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Should terminally ill patients have the right to die?

MPs are due to debate the ethically fraught issue in the House of Commons for the first time in 20 years tomorrow, after Labour’s Rob Marris laid a private members bill that would give terminally ill patients the right to die.

The Assisted Dying Bill offers an opportunity to re-shape the law governing terminally ill people who want to voluntarily end their own life. It gives Parliament the chance to offer choice and dignity to a small group of people at a time in their lives they most need it.

There are a wide range of arguments, both for and against the bill, and the Prime Minister has previously said he remained unconvinced about the arguments, although he was happy for MPs to debate the subject.

The Assisted Dying (No 2) Bill, if passed, would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal drug dose to terminally ill patients in England and Wales who are deemed to have less than six months to live.  A High Court judge and two independent doctors would all be required to agree that the patient had made an informed decision to die.

The bill does not allow for assisted suicide when the patient is not terminally ill, nor for voluntary euthanasia, where a doctor administers the lethal medication.

What are you views on this sensitive matter? Do you think terminally ill individuals should be granted the right to end their own lives? Or do you think the law should remain unchanged?

 

Should terminally ill patients have the right to die?

769 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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ecarg
25th Feb 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
When we put animals to sleep we are in control, their lives in our hands providing the vet agrees.So why is this part of the argument,I do not want someone else to be in control of my death.Far better to record your wishes in advance ,but who if you are unable decides the time is right to put your wishes into action,The same people who are paid to preserve life would you like to be the one to make the call? I think Dr;s are making difficult decisions every day and I don't want them having the added pressure of deciding when to enact a written document even if relatives give agreement it is not a decision that can be made easily ,a complex matter for all involved.
major red
9th Sep 2016
0
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dogs get a better deal i seen a vet put a disc in a dog made on a 3d printer if only he would make me to wish i was a dog lol 36 years is too long drs say can fuse but i will never bend as 2 and 5 are gone and have too fuse from 2 to 5 in one joint im barking mad
Barbara58
22nd Oct 2015
0
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I'm not terminally ill but, with a myriad of health issues which are unbearable, I often think of a one way ticket to Switzerland because my quality of life is so grey.
I'm only 62 but am so frustrated at the thought of being cooped up in my home (financial changes have left me unable to afford a social life) for the forseeable future.
I know it's wrong to think like this when others are so much more unwell than me, but life has no joy any more, loneliness is something I've learn't to live with, and it sucks!
nextchapter
21st Oct 2015
0
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Yes, absolutely and I see from the results that most people share this view, so why should government be allowed to say otherwise? Your existence belongs to the government, they should leave the death up to you! If I find myself in that situation I will not let the last ugly weeks of my life be the burning memory I leave with my loved ones!
ross2532
25th Sep 2015
1
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If people wish to die then, provided it is their own choice and they are mentally competent to make that decision, they should be allowed to. Being assisted to die opens up a massive can of worms. It is unpoliceable and open to abuse. People say there are all sorts of safeguards to prevent manipulation but they said the same about abortion, now that is just a cosmetic procedure with people flying in to UK to take advantage.
lizzy 326
21st Sep 2015
1
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Absolutely. No one should have to suffer the horrendous pain and indignity that some have when reaching the end of their lives. We should all have that choice.
Jo Kingham
16th Sep 2015
1
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Absolutely yes. We all have the right to a dignified, peaceful and painful end. As others have said we wouldn't leave our pets in pain like that
KazM
13th Sep 2015
4
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I have Multiple Sclerosis, i doubt there will be a cure in my lifetime, even though great strides in research are happening, the end stages of MS for everyone mean i will become completely deaf, blind, incontinent, unable to move and in pain, if i was an animal i would painlessly be put to sleep. When i was 27 i watched as a brain tumour consumed my fathers life, i don't want my own son to watch me die this way, i should have a choice.
Olive45
13th Sep 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
My mother suffered from motor neurone disease. She kept a bottle of pills but in the end couldn't take them because she couldn't swallow. She wanted me to smother her!!!!!!!!!!!
normaJ
13th Sep 2015
6
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Having watched my brother and sister suffer the last stages of cancer I know if it were me, I would want the choice of when it all became too much, to be my choice.
tedith
12th Sep 2015
4
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Twenty six years have passed since my husband died of cancer. My then small children still remember his agony and his begging for help to die We have all made a living will in the hope that we will be assisted to die when/if that is our wish.
mikerobbie
12th Sep 2015
-4
Thanks for voting!
A war was fought to keep us free from suicide under duress if assissted dying was allowed it would be thee start of the slippery sllope to mass suicides starting for arguments stake at 69 yrs when money would bee saved nothaving to provide fee healthcare pensions
parsnip54
12th Sep 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
Heaven forbid I am ever in that position to make that choice,but I feel I should be able to make that choice. I understand how difficult it could be for relative's to accept a decision such as this, but equally why prolong the inevitable. Let these brave people go in peace and dignity and let the bereaved have less heartache knowing their loved one is at rest and no longer suffering.
God bless you you brave souls.
Dachiltern
11th Sep 2015
6
Thanks for voting!
I say yes, as someone who has faced bowel cancer, with an operation, chemotherapy and all the other drugs dispensed alongside it, I can see no reason why if someone who is terminally ill cannot make their own decision. Who benefits with the affected no longer being around, family, friends, colleagues? So what, that is what memories are for.

