“Same Old, Same Old – Death’s Door”

Before I had even concluded my last blog on the recurring headlines about assisted suicide, a host of new headlines on the same subject appear:-

“Dying without dignity” – Daily Mail – 20th May 2015

“The dam is about to burst on the right to die” – The Times – 28th May 2015

As the population of older people increases and ill-health and frailty overwhelms the NHS and Social Services, clearly this issue won’t go away.

The first headline covers a report by the Parliamentary Health Ombudsman on the appalling end of life care in the NHS.  This follows the extended discussion about the use of the “Liverpool Pathway” which appears to have changed very little for the better.  Obviously the NHS does not handle death very well, hence the wish of most people to die at home.

The second headline was prompted by yet another Dignitas Death in Switzerland. A thoughtful review by Times journalist, David Aronovitch, of the slow but inexorable progress of Lord Falconer’s assisted dying bill.

These two issues are closely and uncomfortably related.  The NHS’s inability to cope with overwhelming numbers of older people who may have complex health needs but are NOT terminally ill.  Coupled with politicians oversimplifying and misunderstanding the issues of later life and muddying the waters of morality and expediency.

This is one subject where I can’t see how you can turn a “Grumble” about assisted suicide into a “Smile”.

When you link these two issues together you have a fatal cocktail which will hasten many more older people who have been constantly reminded they are “old, past-it and useless”, to take the final step through :-

ManSmilew-BIGboard Cropped 171

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2 Responses to “Same Old, Same Old – Death’s Door”

  1. As the wise old sage states ‘A grumble’ cannot in this instance be convertrd to a smile. I have nothing to say other than the road ahead, may be full of twists and turns, and I personally must trust ‘my loved ones’, of those who do care to make a compassionate decision about my possible future? Not one made in haste or rational that maybe too cold and clinical, like the mood at present of society and in general with those handles of power within the government and elected bodies of Westminister.

  2. The End story?
    This missive gives me great difficulty in its construction, and maybe I may offend certain groups, for this I wish to apologize, and trust that my points may be considered.
    John has through many of his previous blogs mentioned, or indicated that age, death and euthanasia is a series of question that should be discussed. John puts forward his points with vigor and questions any uncertain practices which involve the end of life/illness becoming an industrial solution, without any social conscious, or moral guidance.
    Comments I wish to make in respect of these points!
    1/ Death is an uncertain event, either in the older person or the younger person with a health infirmity, that does not allow them to pursue a normal life as I perceive it being fit and mobile.
    2/ Age has no meaning? But it may have an influence on the state of mind of any person who has reached the bibles age of three score years and ten?
    3/ Do we accept this hypothesis as a society in modern Britain?
    4/ CARE-Residential Homes and Retirement Villages, with the older generation over retirement age of 67 years: Does their individual attitudes change with a view to end of life? This I question, not as a paper exercise, but as a moral dilemma for modern society.
    That is enough and I suspect you are by now shouting NO, No, No! And also possibly. Throwing bricks at the screen.
    What has rattle my cage is the position of an investigating officer, official appointed by the regulators with power to question all parties involved in a lead up to the end of life events of any person who is in the care industry (residential , care home, retirement village and society domiciliary care).
    This inspection officer must be remote from the day to day’s events which lead to the cause of death, This officer has after or part of their report make comments as to if the event was probably preventable.
    Here I have difficulty in John’s blog above, the inspector’s role, and as a society are individual views on death? We appear to have mixed up moral and regulatory requirements with my views on death? We as a society appear to apportion blame for a cause of death and to seek recompense in either moral views or financial rewards. IT is all part of life’s rich pattern and I am personally worried that the feelings of compassion both in respect of the survivors or the deceased are being ignored by society: We no longer appear to appear to accept death as a natural end of life, with the feelings of gratitude and relief it may bring to all parties. David

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