Author Topic: The three conversations model  (Read 405 times)

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5417
Re: The three conversations model
« Reply #15 on: 25 Sep 2021 08:06PM »

*** warning triangle added as post contains discussion of suicide***(KK)

I've got a book that gives information on how to kill yourself safely.
It's a difficult issue, because understandably a lot of disabled people (and I've no idea what proportion)  are concerned that allowing assisted suicide can be a step towards eugenics-motivated killing.  On the other hand, in my darker moments, I can't see that not allowing assisted suicide is going to make much difference, given disabled people starving to death when denied benefits they're entitled to or the sort of attitude exemplified by the powers that be playing 'siege of Caffa' with covid patients and care homes, or by the likes of Tim Martin having posters displayed in his Wetherspoons pub windows that I'll summarise as "People should be allowed to come and keep my business running because it's only the clinically vulnerable [= sick, disabled and elders] that are dying anyway [and they don't matter]"

The irony of it for me is, as I think I've mentioned on here recently, when I was going through perimenopause and making repeated suicide attempts, always within 48 hours of the start of a period, to the frustration of my GP, he couldn't get the gynae team to give me HRT because they just said my premenstrual crashes were due to my bipolar disorder.  Like hell they were.  But when it wasn't the time of the month, I might have felt ghastly but I was no more likely than anyone else to try to kill myself. 

But then look how there were guidelines drawn up for hospitals on how to care for patients at end of life, to give them as kind and gentle an ending as was possible when they were dying anyway, and parts of the media attacked the guidelines over and over and over, putting across the idea that they were about killing people, leaving doctors struggling to do anything except doing everything they could to keep patients alive as long as possible, even where all it was doing was prolonging pointless suffering.

I still feel that if you want someone not to kill themselves when they feel suicidal, the answer isn't to come down heavy and lock them up, the answer is to give them kindness, hope, support, life worth living.

Analogy - article I read by a youth worker who said on the subject of teenage pregnancies that he'd never met a teenager who'd got intentionally pregnant where it hadn't been because they wanted someone to love them unconditionally, so if you want teenagers not to  have babies, don't give them lectures, give them love. 

I want the right to end my life when I'm ready with meaningful, non-coercive (either way) support so that I can make a proper, balanced decision.

But I think this will always be politically sensitive and difficult.
« Last Edit: 25 Sep 2021 09:04PM by KizzyKazaer »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4505
Re: The three conversations model
« Reply #16 on: 25 Sep 2021 08:19PM »
I've got a copy of the peaceful pill handbook also.


Euthanasia is very different to assisted dying
 Assisted dying is a person's choice and they take the action needed. Euthanasia being someone ending the life of another I do not agree with unless it's been stated in a previously drawn up advanced directive that the person created previously that in the very circumstances that person is in they wouldn't want to live. Even in those circumstances I personally wouldn't be the person who took action to fulfill that person's wishes. It's not something that I could do but would provide emotional support to anyone choosing to end their lives.


More and more countries are allowing assisted dying and we'll get there but whether that's soon enough for me, I doubt.

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5417
Re: The three conversations model
« Reply #17 on: 25 Sep 2021 09:50PM »
Euthanasia is, I believe complicated.  Caution - describes an old man dying, and end of life dilemmas.

Take the instance of my father.  In hospital, barely breathing, unable to eat or drink, kidneys failing, veins collapsing, heart arrhythmic etc.  Suffering.  Not likely to live much longer.

Decision made to withdraw tubes.  No further nutrition.

He had no say in it.  Why?  Very advanced dementia, incapable of understanding.

But let me illustrate something.  I would sit with him.  "Who's that?"  (said anxiously) "Sunny."  He'd grab my hand.  Moments later, he'd thrust it away with extreme anxiety.  "Who's that?" and so it would go until I realised he was more distressed by my presence than without.

Can you imagine the distress he felt as doctors tried to get cannulas into him?  As people tried to change his incontinence pads?  Etc.

But there would those that would argue that removing the existing drips and not putting fresh cannulas in or, alternatively, finding a way to put a gastric tube down or something, amounted to euthanasia, in that some would argue that removing nutrition is euthanasia.

If he'd been clearly able to eat and he'd been in a hospital, we'd probably have seen it as murder to deny him food.

I believe that what was done was technically euthanasia - providing a good death.  (Eu = good, thanatos = death.)

Socially we call it euthanasia if someone objects to it.  But the problem with that is the issue of inability to consent.  My father had no mental capacity to give or withdraw consent to treatment or lack of it.  Decisions had to be made.  I had a power of attorney but actually that didn't really come into it.  It was down to the doctors.  Do we force him to survive in extreme distress, or do we withdraw those things that in effect force him to suffer?

I wish it was a neat and tidy issue, but I dont think it is.  The most we can so as a society is to set out to help everyone to have the best quality of life possible, including things like love, kindness, acceptance, relief of physical & emotional pain etc., and then be supportive if they can't take any more.

I have physically saved lives.  You don't know if you stop someone dying when it wasn't their choice that their life was on the line whether they wanted to live or not, but sometimes as you're slapping on field dressings or pulling someone out of the water or getting them away from fire, you act then and ask later if they wanted to live.

But sometimes the decisions we make over these things are difficult because it's not clear cut.  What we can hope for is to help people through life's horridnesses so dying 'early' isn't what they feel they need, and then when dying happens, make it as peaceful as possible.

Incidentally, when you get stuff after news articles that tells people the Sams' number, I wish they'd also mention things like prayer lines and chat lines and specific condition and circumstance lines.  I think, for instance, that Ataxia UK made a huge difference to my sense I could continue to face life. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4505
Re: The three conversations model
« Reply #18 on: 27 Sep 2021 01:47PM »
It struck me that while Chris Whitty acknowledges this, what is happening in that local charities and organisations are doing the support and picking up the tab rather than the government helping people and solving problems is exactly the plan in the three conversations
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-58627335

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5417
Re: The three conversations model
« Reply #19 on: 27 Sep 2021 08:36PM »
Yes, a good example you've linked to there.

It occurs to me that this is touching on issues I've mentioned elsethread, where I touched on Cameron's disconcertion when he was so keen to push 'big society' to solve problems, visited a charity I was director of, and realised that, oops, a lot of the services we provided were publicly funded services (council, government, EU), just on a not-for-profit basis.  But that wouldn't compute for him.  A range of other services we provided shamed his ilk for what they didn't provide. 

I suppose that's why disabled people have been chanting Rights Not Charity! for so long.  I'm a believer in charity, but not as a substitute for proper state provision, and not as a substitute for state funding.  Sometimes it can be a vehicle for providing public services on a not-for-profit basis, but where it provides extra services, it should be extras and a bit of safety-net, not essentials.
« Last Edit: 28 Sep 2021 05:38PM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)