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Thread: Does a dependent still have the right to decide?

  1. #1

    Does a dependent still have the right to decide?

    As someone that is fully dependent, do we still have the right to fire all caregiving support, even if it is likely very detrimental to our health? Do we have the right to just choose I'm done I want to be independent, I want to just be on my own, basically refuse any type of treatment/caregiving?

    Do we have the right to refuse all of it especially the undignified procedures? Or because we bumped our spinal cord inside his eyes do we no longer have that right, is it just assumed that along with our body we lost the capability of autonomy ; This is a serious question on a serious issue!

    If you make this decision to known your caregiver and she contacts the "authorities" or whatever will they just act on it and assume you're incompetent. Because I'm seeing a very one sided narrative, support amongst caregivers and caregiving organization! We are literally third class citizens void of agency to it all. that's how I feel

  2. #2
    It might be different in Canada but in the UK we have the right to refuse medical treatment provided that we have mental capacity. If you can demonstrate capacity then I would assume that you know the consequences of stopping care, things like AD from build up of piss/shit damage to skin from lying in it or not being turned, starvation or dehydration etc etc and can explain to a psychologist all of this then you can't really be stopped. If someone were to report this in the UK it becomes a safeguarding issue involving adult social services who might want to test mental capacity.

    I'd consider doing this if my care package came apart and they try to put me in a care home, no way am I enduring that on top of the rest of the shit we deal with!

  3. #3
    Should be an individual's choice, especially when permanently disabled or with a terminal condition. But this is just an opinion. I don't know exactly how the law works, but I do know in the US we can refuse treatment after being found mentally competent. I just have a feeling that it isn't so streamlined and would most likely be met with plenty of resistance. If someone is suffering and there is no cure for what makes someone suffer, I believe there should be a process. Not an easy one, but at least a process to ending the suffering for them. Especially when they are willing to starve or stop treatment. Seems too hard to watch or go through for them or those who love them. Our animals have better options in this case.

  4. #4
    Thiswas an excellent point a paraplegic lawyer brought up during the process of approving assisted suicide:

    Arvay’s criticisms were personal and forceful.

    “For many disabled people — and I’m one of them — we’ve managed to tolerate and adapt to our suffering and choose life over death. But to suggest that all physically disabled people have to subscribe to that notion is not just patronizing, it’s infantilizing,” he said.


    Bill C-14 is) treating all physically disabled people as children incapable of agency and autonomy and I just find that incredibly offensive,” said Vancouver lawyer Joe Arvay, a paraplegic.

    We are considered "Vunerable" which basically means along with 90% of our body and with it freedom we are also considered incapable of making decisions in regards to our life. It really bothers me that without knowing a single thing about me as an individual, and being fully aware of the extremes I have to go to on a daily basis death is still considered ill rational . To me that is a disturbing rationale!
    Last edited by JamesMcM; 09-30-2016 at 05:51 PM.

  5. #5
    The best lawyers always seem to keep me on the edge of my seat. Those are some powerful words. No one can ever truly see what another person lives (or suffers) with. No one should therefore have a solidified authority over their decisions. It needs and deserves a due process. Time, of course. Chances to accept and overcome, etc...After that is done, it's one person's choice; the disabled/sick person.

    I know from your posts you've been injured for many years and still suffering. I know self made BPs are lovely enough, but can't imagine waiting on needed assistance constantly. I had to have it done assisted starting rehab and it was awful. Rode in the Hoyer lift plenty of times. Dropped onto a commode on a chux sheet and away they went. I guess I should feel lucky that next was learning it for myself. So proud of myself!

    But yes...if someone isn't "adjusting" or happy more than they are miserable. If they can't find peace or satisfaction being in a chair or never walking again or dying of any disease- They should have an option. Not for everyone...I'm sure. Such a small percentage would use it. But damn...it should be there. We all get to die. All of us. No one (after due-process) should have to be tortured on the way.

  6. #6
    I think you're over-complicating the scenario, James. Just stop paying for any care you don't want. I doubt the result would be some big legal battle or human rights drama, your caregivers just wouldn't come to work. If that's really what you want, easy peasy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaper1 View Post
    I think you're over-complicating the scenario, James. Just stop paying for any care you don't want. I doubt the result would be some big legal battle or human rights drama, your caregivers just wouldn't come to work. If that's really what you want, easy peasy.
    Yep. 'Legal Right' or no 'legal right'. you have the power to do it.
    "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

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Denied2016 View Post
    The best lawyers always seem to keep me on the edge of my seat. Those are some powerful words. No one can ever truly see what another person lives (or suffers) with. No one should therefore have a solidified authority over their decisions. It needs and deserves a due process. Time, of course. Chances to accept and overcome, etc...After that is done, it's one person's choice; the disabled/sick person.