If I found myself in this terrible position then I would not wish to be a hindrance to enjoy or have expenses drugs and medical staff wasted on me when the NHS can use the money for far more beneficial patients.

Enjoy your good health, family, friends, colleagues while you can and don't take things for granted. We know we will eventually die and some of us go earlier than others. Let those who are terminally ill have the right to die when they want and not when the drugs, treatments etc no longer have an effect on the condition.
jeanmark
11th Sep 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Pain and suffering has no age barrier.
zalzado
11th Sep 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I have voted yes, but I think it is a very fine line, It has to be said that we would be opening a can of worms, I agree with the palliative nurse we should not allow a human being to suffer, but what do we do as we are told it is wrong to take a human life. We don't allow are animals to suffer, and I do feel that we have the right to say how and when we will end our lives, so for that reason I say yes, on the other hand how do we say when the time is right, you may give some one 6 months to live and they can last 12. as I say it is a fine line and not one that should be entered into with out much more debate.
Riosol
11th Sep 2015
5
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Everyone should have the right to choose, we wouldn't watch our pets suffer.
rachy12345
11th Sep 2015
9
Thanks for voting!
I am a palliative care nurse and believe that people who are terminally ill should have a choice about dying.
Painkillers do not always relieve pain and people also go through mental suffering too.
Animals are not allowed to suffer, why should humans?
If you have seen a lot of suffering you have to feel compassion.
I don't believe people should be bullied for being a nuisance as some people are concerned about
We are talking about ending suffering sooner, in a dignified way. You should not have to pay and there should be centres in the uk. I would not feel guilty to be a nurse in a place like this.
Dignity and choice are paramount.
jeanmark
11th Sep 2015
4
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Grosvenor
11th Sep 2015
6
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It is cruel and bullying to condemn people in pain to continue enduring it for a principle. Life can be unendurable for some, not necessarily terminally ill, or with a short life-span prognosis. People should have a choice, without having to travel abroad, and many do not have the family or finances to make this possible. It is not forcing one's choice onto others who may prefer palliative care, or rely on their faith, and the law would surely protect vulnerable people from feeling obliged to save their families, or a hospice or the NHS the trouble and cost of caring for them.

