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  #241  
Old 14.10.2016, 09:23
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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Yes, that would be even better! What a relief it would be to many very ill (or just very life-weary) persons to be able to say: "Folks, I've thought it through and I've had enough. Please, just give me that injection and let it be over."

Of course, this is where the "contra" arguments begin to warn against euthanasia that is NOT voluntary, fearing, as they do, that the slippery slope will end up with just anyone being allowed to kill anyone and using the defence: "Well, she did SAY she wanted me to kill her."

Although I understand that fear, I think it would be possible to put into place several administrative procedures to make at least fairly sure that within assisted suicide murder is not the norm, just the same as murder is not the norm in society as a whole.
I think what many people fear is the loss of choice, the loss of autonomy. We fear the slippery slope, the potential for abuse, and there is a lack of trust of administrative/political processes.

Having said that, in the case of bipolar, for example, when treatments fail repeatedly or become intolerable, the risk of suicide is large and botched attempts are horrible. If you've had enough, you need to have that choice.
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  #242  
Old 14.10.2016, 10:49
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

Agreed with all three.

BTW, on a separate note- Exit is experiencing a new phenomenon lately, and that is people who are NOT members, suddenly joining and expecting support to die at very very short notice. They are very aware of the dangers of 'last minute decision making' and trying to slow the process down for those and ensure all considerations are taken and the proper thinking processes gone through- and sadly, have had to introduce a new fee for such people to part cover their costs.

Like any 'insurance' (it isn't btw, it is a subscription to a charity- like Rega for instance) the costs are covered by those long-term members who pay year in, year out. Those who choose to do so also seem to have done so after careful considerations and weighing all the pros and cons.

Again, in my experience- when people know that if and when, they will have the final choice- often have the courage to continue to fight much longer and live more positively even in the terminal phases, because many of the fears are gone.
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  #243  
Old 14.10.2016, 12:52
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

I will become a member eventually and know several people who already are. As far as I understand, those that join last minute and want "quick processing" end up paying a lot more? If I remember correctly, they recommend being a member for at least three years? I did look it up a few months ago because of witnessing what not being able to choose is like.

My grandmother died of cancer this summer and the last two weeks of her life were... difficult, the two weeks before that were important and so precious for us but she was not comfortable, especially for the last two days before she drifted out of consciousness. I was there for the last few days that she was conscious and able to speak, and she was in a lot of pain, couldn't do things for herself. It made me glad that I am so big and strong, as I was able to help her physically in a way I would not have been as a petite person.

Despite this, she had so much grace in the situation, describing how she was consciously experiencing the decline of her physical being: "My life has been a beautiful garden and now I am walking down the steps to the river, one by one, when I reach the bottom I will pause before stepping into the waters that will carry me to the other side, where my loved ones are waiting for me. I am not afraid, I am curious about this last big journey, even though I am sad to leave you behind for now" (she spoke French, this is just an approximate translation).

She was very insistent on staying home, which we made sure happened even if the doctor started saying that she should go to hospital. We felt there was no point as we were just waiting for her to let go and we could do most of the necessary things with a little help from nurses who came to the house. The doctor then said that we would have more choices in Switzerland and that she wished France had similar legislation. My gran did start asking for a friend who was a retired nurse because she could "help her go". Obviously this would have been against the law, so we had to wait. I was not there for the last two weeks because I could not take that much time off work and school - my father keeps repeating that it was good that I was not there, because it was "not nice".

Of course it is a difficult subject, what with some families just wanting rid of troublesome, bed-bound parents/grandparents. But if the person who is ill feels that they do not want to continue and there is no hope for recovery, then I feel they should be able to decide. I'm not sure how this can apply to mental health issues - many people have suicidal episodes and get over it eventually, but what about people who have severe psychosis and simply cannot function or are even dangerous? If they decide that they cannot live life that way, is it ok to let them go? The boundary between euthanasia and "eugenics" is a dangerous one to cross.
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  #244  
Old 14.10.2016, 13:02
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

BTW, I recently clarified the situation with EXIT re members who reside abroad.
The main issue in Romandie, is that EXIT Romandie have no accommodation (unlike Dignitas) where foreign members could request Exit to help them die. They have had situations where long-term members who then moved abroad asked for help, saying they would return to Switzerland to stay with a relative or friend who agreed for them to die at their home- only for said relatives to change their mind at tle last minute- creating intolerable and impossible situations.

They have assured me that as long-term members, should we ever return to live in the UK- as long as we kept a property in our name here- we would be able to request help if ever the situation arose. One of the reasons we will always keep a small property here if we ever did return to uk. Doesn't matter if it is rented or owned.

Membership is opened to all, of course, not just the Swiss.

Exit in the German part, and Exit Romandie, are 2 separate organisations, with their own rules. Exit Deutsch Schweiz charges 900CHF for 'last minute' requests for those who have been members for less than 3 years. Exit Romandie put to the vote a motion of a charge of 350CH for such situations,at the AGM in April, which was adopted. They estimate the cost of each case at around 2900CHF.
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  #245  
Old 14.10.2016, 19:47
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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I think what many people fear is the loss of choice, the loss of autonomy. We fear the slippery slope, the potential for abuse, and there is a lack of trust of administrative/political processes.

