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Thread: The right to die--ethical dilemmas in persons with spinal cord injury. SCI Nurse?

  1. #21
    I know I go against many disability advocates, but much of my reason of getting the government involved in Right-to-Die is to be provocative, start a discussion about the worth of disabled people, debate how curing something rather than simply treating it is far less expensive.

    I'd seriously go on national television and say that disabled people would commit mass shootings if they were capable because that type of anger exist inside of us, no matter how much we try to suppress it.


  2. #22
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeft View Post
    There is a young man that is a C2 with a brain injury. He's unable to move below his chin and has been suffering this way for years. I've been communicating with him hoping to just provide an outlet. However, his condition, along with some of my own experiences is what prompted the initial questions.

    I have no doubt that as a C5/6, I could figure out how to end life if truly motivated. Although, even for myself, I would prefer to say goodby.

    It's not my place to suggest anything to this young man or his family. It has just stirred a stronger desire to learn. Perhaps then I might be in a position to answer a question or suggest a direction if asked.

    It just sucks that this person and everyone around him is stuck in such a horrible position! Sorry venting a bit.

    I think it is a valid question. Perhaps not entirely related to caring for, or curing, a spinal cord injury, but many areas of this site have drifted away from that intention over the years. I think it is an important discussion, but only in contexts like you presented of ethics and morality. Actively "suicidal" posts, threads about methods, etc are way out of bounds IMO.

    Mommy mother in law died with ALS, so I can relate to the pain and discomfort of watching someone live, and die, "locked in".

    There is mercy in some killing, and dying, to be sure.

    I believe where that line is drawn is up to the individual living the life, not the government, or the doctors.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  3. #23
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Todd View Post

    [...]

    I'd seriously go on national television and say that disabled people would commit mass shootings if they were capable because that type of anger exist inside of us, no matter how much we try to suppress it.

    I believe that kind of potential exists in everyone. If I trust anything it is the belief we are each equal parts Angel and Devil, expressed by our free will, our power to make choices. Choices that have permanent consequences on both sides of the spectrum.

    Which will you be? Angel? Devil?

    Choose. Act. Become.

    It isn't so much about suppression of innate anger (which is really fear), but suppression of innate love also. In order for either to exist within us both are required. In their opposition they are unified.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    I think it is a valid question. Perhaps not entirely related to caring for, or curing, a spinal cord injury, but many areas of this site have drifted away from that intention over the years. I think it is an important discussion, but only in contexts like you presented of ethics and morality. Actively "suicidal" posts, threads about methods, etc are way out of bounds IMO.

    Mommy mother in law died with ALS, so I can relate to the pain and discomfort of watching someone live, and die, "locked in".

    There is mercy in some killing, and dying, to be sure.

    I believe where that line is drawn is up to the individual living the life, not the government, or the doctors.
    I agree with you for the most part and was aiming for a discussion that didn't include suicide. However, it's obviously easily morphed in that direction. However, estate planning/end of life discussions I believe to be an important part of care/life. I believe that my mental health is much better because I've had the necessary discussions and put some things in place. It's easy to "kick the can" down the road on planning. That has great potential for causing more pain and suffering.

    I can now move forward with an attitude skewed toward making the most of today. At the same time, I occasionally review what I have in place and quiz those around me to be sure they remember what to do in various situations.

    Even with an advanced directive, DNR, etc. there are grey areas and situations where you become trapped. This is true for the young man I mentioned. It's also true when pain, medication or other situations prevent you from thinking rationally. I keep thinking that there must be a way to say "I'm done treating infections, cathing, etc.", be diagnosed as terminal/not going to live long/whatever, and engage hospice to help with pain (not suicide) while nature does its thing.