    I know from your posts you've been injured for many years and still suffering. I know self made BPs are lovely enough, but can't imagine waiting on needed assistance constantly. I had to have it done assisted starting rehab and it was awful. Rode in the Hoyer lift plenty of times. Dropped onto a commode on a chux sheet and away they went. I guess I should feel lucky that next was learning it for myself. So proud of myself!

    But yes...if someone isn't "adjusting" or happy more than they are miserable. If they can't find peace or satisfaction being in a chair or never walking again or dying of any disease- They should have an option. Not for everyone...I'm sure. Such a small percentage would use it. But damn...it should be there. We all get to die. All of us. No one (after due-process) should have to be tortured on the way.

    Agreed, but I disagree that their needs to be due process if they decide they want to die at the accident site for god sake's, then that's their call they do not have to do a year of dependency before giving them the right.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Oddity View Post
    Yep. 'Legal Right' or no 'legal right'. you have the power to do it.
    What absolute crap! Oddity I really wish you would not regard this subject with such ignorance especially when exhibiting a tone of confidence you are 100% certain when you are vastly incorrect in the stance you commonly take within this subject, and For another thing when you have the wrong interpretation of what I'm asking and why I'm asking it . I truly believe you so easily come to this absolutely ridiculous conclusion because Dispite the fact of your injury You have still lived on your own accord and abilities in almost all aspects ( majority of SCIs do), you still know what privacy is, and know what it's like to be able to do anything from scratch your ass to clip your nails,to get out of bed at the drop of a hat on your own leisure. You don't know what entrapment really feels like, Evidently it seems you don't even know how far entrapment can really go,! You've shown truly infuriating ignorance on the subject before saying that "anyone can end their life it's just a matter of conviction"! which is just a load of shit and I'm quite frankly really tired of people living such a luxurious standard of life that leads them to be so ignorant to just how complicated the situation can get. That applies to myself too, very very far stretch from your level of luxury but I still have The ability to speak and communicate this is a tremendous luxury; but I would never make the completely missguided statements that you do; and fact of the matter is I am very aware of what it is to not be able to communicate at all and be completely paralyzed from the neck down not sure if you'll ever be able to talk again unable to do literally ANYTHING but move your eyes/blink and move your tongue that is 100% it! And with certain diseases, disabilities, injuries some people aren't even able to use those two luxuries ( because when we do still have the luxurious control of your tongue at least you can frantically click your tongue if something is bothering you, mind you from personal experience even when someone gets close enough to hear it most people just ignore it , But trust me if you actually live in such a state for long enough you would realize why I call it A luxury and how that is probably an understatement) ,but in some cases are still there mentally; suffering and literally rotting, Being fed and drained through tubes ; not even remotely humane! I was in that state for upwards of three months ( hearing doctors tell my family I would never talk again or breathe on my own and I'm going to have to be fed intravenously the rest my life), and I've seen others there, and guess what some aren't as fortunate as me to regain the ability to communicate and instead live consciously the rest of their life like that unable to show anything even a sign of discomfort or dismay just blank but only on the surface!! They will only die once someone either fucks up or something finally catches them;and their treatment (which they will issue unless you were smart enough to make a DNR very early on in life should be mandatory after 18) is unsuccessful in keeping them "alive". You know what's funny, despite the fact that they know you're still there, able to think and interpret etc. They have seen the test/scans and no doubt they can see the panic andrage in your eyes and facial expression, not to mention frantically clicking your tongue for days straight the doctors barely even look at you, they sure as hell don't explain anything to you they tell your family, and you just may or may not be lucky enough for them to tell them within ears range. At least that was the case for the numerous doctors in my situation, strangely when I was able to talk finally everything changed, when people can't communicate you have no idea how bad they suffer; they literally just rot 100% aware but 100% trapped and are just completely neglected their treated by the medical staff no differently than a janitor treats an unmopped floor: just a job to get through. That's why I get mad when people talk about being bored, they don't know what the true extent of boredom is and how dangerous/damaging it can be...

