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'Minimally conscious' MS sufferer allowed to die

​Words are not enough to describe my feelings about this. I feel for her and her family.

X

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Hi Sue, I agree heartbreaking for everyone involved. I agree with the decision and would hope God forbid if the same happened to me my family would do the same. However, I think some people will be very upset by the decision, it is a very emotive issue. I wonder will it be appealed.

ann x

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I agree with the decision and the concept but why just stop feeding her?! Why actually allow her to starve to death?!! Why not administer drugs and allow a peaceful, dignified death? Incredibly sad…

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Very very sad story. I agree with the decision but why oh why let her suffer anymore? I completely agree with Poppy a peaceful & dignified death is what we all hope for.

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We don’t make animals suffer the way that many people have to. We always say that letting a pet go to end their suffering is the one last gift we can give them, yet we make people suffer. If this has to happen this way, you’d think they’d make her unconscious for her final days, so she doesn’t suffer further from the dehydration and starvation.

I hope that when my time comes, I can make the trip to Switzerland.

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Hi,

Feel Very sad for her and her family may God help her and her family.

Agree with every word you have said.

Kielyn

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They will Loretta. The dosage of morphine or whatever will be upped, until she’s unaware but it’s still barbaric in my opinion. I’ve always said I’d do time if I have to, if I had to help a loved one…

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At least that will be a small blessing. It’s disgusting that they’re allowed to let someone slowly starve to death, but not to pass peacefully and quietly. I don’t blame you, Poppy. I wouldn’t want a loved one of mine to face having to do time for my benefit. A very emotive subject. Like you, I wouldn’t want to see a loved one suffer.

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Very sad but if they can up the morphine until she slips away peacefully - would be my wish…God Bless her…

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Is this my future and my fate?

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No. It’s very unusual. That’s why we’ve not experienced this kind of death often before. And why it’s so terribly sad when it does happen. The woman concerned has profound cognitive and physical disabilities. And ultimately, her family knows it is no longer her and want to release her from a life that is no longer a life. This is my reading of what has happened, and is happening, not in any way informed other than what has been in the press.

MS is not a fatal condition. Generally people die with MS not of MS. This is more true now than has ever been the case. We have more drugs and treatments available to us than ever before.

However, there will be occasional people who have very severe disabilities caused by MS.

This is why I’ve now set a reminder for myself to organise an end of life directive (or living will). I want to have my feelings about being kept alive (if I’m unable to express my wishes), known.

I’ve been feeling quite emotional about this case, this week I’ve had a very emotional time and it’s hit me very hard. But I can’t live my life expecting such a terrible end. And nor should you.

My thoughts remain with the people who love and want to end the suffering of the woman in this extraordinary case.

Sue x

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No Flowerpot this is not necessarily yours or my fate.

I have had a family member who had MS and eventually died of something that was nothing to do with his MS at the age of 76 and I have also known of two others with MS one who died of a fall that resulted in her banging her head that caused her death. So that death was caused by MS in a round about way, and another who died of a heart condition.

I agree with everything you say Sue. This is extremely sad for both the lady concerned and all of her family and friends. It must have been awful for all of them.

I intend to fight, fight, fight all the way. Stephen Hawking is my inspiration.

End of life is an individual decision and I respect all who wish to end their life if struggling badly but I personally have had this conversation with my loved ones and they know my wishes to be kept alive no matter what.

Shazzie xx

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I’m with you, Shazzie.

In fact, I’m deeply disappointed that, as things stand, I can only make a directive declining treatment; I can’t say: “Yes, I want to fight - please do whatever you can to assist me!”

I do not want to be “allowed to die”. I want to be “allowed” to live!

Tina

x

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With your there Tina.

Shazzie xx

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How is it - that if we let one of our animals/pets suffer we can be prosecuted for not having them put to sleep humanely.

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I’m with you Shazzie and Tina. My solicitor is in possession of my living will which states I want to live and not die from being deprived of nourishment or hydration. I do accept that sometimes treatment, surgery etc is futile but to let someone die hungry and thirsty is barbaric.

This case comes soon after the right to die bill was defeated and rightly so in my view, although I know many of you disagree.

And yes, I know ms is not in itself terminal. I know of two ladies who sadly lost their lives in their forties, one from something unconnected, the other from pneumonia, but she probably wouldn’t have got pneumonia if it hadn’t been for the ms.

However, I digress, I’m very disturbed by the idea of people being lawfully killed because they have an illness or injury, regardless of whether it’s their choice.

Once it becomes legal, and I suspect one day it will, it’s only a short step from being a choice made by the very sick or disabled to becoming an expectation of the sick, disabled and elderly to end their lives for the convenience of society.

There, I’ve said it. I’ll get down off my soapbox now!

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I totally disagree with the people who do not agree with ending your life if you want to because you have no quality or are in pain. Morphine may mask pain but takes away any quality you may have.

My son contracted testicular cancer when he was 23 and obviously your mind starts working overtime and you fear the worst. I would not have let him go through the antagonistic history of this complaint so contacted EXIT to try and understand what I could do.

There is only one way to guarantee death quickly and that is a plastic bag over your head. If someone wants to commit suicide they will. So would it be better to come home one evening to find your loved one with blue skin; tounge hanging out with a bag over their head or to sit together; hold hands; say a prayer if that’s your want; talk about good times in the past while their life slips away.

I was or should I say my son was lucky and has been in remission for 15 years now. The thing I cannot disagree with is the Hippocratic Oath; how can you possible ask for a doctor to take life when the thing required of them is to save life

George

Going on from the points raised by George:

When I was in A&E back in March, the question was put to me …

Dr - “If something goes wrong - do you want to be resuscitated?”

Me - “Yes”

Dr - “Why?”

Me - “I’ve got things to do”

Dr - “Oh, OK”

And going back over 20 years, my mother (90+, in a nursing home) has bad pneumonia and bronchial problems.
The GP who visited the home rang me and asked outright which was more important to me - reducing her suffering or prolonging her life. Now she had not been able to speak for about four years, could not communicate, could sometimes recognise a face, and spent her days just sitting in an armchair. I said that reducing her suffering was most important and he said “OK” and a couple of days later her suffering was over. Did that GP do any harm?

Geoff

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Tina, what makes you think you cannot put exactly that in your Advance Directive? Surely it would be most helpful for those responsible for your care to know your views, so that they wouldn’t be reduced to guessing? That is exactly what the Advance Directive is for, surely?

Alison

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It’s not for me to say what’s right or wrong for you or anyone else. It’s far too much of a personal decision.

Shazzie