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Doctor assisted dying

Updated on January 19, 2016

Assisted Suicide Law

As someone who works closely with the elderly/terminally ill and dying I can say it is not always easy. It can often be depressing and full of grief. Many mornings have brought upon me a great sadness as I assist people out of bed and get them dressed. "I want to die" is something I hear almost every day. For those who are truly in pain and suffering I welcome the idea of assisted suicide as long as there are serious regulations.

The court has prolonged their deadline for a law until February 6th 2016. Death is often something people turn away from, it is only there when necessary, perhaps giving people a sense of security over their own inevitable futures. The law should clearly define assisted suicide as it applies to individuals suffering with dementia, as many of them are often scared, angry, volatile and happy all in one day. A dementia patient may say "I want to die" in the morning and by lunch they are saying "what a wonderful day".

Advice on dying and death by the Dalai Lama was one of the first books I read in my quest to understand death and has helped me a great deal. Death is unavoidable and doctor assisted dying has come with much debate, but it is a sign of the change in society and perhaps the empathy we feel for those who suffer.

The right to free choice should still apply to those who are unable to carry out the task. The catholic religion states that suicide is a sin. Unsuspecting families and friends can be traumatized after the suicide of a loved one. The cases discussed for doctor assisted dying would not be unsuspected and families and friends would know in advance, if they don't already know of the patients wishes already. This both removes the guilt that comes with "I could have done something" and allows time for closure. It may be wise for the government to assist families in the weeks after a death, providing counselling and grief management.

Is assisted suicide a family matter or solely personal? Is it personal choice or the court's choice? What do you think?

Though the topic is often complicated and controversial, though everyone has the right to die in peace.


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    • carleelloyd profile image

      Carlee Lloyd 23 months ago

      Greg, I see many patients over medicated although some of them are still able to function normally and complete their daily living tasks with little to no assistance. What I am interested in seeing is the regulations or the decision on wether dementia patients will be able to carry out assisted suicide or not, seeing as they are often able to complete daily tasks but don't know quite whats going on around them.

    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 23 months ago from Corona, California.

      Hi Calee, this is something that has actually been on my mind for years. I like the idea of the assisted death when chosen in the right pretext. I have seen too many cases of people, not just old people either, that are comatose or at a vegetative state and have to be cared for with no other reason to be alive than for someone to be collecting money. Families are so often changed and their own lives put on hold because they feel the responsibility to take care of that person. I know already that when it comes time that I am unable to care for myself I would rather end it then. I don't want to just have an existence where someone has to feed me and clean me up after I go to the bathroom. That is existing, NOT living. My feelings on this subject, Greg.