featured9 - Why Seek Release: Three Terminal Diseases Spread Across the World

Why Seek Release: Three Terminal Diseases Spread Across the World

- Why Seek Release: Three Terminal Diseases Spread Across the World

When it comes to the idea of assisted suicide, there are some very strict parameters that must be met before the attending physician would even consider allowing assisted suicide. Today, we wanted to give a bit of an idea as to which illnesses would be considered to be ‘terminal’ and have a higher chance of being approved for assisted suicide.

What is a terminal illness?

In the strictest definition of the term, this refers to an illness or a condition of the body that has a high percentile of death or low rate of survivability. In most cases, such illnesses are often degenerative and only get worse as times goes on. Also, a terminal illness has no known cure.

Terminal Diseases

Cancer

31 - Why Seek Release: Three Terminal Diseases Spread Across the World

Cancer is one of the more leading diseases that have afflicted humanity in the last century. Cancer is the disease which has an odd or abnormal growth of cells in a particular part of the body. Cancer differs depending on where it grows like breast cancer or pancreatic cancer.

Usually those that are diagnosed with extensive cancer all over their body usually have around less than six months to live. Cancer, once it has spread, can lead to multitude of organ failures in the body and chronic pain.

HIV/AIDS

32 - Why Seek Release: Three Terminal Diseases Spread Across the World

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus which attacks the body’s immune system. When the immune system is compromised, we can be vulnerable to a multitude of other diseases. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the subsequent symptoms which come after the body has been compromised by HIV.

With proper and consistent treatment, people with HIV do have a chance of leading longer lives. However, as the immune system is compromised, other issues may lead to the death of the person as there is no cure.

Parkinson’s disease

33 - Why Seek Release: Three Terminal Diseases Spread Across the World

This disease is a progressive and degenerative disease which attacks the nervous system. As the disease progresses the motor functions of the afflicted become affected as the relay of the brain towards other parts of the body is no longer as good as it used to be.

Conclusion

Just because there is someone in your life (it could even be yourself) that has a terminal illness does not mean that you have to suffer through it. Assisted suicide exists so that those afflicted with terminal illnesses have an option that they can pursue regarding the late stage of their lives.

What terminal disease do you know of?

featured8 - Where in the World Do You Go For Assisted Suicide?

Where in the World Do You Go For Assisted Suicide?

- Where in the World Do You Go For Assisted Suicide?

The idea of assisted suicide has been thrown around a lot in the past decade or so. Everyone has a general idea of what it is but not where you go to get it. This is what we wanted to discuss more today. Assisted suicide is not a new concept. There are massive debates, panel discussions, even lobbying either for or against it.

Despite all of that, there are parts of the world that provide such services. For example:

California, USA

It was middle of last year that California passed their End of Life Option Act. Before you start packing your bags for California, be aware that their options are limited to those who are actual residents of California. They also require that anyone seeking their assisted suicide option must be of legal age and must have terminal illness.

Since the law being passed, there have been over a hundred voluntary deaths since January of this year.

Washington State, USA

Since being allowed to provide aid-in-death medication for those who seek it, many have gone to Washington State to obtain lethal doses of pain medication and other forms of medicine. A majority of those that have undergone assisted suicide in this state were mostly cancer patients and those that suffered with degenerative diseases like ALS.

Switzerland

As depicted in the film Suicide Tourist, this country would be an ideal place for anyone who was seeking release from their plights. As this film made a significant impact in the consciousness of the public, there were massive outcries for the banning of assisted suicide in Switzerland—especially for those that were not residents of the country.

It came to a vote and the call to ban assisted suicide was rejected by over 85% of all voters. It seems that Switzerland’s residents understood that those that decide to end their lives do not do so on a whim. Particularly since, the medical facilities there still try to treat the patient before agreeing to go forward with assisted suicide as requested by the patient.

info1 - Where in the World Do You Go For Assisted Suicide?

Image source: dailysignal.com

Conclusion

Assisted suicide is a choice that must be made after significant information has been obtained. While knowing where to obtain such a service is important, it is even more critical for the afflicted and their loved ones to know information that would help them understand the decision on hand.

