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Mother jailed for nine years for euthanising son

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  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,269 Skive's The Limit
    MoK wrote: »
    Firstly, there is no dignity in death.

    Wasting away in pain over years is far less dignified than a morphine overdose
    MoK wrote: »
    Secondly, the very act of killing yourself or asking someone else to do it is also ending your life sooner than necessary.

    You know exactly what Jameilia means. The point at which many people come to the decision that they want to die quickly is often past the point at which they can do it unaided.

    MoK wrote: »
    Does someone who is paralysed, or who has learning disabilities, have a lower quality of life. Or are they just unable to do the same as someone able bodied?

    Learning disabilites? Whos advocating that?

    Surely it's up to the person suffering to define it? I think it's quite obvious people only kept alive by machines, trapped in their own body and in constant pain have a lower quality of thife than most of us.
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Firstly, there is no dignity in death.

    Would you rather die peacefully in your bed or trapped panicking in a burning building?

    I think there is such a thing as a 'preferable' way to go, whether you want to call it being dignified in dying without so much pain or something else.

    There is an important distinction to be made between doing this for someone elses benefit of your own accord, and doing this in accordance with someones wishes.

    Bear in mind some suffers of long term illnesses have had to kill themselves by refusing medication which caused extremely painful deaths. If only they could have had the mercy of an overdose of morphine as well.

    It's not a black or white matter to be honest and problems coming down on either side - perhaps erring on the side of caution is the best thing to do. But I don't think people who think either its completely immoral or the opposite fully grasp the scale of complexities. Ultimately the law is just arbitrary lines in the sand to try to do the best by most of us.

    In exceptional circumstances, the law can and does fail to appropriately deal with issues. Killing someone to -help- them is one of these exceptional circumstances I feel.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm in favour of euthanasia, but even if I had my way, this woman would've still been in trouble, because euthanasia relies on getting the consent of the person beforehand, which of course she didn't. So euthanasia is a bit of a red herring, because she'd still be in prison.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Firstly, there is no dignity in death.

    You can't say that - dignity is something people believe or perceive about themselves or others, it's not an objective thing; that is your opinion, which you have no right to force onto someone else.
    Quality of life. Define it.

    Well, it will vary from person to person, but there are some constants. Being locked into agonising for every waking second, for example, would be poor quality of life. There is also the issue of different thresholds in terms of what people feel is acceptable to them.

    Obviously there must be some kind of legal safeguard against manipulation or foul play in this; but a person's body is their own domain. They shouldn't have to satisfy criteria that you or I set up in order to make decisions in this case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wonder if in 500 years time people will look back and see our perspective on the absolute holiness of human life (even if the continuing life is agony, we still preserve it, as apposed to say an animal in pain) as ... something (self important perhaps). Just think we look back now and think how in many ways we were backward 500 years ago, maybe this is just something else that we haven't got round to fixing yet. That's another thread perhaps.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why do you all think that there is no dignity in the latter stages of life? What is it about that stage which makes you think that death would be preferable?

    Whatever that is, my approach is for us to improve on that, to make it better. Yours appears to be acceptance and death.

    Perhaps my life experiences make me value every last second we have available to us. It's all too short, why hasten it further?
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,269 Skive's The Limit
    MoK wrote: »
    Perhaps my life experiences make me value every last second we have available to us. It's all too short, why hasten it further?

    even if every last second infact happens to be years of agony and hopelessness?
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    For agony you can have pain relief, for hopelessness give people hope.

    Or, kill them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    For agony you can have pain relief, for hopelessness give people hope.

    Or, kill them.

    But there is only so much pain relief you can give people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yet again, MoK, this is an area where legalisation may reduce the occurrence. I would expect an examination of the reasons for wanting an end to be part of the framework.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm in favour of euthanasia, but even if I had my way, this woman would've still been in trouble, because euthanasia relies on getting the consent of the person beforehand, which of course she didn't. So euthanasia is a bit of a red herring, because she'd still be in prison.

    What happens if someone is (for whatever reason) unable to give their consent?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    What happens if someone is (for whatever reason) unable to give their consent?

    I'd rather, in such a case, a fast end was given than death by withdrawal of feeding
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This reporting is ridiculous. We are told this woman has received a "life sentence" before being told in the next sentence, written by some jumped-up overpaid Grauniad journalist, that the sentence is actually "nine years". And she's only going to live for nine more years, is she?

    No wonder people think the legal system's a joke. And before anyone says I sound like the Daily Mail, (members on this board seem to be under the impression this heinous crime is equivalent to killing about 6 million Jews) even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Firstly, there is no dignity in death.

    Secondly, the very act of killing yourself or asking someone else to do it is also ending your life sooner than necessary.



