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Should a paralysed person have the right to die?

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Lobster

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My comment: Until it is easy to get all the help one needs to live, the option to die is coercive. I feel pressure to end my life because of the lack of family, social, and societal support. While I would like the right to die on my own terms, until I have the right to live in dignity, any so-called right to die is pressure to die.

BBC News - Hardtalk - Should a paralysed person have the right to die?
 

llwlpn

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Lobster, I agree. I don't want to feel pressured to die. I want to live as long as I can. My younger brother has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. He has just as much right to live. I do not think anyone should feel pressured to die.
 

Atsugi

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No one should feel pressured to die.

But someone might decide to die:

My PALS simply had long ago--pre-ALS--chosen how to live, and then when she couldn't have it her way, she said "I'm takin' my ball and leaving!"

For my own part, I have this fantasy that, if I were stricken, I would find every resource, find every possibility, and maximize my life the way Stephen Hawking does. And I'm really thankful that I don't have to discover the reality behind my fantasy.

The Right to Live in Dignity: I'm confused, Lobster. You certainly have the right, don't you? Perhaps not the resources. I just don't understand what you mean.
 

Katie C

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I will say that before the dementia overtook him, Glen was adamant about his choices. Nobody pressured him to make those choices... in fact I tried a couple of times to talk him into a peg and he refused. He knew the consequences of that choice. Therefore yes, I believe he exercised his right to die in a way that he saw fit.
 

Gentleman Jim

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Deep thought to all these comments.

I will just say, we are all going to die, rights or no rights. Do we have the right to choose when
that is? Think of all those people that are relatively healthy and or wealthy, have families and
many material things and yet, give up....

People need three things, Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. If
we only snorkle our thoughts we will have a shallow and much limited perspective.
If we scubba our thoughts we can see the deep rooted foundation, which is much more
informative and collective.

Samson thought he chose his time to die. Did he?

Believe what is, not what you think. Chinese proverb. :)
 

Atsugi

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Gentleman Jim, thanks for the wise words.
--- Now my head hurts.


My take on your "People need three things, Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for"

1. Someone who will accept our love. Too often we say, 'I want someone to love me.' I don't think that's true. We want someone who will accept our love. I don't know why, yet. I just know it's true.

2. Something to do that will change us. Sure, we like the comfort of an environment that is already familiar to us, but WE live a life of WANTS. We want our situation to get better. We're always complaining, because we want ourselves to change. If I don't change often, I get physically uncomfortable.

3. Hope. Yes. And faith. The world is full of horrible things. And as we all know, in the end, we all die. So what's the use of living? If we faced reality for real, we'd be depressed. So we love optimists. We cling to faith. We invent miracles. These things are all technically "lies" of fact, but most folks need some belief in unreality to make their lives better. Personally, I have faith in myself.
 

olly

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there was a tv documentary here in the uk about a man.
he had a devestating motor accident and was in a coma,they were preparing to turn off all the machines but had to go through tests for a week or two.
he had a living will to say he did not want to be kept in a vegative state.
even though his eyes were open they considered him unresponsive untill someone noticed his eyes slightly move.
a women doctor asked him a list of questions every day to see if his eye movement was infact evidence he was conscious and trying to communicate and it turned out he was.
even though he was in a locked in state with chances of little improvement he realised life was still worth living.

i would never judge anyone on there right to live or die,we are individuals ,some can bare more than others.
though in the past i have felt i could not live in a vegative or locked in state after watching that program i realised you can never say for certain untill you are in that position.
quality of life is not just about the physical body and its state but also mentally,emotionally and spiritually.
 

sallyb

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I too don't really understand the 'right to live in dignity' bit - is this due to the difficulty accessing resources or down to feeling like some aspects of the condition have taken some of your dignity? Whichever, you have the right to live and you have the right to live in dignity as you put it. I think most people who have not been touched by serious illness would say 'I don't want to live if X happens to me (insert condition/injury of choice) but you really can't tell until you are in that position and having worked with people with significant brain and spinal cord injuries I can say many of them would have thought that before their injury but changed their views afterwards. You can't put a value on someone else's life. I hope you get the support you need. X
 

apollick

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The right to live or die, I know is very tough for some people.

I just asked my husband who has ALS whether he would want to stay in a locked body state or spend as much time with me cherishing every moment, just using his eyes for communication, if it happened, if he made it that far. He said yes. My husband and I do not have the right to decide whether we live or die. I believe in God and He will decide when the time is for my husband and myself to go home. I know that we are all reading and trying to help each other through every part of what is/will happen. Those that have experienced the worst of a loved one passing can help others who have not. I know what we are in for but to experience it is another story. One thing I can guarantee is that my husband will die with dignity when the time comes. Our support for each other is wonderful and I for one hope that it continues for those of us who really need it. Communication is #1.

Ed's and my love for each other and the Lord is what is making the difference.

It is weird, we were just discussing this subject this morning and to read it here was amazing. Whatever you decide is your decision everyone has a right, this is what we decided.
 

susanf

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Mother Theresa once said "where there is life, there is hope". I think everyone situation is different and is entirely up to them. It is personal and sensitive. I respect others wishes.
 

