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Access: Right to die?

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  • Chris Waugh, in reply to ,

    That’s harsh.

    Why? It's a huge decision to make, and isn't the whole point of the thread emphasising the need to ensure that the people doing the dying actually do really want that?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I'd want it to be the most well-informed decision they've ever made.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Instead of this debate we should perhaps be talking about Advanced Care Planning.There is even a Conversations that Count Day in April, to start having those difficult conversations with family and friends about plans for old age or terminal illness. Info on the website. http://www.advancecareplanning.org.nz/

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I have sat with a number of people as they have died.

    Three of them had chosen to die, that day, as they had reached the end of their ability to bear much more pain.

    All three of them literally died.

    No drugs or other paraphernalia of suicide....they simply made up their minds to cease living....and got on with dying.

    All were women, one with MND, one with cancer and one eighty year old who had lived with severe rheumatoid arthritis for over 40 years.

    They went peacefully, easily....without struggle or drama.

    They willed themselves to die....or did they simply, and happily, let go of life?

    I'm not sure....but none of these women were the sort to place a moral burden on another person by asking them to help them on their way.

    All of them had had full, active and fulfilling lives...

    And graceful, dignified deaths.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Interested organisations apply to join Letitia Searles court case.

    In a hearing in the High Court at Wellington today, three groups sought to have their say on whether Ms Seales could take a lethal dose of drugs. The Human Rights Commission, Care Alliance Trust and Voluntary Euthanasia Society want to participate in Seales' trial, which starts next month.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Lecretia Seales is on the next ep of TV1's Sunday show. Here's the promo clip.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Media coverage at the end of day one of the trial.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    I've been trying to show some respect and ignore the (what I assumed to be unwanted) media coverage of this case. Ignore the trotting out of the usual pain/suffering/burden/loss of dignity/dependent/incontinent/unable to clean one's self etc lines. Tried to put aside the claim that loss of function is more difficult to bear for those who are more mentally accomplished.

    Then, Sacha, I followed your link...and found this...http://lecretia.org/you-can-help/

    and there's John Key's smiling face prominently displayed in the prime position on the webpage.

    So I am assuming he supports the right to die/GP assisted suicide/voluntary euthanasia campaign.

    While at the same time shitting from a great height on disabled people who have still not had their right to live as equals fully respected or accepted.

    Message received, loud and clear.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    and there’s John Key’s smiling face prominently displayed in the prime position on the webpage.

    So I am assuming he supports the right to die/GP assisted suicide/voluntary euthanasia campaign.

    No, the page gives no indication that's the case and indeed says that "no elected representatives have taken responsibility for reviewing right to die laws". The picture is there because the campaign is inviting people to write to party leaders.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The description of incontinence as "unbearable" caught my ear too. Fear of disability is not a reason for help dying, and it does not reflect well on someone who cites it in court.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And there's me thinking that the smile on his face was due to the potential savings if right to die legislation was passed.

    Further degrading of services, more insecurity, and entrenching of loss of rights for disabled people...they'll be begging for the needle/pill/whatever.

    All the party leaders, with handy links, are positioned at further down the page. Our Leader, so positioned, is in either the "foe" or "friend" position.

    Unfortunate.

    @ Sacha....the word 'unbearable' has been worn out over this issue.

    I'm disappointed that on one hand they are claiming that this case will not set a precedent, that it is only about this one person, and subsequently turning it into a media circus.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    The description of incontinence as “unbearable” caught my ear too. Fear of disability is not a reason for help dying, and it does not reflect well on someone who cites it in court.

    They inject a bit if variety today.... the "abject humiliation of incontinence", and feared people dealing with her most intimate bodily functions."

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/274627/'court-not-place-for-right-to-die-case'

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    On the Panel just now Michele Boag disparaged the whole normal dying process. She said how terrible it was and it would be better to hurry it up. As someone who has observed that peaceful palliative slow dying process on several occasions I would strongly disagree.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    She said how terrible it was and it would be better to hurry it up.

    in her case, now is good

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to ,

    it's an argument that individual interests are more important than societal ones. We have had 3 decades of government based on the same belief.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    She said how terrible it was and it would be better to hurry it up.

    in her case, now is good

    then those of us who abandoned the 'Panel' may dare to venture back....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to ,

    No it isn’t, it’s an individual, asking for the right to decide how she wants here doctor to treat her illness.

    Seriously, I agree,

    But, in terms of; "I am dying of this illness. In all probability it will cause me pain and suffering that I am not prepared endure. I want the right to ask my doctor to prescribe and/or administer a drug that will kill me, to spare me this pain."

    Not all the other stuff.

    Not all the "abject humiliation and loss of dignity through dependence on others for my most intimate cares" crap.

    Because that is the daily reality for very many New Zealand citizens. It is fact, it is life, there is no avoiding it.

    And yet, with the proper care, from the right people who can perform these tasks without diluting dignity, a good and productive life can be had. An enjoyable life.

    And a little less of how intelligent and determined and accomplished we are...because it kind of implies that those who do live with what others consider to be "unbearable humiliation", are somehow less....

    And, this whole thing could have played out in comparative privacy...out of the glare of the media.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to ,

    Lecretia is not asking for her illness to be treated. It is fatal and she knows that. There is no "treating".

    This is about who has the power to decide where the boundary between life and death sits. Until now, the law has set that boundary very conservatively in favour of preserving society's interest in people not removing themselves from society over personal preferences about how their life ends.

    In this court case, we see the relationships between individual personalites and social stereotypes about disability.

    How far do we bend social norms to fit personal drives and vice versa?

    If one person is terrified of people helping her go to the toilet, is that enough to set the boundary between life and death there? If one person reckons the boundary lies at death via skydiving for him, how many other people do we bind to that level of adventure?

    We all die eventually. Disability is normal before that, including incontinence and having someone else wipe your bottom. I've personally seen people negotiate their dignity in those situations better than most of us can imagine.

    Is that enough to beckon in the risk of people deciding they are a burden? Glad I am not that judge.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    it kind of implies that those who do live with what others consider to be "unbearable humiliation", are somehow less...

    bloody lawyers

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    bloody lawyers

    miserable, slimy, bottom feeding scumsuckers...

    Having said that, with tongue firmly in cheek, foot in mouth, same lawyer spoke with equal passion and conviction on behalf of the HRC at the Appeal Court in Attorney General (for the Miserly of Health) v Margaret Spenser.

    He seemed to 'get it'...I was moved...and I wonder if he has any idea of the possible impact of his words on behalf of this client, on those whose rights he was defending last October?

    But...whoever pays the piper....

    bloody lawyers...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I actually respect their craft. Working with a QC in supporting a friend against a big govt department showed me lots.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    and they are human....

    I was trying to transfer Peter from wheelchair to car one afternoon by the side entrance to the High Court in Auckland. We were parked on a slope, and things were not going to plan...disaster loomed. Up stepped besuited and begroomed well known QC, and he immediately held the chair in place while I hauled from the inside of the car.

    How did he know that was exactly the right thing to do? Most folk tend to try and take the wheelchair away....

    Turned out his son was born with a physical disability...nice guy, his wife was lovely too.

    I was wondering today what he'd make of all of this....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    How far do we bend social norms to fit personal drives and vice versa?

    In this case, it's a "personal drive" I can relate to. I do understand the appeal of having control over that final act, of being able to make the choice about when is enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The lawyer mentioned that she didn't want anyone cleaning up her bodily fluids. But what does she think happens after you die?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So do I. Only wish it had been easier for her to talk with people living with conditions like incontinence, using personal care services, etc, to reassure her about those aspects. Bigger things to be afraid of than that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

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