    And this is one of my fundamental issues with this whole debate. Quality of life. Define it.

    Does someone who is paralysed, or who has learning disabilities, have a lower quality of life. Or are they just unable to do the same as someone able bodied?

    This is a very confused and contradictory post. First you decide to assert, on the basis of nothing except your subjective opinion, that there is no dignity in death. With no argument or defence, just bald assertion.

    And then you go on to criticise people for talking about their subjective assessment of a situation as if it were objective fact - ie whether a person has a decent quality of life or not.

    Without anything like an argument or an explanation I can see no reason to accept your assertion that there can be no dignity in death. I can think of more and less dignified ways of dying. Going to sleep painlessly and peacefully in my bed seems on the face of it to be more dignified than a lot of the alternatives.

    And of course it will be difficult to assess quality of life objectively, but I'm not sure that's even the point, since it's my subjective experience of my quality of life that matters, not what you or any other impartial observer judges my quality of life to be. If I feel my life is not worth continuing, who are you to tell me I'm wrong?

    I really don't get the rationale for your position at all, at least, not if what you're offering is a principled objection to euthanasia, rather than a pragmatic one based on concerns about possible abuse and difficulties of implementation. If you don't want to be in control of your death, then fine, good for you. But why are you so concerned to stop me from being in control of mine?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jamelia wrote: »
    I really don't get the rationale for your position at all, at least, not if what you're offering is a principled objection to euthanasia, rather than a pragmatic one based on concerns about possible abuse and difficulties of implementation. If you don't want to be in control of your death, then fine, good for you. But why are you so concerned to stop me from being in control of mine?

    It's both.

    It's principled in that I don't think it's right to take a life purely on the basis of health.

    It's pragmatic because I don't think it's possible to enforce it. You only have to look at our abortion laws to see that it's easy to abuse a law which requires two Doctor's signatures.

    And once again, I am not stopping you from being in control of your life. I'm stopping your from expecting someone else to take control over when your life ends. When you are in the position that you cannot take your own life then you are obviously going to have to rely on another person to do it for you.

    As for dignity in death... yes it's subjective. Mine is based on experience, the process of the death itself, and what I know about what happens after death.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    As for dignity in death... yes it's subjective. Mine is based on experience, the process of the death itself, and what I know about what happens after death.

    You know what happens after death?:chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »

    Whatever that is, my approach is for us to improve on that, to make it better. Yours appears to be acceptance and death.

    Perhaps my life experiences make me value every last second we have available to us. It's all too short, why hasten it further?

    So cos you work in the NHS you believe that industrial medicine can make everything better ...everything worthwhile?

    Every last second when the industrial drugs aren't working are fun filled with buckets of hope and sunshine according to NHS workers?

    My brother in law died six months ago and desperately wanted to die six months before that.
    He had sorted all his affairs out and wanted the pain and misery to stop ...he'd had enough.
    I find it quite disturbing that as a hospital worker you fail to have any understanding of that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hmm, I wrote out a reply and it disappeared between hitting submit and what not.

    Anyway - MoK not disagreeing with you explicitly, I really do understand and get your point. But you must concede that it's not a black or white matter, and that the other side has perfectly legitimate wishes etc. - that in some exceptional cases there are people who may be in so much pain that they would want a swift end to it - either by suicide or medically induced coma - but because of the laws which haven't been revised or reviewed in some time they don't have that right.

    Also having seen someone who was in a bad way shall we say without hope of recovering, they were not lucid enough to give consent and were just in constant pain. It got so much the doctors just had to sedate them to try and give the best pain management until they died. What is the difference between sedating someone past conciousness until their heart gives up on its own and giving them something to stop their heart?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    As for the sentence, it was premeditated murder IMHO. I'd say it was light.

    Many, if not most, child rapists get lighter sentences than that, I'd say it was disproportionally harsh. Permanent psychological trauma is worse than death.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You know what happens after death?:chin:

    Yeah, reading that back it doesn't mean what I meant it to :eek: .

    I mean I know what happens to your body when you die, what the health services etc do with it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So cos you work in the NHS you believe that industrial medicine can make everything better ...everything worthwhile?

    God no, I wish it could but it can't and never will. We will all die eventually. Some horribly, some in their sleep.

    What I mean is that with better palliative care drugs and more focus on healping people (and I mean families in that role too) then perhaps those last few months of pain and misery won't appear so daunting.

    Look at the Oregan system where 45% of people change their mind about euthanasia when offered improved palliative care...
    I find it quite disturbing that as a hospital worker you fail to have any understanding of that.

    I have an understanding of that. But as a health professional I also come from the background of treating people and caring for them, rather than killing them.

