Millions of people are suffering from dementia that lasts years. How can this be right?

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If an animal is suffering its put to sleep.There are 4.7 million people in the world with dementia with 7.7 million more diagnosed every year. There are many more millions of carers struggling to care for them. Wouldn't it make sense that, once a dementia patient has no longer got any quality of life to euthanize them?

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Its funny to me how this topic continually comes up on this forum. Well not funny I guess considering most of the caregivers on here are taking care of loved ones with dementia.

Consider this: My Mom suddenly became ill, became unconscious, was rushed to the hospital. Never really regained consciousness but could of been kept alive with fluids, lifesaving measures etc. But the doctor on call was adamant that we should take her off all medication, desist fluids, and let nature take its course. With morphine given at regular intervals to ease any discomfort she might be experiencing. Now tell me how that is any different than assisted suicide. I mean if you have the means to prolong someones life but instead cut off all fluids, medicine, nutrition and let them slowly die, whats the difference. I don't see one.
In this case I believe it was the right decision and my Mom would of had no quality of life if she had been allowed to continue treatment.

I know this is a very touchy subject and I've said it before and I'll say it again. You cannot decide this with a single brush stroke. Every case is individual. If you start making this a legislative decision across the board there is too much room for people to take advantage of the system and manipulate it for their own perhaps devious reasons.

There should be a board that decides individually for every case. Weighing the pros and cons of every situation and because that would probably be very expensive and require too much manpower I doubt that it will ever happen in a way that will satisfy everyone.

I know that there are people on this site who dislike the religious point of view but I have to say that I trust that God will decide when its time for me to die and it will happen when its supposed to happen.
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And therein lie the problem Vstefans and I do agree with you the road is a fine line between INDIVIDUAL choice and MURDER and that is why I have been very specific in my advanced directive. However - everyone has to also realise that to be rational there will or certainly could be lobbyists that will argue that the law is not being applied fairly across the board

Let me explain:

Assume abortion is legal where you are - then no issue over abortion can occur - it is applied equitably

BUT

Assume it is ILLEGAL where you are unless the foetus indicates a disability is present - IF you allow this then you have already crossed the divide as to whose choice it is because you have already said able bodied people or potential able bodied people have rights that disabled ones don't have. AND THAT IS THE ISSUE - because no-one has the right to decide life or death over another purely on society's definition of ability and disability - if they did then Stephen Hawking would not be alive today

Once you have that divide you can erode the edges by
not assisting disabled babies to take their first breath or
not medicating them when as babies they get sick...

then where do you end?

by sterilising disabled people to prevent continuation of genetic disorders?
then on to sterilising all disabled people or healthy people who have had disabled children?
perhaps send them away?
and where would we like them to go?

Auschwitz? Just a little food for thought people.

I am absolutely for the right to die with dignity and I have made no bones about it FOR ME, I also one thousand per cent would protect the rights of people who have chosen not to make that decision or to make a different decision, because I DONT HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACT OTHERWISE nor would I want that right or responsibility
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In general it is OK not to prolong life if that is not wanted - and any competent adult may refuse essentially any treatment even if they will definitely die without it - but to actively take the life of someone who "we" judge to have a poor quality or value of life is to invite disaster in health care and provision for people with any kind of special needs. People will fear going to the doctor because death may become a recommended treatment, with no other measures covered for those who go against recommendations. The spectrum of what is considered good enough quality of life to be allowed or supported to live will get narrower and narrower. Psychiatrists and the rest of us in health care, instead of talking someone out of suicide, could become required to help achieve it as painlessly as possible. There are already moves in Canada to essentially force health care providers to provide services requested even against their own conscience, and how anyone would make a valid distinction between medical judgement and conscience in difficult cases is beyond me.

More disturbing still, to me - I had a patient on consult service with a disease that our field's literature supports as being compatible with a very good quality of life by certain measures of that - and a pulmonologist who happens to believe that no one should be put on long term ventilator support which this condition requires stated that he thought nothing should be done and would not even help a family get non-invasive ventilation that they wanted. I did not get to find out what eventually happened, but the family was able to exercise options to get into a different facility. Plus there have been high profile cases where brain death was wrongly diagnosed, and again families had to fight for the right to continue life support for a loved one.

People in this world who have the power to do so have killed other people for being annoying or inconvenient, and euthanasia for dementia opens that door wider than ever. I don't think anyone on either side of this debate is heartless though. It is not necessarily easy to advocate for the sacredness of human life when doing so becomes costly and burdensome to both a person who may be suffering and cannot have all suffering instantly and totally relieved and a caregiver who cares and has to watch and provide whatever support is needed and helpful until the natural end - and yet if we fail to do that, the value of all of our lives is at stake. Most of us at some point will become less able and less useful to society than we are today, and yet, that should not mean our lives should be ended actively or that we have less right to live on and get and give what we can in life than when we were at our most productive. As one person put it - "OK, I was made in the image of God - I have become disabled - does that mean I am not in His image any more?"
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Send isn't it weird how writing I want to live would be adhered to but writing I don't want to live would send you straight to a psych ward!
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On my refrigerator, posted for any paramedic to see, written in red:
" FILE OF LIFE"
Medications; diagnosis; DNR-that's not what you want to eat when you get to the hospital; etc. is usually placed in a clear envelope. Emergency personnel are trained to seek this FILE OF LIFE out.

Mine just says: I WANT TO LIVE!
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Windy - maybe more ahead of his time than odd. Or maybe odd. But so was Eisenstein, Darwin, Freud, Poe...
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OH yeah....Kevorkian, Dr death and his lawyer, Jeffery Feiger. I've always agreed with the concept of assited suicide but these guys were too wacky to be taken seriously. Rather than bring forth any intelligent discussion of the issue they doomed it forevermore.
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Okay - it was called "You Don't Know Jack" and it was an HBO movie. Pacino got an Emmy for his portrayal.
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Being the movie geek I am - I can't help but say Al Pacino did an excellent job playing him. Can't recall the movies name but it's worth a watch.
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Cwillie, this is what I mean by influences. I was in college during the trials and he was not really vilified in younger circles. People felt bad for him, he was a champion that gave people choices. It is just kind of intriguing to me how the media influenced opinion elsewhere, but here it was not like that at all...at least within my peer group.
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