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Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  milo on Fri 15 Jun 2012, 6:09 pm

Today, our government made medically assisted suicide legal. It is unlikely that the ruling will stand for more then a few days, but it's a HUGE step towards making this type of death legal. This ruling would allow people who are terminal to get a doctor to help them die at a time of their choosing.

Suicide is something that us migrainers think about from time to time as we suffer so much with the disorder. At times it makes sense that there is another option for us, though for me personally, I remain hopeful that a cure exists and will surface in my lifetime.
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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  30yrsofheadache on Sun 17 Jun 2012, 4:41 am

I am for this. I have known several people who have needed this and had to sneak around and involve other people who could have gotten in trouble by helping.
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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  milo on Mon 18 Jun 2012, 5:10 pm

It's a tough one for sure. I'm not super informed, so I may have some details off. I'm not sure if it's just the one case that is allowed to go forward but either way it opens the door to future options for people. It must be so horrible to be stuck in this situation. I hear there are some states in the US where it is legal too.
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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  Cluelesskitty on Tue 19 Jun 2012, 5:58 pm

I have seen the movie about Dr Kevorkian "You Don't Know Jack" with Al Pacino as the Dr himself.
I highly recommend it
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1132623/
The cases presented in this movie made profound argument toward euthanasia being legal.

WARNING
some scenes may be very disturbing for some viewers

.



The only problem some people have with making euthanasia legal is because of how it can be manipulated and abused.
Apart from religious beliefs, that is.

Indeed, there is always danger of that. Personally, I think it's like with everything else - everything can be manipulated
and abused, still a lot was approved. Selling once by Rx only meds as OTC now, for example.
I feel just because of this possibility which is just part of life, ironically,
something as needed as dying with dignity and without pain, - shouldn't be denied.

People will try to commit suicide in the end anyway, and it's a horrible thing to live the end of your days in God only knows what shape and for how long after a botched suicide attempt.
A prolonged suffering and problem not only for the person who wanted to end its own life, but for the entire family as well.

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Suicide

Post  777Trinity on Sun 08 Jul 2012, 10:26 am

This is totally something I have thought about. I just wish the Bible were more specific on whether or not it is okay to bail off this planet.

Migraines are so horrible and there are times every month, I wish I would not wake up in the morning.

My mother had lung cancer and was at 89 pounds when she overdosed herself on pain meds in order to end it. She called me 3 days before she did it and asked if I would be ashamed of her if she did, I told her no.I went to Nevada on business and the day after I got there my brother called and said she had passed.

I am believing that God's grace prevailed for her, she was terminal and in so much pain. Just not sure if His grace would be there for a migrainer.
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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  Cluelesskitty on Wed 11 Jul 2012, 12:53 am

I really don't think it's about what was the cause - the cancer or the migraine.
You either suffer or not, to the point your can't take it anymore.
However, do hang in there, sweetheart.

I am so very sorry about your mother, Trinity. It must have been extremely hard, like losing her in sort of in double way,
I hope you get my meaning, and please excuse me for the lack of better expression as English is my second language
(I'm Polish).


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Thanks Risa

Post  777Trinity on Wed 11 Jul 2012, 1:03 pm

Cluelesskitty wrote:I really don't think it's about what was the cause - the cancer or the migraine.
You either suffer or not, to the point your can't take it anymore.
However, do hang in there, sweetheart.

I am so very sorry about your mother, Trinity. It must have been extremely hard, like losing her in sort of in double way,
I hope you get my meaning, and please excuse me for the lack of better expression as English is my second language
(I'm Polish).


Risa

Risa:

Thanks for kind words, you expressed yourself perfectly.

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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  Porsche Fan on Fri 13 Jul 2012, 2:57 am

I know this has been very devisive for many people. But in my experience and through reading through the lives of others for over a decade are migarines really worth ending one's life over? I know this is personal.

I can stand behind my comments due to having incapacitating migraine, amongst a few other health problems.

I do not feel that giving a governmental power the force to be able to indulge a pain-suffer whether being a a migrainuer, a heart patient, or a cancer patient the right (I don't know if it's a right, from a governmental body) to off themselves through a provider. Migraines in my experience through the years has taught people resiliance and tollerance--the oppositte of retracting and retalliating from them. As harsh as this may sound, there are many other disease processes that are more damaging than migraine to cause one to go this extreme.