    Cancer treatment is harsh on the body, we all know that and we try to get that across to our patients. Funnily enough most will go through the worst possible side effects for those extra few weeks of life. Perhaps we should ask why that is and consider that whilst we glibly talk about killing people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    What is the difference between sedating someone past conciousness until their heart gives up on its own and giving them something to stop their heart?

    One is treatment, relief of symptoms. The other is a deliberate act to end a life.

    It's worth looking at the modern version of the "Hippocratic Oath" still used in many medical schools to this day. It states "Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God."

    What euthanasia, and interestingly lethal injections, do is corrupt that part of the moral aspect of being a doctor. Many Doctors do not support their colleagues taking part in lethal injections even if they support the idea of the death penalty. Indeed it was the very act of lethal injections which the US Supreme Court used (2001) as evidence that the the US Govts argument against Doctors being party to euthanasia. The US Govt argued that it was not "legitimate medical purpose" and the Supreme Court pointed out that neither was the lethal injection.

    There's quite a good article about the law and euthanasia here which covers the human rights aspect in reference to the EU Human Rights articles and the Pretty case.

    As I have said before, it's not that I don't understand why people might want to go down this route. I just don't believe that we should end a life intentionally - I am absolutely certain that no medical professional should - and it's that moral objection which I really hold dear.

    In addition, I believe that it is inevitable that we would head down a slippery slope. We're already on it. Until recently we would never have even entertained the though, now we do. Whilst people will argue that it's only in "exceptional cases" the reality is that, once enshrined in law, a new campaign would start to relax this further.

    I also believe that pressure from family members would also follow - sometimes for mercenary reasons, sometimes because they fear the future just the same as the patient might.

    Sadly, I also believe that such a law would be used as an excuse to reduce funding for palliative care and for hospices.

    There's the issue of family consent - similar to the transplant issue - where it might be a persons expressed wish to die but, at the point that the person loses their mental capacity to consent, the family withdraw their support and you can imagine the legal nightmare that this causes.

    Waiting for death to arrive is frightening, it can be painful and it can be traumatic - not just for the patient but also for their family and carers. In don't think that this justifies killing them though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Look at the Oregan system where 45% of people change their mind about euthanasia when offered improved palliative care...

    Sounds like a case of a legal framework for euthanasia reducing its occurrence.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    In addition, I believe that it is inevitable that we would head down a slippery slope. We're already on it. Until recently we would never have even entertained the though, now we do.

    If anything, the fact that we now entertain the thought where previously did not is a sign of how much more civilised and humane our society has become, and how we are managing to free ourselves of the religious dogma that tells us it's wrong to help people end their lives because thou shalt not kill and thou shalt not play God. Now, we think we should at least entertain the idea, because my life belongs to me and not to God, and if anyone should be able to control how it ends, it is me.

    I just read this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jan/25/lynn-gilderdale-me-assisted-suicide

    I find it impossible to conclude anything other than that the mother did the right thing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Big Gay wrote: »
    Sounds like a case of a legal framework for euthanasia reducing its occurrence.

    Or a case for that type of treatment to be offered anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jamelia wrote: »
    If anything, the fact that we now entertain the thought where previously did not is a sign of how much more civilised and humane our society has become, and how we are managing to free ourselves of the religious dogma that tells us it's wrong to help people end their lives because thou shalt not kill and thou shalt not play God. Now, we think we should at least entertain the idea, because my life belongs to me and not to God, and if anyone should be able to control how it ends, it is me.

    TBH I don't hold with the religious aspect to it either, that's not the basis of my morals here.
    I just read this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jan/25/lynn-gilderdale-me-assisted-suicide

    I find it impossible to conclude anything other than that the mother did the right thing.

    An interesting case and you won't be surprised to find that I disagree with the outcome, based on what I have read. Although as a former ME sufferer I have serious sympathy - 2 years was bad enough, 17...

    It appears that the girl was quite capable to administering over doses herself - having tried previously but not in sufficient quantities. She was not terminal in any way although ME is debilitating.

    So, are we now arguing for euthanasia for people who could have many years of life ahead of them and with a condition which has been proven to improve - even though they, personally, may have had it for some time?

    What did I say earlier about the debate changing?

    Interestingly Martin Amis seems to want to change the debate too, although I suspect that self publicity forms part of his reasoning...
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,269 Skive's The Limit
    MoK wrote: »
    So, are we now arguing for euthanasia for people who could have many years of life ahead of them and with a condition which has been proven to improve - even though they, personally, may have had it for some time?

    It's not a given that her condition would have improved at all.
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't really care too much whether it would have improved, anyway. She was miserable and in pain and found her life intolerable - why should she have to continue living if she's had enough?
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