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Would anyone rather be euthanized than live in a nursing home?


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#1 Beachwalker

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:31 AM

A few places have legalized euthanasia but not many and in some places where it was legalized it has been overturned. We don't tend to let animals suffer even though we have no way of knowing how they are actually suffering but we make decisions for them because it's considered the humane thing to do. Humans though who can verbalise and clarify their suffering and their wishes cannot legally choose or receive assistance to end their own lives in most places of the world. It doesn't make sense to me.

#2 zoidberger

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:45 AM

I am pro-euthanasia for the most part...

I wouldn't want to end up like the guy from The Diving Bell and Butterfly. I'd definitely want to be dead before reaching that type of stage. (Great movie by the way.)
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#3 Sally

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:53 AM

A few places have legalized euthanasia but not many and in some places where it was legalized it has been overturned. We don't tend to let animals suffer even though we have no way of knowing how they are actually suffering but we make decisions for them because it's considered the humane thing to do. Humans though who can verbalise and clarify their suffering and their wishes cannot legally choose or receive assistance to end their own lives in most places of the world. It doesn't make sense to me.


It isn't euthanasia (that's killing someone else). It's called assisted suicide, because the person themselves is given medication to commit suicide.

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#4 cdrdash

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:11 AM

Well it depends on why I am living in a nursing home. Living in a nursing home does not necessarily imply great suffering to me.

Now I would rather be euthanized than live in excruciating pain the rest of my life that can not be fixed in anyway.

Cathy
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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:49 AM

I really don't know what i think about euthanasia but you make some good points Beachy. I've seen a number of nursing homes as a visitor and always thought they are depressing places. Maybe one doesn't have to be in physical pain either to wish death would come. I've seen some very unhappy, even distressed, old people in homes. I don't know how I'll feel at that age if I can't take care of myself. I tend to think I'd rather be dead than hospitalised but maybe I'll feel differently then. Maybe I'll be glad for each day? I don't know. Isn't it a pity that its the relatively young who make the laws for the old? They haven't been old yet themselves so how would they know what its like?

#6 Beachwalker

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:41 AM


A few places have legalized euthanasia but not many and in some places where it was legalized it has been overturned. We don't tend to let animals suffer even though we have no way of knowing how they are actually suffering but we make decisions for them because it's considered the humane thing to do. Humans though who can verbalise and clarify their suffering and their wishes cannot legally choose or receive assistance to end their own lives in most places of the world. It doesn't make sense to me.


It isn't euthanasia (that's killing someone else). It's called assisted suicide, because the person themselves is given medication to commit suicide.

The only difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide is who does the administering but both are against the law in most places. Both should be lawful options for people, depending on their individual circumstances.

#7 Murmur

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:22 AM

Both of my grandfathers ended up in nursing homes against their will.

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#8 Kirin

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:31 AM

I dread the thought of ending up in a nursing home. I have worked in enough of them to know what goes on behind the scenes. *shudder* I will commit suicide in any way possible before I end up in one.

#9 MadRat

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:14 PM

I hope with my whole heart if something happend to me and I was paralyzed, unable to move and talk etc. , my family would take me to some country where itīs legal to be euthanized and let me go in peace and honor.
 
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#10 Beachwalker

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 01:15 AM

Well it depends on why I am living in a nursing home. Living in a nursing home does not necessarily imply great suffering to me.

Now I would rather be euthanized than live in excruciating pain the rest of my life that can not be fixed in anyway.

Cathy


Nothing much about aging is bothering me to much, it's more like little annoyances but for me the thought of being at a point in my life where I would have to live in a nursing home scares me a great deal, it would for me be my worst case scenario. I would like an option of being able to specify now that if that situation were to arise in the future I would like to be euthanized. Assisted suicide is not legal either and also requires some level of mental and physical functioning which depending on the circumstances may not always be present. It would be reassuring to know I could specify my wishes and be rest assured that if such a situation were to arise my wishes could be legally granted.

