Hey Terry Why Are You Looking At Dying

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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:23 pm

I saw that BBC had a link to this site futher down from where they were giving the chance to catch up and see it.
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Postby dthunt » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:53 pm

I've helped care for someone with advanced Alzheimer's disease, and currently have a relative who is suffering.

It's a difficult thing, and I appreciate the complexities involved. I applaud Sir Terry Pratchett for exploring the issue of death with dignity in his BBC documentary - and respect the ultimate decisions of Terry and the people close to him.

Nobody who has witnessed an affliction like Alzheimer's, which destroys the character before the body, escapes without an earnest look at these questions, especially when they know they themselves are at risk.

I will choose to remember Terry at his best, which as far as I am concerned is that part of his life where he is an accomplished author, close to his family, and someone who has conquered life's final obstacle with unusual dignity and composure. I urge all like-minded individuals to do the same and offer what support fans can: wish that Terry's last years are fruitful, thoughtful, and defining, as is the natural right of all of mankind.
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Postby archerinwood » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:37 pm

@fabioshui none of us want him to go early, but we can't actually stop him from doing it. Whatever he decides in the future must be respected by us, the fans.
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Postby Marianne » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:01 pm

If you have affection, admiration, or both, for Terry Pratchett - then you have to respect his wishes. Sadly, the law both in the UK AND in Switzerland makes it very difficult for people with Alzheimers to decide their fate- even with a directive made whilst of sound mind. This means that Terry will have absolutely NO choice but to make his decision at a fairly early stage of the disease, as it may well be otherwise too late. Even in Switzerland, the law requires that a person must be of sound mind and totally aware of what is happening to be helped. Tragic really. One should be able to decide in advance where the line is to be drawn in one's particular case- then get the help required. People would then be able to relax and enjoy the rest of their life, knowing that a precise decision has been made as regards boundaries- and will be respected when the time comes. Switzerland is mo better in this case than the UK.
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Postby Rjinswand » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:02 pm

poohcarrot wrote:I'm going to be a paragon of virtue and refrain from commenting at all, unless some religious loony starts spouting off. 8)

Be careful what you wish for - looks like there's not going to be too many Holy Joes coming in here to do the honours for the reactionaries. :roll: We could alway get a reverse devil's advocate opinion I suppose so how about this, based on some of the points brought up in the Newsnight debate by the worried 'antes'?

Whether or not you're religious most people will at least appreciate the 'sanctity' of life argument and it's this that makes a lot of people very concerned about the type of legislation that Terry's championing. The disabled lady on the Newsnight debate was most vocal about the dichotomy between someone being terminally ill, as opposed to someone having a very poor quality of life because of disability that isn't life-threatening. She didn't claim to be speaking for all people with severe disabilities, but her objections will no doubt be shared by many people and families affected by major disability. God does come into it really strongly in respect of abortion, which is of course legal in the UK up to the 6th month of pregnancy on the grounds of the child being severely disabled in some manner.

Choices are made in that situation, at the beginning of life (depending on where you think that starts) that inspire genuine as well as rabid antipathy for the Pro-Life lobby, that are being used for assisted death, except of course the person with the disability will have a say in it as they've had a life. Isn't this a perfectly valid argument for being really tight on how we define 'intolerable' quality of life. Is it really any different to terminate an infant in vitro with Down's Syndrome for instance - to actually test for this and offer a termination as a matter of course as late as 6 months into pregnancy when the foetus is a discernible child and possibly a viable one too? I can definitely see that lady's worry over people with severe communication disabilities in addition to physical ones who are not in ideal or straitened situations, in care or in unloving communities being quietly and legally 'got rid of' if quality of life is an elective issue however well safeguarded. Who decides what's intolerable - plays god with any life? :?
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Postby Marianne » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:47 pm

People should be able to choose what is intolerable FOR THEM- not for others.
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Postby Rjinswand » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:29 pm

Exactly - that's why Peter Smedley (and the other young chap) were able to die electively albeit probably sooner than ideal in Peter's case. :(

But what if you're vulnerable and possibly subject to 'undue influence' or positive ill will of some kind? I know that Terry's advocating the arbitration approach as a way to mitigate this, but there's so much we don't know about certain conditions - say comas - where you hear cases where people are deemed brain dead and in fact were aware of what was going on but were powerless to show they were conscious? What if they'd signed a 'no resus' opition or have made some kind of living will that applid and then changed their mind? Or a borderline case of mental confusion/incompetency and some b*stard pressures them into asking for an end?