Having said that, in the case of bipolar, for example, when treatments fail repeatedly or become intolerable, the risk of suicide is large and botched attempts are horrible. If you've had enough, you need to have that choice.
An example from today of "the slippery slope":

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/sto...ndern-15099720
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  #246  
Old 15.10.2016, 01:07
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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An example from today of "the slippery slope":

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/sto...ndern-15099720
Oh, this does seem terribly disrespectful. On what grounds would those brothers make so bold as to pronounce on knowing how much their "right to die" brother is suffering?

Besides, I am not even convinced that suffering has to be the necessary basis of a decision to want to die. A friend's grandmother was over 90, completely sane, fairly healthy as far as an aged person can be, and had no major illnesses, accidents or disabilities, nor any recent mourning. She had just simply had enough. Life had been full, and satisfying, and having thought about it deeply, she'd decided she wanted it to stop before all those declines set in. Isn't that enough?

What, however, if she had not been 90+, but 60, or 35, or 18?

Many people feel grateful to be alive, thankful that their parents (and/or God, depending on their spiritual beliefs) gave them life, are glad of all the adventures their life brings them.

Some, however, never wanted to be alive anyway, or long ago lost the will to live, and this over a sustained time-frame. What about them? Sometimes I think that it would be worth our while, as a society, to stop and ask what such a weary person might REALLY need, so as ever to come to feel his/her life as worthwhile, practicable and enjoyable. One shouldn't have to feel half-dead while struggling through life. That's a gap, somehow, which is not always well addressed.
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  #247  
Old 15.10.2016, 10:45
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

Just can't see how the case above can be deemed to be 'a slippery slope'. the man is clearly able to make his own decision and it should be respected. How dare his brothers decide to go against his will? Talk to him, tell him he is not alone, give him support - but then, beyond that- it has to be HIS choice and his alone.


Exit is clear on the conditons. Anyone making the decision has to be clearly compus mentis (a huge problem with people recently diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimers, who therefore have to make a choice, quickly, far too early, tragically).

a/ either to be suffering from a terminal illness, or a high level of invalidity, or intolerable suffering

b/ be affected by polypathologies due to age

So for the man above, the second applies.

Depression as such would not be acceptable in most circumstances- unless other pathologies are also present- and certainly never in acute phase, and not unless it is a very long term desperate situation which clearly leads to the above 'intolerable suffering', and especially in old age.

Last edited by Odile; 15.10.2016 at 11:11.
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  #248  
Old 15.10.2016, 12:25
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

I agree that acute depression may pass. Indeed, those who suffer repeatedly from phases of depression with better phases in between, can learn that the "down in the depths" phase is seldom the time to take or implement any other big life decision. It seems reasonable to me that Exit not respond by helping anyone to die immediately who is merely "feeling low", or who is experiencing acute grief or shock. And indeed they don't - at least the help they provide is to point such a person to ways of getting treatment or assistance to make life less painful and liveable.

As I understand it, Exit regards the fact of there being no hope of recovery, no prospect (within the known medical or therapueutic means) of improvement plus a person's subjective hurt about this as being equal to "intolerable suffering".

We see media reports about people with some particular disability or illness, who - though their condition is chronic or even progressive - still feel fully alive and are busy persuing what they deem important or makes them happy. Others, however, who may be in a comparable situation of knowing that they will not walk or see or hear again (or ever, if they never have), or be able to reduce their pain, suffer from this fact much more deeply, in the sense that they come to the conclusion that, given the restrictions they experience, their lives are not worth living. For such people, continuing to be alive at all is "intolerable suffering".

Death happens on the periphery of this culture (for want of a better expression I mean "Western culture"), and is spoken of in hushed tones. The question of voluntary death still shocks some people. I think that some onlookers who judge over other people's lives and deaths find that the factor of "old age" helps them to accept another person's decision about his/her right to die (but not for the brothers in the article linked above). Younger people, though, can also have their suffering, and I feel they, too, have a right to decide about how much of it to endure, and when they've endured enough.
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  #249  
Old 11.11.2016, 16:38
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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An example from today of "the slippery slope":

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/sto...ndern-15099720
The poor man committed suicide today- all on his own, without the support of Exit and none from his family- his brothers who put a veto to him getting help from Exit, after he made the request.

How can that be considered better - how sad he had to face this alone- with his family turned against him. His brothers will have to live with that on their conscience for the rest of their lives. RIP - so sad and tragic.

He wrote a message:

'my brothers are not saving my life- but they are preventing me from having harmonious and peaceful end of life support- surrounded by those who love me. They are literally torturing me'

Last edited by Odile; 11.11.2016 at 18:24.
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  #250  
Old 11.11.2016, 18:15
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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The poor man committed suicide today- all on his own, without the support of Exit and none from his family- his brothers who put a veto to him getting help from Exit, after he made the request.

How can that be considered better - how sad he had to face this alone- with his family turned against him. His brothers will have to live with that on their conscience for the rest of their lives. RIP - so sad and tragic.

He wrote a message:

'my brothers are not saving my life- but they are preventing me from having harmonious and peaceful end of life support- surrounded by those who love me. They are literally torturing me'
I'm not sure it'll weigh on their consicienc at all - depending on their religiosity and flavor thereof, in their minds they may well have done the right, good and just thing.
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