#11 CompassRose

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:50 AM

I find it a tough question. I do believe in death with dignity, I don't believe that people should be forced to live if they don't find life worth living. I CERTAINLY don't believe that anyone should be forced to live on if they are suffering from endless pain, or diminishment of their capacities to the point that life is a burden to them. But then I think about people suffering from depression and choosing a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and it gives me pause. A friend of mine recently committed suicide, and I really wish I knew if the choice they made was reasonable, or driven by depression. She had mental illness, and had struggled against that for a very long time. So maybe it was a rational decision to end that struggle that she finally was sure she would never win. But I know she was depressed, so maybe her decision was rash. She had a lot of creative talents, which always seemed to give her great satisfaction. So which was it? I'll never know.

As to living in a nursing home, I would hate that. The smell alone might drive me batty. I would go to great lengths to avoid that, and I might consider suicide a viable option in that circumstance. So on balance, I'd say I do believe in assisted suicide and/or euthanasia, as long as there were strict guidelines to avoid the aforementioned permanent solution to a temporary problem issue.
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#12 Philip027

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 01:19 PM

Having seen how badly my gramps deteriorated in old age up until his death, I sure as hell have no interest in staying alive that long if that's the kind of state I'd be in. (In all likelihood, I'd be in a worse state, because overall he had lived a much healthier lifestyle than I)
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#13 Finding myself

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:56 PM

For me it would depend on the type of care I was receiving in the 'home' and on my overall quality of life.

I have thought that depending on what health problems I have, I would intend to end my life, instead of suffering on and on.

#14 planetgeorge

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:19 PM

Yes, absolutely. I think if we can euthanize our pets when they are terminally ill, why can't we humans be euthanized?

#15 DexM

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:58 PM

Beachy I give you permission to euthanize me if the time comes.As long as a person is judged as being mentally stable,of sound mind and there doesn't look like a cure can be found any time soon,then to relieve that persons suffering I believe it is right.My time on hospital wards was hell enough and I wouldn't want to be on one,knowing I wasn't able to leave.My Nana recieved a lot of care in her dying days,but she longed to be at home.That was sad for me to watch.

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*Oh Ledley, Ledley, he's only got one knee, he's better than John Terry, oh Ledley, Ledley.

*Detective, he would die of shock right now if you were to shine a flashlight in his eyes. He's experienced as much pain and suffering as anyone I have ever encountered, give or take.................................and he.........still has hell to look forward to.

*It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

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#16 Cakey

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:13 PM

When it is my time to go, I want to go.... The onerous responsibilities of life, can sometimes be very oppressive already....never mind in an aged and weakened state,

I think I would like my last few breathes to be happy ones, not painful ones.

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#17 oneofthesun

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:43 PM

Depends on what was wrong with me and what the nursing home was like. But I do believe people should have the right to make that decision for themselves.
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#18 Sari

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:01 PM

I've had this disscussion with my mother. Her view is as long as she can take care of herself then let her be and enjoy life. However, she did tell me if she lost her mind(in terms of alzheimer's and such) he she would want me to take her up camping in a deserted place and leave her. Dark, isn't it?

So for me, I think I would like assisted suicide if I could no longer take care of myself or lost who I am.

#19 G4RRYs

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:12 PM

When I was a young child, my Grandmother owned a nursing home. When I used to visit it sometimes, I found it extremely depressing, and when I saw the state of suffering of some of the residents I was in tears a few times. I don't want to end up being looked after in old age, as that alone can be very undignifed for someone.

I don't really have any real views on euthanasia, but do think that life is precious as long as suffering can be kept to a minimum. I would like to live as long as possible really, as long as I am healthy, especially mentally. I will have to wait and see if I myself experience so much suffering in old age that I would rather die than be alive, no matter where I actually live at the time. If I am indeed lucky enough to live that long.

#20 DracoBorealis

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 07:58 PM

I would like to be euthanized if a) I were paralyzed b) were in a vegetative state c) were terminally ill or in constant pain. In other words, I do not wish to live if I cannot live so that I am 100% in control of myself. Constantly depending on someone or something is no life for me.

