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LINK ‘No One Is Ever Really Ready’ Death with Dignity

Recently, this issue cropped up again on this site and today I read an important, gut wrenching article. Those who have been on this site a while know my background (my late partner opted for this) and my strong support for this program.

One caveat: This site is supposed to be about evidence based information (truth). Some of this may be upsetting to some. I will not sugar coat certain issues because it might hurt some sensibilities. This site is about choice. If one is sensitive don’t read the postings.

JackPedigo 9 Aug 28

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I fully support death with dignity. The idea that we have an obligation to live is ridiculous in the extreme, and is rooted either in the selfishness of those who fear grieving us or in the hollow axiom of "life is sacred".

I do not condemn suicide in any form, in some forms I merely condemn society for allowing one of it's members to get to that point. In the case of long term or terminal suffering, I think it is a boon both to the sufferer who wishes to end their suffering and the loved ones, who, although they fear their loss, will have a much easier time in the long run knowing that it was a choice not to suffer, and are spared the horror of watching a year of deterioration and degradation of the person they love.

Mostly true but, as with most subjects there are exceptions. One may not be physically suffering but has become dependent on others and becomes a burden. Some cultures don't have the resources to deal with that. Used to be in the Inuit culture when one was no longer able to contribute they left the clan and went out to become polar bear food. There is an attempt to disconnect suicide from Death with Dignity and even euthanasia.

@JackPedigo I agree that there are differences. Death with Dignity is a very cut and dry thing, it's about terminal illness, something that will result in death on its own, and I did not mean to say they were the same things in my head.

The Inuit example is differnt, and I do not judge that culture at all, I didn't have to survive in the frozen wastes, it would be stupid of me to judge their mechanisms for dealing with resource limitations.

I simply do not judge any choice to end one's life. at all. it's their life. the only way to judge it negatively would be from an assumption that they owed staying alive to someone else, and I simply don't accept that premise.

@HereticSin I fully agree with everything you said. It is shown that up to 2/3 of terminally ill people prolong their lives for loved ones. I find that wrong.

@JackPedigo I think it's okay if they really want to. I think hanging on through that kind of pain to give your loved ones a little more time, or to get a little more with them, is beautiful. but I do agree that it's wrong when they are guilted into it, or simply denied the choice altogether.

1

I find it hard to understand why people here would find death such a difficult subject to discuss. It is after all inevitable. Atheists aren't usually ones to bury their heads in the sand.

Unfortunately only partly true. With some subjects (food choices, environmental issues) we do just that. Knowing there is no after life can make death harder to accept. Besides, most of the anti-euthanasia programs come from the religious minded. I have stated that they say they can't wait to meet Jesus, just not yet.

@JackPedigo yes good points. The chances of coming into existance at all is so slight that we should relish each day. Death will be exactly how it was before I came into existance. I for one would not want to live for ever

@MsDemeanour Somewhere I just read that the chances of the millions of sperm hitting it's mark and becoming you/me is so slim as top be almost impossible. Yet it has happened so we should relish what we have. I have a theory: How many conscious independent higher life forms can exist on our planet? My answer is infinite. That only adds to our personal existence.
My late partner had a miserable 25 year marriage but since we met and she came here everything changed. Her bucket list was overflowing and she knew that. She also knew she had the perfect death and became an inspiration for many in the community.

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Death is inconvenient at the best of times.....

But is is real and we have to accept that.

4

I spent 25 years of my life working in a caregivers position. I have been there more times than I can remember when people I cared for passed away. I've seen people struggle, hurt and suffer incredible pain and fear. I've also seen people pass in peace. I want to go in peace. I'm not the slightest bit afraid of dying but like most, I'm afraid of hurting, and causing pain for my loved ones. I told my kids this many times. I would have no moral issue with planning my demise if I knew my quality of life was going to be something that would burden my loved ones or cause suffering or/and indignity for myself. I think death with dignity should be an absolute right.

Unfortunately, where you live it is not.

@JackPedigo Yeah, No. where you live is irrelevant to your right to end your life. an unjust law is to be ignored, not given credence by acknowledgement.

1

Funeral homes do not like me. When I die I am going to be cremated plain and simple. Death with dignity? There is no such thing. It's an invention of funeral homes to make more money.

Disagree. Many universities offer a body donation plan which is the option my wife took. They came and got her and then delivered her ashes to me. I have also enrolled in the plan. Death with Dignity is about how a person is able to control their death not what happens to them afterward.

@JackPedigo I see your point and both you and your wife are doing a noble thing. What I refer to is the horrible deaths that so many of us have in the end and funeral homes pushing their "death with dignity" thing by throwing a little more money at it. They bring god into the picture to justify all this. When the local funeral home found out I'm atheist the owner told me he didn't "have enough faith to be atheist." My mother did not have an easy death and it had no dignity.

@DenoPenno This is something I had not heard of. We do have a funeral home person on this site and it would be good to ask her feelings on this. Remember this program is new and information is sorely needed to weed out the bad aspects. In my letter (which I can reprint) there is a NPR link that talks about how medicare promotes suffering because it is one way hospitals make money.

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I would feel lucky to determine when to pull the plug and i strongly support death with dignity.

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I'm ready and welcome it to be honest. I've technically died 5x now 6th time is the charm

I can see from your photo that you are very young. Suicide is common in young people and I had similar thoughts but never had the guts !! But to be honest, I think it's the easy way out. I wanted to die because I was lazy.

2

We may not ever be ready but we know for sure and for certain it is coming. I'm sure all of us would choose quiet passing in our sleep.
No clue what the percentage on that is. I know my dad was all about quality of life and he would want the law changed to reflect the fact some want to plan their end. At the end when he was quiet ill Kevorkian was in the news alot and if he walked in the room my dad would have embraced him in a New York minute.
Made me cry but it's a good article and well worth reading.

After experiencing my partner's death I saw the perfect death, no suffering, being able to take charge and get things accomplished. Surrounded by friends and family and having the total support of he partner.
When I had my accident I could easily have died (or worse, be handicapped). This told me I need to get my stuff in better order.

@JackPedigo Yeah, that sort of thing does that to ya. Had the same thoughts going into the hip replacement surgery. Have I done anything? Well I did fill out some end of life stuff but it ain't witnessed or filed with my doctor yet. 🙂

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My father chose to end his life before the pain from the cancer in his bones became unbearable. (It's considered one of the more painful deaths -- patients often die while they're unconscious from pain meds but still moaning in pain.) He chose to stop eating and (mostly) drinking. It took 21 days. So he didn't choose just once, he had to keep up his resolve for three weeks. He never wavered even when the hospice people stopped their support and basically left my mother home alone with him because the official position of the national organization at that time was that if a patient seemed to be making plans, they should be sedated until they died 'naturally.' (None of us 'kids' were able to be there.)
So my experience contradicts the basis of this article if the point is that no one is ever ready. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (who developed the theory of stages in dying) was quoted saying that all of us basically believe deep down that we're immortal, and some can never get past that belief.

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This is only being humane if your quality of life is not to your satisfaction why would you want to suffer.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to suffer. There are those who have the goofy idea it is for a better cause. Let them but they should not pass their belief on others. Unfortunately, this is normal.

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