My dad who is 96 and in Hospice care at home in NYC does not want to live anymore. He is in pain and has Cancer and many other problems. He won't take pain medicine as they make all his conditions worse. He keeps telling his doctors he wants to die but they won't help him. Not sure how I can help him with all this as he wants to fly somewhere so he can die in peace. I was checking online about states that have Death with Dignity laws but you need to be a resident. He keeps sending me emails to find a solution to his problem.

One suggestion is to have a good look at the medications he is taking. Look the contents (not the brand names) up on the net. If they include drugs for high blood pressure or high cholesterol, they are probably keeping him alive. There may also be other drugs that he could choose to stop, spit out, or pocket in his cheek and then get rid of. He doesn’t have to take them if he doesn’t want to (and there is nothing in the Bible to say that God insists on it).

Then find out what pain medication he is taking. If it’s opioids, they are probably making him groggy, but shouldn’t make his condition worse. However if he wants to end his life, he should be able to save some over a few days and take them at once in a fatal dose. Best wishes to him and to you. An easy death for all of us, when our time comes.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

If he wants to die at a time of his choosing and he has the pain meds he is refusing to take then I would think he has his own solution at hand. I know a lot of people will disagree but to me it is his choice and he sounds of sound enough mind to make it and to leave a letter saying he is doing so to avoid any suggestions of neglect by you. It’s certainly the plan I have for making my own choice not suffering on the whim of Drs. He is a brave man who has had a long and good life and should be able to make his own choice. I can only send my best wishes to you both, although that seems a most inappropriate phrase.xx
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Reply to TaylorUK

This is a very controversial subject but here goes. If he has a passport there is Dignitas. You can Google a lot of info on it. They follow strict guidelines If you still can see the video, look up The Suicide Tourist on Frontline (PBS 2012).
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Reply to MACinCT

I am sorry, it doesn't even make any sense that he won't take pain meds because it makes his illnesses worse, yet he wants to die.

Doesn't it make sense to use the meds to facilitate everything hurrying up and giving him his wish?

I would encourage hospice, not his doctor, to explain what the pain meds and antianxiety medications will do for him. If they won't and he is suffering, you need a new hospice. The whole point is to ease the transition. Get on the phone and tell them to do their jobs and not involve a doctor that obviously has no experience with death.

I am truly sorry that you both are facing such misery at the end of his life. I pray that he passes quickly and gets some pain relief in the interim. May God grant you peace and comfort during this time.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Yukii. I am very sorry. There must be a combination of meds to bring your Dad comfort. I would ask hospice to keep trying to get your Dad relief. Very sad.
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Reply to Sweetstuff

I have talked to hospice and his doctor and attorney.
They are talking about palliative sedation now for him but his doctor did not want to talk about it. I know his days are full of suffering, but it not an easy decision and being a zombie on pain killers is not living. I am 6000 miles away so it's very hard to deal with this.
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Reply to yukii007

Op have you discussed this with hospice? Their job is to keep your dad comfortable. Is there really no medication that can control his pain without making his other conditions worse? I am so sorry. What a terrible position to be in and my heart goes out to your dad.

California does not require 2 doctors to declare you are of sound mind in order to use the right to die law. They do required you to be a resident and I don’t think there’s enough time to establish residency & obtain new doctors in any state that has a death with dignity law. California does require your primary/attending physician to diagnose you as terminally ill with an irreversible, incurable condition that will result in death within six months. Then you have to see a 2nd doctor that confirms the conditions and prognosis. IF either of those doctors thinks your ability to make decisions could be impaired, then you also have to see a mental health specialist.
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Reply to worriedinCali
AlvaDeer Sep 9, 2019
Yes. That's what I mean. I think he are counting it correctly together. One. Two. Both in Oregon and in California I have seen two dying friends try to access the care. Here one finally did by a physician known to be "for the law". It is otherwise proving very difficult with the same lame thing we see other places of "I cannot sign that you only have 6 months to live". And the admonitions to see a shrink for help with your depression. My best friend has worked hospice for many many years. They are not seeing help here. Hopefully it will get better. Relatively new law for us. Curious if you are seeing this new law work well, Cali. I still am not. But am hopeful.
Not only would he have to be a resident, two doctors would in my state have to declare him OF SOUND MIND and able to make this decision. They do not allow anyone with dementia to make the decision. And they would have to agree he has no more than 6 months of life left. It isn't easy. Most in my state still choose not eating and not drinking. Not eating is not good enough as you can live months this way, suffering still. There has to be no fluids and no food. You must have someone with you, should be, yes, in hospice, and generally this decision can be made especially if family is there to advocate that they will be there throughout and that this is the wishes of the person dying. Other than this I do not know a way. There are of course ways to go, and you might consider joining Final Exit on Facebook and exploring the subject there; I think you would find those willing to share information with you.
I am sorry he is not accepting medication for comfort. Glad he is refusing other medications and having palliative care. It is amazing how our hearts keep pumping no matter our age and wishes and state of health so often. I am sorry he is going through this when all he wants now is peace. We have addicts keeling in the streets from fentanyl when they do not want to die at all, and many who do wish to have peace forced to live on against their wishes. It is quite sad.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

The states that do have this law in place do have a residency requirement. And for good reason.
Other than having the doctor write a prescription for your dad for pain and then your father "over dosing" there is not much of a choice. And if you or he mentions the intention while talking to the doctor you can be assured the doctor will not prescribe what might be a "lethal" dose. And at that point it would take several trips to the doctors office to get a quantity that would be lethal. (And he certainly would not want to take anything other than what would be fatal)
And how do you feel about this? I can imagine the worst case in that your father would take a dose not quite enough to end his life but take enough to make him comatose leaving you to or someone to care for him more than now.

Have you talked to Hospice about this? Have you talked to the Social Worker? The Chaplain? and the Nurse? And have other pain medications been tried that will help relieve pain but not make other problems worse?

I am so sorry he and you are going through this it must be heart wrenching!
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Reply to Grandma1954

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