Euthanasia

Status
Not open for further replies.

bala80

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
26
Reason
Learn about ALS
Country
AUS
State
Vic
City
Melbourne
Hi all,

I know this is a morbid topic, and I'm not sure whether this has been discussed before extensively in the forum, but I was wondering fellow PALS opinions on the right to end their lives when they have progressed to a stage when they choose to go no further. I know to some the idea would be abhorrent and immoral, but to others like myself the comfort of knowing that I could end my life peacefully on my terms would allow me to go on and enjoy the time I have left moreso. I am pertified in what the future holds for me, and the idea that I could go to a quiet sleep forever when I choose to seems so comforting. I'm sure there are PALS out there who would agree.
 

myooshka

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
97
Country
CA
State
alberta
City
Sylvan Lake
I have to admit this did enter my mind and I'm sure others. But then I really thought about it and I lost my father to suicide last year. Then I thought about my son and I would never want him to think, grandpa took the easy way out, so did my mom, and if things were tough for him at the time that he would think it was ok to choose to end your life. There were days I thought about this question and for me it is not an option, as long as I can look at my son growing I will be happy in my heart. I feel it is a different answer for everyone. Do I believe people should have the choice and that it may bring them comfort, I'm not sure. I just know for me everyday I spend with my son will be a gift. It is a very personal thing at times I think people should have the right to choose and then you hear about some people that were euthanised by Jack Kevorkian, one woman who chose to die she was forty diagnosed with Alzheimers, was not even having problems yet but ended her life because she was scared of future suffering, this I don't agree with. There is just such a fine line. It's such a personal thing depending on religion, and personal ideas. Everyone is different. For me it won't be an option, not to say I would judge anyone who thougt otherwise.
 

CindyM

Moderator emeritus
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
3,543
Reason
Learn about ALS
Country
US
State
New England
City
Anytown
Well, we usually get around to discussing almost everything evertually. Actually there are a couple of past threads on this issue. My own opinion is that everybody has to find their own path. Cindy
 

luv2byte

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
25
Reason
Loved one DX
Country
US
State
WA
City
Kelso
I think everyone has an idea of what is right and wrong for themselves which might not be the same from person to person. I also feel that if we are kind and loving enough to euthanize our pets when they are to the point of living without quality or drive then why can we not do it for our fellowman? Oregon has a Death with Dignity law that I think every state should have - for those that want/need the law and qualify they then will have their physician's assistance.
 

delb

Distinguished member
Joined
Oct 30, 2007
Messages
155
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
07/2007
Country
US
State
Texas
City
Seagoville
I believe it is a persons right to end the suffering. I saw my mother die a horrible death with ALS. And my only brother chose to kill his self when he felt he was getting weaker and had ALS. I have it now, but I carry on the fight. But don't know what the future holds.
 

freddiesnetty

Distinguished member
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
239
Diagnosis
12/2006
Country
US
State
Tx
City
Houston
delb,
where you been? everything ok?
Annette
 

bala80

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
26
Reason
Learn about ALS
Country
AUS
State
Vic
City
Melbourne
My story

Hello everyone my story is as such. I'm 27 year old male who has a fast progressing form of ALS - symptoms for last 3 months - I am now at the point where I am experiencing difficulty walking, severe atrophy in the legs and constant painful fasics. I am very close to the end of my independence - and with no cother choice, what I am looking ahead to is the end - as petrifying as it is.

I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking this about euthanasia. I feel as though if I had a pill or potion in my home that I could take to end things peacefully going to sleep when things get to the stage when the suffering is overbearing - then that comfort would definitely make me enjoy the time I have left moreso - by removing that massive element of helplessness and fear. I know however here in Australia such a chemical is not available, and any means of assisted suicide is akin to murder. For terminal illnesses like ours, especially ours where there is no hope from western and alternative medicine - we should be given that right - and for those that think it is wrong can choose to ignore it.

I have always loved life, but for such a cruel twist like fast-progressing ALS to hit me at only 27 - no matter how brave a face I put on in front of people - I can't help but feel sorry for myself all the time - and what I'm going to miss out on in life - and how my family will come to terms with how this disease will take me. The only thing that could be a positive for me now is to have control over my own death - but I don't - I don't have access to a barbiturate like Nembutal - and if I did - taking it with the knowledge of my family would put them in trouble with the law - the last thing I want in this awful situation.

I'm sorry to post this morbid rant - but I live with these thoughts every minute of the day - and no friend, family member, neurologist or psychiatrist could ever understand what is going through my head. Every time I look at my parents my heart breaks at everything they have sacrificed for me and for this to happen - and for me not to be able to tell them everything I am thinking.

I have never been a religious person and do not believe in God - I have however lived a life revolving around love for family and friends and strangers and to "treat others the way I want to be treated" - I believe in the inherent decency and altruism of human beings. I therefore do not believe it is only God who can "taketh away". Also, for me to now turn around and pray to God for healing would be hypocritical to say the least. So I therefore have no moral qualms relating to suicide. And for PALS, the term should never be suicide - because the alternative outcome is the same.

