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Author Topic: A Graceful Death  (Read 6518 times)

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Offline Matty the Damned

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A Graceful Death
« on: March 02, 2007, 08:37:52 AM »
When I first joined these forums back in March 2005 there was one Living With thread that stood out to me. If memory serves it was authored by our own Joe Killfoile and it dealt with the plight of America's favourite dancing meat puppet, Terry Schiavo.

Well Terry's dead now but, at least here in Australia, the issue she unwittingly came to represent is not. Of course I'm referring to the presumptive right to die. Well to be honest I'm not really talking about the plight of vegetative middle class chicks with eating disorders.

I'm wondering about euthanasia.

It's been a topical issue here in the Land of the Long Weekend for many years now. Some of you may remember that Australia once boasted the world's first active euthanasia law. For a brief period in the mid 1990's the Northern Territory (which is kinda like a state) permitted mercy killing, albeit under strict controls. Before our federal government used it's constitutional powers to overrule the NT statute, there was a veritable conga line of tragic terminal types queued up to embark on the legal green dream.

Well now the issue is back down here. Two elderly women (at least one of whom is an activist in the voluntary euthanasia movement) are facing murder charges because they assisted an elderly male to neck himself with an impressive dose of barbituates.

Those who have the inclination to learn more about this case can read all about it by clicking here.

Now let's face it. No matter how upbeat an outlook any of us might have, at some point we've got to consider the horrid reality that AIDS represents.

A ghastly and early death.

Back in the mid 1990's when Matty the Damned was a young misanthrope, he was also a gung-ho advocate of voluntary euthanasia. He lectured long and loud anyone foolish enough to get within braying distance about the absolute right of a competent adult to end their life at a time and in a manner of their own choosing. How dare these odious religious types lecture the rest of us what we might do!!!

As you can imagine it was all very earnest, terribly undergraduate and excruciatingly uninformed. In those days, MtD was a hale and hearty youth, who was gonna live forever.

AIDS was something that happened to other people.

Now, of course things are different. AIDS has happened to Matty, and he's not so sure about this Right To Die shit that so many people prattle on about.

I'm not sure that I like the idea of doctors legally empowered to kill (albeit with "safeguards" in place) stalking the corridors of hospitals where I may find myself prone with incapcitating and ultimately fatal illnesses, such as PML.

I'm not sure that I trust people like Jack Kevorkian or Philip Nitschke to lead this debate. They never seem to represent the marginalised and the oppressed like we who have AIDS. It's always nice, clean white middle class people with convenient conditions like cancer or  motor neurone disease that they seek to kill.

People with money and health care coming out the wazoo, so to speak.

So, unusually Matty the Damned finds himself in a realm where shades of grey predominate. Being used to a simple world of black and white, this unsettles him. So he turns to you mob for your opinions, should you be willing to give them.

What do you think?

MtD

Offline koi1

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  • Posts: 713
Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2007, 08:52:59 AM »
That is why a living will is so important. But I say if I want to die, because of a disease that has robbed me of all the strength to do it myself, then I regard it as true mercy and compassion if anyone would help me end it, brain waves or not.



I do believe that Dr. Kevorkian got a litlte too moist in the panties from killing though.

rob
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline carousel

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2007, 09:12:32 AM »
I supported voluntary euthanasia for a long time.  That is, until I found that I had this virus.  Hoping I would not live to some ripe old age and leave a relatively decent corpse, seemed much more appealing.  Now I want to live as long as possible.  I’m not sure being hooked up to bleeping machines would change that desire.  I’m in it for the long haul.  All that quality of life namby pamby, don’t care.   I feel a power ballad coming on.

If some other terrible affliction were to hit me, like baldness, who knows.  Just don’t go there.

Offline Lisa

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2007, 09:30:36 AM »
I do have a couple of things to say on this subject, but will have to compose my thoughts.
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline Moffie65

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2007, 09:31:49 AM »
Jesus Matty,

You reading my mind or what?????????????

Just yesterday, I started to compose a Post about this very subject and the subject of death in a broader view, but mostly as it relates to living a full HIV life.  I think I still will do it, but your early morning post leaves us to discuss a more focused issue around death and independent life.

One of the things that I discuss first and foremost with any new doctor that I get, for whatever reason, is this end of life stuff.  I make sure that I will be able to die un-encumbered by the “wishes” of any medical professional seeking the spotlight of heroics.

As an illustration:  Since we have become friends of sorts, and since we have become communication buddies here, I went through the deaths of both of my parents. Dad’s wasn’t so miserable, as he simply sighed a few times, told mom  that he loved her and then went back to sleep.  She was in the room and it wasn’t particularly a surprise to her at all.  9 months later, it was her turn.  She had one of her legs amputated shortly before dad died, and her life was a miserable time of waiting for someone to come and dress her, take her to the shitter, what is the next meal in this God forsaken “Christian” nursing home?  Then, the catastrophe that finally put her in the emergency room was a lack of blood circulation to her one good foot and then of course the doctor’s team of “Diabetic Specialists” pumped her full of Morphine, which she was totally allergic to.  She called me from the Hospital, making pleas for me to come and remove her because the doctor was trying to kill her.  The worst part of all this is that I know she died at about 6 in the evening of a Friday, at which time they plugged her into all sorts of tubes, wires and all kinds of Frankenstein bullshit.  We as a family had discussed this time at length and none of us want being plugged in beyond our needs.  The doctor asked me to sue, as he knew that in Arizona and most states, while she is actually in the hospital and actually under the care of a Doctor, they can do what ever the hell they want to.  On Monday, at 2 o’clock, the doctor called me in artificial tears, and told me that she had shown no signs of response and they removed her from life support.  What I didn’t tell you is that I was there on Friday night, yelling to the doctor that suing was the farthest thing from my mind, but possibly a bullet between the eyes for him would be appropriate, and all this discussion was rendered at very high decibels, to make sure that all the fifty people in intensive care could hear this discussion about heroics.  I turned my Mobility Scooter around and went zipping out of there cussing the doctor as I went and telling him that if in fact he was able to revive her, I didn’t want to be called because I knew her spirit was already gone and departed and whoever awoke in that dead body would not be my mother but surely a “walk in”, sort of like a nasty Poe novel, but a wretched example of real life.

