Gransnet forums


Euthanasia at aged 44

(56 Posts)
Riverwalk Wed 02-Oct-13 10:02:07

AIBU to be alarmed that a young man of 44 felt that this was the only way to relieve his suffering, and that a doctor was willing to do the deed?


annsixty Wed 02-Oct-13 10:26:14

Like you Riverwalk I was shocked and saddened by this story but sometimes think it is a case of "walk a mile in my shoes".

thatbags Wed 02-Oct-13 11:08:13

It doesn't shock or sadden me. His life, his choice. The sadness, I feel, is that thetreatment he needed wasn't available, or was unsuccessful.

So long as the person choosing to die is making the choice without pressure from other people and is "in their right mind" (sorry, don't know if there is a technical term) at the tome of the decision, and the decision is checked several times, then I do not find this kind of self-choice life ending shocking at all.

Better than suicide in his own.

thatbags Wed 02-Oct-13 11:08:38

time, not tome

Ana Wed 02-Oct-13 11:11:32

I agree, thatbags. I'm not alarmed by the fact that a doctor is actually willing to accede to a patient's wishes at all, if the decision has been made entirely of his/her own free will.

maxgran Wed 02-Oct-13 11:16:11

If there was no chance of anything making him better or alleviate his suffering - then No, I am not shocked.

thatbags Wed 02-Oct-13 11:25:14

A doctor's remit is to relieve suffering not, necessarily, to prolong life if that is not what the patient wants. Some suffering can only be relieved by death.

Anniebach Wed 02-Oct-13 11:40:28

But in this case then again comes the question - can a person with deep psychological problems be considered capable of making such a decision

vampirequeen Wed 02-Oct-13 11:42:26

I'm concerned that it was for psychological suffering.....I'd like to know if the penis was really not repairable or replaceable. From the report it seems that he didn't get the body he'd hoped for and I suspect that life wasn't as rosy as he imagined it would be if only he got a man's body. Did he need more counselling or therapy? Was there more that could have been done?

I have no problem with euthanasia if it's a conscious thought through decision. My problem arises when it's psychological. There have been and no doubt will be more times in my life when I've wanted to end my psychological suffering. Fortunately there is no one here willing to help me die. Would this doctor be willing to kill someone like me at their request when really it's their illness talking and the urge to die will pass after a while?

thatbags Wed 02-Oct-13 11:48:36

That's an interesting point, annieb and vamp, but why should psychological suffering be regarded as different from physical suffering? After all, if physical suffering is bad or prolonged enough, it can lead to psychological suffering too. Also, our brains and minds are part of our physical body. I'm getting outnof my depth here, but it does baffle me why we talk about psychological or mental illness/suffering as if they were somehow essentially different from physical suffering. They are both suffering. It is intolerable suffering, with whatever cause, that is the issue.

If the treatment for suffering of any kind simply isn't available (and sometimes it isn't), then a chosen death seems like a good idea to me.

thatbags Wed 02-Oct-13 11:50:42

As treatment for various kinds of suffering improves there should be less of a need for this kind of choice.

After someone is dead, their suffering is over. Which is good.

vampirequeen Wed 02-Oct-13 12:25:03

At the moment I don't want to die but I know that at sometime in the not too distant future I will want to. At that point my psychological suffering will be intense and I will feel that it is beyond what I can cope with. However eventually I will begin to recover and the urge to die will pass.

The decision to die by euthanasia has to be made with a balanced mind. Psychological symptoms throw doubt on the nature of that decision. I know that some physical illnesses can lead to psychological symptoms but the circumstances are different. I understand how someone in constant pain with no hope of relief or motor neuron disease or other such illness could chose to end their life but it seems to me from the article that this man was unhappy with his body not in any physical pain.

Aka Wed 02-Oct-13 12:58:43

In what way is this different from suicide, except the obvious - that he had someone else administer the final coup de grace?

Aka Wed 02-Oct-13 13:00:24

Interesting post Vamps

Ana Wed 02-Oct-13 13:09:21

A guaranteed result, perhaps?

janeainsworth Wed 02-Oct-13 13:28:17

Aesthetic and plastic surgery should always be preceded by counselling so that the person is fully aware of what risks are involved and their expectations managed so that they don't proceed with unrealistic hopes about the putcome.
Leaving aside the point that gender reassignment is very much more than a cosmetic procedure, what shocks me is that the clinicians involved must have got it horribly wrong, for someone to have gone through that very lengthy process and come out of it wanting to end their life.
By definition, he cannot have been competent (I think that's the word you were looking for, Bags) to make the decision to proceed.

janeainsworth Wed 02-Oct-13 13:28:59


Anniebach Wed 02-Oct-13 13:34:52

One of my sisters has Parkinsons , at one point she was so very depressed but now she accepts the illness and lives the best life the illness allows, if she had chosen to die at that low period she would have missed so much .

Aka Wed 02-Oct-13 13:44:42

Yes, I hadn't thought of that Ana & Jane ... He did seen to be a person who wanted guarantees of success.

Tegan Wed 02-Oct-13 14:15:01

I saw a programme once about some people that had had surgery to change their gender and was saddened to read a postscript for one of them that had had a male to female op only to realise afterwards that he'd made a terrible mistake. Don't know what the eventual outcome was. But I don't think any of us know what it must be like to feel that we are trapped in the wrong body; it must be a living nightmare. Sometimes things become unbearable when there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel which is then taken away, because you've dropped your guard somewhat and lost the strength that was keeping you going sad.

LizG Wed 02-Oct-13 15:09:08

My nephew had a major stroke and went into a coma, he then awoke but was believed to be 'locked in'. His sister agreed with him - via the light box - that she would help him to end his life if it was what he wanted.

I am so glad he didnt because last weekend I spent many happy hours chatting to him at my Godson's wedding. Thanks to the support of the three important women in his life and his own strength of character he has made an amazing recovery; still disabled but with so much to offer.

annsixty Wed 02-Oct-13 15:15:11

And it is stories like that that made me comment how saddened I was that this young man was so very unhappy that he chose to end his life.

wisewoman Wed 02-Oct-13 15:20:53

I feel so sorry for this young man and it does seem such a waste of a young life but only he knew how much he was suffering and it was up to him to make that decision. If life was unbearable for him then who are we to tell him that he must bear it.

Ana Wed 02-Oct-13 15:40:32

Quite, wisewoman. We may think it a waste of a life, but it was his life and his decision to end it. I only wish we could all have that choice at the end of our lives instead of (in some cases) being kept going by artificial means against our will...

petallus Wed 02-Oct-13 16:02:47

If people have had the experience of wanting to end their life and then getting over it, still doesn't mean they should interfere in somebody's else's decision re euthanasia.

Not referring to any specific post here btw.