Steven B

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In about 8 more days we all will be remembering all those in New York that never had the chance to think about dieing like all of us have time to cherrish every moment we have left to enjoy the sun the moon and all that is beautifull. I feel that I am prepared to say good bye some day but I can not say how I will feel on that day
 

lostin

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th
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My comment: Until it is easy to get all the help one needs to live, the option to die is coercive. I feel pressure to end my life because of the lack of family, social, and societal support. While I would like the right to die on my own terms, until I have the right to live in dignity, any so-called right to die is pressure to die.

BBC News - Hardtalk - Should a paralysed person have the right to die?
you do have the right BEFORE you are paralysed but gets trickier after. go on youtube and watch the BBC documentary by terry pratchett Choosing to Die about a man with ALS from my birthplace. See how early he goes!
 

notme

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When there is no family or good support network, especially with something like ALS or another debilitating disease--there IS pressure to die. The doctors begin that pressure the day they say "you have X years to live."

Some countries say it when they say "We do not provide ventilator support for X conditions"

People with no family or very little care options are forced to think their only option is a medicaid nursing home or losing everything they've accumulated in their lifetime just to survive and hope the caregivers will treat them well.

So yes--the answer is, I think, that people are coerced to die.

Lobster--I think I understand what you're saying perfectly.

Most of our PALS here have loving caregivers and make their choice solely on their belief system and their own perceptions of quality of life. Others that might read these forums but never post are sitting at home on a computer system with paid caregivers that may or may not give a damn and no family or friend to be there for them and think "I just have to die, because I have no one to care if I live."

Each person should have the right to choose their own quality of life solely on their own personal choices. Unfortunately, that's simply not the case for all too many with ALS--and other conditions.

Our quality of life isn't always an intrinsic choice. And it should be. But often, extrinsic forces play a major role in our decisions. My entire family consists of my daughter. Period. And I thank God every day that I have her. I know she'd do her best to take care of me. The issue in our home is that I wouldn't let her. I wouldn't want that for her on a long-term basis.

I had a stroke a few years ago and luckily recovered fully- -but if I hadn't--I'd have found a way out--simply because there was no realistic system of care available to me without making HER my caregiver.

There needs to be more support for those that want to LIVE--whether they have family or not--reality is there isn't. But they are more than willing to help you if you decide to go out--Hospice is on the corner waving their "We are here for you" banner. That's great. If we have terminal cancer and can't stand the pain it should be our choice to call them in and let us die with dignity and as little pain as possible.

Why isn't there "We want to help you LIVE" on the other corner for those that have ALS, MS, or have had strokes that limit their ability to care for themselves? There simply isn't. While the mind might think "HEY! I enjoy my computer. i enjoy my TV. I enjoy my reading. I enjoy my X" The reality is can we enjoy it when we are worried that the person that comes through our door to care for us is there for the right reasons? (And the "right" reason isn't the hope of a paycheck at the end of a week) Will they treat us as we need when we can no longer speak? That question should have a FIRM answer--and to be blunt, it just doesn't. Not when there is no family support.

I'd love to think I'd have the stamina of Stephen Hawking. I know I don't. (Nor do I have the financial support he likely has) Money shouldn't be a factor in our choice--but it certainly is.

Can I afford a quality nursing home or would i be forced to go to a Medicaid one where care is basic at best? (For too many, it's option two)

For me, it's option two. I know where I'd end up--and having been there--it's not where I'd choose to go out. Each one should only have to take their own INTRINSIC reasons to weigh. Reality is far different.

My two cents for what it's worth.

My quality of life can be very good no matter what is wrong with me physically as long as I can still see, hear and think. I have a lot of options. But without the support--shrug--those options become severely limited based on my own level of ability to have proper care without exhausting the only living person that cares if I live or die.

So, while 'assisted suicide' still isn't allowed--the reality is that even here in the states, it's implied.
 

notme

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Couldn't agree with you more, Lobster.

And it will soon become a "duty" to die, so we can hold down health care costs.
I hadn't read that before my previous post--but that article made my point.

And that's just wrong. Who the hell is the NYT to tell me or you or Lobster or ANYONE what their quality of life is?

i love to read and to watch TV and to write--heck, even just posting here to the friends I've made. I can be happy if i can do those things. I spend most of my time when I'm not trying work and survive doing one of them. Why should I, or anyone, have to read that if I'm not able to go to Walmart without assistance that it's my OBLIGATION to close up shop, shut up, and take that OD of potassium chloride?

Sorry--but the system is f***ed up big time in my less than humble opinion.

You don't have to be MOBILE to be productive! People here that are in far worse shape than I will likely ever be kept me SANE over the last 5 months. Without those "taxes on the system" I'd have already given up and checked out. It's just wrong on too many levels.

I woke up depressed---now, I'm just pissed off. And with that, off to work I go to teach the next generation of caregiver--that I pray will NOT be a part of the problem but a part of the solution.

Edit-student just called and postponed til next weekend--thank God. Kid had an allergic reaction last night that turned her lips blue and she couldn't breathe--not so much up to teaching on 3 hours sleep.
 
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