Why tell you all of this?  Only last evening we, my age 65 sweetie and myself, had this discussion about Cancer and whether either one of us would seek treatment.  His answer was quick and to the point.  “If I am dealt Cancer as the end of life, then who am I to fight it, besides, neither one of us can afford the cost of a few months, or years of life, just because we cannot accept what our hand has been dealt”.

I hate the fact that this issue is even being talked about on government levels, and if the government creates laws that keep us from our own destiny, then they surely must be held accountable for the incredible cost of death, under those circumstances.

In the end, fully living the life we are given is the only and true answer.  Outside of that, if it is time for me to expire, I will call my doctor and he has promised to make a prescription that will take care of that situation.  

Just my impassioned thoughts.

Love,
Tim..........
(Who is cracking up that baldness might even be mentioned in this thread)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2007, 09:33:21 AM by Moffie65 »
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline jack

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  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2007, 09:43:29 AM »
no time to think about depressing shit,too busy thinking about living and that is depressing, but my wife does have instructions to pull the plug should she think there is a chance that any unforeseen or unfortunate circumstances should leave me in a more vegetative state than I am at this point in time.

Offline David_CA

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2007, 09:51:09 AM »
If some other terrible affliction were to hit me, like baldness, who knows.  Just don’t go there.

Easy, now!   ;)

D
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Elizabeth

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2007, 09:51:54 AM »
Well Matty dear, I can't think of a more 'gray' issue to explore than this one.

While not, voluntary euthanasia, back in 2000 I honored my husband's living will when they told me that he would not live and authorized a DNR.  Thankfully his situation never got to the point he would have needed resuscitation.  He lived.  He's well.  So far I've gotten 7 more years than I thought I would have.  BUT, if he had needed resuscitation....he would have died and these last 7 years would have been re-written.

There so many questions that surround this issue.  When do you decide?  Who decides if a person is of sound mind and they are NOT just giving up?  Is it OK to just give up? 

What about people that are not terminally ill, yet suffer from a mind robbing disease, but are pretty much healthy. 

My father had Alzheimer's, Cancer and a couple of small Strokes under his belt by the time he passed.  We all knew he was not going to get better.  There were no miracles. He still would have some outbursts brought on by frustration because he couldn't do things as he once did.  One of the things that makes this disease so heartbreaking is that the patient knows what is happening.  They know they are losing their ability to think, reason and remember and they know there isn't a damn thing that can be done.

By Thanksgiving last year, he was pretty much in his own world. Sitting in the living room, rubbing his hands and just not even paying attention to what was going on around him.  He had recently taken another nose dive and was unable to recognize my Mom sometimes and had started having trouble feeding himself.  He was clearly unhappy and depressed.

In my Dad's case he took matter into his own hands.  I will remained convinced that he was lucid enough to purposely get out of the house to take a final walk around the place.   Some may consider this just a horrible accident, but the path he walked was one of purpose.  His first stop was by the Memory garden, created when they lost a grandchild.  Then down past his vegetable garden that he had built up and pulled like a million rocks from.  Then on down to the Apple Orchard. He died of Hypothermia.

Would he have be considered a candidate for euthanasia?  But who would have decided that?  He was unable?  Do you consider the option when a person is healthy, but the mind is not.  How can the quality of life be judged.  Who's to say how any persons feels about their life. 

I guess one of the questions that is impossible to answer is where do we as a society draw the line?  What type of criteria can be set for this?  It would seem that each case and each person would be different, much of it based on the personalities of all that are involved.

Sorry, Matty, I've seem to add more questions into the whole mix, and not really any opinion.

I guess for me, if I got machines keeping me alive it's time to go, but if I've still got a bit of fight left in me, then let me go to it.



Not all who wander are lost.

Offline mjmel

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2007, 09:54:53 AM »
There are living wills and do not resuscitate clauses as avenues of controlling ones own death..............and for a few bucks....a lawyer can draw a living will up so that it's irrevocable. These wills can be very precise instruments if you arm yourself beforehand with proper medical terminology. So I don't see the need to empower anyone in the medical field(s).

I wouldn't want to leave a friend or partner in the mess that those two old gals are in now. I don't believe they are murderers but perhaps gullible. An emphatic or compassionate act that leaves them to a possible lonely existence in a jail cell for the rest of their lives.   

For those of us who believe in continuance of the soul........well, this dying business is a bit of a transitional period, isn't it. Transition from one reality to another, if I may be so bold. Some needing a bit more time to venture out of body. No need to snuff out breath while time spent on deathbed. Give him or her time as it'll eventually occur..........all in due course of time.

All very relative, I might add, as a twist of fate (accident) could snuff out my life today or tomorrow. I would then indeed avoid "A ghastly and early death."



Offline aztecan

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  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2007, 10:03:09 AM »
An homage to James Dean aside, I think it is important to think about this issue, depressing or not.

I've done well these past 22 years. I have managed to dodge the bullet, so to speak, never having an OI or even a low CD4.

