30 votes

Mum admits ending life of terminally ill son

16 comments

  1. [11]
    DefinitelyNotAFae
    Link
    With hospice care in particular, this is so much more common than people think. And I firmly believe that Terry Pratchett, notable advocate of being allowed the right to die; who wanted to die at...

    With hospice care in particular, this is so much more common than people think. And I firmly believe that Terry Pratchett, notable advocate of being allowed the right to die; who wanted to die at home, in his bed, with his cat and his family around him; who despite assisted dying being illegal in the UK managed to die in his home, in bed, with his cat and family around him, deserved to choose when and how he could go.

    I also don't want it to be an excuse for poor pain management and care.

    45 votes
    1. [10]
      post_below
      Link Parent
      I think it's so silly that we don't take the "right to die" as a given. Even in places where it's legal in some way the implementation is a mess. I suspect it's a side effect of our collective...

      I think it's so silly that we don't take the "right to die" as a given. Even in places where it's legal in some way the implementation is a mess.

      I suspect it's a side effect of our collective relationship with mortality, which I think we should grapple with on our own terms and leave others to decide for themselves.

      8 votes
      1. [9]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        I think if done poorly you’d have lots of stressed family and caregivers ending lives for their own convenience, and that’s not what we want. So I understand being careful about the implementation...

        I think if done poorly you’d have lots of stressed family and caregivers ending lives for their own convenience, and that’s not what we want. So I understand being careful about the implementation here.

        22 votes
        1. [3]
          koopa
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          This is something my wife had to prevent her mother from doing. Her mother couldn’t emotionally bear seeing her husband suffering and dying and just wanted it to end for her own sake even though...
          • Exemplary

          This is something my wife had to prevent her mother from doing. Her mother couldn’t emotionally bear seeing her husband suffering and dying and just wanted it to end for her own sake even though it was against his wishes. Her mother spent his last days of consciousness trying to pressure him into signing the proper paperwork and then tried to find a way to forge his signature when he could no longer speak.

          This is in a place (Canada) where this is legal and has had many controversies about it being badly implemented (someone in a wheelchair trying to get a disability ramp installed and being offered euthanasia instead, among others)

          There are many horrible ways that this goes terribly wrong if you aren’t very, very careful.

          14 votes
          1. [2]
            teaearlgraycold
            Link Parent
            Wow, that’s terrible…

            Wow, that’s terrible…

            1 vote
            1. koopa
              Link Parent
              It was one of the most awful, selfish things I've ever seen someone try to do and really opened my eyes to the way this stuff can go wrong given the emotions involved. My wife has been in therapy...

              It was one of the most awful, selfish things I've ever seen someone try to do and really opened my eyes to the way this stuff can go wrong given the emotions involved.

              My wife has been in therapy ever since then to try to process the whole thing and she still blames herself for not being more forceful in shutting down the pressure campaign even though she prevented things from actually progressing.

              6 votes
        2. [5]
          post_below
          Link Parent
          Lots of people would kill their charges? Presumably without good reason? That seems like the sort of take that needs data to back it up, I don't think it's self evident. Yes, of course it should...

          Lots of people would kill their charges? Presumably without good reason? That seems like the sort of take that needs data to back it up, I don't think it's self evident.

          Yes, of course it should be implemented thoughtfully. Who would advocate for anything else?

          The problem, I think, is that people have an irrational (though understandable) aversion to death that muddies the waters with all manner of what ifs until the barriers for people with genuinely good reasons to want to end their suffering, or the suffering of others, are too difficult to deal with.

          7 votes
          1. [3]
            Johz
            Link Parent
            It's a thing that already happens in other forms: consider foster parents who only take in children for the support payments, or people who marry their children off for connections or wealth. With...

            It's a thing that already happens in other forms: consider foster parents who only take in children for the support payments, or people who marry their children off for connections or wealth. With old age or disability, there are regularly issues of people abusing power of attorney or other guardianship powers. There are deep risks involved in giving other people power over a person's life, and there need to be a lot of safeguards in place to prevent bad actors, because bad actors do exist.

