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Dave Beans

Terry Pratchett Documentary / Assisted Suicide

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http://www.bbc.co.uk...hoosing_to_Die/

Well worth a watch...should the state interfere whether someone who was suffering immense pain and wanted to die?

The guy at Dignitas was claiming that Section 8 (?) of the Human Rights Act about self-determination should cover the right to die at a time of ones own choosing. Couldn't agree more.

As an early boomer I know very few people of my age who want to end up drooling and incontinent in a so-called "Care" Home; we are the first generation to watch it happening to our parents in large numbers thanks to modern life-extending medicine and we don't want it happening to us.

Of course, many on HPC would like a forcible cull of the boomer generation anyway!:)

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Of course, many on HPC would like a forcible cull of the boomer generation anyway!:)

Are you suggesting some of us only want old slackers eliminated?

I'm all for getting rid of feral chav scum too.

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The guy at Dignitas was claiming that Section 8 (?) of the Human Rights Act about self-determination should cover the right to die at a time of ones own choosing. Couldn't agree more.

As an early boomer I know very few people of my age who want to end up drooling and incontinent in a so-called "Care" Home; we are the first generation to watch it happening to our parents in large numbers thanks to modern life-extending medicine and we don't want it happening to us.

Of course, many on HPC would like a forcible cull of the boomer generation anyway!:)

Ask most people the question 'Do you want to be kept alive for years after your brain has gone to the point where you no longer recognize your own kids, draining resources that could be used to educate your grandchildren/great grand children'?

There is a far more controversial flip side to this - medical technology has got much better at keeping ultra premature and highly disabled babies alive - even though this often means that the children never have any real quality of life and are in constant pain. Again, a huge expense for minimal benefit. But politically an even harder problem than unplugging Granny.

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It was very good, did anybody watch the discussion afterwards?

I have never understood the position that people shouldn't be able to choose exactly when, where and how they want to die. The counter argument seems to hang on the notion that it would lead to people being knocked off left right and centre, which the data from Switzerland shows is not the case.

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Ask most people the question 'Do you want to be kept alive for years after your brain has gone to the point where you no longer recognize your own kids, draining resources that could be used to educate your grandchildren/great grand children'?

There is a far more controversial flip side to this - medical technology has got much better at keeping ultra premature and highly disabled babies alive - even though this often means that the children never have any real quality of life and are in constant pain. Again, a huge expense for minimal benefit. But politically an even harder problem than unplugging Granny.

I don't like the way either of those are expressed - "draining resources", "huge expense for minimal benefit" - all smacks of totting up and deciding that (through no fault of your own) you're now only fit for the knacker's yard so off to be disposed of. Those are very good arguments against assisted suicide (although IMO they don't way out the arguments for allowing people to decide what they do with their own life).

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Hmm, Terry Pratchett - he seems to be the poster boy of Alzheimers.

Four years in from his diagnosis and he is writing a book, making a TV programme and even holding his own in an interview with Paxman.

Could be he's on some powerful drugs keeping it all under control.

Elsewhere on a BBC drama, I saw a dementia sufferer playing classical music on her piano.:rolleyes:

My experiences with a family member suffering from this disease are quite different.. and more shocking than just a bit of memory loss - which is how it is represented in the media.

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I don't like the way either of those are expressed - "draining resources", "huge expense for minimal benefit" - all smacks of totting up and deciding that (through no fault of your own) you're now only fit for the knacker's yard so off to be disposed of. Those are very good arguments against assisted suicide (although IMO they don't way out the arguments for allowing people to decide what they do with their own life).

It's not a nice way of looking at it, no. But it IS something we are going to have to look at as a society.

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Hmm, Terry Pratchett - he seems to be the poster boy of Alzheimers.

Four years in from his diagnosis and he is writing a book, making a TV programme and even holding his own in an interview with Paxman.

Could be he's on some powerful drugs keeping it all under control.

Elsewhere on a BBC drama, I saw a dementia sufferer playing classical music on her piano.:rolleyes:

My experiences with a family member suffering from this disease are quite different.. and more shocking than just a bit of memory loss - which is how it is represented in the media.

TP is very much early stages, and it seems to have hit the visual cortex first. So he has vision problems but not too many memory problems.

I suspect that for many more typical cases, the symptoms will be put down to normal aging for a few years until they become blatant, so would be a bit shocking. Not a fun illness at all.

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Hmm, Terry Pratchett - he seems to be the poster boy of Alzheimers.

Four years in from his diagnosis and he is writing a book, making a TV programme and even holding his own in an interview with Paxman.

