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Author Topic: Euthanasia  (Read 3053 times)

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Offline Delby

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Euthanasia
« on: June 15, 2010, 11:07:45 AM »
I know it may not be the happiest of topics, but relevant and extremely important none the less. I was wondering how many people on this forum agree with Euthanasia for the sick and terminally ill?

I personally support euthanasia wholeheartedly. I am a member of a swiss organisation that offers assisted dying to those that are chronically ill, unable to bear their symptoms anymore or are terminally ill. I have been a member ever since I was diagnosed and will remain so until they change the law in the UK.

Having an organisation that is able to offer assisted dying takes a lot of my fears away. Since being diagnosed, my main concern was suffering before death. Yes it upsets me that I will die prematurely - it more than upsets me. But I accept that people die early from all walks of life, not just those with cancer. Some live till 100 and some don't even see their 1st birthday. But suffering before death is not acceptable to me. I believe it is our right, our basic human freedom and liberty, to be able to choose a dignified and peaceful ending, one in which you can choose the time of your leaving.

Today medicine is focused on keeping people alive, which is right, but not if it's to the detriment of one's quality of life. For me the main worry of living with HIV is the prospect of unduly suffering. A long drawn out deterioation of one's body, mental facilities, cognitive awareness and physical demise. I will not watch myself or my body turn into something unrecognisable. It would be too harrowing for me.

However, I recognise everyone has a choice to make. We are all unique and if someone wants to see it out right to the very end, then I completely respect their choice. In fact I admire them. But I do not have that strength or will. When things become too difficult for me or my health is on the decline then I will go and say my goodbye's and be at peace. I am entitled to a peaceful ending. My family support me 100%.

I have discussed this with my ID dr and he has told me that not only am I being completely premature, but also no one dies in pain anymore and I'm more likely to die of something non AIDS related than AIDS itself. Well, unfortunatley I don't believe him. People still do die in pain and palliative care doesnt work for everyone.

What do you think? I'm sure some of you have watched loved one's die from AIDS. We're they at peace..in pain? Or would they of preffered a dignified exit such as assisted dying?

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2010, 11:54:39 AM »
I am pro euthanasia.

Offline mecch

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2010, 12:08:23 PM »
I was wondering how many people on this forum agree with Euthanasia for the sick and terminally ill?

I personally support euthanasia wholeheartedly. ...........

I have discussed this with my ID dr and he has told me that not only am I being completely premature, but also no one dies in pain anymore and I'm more likely to die of something non AIDS related than AIDS itself. Well, unfortunatley I don't believe him. People still do die in pain and palliative care doesnt work for everyone.

What do you think? I'm sure some of you have watched loved one's die from AIDS. We're they at peace..in pain? Or would they of preffered a dignified exit such as assisted dying?


I personally think anyone has the right to live or die as he pleases.  But also the people around him should be consulted and their concerns given respect if not necessarily giving into them!

Secondly, I agree with your doctor that you are not likely to die of "AIDS" - as far as I know - there are some quite closely "related to AIDS" ways of dying but they are less likely in the era of HAART.  However, then one can play with semantics and see mortal illnesses among HIV+ people, in other words, "causes" of death, on a sort of continuum - some probably very much HIV related and some probably not at all.

I have had friends and lovers die pretty horrible deaths from AIDS or suicide because of AIDS and this was all before HAART.  Some were at "peace" and others definitely not.

I sat with my dad as he died a horrible painful death from cancer.  The doctors of course upped the pain medication and made it as "painless" as possible in the last days.  I would say he felt no pain the last days.  But even a week or two before his death he felt occasional horrible pain and discomfort as doctors struggled with the proper doses and medicines, etc. etc.  This was preceded by months if not years of discomfort and always a choice, his, between being medicated for pain, or the cancer, or being functioning for other things.  At the end, I would say, he was not at "peace" and carried his anger at the disease and miscellaneous things in his life to his grave, and this was his choice and was quite authentic, that was who he was.