All that is very nice, but pointless if I haven't been living fully. See, there is no guarantee what will happen next. When the other shoe falls, how fast will my fall be?

Will I have the mettle to face whatever happens head on, or will I cower in the corner?

I have in place a set of advanced directives. I have a designee who is charged with making medical decisions should I be unable to do so. It is my sister. We have talked about this and I have made my wishes known to her.

If treatment will allow me to return to a relatively active life, fine. But, if the prognosis is grim, recovery not anticipated and the heroics simply life-prolonging, pull the damn plug.

As far as euthanasia goes, I have mixed feelings. Like Matty, I thought it reasonable and a clear and easy decision back in my idealistic youth.

Now, I am not young, nor quite so idealistic. Now, it is hardly still a clear and reasonable decision.

If, as Matty points out, it is the pervue of the wealthy, what then of the poor, one of whom I will certainly be when I reach the end stage of my life.

Would euthanasia be used to replace costly treatments for the poor? Will those with empty pocketbooks who are diagnosed with a serious illness find the government opting for the more cost-effective means of taking care of the problem - mercy killing - regardless of the prognosis?

On a personal level, as I sit here today, I cannot envision myself wishing to end my life. I still have the will to keep fighting, for another two decades if necessary, the onslaughts of the grim reaper.

Will I still think the same after years of fighting OIs, side effects and the system? I don't know. But I doubt I will like the idea of the government making this decision for me.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: March 02, 2007, 10:18:05 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline ACinKC

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2007, 10:07:57 AM »
While currently I support a person's right to die.  Whose to say the government won't take it too far....

LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Moffie65

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  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2007, 10:12:37 AM »
There are living wills and do not resuscitate clauses as avenues of controlling ones own death..............and for a few bucks....a lawyer can draw a living will up so that it's irrevocable. These wills can be very precise instruments if you arm yourself beforehand with proper medical terminology. So I don't see the need to empower anyone in the medical field(s).

I must tell you that in my above illustration, I had one of these documents and was waving it in the face of the doctor as I was totally out of control in seething anger.  He calmly told me to sue, knowing that not only in Arizona, but in all states, if the doctor and hospital have not released the patient back to the family, and they are under the doctor's care, they can and will do anything they want.  Usually it is for self engrandizment and one more score on the University Portfolio for publicity purposes.  This is the truth as one who has lived it and dealt with the nastyness of medical people who are ego, and profit motivated, rather than being motivated from the heart.

Please the rest of you, make sure that your document is one that will really work and not a useless piece of shit that my parents paid some lawyer two grand for.  

Reality bites!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline Bucko

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    • The Spin Cycle
Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2007, 11:58:41 AM »
Everyone who loves me is aware of my feelings on this subject. I have no wish for "one last Christmas" if it means being kept alive through a blinking, wheezing machine. I am a strict believer in DNR.

But unless some miracle happens and the Insurance Fairy pays me a call, I have no worries in this regard. Any state-run overseer that finds pain management too luxurious to be funded will have no problem keeping such machines available only for those with large payout ceilings.

An alternative to euthanasia is hospice care, which came back into vogue in Western Europe with the rise of socalized medicine, and in the US with the sudden rise of AIDS. It is a deeply humane way to end one's (current) existence, supported and as pain-free as possible.

Brent
(Who has thought much about this)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline belgium

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2007, 02:19:19 PM »
what a strange country america is.
they fuss about euthanasia and abortion , making sure yoy have no say whatshowever over your body and soul, but they send people off to the electric chair in a whim.
they throw the bible in your face at every corner but have one of the most dangerous socieitys crimerelated of the western world and its soldiers are busy killing soldiers and civilians alike all over the world.

many european country's dealt with moral issues long ago.
- euthanasia is legalised over here, albeit under strict conditions
-idem dito for abortion , again under stringent conditions
-gay marriage is not an issue over here.
why are so many americans strugling with these issues? take the shaivo case, just wich case was served by fruitless prolongation of a totaly hopeless situation?
when will there be a serene debate about these matters, whitout religous brouhaha but based on facts and science?
if it isn't working, it must be windows

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2007, 02:40:34 PM »
We got all the uneducated religious freaks here in the US who apparently believe stem cell research is akin to baby killing and you expect intelligent answers from our side ; )

Hmm, I tend to wonder why anyone would be so gung ho to help others die.  Sorta creepy when ya make a habit out of it.   I could see helping out one loved one, but at some point don't you become a serial killer?

Other than those who are immobile why do people need assistance?   Park your car in the garage, leave it on, put a plastic bag over your head.   

If I was incapacitated I don't want to be unplugged right off depending on the situation, but I've already made up my mind that if HIV or any illness made life unbearable I'd have no problem offing myself.   I'd definitely assist a loved one.

We got WAY too many uneducated people here in the US that call themselves Christians.   They would say you should go to Hell for something like assisted suicide.   You know it's just plain sad when people listen to a former NAZI and claim unbaptized babies go to purgatory.   

I believe a right to die with dignity is the only humane thing and everyone should have that option.
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline Elizabeth

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2007, 03:11:00 PM »
Wesley

Your position is:
I believe a right to die with dignity is the only humane thing and everyone should have that option.

So based on your above position, could you please point out where the dignity or humanity is in your statement here?

  Park your car in the garage, leave it on, put a plastic bag over your head.   




Not all who wander are lost.

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2007, 03:45:07 PM »
Well, I was just mentioning a couple of options. 

When I'm referring to people's right to choose when they are in bed covered in their own feces and unable to move and in chronic pain and they want to die I think they should have the option if they can't do it themselves.

Maybe that is a quality of life acceptable to you, but it wouldn't be for me.   

