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Thread summary:

Montana third state to allow assisted suicide, terminally ill patients, doctors prescribe medication, self-administer to end life, philosophy imported by immigrants from liberal states like Oregon

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Old 12-19-2008, 08:41 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seven of nine View Post
Well thought out post. I have been with many dying patients and I really believe that they see whatever their vision of the other-world is. I just hope those who choose this option have closure with their decision. I had a family member decide this route with their terminal diagnosis, had a particular bad day and without a word to anyone took the dose. Can not begin to explain the heartache.
Thank you and I feel for you. That experience you had kind of makes a good point. The mess left behind when someone just ends it is wrong and unfair for those that are still living. If it's legal then there can be some planning, saying goodby and closure for those left behind instead of picking up the pieces and trying to deal with the why, the suddeness and lack of closure.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:17 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
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thank you, now for a cup of coffee
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:20 AM
 
Location: SW Montana
352 posts, read 1,004,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seven of nine View Post
Well thought out post. I have been with many dying patients and I really believe that they see whatever their vision of the other-world is. I just hope those who choose this option have closure with their decision. I had a family member decide this route with their terminal diagnosis, had a particular bad day and without a word to anyone took the dose. Can not begin to explain the heartache.
My sympathies to you, that must have been very difficult.

I lost my Mom and Dad roughly a month apart, both from nearly identical tumors. But the circumstances of their passing was quite dissimilar. Dad's largely pain-free and quick, Mom much less so. The quality of life issue became huge; I owe a lot to the hospice folks. Nothing at all to the oncologist and hospital - that's why I kept her at home with me.

I still stand by my original statement; we as healthy human beings cannot begin to really understand what those in terrible distress feel. That is one of those things you can watch and know 100% what it would be like to be in their shoes.

By the wording of your posts, I assume you're in the medical profession and have had more experience than the vast majority of us. I have an good friend who is a P.A. and my FIL is a doctor, so this subject has arisen on numerous occasions. I believe in an individual's choice and control over their own lives. Whether that "right" is exercised in a diligent and intelligent manner is a matter they have to resolve with themselves and their loved ones.

I am not in their shoes and should not and cannot decide how they should address their situation. Their life is not mine; my duty is to learn from what I see, formulate a plan, and apply it the best way I know how. Granted, this isn't the most popular notion anymore.

And I agree with your statement and jimj's implied notion that there will be potential abuses within the medical and insurance systems. To that I would say, I don't know of anything that isn't open to some form of abuse; not much in this life is zero-risk.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:37 AM
GLS GLS started this thread
 
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Default Thank you

Thank you all for your posts. The wide variance in personal philosophy underscores the complexity of this issue. The first two posts answer part of my question, regarding the level of debate in Montana. Obviously some Montanans are not yet aware of the legislation, while others are "tired of hearing of it". I really don't have any ax to grind here. I was just interested in the pros and cons expressed by Montanans, and whether the decision was made by people "native" to the State, or was it influenced greatly by a leaning toward much more liberal views by "outsiders". I see many threads in which Montanans decry the impact of West Coast immigrants moving in and wanting to change things. Is this one of them?

In response to Allforcats, yes, to me personally it makes a difference where ideas begin. If I know where an idea began I can try to learn from the data that went into it's formulation. I want to know something about the creator of the idea, as well as the context within which it was postulated.

Returning to the point, I respect each individual's philosophy on death and dying. However, my experience is that these may be greatly modified when you find yourself in the vortex of the experience. Many of the posts on this thread show the pain and confusion when you must become personally involved. Those of you that have had to endure watching a loved one or friend suffer, or who have had to make an end of life recommendation, you have my greatest empathy.

Finally, to provide you with some context. My PERSONAL philosophy is to exit quickly if I become mentally or physically incapacitated. However, my PROFESSIONAL responsibilities involve doing everything I can to maintain life. Getting both personal and professional feelings to live in harmony is extremely difficult. For example, I consult with a 30 bed Transitional Care Unit, in which every resident is on a ventilator, a great many of which are in a persistent vegetative state. Compared to you and I, their quality of life is tragic. Most laymen invariably respond, "pull the plug". However, a few of these residents are able to interact with their surroundings in a small way, i.e. blink or nod to family members, watch TV, etc. Some even manage a smile when you walk into the room. The Nursing staff, Social Services, CNAs are loving and supportive. They are heroes doing the best they can, even though they know these patients will never be discharged home.

Sorry for the digression. I wonder if the trend is for more states to allow assisted suicide? I wonder if the new laws will make it more difficult or easier for some patients, families, and practitioners. There is little solace in knowing that there is no WRONG answer, when you must accept the corollary that there is no RIGHT answer.
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