If you were to choose, where would you go for assisted suicide?

featured7 - Clearing the Air: Critical Differences between Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Clearing the Air: Critical Differences between Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

- Clearing the Air: Critical Differences between Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Since the beginning of this website, we’ve constantly received the same question: what is the difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide? We believe that having facts and information is important so we wanted to take this opportunity to discuss the distinct difference between the two.

What is Euthanasia?

Otherwise called ‘mercy killing’, this is the when the physician in attendance over the patient personally administers any sort of medication that leads the patient to death. There are other forms of euthanasia beyond the usage of a lethal dose of medication. These are:

  • “Pulling the plug” – this happens when the family of the patient with the suggestion or explanation of the physician removes the patient from life-support. In this case, the patient is normally in a vegetative state and therefore would not be able to survive by themselves anymore.
  • Complete Sedation – this refers to the doctor administering sedatives on the patient to pretty much put them in a coma. From then, the patient is left to die of ‘natural causes’ or whatever it is that they were sick with to begin with. The illness will take its course but the patient will not realize any of it.

What is Assisted Suicide?

Assisted suicide is when a person seeks to end their life in painless ways through the help of someone else. This is would be when a person goes to a doctor and asks for a lethal dose of drugs. The difference from euthanasia being it will be the patient themselves who will administer the lethal does unto themselves rather than the doctor being the one to do it.

A lot of people do not think that assisted suicide should be permissible if the person seeking death is not sick in any way. While there are a lot of states in the USA like California which specifies that a person needs to be over 18 and needs to be suffering from a terminal illness, there are places in the world that do not have this limitation.

Conclusion

While there is a distinct difference between the concept of euthanasia and assisted suicide, it does not change the fact that both changes more than one life. It completely changes the life of the ones who decide to undergo it and it also affects the family members and personal network of that person. While the result might be the same, we ask that everyone remember that this is a personal decision. Even if we do not understand it, this does not make it any less valid.

In your understanding, what’s the critical difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide?

featured6 - Bereavement: How Families Are Affected By Assisted Suicide

Bereavement: How Families Are Affected By Assisted Suicide

- Bereavement: How Families Are Affected By Assisted Suicide

When someone in the family decides to pursue the path of assisted suicide, there is no doubt that this decision can drastically affect the other people in that family unit. Loss is always a difficult topic and everyone deals with it in their own way. We feel that this is a subject that needs to be discussed because we know that families try to tackle things together.

Assisted suicide isn’t an option that is pursued at the drop of a hat. It is something that is thought about and mulled over and over again by the afflicted. They think about a lot of different factors which affect their decision. When someone in the family has decided to undergo assisted suicide, there are several common effects like:

Depression

21 - Bereavement: How Families Are Affected By Assisted Suicide

This is one of the more common responses to grief. Ideas of not being able to do more or ‘stopping’ the person from going through with it are usually found in people whose family members went through with assisted suicide.

An interesting point though is that people whose family members died of illness or of natural causes also suffer from depression. The biggest difference is that while the families of those who underwent AS are able to overcome their depression sooner since they had some time to prepare.

Guilt

22 - Bereavement: How Families Are Affected By Assisted Suicide

Thoughts which include:

  • Did I do enough?
  • Was I the reason why they chose AS?
  • Where there other options that I did not discover?

Notice how the word “I” was utilized in each sentence. This is because the feelings of guilt are from the perception of the family member and not the afflicted. People tend to be social but we all have a bad habit of trying to project our own thoughts and preferences unto other people. So if they believe that they wouldn’t consider AS, this should mean that the family member shouldn’t have picked it either.

Anger

23 - Bereavement: How Families Are Affected By Assisted Suicide

This is one of the immediate and often unhealthy reactions to the concept of loss because of assisted suicide. Family members can feel rage over their inability to convince their loved one otherwise or anger at all their wasted efforts.

Illness is a terrible thing that does impact the whole family unit. So it is natural to feel angry—what isn’t natural is to keep that anger and nurse it.

Conclusion

Grief comes and it comes hard. However, it does not last forever. If you have a family member that chose to go forward with assisted suicide, please remember that their decision was not about you. It never was. This was about them. If you feel like you are struggling with your feelings of loss, please get in touch with a grief counselor at the soonest possible opportunity.

