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Access: Right to die?

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  • Chelle Hope, in reply to Sacha,

    I think you've hit the nail on the head, Sacha. I would much rather see a law that allows self-determination for terminally ill people in how and when they die and leave people with disabilities, and everyone else for that matter, out of it.

    While I've always been an advocate for voluntary euthanasia, this article and discussion have really made me think about a few things. I still hold the same view but it is clearly going to be more complicated to get right if we do go down that path and I do think, from what I've seen in international media, certain countries that are broadening their criteria for consideration appear to be setting some dangerous precedents.

    Hastings • Since May 2014 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Chelle Hope,

    I would much rather see a law that allows self-determination for terminally ill people in how and when they die and leave people with disabilities, and everyone else for that matter, out of it.

    That’s what I assume the Labour Party policy was (I haven’t read the balloted bill) but I dought they where aiming to emulate the Nazi party.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    Lecretia Seales could have lost a lot of good living time if assisted suicide had been available to her when she was diagnosed in 2011 and given weeks to live. She would have met the criteria, and no-one would ever have known how wrong the doctors were or how much she missed out on.
    Sacha's link to her story: http://www.listener.co.nz/?p=148725

    I would much rather see a law that allows self-determination for terminally ill people in how and when they die and leave people with disabilities, and everyone else for that matter, out of it.

    Yes, I think that's a sensible course. The terminally ill and not long left bit needs to be beyond doubt though.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Angela Hart,

    If the law distinguishes between terminal illness and disability where does something like child cancer fit?

    The Belgian law also applies to child cancer (and other childhood conditions). So parents and even children can theoretically ask for euthanasia. I know a bit about child cancer and know children who have survived and others who have died.

    Risks for children under a liberal euthanasia policy:
    1.It is very hard for parents and clinicians to watch children have some tough treatment over a long time, especially when a successful outcome is not guaranteed.
    2. Children are often well aware of their parents' anxiety over them and how their cancer has disrupted family life.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    If the law distinguishes between terminal illness and disability where does something like child cancer fit?

    Actually I suppose some progressive impairments become terminal too. I imagine you would need to satisfy the medical and psychological criteria even more rigorously if parents are making that decision on behalf of a child, or the child does not have enough life experience or reasoning ability to make such a decision.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    I don't think parents should be able to ask for euthanasia on behalf of a child. How could a child have enough life experience? Or reasoning ability? I would set the minimum age of consent for euthanasia very high - I'd take the Confucian standard of 30 being when one reaches adulthood as the absolute minimum, but I'm not sure that would be old enough.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I’d take the Confucian standard of 30 being when one reaches adulthood as the absolute minimum, but I’m not sure that would be old enough.

    That's harsh.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to steven crawford,

    That’s harsh.

    Why? It's a huge decision to make, and isn't the whole point of the thread emphasising the need to ensure that the people doing the dying actually do really want that?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I'd want it to be the most well-informed decision they've ever made.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Instead of this debate we should perhaps be talking about Advanced Care Planning.There is even a Conversations that Count Day in April, to start having those difficult conversations with family and friends about plans for old age or terminal illness. Info on the website. http://www.advancecareplanning.org.nz/

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I have sat with a number of people as they have died.

    Three of them had chosen to die, that day, as they had reached the end of their ability to bear much more pain.

    All three of them literally died.

    No drugs or other paraphernalia of suicide....they simply made up their minds to cease living....and got on with dying.

    All were women, one with MND, one with cancer and one eighty year old who had lived with severe rheumatoid arthritis for over 40 years.

    They went peacefully, easily....without struggle or drama.

    They willed themselves to die....or did they simply, and happily, let go of life?

    I'm not sure....but none of these women were the sort to place a moral burden on another person by asking them to help them on their way.

    All of them had had full, active and fulfilling lives...

    And graceful, dignified deaths.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Interested organisations apply to join Letitia Searles court case.

