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Old 15.08.2015, 01:23
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Dignitas - in the news again

The Beeb tonight was mentioning that every fortnight a Brit comes over to Switzerland for Dignitas.

I have to say that the argument on the news about Dignitas vs Hospice was well made, compassionate and really... well, I wouldn't want to be in the situation where anyone I love would have to make this decision.

This said : ONE EVERY FORTNIGHT is one too often... Sad.
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Old 15.08.2015, 01:57
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

When someone chooses to die this way bereavement starts from the moment they give you the date. It's a very different way at accepting death and I can understand your upset.
Saying that I think it's time that Britain face up to the face that there is a demand for people choosing the way they live and they die.
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Old 15.08.2015, 02:03
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

So why can't the UK follow the lead of The Netherlands and Switzerland, and refuse to prosecute people who help their loved ones reach a peaceful solution, travelling abroad if necessary? Many people in the UK are frightened of doing this as the UK states it will prosecute anyone helping a suicide.

FYI in Switzerland you only need one compliant doctor, who knows your medical history. He can then buy the poison and administer it.

A friend of a friend of mine, is a Swiss eye doctor, and he agreed to help a friend die. He went to the pharmacy in a Catholic canton, and the pharmacist refused to fill the prescription! He managed to get some in Protestant Bern OK.
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Old 15.08.2015, 02:11
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

Was your friend a member of Exit or Dignitas Sbrinz? It was my understanding that you had to register especially with Exit and there was a few consultations and a waiting time before help was administered.
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Old 15.08.2015, 02:11
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

Another friend of mine is a nurse on the Inselspital Onkology ward. She noticed a patient was in extreme pain, and had obviously had only a few days left to live. She asked the doctor to increase the level of Morphine for the patient, to make her comfortable. The doctor refused saying he didn't want her to become addicted to the stuff....
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Old 15.08.2015, 02:23
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

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Was your friend a member of Exit or Dignitas Sbrinz? It was my understanding that you had to register especially with Exit and there was a few consultations and a waiting time before help was administered.
Neither, any registered Swiss doctor can do this without paying Dignitas nor Exit. BUT, he must be knowledgeable about the patient's medical condition: it must be a hopeless situation.

I was a member of Exit in 2014, I made some enquiries on-line and it seems I unwittingly signed up for their services! It only costs about SFr 50,-- a year. There might be a waiting time with Dignitas, but Exit is only available to Swiss residents, and there is no waiting period.

They offer a living Will, where you can state exactly what you want and do not want, assuming you will later be too gaga to make yourself understood!

I thought this to be a good idea, as when the time comes the doctors always ask the nearest relative if they should prolong your life, or let you go. I think that is a terrible decision for your child to make, and they would probably say, "Keep him alive as long as possible", which would only result in further pain and discomfort. But if I had signed the Exit documents, this decision would not have to be made by anybody.
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Old 15.08.2015, 02:31
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

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It only costs about SFr 50,-- a year.

But if I had signed the Exit documents, this decision would not have to be made by anybody.
So this is a yearly fee - what a bizarre idea: do I top myself ( to save SFr 50 ) or put it off for an other year. sorry, making light not of the situation/decision but rather the mind set that decided that this should be charged like a gym or professional membership.

Indeed, saving your children and family from having to make that decision is good peace of mind - maybe even an annual membership...
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Old 15.08.2015, 02:33
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

I'm aware of this with exit as my father in law chose this way. he was a member for a long time but he couldn't decide from one day to the next when he wanted to go there was a protocol.
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Old 15.08.2015, 02:50
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

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So this is a yearly fee - what a bizarre idea: do I top myself ( to save SFr 50 ) or put it off for an other year. sorry, making light not of the situation/decision but rather the mind set that decided that this should be charged like a gym or professional membership.

Indeed, saving your children and family from having to make that decision is good peace of mind - maybe even an annual membership...
It is indeed like joining some kind of club. It's nothing to be sniffed at and serious considerations must be weighed up. Giving up your own life with support from a group of people who are aware of the legal concepts and will be present at the time is well worth membership.
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Old 15.08.2015, 09:49
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

All the info you need with many opinions and a very good discussion added.

