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    (Original post by BBC News)
    The legislation would make it legal for adults in England and Wales to be given assistance to end their own life and would apply to those with less than six months to live.

    The bill is based on a similar law in Oregon, in the United States, but with "more safeguards" he [Lord Falconer] continued.

    Two doctors would have to independently confirm the patient was terminally ill and had reached their own, informed decision to die.

    Currently, the 1961 Suicide Act makes it an offence to encourage or assist a suicide or a suicide attempt in England and Wales. Anyone doing so could face up to 14 years in prison.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/h...lords-28371950

    (Original post by BBC News)

    The legislation would allow a terminally ill, mentally competent adult, making the choice of their own free will and after meeting strict legal safeguards, to request life-ending medication from a doctor.

    Two independent doctors would be required to agree that the patient had made an informed decision to die.

    Opening the debate in a packed house, Lord Falconer - a former Labour Lord Chancellor - told peers the current legal situation permitted the wealthy to travel abroad to take their own life while others were left "in despair" to suffer a "lonely, cruel death".

    "The current situation leaves the rich able to go to Switzerland, the majority reliant on amateur assistants, the compassionate treated like criminals and no safeguards in terms of undue pressure now," he said.

    He said many people were so worried about "implicating their loves ones in a criminal enterprise" by asking them for help to die that they took their lives "by hoarding pills or putting a plastic bag over their heads".
    Should we legalise assisted suicide?
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    (Original post by Reluire)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/h...lords-28371950



    Should we legalise assisted suicide?
    I think we should, as in my view it's simply a matter of choice.

    The anti-AD group, from what I've seen of them on the news and whatnot, argue that instead of helping people to die, we should help them to live, and seem, again in my view, to be completely oblivious to the fact that such legislation would have safeguards put in place to try and prevent people from being pressured into it. The way that looks to me is that we should prevent people, like the late Tony Nicklinson for example, from having a swift and peaceful end to their suffering, a real thing happening now, to prevent the possibility of a hypothetical event from occurring instead.

    I can understand their viewpoint, but I think it is an extremely selfish position to take when we are essentially denying people control over their own bodies when they are suffering and in pain.
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    I made a thread before but no one replied . i think we need the details of the bill and of the safeguards.

    it is hard to predict death - it is hard to know when someone has less than six months to live, especially in neurodegenerative conditions - so it is difficult.

    If you wait too long and you know they are palliative, when someone is nearing death, you do not have capacity for such a decision or they won't be able to take the poison, so it is not straight forward.

    Also most people say they want to die and just need support for their family to get care or good palliative management. These thought go when the problem is resolved.

    I am interested on how you can 'safeguard' this, especially the elderly under pressure from their families. I think the public are not aware of how complex this is especially if the family are against the decision.

    The bill lacks details and lacks guidelines on which two doctors would be needed (psychiatrist?, paiative care consultant? Oncologist? Gp? Neurologist?) and what assessment is needed.
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    (Original post by TheHistoryStudent)
    The anti-AD group, from what I've seen of them on the news and whatnot, argue that instead of helping people to die, we should help them to live, and seem, again in my view, to be completely oblivious to the fact that such legislation would have safeguards put in place to try and prevent people from being pressured into it. The way that looks to me is that we should prevent people, like the late Tony Nicklinson for example, from having a swift and peaceful end to their suffering, a real thing happening now, to prevent the possibility of a hypothetical event from occurring instead.

    I can understand their viewpoint, but I think it is an extremely selfish position to take when we are essentially denying people control over their own bodies when they are suffering and in pain.
    This case you mentioned was of a man with locked in syndrome secondary to a stroke. He who wanted to be euthansided by a doctor.

    This assisted suicide law would not apply to him as

    - stroke is not palliative condition, no definitive death within 6 months so he is not considered under the law
    - he cannot move or swollow so he could not end his own life
    - he was asking for euthanasia (doctor to end his life) and the high court rejected this.
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    I fully support people's autonomy over their own lives, so yes, I am completely behind this - euthanasia-denial for people suffering just to breathe is practical torture when the option to stop it is available with their full permission. an adult doctor standing over an adult patient, patronisingly saying "uh-uh-uh! you're not clever enough to decide this! the government has labelled you incapable of coping with this choice! the government knows best for you, we're only trying to look after you, honey" is ****ing bullcrap degradation.
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    (Original post by Revenged)
    This case you mentioned was of a man with locked in syndrome secondary to a stroke. He who wanted to be euthansided by a doctor.

    This assisted suicide law would not apply to him as

    - stroke is not palliative condition, no definitive death within 6 months so he is not considered under the law
    - he cannot move or swollow so he could not end his own life
    - he was asking for euthanasia (doctor to end his life) and the high court rejected this.
    Thanks for pointing this out, I was obviously confusing the two cases.
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    The issue is complex. A problem I see that no one seems to mention is the fact that many people who are terminally ill are also depressed. Deciding to commit suicide in that situation is less a "choice" and more "a way out".