I personally know I have a bit of my dad in me and quite some tolerance for discomfort and pain and also I'm not sure death by illness is anything but what it can be.  Like many other experiences in life, I see dying by illness as basically NOT individually determined or controllable.  It involves health professionals, and family and support, and medicines, and finally the individual, all trying to do the best they can to make it bearable.  

While I think your fears about HIV and debilitation are based on historical fact, I don't think this is any different than any other terminal illness. I would remind you however, that HIV is currently seen as offering a VERY wide field of possible experiences as an illness.  And you may be oversubscribing and over assuming certain futures onto being HIV+ in the present, which may indeed not come to pass.  

And I think you are justified in wanting to off yourself when you feel like there isnt sufficient quality in your life.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2010, 12:11:07 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline tommy246

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2010, 01:53:41 PM »
 , Nowadays `people with hiv with access to modern meds live a full life span .
But i also know you suffer from colitus as does my wife its alot harder to treat than hiv thats for sure, and can really get you down. My wife is doing well this last 18months or so only one small flare up 12 months ago but she caught it early and was treated at home with steroids previously she was in hospital 3 times for a month a time in the space of 18 months. she is still taking the prendisone along with 6 other pills three times a day and since joining a gym seems alot better, i hope your condition improves regards tommy.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2010, 02:07:55 PM by tommy246 »
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2010, 02:02:11 PM »
I think you are being pessimistic with no valid reason , nowadays `people with hiv with access to modern meds live a full life span .

I am aprehensive about elaborating on the subject, because the OP also suffers from Ulcerative Colitis, and fears the recomended immunosuppresants. Hence I think is the reason for this bleak vision of the future.
Be carefull passing judgement, as we are not walking in his shoes.

Peace

Offline NycJoe

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2010, 02:12:18 PM »
I am 100% for it as long as it is not abused.  I work in the medical field and it is sad watching people near the end lingering in pain when you know they clearly want to go.  Watching my grandmother die, trust me I never thought I would say this but I wanted to put her out of her misery.  She had a terrible last week of her life that I never want to see ANYONE go through again.  I still live with the guilt of not having done more for her at the end.  Of course, that would have been illegal.

Offline tommy246

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2010, 02:13:26 PM »
I am aprehensive about elaborating on the subject, because the OP also suffers from Ulcerative Colitis, and fears the recomended immunosuppresants. Hence I think is the reason for this bleak vision of the future.
Be carefull passing judgement, as we are not walking in his shoes.

Peace
Your correct grasshopper hence my ammended post but the immunosuppressants only supress your system a certain ammount to try and keep the colitus in check not to weaken your immune systyem to leave you open to illnesses and i really do feel for delby as i have seen first hand how my wife has suffered unless you have this illness or live with someone who has it people just dont realise how tough it can be.
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline Ann

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2010, 03:59:59 PM »
I'm in favour of euthanasia so long as it is a decision taken when still relatively healthy and of sound mind through something like a Living Will where certain conditions are stipulated.

Delby, I wonder if you've ever read anything about UC being successfully treated with Thalidomide? There have been at least three poz patients who gained significant relief with this med. There was a story about it a few years ago on POZ.

http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/aids_colitis_thalidomide_1667_14636.shtml

It would be worth talking to your doctor(s) about this possibility. How's your UC doing anyway?

Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2010, 04:14:36 PM »
I support a person's right to die with dignity and in the manner of his or her choosing.

MtD

Offline Delby

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2010, 04:38:30 PM »
Very interesting comments guys. I feel so strongly about euthanasia. I have written several articles that have been published (anonomously) in UK newspapers about the subject. Whilst some people may think it's a morbid subject to feel passionate about, I think it's quite the opposite. This is about human rights, liberty and the choice to a peaceful ending. We care so much about how we live, but unfortunately we have neglected the way we die.

