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10th February 2008
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Given similar circumstances (God forbid) I would choose not to be medically treated either. The thought of the rest of my life on a life support machine or being un-able to give decisions due to injuries suffered or an incurable illness and the burden on my family would be unacceptable to me.

People should be able to choose in life. Once that choice is taken away due to injury or illness, then life is not worth living.


City pilots right-to-die scheme
Sam Kirby
8/ 5/2008


A CONTROVERSIAL new scheme, which provides people with the right to die in a medical emergency, is being piloted in Salford causing pro-life groups to brand it a ‘move towards legal suicide’.

In the first scheme of its kind in the UK, ‘Advanced Decision to Refuse Treatment’ (ADRT) cards can now be picked up from Swinton Library, instructing doctors not to treat a patient should they lose the capacity to make decisions, due to an accident or illness.

ADRTs already exist under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, for people who are terminally ill. The new cards will be available to all members of the public.

Josephine Quintavalle, a campaigner and founding member of the Pro-life Alliance, said: "It’s moving towards your legal right to suicide which is something that used to be completely illegal.

"It’s quite sad to think that you can now carry cards stating your right to die.

"It’s quite sinister that people are being encouraged to make these decisions now and carry these cards choosing the right to die.

"You have to wonder why public money is being spent on things like this.

"One of the problems about these decisions is that when you’re in the prime of your life you may see old or ill people and think you never want to be in the situation where your needing to be kept alive.

"However if you ask people who work with the terminally ill, they will tell you how valuable the last few days and last few moments of someone’s life are."

David Entwistle, manager of Salford’s mental health social work team, believes that the new scheme will allow people to make an ‘informed decision’.

He said: "This is a significant piece of legislation that we have worked hard to make tangible and easily accessible to people, to safeguard them in vulnerable situations.

"We’ve worked closely with partner agencies to get this right and feel we have created an innovative and practical solution that is simple and effective."

In order to opt into the scheme, people must fill out a card which would then be carried in their wallet or purse.

In the event of an emergency the card would then be used in conjunction with a more detailed statement left with a GP or loved one, stating which treatments are to be refused and in what circumstance.

Dr Steve Colgan, medical director for Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, who provide services throughout Salford believes the scheme will provide people with more control over their future.

He said: "When someone does become very unwell and no longer has the ability to make sound decisions about their welfare we want to ensure that they still have as much control over their future as possible.

"The Advanced Decision card gives patients that choice long before they are too unwell to make decisions themselves."

Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment cards can now picked up from Swinton Library.

A Salford Primary Care Trust spokeswoman said: "The new Mental Capacity Act (2005) allows people to make an ‘advance decision to refuse treatment’.

"The Act only became operational in April 2007 and therefore many people do not know about their right to make an advance decision to refuse treatment. An Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment Card has been produced by Salford’s Mental Capacity Act Implementation Group as an aid for people to inform others should they choose to make an ‘advance decision’.

"It is up to individuals to decide if they want to do this - they are entitled to do so and equally they are entitled to withdraw or alter it at any stage.

"The cards come with leaflets to explain to people what an advance decision to refuse treatment is, why they might want to make the decision, how they do it and other related issues.

"As we know this could be a difficult ethical issue for some people, we took advice from religious leaders from the Roman Catholic, Church of England, Muslim and Jewish faiths and have tried to be sensitive about where we have distributed the cards."
 

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Taikun
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as long as they wouldn't pull the plug on my life support if i were in a 2-week coma then it sounds good to me. i'm sure they wouldn't, just can't tell from the article.
 

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I wouldn't like to say that I disagree with this scheme outright, but I do have strong reservations. I'm all for people being able to make informed decisions on their own future within reason, as long as they are mentally fit enough to do so, but I am concerned that this is heading disturbingly towards a direct right to die!

And a quote from the initial article...

"However if you ask people who work with the terminally ill, they will tell you how valuable the last few days and last few moments of someone’s life are."

...absolutely!!

Life in all forms is very important and must be preserved at all costs in my opinion - what if you refuse life saving treatment and by the time you really think about it, and ultimately regrit it, it's too late!
 

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10th February 2008
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"However if you ask people who work with the terminally ill, they will tell you how valuable the last few days and last few moments of someone’s life are."
There are terminally ill people who have also been kept alive against their wishes, causing them and their family even more physical and emotional agony. If a person does not want treatment and would rather die, they should be allowed that final dignity.
 

