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Thread: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

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    United States Avalon Member thepainterdoug's Avatar
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    Default Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Hello all

    A bit hard a topic but curious of opinions. should a person be diagnosed with a terminal illness, a cancer, kidney failure etc and choose not to go the standard invasive medical route such as chemo or dialysis etc, would that choice be viewed as suicide ?
    What are the limits and boundaries regarding this?

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    My own feeling is quite the opposite, having being diagnosed with a terminal illness, I personally would do my best to lengthen my life through diet etc, but would consider chemo etc as a way of potentially speeding the process of death up. IMHO, my two cents...x.... N

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    From the question I take it you don't mean "here" by clerics or lawyers?

    As for "over there", it's complicated, but you wouldn't (normally) be classed as a suicide for not taking medical experiments or procedures that have questions about them, esp if you have reasons not to. It depends on the karma & nature of the individual.
    "If UFOs and physical reality are incompatible, maybe the time has come to re-negotiate physical reality." Jacques Vallee

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Quote Posted by thepainterdoug (here)
    Hello all
    should a person be diagnosed with a terminal illness, a cancer, kidney failure etc and choose not to go the standard invasive medical route such as chemo or dialysis etc, would that choice be viewed as suicide ?
    Definitely not suicide. Suicide is criminal, but in the U.S.A., foregoing expensive treatment when the prognosis is not good is rewarded not punished. This person may qualify for hospice care - extra comfort care that is not available if that person opts for all the expensive life extending medical stuff.

    https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/hospice-respite-care
    https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/benefits/hospice/

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Generally, one's decisions and actions as to one's own health care treatments in the face of a documented terminal illness, even if those decisions result in death, is not suicide (or homocide). This applies whether accepting or rejecting treatment. If a terminal patient accepts treatment and dies, that is not suicide. Similarly, if one rejects treatment and dies.

    Things get a bit more complicated if another person, such as a spouse, parent, or guardian is making the healthcare decisions. But, if we are talking suicide then there may be no third party involvement, assisted suicide being an example of a third party. That is "assisted suicide" or homocide in many jurisdictions.

    All of this is from a legal perspective and assumes no negligence resulting in death or intent to kill. Moral, ethical, spiritual etc... considerations raise nuances on many levels.

    Ps. Intent is an important factor. If the terminal patient makes the health care decision with the intent that he or she die, then that is arguably suicide.

    For what it's worth, of course.
    Last edited by Satori; 16th October 2018 at 23:56.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    In Belgium, like in the Netherlands as well, euthanasia is not as much frowned upon (anymore) as it used to. The country here used to be ultra-catholic. Not so now. There is a difference (here) between "active" and "passive" euthanasia. Not taking chemo or any other particular treatment (like a major heart operation "to save your life" when you are 90...) would be "passive". Pulling the plug (on any machine that keeps you "alive") would be "active". We have several ways to fix one's end-of-life choices. Euthanasia to end unbearable suffering is accepted. When the unbearable suffering is psychic, it is different, but sometimes still possible. Doctors are not forced to assist giving euthanasia, but one can always go to another doctor. Also, it is always a team of doctors that has to agree on euthanasia for someone.

    I agree with what is written above, the intent is important. When there is Alzheimer or a similar disease that slowly kills someone, it is complicated. My mother died two months ago at 88, after a very slow dying-process, her capacities being taken away day by day, month by month and year by year. She suffered from Alzheimers for about 12 years. Personally, I believe that major anesthesia during operations at a later age, after 70 or there about, are a very important cause of Alzheimer's. What to do if at age 72 they tell you if you don't get major heart surgery you'll be dead in a few weeks? It is like a lottery. I also know people that have had dozens of operations at a later age without a declining mental health. Not sure what I would do myself. The intent is important here, indeed.

    With people over here in the well-to-do Western European countries reach ages of 85-90, and often more, the question of elder care is becoming very important. So many implications. We don't have enough nurses, doctors... health care is still affordable and good compared with most other countries. Social security is pretty good, but for how long yet? We also have lots of immigrants over here (but not like in Sweden or Germany) who very often come for the 'system'. I know people that have been retired for over 30 years, after having worked 40 years or so. Or others that have not worked at all - an entire life - and retire "normally" at 65. In any case, it will all change because it is not possible to afford anymore. 100 years ago someone who reached 65 was not so common, and a pension was installed at the time. But now, when almost everyone gets to be 80-85, the financial implications are becoming huge. Also, taking care of aged people is "big business". Lots of investment companies invest in resting homes. One month is such a place will cost you 1500-2000 euro easily (and you don't get "much" for that...). People try to stay home as long as they can, it costs less and they retain their freedom. But it depends on the family situation. If there is no one to give care, or there is a severe Alzheimer's present, a resting home may be the only solution.