    In a hearing in the High Court at Wellington today, three groups sought to have their say on whether Ms Seales could take a lethal dose of drugs. The Human Rights Commission, Care Alliance Trust and Voluntary Euthanasia Society want to participate in Seales' trial, which starts next month.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Lecretia Seales is on the next ep of TV1's Sunday show. Here's the promo clip.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Media coverage at the end of day one of the trial.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    I've been trying to show some respect and ignore the (what I assumed to be unwanted) media coverage of this case. Ignore the trotting out of the usual pain/suffering/burden/loss of dignity/dependent/incontinent/unable to clean one's self etc lines. Tried to put aside the claim that loss of function is more difficult to bear for those who are more mentally accomplished.

    Then, Sacha, I followed your link...and found this...http://lecretia.org/you-can-help/

    and there's John Key's smiling face prominently displayed in the prime position on the webpage.

    So I am assuming he supports the right to die/GP assisted suicide/voluntary euthanasia campaign.

    While at the same time shitting from a great height on disabled people who have still not had their right to live as equals fully respected or accepted.

    Message received, loud and clear.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    and there’s John Key’s smiling face prominently displayed in the prime position on the webpage.

    So I am assuming he supports the right to die/GP assisted suicide/voluntary euthanasia campaign.

    No, the page gives no indication that's the case and indeed says that "no elected representatives have taken responsibility for reviewing right to die laws". The picture is there because the campaign is inviting people to write to party leaders.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The description of incontinence as "unbearable" caught my ear too. Fear of disability is not a reason for help dying, and it does not reflect well on someone who cites it in court.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And there's me thinking that the smile on his face was due to the potential savings if right to die legislation was passed.

    Further degrading of services, more insecurity, and entrenching of loss of rights for disabled people...they'll be begging for the needle/pill/whatever.

    All the party leaders, with handy links, are positioned at further down the page. Our Leader, so positioned, is in either the "foe" or "friend" position.

    Unfortunate.

    @ Sacha....the word 'unbearable' has been worn out over this issue.

    I'm disappointed that on one hand they are claiming that this case will not set a precedent, that it is only about this one person, and subsequently turning it into a media circus.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    The description of incontinence as “unbearable” caught my ear too. Fear of disability is not a reason for help dying, and it does not reflect well on someone who cites it in court.

    They inject a bit if variety today.... the "abject humiliation of incontinence", and feared people dealing with her most intimate bodily functions."

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/274627/'court-not-place-for-right-to-die-case'

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    On the Panel just now Michele Boag disparaged the whole normal dying process. She said how terrible it was and it would be better to hurry it up. As someone who has observed that peaceful palliative slow dying process on several occasions I would strongly disagree.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    She said how terrible it was and it would be better to hurry it up.

    in her case, now is good

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    From the Link Rosemary provided:

    Her lead lawyer, Dr Andrew Butler, told the court Ms Seales was not seeking to commit suicide.

    “Whatever suicide is, what Lecretia is doing is not suicide. What she is doing in her specific circumstances is the exercise of her Bill of Rights rights,” he said.

    The onus was on the Crown to show why it should limit what was a reasonable and justifiable request, saying the goals of the legislation to protect the vulnerable would still be achieved if her wish was granted.

    Dr Butler said courts did not like blanket bans, and this was a blanket ban of the highest order.

    “It says you, the individual, don’t count. We don’t care about you. We care about something else.”

    “Somehow the ends justify the means, somehow we can overlook an individual and their circumstances, and apply something not for the benefit of them but for the benefit of others.”.

    That’s a good argument.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to steven crawford,

    it's an argument that individual interests are more important than societal ones. We have had 3 decades of government based on the same belief.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Sacha,

    it’s an argument that individual interests are more important than societal ones. We have had 3 decades of government based on the same belief.

    No it isn’t, it’s an individual, asking for the right to deside how she wants here doctor to treat her illness.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Sacha,

    She said how terrible it was and it would be better to hurry it up.

    in her case, now is good

    then those of us who abandoned the 'Panel' may dare to venture back....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

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