    Now in context to much more common situation with only high quadriplegia, Even after making a lot of progress; with my individual injury and other secondary complications the way they are since this happened the longest I've been alone was maybe 6-8 hours while being awake. And for some more severe injuries/ secondary complications when we start getting into the high cervical vertebrae's and don't recover any vital function that's pushing it, unless we are sleeping and set up for sleep but then again if you're dealing ventilators and/or other secondary problems that are out of control even at night that could be a stretch even for a "Night time set up". Now it is so expensive to be cared for when you're this badly disabled, if you want any kind of real daily active free (as much as possible) lifestyle on your own schedule well being completely dependent/ paralyzed it's over $8000 a month, but most people pay bare minimum and get the bare minimum care make do with that, and more often than not family is involved to help. And/or a nursing agency/government organization in Canada it's called CCAC. So all of these people are well aware of the gravity of your situation, CCAC you don't even pay so you would have to contact them and say I no longer need any caregiving and of course they're going to want to know how you're going to accomplish this, and in fact your case managers going to want to meet with you. So unless you can create some elaborate story, most would just say I'm done I'm just refusing treatment, and they may contact authorities, in the case of the family member they may leave after you informed them of your decision and or stop paying them but they will likely call the authorities saying that you're suicidal and are going to let yourself rot! The point is we cannot just disappear, we don't have the luxury, we don't have the privacy many people are literally responsible for us, and will definitely interfere, even if it means one more final unpaid task being a phone call.

    so my question is pertaining to trying to understand The situation if they do call the authorities, which nine times out of 10 they will what is going to take place, how much grounds do The authorities have! I'm not asking this because I'm planning to start starving myself right this second, if certain aspects and individuals continue then yes I need to be and would like to think I am prepared. As This inquiry started because I'am completely done with being at the mercy of other people because I need their caregiving, I'm not willing to kiss ass, Live on other people schedule and pay a lot of money (on top of every other normal expense) to be told what that does and does not get me, anymore. It wasn't getting better, and becoming quite a lot to deal with on top of the dysreflexia and spasticity. so I asked my mother/roommate/ primary caregiver to leave, she was not leaving so I said I was going to call the cops ( as I can't do anything about that myself, pathetically I couldn't even get a fly out of my house myself) her rationale was that if I did that the cops would not leave me as I am a severely crippled ( A dependent) of course I said that no they would do their job and have no right to inquire or intervene on my livelihood! I'm almost certain I am correct but I'm not 100% certain in that aspect. CCAC was contacted, I wonder what they're take on the situation is but more importantly what they would be capable of doing if they did try and intervene flag my file whatever!, you understand I just want to know the situation! Because the fact is I have read about people that want to choose to abandon all treatment, and because they're so severely disabled basically need people to set them up and abandon them completely they were denied that luxury and kept alive against their will, because they physically couldn't do a thing about it... so for future reference I need to know if people have legal grounds to intervene, and if I have a legal right! Because if they can use my severe disability to clam me as vunerable or mentally incompetent and do have grounds to interfere, then I won't be "capable" of doing it. At least until I prove I am mentally competent, I understand the consequences of my actions etc. etc. in which case I need to be prepared to provide that.

    But in actuality this didn't really have much personal motivation behind, an argument with a long history and build up may have sparked my inquiry but I just want to know the reality of the entire situation for myself and people in a similar situation. Btw To resort to months of starvation, letting your bowels and bladder explode would be pretty stupid in a country that supposedly allows assisted suicide, either way at this point that is not my intention; I am simply inquiring, maybe other people have personal experience of becoming a ward or even better preventing that from happening. I just want to know. It is a unfortunate but relevant topicwithin the severe/extreme circumstances.

    P.s I believe the term is called form eight or something like that, deemed mentally incompetent. Whatever, it happens in more common situations all the time. usually where suicide actually isn't a rational outlook,so it actually makes sense. I'm just wondering how much of a hurdle or how prevalent that is given the circumstance a few of us haveso it actually makes sense. I'm just wondering how much of a hurdle or how provident that is given the circumstance a few of us have!
    Last edited by JamesMcM; 10-01-2016 at 12:45 AM.

  10. #10
    I hadn't even thought of that. I know EMTs are under rules (in USA) so that they save lives no matter the situation. I believe theres a legal form where even 911/EMT assistance can be cancelled but it has to be signed and ready otherwise they do all they can.

    Leaving someone to die at the accident would be an almost impossible one to make legal I think. Maybe a solo car crash with zero collateral damage? Hard to say. Just hard to imagine EMTs agreeing, taking a seat, and just calling the coroner. Right circumstances though, to me, the right to be left alone should stand.

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