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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baa_Baa View Post
    It's obviously not important to some people, to actually inform themselves by reading the Bill and form an opinion. Preferring ignorance and conjecture makes your vote all the more inconsiderate and maybe you should just abstain from voting on something you know little or nothing about.

    • Suicide is not illegal.
    • Turning off life support is not illegal.
    • Denying life saving treatment is not illegal.
    • Refusing life saving treatment is not illegal.
    • Administering accelerant drugs is not illegal.
    • Comatosing a patient until death is not illegal.


    Choosing assisted death is illegal.

    Go figure.
    Your correct I am ignorant of the issue and not very informed at all but based on your post above why the need for change? if you are in pain and on the way out health care professionals will ease your pain with morphine anyway. Saves bringing in someone else to do the job. If you can't pull the trigger yourself why ask someone else to do it for you, unless deep down you don't really want to die.

    It is a big issue for some people I lean towards worrying about vulnerable old people but will live with the decision either way (no pun intended).
    Last edited by Aaron; 29-09-2020 at 10:39 AM. Reason: morphine is not for killing but pain mgmt

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baa_Baa View Post
    It's obviously not important to some people, to actually inform themselves by reading the Bill and form an opinion. Preferring ignorance and conjecture makes your vote all the more inconsiderate and maybe you should just abstain from voting on something you know little or nothing about.

    • Suicide is not illegal.
    • Turning off life support is not illegal.
    • Denying life saving treatment is not illegal.
    • Refusing life saving treatment is not illegal.
    • Administering accelerant drugs is not illegal.
    • Comatosing a patient until death is not illegal.


    Choosing assisted death is illegal.

    Go figure.
    Based on the above, and your own family experience, I am confused as to whether you will vote for or against. You may not wish to answer, but it would be interesting. I am in the yes camp after much deliberation.

  3. #23
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    My Grandmother suffered for 7 long years in a near vegetative state. Strokes were a daily ritual. She had tried to end her own life several times 10 years prior to her finally passing. At that stage she had already lost her ability to speak and her movement was severely impeded, along with a long list of comparatively minor but life limiting ailments. Family visitations became less and less as it was a difficult sight to face. Her son couldn't deal with it so only went to see her a couple of times in the last few years. Thankfully her daughter was strong and was there throughout, but not a single visit ended with anything other than tears...

    Her sanity never left her, It was the only thing that remained

    We forced her to suffer on. HER CHOICE of being at peace, was not permitted...

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by t.rexjr View Post
    My Grandmother suffered for 7 long years in a near vegetative state. Strokes were a daily ritual. She had tried to end her own life several times 10 years prior to her finally passing. At that stage she had already lost her ability to speak and her movement was severely impeded, along with a long list of comparatively minor but life limiting ailments. Family visitations became less and less as it was a difficult sight to face. Her son couldn't deal with it so only went to see her a couple of times in the last few years. Thankfully her daughter was strong and was there throughout, but not a single visit ended with anything other than tears...

    Her sanity never left her, It was the only thing that remained

    We forced her to suffer on. HER CHOICE of being at peace, was not permitted...
    Some terrible situations, no doubt but would this legislation have even helped your grandmother? To be eligible for assisted dying you need meet ALL the following.

    be aged 18 years or over
    be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand
    suffer from a terminal illness that is likely to end their life within 6 months
    have significant and ongoing decline in physical capability
    experience unbearable suffering that cannot be eased
    be able to make an informed decision about assisted dying.

    To be considered a competent to make that decision you need the following;

    understand information about assisted dying
    remember information about assisted dying in order to make the decision
    use or weigh up information about assisted dying to inform their decision
    communicate their decision about assisted dying in some way.

    Is there even a point at which your grandmother could have met all those conditions and made the choice?

    I guess that is also an argument for voting yes as it will affect so few people.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Some terrible situations, no doubt but would this legislation have even helped your grandmother? To be eligible for assisted dying you need meet ALL the following.

    be aged 18 years or over
    be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand
    suffer from a terminal illness that is likely to end their life within 6 months
    have significant and ongoing decline in physical capability
    experience unbearable suffering that cannot be eased
    be able to make an informed decision about assisted dying.

    To be considered a competent to make that decision you need the following;

    understand information about assisted dying
    remember information about assisted dying in order to make the decision
    use or weigh up information about assisted dying to inform their decision
    communicate their decision about assisted dying in some way.

    Is there even a point at which your grandmother could have met all those conditions and made the choice?

    I guess that is also an argument for voting yes as it will affect so few people.
    Regardless of her eligibility, her choice was not her choice. Humans in their utmost wisdom and selfishness forced her to suffer. A suffering that if she were an animal, would be regarded inhuman...
    This legislation may not broach my grandmothers experience but I would hope it opens the door...