The fact that six months ago if anyone would have told me that I would be in this predicament I would have thought it impossible - but I have been backed into a corner. I welcome and would immensely appreciate any advice and hope I haven't frightened anyone - I just have no one else who would understand like other people with ALS.

I applaud the state of Oregon, the right to die for a terminally ill patient should be theirs and not the Government's - in this situation it is a basic human right. I do not ask for sympathy because you guys are PALS too - I just need to get this out of my system because it is drained me emotionally. Cheers
 

trustinggod

Distinguished member
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
154
Reason
Lost a loved one
Country
US
State
CA
City
Lake Forest
Hi Bala80,

I am so sorry that you are going through this. You are so young. When my friend was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 43 five years ago that was thought to be a very young age for this disease.

Today marks one year since Linda (my friend) died.

Like you, Linda often thought about a way that she could "check out" before the going got too tough. She feared becoming a burden to her family and the reality of what she understood to be a horrible death. About two years into her battle with ALS Linda's stepfather was put on hospice and died in his home. Linda arrived at his home before the hospice nurse and quietly took the leftover morphine from the packet of "comfort meds" provided for hospice patients.

Over the next two years that tiny bottle of morphine sat on the shelf of the refridgerator
(safely out of reach) offering Linda the freedom to choose. Linda causally mentioned this to me one day (about 2-3 months after the fact) as I was helping her dress. She asked me what I thought about her thinking of taking it when she felt that she didn't want to go on. She also asked if I'd help her if she waited until she was unable to do it herself. I told her what I thought about the idea and that I would not be able to help her and that, in my opinion, she should not ask her husband or either of her adult
children to help her. I reminded her of what she believed (she was a Christian and we were in the same bible study for years. You can read my past posts for more info.) about trusting God in everything. She asked if I thought she would still go to heaven
if she did it. We had several discussions about this over the next several months always agreeing that God would provided exactly what she needed at exactly the right time. She wanted so badly to "fight the good fight . . ." that Paul spoke of in 2 Timothy
4:7-8 but she was also so afraid of what was to come. Over time I became her daily caregiver while her husband worked and I learned to care for her every need as she lost the ability to do even the simple things we take for granted each day. Linda often thought of that "bottle on the shelf" but decided to trust God to take care of her.

Her death came after four days of friends and family gathered around her bed loving her and laughing, praying, crying with her. She was comfortable, (hospice had provided her with her own comfort meds) not in pain and not afraid, she knew without a doubt that she would soon be in heaven. Before she died she said to all of us around her bed
"this is wonderful (having her loved ones around her singing, praying and laughing while she died) I hope it's like this for all of you too." I know that she was so glad that she chose to trust God in her death instead of using the morphine she had taken a few years before.

On her memorial card she had asked us to print the following verse from 2 Timothy;

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

I know you said you don't believe in God. I respect your decision but I disagree with your opinion about being a hipocrete (sp?) if you were to pray to God now. God never turns his back on anyone. Until our last breath we have the choice to accept His offer of eternal life and His help in this life.


I will pray for you and, as always, for a cure to be found soon.

God Bless, Jeanne
 

Lorie

Senior member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
546
Reason
Loved one DX
Country
Uni
State
Alabama
City
Mobile
bala80 and TRUSTING IN GOD

Unfortunately, I agree with you both. I do believe in "God". Although, I am Non-Denominational. I try to live by good standards and make the best decisions I can in life.

I DO KNOW THAT I COULD NOT BE DOING WHAT I AM DOING, ALONE! THE STRENGTH IS BEING PROVIDED TO ME!

I have told my husband on numerous occiasions that I don't think I could do what my brother Timothy is having to suffer with this HORRIBLE disease. Timothy had symptoms for seven years before the Doc's suspected ALS. And then DX. I am having the same early symptoms as Timothy. (that does not mean I have ALS). I told my GP yesterday. no more Neuros's for me unless it gets worse.

I did ask Timothy if I did have ALS. I am a lot of his Strength, Caregiver in many ways. He depends on me. I asked if I did, before I got too bad. Did he want to die with me? I told him to think about it and not answer me. He did say no. I have a Husband and a 14 year old daughter. He has to work and she has to go to school. I could not be a burden on them. I would not have the people to take care of me like Timothy does. And they do their best. Doing what they have to do. Not what they need to do. It is very hard for him.
My heart feel like its being eaten up by cancer.

