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Old 02.06.2014, 22:17
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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So you think the likes of Stephen Hawking and Frank Williams aren't living??
Not in a way I'd be willing to live, no.

If they want to live like that, fine it's their choice.

But it would NEVER be mine.

Cooking and eating are the simplest enjoyable things I know of, or can imagine, if I can't even do that, then there is simply no point in going on.

Even a deaf, dumb, and blind person can do and enjoy these things.

Watching others live their lives is perhaps enough for some people (witness the popularity of reality TV), however it certainly is nothing for me.

Tom

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  #122  
Old 02.06.2014, 22:22
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

So I've come down to two main points in this thread:

First, do you believe that an individual has (should have) the right to decide when to end his or her life. And then under what circumstances, methods and so on.

Second, is a volunteer organization like EXIT the way to go?

I don't know the answer to either for myself.....i guess i need to think on it and collect some info.
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  #123  
Old 02.06.2014, 22:31
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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I don't mean to speak for the poster, but i don't think its all that obvious to everyone. Look at the power of our anecdotes. I don't think it means that no choice gives you freedom, but that your choice is influenced by your environment. And yeah that's obvious, but i really don't think people stop to think how it influences them.
I think we are not only influenced by our environment. Ie if society pushes a certain idea as undignified, people will feel it. While for Tom being fed is probably a horror idea, me after feeding grown ups - also directly into their stomach with a whatever it is called in English, sonda - and feeding babies, and little kids, it is different. Feeding somebody is tlc, too. All nurses faces change their face when they are patiently feeding somebody.

I think while a person should have a choice to not want to live because he cannot feed himself, I am not putting it down, it is good to maybe think we would accept a lot more if there was not this push for what dignity is, how it is portrayed, etc. We are influenced by this, by our experiences with family who went through hell and it scarred us. We are also influenced if we think it is our fault that we are in such a deteriorated state. If I was negligent and did not take care of myself when I should have especially if diagnosed with something grave, maybe even contributed to how sad and indigestible the end is, I might want to die more than not. Now - I think we should think about motives, what drives us to feel as a burden, that our life lost all value..I think, personally, none of those reasons should make one feel like their life has no value any more. Maybe accepting we feel ashamed, angry, in pain, but not unworthy. I am not being prescriptive, I am being dialectic. I think for me, pain would be the only unmanageable thing to want to go early. But I know that is quite well taken care of, or is supposed to be. Just like EXIT, ideally, is supposed to be certain way.
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  #124  
Old 02.06.2014, 22:34
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

I was being very sloppy. By environment, i meant everything experienced.
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  #125  
Old 02.06.2014, 22:44
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

My mum was born in 1915. Was a founder member of EXIT- so certainly this charity (and NOT business, please)- so was not influenced in her views and decision by EXIT or any current 'thinking' on the issues.

Of course there is nothing undignified in caring for the infirm and elderly. I had to be totally looked after when I spent months in traction when I was young- and hated it of course. But I knew I had a life in front of me, and that I'd fight like crazy to recover from my injuries.

But for my mum, aged 90+, blind, in pain and totally incapable of walking or doing anything apart from sitting there drooling- but with all her mind intact- she truly hated it- even though she knew we all loved her. Even though we all told her she was valued just for being our mum and granny, my dad's wife. Who is anybody to decide for my amazing and wonderful mum what is undignified or not? Same for my poor MIL- whose life and dignity was robbed of her- and when she had made her views abundantly clear about what she would consider totally undignified. I shall leave this thread now as I am getting angry. Sorry.

Nobody here who thinks that EXIT plays a valuable rôle in allowing people to make that choice is trying to tell people who think it does not, that it should be thir choice. So why is it acceptable for those who think EXIT is not for them, to try and impose their decision on others???
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  #126  
Old 02.06.2014, 22:48
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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I was being very sloppy. By environment, i meant everything experienced.
I know. I think human nature is to protect our own face, save it. I don't think we are so free when we try to determine what our face actually is.
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  #127  
Old 02.06.2014, 22:52
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

I don't think any of us should underestimate the life that Stephen Hawkings lives, by being able to move ONE muscle in his cheek. For anyone who hasn't, I highly recommend seeing the 2013 film "Hawking" (BBC).

theguardian.com
http://www.theguardian.com/science/v...-success-video
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  #128  
Old 02.06.2014, 23:18
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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My best friend dead put me into depression for years, a felt my school year and didn't give any crap of what was going on around me. I felt horrible, depressed, sad, angry and it turned our lives around for years.

.
This touches on one thought that keeps reoccurring to me while following this thread - how do we explain this difference to our teenagers, when they nonchalantly say "I never asked to be born"...is it ok to ask to die? For some at their lowest points they might think it should be an option for everyone if others are "allowed".

