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The topic of Rational Suicide came up with some co-workers today during lunch and I thought it would make an interesting discussion here.

Rational Suicide is where people of sound mind and body make the decision to end their lives. The largest advocates for this are senior citizens who want control over their deaths.

This article does a great job of describing Rational Suicide and the controversy.

The concept of rational suicide is highly controversial; it runs counter to many societal norms, religious and moral convictions, and the efforts of suicide prevention workers who contend that every life is worth saving.

“The concern that I have at a social level is if we all agree that killing yourself is an acceptable, appropriate way to go, then there becomes a social norm around that, and it becomes easier to do, more common,” said Yeates Conwell, a psychiatrist specializing in geriatrics at the University of Rochester and a leading expert in elderly suicide. That’s particularly dangerous with older adults because of widespread ageist attitudes, he said.

As a society, we have a responsibility to care for people as they age, Conwell argued. Promoting rational suicide “creates the risk of a sense of obligation for older people to use that method rather than advocate for better care that addresses their concerns in other ways.”

But to Lois, the 86-year-old woman who organized the meeting outside Philadelphia, suicides by older Americans are not all tragedies. A widow with no children, Lois said she would rather end her own life than deteriorate slowly over seven years, as her mother did after she broke a hip at age 90.
What say you TAM?
 

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Having seen enough people suffer quite a bit at the end of their life I can see how this would appeal to some. My dream is to fall asleep one day and just never wake up again. Easy, calm, serene and I'd be doing one of my favorite activities.

My brother says he wants to just end things when he hits 75 as he never wants to be a burden to anyone. Well, he used to say it...now that he's only got 20 more years until then I haven't heard him say it in a while.

For myself, I might consider it in the case of a terminal illness to save myself from suffering and to save my kids from it. I wouldn't tell them I was going to do it though...I'd just let them think I went in my sleep peacefully from whatever illness I was suffering from at the time.
 

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Having seen relatives go through the ravages of age-related mental decline, having some control over when the end comes is something I totally support. I don't want to go through that and I don't want to submit my family to the emotional strain over the years or decades before it's finally over.

What I would really like is something which greatly increases your chances of a shorter lifespan. For example, something which increases your risk of heart attack or a relatively painless kind of cancer that would be very certain to kill you in a matter or months or maybe a year. That way your end is more gradual and easy on your family. Suicide is going to be tough for those left behind even if they completely support the decision.
 

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In Oregon we have a Death With Dignity Act. I don't know how many other states have this. It is there for people who are already terminally ill and do not want to live out the potential painful future they have left. If you qualify, a physician will prescribe you a lethal medication. The medication varies based on the doctor and the patient. I don't think patients are eligible if they have not been determined to be terminally ill. So it would not apply to someone like, say, my brother, who is a paraplegic and may just not want to continue living such a limited life. Since he will be potentially living a long time even though disabled, he would not be considered. I'm not sure about cases of Alzheimer's. I think you have to be aware enough to ask for the act to apply to your case, but most Alzheimer's patients can live a long time before the disease is going to kill them. Unfortunately, by the time they are dying from it, they can no longer be considered aware enough to request the act. But perhaps they can request it in advance to be issued later when they are closer to death but have lost their awareness.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PROVIDERPARTNERRESOURCES/EVALUATIONRESEARCH/DEATHWITHDIGNITYACT/Pages/faqs.aspx#prescription
 

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I live in the first place in the world to legalize taking your own life for the terminally ill.

There were the usual sky is falling predictions of bodies piling up in the streets and grey haired grandmothers being forced by the family to "do the right thing". All of which never happened, of course.

Today, it isn't even a topic of conversation around the water cooler. Those who meet the requirements can get a prescription from a physician to ingest a lethal dose of medication. So far, in 12 years, ~1500 have done so. There does not seem to be any abuse of the system, no one is forced to use it, many get the prescription but never take it, and most are glad to have the option when the time comes.

I'm glad I have the right to choose the manner and timing of my own death should I become terminally ill one day.
 