    That said, I am behind some legislation put in place so that people who decide to take their own lives can go through with it, without putting someone who helps them in danger of being prosecuted.

    In the case of neurodegenerative diseases, by the time a doctor can say that the patient is terminally ill with less than six months to live, the patient is generally unable to make a decision, so this protects mentally vulnerable people from pressure by their families. I think this is an important thing to point out: that people who have less than six months to live AND are mentally capable of making their own decisions are generally not so much old, incapacitated people (although many of them are), but relatively young people (50s, 60s) with terminal cancers, people with AIDS, or people with physical degenerative diseases.

    In any case, I think it's awful that anyone has to live against their will. If I were writing the law, I would make a different law (amongst other things, I would not limit it to the terminally ill, and I would over psychiatric or psychological treatment in order to separate those who have decided to die due to their condition from those who are depressed), but this is a start.
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    Puck it is not really possible in the majority of cases to decipher who has wants to end their lives due to depression and who because they do not want to suffer. Most people have both.

    Under the law such decisions come under the mental capacity act. Although severe depression may impair capacity, mild to moderate depression especially those without physical harm (eg cut marks) probably does not in the case of terminal illness. Also this can easily be hidden. The patient will tell a psychiatrist the answers they think will allow them to kill themselves.
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    We will need assisted dying if Scotland leaves the UK
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    (Original post by Revenged)
    Also most people say they want to die and just need support for their family to get care or good palliative management. These thought go when the problem is resolved.

    I am interested on how you can 'safeguard' this, especially the elderly under pressure from their families. I think the public are not aware of how complex this is especially if the family are against the decision..
    How can you decide that for someone, though? You might think that palliative care is the best solution, but to someone else suicide is. The best solution will always be relative - therefore, how is it ethical to force people to live through their terminal suffering? No matter how good palliative care is, ultimately the patient is just waiting to die.

    I dispute the claim that families will put the elderly under pressure because, even if this was the case, this would easily be picked up in the assessment of doctors/psychiatrists. Even if they bluff their assessment to say all the 'right' things, psychiatrists and psychologists are trained to see beyond this. I suspect if there was even a suspicion of coercion or pressure, the request for assisted suicide would be turned down. It won't be easy to pass these assessments I'm sure; they will be rigorous and thorough.
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    (Original post by Reluire)
    How can you decide that for someone, though? You might think that palliative care is the best solution, but to someone else suicide is. The best solution will always be relative - therefore, how is it ethical to force people to live through their terminal suffering? No matter how good palliative care is, ultimately the patient is just waiting to die.

    I dispute the claim that families will put the elderly under pressure because, even if this was the case, this would easily be picked up in the assessment of doctors/psychiatrists. Even if they bluff their assessment to say all the 'right' things, psychiatrists and psychologists are trained to see beyond this. I suspect if there was even a suspicion of coercion or pressure, the request for assisted suicide would be turned down. It won't be easy to pass these assessments I'm sure; they will be rigorous and thorough.
    I am not in favour for most cases, whilst a few cases I can understand and would accept their decision, in most I would disagree. I am not really convinced people are really that informed of their options. As to the rational behind their decision - what exactly are the right reasons to want to be helped to die - it is not an easy area to judge.

    Well I hope it will be such a complicated process with sufficient safeguards to protect us from legal challenges. I fear it may become like the abortion law, which is supplying abortion on any demand before 24 weeks, not the rigorous process you might imagine.

    I am not sure how informed people are about their decision. I do not share your faith that we can detect coercion from the family by assessment. Capacity assessments of a patient never involve analysis from the family so this will mostly be missed especially as the family will know not to disclose such feelings to the doctor who may refuse their wish. I am sure it will be a nightmare in practice, with families split on both sides with the decision. Even if we disagree with the decision, under the law a person with capacity can do as they like regardless of the family or doctors wish, so the question of safeguarding is something I am interested in.

    I am not sure how it will work in practice. I personally do not feel I would ever be comfortable with prescribing poison. I suspected most doctors will refuse to do get involved with medical managed killing at all. Perhaps people will start to go to a private clinic in England, like dignitas, where they will see doctors that are getting paid by a clinic that wants to kill. the expectations are for them to assist anyone to kill themselves within the law.

    I think it may become like the abortion law so that if you consciously object to abortions you have to refer the person to another doctor that will do it. I fear that this may happen in suicide where most doctors will 'conscientiously object' referring them to other doctors who will sign anything for the money or who are paid by the private sector clinic to do so.
 
 
 
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