On a personal note, how has bereavement affected your life and your family?

featured5 - It’s Not about Them: Your Right to Die the Way You Choose

It’s Not about Them: Your Right to Die the Way You Choose

- It’s Not about Them: Your Right to Die the Way You Choose

Welcome to an extremely personal post about the topic of assisted suicide. We wanted to have an intimate conversation with anyone who was thinking of choosing assisted suicide. We fully understand that just because you are thinking of assisted suicide that it is not something that you may go forward with.

The simple idea of choosing to end a life—especially your own can seem like an alien concept. However, it just so happens that there are certain circumstances that may lead us into thinking that it sounds like a very, very good idea.

We Hear You

We have had loved ones who were down on the same path. For a while, it truly seemed like an unreal sentiment. How could someone that we love choose to want to end their own life? Was life with us truly not worth living? How could they be so selfish?

At least, that’s the initial knee-jerk reaction. Then, we realized that this hurt existed simply because we loved them so and WE were personally afraid of no longer having them. Then we got to thinking, why would this person even consider the idea of taking their own life? Our initial reactions were made with our limited perception and did not manage to encompass the feelings of our loved ones.

It’s Okay

It is absolutely fine to feel as if you want to let go after enduring so much for so long. It’s also absolutely fine if you want to change your mind. We understand that this decision isn’t an easy one to make. You will be facing a lot of criticism and even the outright rejection of your idea.

This isn’t anything against you. Always remind yourself that this is not about them. They can play a big part in your life but this does not mean that they will always be with you for every single part of your life. They will not be carrying the same burden or facing the worst sort of ills as they ravage your body.

Conclusion

Your decisions are your own and no one else’s. The input of family, friends, and loved ones will be welcome but they should not decide for you. After all, no one can really understand what another person is going through—we aren’t mind readers. However, this does not mean that their thoughts and preferences should not dictate how your life must go—or in this case, end.

With all that we want to ask you, do you think you should have the right to die in the way you choose?

featured4 - Films Which Help: What to Watch When Considering Assisted Suicide

Films Which Help: What to Watch When Considering Assisted Suicide

- Films Which Help: What to Watch When Considering Assisted Suicide

People can gather inspiration and courage from films that they watch. Today, we wanted to take a look at certain films which address the topic of assisted suicide.

Why do films matter?

Films have always found a way to reach audiences in a way that defied logic and explanation. It is through the careful culmination of actors, scenes, music, and dialogue that are able to emphasize the emotions felt and the gravity of the situations depicted. What is even better is that beyond fiction, films have even delved into reality. These are normally called documentaries and will be included in today’s discussion.

If you’re looking to open your world to the idea of assisted suicide, you may want to watch these films:

How to Die in Oregon

1 - Films Which Help: What to Watch When Considering Assisted Suicide

This documentary came out in 2011. The film covers the Death with Dignity Act of the sate of Oregon. What we like about this documentary is that is takes a look at the wider scope of the discussion. It follows the people who fought for this bill and those that opposed it.

It provides a good vantage point from both within and without—always a good view when you’re trying to build your own opinion regarding a subject.

The Suicide Tourist

2 - Films Which Help: What to Watch When Considering Assisted Suicide

If you’ve ever wanted to watch the entire process of the thoughts, decisions, and eventual final moments of a man who chose assisted suicide, this would be the documentary for you. The focus of this documentary is man named Craig Ewert. You can follow his thinking and explore the point of view of someone who has to deal with pain, living, and the idea of dying.

They always said that the best way to understand someone is to walk a mile in their shoes. So what better way to understand the idea of assisted suicide than through the life of someone who was seeking it?

A Short Stay in Switzerland

3 - Films Which Help: What to Watch When Considering Assisted Suicide

Just because something did not have a theatrical release does not mean that the quality or the message should be ignored. This TV film by the BBC follows Dr. Anne Turner who now has to consider her options as her health continues to deteriorate. It is an interesting point of view despite being fictional.

Conclusion

Films, movies, and documentaries exist for a reason. People pour hours and years of their lives to tell a story that they feel must be told. We are forever thankful for those that add toward the discourse of assisted suicide through their artworks—especially the use of film to immortalize the tales. If you’ve got any particular movies that you would think others would benefit from let us know and we’d be glad to spread the news.

