BBC Film to show TP watch man commit suicide

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Postby Bouncy Castle » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:18 am

I've recorded it, but did see about 10 minutes of it last night, and the abiding memory will be of Rob's face.

That poor guy did NOT want to be there.
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Postby pip » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:48 am

For those in the UK who missed it the bbc iplayer
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/

Debate on the beeb site after its showing as follows -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13758286
As expected its divided opinions.
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Postby Marianne » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:47 am

I watched it last night- as I feel passionately that we should have the choice.
However I felt very uncomfortable- because i felt that neither of the two men were ready- and were 'forced' to make the decision too early. But this is the big problem if you have to travel from the UK- if you leave it until you are 'ready' then it is very likely to be too late. This is a terrible state of affairs.
I feel truly privileged that I now live in Switzerland, where I can be a member of Exit, rather than Dignitas. That means that should I ever need support, I shall have it here, in my own home. First over a long period of time if ever I am struck by some terrible illness (which I am sure I'd fight like hell first)- then in the last stages, several visits in my home, with my family and GP- with the choice in the end to die in MY home, MY bed or MY favourite settee- or in MY garden even. It is terrible that British citizens have to make that terrible journey to die on an industrial estate in a cold concrete box.

Any resident in Switzerland can become a member of Exit, irrespective of nationality.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:03 pm

Marianne wrote:It is terrible that British citizens have to make that terrible journey to die on an industrial estate in a cold concrete box.

Any resident in Switzerland can become a member of Exit, irrespective of nationality.

That was my overall feeling for the programme when Herr Minelli took Terry and Rob to the apartment - what a sad soulless place to end up! :cry: However, the second time they went there with the Smedleys with the two escorts, although it was still stark with uncomfortable noise levels (the traffic noise was horrible in the garden although not in the building so much) the empathy and warmth was very apparent once they got over the paperwork and the 'are you absolutely sure about this' bits which I thought Peter dealt with really tolerantly and with heroic calm. I'd have been screaming at them to get on with it as soon as I signed the 'waivers' :roll:

The venue was certainly different to how I'd expected it to be, mainly because I assumed it would be in a hospital/hospice type setting. I'm very glad Terry took part in this because that, for me, is the real clincher for this whole business - it's not just about rights and the law, it's much more about kindness and familiarity and, yes, dignity at the end of life. Despite the name and that they're absolutely all about offering a dignified, legal exit there was very little that I'd call truly comforting about that little apartment, except if you had no alternative. That is the reality that Andrew and Peter had come to accept for themselves as well as their terminal conditions - I think they were ready and in the end it was Andrew's mother and Peter's wife I felt truly sorry for and cried with, because they had had to go on this pitiless journey to the bitter end and that they'd agreed to it because they loved and supported their men, even though they wished things could be different or just 'later'.

That's what's wrong with it. Having had to make that definitive choice to then have to leave everything you love behind because the law will make things difficult for your medical advisors and especially for your loved ones just so the 'Good Lord' can take you in his own sweet time. To paraphrase - there is no Justice, only Death - it happens to all of us in the end. Time is an illusion - another cliche but one that Peter was still looking at right up to the end and why I think he was definitely ready and just wanted to get on with it. We have no choice in dying, but we do have some control of time in life and I believe we all do know when its time for us for to die. I just hope when I finally decide my time is done with that I can do so entirely on my terms and not have to traipse 1000, 100, 10 or even 1 mile further than my bed or my back garden to do so.

The programme did nothing to change my mind on the rightness of assisted death, only highlight that there is really such a thing as 'mercy killing' and that the killing should be entirely in your own hands, where and when you need it to happen, with the people you want with you. For me that will not take in a final trip to Switzerland, even if I could afford it. The law has to be changed to recognise assisted death as a fundamental human right and the bureaucracy to support that happening in a structured and respectful manner for those who need and ardently want that service has to be set in place. Please let it be sooner rather than later and not just for men like Peter , or for Terry's sake, but for those like Andrew whose younger lives have become intolerable and will only get worse, so they can die in peace without having to go to such extraordinary lengths.
Last edited by Jan Van Quirm on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DaveC » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:04 pm

Just finished watching it and the following Jeremy Paxman thing. It was very interesting and did feel sorry for Rob. Everyone was so brave, no idea what I would do.