I'd prefer people be given an option of medications or perhaps an injection in the IV, but I sure as Hell wouldn't tell that person in misery oh just accept it, live, live and cheer them on during their suffering.   So, if these options aren't available I think a plastic bag is free and I think that's far more dignified then hanging oneself or slitting wrists etc.

What's your great opinion?
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2007, 03:47:12 PM »
Carbon monixide poisoning... the way you suggested, is quite a bit different from what a doctor would be able to do for someone who is terminal and wishes to end his or her life. 

Edited to Add: I think it's cruel to force people to continue living... and to give them no other option other than starving themselves, or poisoning themselves... it's horrible...
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2007, 03:53:27 PM »
Hmm... the Hippocratic Oath says to "first, do no harm."

At what point does keeping someone alive become more harmful to them than helping them die?

I think that point exists, and I think it's different for everyone...

I'm a little muddled on this subject... but I do think people have a right to end their lives if they want to.  I also think it's a doctor's right to refuse to help someone do that... but I think they should also be able to.

Helping someone who wants to die kill themselves isn't murder...
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline bear60

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2007, 04:00:33 PM »
Benj.....you put your finger on it.....getting in a car, starting it, and putting the bag on your head takes a lot of strenght. Most people who have decided enough is enough are way past making that kind of decision.  They are bedridden and too weak to move.
In fact it has been my experience, without getting too morbid, that hospice has been improved greatly and when the end is near that is the best way to go.  I personally would NOT be able to help a friend off himelf under any circumstance.  I used to say I would but now, I cant even put a cat down without being totally upset, what would I feel like knowing I had been responsible for the death of a friend.  No no. I dont think so.
  I also have unfortunately had very few friends die whose death I would describe as "graceful". But after a certain point there is just no turning back and nature takes its course.  Those hospice nurses are real good with the morphine though.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2007, 04:02:40 PM »
I agree Benj.    

Number 1 problem again is religion!  

I think it's not only cruel, it takes a truly sick and sadistic individual that believes one should be forced to live on in suffering and  agony.   You won't find too many agnostics or atheists which support this kind of inhumane treatment.   All the fundamentalists and ignorant moral majority are the root of this problem.  

A plastic bag isn't the best option, but it's one everyone can get without a court order.  





Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline Elizabeth

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2007, 04:04:34 PM »
Carbon monixide poisoning... the way you suggested, is quite a bit different from what a doctor would be able to do for someone who is terminal and wishes to end his or her life. 

Edited to Add: I think it's cruel to force people to continue living... and to give them no other option other than starving themselves, or poisoning themselves... it's horrible...

Yeah, I agree,  somehow chocking on my own vomit from having a plastic bag tied around my neck while offing myself in a locked car would be a bit different than what a doctor could do for someone wanting to die.  I certainly couldn't call that dignified.  Pills, Injection, removal of life support.  All options.   

I also agree, that people should have the option to end their lives....but therein lies that big gray area.  At what point does a person consider the quality over in life.  For you it may be very different than me.  But how does a third party (a doctor) quantify that?  What about a person that has dementia or Alzheimer's and can't make what a third party could call a rational decision?  As I said of my own personal experience.  I honored my husbands DNR.   I didn't know he would recover.  I don't feel guilty that I did what I did.  It was his medical directive.  That was what he wanted, but I'm damn glad he didn't need resusitation.  I came very close to losing him, when the future revealed that he got better.  But, we can't see into the future, we make decisions based on what we know at the time.  There are no quick and easy answers.  There are no set standards that we can follow.

...and Wesley....my thoughts on this subject were stated before.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline jntmax39

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2007, 04:10:09 PM »
I don't know about anyone else,
But I have a living will,and it states that I am not to have any feeding tube and no heroic measures are to be taken.No breathing machines etc.However I have also made a decision in the event I can not walk or go to the bathroom on my own .I will stop meds immediately.
I do not believe in taking my own life. But everyone has there own opinion.

Offline mjmel

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2007, 04:15:31 PM »
...
In fact it has been my experience, without getting too morbid, that hospice has been improved greatly and when the end is near that is the best way to go.  I personally would NOT be able to help a friend off himelf under any circumstance.  I used to say I would but now, I cant even put a cat down without being totally upset, what would I feel like knowing I had been responsible for the death of a friend.  No no. I dont think so.
  I also have unfortunately had very few friends die whose death I would describe as "graceful". But after a certain point there is just no turning back and nature takes its course.  Those hospice nurses are real good with the morphine though.

That is good to hear. Also, it's so stupid to hear people in the medical field bicker and make a fuss about the elderly or gravely ill getting hooked to narcotics. For crying out loud, let them have their few months, weeks, days or hours pain free. I, of course, don't mean to drug'em to the point where they hardly know who's standing by their bedside--but you get the picture.
I know it's not the topic but it led to the subject so smoothly....
« Last Edit: March 02, 2007, 04:22:48 PM by mjmel »