Which movies from the list have you already seen?

featured3 - Information Counts: the Most Common Question Asked About Assisted Suicide

Information Counts: the Most Common Question Asked About Assisted Suicide

- Information Counts: the Most Common Question Asked About Assisted Suicide

If you’re here looking for more information about assisted suicide, we applaud your decision to empower your choices through fact-finding. Yes, assisted suicide can be a tricky subject but with proper discussion and data, better decisions can be made regarding it. With that in mind, we wanted to shine a bit of light on the more common question that is asked about assisted suicide.

Why Do Some People Consider Assisted Suicide?

This question has an answer that comes in different parts. We’ll delve into it to the best of our capability. These are the reasons why some people consider assisted suicide:

Finances

11 - Information Counts: the Most Common Question Asked About Assisted Suicide

Not everyone was able to lead a financially successful life while at their prime. Even if they did a terminal illness like cancer or HIV will act like a money vortex with all the doctor’s visits, medication, testing, hospital stays, and in the latter part having a caretaker. Terminal illness puts in a significant amount of stress of the finances of not just one person but on those that love them.

Pain

12 - Information Counts: the Most Common Question Asked About Assisted Suicide

Pain is something that we tend to avoid. In fact, we go to significant lengths just to make sure that we experience as less pain as possible. So why would anyone choose to continue to experience pain?

No Cure

13 - Information Counts: the Most Common Question Asked About Assisted Suicide

To this day, many illnesses do not have a cure. One would think with all the technological advances that we’ve had there would have been significant progress in curing illnesses.

Loss of Autonomy

14 - Information Counts: the Most Common Question Asked About Assisted Suicide

It is not only the terminally ill that seek assisted suicide. This refers to those who are otherwise seemingly healthy but feel that they have lost completely autonomy over themselves due to an accident or simply because they have reached a significant age. A majority of those that seek assisted suicide are the elderly who do no have anyone in their life for companionship or have been abandoned.

In certain cases, it is completely acceptable for both medical professionals and ethical society ‘to pull the plug’ on people who have entered into a vegetative state with no brain activity whatsoever. These people lack the capacity to make a conscious decision to choose whether or not they wish to end their life yet people do it anyway. What’s so different when someone actively chooses to end their life?

Conclusion

A tricky subject like assisted suicide can be made plain by seeking further knowledge. We hope that today’s discussion helps to further illuminate your understanding of this choice. We strongly believe that before a choice is made, there needs to be ample research and understanding. This helps to avoid any misunderstanding and provides a stronger base for the decision at hand.

What other questions regarding assisted suicide have you come across in your research?

featured2 - Widening the Scope: Ethical Issues Associated with Assisted Suicide

Widening the Scope: Ethical Issues Associated with Assisted Suicide

- Widening the Scope: Ethical Issues Associated with Assisted Suicide

When it comes to the concept of a life and morality, assisted suicide has always been a difficult topic to broach. There will always be those that consider it to be necessary while others think it is an ethical breach.

What’s the Issue?

Life, especially when discussed through the point of view of physicians can seemingly be black and white. It is the job of doctors and medical healthcare professionals to make sure that:

  • Their patients get the best sort of care
  • Their patients regain their full health or at least regain wellness
  • They do not harm their patients
  • They do not lead to their patient’s death if at all possible

So basically the idea of assisted suicide does not go well with the oath that they took when they chose their profession. So on an ethical standpoint, assisted suicide seems to desecrate what it means to be a doctor.

However, these are also the people who are in the best position to ascertain when someone is in an insurmountable amount of pain. They will also be the first to know if the pain is only going to get worse from here on out. So in this level, doctors are the first to sympathize with those who undergo terminal illness and extreme chronic pain.

There have been countries and states which have healthcare professionals who actually advocate for the right of patients to die in their own terms.

Conclusion

The idea of assisted suicide will never be something that will have 100% backing. There will always be people who feel that this is an unethical action especially when physicians are involved in the process. A brave man once said that death may be inevitable but this does not mean that the suffering we undergo does not have to be.

What is your take on the ethical issues surrounding assisted suicide?

info3 - Widening the Scope: Ethical Issues Associated with Assisted Suicide

An infographic from Christian Action Research and Education Photograph: /CARE
featured1 - The Difficult Talk: What Exactly Is Assisted Suicide?