EXIT would you consider being a member?
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Old 15.08.2015, 22:47
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

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Another friend of mine is a nurse on the Inselspital Onkology ward. She noticed a patient was in extreme pain, and had obviously had only a few days left to live. She asked the doctor to increase the level of Morphine for the patient, to make her comfortable. The doctor refused saying he didn't want her to become addicted to the stuff....
You're kidding, right? Palliative care certainly should be well known in a hospital the size and professional level of the Inselispital.

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It is indeed like joining some kind of club. It's nothing to be sniffed at and serious considerations must be weighed up. Giving up your own life with support from a group of people who are aware of the legal concepts and will be present at the time is well worth membership.
Both Exit and Dignitas are a Verein. In that respect they are the same as your local football or chess club, or the Turnverein.
Or FIFA, for that matter
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Old 15.08.2015, 23:10
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

My mother was a founder member of EXIT and a member for 40+ years- but never did request for help to die. I have been a member for 6 years, ever since I came back to Switzerland- and I have NO intention of asking for help to die- unless I'm struck by some terrible disease and fought it with all my might- until the fight is clearly lost. Hopefully never.

People are members as a sort of 'insurance' just in case really bad s**t happens - because being a long-term member, with documentation left about your wishes left with your family doctor, solicitor and close family- show that it is not a 'last minute panic thing'. And because they believe that the money is well spent by EXIT to support those who request help humanely and professionally- but also to continue the fight for better rights for choice. Thanks to them, OAP homes are now no longer allowed to legally refuse an resident requesting help from within the Home for instance, since last year. A major breakthrough as so many had this written in the contract. And also now the next fight is for those who lose the physical ability to take the potion of flick the switch- as has happened in several cases with muscular distrophy and MS, etc.

The next big fight is to allow people who develop dementia or Alzheimers, to make clear directives with several 'key limits' stating when they should be helped out of the misery and loss of dignity. My 5 criteria are already set out for my next of kin- but nowadays, people even in Switzerland, have to make the decision to die far too early, as soon as dementia or Alzheimers is diagnosed- as if they wait until they are non compus mentis- the law stops them from going ahead. Money very well spent imho.

People so often say CH is way behind- but in this case, it is way ahead and far more humane.

Last edited by Odile; 15.08.2015 at 23:25.
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Old 15.08.2015, 23:29
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

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The next big fight is to allow people who develop dementia or Alzheimers, to make clear directives with several 'key limits' stating when they should be helped out of the misery and loss of dignity. My 5 criteria are already set out for my next of kin- but nowadays, people even in Switzerland, have to make the decision to die far too early, as soon as dementia or Alzheimers is diagnosed- as if they wait until they are non compus mentis- the law stops them from going ahead. Money very well spent imho.

People so often say CH is way behind- but in this case, it is way ahead and far more humane.
The big problem is - when is "early enough" (in the eyes of the law) and when is "late enough" (in the eyes of some judgey people who think they have the right to say when people should be allowed to die ). Being as clear as possible is key here to avoid the "oh, it's not late enough/things could get better" discussion with such people - know what you want and put that in writing, don't let people talk you out of it and say "oh we'll let the doctor decide" - it's your life and your existence, so you decide. Reason why my directive is not one of those form-like 2-3 page things, but one with clear directions, which is (very importantly) kept up to date by signature/date.
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Old 15.08.2015, 23:35
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

Nope, at the moment that does not work. EXIT will not assist someone in taking their life unless they are clearly of sound mind- once dementia or Alzheirmers has set in, it is too late. Which is why EXIT is doing a lot of research into dementia and Alzheimers and the stages, etc. At the moment, if anyone is diagnosed- even if they could continue to live quite a long time enjoying life, even though memory is wobbly, and behaviour becomes a bit erratic and dooallly- but the person still enjoys seeing the family, watching the birds and enjoy food and music and games- and all sorts of things which give their life some quality, even though mind is wandering- they just can't afford to wait- as it will be too late. Which is sad and a shame. My mil lived for quite a long time in that happy doolally phase- quite content. The latter stages were horrendous, for all- she would have absolutely HATED what she did, and what her last year of life was (won't go into detail here, but I can say NEVER EVER NEVER WANT TO GET TO THAT STAGE!)
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Old 15.08.2015, 23:44
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