    Keeping such a multifaceted conversation constrained likely isn't possible in a community forum. That said, I've learned more and appreciate the discussion.
    Last edited by jeft; 01-01-2016 at 05:34 PM.
    Jason

    C5/6 Complete - water skiing accident 1994.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    Anyone other than a neurologically "locked in" person has the choice. No need to make excuses. If the fear of dying hasn't overridden the pain of living you aren't really suicidal. Anyone genuinely suicidal is already dead. They don't pussy-foot around. They just do it. If you're worried about it hurting, or leaving a stain, you don't really want to die. You want something else out of notion of suicide other than your death. Probably attention in the form of commiserations and enablement. Once the suffering is authentically worth dying for, the fear of living exceeds the fear of dying, and BLAM! Dead. It's not rocket science nor does it need validation by law or medicine. It is a natural right. Our lives are ours to dispense with as we see fit. Just do it, or just don't.
    Please do elaborate how someone that can't even open the door is so capable of ending their Life so easily! You made the statement now don't give me that crap this isn't a place to discuss this give me your honest opinion you're stuck in a house that you can't get in and out of yourself, you can't use your hands or most of your arms you require constant caregiving they are aware but they're not going to help obviously, do you explain yourself. There is a big difference between perfect hand function and propurly hanging yourself, cutting your wrist ( effecently) and blowing your head off, compared to starving or dehydrating yourself something that could take weeks or months and help could be forced upon you in this time. I know that for a fact I tried to refuse to have my catheter unblocked among a few other things yeah no go.

    Before anyone jumps in and says this is a taboo and shouldn't be discussed yeah maybe if everybody were high functioning incomplete injuries, or paraplegic but no that's not the way it is. Sooo no this is very relevant and this ignorant accusation has been made many times I don't think people fully realize the implications of being a complete C4 and up or a low functioning C-5. Un less you live in some mobile smart house that does everything for you you're pretty well stuck without assistance. Caregivers arnt going to sit there and watch you driving in to your pool they're not going to leave your pill bottles nicely open on the perfect table for those fortunate enough to have slight arm function to grip them. When I lived on the 30th floor One day after bow care I seen my balconies railings simply to keep disabled people like me from rolling off, an able-bodied person even a para could simply just jump climb over, not I.

    "t. If you're worried about it hurting, or leaving a stain" That's a load of crap, some able-bodied people get so wound up and so deeply depressed that they're not even mentally coherent so one day they pop in a shell and blow their head off in a split second decision.my uncle was deeply distraught but he had the decency to go out in the middle of the woods, but you know what he had the luxury to have the ability to be able to do that he also had the luxury to make that decision without ever telling a soul because he was physically capable of carrying it out the Second he wanted too discreetly, efficiently and quickly 100% on his own . You'd be a real cunt to sit there and starve to death and make your caregivers and or family witnessed the whole thing.. A lot of people that wish to die because of paralysis are perfectly mentally healthy,there's no mental element too dullThe fear or the implications, cause for higher more severe injuries it can't be some split-second simple motion in a moment of your greatest pain it often has to be thought through very carefully making it even more of a daunting task ( yet even more justifiable ), especially when you going to need some kind of assistance. A lot of vent dependent people beg to have the thing taken out but they never do they argued that they're not in a good mental state, like that poor bastard I read about a couple years ago, they won't help so he's stuck, hes stuck in bed for Christ sake.
    Last edited by JamesMcM; 01-03-2016 at 05:03 AM.

  6. #26
    That paralyzes C2 injury with brain damage, here's a newsflash for you he can't physically end his life like there is no way. What's even more disturbing is he can't voice this wish to die even if he could because of his brain injury it could be easily brushed off therefore he stuck to be cared for and trapped .