I have a living will in place, but this isnt the same as assisted dying. In fact it's nothing of the sort. All a living will does is inform your loved one's and your carers when to stop administering treatment and essentially hasten death. It does not deliver you from a painful or undignified ending. I also carry around a 'Right to Refuse Treatment' card in my wallet - this is something that was introduced by the government in the UK and is essentially a living will that one carry's round. The months after my diagnosis I was distraught and found it hard to cope each day - to say the least - that was until I found this organisation in Switzerland and my application was accepted. It was a huge relief for me. I cannot tell you what it felt like. So much of the uncertainty was taken away from me, as I was in partial control of my ending. I would dictate how much suffering I was prepared to endure - not my Dr, or the nurse or my loved ones. I make the decision and that feels empowering and comforting.

Ann, tommy, grasshopper - thanks for asking about my UC. As Tommy knows, UC is a deabilitating disease. I have said it once and i'll say it again, my UC gives me far more trouble than my HIV does on a daily basis. Unfortunatley it hasnt improved is unlikely too because I am refusing to take immunosuppresants. I am desparetly holding onto what immune system I have left and feel very unsure about taking a drug that essentially destroys your immune system. If i didnt have HIV I'd take it in a heart beat. I realise the concequences such as a hugely increased risk of colon cancer, but it's a risk i'm prepared to take. I've not had ONE solid stool for 4 years. Each and every day is spent rushing to the toilet with diarrhea 6 or 12 times a day, bleeding, excrutiating abdominal pain etc. As tommy said it's hard to imagine unless you have, but then again what disease is. I can't take steriods anymore as i've reached my limit. I've been on very high doses on and off for 4 yrs - they seriously damage your body - very powerful drugs!

So anyway, back to the euthanasia topic. I hope one day the UK will join Switzerland, Luxemburg, Oregan and Holland in providing the terminally/chronically ill with assisted dying. To live with dignity and to die with dignity.

Offline Ann

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2010, 07:20:18 PM »
Delby, did  you read that article on hiv, UC, and Thalidomide I linked to above? It's worth looking into - one of the lads who took it had been facing a colostomy before he tried Thalidomide and evidently it got rid of the UC.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2010, 07:22:36 PM »
Frontline, in my opinion one of the best shows on television, did a one-hour program called The Suicide Tourist, about a man with ALS who travels to Switzerland for an assisted suicide. They film the whole thing; it's fascinating and moving.

It can be viewed online:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/suicidetourist/
« Last Edit: June 15, 2010, 09:40:16 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2010, 07:27:41 PM »
Frontline, in my opinion one of the best shows on television, did a one-hour program called The Suicide Tourist, about a man with ALS who travels to Switzerland for an assisted suicide. They film the whole thing; it's fascinating and moving.

It can be viewed online:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/suicidetourist/

Yairs a most excellent film.

MtD

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2010, 05:22:40 AM »
You may want to double check your "Swiss alternative" , as they are/were planning to establishing restrictions on "foreigners"  travelling to Switzerland for the sole purpose of assisted suicide...the so called "euthanasia tourism".

Perhaps Mecch can give more insight about this.

(just so you won't be disappointed if and when the time comes...hope it doesn't have to come to that)

Offline Delby

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2010, 06:03:11 AM »
i'm aware that there is pressure on the swiss government to change the law so it only applies to nationals of Swizterland. They have/are being pressured because unfortunately the press surrounding the organisation hasnt been very positive. They do not want this affecting the countries image and pressure from other countries may unfortunately cause a change in their current law - which is to allow anyone from abroad to use their services. If that happens then there's not much I can do about it anyway. Hopefully it won't. The euthanasia debate is being continually raised in many countries. The UK has just passed a law protecting anyone that helps a relative, loved one, or friend from using the assited dying services. Before the law was passed, anyone who helped could be punishable by up to 14 yrs imprisonment. However, out of all the cases of UK citizens travelling to switzerland for assisted dying, not one has been prosecuted. Now they have abolished the law which is a step in the right direction. I believe it will become legal in the UK within the next 20-30yrs. Unfortunately as the US government counts their votes from an almost 95% religious electorate, then Euthanasia will not become legal in the US for some time, if ever. Althought it is legal in the state of Oregon

Offline Delby

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2010, 06:07:25 AM »
ann - a very interesing article but unfortunately who would prescribe it? If it's not been passed for use in patients with UC then my consultant won't prescribe it. I will certainly ask him the next time I have a consultation. It does sound promising albeit the study was only small and would be too premature to draw conclusions.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2010, 06:23:18 AM »
ann - a very interesing article but unfortunately who would prescribe it? If it's not been passed for use in patients with UC then my consultant won't prescribe it. I will certainly ask him the next time I have a consultation. It does sound promising albeit the study was only small and would be too premature to draw conclusions.