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In Oregon we have a Death With Dignity Act. I don't know how many other states have this. It is there for people who are already terminally ill and do not want to live out the potential painful future they have left. If you qualify, a physician will prescribe you a lethal medication. The medication varies based on the doctor and the patient. I don't think patients are eligible if they have not been determined to be terminally ill. So it would not apply to someone like, say, my brother, who is a paraplegic and may just not want to continue living such a limited life. Since he will be potentially living a long time even though disabled, he would not be considered. I'm not sure about cases of Alzheimer's. I think you have to be aware enough to ask for the act to apply to your case, but most Alzheimer's patients can live a long time before the disease is going to kill them. Unfortunately, by the time they are dying from it, they can no longer be considered aware enough to request the act. But perhaps they can request it in advance to be issued later when they are closer to death but have lost their awareness.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PROVIDERPARTNERRESOURCES/EVALUATIONRESEARCH/DEATHWITHDIGNITYACT/Pages/faqs.aspx#prescription
(1) An adult who is capable, is a resident of Oregon, and has been determined by the attending physician and consulting physician to be suffering from a terminal disease, and who has voluntarily expressed his or her wish to die, may make a written request for medication for the purpose of ending his or her life in a humane and dignified manner in accordance with ORS 127.800 to 127.897.

(2) No person shall qualify under the provisions of ORS 127.800 to 127.897 solely because of age or disability. [1995 c.3 s.2.01; 1999 c.423 s.2]

(12) "Terminal disease" means an incurable and irreversible disease that has been medically confirmed and will, within reasonable medical judgment, produce death within six months. [1995 c.3 s.1.01; 1999 c.423 s.1]
 

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I understand the thought of suicide when terminally ill or ravaged with disease, but the ''rational suicide'' is for people of sound mind and body. I assumed before the serious decline starts is when they will end themselves?
 

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(12) "Terminal disease" means an incurable and irreversible disease that has been medically confirmed and will, within reasonable medical judgment, produce death within six months. [1995 c.3 s.1.01; 1999 c.423 s.1]
Although Alzheimer's is terminal, I don't think it usually kills you within 6 months. That part is a bummer with regard to the DWD act.
 

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I live in the first place in the world to legalize taking your own life for the terminally ill.

There were the usual sky is falling predictions of bodies piling up in the streets and grey haired grandmothers being forced by the family to "do the right thing". All of which never happened, of course.

Today, it isn't even a topic of conversation around the water cooler. Those who meet the requirements can get a prescription from a physician to ingest a lethal dose of medication. So far, in 12 years, ~1500 have done so. There does not seem to be any abuse of the system, no one is forced to use it, many get the prescription but never take it, and most are glad to have the option when the time comes.

I'm glad I have the right to choose the manner and timing of my own death should I become terminally ill one day.
The other thing that I like about our DWD act is that you take the medication yourself, when you are ready. And that way it is not assisted suicide, and therefore the doctor does not have to take part in that process. They do have to prescribe it, but they don't know if you will ever take it or not. Suicide assisted by a doctor seems a little yucky to me. Doing it yourself when you choose seems much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In Oregon we have a Death With Dignity Act. I don't know how many other states have this. It is there for people who are already terminally ill and do not want to live out the potential painful future they have left. If you qualify, a physician will prescribe you a lethal medication. The medication varies based on the doctor and the patient. I don't think patients are eligible if they have not been determined to be terminally ill. So it would not apply to someone like, say, my brother, who is a paraplegic and may just not want to continue living such a limited life. Since he will be potentially living a long time even though disabled, he would not be considered. I'm not sure about cases of Alzheimer's. I think you have to be aware enough to ask for the act to apply to your case, but most Alzheimer's patients can live a long time before the disease is going to kill them. Unfortunately, by the time they are dying from it, they can no longer be considered aware enough to request the act. But perhaps they can request it in advance to be issued later when they are closer to death but have lost their awareness.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PROVIDERPARTNERRESOURCES/EVALUATIONRESEARCH/DEATHWITHDIGNITYACT/Pages/faqs.aspx#prescription
I live in the first place in the world to legalize taking your own life for the terminally ill.

