isnt doing so well and causing me to somewhat confront my own thoughts about the subject). I'm tworn between my thoughts and dont really know what i should think. On one hand, If life is dragging you down to the point where its not worth putting forth the daily effort, I'll give that the green light. But on the other hand it does seem kinda selfish towards family and friends.

    I don't know.. Just some random thoughts. Must get back to work now.
     
  14. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #14
    i've kind of thought about this myself. i found out yesterday that my friend in the hospital took a turn for the worse. his blood clots moved from his lung to his heart. his surgery went well but his brain has gone dead. basically a vegetable hanging out by wires and cables. they ended it today. i feel so bad for his family. such a young life, got to experience one week of college before his life ended. i think i would rather go when i am good and well, not just a problem or a nurses job for years to come.

    iJon
     
  15. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #15
    iJon. my thoughts and prayers to you and your friends family. It is never easy when a life ends so early. And additional years helps little IMO.

    Being a burden for others is something that I think about. Though my own experience with my Aunt Helen (I related in another thread here) showed me that the mind and soul is a powerful tool. My Aunt was given just months, but she hung on till her estranged daughter came for a visit.

    In my Aunts case, the family removed heroic measures. Yet she kept on till she was happy. That is all I can ask for myself.

    I would not want to be assisted in suicide. Just don't let a machine do my breathing or keep my heart beating. The rest is up to God. In my Aunts case, it showed me how important it is to make peace with those that we love.
     
  16. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #16
    Its too easy to coerce. Refill someone's pain medication a bit early. Talk about how much pain they are in, how much of a burden they are on everyone else. Ask them just what they have to live for. Then draw the curtains and leave.
     
  17. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #17
    If its not worth the effort to live then its not worth the effort to die.
    Just lie down and wait.
     
  18. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I think assisted suicide should be an option available to people who are in extreme pain. Why should some arrogant prude be allowed to let someone get eaten alive by cancer and suffer in unimaginable pain for months because they think it's wrong to kill yourself by a peaceful means? I think a lot of people need to mind their own damn business and let other people make their own decisions that concern their life.
     
  19. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #19
    The thing is that being eaten alive by cancer doesn't necessarily mean pain. Pain can be controlled. As for making their own decisions, it is really hard to be able to say that something was someone's decision. There were a number of cases in places where assisted suicide is acceptable of people being coerced into doing it.
     
  20. rueyeet macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I must admit I find it somewhat hypocritical of those who oppose the right to decide the time and manner of one's own death to say that it's only for God to decide.

    If it's supposed to be up to God, then why have we invented machines to keep a brain-dead person alive for years? If it's supposed to be God's decision, why do we go to such extreme measures to preserve any spark of life at any cost, even when survival only prolongs suffering?

    I think our attitude towards death, as a culture, has a lot more to do with our own terror of it, and our indelible urge for survival, than it does with any religion or ideas about the sanctity of life.

    If I knew that I had been diagnosed with some appalling degenerative disease, and the research didn't give me any hope of a cure soon enough to salvage enough of my mind to matter, then I'd like to go out like one of the ancient Romans: with a huge, kick-ass party, followed by a quiet, private drink of hemlock.
     
  21. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

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    #21
    I guess I've spent too much time dying and watching people die to allow for the arbitrary termination of a life.

    I have no issue with withdrawing support or even not giving it.

    The question is, is there value in the continuance of a life no matter how insignificant and tiny? If death is a matter of dignity do the dying have none? The rules seem silly but the consequences can be rather serious.
     
  22. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #22
    I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend iJon Is he the same friend that you spoke of regarding the accident? Did he have some quality of life and time at home prior to this incident? Our time and manner of death is not of our choosing. My prayers go out to you, your friend, and his family. May he now rest in peace.
     
  23. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #23
    no that was avkash in the accident. we have pretty much distanted ourselves. i try to avoid him at all possible. he just does some things that really get to me. for example he got himself a handicap parking sport for the uni, which he has no problems what so ever.

    the person who died was my friend matt. he just had some chest pains and never knew about these clots, then everything is over. it's a real bad situation.

    iJon
     
  24. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #24
    I sorry to hear about your friend avkash. Each person deals with a traumatic event differently. Sometimes tragedy can separate friends.

    Did your fiend Matt have any prior symptoms? If it was a thrombus "clots" that traveled from the heart to the brain usually begin in the leg. Unless he had cardiac irregularity then thrombus can develop in the heart. That would cause chest pains and can travel to the brain. For his sake I hope that it happened quickly.

    I pray that you are OK also, having two tragedies in a year can be very difficult to deal with for anyone. Hopefully you have someone that you are able to talk with.
     
  25. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #25
    avkash wasn't always tolerable, its just avnish kind of kept him under control. my friend told me tragedies like this bring people very closer or very far away. it put me far away. since their hinduism religion, they have prayers every so ofter. i just can't go and revisit it every time. i have put the accident so far in the back of my mind, i drive past the wreck almost everyday and don't even realize it, even with the police skid mark paint on the road, showing the exact direction my car went.

    as for my friend matt, from what i've heard from friends close to him is that he was passing blood in his fecal matter. he never thought much of it. but apparently if he had told someone about it when it started happening they could have taken care of it. but i'll wait till i hear an official story from someone. i remember how much stuff went around when i had my wreck (drinking and driving, street racing, the usual stuff.)

    as for two tragedies, it's not that big of a deal. i wasn't real close to matt so it doesn't really hit home. i feel bad but i don't cry or anything like some of my closer friends. i don't have to talk to anyone anymore, i accept what happens and move on in life.i usually write in my online blog (which any of you can feel free to read, just PM me), which i started almost a year ago. it's about 300+ pages now. i'm a very happy person, but after what i've experience not to many things in life seem so "bad." i just hope in the future nothing tops what i've been through.

    iJon
     

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