One may think things are bad when they have migraine, which i admit is bad....however when faced with other health problems it would not cause them to end their lives based solely on migraines. That's where strength from migraine comes in.

Over the years i think many have learned to get treatment, fire the bad docs, and learn how to live with the disease. We mourn those that we have lost over the years. However I think as many migraineurs have learned is that they need to be tought as nails--they have to tough it out when it come down to being diagnosed with other very tough diseases. I think dealing with migraines builds strength. I personally face health challenges that are tougher than migraines and I've had the worst thrown at me; the future only holds consequences that are worse. I've learned a lot from the disease and learn how to fight. I know everyone is different. Will I give up to this--hell no.

I've been in serious situations where you die in 20 second vs. battling migraines. I chose BATTLE. I know this doesn't hold true to everyone, but this is my OWN THOUGHT AND OPINION. I respect others and their experiences as well. In a general statement migraine does not kill you. I understand stroke--I've had one. I understand when your heart stops--I've been through that. However chronic pain and suffering, and the mental impact from there is where the rubber meets the road. This is separate, and another difficult battle.

Will I surrender my life to a doctor or governmental body due to brain pain...no as long as I can. It can be managed--you might have to work at it, but it can be managed. I do belive in physician-assisted issues, however life is complex--and a lot can be thrown at you besides migraine, and you have to deal with it. Millions of people do it every day, so I think this deserves some serious, serious, thought. Sometimes yes, I think it does have its place.

I think those that have had to struggle to save their own lives first will think of this differently. I'm not saying what you should do, but I do think you should review this critically. It won't be happening in the U.S. too soon, unless some policies change.

Those that want to change need to think of the financial structure that allows that change. That's all I'm going to say on that--I'm just asking to think about it critically.
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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  VickiG on Mon 23 Jul 2012, 3:09 am

This is apropos for today, as the page 2 article in today's LA Times, written by Steve Lopez, the Times' best columnist, is about at an 87-year-old man who was arrested after his wife discontinued her breathing tube after suffering fatal emphysema for years. She couldn't get assisted suicide here, so she unhooked her tube herself, and her husband lay down next to her as they spoke words of love to each other until she died.

The husband waited two hours to be sure that no one could try to revive her, and he was promptly arrested and held 3 days in 3 jails for not stopping her! They refuse d to give him medical assistance, making him wait 24 hours before giving him a catheter, the only way he could relieve himself and even shackled him when moving him, as if a near-90-year-old might make a run for it!

He was eventually released because of too little evidence, but this is really sad, as the woman was dying in the first place!
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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  777Trinity on Mon 23 Jul 2012, 6:13 am

VickiG wrote:This is apropos for today, as the page 2 article in today's LA Times, written by Steve Lopez, the Times' best columnist, is about at an 87-year-old man who was arrested after his wife discontinued her breathing tube after suffering fatal emphysema for years. She couldn't get assisted suicide here, so she unhooked her tube herself, and her husband lay down next to her as they spoke words of love to each other until she died.

The husband waited two hours to be sure that no one could try to revive her, and he was promptly arrested and held 3 days in 3 jails for not stopping her! They refuse d to give him medical assistance, making him wait 24 hours before giving him a catheter, the only way he could relieve himself and even shackled him when moving him, as if a near-90-year-old might make a run for it!

He was eventually released because of too little evidence, but this is really sad, as the woman was dying in the first place!

VickiG:

There has to be some middle ground in this. To put a 90 year old man in jail because he did not stop his wife from removing her breathing tube is pure ignorance. Suffering is suffering and for some people the amount they can tolerate is not as great as for others.

PF: I respect your opinion regarding suicide regarding migraines...but it is just that, "your opinion" and it fits for the level of pain you can tolerate.

I do think that again, there has to be a middle ground where people are concerned. How much pain they are afflicted with, how long have they suffered, what is the long term prognosis for that person?

Obviously, suicide is not the first choice for ending migraine, however after 7 years of spending over 20 out of 30 days in bed each month, in the dark, alone, in grievous pain and the at home arsenal of meds does not work....I have thought about it. Who wants to spend the rest of their life in chronic debilitating pain? Who can possibly have any quality of life when the days you are not in pain, your are trying to recover FROM what the pain inflicts and the meds you had to take trying to stop it? That normally has left me about 2-3 days a month "free". Yeah, and I am a great contribution to my family and the world right??