Offline Florida69

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2007, 04:52:47 PM »
I just wanted to chime in on this issue, as a Floridian and paralegal who works in the Estate Planning field, we have added new language to our living wills to ensure by statute that your wishes are carried out.  By the way, if you guys remember they did an autopsy on Shivo's brain and it was mush, and we also have new legislation called Terry's law.  Therefore language was added, that will not allow them to put you on a ventilator if you are terminal if you have a living will in place.  I know everyone in the world is terminal.  A qualified doctor has to make the call that you are terminal.  To be euthanized is according to our Federal law illegal.  Dying with dignity, is what we would all like to all do, not that I am by any means religious, but according to most religions if you commit suicide you go to hell.  So the whole carbon monoxide might not be the right way to go.  Hospice is a wonderful organization that does allow you to retain some dignity while dying, and letting you feel no pain in the process.  We also have thing like the health care surrogate, which allow you to name someone (if you are incapacitated) to make decisions for you, and for your financial needs we have a Durable Power of Attorney, if any of you do not have these documents, you should consider having them drawn up by a good attorney so that your wishes are carried out.  Take care, D
« Last Edit: March 02, 2007, 04:54:50 PM by Florida69 »
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2007, 04:58:52 PM »
I see a trend here.. since we all have the chance( maybe more so than most people) to be stricken with some horrible OI or other condition that would make life unbearable then we want the option to let go...not be dragged on by machines or Dr's ego or some particular state/federal/hospital rule...  we can and I have known persons who refuse treatment..then end up in a hospice situation and pass on gracefully under the influence of morphine or  whatever they use these days.
In a few instances there are "rules" that allow the "state" to make decisions for you
( IE; the Sciavo case and others )  but for an AIDS/HIV+ person I would bet that such rules would not be enforced.....somewhat selfishly the state/insurance company would rather you not lived.
I have a living will and a medical directive...My Dr's all have been given copies and know my wishes  that only leaves some third party /Emergency room person to make decisions without knowledges of my desires...hopefully they will contact my DR who does know...I keep a l card in my wallet with all meds listed on the back
( it is my DR business card)..so far I have not had to use that in an unfamiliar or remote location somewhere away from home but I would hope those third party persons would like to be off the hook and call my DR before making any life altering decisions
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2007, 05:05:43 PM »
Yeah, I agree,  somehow chocking on my own vomit from having a plastic bag tied around my neck while offing myself in a locked car would be a bit different than what a doctor could do for someone wanting to die.  I certainly couldn't call that dignified.  Pills, Injection, removal of life support.  All options.   

I also agree, that people should have the option to end their lives....but therein lies that big gray area.  At what point does a person consider the quality over in life.  For you it may be very different than me.  But how does a third party (a doctor) quantify that?  What about a person that has dementia or Alzheimer's and can't make what a third party could call a rational decision?  As I said of my own personal experience.  I honored my husbands DNR.   I didn't know he would recover.  I don't feel guilty that I did what I did.  It was his medical directive.  That was what he wanted, but I'm damn glad he didn't need resusitation.  I came very close to losing him, when the future revealed that he got better.  But, we can't see into the future, we make decisions based on what we know at the time.  There are no quick and easy answers.  There are no set standards that we can follow.

...and Wesley....my thoughts on this subject were stated before.

Hey Elizabeth,

I did have a chance to go back and read what you wrote.   For you a plastic bag isn't an option, me either.  But a few seconds of terror for me would be better than living in pure Hell and pain on a daily basis.

Hmm, I have strong feelings on this.  Yes, there are a lot of gray areas.   If someone doesn't want to live and it's truly a hopeless situation they should have the right to end their suffering.   As difficult as it would be if it were my family member if I had to commit a "crime" to help them end suffering I would.  

My grandfather had Alzheimer's as well.   You have a point there, but he never wanted to die and seemed rather happy when he was living in a nice home those last few years.   He beat out cancer 2 or 3 times.   He knew the difference between living and dying and it was clear he wanted to live.   We supported his decision and made the situation as good as possible for him.    

My grandmother on the other side committed suicide.   Her issues were mental health related.   She had no terminal health issue.   I'm sad she didn't ever get over her issues and chose that way out, but I support her choice even though I didn't agree with it or have a say so.  

I also had a close friend that died of leukemia.   She did quite well up until that last bout of chemo that didn't work.  That last week was pure Hell for her.   She didn't want to die in a hospital, but she knew the reality of the situation.   She was moved home while I and her other close friend stayed with her.   She never wanted to die and never asked me, but had she I would have because the pain and terror she went through with Morphine nightmares was horrific.  Not to mention she went from a stunning model to unrecognizable in a week.   It scared her because she had horrible black blisters appearing on her face.   She was loosing all ability to think clearly although she had moments of lucidity.   Had she asked for help from me prior to that I would have.   I hope I never have to go through watching someone die like that again.   She died in my arms.  I am glad I was there for her.

She had a will and all the funeral arrangements.  Instead of a funeral she was cremated, had arranged for a live band, pictures of her modeling and news articles about her life and all of us were there to celebrate her life.   Was a really nice final tribute cause she was always a class act and I think that's what I'd do.  

Anyways, there are gray areas, but if someone is of sound mind and wants to end their suffering I think they should have that right.    

To say anything different is purely for our own selfish reasons because we don't want to loose them.   Or of course, there is the other absurd and idiotic ideas that some feel they have the Godly duty to take ultimate control over someone's "soul".  

Wesley
« Last Edit: March 02, 2007, 05:25:49 PM by AustinWesley »
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline bear60

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2007, 05:20:49 PM »
Donnie said:  We also have thing like the health care surrogate, which allow you to name someone (if you are incapacitated) to make decisions for you, and for your financial needs we have a Durable Power of Attorney, if any of you do not have these documents, you should consider having them drawn up by a good attorney so that your wishes are carried out.  Take care, D"
.................................
This is a big part of dying with dignity....having the papers in place and having your doctor on board...so to speak.  A will, so simple, a living will, just as simple.  But so many wait...procrastinate...put it off...and then BOOM...a crisis and its too late.  Folks , my friend Jim who died recently did not not have ANY of those papers ....nada...zip....nothing.  His family and Kurt and I were at a loss for a while.  Finally his Mom had to file for power of attorney in order to take care of his bills and such. By the time she got that power over his affairs, he had died.  Then she still couldnt take care of his affairs because he was DEAD and was faced with having to file death certificates in order to get control of his finances and so on. No willl....... we will never know how he wanted his possessions disposed of. We will never know if he wanted to be buried or cremated. 
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2007, 05:23:04 PM »
Bear,