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I do believe that people deserve as much dignity as possible and of course I wouldn't want anyone to suffer unduly.

But I think that everything that can be done to help someone to live longer, should be done - until God tells us otherwise.
 

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10th February 2008
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do believe that people deserve as much dignity as possible and of course I wouldn't want anyone to suffer unduly.

But I think that everything that can be done to help someone to live longer, should be done - until God tells us otherwise.
Please don't bring God into this Andrew.

If a person no longer wishes to live they should be allowed to die, whether through natural causes or assisted death. (If that is their choice)

Isn't it ironic that humans would rather put their animals to sleep instead of seeing them suffer, yet the law, family members and doctors would rather keep suffering people alive with no hope of cure or a normal future life.
 

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Please don't bring God into this Andrew.

If a person no longer wishes to live they should be allowed to die, whether through natural causes or assisted death. (If that is their choice)

Isn't it ironic that humans would rather put their animals to sleep instead of seeing them suffer, yet the law, family members and doctors would rather keep suffering people alive with no hope of cure or a normal future life.
I don't intend to make it a religious debate - but that is what I believe. And I think a great many people out there do too. But likewise a great many people have an opinion leaning more toward yours.

I respect your point of view, but I don't agree with it - that's all.

The future of this scheme and of perhaps schemes progressing further than this - such as a direct right to die - is a very difficult ethical topic for all of us.
 

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10th February 2008
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I don't intend to make it a religious debate - but that is what I believe. And I think a great many people out there do too. But likewise a great many people have an opinion leaning more toward yours.

I respect your point of view, but I don't agree with it - that's all.

The future of this scheme and of perhaps schemes progressing further than this - such as a direct right to die - is a very difficult ethical topic for all of us.
It is isn't it Andrew.

Ultimately the final say must come from the sufferer, whether by verbal or written confirmation. (ADRT cards) Sadly that is not always the case in this country.
 

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"However if you ask people who work with the terminally ill, they will tell you how valuable the last few days and last few moments of someone’s life are."
from the experiences of my grandparents dying i know this is complete and utter bullshit. they wouldnt keep animals alive in such a state, to me the medical profession seemed cruel and uncaring by ignoring my grandmother's wishes who several weeks before she died asked the doctor why he couldnt give her something. my grandmother was a christian who went to church every sunday, and it was the doctors keeping her alive who were playing god.
 

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Cowboy of Love
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..... and it was the doctors keeping her alive who were playing god.
And surely that is the point.
It is a doctors job to keep people alive. They cant draw a moral distinction.
The doctors who saw my daughter through her illness are gods (small G!) in my eyes.
They cant turn their life saving skills on and off at will. The lines would become too blurred and they would lose their identity, which is one of essentially being lifesavers.
 

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10th February 2008
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And surely that is the point.
It is a doctors job to keep people alive. They cant draw a moral distinction.
The doctors who saw my daughter through her illness are gods (small G!) in my eyes.
They cant turn their life saving skills on and off at will. The lines would become too blurred and they would lose their identity, which is one of essentially being lifesavers.
I'm very happy for you and your daughter Eddie. However, there is a difference between saving a life with meaning and prolonging a life with no meaning. There is a clear difference here.

Individuals should be able to choose what is best for them, not have it forced upon them by the law and by doctors who have no choice but to carry out that ruling.
I'm sure many doctors feel just as bad about forcing a patient to live knowing they are suffering a slow and painful death.

I was onsite at the MRI on Friday and got talking to a Bereavement Councillor about her profession. Very interesting.
 

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And surely that is the point.
It is a doctors job to keep people alive. They cant draw a moral distinction.
The doctors who saw my daughter through her illness are gods (small G!) in my eyes.
They cant turn their life saving skills on and off at will. The lines would become too blurred and they would lose their identity, which is one of essentially being lifesavers.
Correct, the idea of God is a being that is all powerful. A doctor is not a god but a person charged with the duty of making someone better.

In a lot of cases, I believe the relations of those suffering terminal iliness, are the ones who desire to be put out of their own misery of witnessing a loved one's suffering.

I believe the right to die is dangerous, it sometimes translates to the right to free up a bed or the right to let the patient's family get on with their lives.

I say this as a person without a religious bone in my body.
 

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It also gives someone with suicidal depression a free ticket out of it.
 
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