This is the point, PF what you say works for you, but you can't "guilt trip" others who quite possibly cannot withstand the suffering. A gentler word, an encouragement and a word of hope perhaps would go further.

Trinity
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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  Cluelesskitty on Mon 23 Jul 2012, 5:11 pm

The thing about euthanasia is, it was never intended for cancer patients or cardiac or something like that.
At least not in the beginning, if memory serves me well. There were specific, definite rules and guidelines
who can and who can not receive an euthanasia.

First of all, the main thing is if the disease is terminal and there is absolutely 0% chance for survival and there is absolutely no cure,
and the quality of life is extremely poor without any way of improving it or helping with pain.
Then there is the question of living with dignity, and dying with dignity.

That's why the patients with Lou Gehrig's (ALS) are candidates for euthanasia, as there is really horrendous degeneration happening to the entire body. In the end, you can't breath, you can't swallow, you can't do anything - eventually, you simply die of starvation and asphyxiation.
Of course, our wonderful progress in medicine allow us to insert feeding tubes, and breathing tubes,
and colostomy bags, and urine bags. but...

So, Trinity, while I agree with you that while how a Migraine disease affects all of us is indeed different, and I probably entertained the idea myself a few times in the past, we do NOT qualify, never will.

First of all, we are not terminal. Right then and there, we are off the list.
Secondly, while some migraine cases -like you, for example, are surely extremely painful and difficult to treat, and very frequent,
you do have periods -even brief, when you do are not in pain.
Third, I am sure according to the medical establishment you haven't exhausted all the possibilities out there in terms of your treatment - there surely is something you haven't tried yet, some combination you haven't tried yet, some test you haven't done yet and other such crap.
Fourth, as a woman, there is a huge chance that once you pass menopause your migraines will pass, too, or at least become less severe and less frequent. And I am sure they will. At the very least, I can attest your body will become more responsive to the medications.

So, no chance for us to get approved for euthanasia, ever.

btw Vicky, is great to see you again !!
cheers

Risa



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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  VickiG on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 5:36 am

Trinity, I guessed I missed your post earlier about the question of the Bible's attitude towards either euthanasia or suicide to get out of a severe health situation. This is a topic I have agonized over a lot.

Marc, I guess you are stronger, or as the term I like to use when comparing health conditions between people (since pain is so subjective), more functional than I am. I know you have a lot more serious health issues than I have. Mine are not life-threatening as yours are, for one thing, unless my migraine was to cause a stroke or my POTS somehow to make my heart fail (that's not a typical response to POTS, but I have heard of its happening). But I can't tell you how many times I have come so close to taking my life because I can't cope with the pain. It's one thing to say that you just fire the bad doctor and move on. But what do you do when you are in agony, and everyone refuses to prescribe better pain drugs to you? The power then is in the hands of the doctor, not in your hands, as we like to think when we talk of firing doctors and so forth.

In my case, I have the HMO Kaiser, which is in general highly excellent, as least in Southern California, and I could never get insurance with another company until Obama's program forces other insurance companies to offer me coverage despite all my pre-existing conditions. But my parents have even paid for me to go outside of Kaiser to headache specialists, and they all have the same message: narcotics are bad for migraines because they don't "cure" them. And the pain clinics won't touch me because migraines are "neurological conditions," not true pain.

As it is, my ER is about to start a policy of refusing to give any narcotic to anyone who comes in with a migraine. My headache doctor, who does support giving me some narcotics (but she has to be careful because the DEA and others are looking over her shoulder!), is scrambling to try to find an alternative treatment for me when this happens, since, as I always tell the ER doctors, I would be thrilled to take a non-narcotic medicine to treat my migraine. If it actually DID TREAT my migraine! But after over 100 different medicines, the only medicines that has ever done me any good as an abortive are narcotics, and the only medicines that have ever done me any good as preventives are beta blockers, but because of my POTS, my blood pressure runs low in the first place (but my pulse hasn't dropped below 130 in several months, causing me almost to pass out a couple times), so taking a beta blocker generally means that I'm fainting within a week after taking a quarter of the smallest pill available.

So maybe I'm just weak. But as much as I try to think of the long-term and think that the migraine pain isn't forever, that's not really true, is it? It actually IS forever! Or at least, it has been these last 14 1/2 years! And the trajectory has been an increase in pain, bit by bit, year by year. So does it make me a wimp to think long and hard about ending it all?

