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I don’t have an issue with it if everything is done properly by considering the entire situation at hand.


It is so very controversial for a variety of reasons.


Some people argue it is simply the most loving and humane thing to do in certain circumstances.


I remember watching a special on a young woman with a brain issue that would never ever improve. She was terrified of facing a horrible scenario as her situation worsened.


Her loving husband was so understanding and was supportive up until the very end. She died peacefully.


I can’t imagine how her husband felt. It was heartbreaking for him. It was truly selfless on his part not to ask her to live and face a difficult end.


She did not make a hasty decision. She knew there was absolutely no hope of a cure and was at peace with leaving this world. Her husband seemed to be at peace with her decision too.


I feel that they were both very brave in going through with the choice that was made. If her husband had any doubts he didn’t show it.


After watching this program I was convinced that I was in favor of supporting assisted suicide.


I have even heard people compare it to putting an animal down in order to prevent unnecessary pain. They say humans should have the same peaceful death.


Some people won’t bring their animals to the vet to allow them to die peacefully which is a shame.


I feel assisted suicide is allowing a person to die with dignity and should be allowed to each of us in all states.


What are your thoughts on this very controversial topic? If you agree or disagree, please express why you feel as you do.

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So many great comments here from all of you. Very good observations! It’s an emotional topic to think about. Isn’t it? It’s not cut and dry.

Lea, that’s one sure way! To take matters into our own hands and many do. That is so painful for the loved ones left behind even if they understand how it came to be, which I why I wish assisted suicide was accepted by society.

Midkid, I totally get how your son in law feels as he does.

CM, so true! It will always be controversial due to various opposing views and I don’t necessarily mean ‘religious’ views.

It’s a matter of what people think is moral or not, so yes, in the wrong hands it is worse than a nightmare!

I hate to see a person desperately trying to live without any quality of life remaining, so much so that they are just emotionally and physically exhausted.

I will never forget my MIL telling me not long before her death that she was so tired of fighting so hard to live. After her stint at M. D. Anderson she was done with it all. There wasn’t anything left to try anymore.

She accepted that her lymphoma had come back with a vengeance and was ready to die.

She was in remission for five years. It is devastating to have the cancer return.

I don’t think she was shocked because she had said that she always had fear about it returning. She was a positive person but was extremely realistic as well.

She told me that she was grateful to have seen her children graduate from school, get married, buy homes, have children, etc. She was happy that she had traveled in her lifetime.

She had good friends that she was grateful for. She developed a thick skin to guard against people that were insensitive.

She was an only child with an unsympathetic mother and a loving father. She stopped trying to change her mother’s behavior and accepted that she was just a miserable person. She had a mother in law from hell that she had discontinued a relationship with years earlier.

She told me that she would never mistreat her daughter in laws. She was a lovely woman who honored her word.

She was grateful for her life but was so fatigued with the misery caused by her body failing and said that she was ready to go home to Heaven. That’s not an uncommon feeling for people to have. She wasn’t afraid to die. Most people who are living in agony want to leave this world.

They are ready to check out. She was only 68 but I am sure she felt as if she was 108!
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I am absolutely all for it. I had one person close to me who lived in a state where assisted suicide was legal, she chose that route, and it was a the best choice for her. Had a huge party beforehand, etc..it was so humane.

My best friend lived in a state where assisted suicide was illegal, however she was receiving great and calm care in her parents’ home, and that was also lovely.

My Dad WANTED assisted suicide, kept asking how he could hurry up and die, but it is illegal in our state, and he died horrifically in drawn out pain. It was absolutely horrible and traumatic

To me assisted suicide should be a right to for those who can make the choice. My dad didn’t have that choice and he absolutely should have.
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Just hoard the painkillers and stock up on whiskey. Then it doesn't matter what the 'government' tells us we can or cannot do with our own lives, we can make that decision ourselves if/when the time comes.

It's not so straightforward with dementia/ALZ patients who don't even know what's going on, never mind being lucid enough to take some pills with a whiskey chaser. That's when the laws DO matter, and of course, there will be 'controversy' over a subject that there should BE no controversy whatsoever about.

We put our dogs down when they're suffering, yet we allow our human loved ones to suffer for years and years with no end in sight. Too much bureaucratic red tape to sift through in order to accomplish something SO necessary. Sad, isn't it?
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Replying to Margaret.

You said "Many people are kept alive for years with daily drugs that stop them dying – very often heart/ blood pressure drugs. Their quality of life is nil, but by the time that happens they are not in a position to argue." A very good family friend has not enlisted MAiD, but he chose to have his pacemaker/defibrillator turned off last week. He is tired, his kidneys are failing and he knows he is at the stage of dying by inches.