These are valid reasons to look really hard at what conditions have to be in place to safeguard against misuse and why we have these laws regarding this situation. Morally there may be a reason to allow death before your 'natural' span given the choice, but simply relying on people asking for this on a rational basis isn't entirely safe. For vulnerable people, even if they're legally 'capable' of making an informed choice could still be manipulated or misrepresented by the unscrupulous if this becomes too 'easy' to apply without proper legislation for all kinds of reasons and not just financial gain either.
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:00 pm

Rjinswand wrote:
poohcarrot wrote:I'm going to be a paragon of virtue and refrain from commenting at all, unless some religious loony starts spouting off. 8)

Be careful what you wish for - looks like there's not going to be too many Holy Joes coming in here to do the honours for the reactionaries. :roll: We could alway get a reverse devil's advocate opinion I suppose so how about this, based on some of the points brought up in the Newsnight debate by the worried 'antes'?

According to the Bible, that Jesus bloke had super-duper magical powers which could defy the laws of science ie; His miracles.

As Son of God then, he could have easily escaped crucifixion if he had wanted to. But no! He chose to die! The method he chose was crucifixion. Believe it or not, but you can't crucify yourself because that last nail is a real b*gger to get in. Therefore he had assistance ie; the Romans.

So Biblically speaking, the concept of assisted suicide is not new, and any objections based on religious grounds would be a tad hypocritical. 8)
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Postby Rjinswand » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:39 pm

Bless thee poohcarrot, but thou dost not get out of it that easily because thou hast ignored the overriding reason why Jesus was incarnated and born to a virgin. Yea verily, 'twas a miracle, not to mention more than a bit of of a squeeze to be born in that manner but he'd have been a lot better off emerging from the womb of a lady of more experience, so his wishes in the matter were not altogether ones of choice or comfort for he had to learn about being a man (well a baby first obviously :P ) the hard way... God in his paternal aspect being a rather nasty old beard in the sky. We are taught by scripture that he was sent to this world for the purpose of redeeming wretched humanity from original sin and to do that he would ultimately have to die for this purpose so that people could stop clogging up purgatory - there really was a massive overcrowding problem! :shock:

Of course Jesus was on a mission from Glod - :oops: erm, God, so although technically he knew he'd end up having to die, he didn't necessarily want to, which isn't exactly the same thing now is it? :roll:

It's a real bugger being a messiah what with pre-cognition and everything - I mean you can't even pretend not to know what comes after death so nobody's really that grateful that you come down and die for 'em because they keep making smartarase remarks like wot you just did. And then they say they don't believe in you anyhoo or in an after-life so really what is all the fuss about when you actually get down to it? You have to die whether you want to or not - sorry that's what being mortal means. Does it really matter when you go if nothing happens afterwards? I don't know - you create a lovely world for people and do you get any thanks for it *mumblemuttermumble* I don't know why I waste my time... grumblegroangnashingofteethgroangrumble

:lol:
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Postby Wallace » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:54 am

I am a Cancer patient since January 2007 currently in remission at the age of 46 and adapting my life on the fly, I know that one day my illness will reoccur to take me prematurely as there is no cure only limited treatments and the average age for diagnosis of the form I have is 70 with a shortened life expectancy. When my time comes I do not wish to have my life prolonged so those around me suffer mentally, emotionally or financially.

The NHS have been exemplary with my treatment and I know there will be a point where I go beyond financial viability, they will have a duty of care to see me to through to the end while I suffer so why do I not have the right to take early doors when I am ready and allow that NSH money to be better spent where needed?

I watched the programme with great interest and found many questions I had previously answered, some unanswered and a few new ones arose from lack of explanation. I will return to this site and not be a one hit wonder, I am not God Squad although I do respect those who believe should they wish.

I am also not a Terry Pratchett follower, should the opportunity arise I will take the time to read some of his writings therefore my like or dislike in that area will not come into play with my posting on this site.

