What to do when there is nothing more you can do

People, Troy Thornton

It’s all very well to say let nature takes its course.  It’s all very well to take what some see as the high moral ground, but when this impacts on another persons right to die with dignity, then we say it’s another matter.  There needs to be choice.

This story appeared on the ABC News website: ‘We should be able to choose’: Australian firefighter Troy Thornton dies in Swiss euthanasia clinic  (23.02.2019 – see link at the end of this post).   We quote: The Victorian man – Troy Thornton, 54 – said he wanted the nation to think deeply about the concept of dying well, and to challenge the notion that choosing death is somehow wrong.

He wanted to legally end his life at home in Australia, with all those he loved around him. But despite Victoria becoming the first state to legalise voluntary assisted dying, he did not qualify.

His disease — multiple system atrophy — is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. There are no treatments and there is no prospect of recovery, but death can take years.

That’s where the Victorian laws fall down, Mr Thornton said. He could not find two doctors willing to say with absolute certainty that he would die within 12 months, which in his case is a condition to access the legislation.

To read the full story go to: Troy Thornton dies in Swiss clinic

In a similar vein comes the story by Anna Kelsey-Sugg and Joanna Crothers  (How Guy Kennaway came around to the idea of helping his mother die, ABC RN program Life Matters 24.02.2019) in which they report:  “Kennaway, an English author in his 60s, has been thinking more about death since his elderly mother, Susie, (aged 88) asked him to one day help her die.”

People, Guy Kennaway

“Guy Kennaway envisages a future where people preparing to die will hire ‘departure party’ planners for a literal last hurrah.

“As there will be forthcoming marriages and christenings in the newspapers, there will be forthcoming deaths, and we can have any ceremony we want, just like with weddings,” he says.

Susie had watched her husband Stanley — Kennaway’s stepfather — die in exactly the way she didn’t want to. Kennaway describes it as a “modern medical death”; protracted and “really painful”.

He says family surrounded Stanley in his last days, thinking, “Oh golly, I love him very much but it really is time now”. ….  “And then the door would fly open and the nurses and the doctor would fly in, and they were wonderful people [but] they would gee him up and keep him going for another few days,” he says.

AUDIO: Hear more of Guy Kennaway’s views on assisted dying.(Life Matters)

The process exhausted everyone, including Stanley.  “He was saying, ‘I want to die’, and there was no way of him dying,” Kennaway says.

Susie was “really sideswiped” by the experience, Kennaway says, and resolved that her own death would be different.  “She took me aside and she said, ‘This is what I’m talking about. I don’t ever want this to happen to me. I don’t want to go through this’.”

To get the full story, click the following link: Guy Kennaway and the idea of helping his mother die

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