I keep meaning to get one of those things... mostly because my mother is a very strict Catholic and would probably haul out encyclicals to demand that I be kept alive at all costs... which is totally what I don't want.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline bear60

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2007, 05:31:43 PM »
Benj
thing is you are so young it seems unfair that you would have to think about this stuff.  But you could die in a car crash and its the same thing.  Unless you want your family to completely take over and make the decisions for you, then you need those papers. Its especially hard on gay couples because they arent always out to the family or whatever...and the family walks in and literally kicks the boyfriend out.  And he is left without anything.  Virtually homeless.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline dtwpuck

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2007, 05:32:19 PM »

I guess one of the questions that is impossible to answer is where do we as a society draw the line?  What type of criteria can be set for this?  It would seem that each case and each person would be different, much of it based on the personalities of all that are involved.

To me, Elizabeth, it seems that when it is impossible for society to draw the line, then the line should not be drawn by society.  This is an individual choice.  It is not possible to make a law based on some objective criteria which would determine when someone is or isn't capable of making the decision to end his or her life.  No matter what you said in the law, it would by necessity contain some kind of subjective reference which can't be defined the same for everyone.  And, in any case, it is my opinion that the law has no business legislating a morality which in and of itself is deeply personal and ultimately non-controllable.  If someone wants to die, there isn't a thing you can do to stop them.

Whether a doctor should help is another matter entirely.  The law is clear that murder is illegal.  I certainly would not dispute that law.  However, the gray area of whether or not a doctor should assist in 'pulling the plug' is something that I can't imagine having anything but the strictest regulations.  If there is to be any kind of assistance in a euthanasia, I would certainly hope that it is done only with the clearest possible intentions of the person who is dying.   

Anyway, I resent the religious rights trying to dictate the end of my days to me.  I echo the feelings of others like Brent and Wesley, that I alone have the right to choose the manner of my death, if circumstances permit.   I have held the hands of people as they passed on.  I have been there as they decided to take the pills to end their suffering.  I lived through a real life "It's my party".  If someone chooses to fight on, it's their right.  But no stupid law is going to take away my right to die with dignity.
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2007, 05:38:27 PM »
I remember we discussed this at length in my biomedical ethics class... but how is a doctor allowing someone to pull the plug different from active euthanasia?

A scenario.

If you're standing by a river and are completely in a position to help someone who's drowning but do nothing other than watch as they die, are you ethically less responsible for their death than if you'd pushed them in?

Answer that and then keep in mind we're talking about people who want to end their own lives. 

My answer is no, by the way... and I think that's why I am in support of active euthanasia...
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Elizabeth

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2007, 05:39:41 PM »

Anyways, there are gray areas, but if someone is of sound mind and wants to end their suffering I think they should have that right.   


On that we can agree on.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline bear60

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2007, 05:52:06 PM »
I remember we discussed this at length in my biomedical ethics class... but how is a doctor allowing someone to pull the plug different from active euthanasia?

A scenario.

If you're standing by a river and are completely in a position to help someone who's drowning but do nothing other than watch as they die, are you ethically less responsible for their death than if you'd pushed them in?
quote Benj
..............................
There never is a situation that is totally textbook in my experience.  Unfortunately modern medicine can keep the body functioning long after brain death has occurred.  In the case of my former lover, his sister and I asked the doctors to "pull the plug" but he had died earlier that day.  I knew he was dead.  He wasnt there, it was just a body that had a breathing tube in it.  But he "died" as soon as they took the breathing tube out.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2007, 05:55:07 PM »
I remember we discussed this at length in my biomedical ethics class... but how is a doctor allowing someone to pull the plug different from active euthanasia?

A scenario.

If you're standing by a river and are completely in a position to help someone who's drowning but do nothing other than watch as they die, are you ethically less responsible for their death than if you'd pushed them in?
quote Benj
..............................
There never is a situation that is totally textbook in my experience.  Unfortunately modern medicine can keep the body functioning long after brain death has occurred.  In the case of my former lover, his sister and I asked the doctors to "pull the plug" but he had died earlier that day.  I knew he was dead.  He wasnt there, it was just a body that had a breathing tube in it.  But he "died" as soon as they took the breathing tube out.


Of course there are never, ever totally textbook situations... and I'm not saying that pulling the plug is ethically wrong, not in the least.

I was illustrating a point that I think that the divide between "passive euthansia is OK but active is not" is rather artificial.  That was all.  I think logically and ethically, if you support passive euthanasia, you have to support active because I don't see a difference between the two.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Lisa

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2007, 08:33:14 PM »
For the last two years of my mother's life, my father and I tended with utmost care.

My mom and I cleaned out her closet, and bureau, as she wanted to adress these miniscule matters between us girls. We bantered about with glib, witty remarks.

She was one hell of a woman.

She became quite seriously ill, one month before she died. She had been slapped into a semi-ICU type observation unit, and langoured there for about two days, then was sent to a step down unit, and after having been there for four days, she had a significant period of time that she became perfectly lucid.

I was in the room when she sat up on the side of her bed, told my brother and father that she wanted to go home.
My father became a perfectly executed nurse, with one of the best sterile technique's I've witnessed, even amoungst some great surgeons I have worked with.

It was May of 96. Spring in North Carolina is quite beautiful, and in some ways comforting. June 10 would have been her 67th birthday, but she passed just shy two days.