    Your opinion should have zero bearing on someone else's ability to make decisions about themselves.
    How ridiculous it is that people think they have the right to deny others a choice. A choice that will have zero effect on that person denying that right.
    I would never think it my right to deny anyone their right in a similar circumstance. The logic is preposterous...

    Debate should not be about denying choice but how best to legislate choice. Denying the first step will deny any further steps
    Last edited by t.rexjr; 29-09-2020 at 01:54 PM.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by t.rexjr View Post
    Regardless of her eligibility, her choice was not her choice. Humans in their utmost wisdom and selfishness forced her to suffer. A suffering that if she were an animal, would be inhuman...
    This legislation may not broach my grandmothers experience but I would hope it opens the door...

    Your opinion should have zero bearing on someone else's ability to make decisions about themselves.
    How ridiculous is it that people think they have the right to deny others a choice. A choice that will have zero effect on that person denying that right
    I would never think it my right to deny anyone their right in a similar circumstance. The logic is preposterous...

    Debate should not be about denying choice but how best to legislate choice. Denying the first step will deny any further steps
    Euthanasia doesn't involve one person. This obsession our modern culture has with rights seldom builds responsibility into the same equation.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by t.rexjr View Post
    Regardless of her eligibility, her choice was not her choice. Humans in their utmost wisdom and selfishness forced her to suffer. A suffering that if she were an animal, would be inhuman...
    This legislation may not broach my grandmothers experience but I would hope it opens the door...

    Your opinion should have zero bearing on someone else's ability to make decisions about themselves.
    How ridiculous is it that people think they have the right to deny others a choice. A choice that will have zero effect on that person denying that right
    I would never think it my right to deny anyone their right in a similar circumstance. The logic is preposterous...

    Debate should not be about denying choice but how best to legislate choice. Denying the first step will deny any further steps
    I have argued earlier that everyone has choice your grandma made her choice, unfortunately she did not succeed as planned so that choice was taken from her. I guess as a society we are currently saying only one person of sound mind should be legally able to decide if they want to live or die and one person only.
    The arguments being put forward here sound more like allowing someone else to make the decision for you after you become incapacitated and in any case this legislation won't provide that. I am not going to argue against the few genuine cases where this legislation would be helpful, what I would prefer to argue is that it opens up the possibility of older vulnerable people getting steered in the direction of something they may not truly want.
    I haven't followed the issue closely but understand also that some people who may have benefited from this legislation at the time of their diagnosis have subsequently been glad that the option was not available to them at that time and are now actually advocating against the legislation. Don't ask me to post the articles because I don't have them so this may be fake news but I am sure I have heard something like that.

    Anyway ignorant people like myself base their decision on belief rather than fact so your unlikely to change my view. I will leave it at that as I don't think anyone is changing their mind this close to the referendum.
    Last edited by Aaron; 29-09-2020 at 10:57 AM.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonu View Post
    Euthanasia doesn't involve one person.
    Those that may be involved have the choice weather or not to be involved nor are those involved the subject...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonu View Post
    This obsession our modern culture has with rights seldom builds responsibility into the same equation.
    I wouldn't consider this topic as arbitrary as many of the 'modern rights obsession's' but yes 'Responsibility' comes in various guises. I wouldn't wish to be responsible for causing anyone to suffer more than they could bare.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonu View Post
    At the risk of being blunt moka, you have that choice now. What you don't have is the ability to demand someone else do it for you. I use the word demand deliberately. If passed into law, euthanasia will be seen as a human right.

    As for insulting health professionals, among the biggest concerns I have seen expressed from them, has been the subtle messages and coercion that are relayed to the patient, who is already in a vulnerable position, possibly by health professionals, but equally likely by family members and society in general. There is no plausible way to safeguard against this. It will occur and be often, impossible to detect.
    “I know that if I had a painful terminal illness I would like the choice of ending my life.”
    I could commit suicide, but no gun to shoot myself. What I would want is to be given medication that I take and it is all over. I would not be demanding. If the legislation is passed it will be a right, a choice, another form of pain relief.
    I would have to meet the strict criteria:
     Suffer from a terminal illness that is likely to end their life within six months.
     Have significant and ongoing decline in physical capability.
     Experience unbearable suffering that cannot be eased.
     Be able to make an informed decision about assisted dying.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/05...dum-questions/

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    I would hope authorities are lenient on offenders if it is shown it was a mercy killing rather than murder under the current law but it seems like a slippery slope to say it is OK to kill someone.