Could be he's on some powerful drugs keeping it all under control.

Elsewhere on a BBC drama, I saw a dementia sufferer playing classical music on her piano.:rolleyes:

My experiences with a family member suffering from this disease are quite different.. and more shocking than just a bit of memory loss - which is how it is represented in the media.

True, but

Terry Pratchett has quite a rare form IIRC - the end point will be the same, but it's less obvious en route.

TV documentaries can edit out an awful lot of false starts, errors etc to make the whole thing look a lot more coherent than it originally was.

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Hmm, Terry Pratchett - he seems to be the poster boy of Alzheimers.

Four years in from his diagnosis and he is writing a book, making a TV programme and even holding his own in an interview with Paxman.

Could be he's on some powerful drugs keeping it all under control.

His output rate seems down though, and I believe I read somewhere that he is using an amanuensis now.

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Hmm, Terry Pratchett - he seems to be the poster boy of Alzheimers.

Four years in from his diagnosis and he is writing a book, making a TV programme and even holding his own in an interview with Paxman.

Could be he's on some powerful drugs keeping it all under control.

Elsewhere on a BBC drama, I saw a dementia sufferer playing classical music on her piano.:rolleyes:

My experiences with a family member suffering from this disease are quite different.. and more shocking than just a bit of memory loss - which is how it is represented in the media.

Me too.

If TP's already had it for a few years, I don't know how he's able to participate properly in this sort of thing. By the time we realized they'd got it, the 2 in this family wouldn't have been able to remember any argument for any length of time. Let alone remember that they'd got actually anything wrong with them. Would insist if asked that they were perfectly OK, thanks, and probably be very upset/offended with anyone suggesting that they weren't.

Incidentally my mother was given Aricept - all it did was make her 'nasty' symptoms worse. Glad when she came off it.

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I remember watching a programme that followed a man right the way through his experience with alzheimers. It was so horrible it was difficult to watch in places.

After some googling, I think it was 'mum, dad, alzheimers and me' on dispatches, but i can't be sure without seeing it again.

After seeing that I decided if I find myself in that position, I'm going to enjoy life then before it's too late then take that flight to Switzerland. Or even jump off a nice scenic bridge/cliff. Better to chose for yourself than slowly vanish in pain IMO.

If you take the bridge option then don't forget to put a little cash token to one side for the poor sap who has to clean you up. Only fair really.

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The guy at Dignitas was claiming that Section 8 (?) of the Human Rights Act about self-determination should cover the right to die at a time of ones own choosing. Couldn't agree more.

As an early boomer I know very few people of my age who want to end up drooling and incontinent in a so-called "Care" Home; we are the first generation to watch it happening to our parents in large numbers thanks to modern life-extending medicine and we don't want it happening to us.

Of course, many on HPC would like a forcible cull of the boomer generation anyway!:)

Doesn't this also call into question the government's pledge of £814 million to vaccinate enough people to save 4 million lives in 4 years? Don't we have enough difficulty feeding the6,924,774,200 people already here. So just that many more people to find food, water and resources for.ph34r.gif

I would be more inclined to agree with this spending if it were on 3rd world BIRTH CONTROL.ph34r.gif

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I remember watching a programme that followed a man right the way through his experience with alzheimers. It was so horrible it was difficult to watch in places.

After some googling, I think it was 'mum, dad, alzheimers and me' on dispatches, but i can't be sure without seeing it again.

After seeing that I decided if I find myself in that position, I'm going to enjoy life then before it's too late then take that flight to Switzerland. Or even jump off a nice scenic bridge/cliff. Better to chose for yourself than slowly vanish in pain IMO.

If you take the bridge option then don't forget to put a little cash token to one side for the poor sap who has to clean you up. Only fair really.

It doesn't happen like that.

You might start getting absent minded, then start making up stories of things you have imagined, then start wandering off and getting lost.

You think you are OK but family members become concerned - he's getting absent minded that's all , your GP gets you an appointment with a specialist at the hospital, then another ...months/ years pass by as the NHS machine of referral grinds on.

By the time you are diagnosed you can't find your way to the bog, let alone arrange a trip to Switzerland or find the bus route to lovers leap, you don't have any conception of what is going on, you are basically a baby but one which weighs a lot more and so is much harder to care for.

Who decides your departure date now? The medical profession will keep you 'alive' in this state as long as they can.

So that's why Terry Pratchett is in a different position to typical Alzheimers sufferers.

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It doesn't happen like that.

You might start getting absent minded, then start making up stories of things you have imagined, then start wandering off and getting lost.

