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 Should assisted suicide be legalised in Scotland? 
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A H
but just what help can you give before you overstep the mark? We need some guidance.

Haven't there been (granted rare and extreme) cases, where a husband has suffocated his beloved wife with a pillow, and other cases similar? And no conviction has been forthcoming.
I think it's something the government is shy of legislating on, so just turns a blind eye.
And as I said earlier, this may be the best way, for now.

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January 14th, 2009, 9:28 pm
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Alan C. wrote:
Haven't there been (granted rare and extreme) cases, where a husband has suffocated his beloved wife with a pillow, and other cases similar? And no conviction has been forthcoming.
I see what you're getting at about a precedent and I may have been wrong.

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January 14th, 2009, 10:06 pm
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Alan C. wrote:
I think the law as it stands now is OK, ie it's not legal to help someone commit suicide, but nobody gets prosecuted for it (do they?), if the time comes when I have had enough and want to end it, Mary would help (if I needed help) likewise, I would do the same for her.
Given the fact that nobody gets prosecuted for assisting a loved one to die, I think it's a non issue.
I don't think you should ask a third party to do the deed as it were, just for them to provide you or the person requesting it, the means to go quickly and painlessly, you know? Like we do for all other animals.


I think there are a number of problems with the above.

First of all, people are prosecuted. IIRC there was a case recently involving a lesbian couple, one of whom was terminally ill. Her partner helped her to die, but was prosecuted and convicted. She was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for a year. Effectively a pardon, but I'd rather that if this was the law's intention, she should not have been prosecuted.

Secondly, I think it is generally a bad idea to have clear law that is disregarded. This is an indication that the law should be changed. Though I don't like laws for everything, the law should be clear about what is or is not legal.

Thirdly, many people who have reached the decision they would rather end their life are no longer able to do the deed themselves.


January 20th, 2009, 10:39 am
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This may be a bit of a red herring in this discussion, but it is something which has troubled me for some time and I would welcome comments.
There has been much talk of protecting vulnerable people, but what happens when one of these vulnerable people reach a stage where life is intolerable? I'm not being pedantic here, I am using an example from my own experience (I forget what the word is which means-example from ones own life. Anyone?).
I worked for many years with people with very severe learning and physical disabilities and came accross one instance (only one, mind) of an adult who was living in what appeared to be constant, intolerable pain. This person could not speak or communicate in any meaningful way.
I was extremely disturbed by the fact that nothing seemed to help the suffering of this person.
I suppose what I am talking about is euthenasia. If we change the law in favour of assisted suicide would it not be an opportunity to look at euthenasia too?

Or, alternativly a complete red herring (but will someone please tell me the word for 'an example from ones own experience' it's killing me!!)

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January 20th, 2009, 1:05 pm
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Goodness, getreal, that's an awful situation to witness. Can we leave the euthanasia to one side for a moment. As a professional Carer, my first action would be to check that a person who
Quote:
was living in what appeared to be constant, intolerable pain
was receiving adequate support from their GP in terms of medication that properly alleviated their pain. Some health professionals, for whatever reason, do not take the care that should be taken with such vulnerable people, and they have to trust what the Carers say - if they can be bothered to ask. By the same token, with severe learning and communication difficulties the person may well be sending signals that carers may misinterpret as pain. Communication between Carers and health professionals is paramount, in my experience. (you've got me at it now, I dunno what word you meant either :headbang: )

I'm not at all sure this is a euthanasia issue, I think it more a quality of life issue, which can be addressed by sensitive and thoughtful care, by all agencies involved.

I fully support assisted suicide where the person concerned is able to make choices for themselves. After long discussions with my family and GP I have signed an Advance Decision (formerly known as living wills, available from http://www.dignityindying.org.uk/ ) But the difficulties that others in this thread have shown as to sound mind and the possibility of coercion are probably enough of a political minefield to add those who have no communication.

In the meantime, all I can do is to do my best to fight for the very best care all our suffering fellow humans, whilst vigorously supporting the right I think we all should have - to die with dignity.


January 20th, 2009, 11:08 pm
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The Advance Directive is a request to be allowed to die in certain situations rather than be kept alive 'unnecessarily' (I know that is the wrong word).
As for suicide and assisted suicide and a right to die with dignity, it is hardly dignified to have to drag yourself (and others) to Switzerland to get the death you want.


January 21st, 2009, 7:42 am
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jaywhat wrote:
The Advance Directive is a request to be allowed to die in certain situations rather than be kept alive 'unnecessarily' (I know that is the wrong word).

Yes, but the advantage that I see for having completed one is that you can add to it if your health fails, all the initial hoops have been gone through. Conversations have been had with family, friends, GP and solicitor. You don't want to be doing that if you've just had a devastating diagnosis. It is crystal clear as to which situations you would wish to be resuscitated from. And the rest is work in progress if necessary.

jaywhat wrote:
As for suicide and assisted suicide and a right to die with dignity, it is hardly dignified to have to drag yourself (and others) to Switzerland to get the death you want.

Absolutely, Jaywhat.


January 21st, 2009, 8:27 pm
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Yes I am with you all the way, Fia, I did not make myself clear - and I signed mine over 10 years ago, but think I had better look at it again because I guess the wording could probably be improved by now.