There are circumstances in which doctors have the scope to prescribed medications in an "off label" manner.

You'll never know unless you ask. :)

MtD

Offline Just John

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2010, 07:38:58 PM »
Nowadays people with hiv with access to modern meds live a full life span .

BULLSHIT!!!!

Sorry tommy but nobody has been on HAART for long enough to test this theory yet, and I am one of those who might yet (not) live to disprove it.

I support a person's right to die with dignity and in the manner of his or her choosing.

MtD

Amen.

-John.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

Offline mudman8

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2010, 04:25:03 PM »
I'm certainly for it.  Living with pain or terrible physical/ mental distress would be a nightmare. 

When you are overwhelmed or close enough to dying you just want to check out.  I was in severe condition around 91 in ICU fighting it all the way but once I did my bid with god I collapsed, woke up 2 days later.  It took me a year to get back in shape I was so weak. 

I take care of my 88 yo parents and mom can hardly see and hear yet she puts on a game face and soldiers on, dad has dementia, but he's a happy camper type (thankfully).  She says "We've lived too long and I'm not enjoying life anymore". Then goes and puts on great outfits and we take a wine bottle to their residence dining hall and try to have a good time.

For my recent operation I had to do a quick medical directive  and had 2 good friends and my HIV Dr know that I didn't want to be kept on if in pain or mental collapse. Just let me go or put me in a Hospice.
Life is analog

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2010, 01:55:17 AM »
Personally, I think it is appalling that the status quo in the US is more concerned that a serial murderer die peacefully than extended that right to its law abiding citizens. 

Offline tommy246

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2010, 11:27:26 AM »
BULLSHIT!!!!

Sorry tommy but nobody has been on HAART for long enough to test this theory yet, and I am one of those who might yet (not) live to disprove it.

Well im just quoting from the article written by tim horn on the homepage about the results from a french cohort study , i am optimistic and prefer to believe the information you clearly dont that doesnt make it BULLSHIT it simply means we have a difference of opinion.
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline Joe K

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2010, 05:22:45 PM »
I support a person's right to die with dignity and in the manner of his or her choosing.
MtD
Matty said it best and combined with Ann's comments about a sound mind, it should be everyone's choice.

Stephen and I have planned for such a day and we have enough pills for each of us, to choose our own time to die.

Offline Just John

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2010, 07:32:33 PM »
Well im just quoting from the article written by tim horn on the homepage about the results from a french cohort study , i am optimistic and prefer to believe the information you clearly dont that doesnt make it BULLSHIT it simply means we have a difference of opinion.

There's no harm at all in being optimistic Tommy246, just the opposite in fact. If I wasn't optimistic myself then I might have reached for the way out some time ago.

The simple fact is though; that any information published about, or any study made of, the longevity of people on HAART, has not been observed over a long enough period of time to draw the conclusion that "Nowadays people with hiv with access to modern meds live a full life span". Such a study would be impossible because HAART hasn't been around for a long enough period of time to test this particular theory with any accuracy. It is just that; a theory.

Other studies are also being conducted worldwide on the long term effects of HIV and HAART, particularly with reference to the higher incidence of mental problems, heart problems and some types of cancer which would seem to be causing death at considerably higher rates than that found in the general population.

Sure we have a difference of opinion, but I prefer to base mine on a wide spectrum of information and not one isolated study.

The "BULLSHIT" was probably, with hindsight, a bit strong and wasn't meant as a personal attack on you. I do, however, get quite angry when I see once again, the hypothesis that we might live out our 3 score years and ten, promoted as a fact. It aint.

-John.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

 


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