He is very tired without the pacemaker helping his heart beat. He will die sooner than later.
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Medical Assistance in Dying MAiD is legal across Canada and has been for a few years. I know one person who has used it, I know another who has all her ducks in a row to use it when she is ready. I fully support the option.

Mum's two greatest fears are losing her mind and having a healthy body or losing control over her body. I am her Healthcare Proxy and we have had several conversations about her wishes. Currently in Canada if a person has dementia, they cannot participate in MAiD, even if they have an Advanced Directive. There is legislation in the works to allow an AD to be used, but Covid has made passing legislation challenging.
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I've been relieved that the Medical Assistance in Dying laws in Canada have not proved to be the tip of the slippery slope I feared, but then there is a push by some to broaden the criteria so who knows what the future holds....
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I think you put your finger on the problem in your very first sentence:

" if everything is done properly by considering the entire situation at hand."

In your experience, are such decision-making processes always done properly?
And in the case of legally-sanctioned assisted suicide, what will happen if they're not?
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My sweet son in law has told me that, as a physician, he has seen far too much suffering and pain in life. He is solidly FOR physician assisted suicide--or as he calls it 'compassionate care'.

No, he doesn't think you should be willy-nilly putting Aunt Getrude down b/c she's in the way---he believes in carefully researching and giving people a dignified way to die. I think of Robin Williams, the comedian, who had a dx of so much pain and suffering--and I do not fault him for taking his own life--it was just sad he had to do it the way he did.

Dr. J, My SIL has told me many times he will not allow me to suffer and honestly, that is such a calm blessing to me!

We 'joke' about having to take a road trip to do it, as it is not, and never will be legal in our state, and I truly hope it doesn't come to pass, ever. But knowing he's there and loves me enough to put me out of grueling pain, should it come to that, well, it's comforting.
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I agree Needhelpwithmom. It’s only for people who are terminally ill with only 6 months to live. When a vet tells us our pet is dying we don’t just sit there and do nothing. We put our pet down. It’s the right thing to do. Why should anyone suffer? Animal or human?
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Elaine,

I think it should be legal everywhere!
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Needhelpwithmom, as of March 27,2019 lawmakers have still not passed the death with dignity. It’s been on the table but hasn’t passed in New York.

I don’t see what the hold up is. It’s only for terminal patients that have under 6 months to live.
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Elaine,

Your state has it. They voted in ‘Death with Dignity’ in 2015 in New York.
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Margaret and Elaine,

You two have longevity it your families like I do.

Some people do get tired of living if their quality of life is gone. Life is no longer joyful. It has become a burden for them. It’s sad.

Margaret,

Regarding religious beliefs, it’s confusing to me. I attended Catholic school and go to Mass. Haven’t attended since Covid. I watch the service on television or online.

I’m not a theologian so I don’t understand it all. but there are disagreements even among theologians.
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Seattle,

Wow...difficult position to be in. Thanks for sharing.
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I'm not advocating for or against it.

What I do know is because of physician assisted suicide (PAS) it has made our lives more miserable, made us unable to help our family member because of the catch22 built into the law where she lives, basically nullified our POA (it has been reduced to financial control only) and has made it impossible to get guardianship.

Our situation might be only be considered one instance, but life isn't so straightforward to say there isn't equal and opposite consequences to allowing PAS.
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I am all for it. We put cats and dogs down so they don’t suffer, why not people? I’m sure they don’t have it in Upstate New York.
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I have two long-held positions on this. Yes, I think that people who are facing an inevitable and painful death have an absolute right to end it if they wish. Anywhere that has brought in this legislation has also provided many safeguards. The opposition is usually religious, the same people who oppose abortion (and don’t intend to bring up unwanted children themselves). It’s interesting, because Jesus said ‘I thirst’ and took the poison, which I have read was an acceptable and noble thing to do back then. Without it, death by crucifixion usually took days, even weeks, and was very painful. Here we have over 80% support for assisted dying, but the politicians are usually too scared to put it through. It’s recently been made legal in Victoria.

My other belief is that people who are certainly facing an inevitable death (aren’t we all?), but not through illness, should be able to do the same. Many people are kept alive for years with daily drugs that stop them dying – very often heart/ blood pressure drugs. Their quality of life is nil, but by the time that happens they are not in a position to argue. My own dear MIL at 93 begged me to take her for a walk on a cold beach, let her get pneumonia again, and not call the doctor. In fact she lived to three months short of 100, unable to speak for the last three years, bedbound, incontinent, and all the rest of it. It cost the government a fortune, and in my opinion was fairly close to torture for her. All that would have been needed to do what she wanted was a couple of days without the blood pressure drugs. Doctors are so scared of being sued, they care more about legal costs than the patient.
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JoAnn,

Very interesting, isn’t it? We all make choices in life, no matter where we stand on an issue. Some of us are very independent and do what we feel is best for us.