    You always have the choice to take a handful of pills if that is how you want to go. Why does it seem in a lot of these cases the dying patients don't make the choice while they can still do something about it. It sounds more like the surviving family not wanting to go through seeing someone they loved and respected go through a lot of pain and indignity rather then the dying person wanting to end it.

    Sorry if this opinion is insensitive to anyone on here.
    It is currently illegal for someone to supply you with”suicide pills.” I know someone who took an overdose of pills and ended up in hospital having their stomach pumped, and I wouldn’t want that to happen. I don’t know what pills and how many to take to be effective.

    In my case I wouldn’t be concerned about what family want. It would be my decision, my choice. On the rare occasions when I have been really sick and in pain I just want to die. Usually it lasts only a few hours but if it was going to be unbearable suffering and terminal I would want to go early rather than linger on.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/a...ectid=12166426
    The 67-year-old has a lot of supporters - friends who packed out the public gallery in the High Court at Wellington for every court appearance she went through while facing a charge of helping fellow euthanasia advocate Anne-Marie Treadwell commit suicide.
    Austen was found not guilty of that, though she was found guilty following a trial in February on two counts of importing pentobarbitone, the euthanasia drug that 77-year-old Treadwell overdosed on in June 2016.
    For the importation offences, Austen was convicted and fined $7500.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by moka View Post
    It is currently illegal for someone to supply you with”suicide pills.” I know someone who took an overdose of pills and ended up in hospital having their stomach pumped, and I wouldn’t want that to happen. I don’t know what pills and how many to take to be effective.

    In my case I wouldn’t be concerned about what family want. It would be my decision, my choice. On the rare occasions when I have been really sick and in pain I just want to die. Usually it lasts only a few hours but if it was going to be unbearable suffering and terminal I would want to go early rather than linger on.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/a...ectid=12166426
    The 67-year-old has a lot of supporters - friends who packed out the public gallery in the High Court at Wellington for every court appearance she went through while facing a charge of helping fellow euthanasia advocate Anne-Marie Treadwell commit suicide.
    Austen was found not guilty of that, though she was found guilty following a trial in February on two counts of importing pentobarbitone, the euthanasia drug that 77-year-old Treadwell overdosed on in June 2016.
    For the importation offences, Austen was convicted and fined $7500.
    Moka I find it hard why you think this link supports your view on euthanasia?

    Sounds as if Austen using her pro-euthanasia views and contacts helped a depressed old lady commit suicide

    She did not have a terminal illness, though she did suffer from arthritis and had been dealing with depression for more than two decades.

    Depression is probably the commonest reason why people want to die but can be very difficult to detect .
    As a humane society should we not be putting more effort into detecting and treating depression ?.

  12. #32
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    Google doing its thing had this ad pop up for me

    https://www.riskylaw.nz/6-reasons
    https://lvnz.org/

    Not sure how legitimate each organisation is as it is easy to post a nice looking website online. 200 out of 12,000 lawyers is nearly 1.5%.


    This Act will put vulnerable people at risk
    Reason number 02
    No one wants to be a burden. Being ill, old, disabled or dependent can create feelings of guilt and worthlessness. This is exactly the time you need protection, love and care. Instead, this Act places the vulnerable at risk of pressure and coercion by their own feelings of being a burden, or from uncaring or greedy relatives.

    I wonder if anyone has taken a survey of doctors and nurses and others at the business end of this legislation to get their views as they will have a much less emotional opinion as they will see it many times for many different people.
    Last edited by Aaron; 01-10-2020 at 04:35 PM.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Your correct I am ignorant of the issue and not very informed at all but based on your post above why the need for change?
    You might be ignorant, but obviously you are interested. Enlighten yourself and then come back to discuss once you have an informed view:

    Firstly, see how much you really know here
    Then here's a good summary for the time poor
    The whole process with submissions and consultation is recorded here
    And you can even read the Act here

    In all conscience, I would not be voting on this at all had I not taken the time to be informed.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Google doing its thing had this ad pop up for me

    https://www.riskylaw.nz/6-reasons
    https://lvnz.org/

    Not sure how legitimate each organisation is as it is easy to post a nice looking website online. 200 out of 12,000 lawyers is nearly 1.5%.


    This Act will put vulnerable people at risk
    Reason number 02
    No one wants to be a burden. Being ill, old, disabled or dependent can create feelings of guilt and worthlessness. This is exactly the time you need protection, love and care. Instead, this Act places the vulnerable at risk of pressure and coercion by their own feelings of being a burden, or from uncaring or greedy relatives.

