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  #21  
Old 13.12.2013, 18:28
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

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Hospices are wonderful places- for those who want to go to a hospice. I reseve the right not to want to.
True Odile, also, this might be a reality in Switzerland or in Belgium but not everywhere unfortunately.
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Old 13.12.2013, 18:29
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

For the sake of debate, can we please define terms?

Are we talking about assisted suicide here, or euthanasia?
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  #23  
Old 13.12.2013, 18:29
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

Clearly assisted suicide- so title is misleading.

The Belgian example will be an important question for Exit (of which I am a paid up member) in Switzerland- togehter with the question of clear advance directives made before the disease has got too much of a hold, for dementia and Alzheimers sufferers.
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  #24  
Old 13.12.2013, 18:35
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

Im not so sure - suicide is usually the result of plenty of aforethought by the victim; something many children would not be able to do (nobody thinks 'im gonna top myself' and do it right away...its usually considered over some time).

Euthanasia doesnt require aforethought by the victim, necassarily.
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Old 13.12.2013, 18:50
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

Certainly a lot more needs to be done as far as hospice care goes. They provide such a wonderful caring service. My late father-in-law and his sister both passed away in a hospice which treated them with respect and care. We desperately need more of them.
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Old 13.12.2013, 19:18
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

I do understand the fact that when someone is in a lot of pain, it can be very hard to watch, especially if its a child. But there is always hope. I think someone mentioned this, but there can be a breakthrough and a cure can be found, meaning they can continue to live and achieve. And I don't think we should take a persons life just because they are old and do not have many years left, because you never know, in their last years in this world they can end up doing amazing things. Just like we shouldn't underestimate young kids, we shouldn't underestimate the elderly either. Just my thoughts
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Old 13.12.2013, 19:22
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

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But there is always hope.
I think you should get acquainted with the term TERMINALLY ILL.
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Old 13.12.2013, 19:25
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

No, there is not always hope for a child in terminal stage, sorry.

And at the end of their day, old people should be able to choose. And that is what is wonderful with EXIT here in Switzerland, they can choose, with all the necessary checks to ensure no outside pressure is born to bear on them. My mother lived for 10 years being blind, totally dependent and wheel-chair bound and hated every minute of it all. She was a member of Exit- but my father just would not release her and begged her to stay with him. It was awful for her. My MIL had Alzheimers, and at first it was fine- but in the latter stages it was just dreadful to see this previously intelligent woman do things that I just would not want to describe here, out of respect for her. The worst stage for her of course, was the few months when she had very lucid moments, and the terror and indignity of what was to come.

Last edited by Odile; 13.12.2013 at 19:36.
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  #29  
Old 13.12.2013, 19:29
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

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I think you should get acquainted with the term TERMINALLY ILL.
Life itself is a terminal illness.
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  #30  
Old 13.12.2013, 19:33
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

With proper safeguards in place this is a great decision for humanity in my opinion.

Why is it that we can accept the 'putting to sleep' of our pets when they are in pain but not in any position to make a decision, yet find it so difficult to shorten the suffering of our friends and family?
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Old 13.12.2013, 19:36
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

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With proper safeguards in place this is a great decision for humanity in my opinion.

Why is it that we can accept the 'putting to sleep' of our pets when they are in pain but not in any position to make a decision, yet find it so difficult to shorten the suffering of our friends and family?

I agree with your first statement, on the second, I have to say that I also found it extremely difficult when I had to put my Lucasito to sleep. I think pets already live shorter lives than people, but they definitely are loved.
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  #32  
Old 13.12.2013, 19:40
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

There is a movement - I'm pretty sure it's started in cancer treatment - to extend the breadth of palliative care beyond the terminally ill. So many people with chronic diseases are now surviving, and surviving with "collateral damage" from treatment - pain, neuropathy, anxiety, PTSD, side effects from radiation, chemotherapy, surgery - and this extends beyond cancer too, I think. The catch word, at least in oncology is "survivorship".

Both of my parents died under hospice care. It was hard to watch my mother, but my father called us up, told us he was ready to go and two weeks later, died of kidney failure. He died 17 years after my mother, and there was a lot more attention to anxiety, depression and pain control. It's not perfect, it's not easy - it's death. It's heart wrenching.

Having been a cancer patient with some collateral damage myself, I now know a lot of women who have metastatic cancer - incurable, but perhaps not quite terminal. Quality of life issues are important to them - but most of them, as far as I know prefer the palliative/hospice route rather than assisted suicide. But that's just a sample, albeit small and biased - the women that I know seek out support and demand symptom control.

I think it's different with something like ALS or huntingdon's disease - where you may retain your mental acuity, but loose all physical control.

These are really difficult situations, and difficult questions. Perhaps children who are suffering in terrible pain, and who have very little quality of life are capable of making their own end of life decision. I don't know.

Here's the thing about advance directives - my father and I talked for years about "pulling the plug". In 2006, he was on a ventillator, his stats looked really bad and the doctors asked me to ask him if he wanted to come off the vent. He said "no, but I want to be able to change my mind". With assisted suicide, there is no possibility to change your mind, so you have to be so very careful. Looking back, maybe that's when I started to rethink assisted suicide.
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  #33  
Old 13.12.2013, 19:46
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

I have to say I don't like it, at all. However, it's not for me to decide on somebody else's chosen fate, even of they are children.