On a different theme, I think my mother would have wished to die long before her pancreatic cancer spread to her eyes (I knew her worst day had come when she put down her sewing needle for the last time) and she ultimately starved to death. She had a living will NTR, but at-home hospice care w/o fluid support etc. The human body is amazingly resilient - she "lived" at least a month longer than anyone expected, but w/o asking her I sensed if she had been left alone long enough she would have figured out a way. I don't think she "could" have joined something like EXIT due to my overpowering stepfather - wrong as that may sound.

My maternal grandmother had Lebensmüdigkeit (n) She was tired of living from age 90, but she had no real health issues that couldn't be treated with a bit of gentle medication. I think she too tried the starving approach, but could never resist when someone showed up with a home baked coconut custard pie and a pot of shrimp gumbo So her children, sisters and her nieces and nephews had the excuse to cook and LOSE at a game if Scrabble (because she ALWAYS won). I think she gave us all so much in her last 4 years, and died peacefully on her sleep. I don't think EXIT would have been a good option in her situation.

So maybe we are back to where it started - should choosing death BE a choice...
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  #129  
Old 02.06.2014, 23:34
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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I don't think any of us should underestimate the life that Stephen Hawkings lives, by being able to move ONE muscle in his cheek. For anyone who hasn't, I highly recommend seeing the 2013 film "Hawking" (BBC).

theguardian.com
http://www.theguardian.com/science/v...-success-video
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Of course, and he has my utmost admiration. This is not under question here, at all.
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  #130  
Old 02.06.2014, 23:44
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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So maybe we are back to where it started - should choosing death BE a choice...
Yes it should be. Let me be bit more blunt, the planet is not going to miss us after we are gone. We are obsessed with navel gazing but in the grand scheme of things we are nobody
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  #131  
Old 03.06.2014, 00:26
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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First of all IMO there is no way to do it right as suicide is never a solution to anything, it's IMO always a cop-out.

Apart from that anyone who is so forward thinking to join Exit would also have the necessary intelligence to plan it by himself without the need of Exit.
I witnessed my father needlessly linger his last few days in absolute delirious agony from an aggressive cancer. If he could have paid to end that, he would have gladly done it. To call that a cop-out is an insult borne out of ignorance and stupidity.
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  #132  
Old 03.06.2014, 00:49
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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Yes it should be. Let me be bit more blunt, the planet is not going to miss us after we are gone. We are obsessed with navel gazing but in the grand scheme of things we are nobody
I think very little of this thread has focused on "being missed". We are nobody, tiny pin-pricks on the giant pincushion earth, little ants in one giant swarming ant-hill (a trip to London will confirm this). It is a question of what makes a life worth living for each individual, and should there be an organisation that assists those for whom there is no will to live. Should there be specific medical parameters for eligibility, or just to each his own?

None of us asked to be born - everyone experiences roller-coaster phases - but the very nature of the human race is to survive. It seems strange to me that a good number seem to flippantly think they would trade it in when life takes a turn for the worse. The reality of this complex issue is likely to become more relevant as projections of life expectancy for those born in the last decade are reaching as high as 103 yrs. Life expectancy is just a number...but what constitutes "life" quality...and is society prepared to provide for this aging population medically but more important socially? I would hope so, although much evidence of elderly care/provision points to the contrary. This is yet more rambling, but in most every other life issue (important or otherwise - whom to marry/BLTG/what car to buy) humans like choice.

Something that hasn't been mentioned is the LEP - Liverpool End-of-life Pathway, where medical professionals make a decision not to resuscitate based on their assessment of life quality. EXIT for professional use The family is not always, or even usually involved or informed. Would you like to know that the family member you just lost, had been visiting for weeks in hospital perhaps, was on the LEP, but a man/woman in a white coat decided not to tell you, or assumed a colleague had. One lead consultant at Addenbrookes (Cambridge) was quoted as saying he wouldn't have wanted his father kept alive under a given set of circumstances. Maybe not, but I can guarantee he would have wanted to be informed.

On a lighter note...
I liked the idea of the generational centres they have started in Germany, where nursery/Krippe care and elderly housing occur side-by-side.
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  #133  
Old 03.06.2014, 01:10
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

"Slow code" a new twist on this discussion.

a podcast from CBC with a pretty honest discussion from medical professionals about the ethical issues associated with our loved ones, even ourselves.


http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/w...1019_88436.mp3
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  #134  
Old 03.06.2014, 01:12
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

This is not always relevant, but there is good evidence that people's (including esp. doctors') estimates of the quality of disabled life are lower than the ratings given by the people themselves.

A question: what kind of consequences does giving more options have on people? If creating new options is good until the new options create negative consequences for other people, can we think about what the consequences might be, both positive and negative?
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  #135  
Old 03.06.2014, 08:20
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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Nobody here who thinks that EXIT plays a valuable rôle in allowing people to make that choice is trying to tell people who think it does not, that it should be thir choice. So why is it acceptable for those who think EXIT is not for them, to try and impose their decision on others???