            I think the key thing is this: it is better for assisted dying not to exist at all, than for it to exist without enough safeguards. When you say "of course" it should be implemented thoughtfully, that makes me worried - it's not at all a given that something like this would be designed correctly, particularly right now when the health burden of the elderly is large and growing, and where many health systems, including the NHS, are struggling to function properly. If the wrong corners are cut, there are a lot of pressures that would kill people who would otherwise be able to continue to live fulfilled lives.

            15 votes
            1. [2]
              post_below
              Link Parent
              Using your example... that some foster parents suck is terrible and we should try to make sure they don't get to be foster parents. But that's not a reason not to have foster programs. Some people...

              Using your example... that some foster parents suck is terrible and we should try to make sure they don't get to be foster parents. But that's not a reason not to have foster programs.

              Some people abuse other social welfare systems too. Some percentage of people will always abuse whatever it is.

              Perfection sadly isn't possible, but that's not a reason not to do good things.

              Here in the US it's a go to conservative argument against pretty much any social welfare program and it's generally just a way to mask the underlying emotional bias with a halfhearted attempt at a rational sounding argument.

              5 votes
              1. Johz
                Link Parent
                I completely agree, and I agree that assisted dying is a good thing. But it needs to, above all of those other programs, be done properly, because the consequences are final.

                I completely agree, and I agree that assisted dying is a good thing. But it needs to, above all of those other programs, be done properly, because the consequences are final.

                11 votes
          2. sparksbet
            Link Parent
            There are countless stories of disabled people being encouraged to sign DNRs and other such measures in the hospital despite not wanting to die, because many people still have an unconsciously...

            There are countless stories of disabled people being encouraged to sign DNRs and other such measures in the hospital despite not wanting to die, because many people still have an unconsciously eugenicist view of the world and can't imagine someone being disabled and still wanting to live. Look into some of the horror stories about MAID in Canada. You do not have to look hard to find euthanasia laws implemented poorly and weaponized against the disabled.

            7 votes
  2. [5]
    Bet
    Link
    Excerpt for a bit of context:

    Excerpt for a bit of context:

    Four decades after Hamish's death, his mother is coming to terms with her own incurable cancer.

    She said his suffering and her own ill health had cemented her feelings on assisted deaths.

    "We don't do it to our pets. Why should we do it to humans?" she said.

    Campaigners for a so-called "right to die" have argued that people should be able to choose when and how to die in order to avoid suffering.

    Critics have said changing the law would "place pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives" for fear of being a financial or emotional burden.

    MPs recently discussed the issue at a parliamentary debate, at which the government said it was a matter of conscience for individual parliamentarians rather than one for government policy.

    18 votes
    1. [4]
      first-must-burn
      Link Parent
      Maybe we could have a right to a dignified death and also enough social services for the aging and infirm so that people are supported with a sufficiently high quality of life as they age. This...

      Critics have said changing the law would "place pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives" for fear of being a financial or emotional burden.

      Maybe we could have a right to a dignified death and also enough social services for the aging and infirm so that people are supported with a sufficiently high quality of life as they age. This would eliminate or greatly reduce the moral hazard.

      25 votes
      1. [2]
        DanBC
        Link Parent
        Choosing to die is a purely personal decision. Except it affects your family, and most people do think about how their death will affect their loved ones. But here someone isn't just choosing to...

        Choosing to die is a purely personal decision. Except it affects your family, and most people do think about how their death will affect their loved ones.

        But here someone isn't just choosing to die, they're asking other people to help them do that. This is a huge change for healthcare professionals. We need careful thought about how we protect vulnerable people; how we allow healthcare professionals to ethically opt-out while still ensuring the service is available; and how we regulate it.

        11 votes
        1. MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          Fortunately there's enough different areas that allow assisted suicide with minor variations in how that works that we're starting to get data on how those implementations hold up to real world use.

          Fortunately there's enough different areas that allow assisted suicide with minor variations in how that works that we're starting to get data on how those implementations hold up to real world use.

          1 vote
      2. DefinitelyNotAFae
        Link Parent
        That level of social support would also reduce my concerns about people getting compensation for organ donation. It'd ease a lot of things but yeah

        That level of social support would also reduce my concerns about people getting compensation for organ donation. It'd ease a lot of things but yeah

        6 votes