January 21st, 2009, 8:45 pm
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Thanks, Fia. It's just another thing to muddy the waters.
In my limited experience doctors do not, generally, resuscitate people when the outlook is bleak, especially if family have indicated this and often 'hasten' death by the use of opiates. My experience, however is mostly pre 1990's and they may well be more litigation-averse these days.
It is a moral and legal minefield.

Oh! and the word I was looking for was 'exemplum' but my definition was a little off mark :D

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January 21st, 2009, 9:45 pm
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A little off topic but, the case for letting Eluana Englaro die is still in the news, the doctors decision to allow her to die, has been blocked by the prime minister (following talks at the Vatican)
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Justifying his campaign to save Englaro's life, the prime minister added that, physically at least, she was "in the condition to have babies", a remark described by La Stampa newspaper as "shocking". Giorgio Napolitano, Italy's president, has refused to sign the decree, but if it is ratified by the Italian parliament doctors may be obliged to resume the feeding of Eluana early this week.
Can you believe that somebody could make such a statement as highlighted above?
More evidence (if it were needed) that the Catholic hierarchy see women primarily as baby making units.
Italy faces constitutional crisis over coma woman.

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February 8th, 2009, 3:01 pm
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Words fail to convey how disgusted I feel about that.

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February 21st, 2009, 4:48 pm
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I am all for legalization as a means of protection for members of the medical profession, who, at present are open to attack if there is any suspicion that a death has been assisted.

The responsibility must be very hard ot bear.

Martin


February 21st, 2009, 6:23 pm
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tubataxidriver wrote:
At the risk of being shot to pieces for stereotyping, I thought there was already a legal form of assisted suicide available in Scotland in the form of a particularly dangerous deep-fried diet, smoking and unhealthy lifestyle.


Doesnt this occurr all over the uk - hence the Ned / Chavs relationship ?

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April 6th, 2009, 5:06 pm
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Alan C. wrote:
A little off topic but, the case for letting Eluana Englaro die is still in the news, the doctors decision to allow her to die, has been blocked by the prime minister (following talks at the Vatican)
Quote:
Justifying his campaign to save Englaro's life, the prime minister added that, physically at least, she was "in the condition to have babies", a remark described by La Stampa newspaper as "shocking". Giorgio Napolitano, Italy's president, has refused to sign the decree, but if it is ratified by the Italian parliament doctors may be obliged to resume the feeding of Eluana early this week.
Can you believe that somebody could make such a statement as highlighted above?
More evidence (if it were needed) that the Catholic hierarchy see women primarily as baby making units.
Italy faces constitutional crisis over coma woman.


Nice.

And what do they plan to do , rent her out to disabled folk ?

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April 6th, 2009, 5:10 pm
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"Should assisted suicide be legalised in Scotland?"
If life is so awful in Scotland these days. (Sorry, it's late at night here. If the Mod wants to delete this, I won't complain. :smile: )

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April 25th, 2009, 7:06 pm
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I am definitely for euthanasia; I have experienced severe illness. I did not want to die because I believed I'd get better, which I did, though it took several years. If I had good reasons to believe I wouldn't, then I sure wouldn't want to hang about. What for?

What does surprise me is the amount of worry over "pressure from relatives". I would have thought most relatives would be pressuring the person to stay alive, unless they were truly greedy and evil?

Perhaps doctors could be intimately involved in making decisions - in fact, how could they not be? And any doctor worth his/her salt would know when a person isn't ready to die and they have barbarians for relatives.

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August 31st, 2009, 2:59 pm
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There's some interesting and thought-provoking information on the Friends at the End website (which I run).

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August 31st, 2009, 6:03 pm
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The way I see it, this problem could not be simpler. If nothing else, I am the master of my own life, my own body. Noone else owns me. If, therefore, I want to end my life, I should be allowed to. Now just because I'm physically unable to do so myself, does that mean that right should be forfeited? Of course not!

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September 20th, 2009, 3:50 pm
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Seeing as how I am most likely going to be faced with this issue within the next decade, I have an opinion. I have no issue with assisted suicide being legalized. Nor do I have an issue with voluntary euthanasia. The only time I have an issue is when the state starts determining who should live or die.

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September 21st, 2009, 2:34 am
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Although I'm writing about a UK rather than Scottish campaign, rather than start a new thread I thought I'd just piggy-back this one. Admins: please feel free to move it

I am aware arguments against the legal introduction of assisted dying in the UK are usually religious or 'slippery slope' objections.
But as I have been a supporter of the campaign group Dignity in Dying - and its predecessors - for many years I was delighted to read this just published evidence-based document, entitled "A matter of facts" - available here

From the email Dignity in Dying sent today:
Quote:
Back in 2005 Professor Raymond Tallis chaired a leading medical ethics committee who opposed the 2005 Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, in the foreword to A matter of facts he says: "The hostility of the many, including myself, against the... legislation was based on assumptions we had about its possible longer-term consequences on the practice of medicine and more broadly in society.
What we did not appreciate was that there was sufficient evidence...that our concerns were without foundation."

This is an astounding turnaround. For those with an interest in these matters it’s a fascinating read…

Dignity in Dying are apparently planning some mass tweeting on this next week. Not that I tweet, but thought I’d share…


May 27th, 2011, 2:22 pm
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