The right to die

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A place for serious discussion on any non-religious topic

Re: The right to die

Postby Lyn » August 20th, 2012, 9:45 pm

He can ommunicate though Bev, otherwise he wouldn't have taken himself to court. All he has to do is express the fact that he wants no more antibiotics and life saving medication, to be allowed to lie down rather than propped up in a chair for most of the day (which aids his lung function), but would like something to make him feel sleepy and comfortable.
His relatives must be able to speak for him too. I remember saying the same thing to the GP in my mother in law's case, when her Parkinsons had progressed so that she could not move without being moved and, ha ha, the GP prescribed Seroxat! An antidepressant which takes a long time to work, doesn't always work and has unpleasant side effects in many people. 10mg Diazepam three or four times a day would have been better, addiction was hardly a problem. Plus there was an endless cocktail of useless drugs being administered. She wasn't going to recover. In a way we were lucky at the end because she also had cancer; although the cancer was far from being her main problem, the MacMillan team became involved and she had regular morphine so she did in the end feel a lot better and passed peacefully but it took a while to get all this put together.
I feel sure the same can be done for Tony but he and his carers need to be informed about what medication he has and why. He also has the right to refuse anything that will not help him.
Poor chap, I feel for him. We really should pray for him and those in similar situations, that they are allowed to die when there is no longer quality of life. Then there wouldn't be talk of murder/manslaughter or suicide, it would be nature taking its course with a bit of comfort.
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Re: The right to die

Postby Bev » August 20th, 2012, 10:04 pm

Victoria Plum wrote:Poor chap, I feel for him. We really should pray for him and those in similar situations, that they are allowed to die when there is no longer quality of life. Then there wouldn't be talk of murder/manslaughter or suicide, it would be nature taking its course with a bit of comfort.


Amen to that.
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Re: The right to die

Postby GregB » August 22nd, 2012, 11:53 am

As we've seen on The Dead Thread, Tony has mercifully died. Here's a Guardian report:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/aug/2 ... sfeed=true

It's reported that he died from 'natural causes'. That's fine - and one supposes there will be a post mortem - but one can't help but wonder whether those natural causes weren't given a little help. After all, it is odd that he should die after existing seven years in that condition and only six days after the high court decision. This extract from the Guardian report suggests that he knew he was about to die, which does suggest some sort of assistance. (That's OK by me but I do hope it won't result in problems for the family.)

A message posted from Nicklinson's Twitter account by his family on Wednesday said: "You may already know, my Dad died peacefully this morning of natural causes. He was 58. Before he died, he asked us to tweet: 'Goodbye world, the time has come, I had some fun.' Thank you for your support over the years. We would appreciate some privacy at this difficult time. Love, Jane, Lauren and Beth."
(Bold mine.)

The tweets from his wife and one of his daughters are quite moving:

His wife, Jane, tweeted: "I have lost the love of my life but he suffers no more."
His daughter Beth added: "RIP @TonyNicklinson. Couldn't have asked for a better dad, so strong. You are now at peace, we will be fine. I love you xxx."


Now, we await further news. Meanwhile, rest in peace, Tony...
"I hate reality but it's still the best place to get a good steak."
- Woody Allen
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Re: The right to die

Postby Bev » August 22nd, 2012, 1:31 pm

I agree that we can't help but see this as good news. Hopefully, the family too will be allowed to live on in peace.
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Re: The right to die

Postby Sprocket » August 22nd, 2012, 5:10 pm

Apparently, he died of pneumonia, having refused treatment. The police have said that they do not intend to investigate his death.
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Re: The right to die

Postby Lyn » August 22nd, 2012, 6:33 pm

That is undoubtedly very good news.
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Re: The right to die

Postby GregB » August 23rd, 2012, 7:53 am

I wonder how that other victim of the same syndrome, the man known as 'Martin', has taken the news of Tony's death. He may still want to carry the case forward with the planned appeal, or perhaps he might want to go the same way as Tony and refuse any treatment for future (or present) life-threatening infections.
"I hate reality but it's still the best place to get a good steak."
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Re: The right to die

Postby Lyn » August 23rd, 2012, 10:00 am

He might do both Greg, which is what I imagine Tony did, ie carry on fighting this through the courts but 'taking care of himself' with Plan B at the same time.
What is very good that has been highlighted by this case is that it shows one does not have to actively commit suicide, with or without help, but just refuse anything except palliative care.

If only more people were aware of this course of action, made it known that that is what they would want (in writing maybe), before the event, and tell their relatives or carers.
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Re: The right to die

Postby Sprocket » August 23rd, 2012, 12:47 pm

I don't think that's true. 'Locked-in syndrome' is not terminal, although people with it are likely to have their life-expectancy fairly drastically reduced. However, they may live for many years, as Mr Nicklinson had already done, without succumbing to pneumonia or anything else that would kill them.
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