    I don't pretend for one second that fear hasn't stop me. Dying is terrifying, I love when want to be fuck boys try to play like they're not scared to die. It takes a special kind a son of a bitch to stare at the end of a gun or immediate death And keep a straight face, very very small percentage but even those strong-willed individual's are still having the natural bodily reactions that is triggered by fear, they just swallow it. I loved my life when I was healthy, but since the age of 16 I always wanted to be able to stand when others would run, To stay firm when others would cry and beg. My train of thought on that regards some more straight and narrow citizens would say borderlined psycho pathic but it made me stronger when I needed it, that strength is useless when you're disabled and withers away with the dependent lifestyle, But I digress. only time that I had the opportunity to end my life in private without making a peep 100% on my own because I had been placed in my chair and nobody was the wiser. Was about two years after my accident, I drove my chair to my back pond and I could've simply drove in . Fact is I'm scared of water especially water that I know there are huge leeches and big watersnakes and disgusting muskrats the do attack and honestly I could've drove the chair in and simply ended up on my back unable to drown for sometime in that disgusting muddy swamp water. Yeah I pussied out no denying that. Point is Choosing to end your life and how to do it is a luxury, that is not available when paralyzed from the neck down. Where the state comes in is when I arrived at hospital after explicitly requesting to be left to die at the accident site, and then arriving at the hospital only to request to die again I think that's where the state can bugger off. Also fact is many many people that lose arm and hand function cannot end life more specifically cannot end their life efficiently (if at all) , And the only options available are very inhumane and with something as serious, and life "changing" as quadriplegia every individual should have the choice! In the same "fashion" as an able-bodied person even though they lack the function, therefore something needs to be put into place no different than ramps to get us over curbs in a sense ... To Simply assume that every person will live on and won't suffer even though completely paralyzed without sexual function, Will still find something to enjoy or new purpose even though 90% of them is paralyzedIs not realistic. Every injury is different and comes with different severities of side effects and additional allotments. Every individual is different, not everybody reads etc, not everybody live for,by the body or mind, everyone has different values, different perspectives and different principles they live by, for some The adjustment will be easy, others not so much, for others it's not an option this is what it means to be individualized. Also providing a chair for someone to basically wither away in,and a protocol that involves anal penetration, catheterizations Life of dependency etc is not exactly a real treatment. Some may distinguish that as unacceptable. Since quadriplegia has such " extensive" implications and we can provide no real alternative only accommodations ( which rightfully so will not work for some ), since we are all different a choice ( alternative) should be available to each individual...
    Last edited by JamesMcM; 01-03-2016 at 04:53 AM.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post
    This is (was) just coming to fruition in Canada ... but according to most statements, good luck finding a doctor to aid in the transition. Kevorkian was right all those years ago!
    It is coming to fruition, they simply asked for a six-month extension that may or may not pass there is a large group ready to act if they do pass it because the six-month extension is a little fucked up. And actually there are a surprising amount of doctors who are ready and have been preparing since the law was passed last February ( this group of doctors were not waiting for the government to make legislation they went right ahead). Everything is all in place in Quebec already
    Last edited by JamesMcM; 01-03-2016 at 04:55 AM.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesMcM View Post
    Please do elaborate how someone that can't even open the door is so capable of ending their Life so easily! You made the statement now don't give me that crap this isn't a place to discuss this give me your honest opinion you're stuck in a house that you can't get in and out of yourself, you can't use your hands or most of your arms you require constant caregiving they are aware but they're not going to help obviously, do you explain yourself. There is a big difference between perfect hand function and propurly hanging yourself, cutting your wrist ( effecently) and blowing your head off, compared to starving or dehydrating yourself something that could take weeks or months and help could be forced upon you in this time. I know that for a fact I tried to refuse to have my catheter unblocked among a few other things yeah no go.

    Before anyone jumps in and says this is a taboo and shouldn't be discussed yeah maybe if everybody were high functioning incomplete injuries, or paraplegic but no that's not the way it is. Sooo no this is very relevant and this ignorant accusation has been made many times I don't think people fully realize the implications of being a complete C4 and up or a low functioning C-5. Un less you live in some mobile smart house that does everything for you you're pretty well stuck without assistance. Caregivers arnt going to sit there and watch you driving in to your pool they're not going to leave your pill bottles nicely open on the perfect table for those fortunate enough to have slight arm function to grip them. When I lived on the 30th floor One day after bow care I seen my balconies railings simply to keep disabled people like me from rolling off, an able-bodied person even a para could simply just jump climb over, not I.

