My life, my death, my choice...

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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:50 pm

Dotsie wrote:Cried all the way through :oops:

Impossible not to cry at several points - I'm very glad that Terry (who has to be one of the bravest people in history) got Baldric in to do the reading, simply from the PoV that he wouldn't have been able to deliver some of it from an emotional stance, let alone with the other physical problems he has with reading now :cry:

I think someone was saying they wished that Terry could have read the lot, but in the 2 documentaries last year, he allowed them to film him doing a reading at a signing/conference and he kept having to stop because his eyes couldn't follow the lines and he kept seeing 'shadows' on the pages. I think this was the primary reason why he wanted Tony to effectively be his voice but you knew the words, every one of them, were all his :)
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:33 am

Further to the lecture - it was discussed on Question Time last night. It's available (for now) on the BBC iPlayer. The actual section starts at 41.17.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:41 pm

Thanks Tony - that raised some interesting points and what was clear is that there is an overwhelming case for choice and self-determination and that people want a change in legislation in this area. The actual question before the panel was on the Ray Gosling 'case'that prompted very pertinent criticism, along with the case of the Frances Inglis who twice tried to kill her son, in hospital, with heroin overdoses with a gap of 14 months between the first and the fatal injection. Terry's Dimbleby lecture was brought into the ensuing discussion by one of the panellists.

These two people both acted out of love - Ray Gosling says he had discussed the mercy killing scenario with the person he smothered. Frances Inglis could not discuss that with her son, but decided he would not want to carry on living with extensive brain damage and took steps to end his suffering - the hospital said he was not in distress and pain and his condition may have improved but for her two interventions. These two situations are both tragic, but it's the methods used that make both actions criminal. Some would say, rightly as well, that Ray and Frances were driven to criminal methods.

Gosling smothered his lover with a pillow. A quick solution for someone in tremendous pain, who had just been given a terrible diagnosis that 'nothing more could be done' for him. Smothering will kill anyone, suffering or no. The hospital might well have had a gentler method so the man could have drifted into death, properly sedated and dosed with painkillers to ease his passing. Ray Gosling killed his lover and may be prosecuted in retrospect for that action. I hope he will not be imprisoned for what he did, because he has already and is continuing to punish himself for what he did.

Frances Inglis' crime is more difficult to emphathise with because of the length of time between her attempts to ease her son's suffering (as she saw it) and the manner of her obtaining the heroin used in both actions. There was without a doubt pre-meditation, which is of course a condition of murder rather than manslaughter. She knew what she was doing and what she wanted to achieve, so she is guilty of attempted murder and murder. This is what she said at her trial...
"The definition of murder is to take someone's life with malice in your heart. I did it with love in my heart, for Tom, so I don't see it as murder. I knew what I was doing was against the law."

She was sentenced to 9 years. I would not have liked to have been on the jury convicting her, but overdosing on herion is not a peaceful death and her son was stablised and not unduly distressed physcially at least. So inevitably she killed him, meant to do that and took rational, if desperate steps to make sure that no attempts to save her son could be made by the hospital the second time. I am reasonably sure she will not serve the 9 years in a prison and that she will, far too late, get the help and support she so obviously needed, seeing her son mute and diminished from the head injuries that he effectively gave himself after falling from the moving ambulance that was taking him to the emergency room after getting badly hurt in a fight.

Those cases were not assisted deaths as Terry envisages and that is why it is such a huge step to bring in legislation to allow his vision to be decriminalised so that desperate, and in Frances Inglis' case, people in total anguish and deranged grief, do not feel moved to kill (there is no other interpretation) in ways that are wildly open to abuse, and in more deceptive ways, by less well-intentioned individuals like Harold Shipman.
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:54 pm

I think Terry is achieving something that he hoped to achieve - he's got people talking about the issue. This segment of the show was a case in point. His lecture seems to have made people actually start to think about their own mortality and how they'd like to die.

Result for Mr P. :wink:
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Postby Mahiqun » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:15 pm

If there ever will be voting, I'll vote for. I'm working with people with dementia and Alzheimer in nursing home and I can see how humiliating and horrible way of dying it is. I think they should have a choice.
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Postby dragonzzz » Tue May 18, 2010 11:20 pm

After my brain haemorrage (bad spelling) I lost my identity and became a "nothing" sitting in a chair dribbling in total breath stopping agony for
4 years,

I had to learn that no matter what I was I still had value to others and did not have the right to terminate myself and had to accept my responsibilities.

I have learnt that I have soul and I value it very highly (whatever form it is in)

Sorry to be such a downer

May you all have a reasonable day tomorrow

regards
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Postby poohcarrot » Wed May 19, 2010 2:56 am

dragonzzz wrote:A man is a man till he dribbles his baked beans down his shirt front


Hi dragonzzz,

Sorry to hear about your problems. Stick around here and we'll try to make you smile. :P

You're not being a downer. You're putting forward your opinion. Nothing wrong with that. :P

You say you disagree with TP's assisted death wish because of a person's "soul". Therefore, I assume that you are religious. But what if a person isn't religious, like TP?

And your above quote seems to be contradicting your argument against assisted death. Surely if a person knows he is going to be dribbling beans down his shirt front and is no longer a "man", wouldn't it be better to ease the burden and suffering of loved ones by opting for TP's way out while that person is still capable of making rational decisions?

Poohcarrot (aged 50)

PS May you have a wonderful day tomorrow. :D
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Postby Dotsie » Wed May 19, 2010 6:10 am

Hi dragonzzz

It's great that you came through your health problems, but unfortunately recovery isn't always a possibility. And I'm pretty sure that an independent panel would decline a request from anyone wanting to take their life who would very possibly live to recover and change their minds.

And I actually value my life more I think because I don't believe in souls. I only have this one life, so I'm not going to end it before time. I hope I never have to face such a decision :(
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed May 19, 2010 3:30 pm

Choosing to die is not something that people do lightly - anyone who has come close to 'a fate worse than death' knows that. I don't think it's ever an act of hubris and certainly not one of cowardice. You have to have guts to choose to die, just as you often have to be as brave, or even braver, to choose to live and you come to those decisions by many paths. Some of them are not sane and some of them are misguided, but others are informed and accepting that some roads have to end. I am glad your choice led back to lucidity and a better quality of life and I hope that this can be enjoyed for a long time to come Dragonzzz :D

I've 'lost' 2 people I was close to this year within months of each other. They both chose to die in a manner that they were content with at home and amongst people who loved and cared for them right up to the end. I don't know that I would ask those who loved and cared for me to have to go through that for me. Not if there was an alternative of watching me slowly wither away mentally and/or physically, in pain and discomfort a lot of the time. I think choice is always good and with assisted death (with some legal safeguards) it's something that people can consult family/friends as well as doctors and get it all thrashed out and settled to minimise stress all around.

My father and my brother-in-law fought their respective cancers as long as they could bear to and the family all 'contributed' as they could, to help their final days pass as peacefully and as trauma-free as possible, but the strain on everyone was awful and not something that I would expect people to do for me if it could be avoided. At present if a death is 'hastened' other than in the usual ways these things are curtailed (in most cancer cases with morphine drivers that take the patient down to pain-free extinction in a matter of hours) then family and professionals face accusation, unemployment and prosecution for the 'crime' of letting someone die with as much dignity and peace as possible. This has to change and soon.
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