The Difficult Talk: What Exactly Is Assisted Suicide?

- The Difficult Talk: What Exactly Is Assisted Suicide?

Living with illness can be a wholly terrible thing. Friends and family can try to sympathize but they can never really know the depths of the despair of someone who has to deal with a terminal illness. How could they, really? All they will ever know is how your illness affects them and their realm of existence.

Yes, it is difficult for them to witness how someone they love is ravaged by the effects of something that they cannot control. This is not a beauty contest of pain. What we are trying to say is that there isn’t anyone that can really understand the difficulty of living with terminal illness other than another people who is presently living through it.

So it is understandable that some of the decisions that an ill person makes can be something that is unfathomable for a loved one. These decisions can include how they may want to stop treatment or in a more grave sense, how they want to be released from the pain.

What Is Assisted Suicide?

There is such a negative stigma regarding the idea of suicide and rightly so. However, it is a common occurrence for those who undergo drastic changes in their life. Mostly, it is the infirm and the elderly that tend to think of suicide—especially when they are suffering through a grave malady.

Assisted suicide, in its strictest definition, refers to the act of suicide with the assistance of another person—usually a doctor.

Conclusion

Assisted Suicide is a viable option for anyone who is absolutely certain that they no longer want to live with what they are suffering through. If there is anyone in your life that is considering assisted suicide, do not impede their choice. The last thing they would want is to have their ideas brushed aside. Instead, open up a dialogue and empower each other with information to see if this is indeed the option that they want to take.

What would you do if someone you loved was considering assisted suicide?

featured0 - What Is Assisted Suicide and When Someone Can Use It

What Is Assisted Suicide and When Someone Can Use It

- What Is Assisted Suicide and When Someone Can Use It

There’s a difference between assisted suicide and euthanasia, and even if both of these mean the ending of someone’s life, one is legal and another is not. The Euthanasia is the deliberate act to end a patient’s life with the intention to end his suffering. The assisted suicide represents the death of the patient as a direct result of the aid that the doctor gives him. Regardless how this is called, there are still many ethical problems, because it can never be right to kill someone, even if there is the intention to alleviate suffering.

The principle of the inviolability of death adopted in all medical codes and the declaration of human rights states that killing is illegal, but it does not specify that life must be maintained at all costs in situations like invasive or aggressive treatments. It’s the conditions of assisted ventilation when the patient doesn’t wish for it, or when the treatment is futile, as the aggressive chemotherapy for difficult cancer situations.

6359523477824442921309059367_1297472484900_originalThe doctors need to decide whether a treatment is proportionate or not, and the doctor will usually find the best treatment after an accurate analysis of the degree of complexity, risks, and costs. Once this takes place, the doctors will compare the elements with the expected results, bearing in account the overall state of the sick person and the physical and psychological resources. If the patient refuses to use an aggressive treatment, it is not considered suicide.

Most Common Problems

Many believe that legalizing the assisted suicide might seem attractive, as it can have profound adverse side effects, already noted in the countries where it is legal.

 

Once started, it won’t be stoppable. In some situations, the assisted suicide might be possible even for those patients that don’t want it. This can also imply a pressure on those who are terminally ill or on those who feel like the illness, old age or infirmity can transform them into someone useless or a burden for the society. They might feel morally compelled to accept it, which is less costly that – for example – cancer treatment. Now, it is allowed to practice it on very senior citizens, persons with severe handicaps, invalids, depressed people or new-born children with malformations.

What Can Happen

Pro-assisted suicide supportersThere was a situation in Canada when the assisted suicide was legally debated in court. Carter vs. Canada (Attorney General) is a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision where the prohibition of assisted suicide was challenged as contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by several parties. One of those several parties was the family of a woman named Kay Carter, who was suffering from an illness called degenerative spinal stenosis, and another woman called Gloria Taylor, who was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Because many people sustained this decision, in February last year – in 2015, the Court gave the Canadian adults the possibility of dying with dignity. Those individuals who are mentally competent, but who also suffer from a terminal illness can now suppress their lives with the help of a doctor.

This decision limits now the assisted suicide to those who can give their consent clearly and have a grievous and irremediable medical condition, including illness, disability or disease that causes intolerable suffering.