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Carers UK Forum • locked-in
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locked-in

Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:55 pm
by Maxi
"Locked-In-Syndrome",post-stroke was highlighted on bbc radio five live this morning when presenter,victoria derbyshire,spoke with the family of a man,locked-in,only able to comunicate by means of a computer,seeking a change in the law to permit his relatives to end his life,as he cannot do so,unaided,without them being prosecuted for taking his life.

its a terrible,tragic debate.

i oppose assisted suicide.legalise taking life in any form,and the potential for abuse of the law is dangerously real,in my view.

its hellish,no easy answer will do,but,i feel assisted suicide is only a very dangerous step too far.

Our bodies are our own.

Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:04 pm
by Lazydaisy
Our bodies are our own.
It is a difficult subject,and one that is causing my family distress at present.
My Dad has written a living will, which has been needed in the last three weeks, but the hospital decided not to abide by it.
Dad is 82,and the NHS has given him much more care and attention than they gave to my 21 year old son. Dad does not want to live. My son did. Dad is sitting in a chair, with a heart monitor attached to him as it has been for almost three weeks. He is confused, although recognising his family,and the Care staff from the Residential Home he is usually in,as several of them have visited.Dad is just sitting. His life has no meaning,but his body is strong,and is keeping him going. If his heart stops beating, the heart monitor beeps,and the NHS brings him back.We should be able tor respect death,and allow people to die in dignity.My father has lost his dignity,and it is heartbreaking to see him like this.
It all needs careful thought, but I believe each person's decisions should be taken into consideration and respected.

one life.one person.

Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:16 am
by Maxi
i feel,its everyones right to live how they wish,if they wish to die,again thats for that person.but i feel its utterly wrong involving anyone else.if a person cannot,for whatever reason,take their own life,if they seek to do so.the use and it is use,of a third party is wholly wrong,thats,murder,taking a life,no matter how its spun.to change the law to try to imune such third parties from prosectution cannot be right.

its a very very terirble area of life,and one we all feel deeply upset by.but taking life is murder,if we try to make some life-taking penalty-free we only open-up a culture of death.

It has been 'said' that

Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:33 am
by rosemary
It has been 'said' that this would be open to abuse by some families in wanting to 'bump off' family members to gain access to money/property. However, would there be circumstances wherein it would be more humane to allow someone to die peacefully.

We were told my mam was dying 18 months before she actually died. Her strength was unbelievable and even though so ill, being kept at home enabled her to still participate in family life, albeit all from her bedroom. Everyone still visited, kept her up to date with their lives and even came to seek her advice still. I dont think there was a week went by wherein she was not admitted to hospital for one thing or another but as soon sorted, home she came.Blood transfusions were a weekly occurrance too, several units at a time.

However, the last month of her life was horrendous. It was all spent in hospital, her organs were closing down one by one. Her body was turning black and various amputations were needed. Each operation took something from her. Her pain increased and although pumped full of morphine etc they had no effect. She would be either lay in bed screaming or sat in chair alongside the bed screaming. Other times she was slumped over and did not know who we were.

The situation never arose for us so I dont know what my reaction would have been had mam requested I helped her die, but it is something that I have thought about each time discussions come up about 'assisted dying'.

I believe in Life but I also believe in a peaceful death where possible.

I almost went back to

Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:38 am
by rosemary
I almost went back to delete my post above, been ages since sat like this with tears streaming down my face, brought so many memories back. However, it has done me some good too so thank you Maxi.

x x x x

I believe in Life but

Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:41 am
by no1mum
I believe in Life but I also believe in a peaceful death where possible.

My beliefs too Rosemary.
When Nan was in hospital for the last time she begged me to take her home with me, I had her discharged to my home and looked after her, although in pain she passed away peacefully in the place she wanted to be.

. quote, Rosemary. Yes that is

Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:38 pm
by Lazydaisy
[a peaceful death]. quote, Rosemary.

Yes that is what I believe in, but it has been taken away from Dad. Seeing him lying there on the bed this morning, not talking,hardly recognising us is just so difficult. I know this is not what Dad wanted. He did not want Drs to actively kill him, he just wanted to be left alone if he stopped breathing, left to die, not to be resuscitated. This is what I don't believe in. Sometimes,old bodies wear out.
Dad isn't allowed to be discharged back to the Home, where he would be comfortable and surrounded by people who care, as the hospital is keeping him on the heart monitor.(not doing anything for him, just keeping him on the monitor).Three weeks he has been there like that.
I always thought that watching my Mum die slowly of cancer was tough, but to see my Dad now, is tearing me apart.

Jane, it seems utterly unbelievable

Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:53 pm
by Brindleboy123
Jane, it seems utterly unbelievable that the hospital are overriding your dad's living will. I really feel for him and your family. Mum took the decision that she didn't want to be resuscitated and a document was prepared by the GP with Mum's signature. A copy was placed above Mum's bed as obviously I wasn't always there. I had many discussions with the caring agencies because their view was that should they feel Mum needed intervention they should be permitted to dial 999 which Mum did not want.

On one occasion Mum had an "episode" when it was just myself and a carer at home. She complained of pain in her chest and basically was "out of it" for a while. The carer was telling me I should call 999 but I knew it wasn't what Mum wanted and believe me, it was VERY hard to just sit there and talk to Mum, holding her hand. We will never know whether Mum did have a heart attack although from that day she was treated for angina. It was scarey....I knew Mum was dying slowly, week by week the deterioration was obvious but when there was a possibility that the end had come it was awful but I really did try to do what I knew she wanted.

Its strange really because we are told there is not "assisted suicide" legally, with Mum for example, I was told by the consultant that if Mum had further infections, they did not feel "it was appropriate for her to receive antibiotic infusions". The outcome would have meant that Mum would die. I have sat with four family members each of whom has been given "something" to make them "feel comfortable", death has followed soon after.

I hope Jane that your father's wishes are taken into consideration and my thoughts are with you all.

Bell x

rosemary.

Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:54 pm
by Maxi
i was so very sad to hear that deeply misserble piece on radio 5,which moved me to begin this thread.i was moved so very-much by your sharing here such deeply sad things.it is agonising.no one ever wants to see a loved one suffer.and theres no dignity in suffering.theres no dignity in cancer or stroke,etc.

life is a great gift.inspite of the best efforts of government to make it horrid,life is a fantastic thing.

i cant ever believe any circumstance,and god knows theres wretched situations when a life seems to be living-hell,pain etc,i cant believe theres ever a time when any one can take anothers life,even to relieve pain etc.its not anyone elses to take,a life.

Maxi, As a society we send

Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:28 am
by Stacey
Maxi,

As a society we send young men to kill and be killed or maimed in conflicts around the world.

As a society how can we justify ignoring the wishes of someone who wants to die, whose health condition is irreversable, and who is doomed to spend their last months, weeks or days of life with no dignity (as they see it) and unspeakable suffering?

We can now keep people alive long after nature would have allowed them to live. IMO, we abuse this power when it results in endless, unbearable suffering either physically or mentally. Many, if not most people, at that point when they would not wish to be alive, are incapable of taking their own lives. It is an act of kindness to allow someone in this situation to pass on when they wish. Whether you or I or anyone else could personally assist is a different question entirely, but it is my view that as a society we owe everyone this right.

As others have said, the medical profession make life and death decisions all the time, through administering or denying treatment. So "passive" means of hastening someone's death is already common practice. We now need the guts as a society to sanction when active means of stopping suffering through death is appropriate .