    Would it not be more "human" to request euthanasia when you are very old - say 90 - and feeling your life forces disappear bit by bit? I know a lot of lonely old people "do" commit suicide one way or the other, very often because they "don't count" anymore. We are far away from a culture where "old age" meant "wisdom" and the elderly people were taken care of by their offspring. Now it looks more like most people below 40 are living a life of false entitlement (thank you technology, FB etc!). Pathological narcissism IS the new epidemic indeed. Over here, on the Avalon forum, is what I feel like an oasis in a world gone crazy. And over here you also can find those exceptional individual old souls in a young body. You know who you are!

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Thanks everyone. Thanks Keyholder . sorry about your Mom. My mom died 2 years ago after a long had time of sadness without my Dad who had passed 10 years before. presently my younger sister is in stage 5 kidney failure and opted out of dialysis , being also HIV and infection complications. She is tired of a 59 year long struggle in life , drugs alcohol etc. she is a bright and funny soul and now on hospice. And since away from her doctors, is having a momentary resurgence with hospice. she is at peace and I understand he non willingness to be poked and prodded with procedures any longer. they gave her 2-4 months. well we shall see.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Quote Posted by thepainterdoug (here)
    A bit hard a topic but curious of opinions. should a person be diagnosed with a terminal illness, a cancer, kidney failure etc and choose not to go the standard invasive medical route such as chemo or dialysis etc, would that choice be viewed as suicide ?
    Agree with Kryztian - absolutely not suicide.

    My mother was a very spiritual person, and she felt suicide would be a sin against the spirit. She had all kinds of cancer's, and did not want to do chemo. She died at 72.

    When it came to the end, and she was no longer able to get out of bed, she chose to into palliative care (with a bit of my persuading) and die peacefully. I didn't feel it was suicidal AT ALL - only logical. She thought it'd be more natural to die at home for a while... but I didn't want to see her suffer and so that's why I persuaded her.
    Last edited by petra; 17th October 2018 at 18:54.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    As a nurse that has worked extensively with kidney dialysis patients I have had a bit of experience with life extending treatments. I think that if you choose to do these treatments you are taking extraordinary means to extend your life. If you choose not to utilize these options and there are many, many reasons why you might not, you are simply letting nature take its course. That is by no means suicide.

    On the other hand, I have seen people that were absolutely miserable on dialysis, usually with other health issues as well that chose to do dialysis even though they had absolutely no quality of life. The only reason they remained on treatment in a couple of cases is that they believed they would go to hell because they saw it as committing suicide. I met one patient that believed if you started a treatment and then stopped that would be committing suicide. They felt it was mandatory to extend your life if you could. I, personally think that is really mixed up thinking but you really can't blame them as they were indoctrinated in the Heaven / Hell philosophy.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Quote Posted by Keyholder (here)
    In Belgium, like in the Netherlands as well, euthanasia is not as much frowned upon (anymore) as it used to. The country here used to be ultra-catholic. Not so now. There is a difference (here) between "active" and "passive" euthanasia. Not taking chemo or any other particular treatment (like a major heart operation "to save your life" when you are 90...) would be "passive". Pulling the plug (on any machine that keeps you "alive") would be "active". We have several ways to fix one's end-of-life choices. Euthanasia to end unbearable suffering is accepted. When the unbearable suffering is psychic, it is different, but sometimes still possible. Doctors are not forced to assist giving euthanasia, but one can always go to another doctor. Also, it is always a team of doctors that has to agree on euthanasia for someone.

    I agree with what is written above, the intent is important. When there is Alzheimer or a similar disease that slowly kills someone, it is complicated. My mother died two months ago at 88, after a very slow dying-process, her capacities being taken away day by day, month by month and year by year. She suffered from Alzheimers for about 12 years. Personally, I believe that major anesthesia during operations at a later age, after 70 or there about, are a very important cause of Alzheimer's. What to do if at age 72 they tell you if you don't get major heart surgery you'll be dead in a few weeks? It is like a lottery. I also know people that have had dozens of operations at a later age without a declining mental health. Not sure what I would do myself. The intent is important here, indeed.