You think you are OK but family members become concerned - he's getting absent minded that's all , your GP gets you an appointment with a specialist at the hospital, then another ...months/ years pass by as the NHS machine of referral grinds on.

By the time you are diagnosed you can't find your way to the bog, let alone arrange a trip to Switzerland or find the bus route to lovers leap, you don't have any conception of what is going on, you are basically a baby but one which weighs a lot more and so is much harder to care for.

Who decides your departure date now? The medical profession will keep you 'alive' in this state as long as they can.

So that's why Terry Pratchett is in a different position to typical Alzheimers sufferers.

Unless, having seen it first hand, you are so aware of the possibility that you take whatever steps are necessary, probably sooner than necessary as to leave it too long could be disastrous, to make absolutely certain that it does not happen to you. I think I can say, with some certainty that it won't happen to me.

I also worry about waking up a vegetable after an accident or stroke, but a living will and strict instructions to relatives should lessen the likelihood of that.

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Ridiculous viewpoints in the debate after, I had to switch it off. They kept saying the programme didn't spell out the safeguards (it did!) and that it coerced people into taking their lives (it didn't!). Did they even watch the programme?

Difficult to know what I'd do in a similar situation, I'm always optimistic about some radical medical technology coming along to fix the problem so wouldn't want to end it too soon.

Yeah the program after was a bit rubbish, that Bishop was a total twit in particular the point where he was suggesting they had effectively murdered him because the guy had asked when he should drink the liquid and they told him.

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Difficult to know what I'd do in a similar situation, I'm always optimistic about some radical medical technology coming along to fix the problem so wouldn't want to end it too soon.

As far as know alzheimers physically damages the brain so that what's lost is lost for good and nothing could ever change that. I suppose that one day it may be able to fix enough so that anything forgotten can be re-learned but the memories won't come back. That's probably in the realm of science fiction though. More plausible are treatments that, whilst not being able to repair anything, can prevent further deterioration.

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One issue I have with the idea of assisted suicide is that it will inevitably will become a slippery slope. We're talking serious Alzheimers and motor neurone cases now but how long before the net gets widened? How long before we start killing disabled children? Is this not sending the message that disabled people don't have lives worth living? What's the betting that funding for care will be reduced/removed from those illnesses that are deemed to qualify for assisted suicide? What chance does this leave for someone with one of these conditions who wishes to live? What is a terminal illness anyway? That's a serious question. Have you got a terminal illness if the doctor gives you 5 years to live? 10 years? 2 years? Where's the cut off point?

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One issue I have with the idea of assisted suicide is that it will inevitably will become a slippery slope. We're talking serious Alzheimers and motor neurone cases now but how long before the net gets widened? How long before we start killing disabled children? Is this not sending the message that disabled people don't have lives worth living? What's the betting that funding for care will be reduced/removed from those illnesses that are deemed to qualify for assisted suicide? What chance does this leave for someone with one of these conditions who wishes to live? What is a terminal illness anyway? That's a serious question. Have you got a terminal illness if the doctor gives you 5 years to live? 10 years? 2 years? Where's the cut off point?

It doesn't need to be a slippery slope if it's only ever applied to a patient who's been able to decide for themselves what they want whilst they're still capable of deciding.

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It doesn't need to be a slippery slope if it's only ever applied to a patient who's been able to decide for themselves what they want whilst they're still capable of deciding.

But if they're capable, do they need 'assistance'?

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But if they're capable, do they need 'assistance'?

Capability is required at the time of making the decision not at the time of death.

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But if they're capable, do they need 'assistance'?

Yes, try popping in to your local Superdrug or Boots and asking for a drop or two of pentobarbital.

Doing it DIY style with a packet of Anadin at home (or elsewhere) could lead to all sorts of complications which might not result in death but cause serious suffering. Any other method would mean somebody somewhere is going to have to scrape you off the pavement, wipe you off the front of a train or drag your bloated body out of a lake, not particularly pleasant for them and certainly not dignified.

Suicide is not illegal, but at the moment the tools at hand to do the job end up making rather a mess, drugs are strictly controlled in this country so yes people do need assistance if they just want to slip off in a dignified manner of their own choosing.

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Capability is required at the time of making the decision not at the time of death.

From what I know of it and from what was said in the program the way it works in Switzerland is the person has to do it themselves, either by lifting the cup and drinking or using a straw.

You can't say "If I go a bit loopy in the future, do the deed" you need to be capable and of sound mind when it happens, which in the program it was made clear that if Pratchett wanted to top himself he needed to do it sooner rather than later.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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