    I wonder if anyone has taken a survey of doctors and nurses and others at the business end of this legislation to get their views as they will have a much less emotional opinion as they will see it many times for many different people.
    Looking at the link to riskylaw its written by professor Rod McLeod-a doctor wo has spent a lifetime relieving the suffering of the terminally ill .
    He is much respected and like most doctors is against this Bill

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baa_Baa View Post
    You might be ignorant, but obviously you are interested. Enlighten yourself and then come back to discuss once you have an informed view:

    Firstly, see how much you really know here
    Then here's a good summary for the time poor
    The whole process with submissions and consultation is recorded here
    And you can even read the Act here

    In all conscience, I would not be voting on this at all had I not taken the time to be informed.
    Thanks for those references Baa-Baa. I have now read the whole justice committee summary. It did give me cause to think whether I held a pre-conceived position and was mining the submissions to support my beliefs or whether I was genuinely open to points of view that I had not previously considered. It also made me consider what amendments I would need to make if I were to support the bill, as I do not consider the bill as presented totally without merit.

    The remark that stuck with me the most was on p12 of the commentary, under comments from palliative care workers:

    "Many people submitted that palliative care should be better resourced and more accessible."

    Over the last couple of years I have been personally involved in a case where the palliative care was good. I had not considered the situation where the palliative care was not so good. To me the obvious prequel to such an 'end of life bill' is to make sure good palliative care is available all over NZ. I find it shocking to think that this is not so already. I don't even think good palliative should be particularly expensive or difficult to administer. From p16

    "Many submitters argue that unbearable suffering can be alleviated in different ways. For example, a doctor can legally withdraw futile treatments, turn off life support, or administer palliative sedation. They can also give pain relief, such as morphine, when the primary aim is to relieve a patient’s distress, even though it may also hasten death."

    So the first question I have is: "Why is good palliative care not available everywhere?"

    If it was not possible to have good palliative care everywhere then I would vote for the bill as it is now. But I think it is a reasonable expectation that good palliative care should be available.

    My main objections to the bill, as it is drafted, are twofold:

    1/ the ability to assess the mental health of the person wanting to end their life. Even practitioners who know a patient well can misdiagnose a person's mental state. And this bill gives the discretion to two doctors who potentially do not know the patient at all to pass their judgement on their mental state. I think the act needs input from someone who knows the patient even if that person is not a medical practitioner: a work colleague, a relation, a good friend, to explain the patients history to the 'stranger doctors'. Without this, the act is only 90% there.

    2/ There is also the potential express implementation time of just four days. I see one overseas jurisdiction with a similar act puts a longer minimum time frame into legislation (p50, Quebec says 10 days minimum).

    So isn't an act that is 90% there good enough? After all, the act itself demands a a review of itself in three years time (see section 22 of the Act) . The answer to that question in my view depends on the chances of the act 'making a mistake' and the consequence of that mistake. In my view the chances of the act being misapplied is low. But the consequence of getting it wrong is high. So in my view the act requires a much greater threshold than being 90% correct. Until the 'potential fast track time frame' and 'adequate mental health review' issues are addressed, this act is a big NO for me.

    Over the last couple of years I have been in close proximity to several elderly deaths. None was entirely pleasant, but neither was any one of them unpleasant. The last days or hours of a person's life can be tough, But in my observational experience, the fear of what might happen at death is usually worse than the actual death. Better to get a well trained palliative care nurse to supervise your death rather than a lawyer in my view.

    SNOOPY
    Last edited by Snoopy; 01-10-2020 at 08:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
    Thanks for those references Baa-Baa. I have now read the whole justice committee summary. It did give me cause to think whether I held a pre-conceived position and was mining the submissions to support my beliefs or whether I was genuinely open to points of view that I had not previously considered. It also made me consider what amendments I would need to make if I were to support the bill, as I do not consider the bill as presented totally without merit.

    The remark that stuck with me the most was on p12 of the commentary, under comments from palliative care workers:

    "Many people submitted that palliative care should be better resourced and more accessible."

    Over the last couple of years I have been personally involved in a case where the palliative care was good. I had not considered the situation where the palliative care was not so good. To me the obvious prequel to such an 'end of life bill' is to make sure good palliative care is available all over NZ. I find it shocking to think that this is not so already. I don't even think good palliative should be particularly expensive or difficult to administer. From p16

    "Many submitters argue that unbearable suffering can be alleviated in different ways. For example, a doctor can legally withdraw futile treatments, turn off life support, or administer palliative sedation. They can also give pain relief, such as morphine, when the primary aim is to relieve a patient’s distress, even though it may also hasten death."

    So the first question I have is: "Why is good palliative care not available everywhere?"