I'm sorry Odile. I only see people promoting viewpoints. To me, making the decision is first whether you agree with the concept and second the organization.

I've actually read bits of the EXIT website, and if I'm thinking about the whole issue of self determined death, I have to think about the implementation.

To keep organizations like EXIT strong, one wants members to join when they're still relatively healthy to provide both funding and possible volunteers.

On EXIT's website, they describe themselves as a kind of insurance. Most insurance in Switzerland is not charity based, so I believe that some people could misinterpret EXIT as insurance.

But as it turns out I am not really ready to think about this. Perhaps a personal failing on my part. So I guess no, I won't join at this time. Perhaps the thread would have been better as a poll.
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  #136  
Old 03.06.2014, 10:38
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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I'm sorry Odile. I only see people promoting viewpoints. To me, making the decision is first whether you agree with the concept and second the organization.

I've actually read bits of the EXIT website, and if I'm thinking about the whole issue of self determined death, I have to think about the implementation..
Yes, this.

We all agree on avoiding unnecessary human suffering, it's been said here all over. The mission of EXIT is logical. Would I be a member? No.

I am thinking about consequences of implementation if it's on bigger scale as it is popularised to be. The shift in public perception of life worth and how it would slowly materialize if all of a sudden stats started growing in unexpected ways without us being able to change common perception fast enough. If society authorizes groups facilitating getting rid of the unfit (which will seem as exactly like this to some). How to efficiently quality control the discourse these groups run and the particular help a dying person would receive in order to make sure the organisations execute their purpose in an ethical and non manipulative way.

It takes decades of edu and experiences to be a good shrink or a lawyer. How to protect volunteers if things go wrong, for any party involved? What does an EXIT volunteer have to learn to be able to assess well, I have no idea, nor can I see the scenario of the interview and possible questionnaire in some standardized way in order to take just a volunteer on board without needing big amount of other supplementary back up training. In what..?

If suffering was to be completely avoided on a large scale, by legally assisting people to die, wouldn't medical society already assure this since it's their daily life..? They do. Just not openly. And they have more support, they just use a pretext they know well and that will protect them. It's a massive industry back up docs have in situations like these, yet they still are pushed to decide against a patient's wish, maybe that's what needs to be inspected. I think if there was a legal way doctors could register the wishes of a particular patient to end it, without the intermediary, isn't it better due to the docs training and knowing the patient, ideally. Who knows, because then again it might label a patient in a stigmatizing way to the rest of the medical community, insurance biz loss and abuse also comes to mind. I think it's a genuine question of legislature, quality health care, health insurance prism, rather than fixing it up with intermediary service that might get them into a very vulnerable position at the end I think. I'am a realist and a sceptical one. The legal bills will grow, so will the membership fees.

Whether people should have a choice, everybody said yes. Whether EXIT is the way to do it, not sure. Nobody is trying to offend anyone's belated relatives. I had mine going through hell, too, despite having 6 docs on family board and patients not depending on official health care. It's a complicated issue.
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  #137  
Old 03.06.2014, 10:56
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

I sincerely apologise for getting upset last night. The terrible, slow and debilitating decline of my mother over a period of 14 years, and the fact that, as a founder member of EXIT, she was not allowed to do what she truly and really wanted to do- is still very raw with me.

It's good to talk, exchange, re-consider, listen and re-consider again. And I have no problem with that at all, even if I disagree totally with the views expressed. What truly upset me was the intimation that my hugely intelligent mother, a modern woman before her time and an inspiration to so many, would have been influenced in her wishes by anyone, even pressured. You obviously did not know my amazing mother. 14 years in a wheel-chair, blind, bent, twisted, in pain- SHE hated it, and she didn't want it to continue- but she was trapped. Trapped by the love of my father, and the pseudo kindness of the staff. But it is NOT what SHE wanted- and I wish I had been there to help her- I got here too late. And it is still very raw inside.
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Old 03.06.2014, 10:59
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

I wish I knew your mom, Odile. I know a lot of her and her thoughts live in you. If anything will have us move, it will be to not miss out on family, esp when they need us the most
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Old 03.06.2014, 11:37
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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I wish I knew your mom, Odile. I know a lot of her and her thoughts live in you. If anything will have us move, it will be to not miss out on family, esp when they need us the most
It's true. It's why I blew off one job in the US to be with my mother at the end. But I couldn't spend as much time with my father as I would have liked - not so easy to blow off a job when you have different responsibilities. It was a big advantage for us to move to Europe - to be near my father in law. And we were glad to be here when my BIL died suddenly.

But it's never enough time, there's always something else, and there are always things you want to do differently. And sometimes, even being there doesn't make a difference.
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Old 03.06.2014, 11:39
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Re: EXIT would you consider being a member?

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This is not always relevant, but there is good evidence that people's (including esp. doctors') estimates of the quality of disabled life are lower than the ratings given by the people themselves.
There was an article on this on the BBC website the other day.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27554754
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