I'm all for having the option open to adults and I fully support that. However where do you draw the line between child and adult in terms of coming to such a decision. I would say that for me personally I would have considered myself capable of making an informed decision at the age of around 7-8, but a decision about life or death I'm not so sure.

If the appropriate safeguards are in place and the child is terminal, in severe pain, and is still compos mentis when making the decision then I think I could just about live with it. If on the other hand the condition is severely debilitating and painful, but not terminal then I would be of a mind to allow a child to reach the age of at least 12, preferably 14 before they could make a decision.

This would be one thing that would absolutely need to be treated on a case by case basis.
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  #34  
Old 13.12.2013, 19:46
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

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I agree with your first statement, on the second, I have to say that I also found it extremely difficult when I had to put my Lucasito to sleep. I think pets already live shorter lives than people, but they definitely are loved.
Yes. I was not suggesting that it is in any way an easy decision
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Old 13.12.2013, 23:16
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

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Hospices are the way to go - to actually care for the terminally ill. But of course, it costs more. There is really no need for anyone to die in pain. Even if it means the pain killing dose reaches the lethal dose. The difference is in intent.
Hospices are indeed wonderful places and my father benefitted greatly from the care of the hospice staff when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Hospice care is however not readily ( if ever) available in Belgium. None of my Belgian friends and colleagues understood what a hospice was when I tried to explain it to them when my father was I'll.
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Old 13.12.2013, 23:34
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

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Few who have experienced the terminal stage of a child with an auto-immune disease who suffocates to death, would not think it is a humane solution to shorten the process, really. Perhaps difficult to imagine if one has not experienced this, either professionally or personally. Pain relieving drugs can help with ... pain, but not really suffocating, unless the dosage is so high that it is basically the same as euthanasia anyhow. The fine line is very fine.

Bringing politics into this, and scoring points, is indeed pathetic and totally wrong, I agree.
but that isn't a decision that someone other than the patient should be able to make.

and since children rightly aren't able to give their consent to have sex, drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes surely they equally aren't mature enough to decide to end their own life?!?!?!
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Old 14.12.2013, 01:09
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

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but that isn't a decision that someone other than the patient should be able to make.

and since children rightly aren't able to give their consent to have sex, drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes surely they equally aren't mature enough to decide to end their own life?!?!?!
I have to say the reasoning here is pretty weak. Children with terminal diseases are more 'grown up' than what you might think, also, depending on the age and the stage of the disease they might not even be able to make decisions.

Seeing children suffer terribly due to terminal cancer of severe degenerative disorders is indescribable (sp??) in a horrific kind of way.
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Old 14.12.2013, 03:16
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

Reminds me of this sad case
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Latimer
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  #39  
Old 14.12.2013, 09:01
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

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Hospices are wonderful places- for those who want to go to a hospice. I reseve the right not to want to.
Well, if legally you have the right, then your right is reserved. Would you like to live in Belgium where you don't have that choice?

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...Hospice care is however not readily ( if ever) available in Belgium. None of my Belgian friends and colleagues understood what a hospice was when I tried to explain it to them when my father was I'll.
This, most of all, is why I oppose the euthanasia/assisted suicide. movement. While I really do believe that many people who support it do so out of compassion, the main driver, politically, is not compassion. It is money, the assignation of monetary value to human life, and an ideology, where people who can never be, or have ceased to be productive members of society are considered of less worth.
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I think in this instance it is almost certainly more cruel and selfish to keep the child (or anyone, expanding this) alive just for the sake of it. Let them slip comfortably into rest, with their loved ones there to guide them.
As a father myself, I agree with this, but there is a difference between withholding treatment and actively ending life - between switching off the heart-lung machine and giving a lethal injection. The law does not need to change. Under current law (in the UK at least) a pain killing dose that ends up with the person dying is entirely permitted. The question asked is "was the drug given to terminate life or to relieve pain". So long as it is the latter, there's no problem.

Why do you think that some patients notes have written on them "Do Not Resuscitate", and why, for example, my Grandmother (100 years old) says that she just wants to be kept comfortable rather than have treatment (should the choice arrive - she's still in remarkable health).

Pro-euthanasia/assisted suicide often bring the issue of keeping people alive when it is cruel to do so. It is a logical fallacy. Letting people die is a world away from causing death.
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Old 14.12.2013, 10:13
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Re: Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

This.....

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While I really do believe that many people who support it do so out of compassion, the main driver, politically, is not compassion. It is money, the assignation of monetary value to human life, and an ideology, where people who can never be, or have ceased to be productive members of society are considered of less worth.
And, you are right, dealing with pain has an entirely different intent than actively ending life. Although in some cases, the same result occurs.

The other thing that I keep coming back to - people change their minds. All the time and even in these situations. The question of what to do for people with dementia, alzheimer's etc is very very difficult.

It's interesting to me how my mind has changed as I see how I might have this same decision in my own future - hopefully years and years ahead.
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