I must that the actual scene of the man dying was as shockinng as ii'd imagined, back about 10 years ago there was The Human Body series with Dr Robert Winston that went from birth to death and that focussed in far more detail I seem to remember, although that was from a scientific point of view whereas this was from more a political and emotional one, all of the controversy seemed to be surrounding this scene.

It was scary seeing Terry breakdown in places and occassionally lost for words with Paxman.
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Postby Marianne » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:28 pm

I feel so privileged to live in Switzerland- where I can be a member of EXIT. I am in very good health now- but I've chosen to be a member as a sort of 'insurance' policy. I feel it is important to discuss one's wishes early, with family, GP and solicitor, so that it carries more weight if ever...
Here in Switzerland - support can be given by Exit over a long period of time, with counselling, support, etc. And when the time comes, the person who has got to know you well and understand your feelings really well, as well as your family and personal situation, will come and help you 'depart' in your own home, in your own bed or favourite chair, or even in your favourite place in the garden. It is dreadful that British people have to travel to Switzerland to die in a concrete block on an industrial estate- away from their loved ones. I felt that both men in the film were not 'ready' - and yet realised they had no choice but to depart early, as they would not have been able to travel at a later stage. This is absolutely tragic.

BTW, anybody can be a member of Exit, irrespective of nationality- but they have to be resident in Switzerland. It may be worth considering for those without children for instance. It is easy to rent a flat for a while and get to know people and Exit volunteers (many speak very good English). Not ideal, I know to have to leave home - but Switzerland is a beautiful country and not a bad place to say good bye to the world if life deals you a terrible blow like a wasting or terminal disease. My heart goes to all of you.
Last edited by Marianne on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dying with dignity

Postby calislyn » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:29 pm

I found the documentary very moving,i felt it was the right thing to do
giving people the choice of ending their lives due to terrible illness's i found Mr Smedleys ordeal moving,people must be desperate to need
this service,its a pity that it was not available in this country.

It certainly takes courage to take this line of action,these people must
of thought about it a long time,no one should be aloud to suffer in this
day and age.

It,s a shame for the people who would also like to take this line of action
but due to lack of funds cannot find that amount of money.

Terry i was amazed by you personally having the chance to witness it
yes it was done with dignity.

The documentary was moving and was shown with utter taste.
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Postby Marianne » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:25 pm

I do wish I could get in touch with sir Terry to discuss this- I do wonder if he or his assistant/team do read this Forum.
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:30 pm

Marianne wrote:I do wish I could get in touch with sir Terry to discuss this- I do wonder if he or his assistant/team do read this Forum.
We have no evidence that he does. He's certainly not a member here.
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In search of lost Terry !

Postby Someone elses servant » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:00 am

So, ive also seen the documentary...and i was actually shocked of a persistent cold heartedness, though all of those present felt that the assisted suicide is not a joke and can bring a tear even to suicide ideologists.

I've been thinking on the logics of the arguments PRO-Suicide given by Sir Terry, and i laid out counter arguments to them.
Sir Terry sais that if we have a choice in this life we can use it to choose the time of our death to leave the life in our way.
So if i was to debate that issue with him id ask him some questions:

1. You use the Choice Option only on things that you can choose and of which you have the knowledge of Choice (like Choosing the color of hair, music to listen, books to read etc., that dont affect your state of being - of wich you dont die if u dont necesaryly have them) and you cannot use the Choice Option on Fundamental/Vital things (like Sun Color, Suns warmth, air that you can breathe, stars location etc. as those exist independently even if we die, and our lives dont change those things like the volume of air that we breathe if someone dies....[all that i know by now is that we have poluted that much the earth that it got negatively vulnerable to us...because of our choices we loose the earth on which we are born]). So the question would be: If you dont bother about things that you cannot choose, why do you bother that seriously about things you can choose ? The things you can choose represent nothing in comparison to the things we cannot choose that generate human beings into existence. So if someone like Steven Hawking can leave bound to a wheelchair and solve secrets of the material universe (is he having lesser dignity if he is alive ?), why someone that has some minor trauma cannot do the same ? It sounds to me that Choice has to have a rational operator - by choosing to suicide you choose to have no choice...so is it reasonable ? Is it reasonable to end your life in which you found choice ? Ive never seen dead people walking ! Most of them remain in their graves :)