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Nope, at the moment that does not work. EXIT will not assist someone in taking their life unless they are clearly of sound mind- once dementia or Alzheirmers has set in, it is too late. Which is why EXIT is doing a lot of research into dementia and Alzheimers and the stages, etc. At the moment, if anyone is diagnosed- even if they could continue to live quite a long time enjoying life, even though memory is wobbly, and behaviour becomes a bit erratic and dooallly- but the person still enjoys seeing the family, watching the birds and enjoy food and music and games- and all sorts of things which give their life some quality, even though mind is wandering- they just can't afford to wait- as it will be too late. Which is sad and a shame. My mil lived for quite a long time in that happy doolally phase- quite content. The latter stages were horrendous, for all- she would have absolutely HATED what she did, and what her last year of life was (won't go into detail here, but I can say NEVER EVER NEVER WANT TO GET TO THAT STAGE!)
Yeah, basically you need to kill yourself before being diagnosed.
A shame - why can't people accept it if someone with the diagnosis has put it in writing before the diagnosis that they don't want to live with it - and let the patient go through with suicide after being diagnosed? Alzheimer's doesn't mean that you're not of sound mind 100% of the time - so if you wrote the directive before the diagnosis and killed yourself after diagnosis, with help of EXIT, in a moment where you were of sound mind - that IMO should be allowed. Otherwise, the diagnosis of Alzheimer's basically means that you'll die of natural causes no matter if you like it or not - unless you have an accident.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 16.08.2015 at 00:26. Reason: typo
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Old 16.08.2015, 00:19
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

hmm, not quite- a diagnosis means there is usually time to make decisions before it takes hold- and of course there are other ways to die than EXIT- especially if you are well informed beforehand on what's what and how.

But it is shame. as there can be quite a long time of good quality life after diagnosis. One of my neighbours was affected for at least 2 years before she got too bad and had to go into an OAP home. She used to laugh about her being a bit doolally and forgetting things- and everyone was so kind and patient with her, as she was such a lovely lady.
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Old 16.08.2015, 00:26
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

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- and everyone was so kind and patient with her, as she was such a lovely lady.
It is a hard one. Of course we all want to live (and die ) well. One of my relatives had dementia and became quite unbearable. The sad thing is that she had been a bit of a pain a lot of her life and it was hard to know where her usual difficult self stopped and where dementia started. A bit like wine : shows you in your true lights, I guess.

I have nothing but admiration for people who work in the geriatric hospices. Couldn't do it for all the tea in China, I think....
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Old 16.08.2015, 02:24
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

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I was a member of Exit in 2014, I made some enquiries on-line and it seems I unwittingly signed up for their services! It only costs about SFr 50,-- a year. There might be a waiting time with Dignitas, but Exit is only available to Swiss residents, and there is no waiting period.
Life is expensive in Switzerland but death doesn't seem to be for free either
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Old 16.08.2015, 03:16
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

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It is a hard one. Of course we all want to live (and die ) well. One of my relatives had dementia and became quite unbearable. The sad thing is that she had been a bit of a pain a lot of her life and it was hard to know where her usual difficult self stopped and where dementia started. A bit like wine : shows you in your true lights, I guess.

I have nothing but admiration for people who work in the geriatric hospices. Couldn't do it for all the tea in China, I think....
I have nothing but respect for your thoughts and contemplation about this difficult decision. Some people make this decision about ending their life. I was banned from my father in laws last day's because I cried. I had to jump over my emotions and imagine what this very proud man would become and hate if he could no longer live alone. It's not easy to find the space between respect and letting go.
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Old 06.09.2015, 11:50
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Re: Dignitas - in the news again

Assisted dying: Archbishop Welby urges MPs to reject bill

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34166605

According to the campaign group Dignity in Dying, at least 35 people from the UK went to the Dignitas organisation in Switzerland to end their lives last year.
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