Three days before she passed, she sat up in agony of the cancer that had managed to erupt up and out of the skin on her shoulder, to be positively convicted that her message was heeded. She knew her time was near.
She looked at me and my father directly, and begged us to help end her suffering.
Jeff was here, as well as my aunt Junie(the last sister of the four), and she asked us to please help her have peaceful, restful, sleep.

We asked her physician if he could help make it more comfortable for her in the end. He told my father he would, but after probably being reamed out for agreeing to assist a family. he changed his tune, and began droning on about moral ethics......

Long story short, she begged us in a moment of clarity to please help end her pain. She had suffered mightily with this beast.

After an afternoon of hugs. kisses, and I love you's, my father, and I set out to do what mom asked.
We ground up several of her dilaudid, and something else I can't remember now, and gave it to her in chocolate pudding.......     she was an absolute chocolate fiend.

As she took each small spoonful, she talked about what she saw, and what she was experiencing. We had a really comforting time with each other.
While we kept vigil with her, we found that after about 12 hrs. she became agitated, but didn't regain conscience. It was soon after that she lapsed into Cheyne Stokes Respirations( a harbinger of death prodrome)
Dad and I each got warm basins of water, and gave her a pleasant bed bath, that she seemed to relish.

She had just apparently touched tentatively to our plane of esistence. It was one of the most profound moments of life. As her repirations lessened, she finally passed over, I know not where.

I know in my heart that she was comforted, and loved.

That is all any of us wants.

I want to state publicly, that if anyone cares at all, they will not allow me to languish at death's door.
If it is in anyone's power...make it swift, and peaceful for me thank you.


I could only wish for such a graceful death.

All we really want, is to have a circle of friends(no matter how small ) to help us to the other side with dignity,......but it is most appreciated, when heard on this side of the realm.

Tell me who to file the papers with..........
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline jyngfilm

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2007, 09:15:47 PM »
researching american proverbs landed this.
>if your time hns/t come, even a doctor couldn't kill you.
>> I'd be lying if my recent visit to dermatologist for removal of  a nodule which grew on my jaw hadn't spawned thoughts that maybe I'd die of a more glamorous death than AIDS. (melanoma)  So now I have AIDS. Will it kill me? Probably. I think the right to die is natural, normal, and noncombat. Push comes to shove, could I off myself? Doubtful. Even a caveman could do it? I'm too progressive. I'm pretty naive about life insurance, of which i have a ton, I'd bet they would deny my benefactors if euthanasia were protracted.???
munchausen by proxy is not an out in my case

Offline twofires

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2007, 09:44:49 PM »
>life insurance, of which i have a ton, I'd bet they would deny my benefactors if euthanasia were protracted

intentional hastening of the inevitable would surely screw you/yours out of any insurance payouts
Who was it wrote; Give any one species too much rope and they'll fuck it up?
-Roger Waters

Offline koi1

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2007, 01:34:37 AM »
I have one word, well maybe two

MORPHINE BABY!


rob
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline twofires

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2007, 01:40:54 AM »
your in luck! It looks to be a bumper crop of opium in Afganistan this year!
Who was it wrote; Give any one species too much rope and they'll fuck it up?
-Roger Waters

Offline mjmel

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2007, 04:48:22 AM »
what a strange country america is.
they fuss about euthanasia and abortion , making sure yoy have no say whatshowever over your body and soul, but they send people off to the electric chair in a whim.
they throw the bible in your face at every corner but have one of the most dangerous socieitys crimerelated of the western world and its soldiers are busy killing soldiers and civilians alike all over the world.

many european country's dealt with moral issues long ago.
- euthanasia is legalised over here, albeit under strict conditions
-idem dito for abortion , again under stringent conditions
-gay marriage is not an issue over here.
why are so many americans strugling with these issues? take the shaivo case, just wich case was served by fruitless prolongation of a totaly hopeless situation?
when will there be a serene debate about these matters, whitout religous brouhaha but based on facts and science?

Belgium:
We send people to electric chairs on a whim? Oh, you mean when we electrocute an animal that has murdered one or several other human beings (females and children being the statistical victims) and has been convicted by a jury? No, not that one? Are you referring to the other criminal who raped an murdered a 5 yr. old little girl...........or two? That one?
Then that animal is allowed one to two appeals of his/her conviction while the system maintains a life support system that cost about $30,000 to $50,000 per prisoner per year.............extending the life of that individual for another 8 to 10 years. Is that what you referenced when you stated "on a whim"?
Controversy about about euthanasia and abortion? Yes. Control over my body and soul? Not even close, dude. Yes, we have issues to settle which should have been accomplished by now.
High crime areas we have. Consider the mixture and masses of people we have as a nation (A Great Nation) compared to some other free countries. BTW, can you find another free country this size? It's an immense undertaking. I find it offensive for you to make ill-notioned statements like you have. Anti-American rethoric is what it sounds like.

Edit: So, Belgium, I had to come back to amend my comments to add that according to other words in your post, you are a good guy and you'd like to see injustices set right. Who wouldn't?