2.Sir Terry, if the choice is solely yours why than it should prevale over the choices of millions of people that choose to live because they find reasons to live even in masacred states ?
Choices that you imply are really serious because once you make them you cannot turn them back, but life knows forgivness, even if you make a mistake by putting your fingers into a plug socket, you can still remain alive and that i think is a miracle.
While i was watching the suicide part, in that last moment, ive seen the man wanting a glass of water ! Maybe in that moment he understood that he wanted to live. When life is taken away we feel pain because it hurts, hurts because it was made to exist, so if we dont feel that pain it means it is in peace, and that peace is really not treasured ! In that moment i wanted to choose the life of that desperate man ! Why should his or your choice prevale over my choice ? I've also been hospitalised with a broken hand, It looked so bad, and i couldnt afford an esthetic surgery, i thought id never become a "girls man". But despite that i was really helped by God, through a Christian Orthodox priest, and now im having the girl of my dreams, even though i have a nasty scar on my hand and it still looks estheticaly bad !

3. So in a world where there are people that want to live and people that dont want to live we must find a solution that fits both.
You raise the question of choice in such a way that it sounds like its a fundamental thing that people should think about. It is a fundamental question, but a lot of people have an answer to that ! I've answered it for myself and id like to share it with you, as im totally certain that this life has a lot of pleasant moments that should be known.

A monk once told me: You cant see things if you dont have eyes !
Sometimes things get broken, "obsolete" because of our harmfull way of dealing with them. Even our way of understanding can be damaged.
So the majority dont see the issue because some internal member of ours is damaged. Think of it ! Its not the human that gives existence/life a notion. Existence is inviting us and it exists with or without us, and loosing such an oportunity is a great fail !

(i had a lot more questions but ill remain with those yet)
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Postby Dotsie » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:26 am

Not exactly a coherent argument for pro-life :?
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:02 pm

:roll: I think this is the problem with people being too acclimatised to accepting the status quo and not challenging the 'way things are'. They appear to think Terry is saying that everybody should make this choice - he isn't. He's saying if he had that choice he thinks he would be reasonably likely choose to die when he decides it's time for him. That's all. He's not saying anyone has to decide the same thing for themselves, just that the choice should be available to everyone if they want it.

He may not make a choice at all because of his wife or because he's still happy enough to carry on living. What his own own situation has forced him to look at is one which faces all people affected by Alzheimers and dementia sufferers. Will I know what I've lost when the disease runs its full course - can I still live a happy life and not be the me I've been all my life? That's the reason he's contemplating the choice and I don't think he's made it yet and if anything I think his participation in this programme still hasn't clarified a thing for him, because he was looking at it from several perspectives, but especially Christine Smedley's and perhaps wondering if he could ask that of his own wife several years down the line? So he may not choose to die at all - he just wants to have the choice there for him or anyone else who's brave enough to take it.

It's not and never will be something that everyone HAS to do - it's something you have to request for yourself, by yourself and no one else can do that for you, or has a right to say that you can't even ask.
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Postby poohcarrot » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:11 pm

Is that the best the pro-lifers can come up with? :lol:

I'm not going to even bother replying. :roll:
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Postby pip » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:15 pm

This is a family site and he's talking about his damaged member. Thats just wrong :shock:
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Postby poohcarrot » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:19 pm

"Ive never seen dead people walking ! Most of them remain in their graves."

Most of them? :?

OOooooh! I get it now! You mean Jeezy Creezy! :roll:
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