    With people over here in the well-to-do Western European countries reach ages of 85-90, and often more, the question of elder care is becoming very important. So many implications. We don't have enough nurses, doctors... health care is still affordable and good compared with most other countries. Social security is pretty good, but for how long yet? We also have lots of immigrants over here (but not like in Sweden or Germany) who very often come for the 'system'. I know people that have been retired for over 30 years, after having worked 40 years or so. Or others that have not worked at all - an entire life - and retire "normally" at 65. In any case, it will all change because it is not possible to afford anymore. 100 years ago someone who reached 65 was not so common, and a pension was installed at the time. But now, when almost everyone gets to be 80-85, the financial implications are becoming huge. Also, taking care of aged people is "big business". Lots of investment companies invest in resting homes. One month is such a place will cost you 1500-2000 euro easily (and you don't get "much" for that...). People try to stay home as long as they can, it costs less and they retain their freedom. But it depends on the family situation. If there is no one to give care, or there is a severe Alzheimer's present, a resting home may be the only solution.

    Would it not be more "human" to request euthanasia when you are very old - say 90 - and feeling your life forces disappear bit by bit? I know a lot of lonely old people "do" commit suicide one way or the other, very often because they "don't count" anymore. We are far away from a culture where "old age" meant "wisdom" and the elderly people were taken care of by their offspring. Now it looks more like most people below 40 are living a life of false entitlement (thank you technology, FB etc!). Pathological narcissism IS the new epidemic indeed. Over here, on the Avalon forum, is what I feel like an oasis in a world gone crazy. And over here you also can find those exceptional individual old souls in a young body. You know who you are!
    I wanted to personally thank you for a well considered post. You made so many good points. I have seen so many people exploited related to terminal health issues. I have seen families that insist their aging parent stays on dialysis when they don't want to so that they can continue to collect SS and pension payments that they have come to rely on. I have seen children that refuse to let their parents go for their own personal reasons. We are all going to die. Why do we deny ourselves the compassion that we give to a much loved companion animal that is terminal and in pain. It seems that the Christian ethos of suicide is really stuck in our minds.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Quote Posted by thepainterdoug (here)
    Thanks everyone. Thanks Keyholder . sorry about your Mom. My mom died 2 years ago after a long had time of sadness without my Dad who had passed 10 years before. presently my younger sister is in stage 5 kidney failure and opted out of dialysis , being also HIV and infection complications. She is tired of a 59 year long struggle in life , drugs alcohol etc. she is a bright and funny soul and now on hospice. And since away from her doctors, is having a momentary resurgence with hospice. she is at peace and I understand he non willingness to be poked and prodded with procedures any longer. they gave her 2-4 months. well we shall see.
    Doctors seem to push to extend life no matter what the condition of the patient. I guess that is because that is what they are trained to do. I suspect that your sister has moved out of the realm where doctors see a 59 year old and refuse to just let her die, even if that is her wish and into the realm of total and unconditional acceptance by the hospice staff. That must be a load off her shoulders. I totally respect her for what she is doing. So many people are so very, very fearful of death, she seems to be courageous in facing it with dignity. I wish her a peaceful death, she has suffered much in this life.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    thanks very much Peterpam I agree and admire her. i have been holding her up for years as her older brother. we read NDE,s together and talk the afterlife and evidence for it . it comforts her and she is brave and ready.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    I am so relieved for both of you that you have been reading NDE material. It makes the inevitable so much easier to bare. And no, not suicide. It's being compassionate towards self and others. What greets us after death is probably a feeling of release and all enveloping love that we get a mere taste of in this mundane existence. It's not the worst that can happen. It may turn out to be the best thing that ever happens to us.

    My mother, father and husband's deaths were softened for me as I am convinced the experiences of those who have NDE's are universal. I feel that my husband is merely behind a veil trying to reach out to me as much as I try to see and reach out to him. We will see each other again.

    It is wonderful that you are there for your sister now and that you will be with her until the end.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    I would say it's not suicide. But nobody has raised the issue of why a person would attract a terminal illness in the first place. The 'normal' mainstream way of thinking is that illness is a random thing that strikes without reason but I don't believe this is true.

    A terminal illness is either a serious wake up call to deal with some problem in your inner life that you've been ignoring or (less likely) a kind of suicide in the same way as refusing treatment. We've been taught not to take responsibility for ourselves and to consult the 'experts' when we have a problem - in this case the corrupt medical profession/big pharma.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Quote Posted by thepainterdoug (here)
    thanks very much Peterpam I agree and admire her. i have been holding her up for years as her older brother. we read NDE,s together and talk the afterlife and evidence for it . it comforts her and she is brave and ready.
    I am so glad she has you to talk to openly about death. I have always tried to be available to patients I knew that were near death to talk to. Very few are even willing to talk about it. There is fear and denial, after all, all they have known is being alive. Death is something new and we have tried to brush it under the rug in our culture. It is so wonderful to me that the two of you can share in the the very natural experience of dying. It sounds like you two have a wonderful relationship.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Quote Posted by AutumnW (here)
    I am so relieved for both of you that you have been reading NDE material. It makes the inevitable so much easier to bare. And no, not suicide. It's being compassionate towards self and others. What greets us after death is probably a feeling of release and all enveloping love that we get a mere taste of in this mundane existence. It's not the worst that can happen. It may turn out to be the best thing that ever happens to us.

