“Monument or Headstone 2”?

(This is a continuing post on the recent theme of the assisted dying bill, click on ASSISTED SUICIDE in the TAG CLOUD for other posts on this subject).

Professor Theo Boer who originally was an advocate of assisted dying has now changed his view after seeing the policy develop after legislation was introduced in the Netherlands in 1967.  What started as a compassionate approach to terminal illness with the active consent of patients and doctors, has now become “normal practice” for many elderly and chronically ill people.

What began as a response to a few exceptional cases has increased by 15% every year since 2008 and may well reach 6,000 deaths this year.  Nearly 1 in 7 deaths are at the hands of doctors in the Netherlands.

A new medical term has now emerged – “terminal sedation” where patients are sedated and then dehydrated and starved to death.  This has been advocated in the UK in the “Liverpool Pathway” – a term which has now been withdrawn.  This approach accounts for 12% of all deaths in the Netherlands, but many people who die this way are not included in the assisted dying figures.

In Belgium the figures are even higher where 1 in 5 of all deaths are ‘helped’ by doctors.

The slippery slope looks to be getting slipperier and slipperier.

This could be the easy answer to the NHS being overwhelmed by elderly patients.  It would be a lot cheaper than prolonging “unwanted” lives.  The pensions industry would have a strategic solution to unpredicted longer lives.  Who knows, annuities might even increase again if life expectancy starts to fall.

The economic argument for shortening older people’s lives is getting stronger all the time, though nobody dare advance that case in speeches in the House of Lords debates on assisted dying.     Meanwhile care and compassion for the frail and vulnerable is talked about frequently in a heart on your sleeve way ——- but seldom acted upon.

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3 Responses to “Monument or Headstone 2”?

  1. I am not sur how to answer this or the comments above? There is a slippery slope? Who is the judge and who is the jury? and from which stand point or whos opinion does one consider to be correct.
    The comment above challenge the hypocratic oath, and the relationship between doctor/patience if one is ill and suffering, and how does m one chalenge another ‘Shipman Case’ ( In fact was shipman right?), or indeed a modern ‘Holocuost’ ( The Nazi’s had old age and the unclean down to a ‘T’? This road is not for me!!! However.
    I am still concerned how one reaches with grace and compassion, the end of one mortal life? There are so many ties,family/friends/dependents and ones attendents as one becomes very frail and even drawing a breath is a fight. What then if you ask me? and I reply, do you have the right to challenge my decision?? If you disagree then who is my god and who is my friend? can I then be santioned under the mental health act, and a committe decide my fate? Maybe with ouit dignity and personal feelings. It is a difficult ask? I do not have the answers as I have said: However I may have to trust my nearest, and the attending medical professional. The only thing then I can add is that while i may meet my maker with a clear consciience, those administrating my demise when their time comes will have to meet their maker with their own clear consicience.
    While we have this debate in parliament and else where, whom do we lobby if anyone? The Church House of Bishops sit in the Lords, and while the do gooders have their favoured opinions, there is the view point of the church to consider? Does one require a doctor and a priest or man of the cloth to administer jointly, both a medical termination and last rights? Who has the say so? Do we all need to go to church to be good christains, and what is a confession/ to a man of the cloth? Is That between me and my god or me and a man of maybe deep compassion? However one argues the case it is between me and another human being? and whom do I trust? or indeed will I trust. Can society rule on such an issue? I doubt it???

  2. davidfreeman says:

    I note I may have dealt only with the higher issues ‘GOD and Myself’, so far. ‘Mamon’ and the traders at the temple doors I have not considered fully? The enuendo that rewards on earth such as annunities may be greater for those waiting to depart earlier in life is an interesting thought, and in my mind not worthy of consideration, by the normal healthy person? However if one or society where to follow this subject, then the ‘wit of man’, would surely follow and declare the intentions of an early demise as an escape route to avoid the paying of debts ( Except Timeshare?) and or settling monies on survivoirs or debtors to easy ones painful life through all this low income and debt by willy nilly money lending to nafarios financial bodies. The goverment of the day would/may demonise such actions, and chastie people with such thoughts! penalising them to forgo their claims of reward, and punishing ( suicide is a sin) those surviviours who cannot pay the debt?
    We need to take stock as a society as to what we want from life and what we may wish for our children! We must live by example and lead maybe not an exemplary life, but one of true forgiveness, love and compassion for our family and neighbours.
    It all boils down to what do we believe in as individuals, and are we prepared to stand up and be counted? As the older generation i see the future not just for our children, but our grandchildren and the future generations, who call the UK Society and all it stands for as ‘Home’.
    It is as it always has been a complex subject, and a choice made by or to be made by all of us as individuals. I am not sure of the answer? However I need to talk with my loved ones when the time is right as to how they and I see the ‘end of life’. It is no idle matter to chatter about then discard, without a thought or two!

  3. per.pe says:

    Howdy I am so happy I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was researching on Askjeeve for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a fantastic post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds,
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