    If it was not possible to have good palliative care everywhere then I would vote for the bill as it is now. But I think it is a reasonable expectation that good palliative care should be available.

    My main objection to the bill as it is drafted is the ability to assess the mental health of the person wanting to end their life. Even practitioners who know a patient well can misdiagnose a person's mental state. And this bill gives the discretion to two doctors who potentially do not know the patient at all to pass their judgement on their mental state. I think the act needs input from someone who knows the patient even if that person is not a medical practitioner: a work colleague, a relation, a good friend, to explain teh patients history to the 'stranger doctors'. Without this, the act is only 90% there.

    There is also the potential express implementation time of just four days. I see other overseas jurisdictions with similar acts put a longer minimum time frame into legislation.

    So isn't an act that is 90% there good enough? After all the act itself demands a a review of itself in three years time. The answer to that question depends on the chances of the act 'making a mistake' and the consequence of that mistake. In my view the chances of the act being misapplied is low. But the consequence of getting it wrong is high. So in my view the act requires a much greater threshold than being 90% correct. Until the 'potential fast track time frame' and 'adequate mental health review' issues are addressed, this act is a big NO for me.

    Over the last couple of years I have been in close proximity to several elderly deaths. None was entirely pleasant, but neither was any one of them unpleasant. The last days or hours of a person's life can be tough, But in my observational experience, the fear of what might happen at death is usually worse than the actual death. Better to get a well trained palliative care nurse to supervise your death than a lawyer in my view.

    SNOOPY
    Thanks for taking the time to post such an eloquent and considered view. I wasn't aware of the 3 year review clause. Could be a lot of mistakes (deaths) in 3 years. Why would you have this clause if everything was ticketyboo in such a high stakes law? Would we consider the same in the death penalty? Oops, 3 years down the track we find 30, 40 ,60, 100 people are dead in preventable/incorrect/abusive circumstances? We have locked down our entire economy for less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
    Over the last couple of years I have been personally involved in a case where the palliative care was good. I had not considered the situation where the palliative care was not so good.
    I've certainly been involved on both the good and bad palliative care recently with different relatives. One care facility would not administer adequate pain relief, did not provide enough general care (patient not turned, messes not cleaned, was not checked on despite agonising screams), while another care facility was the complete opposite. The former do unfortunately exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod View Post
    I've certainly been involved on both the good and bad palliative care recently with different relatives. One care facility would not administer adequate pain relief, did not provide enough general care (patient not turned, messes not cleaned, was not checked on despite agonising screams), while another care facility was the complete opposite. The former do unfortunately exist.
    Not saying it was the case with your experience. But there are situations where other palliative care patients have needs that they do not shout about that do need attention. And unless you pay for one on one care for your loved one, there will be situations where people who desire attention may have to wait. You may find that the 'agonising screams' are more monitored than you think they are. But it is certainly true that I have never seen a palliative care unit that is overstaffed.

    SNOOPY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
    Not saying it was the case with your experience. But there are situations where other palliative care patients have needs that they do not shout about that do need attention. And unless you pay for one on one care for your loved one, there will be situations where people who desire attention may have to wait. You may find that the 'agonising screams' are more monitored than you think they are. But it is certainly true that I have never seen a palliative care unit that is overstaffed.

    SNOOPY
    The standard of palliative care both in the community and institutions has improved tremendously and I know of no palliative care workers who would support this Bill.

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    This is the article I read that finally helped me decided, and funnily enough it was arguments by both sides that got me there.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/euthanasia-debate/300057650/euthanasia-referendum-the-arguments-for-and-against-legalising-assisted-dying

    Panko says data in the United States shows, on average, those accessing assisted dying typically shorten their lives by just 10 days – a reprieve instead of “encouraging people to just hang on”.
    So people dont just get the diagnosis and decided to just 'check out'. They enjoy the time they've got and only once it gets unbearable at the end do they make the choice to move on.

    University of Auckland professor and palliative care specialist Rod Macleod ...

    “But I’ve had plenty who have asked.”
    Macleod, Hospice New Zealand's clinical advisor, says the organisation – which represents all hospice services in the country – believes euthanasia has no place in palliative care.
    Those who ask for euthanasia are often at the beginning of their palliative care journeys, and feel hopeless or afraid – fearing loss of dignity or being a burden. Once they get the support they need, those requests for “early death” fade away, he says.
    Macleod is “never surprised” when people say they no longer “want to live like this”, but says palliative care can change the way people live without the need to hasten death.
    Exactly right, and palliative care will still exist, and still be able to support the vast majority of people, but why can palliative exist alongside the option of euthanasia at the very end. They can, and should, co exist. It doesn't have to be a 'either, or' decision.

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