Pardon me for straying from topic of thread, everyone.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2007, 03:02:51 AM by mjmel »

Offline Lisa

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2007, 02:02:54 PM »
I have another couple of things to get off my ample chest.
I cannot convey to you how seriously frustrating it is to know that I have lost a significant amount of my faculties. Like when I'm trying to contribute to a conversation, but the words suddenly disappear, or when trying to give an accounting of some event, and complete portions of my mind have gone poof.
I have always said that when I noticed myself moving in, and out of reality, that I would muster the courage to off myself, rather than suffer the indignities of having others tend to my bodily functions, and overall hygiene.
  Now I am not so sure that I will have the luxury of foreknowledge. This disease has robbed me of a great deal of my analytical thought process, and it scares the poopie out of me.
In light of my own experiences with my parents' passing, I have made it my business to make certain that my children know my wishes.
I have made arrangements for my own cremation, and instructed my children to either take me to the water(ocean), or the mountain top, and sprinkle me back to where I premordially hailed from. ....Of course, if one of them has a tomato patch, I hear that bone meal is quite beneficial to soil. I kind of like the idea of giving back.
My directive says clearly to let me go.

edit/ I have also given explicit instructions to my children to sign in here, and inform you all of my demise.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 02:06:15 PM by Lisa »
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2007, 02:19:07 PM »
Lisa honey, now you know that is just ole age creeping up on us.  ;) We have good reasons to forget. You ole sour puss, you'll out live us all and be around forever.

Offline Lisa

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2007, 02:35:33 PM »
I love you too, Rodney.  :)
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2007, 01:43:59 AM »
Funny that this topic has come up because it has been on my mind. I don't have anything in place should something happen to me. This is something I have to think on a bit more. I agree that it should be the choice of the person if they would like to go out gracefully and not be hooked to any machines. You all have given me plenty of food for thought....
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2007, 06:00:11 AM »
Well much thanks to all of you. This, I think has been one of our better threads.

In particular I'd like to single out four people. Mark (Aztecan), Bucko, Elizabeth and Daddy Tim (Moffie65). Your posts echo that which resonates in Matty the Damned's acid heart.

I would have said more, but Australian law forbids it. I have received advice that my first post was of dubious legality. It is an offence in the Commonwealth of Australia to promote or engage in any discourse by electronic carriage (ie the telephone, facsimile or even the internet etc) which deals with suicide.

Constrained as I may be, I hope this discussion continues. I shall read it with rapt attention.

MtD

/edited because I left the 'c' out of 'electronic'/
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 06:08:59 AM by matty.the.damned »

Offline tigger2376

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2007, 07:25:45 AM »
i know in certain parts of europe a 'living will' can be set up. so called assisted 'suicide' is actually legal in holland.
there have been media reports in the uk about a place in sweden where you can go to die on your own terms.....
i have no life insurance as it wasn't in place before I was diagnosed, so I also can't get a mortgage.
i am scared that my way of passing will be messy and i  will have no control. death has always terrified me and i would like to be able to choose my own way of going but know i don't have the guts to kill myself. Its a difficult one because i also couldnt ask anyone else to put me out of my misery.
To be honest, i try and ignore the fact that the HIV will probably shorten my life,whilst acknowledging the fact.
I'm going to look into the living will thing
don't get me wrong, i intend to be around for a LONG time but the law needs to be looked at...doesn't my life belong to ME?
I know i'm going to enjoy the party in the afterlife, but do you all mind that I'm going to be VERY late!!!

Offline penguin

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2007, 10:51:46 AM »
Er, not quite…
Mortgages (exception here is endowment mortgages) are offered based on your financial status, not health. Health questions only come up in regards to life assurance to cover the loan. This isn’t a prerequisite of a mortgage advance anymore  - so  a) get good independent advice and b) avoid mortgage providers (usually, major banks) who still want life cover for a mortgage. Building societies, like abbey national (or whatever they call themselves now), Halifax etc don’t require this.

More info ( info, not recommendations)
Positive Finance

GayFinance

Positive Nation article

in terms of life insurance…
TIG  -  10 year term life plan for people with hiv with a fixed £10,000 sum assured insurance , you can also purchase additional accidental death cover. Not a huge amount, granted, but better than nowt, perhaps.

Living Will forms are available from THT (free), amongst other places. You just need to fill them out & have them witnessed by someone. V.smart idea to discuss what you’ve decided with dr’s, health care proxy, family/partner, and make sure everyone appropriate has a copy  - this really does make things so much easier if it ever needs to be used.  In the UK, you can only legally say what you don't  want - ie, no resuscitation, artifical feeding etc, and name a Health Care Proxy to make decisions on your behalf ("next of kin" actually has no legal standing)

I also have an additional document which makes some very clear statements regarding my wishes & thoughts on care provison, where I want to die etc, which my named HCP and medical team have copies of & have discussed. This isn’t legally binding, but I wanted these things clearly recorded - as a decision making guide, if nothing else.
Making a regular will is a very good idea too, regardless of how much or little you have to leave.

If you need any more info, pls ask.

kate
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 10:54:41 AM by penguin »

Offline tigger2376

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  • too bad to die youngish!
Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2007, 05:11:35 PM »
Thanks. Just goes to show how uninformed my FA is  I have to say that my bank HSBC, have been very good recently, but I think thats more to do with the fact that my status was made known to them by the DSS (by accident), and the managers father works on HIV/AIDS projects in Africa. He has been astounding. In fact he's looking into mortgages etc as we speak.
The living will is definately something I'm going to look into.
This virus takes too much from us all as it is, its not going to have the last laugh, or my dignity
I know i'm going to enjoy the party in the afterlife, but do you all mind that I'm going to be VERY late!!!

Offline david25luvit

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Re: A Graceful Death
« Reply #49 on: March 05, 2007, 02:49:47 AM »
Matty....

              I think a person should have the RIGHT to decide for themselves.  I don't think the Government should be
involved.  When David was in hospice and at the end wanted to his life I accepted that as his choice....it was difficult
for me because I wanted to keep him around as long as possible but it was HIS choice.  Not mine. 

               On the other hand I attempted suicide after David died....and had I succeeded....like Elizabeth said, history would
have been rewritten......  This is about as gray as it gets but I still believe in an individuals right to DIE.  My two cents worth.

               
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

 


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