Did you ever hear what the other family members felt about their decision?

JoAnn,

May I ask if you are happy that your state has legal assisted suicide?

The reason that I started this discussion was because a poster that I respect a lot said that she would do opt for assisted suicide because it is available in her state.

The post from this person caused me to wonder how many people would seriously consider it.
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Alva,

I so admire your outlook on life and enjoy your postings so much, not just for your medical knowledge but also your personal insight. Thanks for being a contributor to this sight.

Your words have opened my eyes to see other views and for that I am appreciative. I very much like thought provoking discussions.

I totally understand that some people find more fear in living in agony than facing death.

It’s interesting because as many of you know, I was raised in a Catholic family. Well, my mom’s family were all Catholic and daddy was a convert to the faith. He became Catholic shortly before marrying my mom. He was previously a member of Assembly of God Church.

While I respect the church for the teachings that I find valuable, I find the older that I become the more I question certain beliefs, such as the Catholic view as well as other Christian churches that have a very strict view on the pro-life stance.

The Catholic Church would never accept assisted suicide, abortion or the death penalty.

The church has evolved in some ways. They no longer believe that if a person commits suicide it is a sin. They also believe it is a person’s right to have a living will that chooses not to be resuscitated. They support hospice and palliative care.

Sometimes people are in such anguish that they see no other way out but suicide.

Louisiana is not an assisted suicide state. My uncle desperately tried to kill himself in the hospital by slitting his wrist.

He was furious with the nurse who saved his life. He had suffered so long and was ready to die.

I went to see him the next morning and saw the bandages on his wrist but I didn’t think about a suicide attempt.

When I asked my uncle how he was feeling that day, his exasperated nurse who had been up all night dealing with saving his life said abruptly to me, “Your uncle tried to kill himself last night!” The news shocked me.

My poor uncle looked exhausted and humiliated by her remark and looked at me with his beautiful blue eyes with an empty stare.

I took my uncle’s hand and told him that I understood. He had his larynx removed from his cancer and spoke through that thing, whatever it’s called and was a bit difficult to understand at times. I didn’t expect him to explain anything to me.

My dad’s had five brothers. I was close to my uncle. He wasn’t married and enjoyed having nieces and nephews. My brothers never went to see him in the hospital like I did.

Assembly of God Church was very rigid and my uncle didn’t buy any of it! He didn’t like church due to being hurt as a child. He didn’t believe in God.

He was a man with morals and very kind to others but he chased any preacher that came into his hospital room away! I understood why though.

It’s so interesting how religion effects people’s lives. Some may see it as control, others see it as self discipline and obeying God.

I don’t wish to convert anyone to feel as I personally do. I just would like to see others accept those who do not believe that we should be forced to live in agony. I think people should do what is right for them.

In the Catholic Church they teach there is merit in suffering. It may cause us to think deeply and have important discussions and take care of getting our affairs in order.

The Catholic Church also believes it is a way for a person to identify with Christ’s suffering for us and that Christ is our savior and we should strive to be Christlike in our lives.

I understand this teaching from the church’s perspective but I don’t accept it as a personal belief? Does that make me a ‘bad or insincere’ Catholic? Perhaps it does. The church may say that it does. Not sure. I do believe in God.

I believe that I am a person who questions. I don’t have any malicious thoughts for any church or any of the religions in our world.

I was in my 20’s when my uncle died. Watching him suffer was brutal. He definitely would have chosen assisted suicide if it would have been availa
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I am very much for it. I am an old nurse. That is likely what leads me to have zero fear of death, and a whole lot of fear of life with pain and infirmities. Long a member of Final Exit.
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We just had this happen in our town. An elderly mother and daughter. The Mother had been at the same AL as my Mom. A sweet woman. That was 3 years ago and she still knew her daughter and could carry on reasonable conversation.

The daughter, I think had terminal Cancer, gave her Mom an overdose and then she took an overdose. I guess she felt there was no one to care for Mom. Brother was gone and sister living states away.
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I would consider it if there was no hope. Would I support a member of my family to go forth and do it? I can’t say. I don’t know. I think it would be easier to only make a decision for myself.

Of course it wouldn’t be an option for everyone depending on religious beliefs, mentality ill people, cognitive issues and so forth.

I wonder how many people would have spouses or family members who would object. It would be complicated if the person had children, especially younger children.

Does anyone know of someone who has done this?

Are any of you surprised that it is legal in some of our states?
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