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Old 12-10-2008, 10:08 AM   #1
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Suicide

Another sad story about suicide; in this case a 59 year old American expat in England choosing euthanasia in the face of a Lou Gherig type illness which left him paralyzed and on a ventilator. He arranged to end his life under medical supervisioin in Switzerland.

The controversy in the article revolves around the fact that a British TV channel is covering everything in a documentary including the act of dying.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:27 AM   #2
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Sad but I can not say I blame the person for ending their suffering with no hope of recovery.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
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Sad but I can not say I blame the person for ending their suffering with no hope of recovery.
Me neither. Very understandable choice.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:48 AM   #4
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I would be hard pressed to watch the documentary especially if it shows the act of taking his life.

I support his choice to end his suffering.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:59 AM   #5
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Another sad story about suicide; in this case a 59 year old American expat in England choosing euthanasia in the face of a Lou Gherig type illness which left him paralyzed and on a ventilator. He arranged to end his life under medical supervision in Switzerland.
I wish we could make such arrangements here. We are stuck with guns or plastic bags, truly ugly exit strategies. Can't even get effective medical advice on sensible methods.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:04 PM   #6
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Another sad story about suicide; in this case a 59 year old American expat in England choosing euthanasia in the face of a Lou Gherig type illness which left him paralyzed and on a ventilator. He arranged to end his life under medical supervisioin in Switzerland.
The controversy in the article revolves around the fact that a British TV channel is covering everything in a documentary including the act of dying.
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I wish we could make such arrangements here. We are stuck with guns or plastic bags, truly ugly exit strategies. Can't even get effective medical advice on sensible methods.
I'll offer a contrasting opinion. Local artist Peggy Chun recently had herself injected with a heart-stopping sedative after dealing with ALS for six years. Before/during that time she watched several family members/relatives succumb to the disease, but she also continued her art career and got to know her grandson.

She said that her biggest fear was being "locked in". When her condition approached the point that she could no longer control her computer with her eyeball movement, she made her final request. And by all reports she threw one helluva farewell party that was continued at her memorial service.

Renowned artist dies at 62 - News - Starbulletin.com

It's not so much about what choice you make as it is about having a choice in the first place. I think it's long past the time for this controversy to be aired in public instead of forcing patients, families, & doctors to share the responsibility (and guilt) in private.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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It's not so much about what choice you make as it is about having a choice in the first place.
Amen.

Euthanasia is not medically complicated (notwithstanding botched execution attempts by lethal injection), though it's highly complicated ethically, spiritually, etc.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:40 PM   #8
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Amen.

Euthanasia is not medically complicated (notwithstanding botched execution attempts by lethal injection), though it's highly complicated ethically, spiritually, etc.
I've often wondered about the weird methods that are used for executions by lethal injection. Vets don't seem to have much trouble; they just put in the pentobarb or whatever until the heart stops and stays stopped.

Do prisons choose their methods for maximum cruelty?

Ha
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:52 PM   #9
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Probably be cheaper letting a vet handle the prison lethal injections.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:53 PM   #10
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I've often wondered about the weird methods that are used for executions by lethal injection. Vets don't seem to have much trouble; they just put in the pentobarb or whatever until the heart stops and stays stopped.

Do prisons choose their methods for maximum cruelty?

Ha
+1. Having witnessed a couple of painless, simple veterinary procedures I too have wondered what is with our executions. You would think there could be a simple, sure, painless way to kill some one. Firing squads would be better than some of these botched injections.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:31 PM   #11
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The controversy in the article revolves around the fact that a British TV channel is covering everything in a documentary including the act of dying.
Depends on one's perspective on it I suppose. Initially it's disgusting to me. Smacks of The Truman Show but several orders of magnitude worse.

But perhaps shows others that the suffering isn't always necessary. But people should have the choice.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:43 PM   #12
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I understand his choice but dying should be a very private affair not a documentary .
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:49 PM   #13
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I understand his choice but dying should be a very private affair not a documentary .
It would be to me, too.

But if someone is suffering enough, is of sound mind if not body (apparently ALS ravages the body but leaves the brain as sharp as ever) and wants to open eyes about advocacy of euthanasia as a humane alternative to spending ever-larger amounts of money keeping someone alive with a terrible quality of life, I can see why they may have wanted to "open" their personal struggle to the masses.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:26 PM   #14
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If this person wishes it to be shown then so be it. I think its a great thing to bring attention to the issue. What a great way to go.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:28 PM   #15
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...
But if someone is suffering enough, is of sound mind if not body...and wants to open eyes about advocacy of euthanasia as a humane alternative to spending ever-larger amounts of money keeping someone alive with a terrible quality of life, I can see why they may have wanted to "open" their personal struggle to the masses.
I don't see anything wrong with the documentary based on what was posted here. This is a topic that needs to be openly discussed.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:46 PM   #16
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I'll offer a contrasting opinion. Local artist Peggy Chun recently had herself injected with a heart-stopping sedative after dealing with ALS for six years. Before/during that time she watched several family members/relatives succumb to the disease, but she also continued her art career and got to know her grandson.

She said that her biggest fear was being "locked in". When her condition approached the point that she could no longer control her computer with her eyeball movement, she made her final request. And by all reports she threw one helluva farewell party that was continued at her memorial service.

Renowned artist dies at 62 - News - Starbulletin.com

It's not so much about what choice you make as it is about having a choice in the first place. I think it's long past the time for this controversy to be aired in public instead of forcing patients, families, & doctors to share the responsibility (and guilt) in private.
In a country that made such a hoopla about stem cell research and Terri Schiavo? I doubt the discussion will happen any time soon.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:07 PM   #17
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NY Times Sunday magazine did a piece about the Swiss medical facilities that do the assisted suicides.
'Suicide Tourists' Go to the Swiss for Help in Dying - New York Times

I think we will be hearing more about it as we age.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:30 PM   #18
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I wish we could make such arrangements here. We are stuck with guns or plastic bags, truly ugly exit strategies. Can't even get effective medical advice on sensible methods.
The organization called Compassion and Choices is a lobbying group for assisted suicide. It also provides technical advice, though not actual assistance, to members seeking to end their lives. I have been a member for many years. Here's a link:

Compassion & Choices
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:35 PM   #19
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I understand his choice but dying should be a very private affair not a documentary .
It may also have been how he funded his estate for his kid's inheritance...
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:03 AM   #20
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We obviously need to have this discussion as a society and get it out of the shadows. I don't know the best means to prevent abuses, but this, too , will be an issue we'd need to discuss. Not all cases are entirely clear cut, and not all motives are altruistic. And, keeping things as they are does at least force the individual to take things into their own hands (if possible) and perform this very personal act directly. I don't want this to become expected or routine--it should be hard. At the very least, our present "system" says (officially) "we want you to keep living" and doesn't give conflicting signals.

I'm not a defender of the status quo, but we need to go forward with eyes wide open.
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