But I see both of your points. Another thing is. When were were getting my Durable Power of Attoreny and my Medical/Living Will P.O.A for Tim. He trust me withe everything.
The Attorney told us when we were talking about the Living Will. That I can enforce it up untill a certain time. Then the doctor's would have to make the decision what to do for Tim. so in other words, a Medical Doctor could be in control of his last....Living Life.
So therefore, to me it dosen't make a lot of differnece If they can make your ultimate decision when you have suffered on your own to that point. It makes it right and OK for them to end your Life. But not you. Its such a fine Line. I will do what ever Tim wants to the extent he wants it. He can depend on me gor that. I LOVE MY BROTHER DEARLY
!

I am so Heart Felt for everyone with this Disease. I hope that I will comfort you in some way to know that I am an ALS Advocate and I am very involved with doing everthing I can with this mission. (even having my own disabilities). Alot of people don't put enough time in being involved with this disease. (Just accepting it. Or Living with it). And making a difference. I have three other brothers and my my. I am the only one in our Family that has taken this Bull by the Horns and doing something with it.

I will never surrender my efforts in making a difference in ALS!

Lorie
 

trustinggod

Distinguished member
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
154
Reason
Lost a loved one
Country
US
State
CA
City
Lake Forest
Lourie,

Thanks for sharing your experience. You are a loving sister to your brother. He is very blessed to have you.

I was confused by what you said the doctor or attorney told you regarding who had the final say in your brothers care.

Are you saying they told you the doctors had the final say? That has not been my experience. I was there with my Father in law as he died while on hospice (in his home)
and I was there with my friend (also in her home and on hospice) and their wishes
as outlined in their DNR orders and/or Five Final Wishes document were completely followed. Of course I only have my very limited experience and don't presume to know
anymore than that. If you've never heard of the Five Final Wishes document you might be interested in looking one over. It has several parts to it that allow an individual to put into writing exactly what there preferences are regarding the dying process. For example, it asks simple questions like; would you want to have music playing or would you prefer a quiet room? Or, do you want just your immediate family with you or something different? For my situation, having this information was a great help.

Anyway, wanted to offer the above info in case it might help you too.

God Bless.
Jeanne
 

quadbliss

Distinguished member
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
392
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
07/1998
Country
US
State
California
City
Benicia
Hi bala80,

I am not going to try to convince you to start praying to God, or talk you out of your decision. I would however like to recommend caution in executing your choice too soon.

In my case, I was saddened and frightened by the fact that I would die an unpleasant death very soon. One day I was elated when I realized that ALS was not a death sentence. I realized that if I chose to vent, etc., I could live a lot longer. This could be a miserable existence if my vision stopped there. But I also saw that I was living the same unconscious life that most of us live. I knew there was something more. I set out on a path of personal growth. I am happy to report that 9 years after diagnosis, paralyzed from the neck down and vent dependant, I am living a deeply fulfilling, joy filled life. If I had made the decision to end my life prior to this paradigm shift, I would never have known the full potential of human existence.

I respect your decision, but realize that your perspective could change. Please don't surrender too soon.

Mike
 

Icanmanz

Senior member
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
947
Reason
PALS
Country
Uni
State
Texas
City
Tomball
Lorie and Jeanne, great posts. Lorie, you are such a beautiful sister to Tim. God bless you both, and Jeane God bless you ,too for being such a dear friend!

Irma
 

bala80

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
26
Reason
Learn about ALS
Country
AUS
State
Vic
City
Melbourne
I thank you guys for posting your experiences, I know it is the toughest decision anyone could ever make. I feel as if I had kids of my own and something to really live for, then I would continue on with no problem. The two things I ever wanted to really do was to travel and to find love, and now I cannot do either. If I had a slower progression I could have maybe done one or both of these things, but that is not the case. From the time of my diagnosis to the time of me losing my independence has been very short, and I wish my neuros picked this up earlier, but they were very dismissive. Taking all this into account, every minute thinking of this and of "what if" is agonising. I am currently trying to gain advice and barbiturate meds from any physician willing to provide me with these and who truly believes in palliative care. The idea that I can go into a painless eternal sleep when I choose to is really the only thing I have left now.
 

Icanmanz

Senior member
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
947
Reason
PALS
Country
Uni
State
Texas
City
Tomball
Oh wow, bala! I hate it when I read between the lines, and when I find something very interesting I am in such a damn big hurry to reply, without even finishing reading the whole post. I know that is a big no no, but that is the way I am. I was reading your post about euthanizing, or the right to die, whichever, it's all the same, but any way, I am putting in my 2 cents worth, if you folks don't mind. I am putting it with a question. Don't you think that's God's decision to make? He is the only one that can call us home. I respect your, and the others' wishes, but that is my opinion. May God bless each one of you, and give you more courage. I am keeping each one of you in my prayers.

Irma
 

myooshka

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
97
Country
CA
State
alberta
City
Sylvan Lake
Bala80 I really understand what you said about not having kids, my son is such a blessing. My symptoms started just before I got pregnant. Although I don' have a name for my illness yet, my son is what gives me the fight everyday. Personally I would find the future bleak without him, so I get what you are saying about having children of their own. Have you discussed this with anyone in your family?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top