    "t. If you're worried about it hurting, or leaving a stain" That's a load of crap, some able-bodied people get so wound up and so deeply depressed that they're not even mentally coherent so one day they pop in a shell and blow their head off in a split second decision.my uncle was deeply distraught but he had the decency to go out in the middle of the woods, but you know what he had the luxury to have the ability to be able to do that he also had the luxury to make that decision without ever telling a soul because he was physically capable of carrying it out the Second he wanted too discreetly, efficiently and quickly 100% on his own . You'd be a real cunt to sit there and starve to death and make your caregivers and or family witnessed the whole thing.. A lot of people that wish to die because of paralysis are perfectly mentally healthy,there's no mental element too dullThe fear or the implications, cause for higher more severe injuries it can't be some split-second simple motion in a moment of your greatest pain it often has to be thought through very carefully making it even more of a daunting task ( yet even more justifiable ), especially when you going to need some kind of assistance. A lot of vent dependent people beg to have the thing taken out but they never do they argued that they're not in a good mental state, like that poor bastard I read about a couple years ago, they won't help so he's stuck, hes stuck in bed for Christ sake.

    Ummmm...you obviously didn't read the opening sentence I wrote. It acknowledged there is a case where someone can be so badly neurologically damaged they cannot physically kill themselves.

    As to your other "point" (using the term loosely), your Uncle anecdote is a perfect example of the fear of continuing to live in so much pain being more powerful than the natural fear of dying, and BLAM! Dead.

    Understanding what has been written would go a long way toward helping you avoid wasting time and energy "ranting" needlessly. We don't disagree much at all about this topic.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  9. #29
    "If you're after efficiency there are plenty of reliable options that have nothing to do with asking someone else for help, or asking The State, or the medical establishment, for validation.

    I am saying anyone that genuinely wants to die, and is still alive, doesn't really want to die. It is incredibly easy to end a human life. Obstacles that exist are between our ears, and yes, they boil down to fear."

    This is where we disagree there are not plenty of reliable options for higher injuries,c simple as that. Believe me, I am never surprised by what I can and cannot do, even if at first thought I didn't think I'd be able to do it. Every option that I do have outside of assisted suicide, Will take careful planning to the extent of buying a suitable property and adapting it It will also require others unknowing involvement and me playing apart that everything is OK. ( trust me I don't need instructions or ideas but because of my injury it's far from simple ) And it could easily be folded failure on my part or intervention of others. Point is it cannot be done right now or anytime soon, or the flip of the hat when I'm having a fit. It's not a straight shot guaranteed like the most common c methods of suicide amongst able-bodied people. Fear is there but it's hardly my only obstacle that's on the point I'm trying to get across. That's not right, and I couldn't feel any stronger about that.

    Also there is a substantial difference between wanting to die, and rather be dead than the alternative. Cas you said about my uncle his will to die overcame his fears or rationale it almost became instinctual. He had to function to carry it out quickly and efficiently so it was done. Now take my situation and I've read other threads where I can see the same mental anguish and situation in others fact is I don't want to die, not at all! I want to live but not on the expulsion of everything I value and believe in, and more importantly not without freedom. As I said there is no deep mental disorder or chemical in balance to dull this action. Not That you made any kind of argument against what I'm saying is just a valid point.


    My apologies for snapping the spasms a nerve pain were not allowing me to type well that really didn't help my frustration. But I do get really frustrated when I see people say how easy suicide to be done. When after many many nights of careful consideration and thinking I know the extremes I would have to go to, to pull it off "myself" ( as in no way shape or form can it be done 100% by myself anymore) if that extreme situation and decision has to unfold. It's like a bunch able-bodied people talking about how tired they are from walking all day or how exhausting their sex life is around me constantly... Eventually it's going to hit a nerve
    Last edited by JamesMcM; 01-03-2016 at 07:28 PM.

  10. #30
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    I am reminded of Christine who used to post here. A few years back, she choose to stop eating/drinking as a conscious choice. It must have been so hard. She had sisters, a mother (can't remember but I believe a male friend whom she let go as well but they remained friends) who had to respect her decision as well. She was a high quad as well but an amazing artist! I believe she was a former teacher as well. She just could not handle the dependence on others .. I can't imagine as I've been lucky as a paraplegic.

    I remember her very rational discussions on the matter. Treatments for paralysis need to be here yesterday, or we will lose more.

    Kinda wish caregivers or family members would post their experiences here ... was it the right thing to do? Regrets?
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

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