I would have done so long ago if it weren't for my mother! In fact, when we were out of town over Thanksgiving and both in agony one night, enough that she climbed into my bed to cuddle together with me as we suffered together, we both admitted to each other that the only thing that has kept us both alive is the other person! Now that I'm getting married, I have another person to give me a reason to try to keep going, but to be honest, he could handle losing me, but my mom could not. And that is what is holding me alive at the moment!

Is it a sin to take your own life to escape what has come to be unbearable agony? I don't think so. But Trinity, to be honest, the other thing that speaks to the back of my mind is that question: "What if the Catholics are right and that you go straight to hell if you kill yourself?" I have to admit that this does have some small element.

But I think for me, what is more likely to happen is that I'm likely to be careless with my medicines in the search for escape from agony. I have promised myself and told my doctor that if I were ever to intentionally try to kill myself, I'd do it with over the counter sleeping pills to keep my doctor from getting in trouble. But also, I want to make the statement that restricting drugs doesn't mean anything when I can just take all these OTC meds. But I think the other factor that would keep me from going all the way is the fear that if I didn't succeed, I could have all my pain medicine taken away, as I have heard happening to other people who have tried to escape from the pain. They are then made to suffer even more!

But back to the question. Is it truly a sin, especially a damning sin, to do something to escape the pain this body carries, sometimes too much to bear? I have a hard time seeing God as someone who is that harsh and not understanding. Sometimes, when I am in the worst shape, I think about the incredible migraine-like pain that Jesus suffered when they pounded those thorns into his head. I have seen thorns similar to the ones found in Israel when I have been in Kenya, and they are nasty! They are several inches long and incredibly strong, so they wouldn't just break off when the Romans started to pound them into his head. (It's curious how much emphasis is placed on the Jews' role in calling for Jesus' death when ultimately it was the Romans who did it and who chose to torture him!) So Jesus knows what we feel. Does the fact that he didn't stop the torture or end his life right then mean that those of us who aren't as strong and have been tortured for years on end are to be eternally punished for escaping that pain? I have trouble seeing that!

But it's a really hard topic!
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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  Porsche Fan on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 7:18 am

Trinity,

Wow, thanks for putting me in place. I did in no way minimize your migraine experience.

All i asked for in my post was to think in the larger context of what this will allow. I never said life was nice, and I never said pain is something one must endure perpetually.

I, in no way guilt-tripped anyone. I don't compare my health to anyone--that's pretty trite to do. And I have complicated migraine and cannot take any of the traditional first or second line meds. So I've lived to deal with pain which I'll be the first one to admit is not easy. I think everyone thinks it's ok to express pain, but don't cut me short on my experience.

Again, context.

Vicki, hello nice to see you and congrats.

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VickiG and PF

Post  777Trinity on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 11:51 am

VickiG wrote:Trinity, I guessed I missed your post earlier about the question of the Bible's attitude towards either euthanasia or suicide to get out of a severe health situation. This is a topic I have agonized over a lot.

Marc, I guess you are stronger, or as the term I like to use when comparing health conditions between people (since pain is so subjective), more functional than I am. I know you have a lot more serious health issues than I have. Mine are not life-threatening as yours are, for one thing, unless my migraine was to cause a stroke or my POTS somehow to make my heart fail (that's not a typical response to POTS, but I have heard of its happening). But I can't tell you how many times I have come so close to taking my life because I can't cope with the pain. It's one thing to say that you just fire the bad doctor and move on. But what do you do when you are in agony, and everyone refuses to prescribe better pain drugs to you? The power then is in the hands of the doctor, not in your hands, as we like to think when we talk of firing doctors and so forth.

In my case, I have the HMO Kaiser, which is in general highly excellent, as least in Southern California, and I could never get insurance with another company until Obama's program forces other insurance companies to offer me coverage despite all my pre-existing conditions. But my parents have even paid for me to go outside of Kaiser to headache specialists, and they all have the same message: narcotics are bad for migraines because they don't "cure" them. And the pain clinics won't touch me because migraines are "neurological conditions," not true pain.