You only have to look at the desperate actions taken by Debbie Purdy to end her life within the law. It was distressing for her, her husband, and all those who cared for her. I don't know if I would have her courage and determination if i were in her position.
nagonthenet
11th Sep 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
Many opponents to this Bill are confusing disability with terminal illness. Quite different. Someone terminally ill may be disabled and also vice versa BUT we are not talking here of giving people who are JUST disabled the right to choose to die. There must be
a terminal illness i.e. one from which you will not recover and which will bring pain and suffering closer to the end if not right now. I can't see how anyone terminally ill will feel pressured into terminating their life in order to avoid being a burden to relatives.There is already the right to choose if you have enough money i.e. Dignitas in Switzerland. So one rule for the rich and one for the poor. The poor condemned to suffering and pain - how reasonable is that!
sevy
11th Sep 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
If you have been declared terminally ill with less than six months left you should have the right to choose, we as a family have had to sit around a bed watching a loved one die, wimpering in pain, not knowing where or who he is, where is the dignity in that, and what about the ones left with that horrible memory of a once great man.
jeanmark
11th Sep 2015
1
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That can be a problem, no one can be accurate about how long you have to live once diagnosed as terminal, the assessment is based on experience but can never be totally accurate as people can live much longer.
Jeandorna
11th Sep 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
I watched my usband die slowly and very painfully early this year. If I could have helped him pass I would have done so, the laws in this country need very badly adjusting to allow people control of their lives, It is all well and good to let those in authority make rules I wonder what would happen if they ever find themselves in a similar situation
Doggyvonne
11th Sep 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
The amount of people here voting yet implies they have great faith in the British authorities to make sure that pressure is not placed upon patients to end their lives. I hope that faith is justified. Yes I would want the choice myself but not sure i would choose an early death..ask me later.
olgypolgy
11th Sep 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
We do not let animals suffer so why should human beings be made to suffer unnecessarily.
Lindy_Loo
11th Sep 2015
1
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I have watched my mother slowly disappear as a human being with Alzheimers, she is now just an empty she'll and the same happened to her mother. I don't want to put my children through the same as it is agonising. I would like to end my own life before I became so very ill Linda.
cornish lady
11th Sep 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
To see a loved one suffer, asking to go and not being able to help, the pain and angst in their eyes. My Grandfather had Motor Nuerone. It is a well known fact there is no cure, but it is deemed acceptable to allow a human being to starve to death in intolerable pain.......
fare
11th Sep 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
This is a difficult and emotive subject. I am a staff nurse in a Hospice where terminally ill people are treated with dignity and respect and every effort is made to ensure that no patient is in pain or distress, and likewise their families etc are part of the equation. However, I am very aware that this is not possible to achieve for many many reasons in other care settings. My concern is that a patient may feel they are a burden to their families or are coerced into ending their lives. We have had many patients transferred to us for terminal care, but with good care they have recovered and been able to live a while longer with a good quality of life. At what point do you decide that that patient should live or die?? A lot if ethical questions come into this too.
swheldon
15th Sep 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
You don't decide, the patient does. That is the whole point!
fare
16th Sep 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
If they have capacity. As I said an emotive subject.
Cessie
11th Sep 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
To stand by a patients bed & have them grab your hand & beg for more pain relief & being unable to help them because those in charge say its too early or its not time yet,believe me stays with you. Some medical staff are over cautious in fear of a back lash that they have over dossed a patient. Any one that could stand by a patient screaming in pain for hours & for those who do not believe it does not happen now really need to get real. You have no right to tell me I should suffer intolerable pain the medical profession of which I was part is a long,long way from perfect.
There are of course wonderful staff who have compassion & treat people like a member of their family & their love for the patients is so rewarding to witness. When I know the time has come I want to go & it would be such a relief to put that in writing now.
jenny51
11th Sep 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Everyone should have the right of choice if a pet is ill and in pain you would not let them suffer so why are humans any different.
Annie2406
11th Sep 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
This is an awful and emotive subject. Whilst wanting to give those with suicide in mind the means to end their own suffering, we could also be condemning a lot of people to coercion and pressure by unscrupulous or greedy people who would benefit from someone's speedier death. I'm disabled, wheelchair-bound and have several faulty genes which predispose me to cancer. I'm also a Christian, which colours my opinion. I could never ask someone to be complicit in my death, and I don't feel that doctors should be either. The Hippocratic Oath States "do no harm". If this Bill is passed, I strongly believe that it will be the thin end of a very large wedge. We ought to be spending money on hospices and palliative end of life care. This wanting someone else to 'do the deed' and finish us off is yet another symptom of failing to take responsibility for our own actions. I pray, on behalf of all the vulnerable people out there, that this Bill will not succeed.
Wilf
11th Sep 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I think in these cases one has to comment on what you as an individual would like. In this case if I was ill I would like to take the decision myself to die and would agree that 2 doctors and a judge can sanction that decision here in the UK.
Matron999
11th Sep 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I'm a retired nurse and I can still remember the time I worked on a medical ward where most of the patients had terminal illnesses. I will never forget them screaming in pain and one man who was scared to close his eyes because he thought if he did he would die. These patients did not have a nice peaceful death but if the doctors had been allowed to assist them to die (which is what most of them wanted) it would have been far less distressing for them and their relatives.
SallyH1
11th Sep 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Feel we should not play God he decides when is time to die can get pain relief from hospices or in own home with palliative care no need to be in pain
jeanmark
11th Sep 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Sorry SallyH1, I have nursed in palliative care and that can not always provide the total pain relief wanted plus it isn't all to do with pain you can be pain free but still distressed at the situation you find yourself in. Don't we already play God?
BethMc
11th Sep 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Everybody will die, how and when is the issue, if one is in extreme pain or indignity one should be able to kill oneself. But the "right" to involve others in such a death is morally questionable at best, and at worst a criminal imposition.
Marley444
11th Sep 2015
3
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Such a sensitive issue - however, I do think that on the basis that you wouldn't allow an animal suffer a terminal, painful disease, why should you let a human, who can express their views? You'd say "the most humane thing to do is put the animal to sleep." and I'm sure we've all done it, and the animal can't tell you how it feels at the time. It will be interesting to see the outcome today, however I think it is so complex, that it is unlikely to change
jeanmark
11th Sep 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I can understand both sides of arguments put forward. In my 40+ years in the NHS I witnessed such suffering for some people who knowing their illness was terminal wanted to be able to make the choice and to have control over when they died but were denied that choice and thus suffered more. I agree with Marley444 that the issue is so complex that it is unlikely to change, people will be afraid it will be abused.
Wilf
11th Sep 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
But I think if 2 doctors and a judge can sign it off that will prevent it being misused

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