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Postby poohcarrot » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:47 am

Rjinswand wrote:Bless thee poohcarrot, but thou dost not get out of it that easily because thou hast ignored the overriding reason why Jesus was incarnated and born to a virgin. Yea verily, 'twas a miracle, not to mention more than a bit of of a squeeze to be born in that manner but he'd have been a lot better off emerging from the womb of a lady of more experience, so his wishes in the matter were not altogether ones of choice or comfort for he had to learn about being a man (well a baby first obviously :P ) the hard way... God in his paternal aspect being a rather nasty old beard in the sky. We are taught by scripture that he was sent to this world for the purpose of redeeming wretched humanity from original sin and to do that he would ultimately have to die for this purpose so that people could stop clogging up purgatory - there really was a massive overcrowding problem! :shock:

Of course Jesus was on a mission from Glod - :oops: erm, God, so although technically he knew he'd end up having to die, he didn't necessarily want to, which isn't exactly the same thing now is it? :roll:

It's a real bugger being a messiah what with pre-cognition and everything - I mean you can't even pretend not to know what comes after death so nobody's really that grateful that you come down and die for 'em because they keep making smartarase remarks like wot you just did. And then they say they don't believe in you anyhoo or in an after-life so really what is all the fuss about when you actually get down to it? You have to die whether you want to or not - sorry that's what being mortal means. Does it really matter when you go if nothing happens afterwards? I don't know - you create a lovely world for people and do you get any thanks for it *mumblemuttermumble* I don't know why I waste my time... grumblegroangnashingofteethgroangrumble

:lol:

Tosh and piffle my tiddly! :roll:

You seem to be labouring under the impression that JC had no free will. :?
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Postby Rjinswand » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:01 pm

poohcarrot wrote:Tosh and piffle my tiddly! :roll:

You seem to be labouring under the impression that JC had no free will. :?

'Course he had 'free' will - doesn't mean he can't decide to do something he doesn't want to do does it? I know I've gone to work when I really didn't want to go because I had to for some altruistic reason or just for the purely practical one because I need to eat and finding another job's too much effort and takes too long to find one I'll actually like? :P

Gods can do whatever they like apparently so does that mean they just do stuff they want to do? They'd be wasting a lot of time doing stuff like creating a world when they knew that the people they put in it were never going to do as they were told and always needed bailing out and even when you try and help them a bit and send a saviour down they still don't listen to you practically from the same moment they shut your kid up in some tomb and go through the whole pointless resurrection thingie - what was the point of doing all of that huh? :evil:

Like this, it's about choice - Jesus chose to die for a reason that is illogical given that he didn't need to die at all 'cos he's immortal anyway and in fact he didn't need to get born in the first place. That may seem like total bollux to most sane people so why'd he bother to do all that? There's not even a real sacrifice there as he was god so he wasn't really dying so it all comes down to belief in the end. If he was just a man he did something patently suicidal in being a passive peace protester and sticking to his ethical stance when given a way out (with Pontius Pilate etc etc :roll: ), so from that PoV he's a martyr at best in dying for his principles - isn't that a reason to have faith even if it's a little deluded? If he really was god then why do it at all? Just to make a point? Well he's god so that's his prerogative and you can argue that he was giving his disciples a practical exercise in standing up for your beliefs just because, or 'in the name of love' :P

We all do stuff we don't want to do every day don't we? Free will includes the right to do that surely? :roll:

Now - what about the non-religious ethical stuff relating to assisted death - are the disabled/disadvantaged lobby right to be afraid of attempts to legitimate aesthetic 'quality of life' issues for termination where the offending condition, like Andrew's Multiple Sclerosis, is chronically limiting in terms of quality, but not terminal in a life-treatening sense? :shock:
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Postby poohcarrot » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:29 pm

Rjinswand wrote:.... it's about choice - Jesus chose to die...

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I said and was the whole point of my argument. :?

And you can hardly class "having to do the washing-up" as equivalent to being crucified. :roll:

Rjinswand wrote:'Course he had 'free' will - doesn't mean he can't decide to do something he doesn't want to do does it?

I don't know. :? There were so many negatives in that sentence that I still don't understand what it means. :lol:
Surely it means he can decide to not do something he doesn't want to do, doesn't it? :?
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Postby deldaisy » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:36 pm

:D :D :D Double negatives.... I always get stuffed up on those.....
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Postby poohcarrot » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:42 pm

It's a triple negative! :shock:
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