I think that everyone should have that choice -what purpose does it serve, keeping someone alive who cannot survive without machines, someone who is in constant agony and without any hope for recovery? If a person wishes for their suffering to end, so be it.
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#21 Moonchaser

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:40 PM

Kind of an emotional issue for me, so forgive the long post:

I think this is different for each person, and what we think we can handle in the way of debility or care probably changes as we go along in life, so it's possible everyone should have a living will that they can update as they go along. Yes, I believe in euthanasia! or assisted suicide. Both.

Quality of life, rather than just having a pulse, is what counts for me.

With my mom, I think her quality of life went out the window when she could no longer manage the bathroom on her own. She was so private all her life, and it was so embarrassing to her even for us, her daughters, to take care of her. It may have been before that, when she went through chemo that was never going to save her to begin with (pancreatic cancer), supposedly only extend her life a few months. Never will I go through that if I can help it. She was too old, too sick, and it just made her worse. I regret so much encouraging her to go ahead with it.

But I could not have made the decision for her to do that, or to choose death, one would have to decide on their own about euthanasia, and it's so easy for loved ones to want to fight it. I suspect that's why it's illegal or goes back to being illegal. We are not taught in our culture to respect death and the right to die with dignity. We're taught that one should hold onto life at all costs. We also love our loved ones to distraction, and we begin grieving for them before they go (if we know it's imminent). So the family is NOT usually in the best place emotionally to decide. Then there are fundamentalists who want to legally control everyone else. :(

It's so difficult, even with pets, though. You never know for sure if it's the right time. It's possible I wait too long with mine, but I tend to wait for the pet to tell me somehow that their life has changed too significantly for them to be happy anymore. Usually that works, but I was going to have a cat put down that had a pyothorax, and my husband decided to try to nurse him through it. So we did. It took like 12 weeks, but he got back to being an active cat again. So how do you know?

But I have known people in nursing homes and while the homes vary in quality depending on who runs them, and depending on the money involved, there is one thing missing from life in any nursing home and that's any autonomy at all for the patient. That's what would get to me. Others in charge of where I was, how I was, whether I could choose to do without medical care, or get it when I thought I needed it, and how much and what kind. Whether I could use herbs instead of allopathic, etc. What I eat. How I sleep. What I wear. Who sees my privates. It's bad enough to be sick and would be 100-fold worse to have no choices either. Some nursing homes are downright neglectful. Others are overly solicitous (translate more controlling than prison!) because of fear of lawsuits.

Overall I have to say I'd never want that. The hospice that took care of my mom was great, I mean it was like ministering angels, they were wonderful. She still wanted to be home. When she was in home care, my dad couldn't handle it so my sister and I had to, which meant interrupting our lives - I lived 70 miles away and was also needed at my job and nagged by my boss the whole time. Besides that, I'm very squeamish and have never handled illness well to begin with. I'm not sure I was a very good caretaker for her, though I did my best and don't regret it. But the experience made me re-evaluate my life in a big way as to what I wanted out of the rest of it. I retired early the following year - in a big part because of my mom and what I saw of her final days. It was like, life's too short for me to put up with this beastly job that I'm not suited for and the boss who can't seem to live without me while I take care of a family crisis. I'm going to enjoy myself for a while before I go!

I worry about my end of life, and I think I would choose suicide over being in a nursing home.

#22 Beachwalker

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:39 AM

So why is it so taboo and not an option, why do people have to resort to suicide? Why can't assisted suicide and euthanasia be a legal option for people who want it as an option? Perhaps with the aging population the mentality against euthanasia and assisted suicide will swing towards being more compassionate towards the wishes of individuals.

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:33 AM

I can think of two reasons. 1. To stop families pressuring their older folks to die so it stops costing money to keep them, or to stop well-meaning carers from talking them into choosing death when they're in that weakened state.
2. To prop up the idea that life is sacred. We have a pretty thin grasp on that concept as it is, the way we deal in arms and such.

Sometimes, I gotta admit, I feel like euthanizing the world. There's so much pain in people's lives all around us.