There were the usual sky is falling predictions of bodies piling up in the streets and grey haired grandmothers being forced by the family to "do the right thing". All of which never happened, of course.

Today, it isn't even a topic of conversation around the water cooler. Those who meet the requirements can get a prescription from a physician to ingest a lethal dose of medication. So far, in 12 years, ~1500 have done so. There does not seem to be any abuse of the system, no one is forced to use it, many get the prescription but never take it, and most are glad to have the option when the time comes.

I'm glad I have the right to choose the manner and timing of my own death should I become terminally ill one day.
Rational Suicide is for people that are not terminally ill and who have all of their mental faculties. It is mostly directed toward the elderly but could technically include anyone.
 

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I never would have considered this while I was married but now that I am single, Rational Suicide sounds like the way to go.

I just had a minor medical procedure done and had to fly my mom in from a different state just to be present at the surgical center while I was under anesthesia. This got me thinking...who will be there for me if I have an emergency situation? Will I have to be a burden on my son in my old age? Yeah, nope. I don't think so.
 

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I never would have considered this while I was married but now that I am single, Rational Suicide sounds like the way to go.

I just had a minor medical procedure done and had to fly my mom in from a different state just to be present at the surgical center while I was under anesthesia. This got me thinking...who will be there for me if I have an emergency situation? Will I have to be a burden on my son in my old age? Yeah, nope. I don't think so.
NOT that my mother is a burden....but holy crap do I spend a lot of energy on her health. I'm picking her up at the hospital today AGAIN, this will be the 6th time in one month that I have picked her up. And that does not include all the other things I've done in the same month related to her health. Pick up a rental wheelchair here, pick up a prescription there, talk to the nurses at physical rehab about her treatment plan for half an hour, go stay with her over night because she doesn't feel well and thinks she may need to go to the hospital again but isn't sure, talk to social workers and others who are in charge of her care about plans or changes...literally every day it is something and usually it is multiple things.

I love my mother and would not have it any other way (well, actually I would prefer to have a bunch of siblings who could help, lol), but this process has made me determined that I will NEVER do this to my own children. Hopefully that will mean I will be able to have medical professionals help me with things rather than my kids. But if that's not possible, I'm just going to kick the bucket in some sneaky way. NEVER will I put them in this position.
 

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The right to die is the most basic of freedoms. It is a travesty in a Nation that claims the most human freedoms, that the most basic is the most controlled. And for what cause is it controlled? For the profit of the hospital industry.

Some of my thoughts on this recently:
1. Death is not the worst thing that can happen to you. In fact it is the one thing that will most certainly happen to you.
2. While it is barbaric to "expect" someone to suicide. It is compassionate to expect some one to suffer. That needs to be reversed. It should be barbaric to expect one to suffer, and it should be compassionate to accept another's decision to die.
3. 60% of gun control advocacy is to make suicide more painful.
4. How exactly do you punish a successful suicide?
 

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One can hire a caregiver for the specific purpose of accompanying you to surgery and helping afterwards. Check with agencies in your state.

As for a quick demise, surely one can think of high-risk activities that will do the job. Or, start smoking - lung cancer can take you in a matter of months once diagnosed.
 

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It's always seemed to me that for a society that claims to be religious we in the US have a very irrational fear of death.

The very same people who will scream about God as the only one who can decide will also scream to keep man made life extending medical devices connected....so clearly they're not really about leaving things to God.

I don't see the issue if one who is suffering and has no end of suffering to look forward to wishes to end said suffering.

I sat with my father the night he died and urged him to move on because thanks to advanced lung cancer there was very little left for him here beyond suffering. I remember telling him it would be ok and him saying "no it's not, I'm going to die".

I responded with "yes you are, but that's ok. You're going to go on to the next world and check it out for me. I'll join you when I raise your grandsons and my time is here".

He calmed down and nodded. His doctor had actually given me enough morphine to end things but fortunately I didn't have to use it because he went by himself. He had made me promise to do it if he really started to suffer.

Let people control their own lives.
 
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