    My mother, father and husband's deaths were softened for me as I am convinced the experiences of those who have NDE's are universal. I feel that my husband is merely behind a veil trying to reach out to me as much as I try to see and reach out to him. We will see each other again.

    It is wonderful that you are there for your sister now and that you will be with her until the end.
    You made a really good point, Autumn. Excepting the inevitable, can relieve a huge burden to loved ones in many cases, not to mention the financial burden that can occur. I have often wondered why people will go through extraordinary means when they are in horrible pain just to live a few weeks or a few months in a hospital hooked up to machines. I guess there are multiple reasons, denial and fear probably being the 2 primary ones.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Quote Posted by 5th (here)
    I would say it's not suicide. But nobody has raised the issue of why a person would attract a terminal illness in the first place. The 'normal' mainstream way of thinking is that illness is a random thing that strikes without reason but I don't believe this is true.

    A terminal illness is either a serious wake up call to deal with some problem in your inner life that you've been ignoring or (less likely) a kind of suicide in the same way as refusing treatment. We've been taught not to take responsibility for ourselves and to consult the 'experts' when we have a problem - in this case the corrupt medical profession/big pharma.
    I don't know if people attract terminal illness to themselves but at the end of the day, what difference does it make when you have one? I do believe their is a tendency, at least in the US to relinquish personal responsibility for our health which is a huge mistake. I have watched as medical treatments have become more and more profit based over the years and I totally agree, you have to be your own advocate. You do not want to just accept any treatment thrown at you. Also, the old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies here. I also believe food is the best medicine.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    Quote Posted by peterpam (here)
    Quote Posted by 5th (here)
    I would say it's not suicide. But nobody has raised the issue of why a person would attract a terminal illness in the first place. The 'normal' mainstream way of thinking is that illness is a random thing that strikes without reason but I don't believe this is true.

    A terminal illness is either a serious wake up call to deal with some problem in your inner life that you've been ignoring or (less likely) a kind of suicide in the same way as refusing treatment. We've been taught not to take responsibility for ourselves and to consult the 'experts' when we have a problem - in this case the corrupt medical profession/big pharma.
    I don't know if people attract terminal illness to themselves but at the end of the day, what difference does it make when you have one? I do believe their is a tendency, at least in the US to relinquish personal responsibility for our health which is a huge mistake. I have watched as medical treatments have become more and more profit based over the years and I totally agree, you have to be your own advocate. You do not want to just accept any treatment thrown at you. Also, the old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies here. I also believe food is the best medicine.
    It makes a huge difference because it means that it isn't terminal is you address the real cause.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    5th, I look at it a different way with illness being the teacher and the stricken being the student in what might be the highest spiritual calling.

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    Default Re: Interpretation of Suicide, regarding Terminal Illness

    We are all going to leave this physical plane at some point in time. Why?? Because this physical body isn't who we really are to begin with. We play, we learn, ..... we experience. But we are not really "physical beings". So how do we go about "leaving" this physical existence? Well, we aren't at the point yet where we can just de-materialize our physical body. So the physical body has to "die" in some form or fashion.

    There are thousands of ways for people die. Some will die in a catastrophic event that takes the lives of hundreds of people at a time. Each has their own reason for leaving this life in that fashion. Others may die of a long drawn out illness, or perhaps have a massive heart attack and be gone in an instant. Again, each one has their reasons for choosing to leave in whatever way they do. But in any way that it happens, it's just a means of leaving this physical 3D existence.

    But the bottom line is, how else are we going to move on from this physical experience unless our body dies? A body that isn't who we really are to begin with. (Let's not get into the stuff about walk-ins). If someone decides not to "fight this illness to the bitter end", then so be it. That isn't suicide. It just means for that person it's time to move on. And no one, ... NO ONE, ... has the right to judge someone else on how they choose leave.
    I am enlightened, ............ Oh wait. That's just the police shining their spotlights on me.

  40. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Orph For This Post:

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