I think it is important for a person or a group to anticipate or to look forward to something. Right now, I don’t have that. I’ve tried and failed, and tried and failed so often that I don’t know if I have it in me to hope for anything.
Maybe if it wasn’t so darn painful: my organs as well as my circulatory system stop functioning so often, I feel like I’m just the skin around the black pudding. Yum!
Right now, who decides when and how you die is being fought in the courts. A Victoria resident last year won in the Supreme Court the right for those in BC to choose when to die (after a year for implementation). She had the right as soon as she won the case.
Instead of getting ready for Euthanasia, the Province is suing their own judges. I don’t quite understand how that is legal, but then this IS British Columbia.
And while I am sure lots of disability groups are against it, because they use the same ‘slippery slope’ argument made against gay marriage – like how if someone with a terminal illness who uses a wheelchair has a right to consult with doctors and choose when to die, then they will allow all people with wheelchairs, or all people with disabilities, then all people with large birth defects to choose to die.
In the same way a same sex couple getting married does not mean that adult males and 10 year olds can marry or humans and barn animals; someone with ALS, or type 4 non-remission MS is quite different than SCI in terms of life span and progressive complexity of condition. And the assumption that doctors, the general public and individuals cannot tell or want to tell the difference is intelligence biase: the idea that you learned something the average person cannot, and thus must protect them against themselves.
Victoria is already sedating and killing thousands a year. There is, with the aging population, a overabundance of individuals with NO or not enough care being given to them. They are denied operations because they are high risk. A man in our building is waiting for his heart to die, as his congestive heart failure fills his legs each day with fluid. A bypass could eliminate that but he is deemed ‘too old.’ There are people in every apartment building on every street. There are 14 beds for all the palliative needs of 300,000 individuals. Which is why if the doctors or VIHA decide, a person is given TS (terminal sedation – put into a morphine coma, from which they will die in 5-10 days).
The question isn’t: are people going to be deliberately killed. It is: who should make that decision, an organization or an individual with a physician?
For anyone who wants to swap out for a couple days for some of the conditions: brain swelling, motor neuron death, many types of cancer beyond the stage 4 delay, me.
For those who advocate against Euthanasia, let me switch out, and you can have the body covered with chemical burns, a heart which won’t give a solid beat but for every 6-9 flutters, and a diaphragm that makes each breath painful. Could a diaphragm pacemaker help? Sure…if we had someone who knew how to put one in, or knew what one was.
As the local health authority says, regardless of living wills, they do no life preserving measures, at least in the home or caregiving facility. They financially need people to die. And the less they and hospitals can cover, the more people simply suffer. Unlike the US or UK, if you have no insurance, you get few drugs, and the specialist ones you may need are often not covered. The puff and sip wheelchair is not covered. A worker twice a day who doesn’t know how to shower, or hand bath you, or feed you comes, but 1 in 3 times, they are cancelled.
I have no desire to see thousands of people suffer to ensure someone locks off the top of a slippery slope argument. Late stage pain and body failure is brutal, viscous, degrading and dispiriting. The loss of any control while you feel, watch and experience major body functions melt around you is horrific.
I believe that TRUE advocates against Euthanasia would, morally, raise funds and spend time with the dying, in order to improve that quality of life. If instead the aim is to deal with the theoretical possibilties while ignoring the individual at hand they remind me of those who don’t give to starving individuals but quote: “Instead of giving a fish for one day, better to teach to fish, for a lifetime.” But they ignore the simple truth: The dead catch few fish (not that they volunteer time to teach others, just make the quote).
The way things are now, if I manage to life to next summer, we have no air cons which can cool enough. And I will suffer beyond imagination. Some days, I do anyway. It is such that if someone told me I would be tied up and someone would use a knife to carve on me, I would laugh and cry in relief, in joy. Being ripped apart on almost a cellular level goes far beyond any idea of pain I have experiences or known.
So, yeah, some days it sucks. A lot of days recently.
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