#24 Beachwalker

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:38 AM

I can think of two reasons. 1. To stop families pressuring their older folks to die so it stops costing money to keep them, or to stop well-meaning carers from talking them into choosing death when they're in that weakened state.
2. To prop up the idea that life is sacred. We have a pretty thin grasp on that concept as it is, the way we deal in arms and such.

Sometimes, I gotta admit, I feel like euthanizing the world. There's so much pain in people's lives all around us.

Issues with those arguments are that if relatives or careers were that screwed up that they would do that wouldn't they just talk the person into committing suicide or kill them themselves? If a person had a living will it would be pretty hard to argue with that.
Secondly if life is sacred then isn't respecting the wishes of the living in their choice of when they would like to die just as sacred?

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:57 PM


I can think of two reasons. 1. To stop families pressuring their older folks to die so it stops costing money to keep them, or to stop well-meaning carers from talking them into choosing death when they're in that weakened state.
2. To prop up the idea that life is sacred. We have a pretty thin grasp on that concept as it is, the way we deal in arms and such.

Sometimes, I gotta admit, I feel like euthanizing the world. There's so much pain in people's lives all around us.

Issues with those arguments are that if relatives or careers were that screwed up that they would do that wouldn't they just talk the person into committing suicide or kill them themselves? If a person had a living will it would be pretty hard to argue with that.
Secondly if life is sacred then isn't respecting the wishes of the living in their choice of when they would like to die just as sacred?

I dunno. I'm just thinking those might be the reasons it's made illegal. I don't really know what I think about it. But I see your point.

Just a thought: What if the suffering person cannot communicate? What if they have a massive stroke, and cannot speak or sign or do anything to express their wishes? Ideally, would you want it to be legal or illegal to euthanize that person? Would the person need to be able to make their wishes known at the time? Would a prior decision in writing be enough?

#26 Tanwen

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:04 PM

There's a case going through the UK courts at the moment...not sure if the link will work but I'll try:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17336774

It's his wish to be able to have a doctor help him to die he cannot do it for himself. British law says it would be murder. It's a difficult situation and one we can't be sure how we'd react unless (heaven forbid) we're ever in it.
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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:57 PM

There was an interesting point in that article, that the right to die was not about that man ending his life, but rather improving the quality of his life now because he would know there was a way out for him if he couldn't cope any more. Also one of the comments made was that the only way for one person to escape his suffering was to not go to the hospital and take nine days to die of respiratory failure at home. That's really awful, when people have to avoid a place of medical care to get the help they actually want--a painfree release.

Interestingly, I would think it would make budgetry sense for a country to legalise euthanasia. It would mean less money spent on healthcare.

Thanks for the article Tanwen.

#28 Jockey

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:02 PM

I think there is a problem with your thinking if you believe that there is any level of disability that makes a person's options limited to death or nursing home.
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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:38 PM

I think there is a problem with your thinking if you believe that there is any level of disability that makes a person's options limited to death or nursing home.

Can you tell us what the other options are for someone who is completely paralyzed for example? Are you talking about home carers? Or are you saying that despite such a disability some people prefer to live?

#30 Jockey

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:05 AM

Sure, home caregivers. Or a more appropriate supported living situation- I can't see how a nursing home would possibly be an appropriate placement for a person with nothing but a physical disability.

I recently read a book written about twenty years ago by a woman who was unable to speak or move anything below the neck (she was born with slightly more ability than that and lost it due to a number of years in a hellish institution), and not much above it. She could move her eyes and she could make a small number of facial expressions. She got married and lives (or at least, at the end of the book, was living) with her husband (also disabled) in their own home.
The book was I Raise My Eyes to Say Yes by Ruth Sienkiewicz-Mercer and Steven B Kaplan. Ruth is the one who is essentially paralyzed; Steven Kaplan helped her write the book (there is a bit at the beginning of the book where he explains how she told him her stories and he put them down).

Nursing homes tend to be neither the best nor the cheapest arrangements for people.
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