As it is, my ER is about to start a policy of refusing to give any narcotic to anyone who comes in with a migraine. My headache doctor, who does support giving me some narcotics (but she has to be careful because the DEA and others are looking over her shoulder!), is scrambling to try to find an alternative treatment for me when this happens, since, as I always tell the ER doctors, I would be thrilled to take a non-narcotic medicine to treat my migraine. If it actually DID TREAT my migraine! But after over 100 different medicines, the only medicines that has ever done me any good as an abortive are narcotics, and the only medicines that have ever done me any good as preventives are beta blockers, but because of my POTS, my blood pressure runs low in the first place (but my pulse hasn't dropped below 130 in several months, causing me almost to pass out a couple times), so taking a beta blocker generally means that I'm fainting within a week after taking a quarter of the smallest pill available.

So maybe I'm just weak. But as much as I try to think of the long-term and think that the migraine pain isn't forever, that's not really true, is it? It actually IS forever! Or at least, it has been these last 14 1/2 years! And the trajectory has been an increase in pain, bit by bit, year by year. So does it make me a wimp to think long and hard about ending it all?

I would have done so long ago if it weren't for my mother! In fact, when we were out of town over Thanksgiving and both in agony one night, enough that she climbed into my bed to cuddle together with me as we suffered together, we both admitted to each other that the only thing that has kept us both alive is the other person! Now that I'm getting married, I have another person to give me a reason to try to keep going, but to be honest, he could handle losing me, but my mom could not. And that is what is holding me alive at the moment!

Is it a sin to take your own life to escape what has come to be unbearable agony? I don't think so. But Trinity, to be honest, the other thing that speaks to the back of my mind is that question: "What if the Catholics are right and that you go straight to hell if you kill yourself?" I have to admit that this does have some small element.

But I think for me, what is more likely to happen is that I'm likely to be careless with my medicines in the search for escape from agony. I have promised myself and told my doctor that if I were ever to intentionally try to kill myself, I'd do it with over the counter sleeping pills to keep my doctor from getting in trouble. But also, I want to make the statement that restricting drugs doesn't mean anything when I can just take all these OTC meds. But I think the other factor that would keep me from going all the way is the fear that if I didn't succeed, I could have all my pain medicine taken away, as I have heard happening to other people who have tried to escape from the pain. They are then made to suffer even more!

But back to the question. Is it truly a sin, especially a damning sin, to do something to escape the pain this body carries, sometimes too much to bear? I have a hard time seeing God as someone who is that harsh and not understanding. Sometimes, when I am in the worst shape, I think about the incredible migraine-like pain that Jesus suffered when they pounded those thorns into his head. I have seen thorns similar to the ones found in Israel when I have been in Kenya, and they are nasty! They are several inches long and incredibly strong, so they wouldn't just break off when the Romans started to pound them into his head. (It's curious how much emphasis is placed on the Jews' role in calling for Jesus' death when ultimately it was the Romans who did it and who chose to torture him!) So Jesus knows what we feel. Does the fact that he didn't stop the torture or end his life right then mean that those of us who aren't as strong and have been tortured for years on end are to be eternally punished for escaping that pain? I have trouble seeing that!

But it's a really hard topic!

It really is a tough subject......ironically when I was about at the end of what I could take.....a miracle stepped in for me. Lisinopril 10mg qd.

I have really low B/P too 90/60 and the Lisinopril is a bp lowering med. However, it has had a calming effect on my brain...like the storm has been quieted, or the fire put out. The anxiety I felt is gone..... It is a ACE Inhibitor, controls the Nuero Transmitters firing for heart and brain. Amazing....I had that motorcycle accident when I was 15 years old and I am 57 now....that was so much if not all of my life stolen.

I did wake up this morning thinking..."what do I want to do today?" wow....Sometimes I feel a little light headed, I just sit down for a few minutes and then start over again. The thing is this, that is a small price to pay for NO PAIN and NO NARCOTICS. My liver almost bailed on me 1 1/2 years ago from the meds.

So, maybe GOD has rescued me?? Rescued me from having to make that decision. It is supposed to take about 3 months for the full effect of the meds, I am staying with it. 7 days in a row....free. It is mind blowing.

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Re: Legal, medically assisted suicide

Post  milo on Wed 20 Mar 2013, 7:57 am

This legal battle is going on right now in Vancouver, British Columbia and you can log on and watch a live feed.

If this wins, it will make the Province need to provide care to those seeking doctors to help end their lives. If I can I will try to find the link.

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