04 February 2008

manic monday,

Is there anything too serious to joke about? If so, what falls into that category for you?

I for myself don't like jokes about people who can't defend themselves.
Especially not when they're handicapped.
I think many people are a joke themselves when they think they need to ridicule others.

We do joke here at home, however, a lot about all our own handicappes.
With 5 people on the autism spectrum too many things happen to stay serious.
But these are jokes that keept within the walls of the home.

Would you rather be a tortured genius or a happy simple-minded person? Why?

Well, life is so difficult that I tend to want to be happy.
But happiness.... it's just moments for most of us, humans.
So do these moments outweight being simple-minded?
When simple-minded means stupid.... I'll just stay a genius.

A dear friend or family member has a terminal illness and is in agony. He/she wants you to help him/her die. What would you do?

First let me say that euthanasia is a word that is used for far more situations in the american language that it's used in The Netherlands.
I'm a bit sick of people accusing us, Dutch, of killing people when they can't defend themselves.
We don't.

The free dictionary of Farlex defines euthanasia as: The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment.

Well, that's not what we mean by Euthanasia.

Nor is the term mercykilling reflecting what we mean by euthanasia.

Euthanasia is in all cases done by a doctor, and is subject to a lot of legal rules.

The law states that the doctor
  • is convinced the patiënt has made his decision after considerable and careful weighing of options
  • that he's asking out of his own free choice
  • that the patiënt is suffering without any prognosis he'll feel better and he can't bear the suffering any longer
  • has completely informed the patiënt about his illness, his prognosis and other aspects of the situation
  • there is no other option in the eyes of both patiënt and doctor.
  • at least one other independent doctor is consulted and this doctor has carefully checked the conditions mentioned before. He has to submit a written report.
  • the assistance in the dying process or suicide has been medically correct.

The law also states that
when a patiënt of 16 years or older is no longer able to voice his wishes, but has submitted a written request, under the conditions written before, a doctor can act according to the conditions given before.

The law also states that when a patiënt isn't of age, and between 16 and 18 years old, who fits the criteria above, the doctor can honor his request after the parents and/or caretakers are involved in the decision.

The law also states that when a patiënt isn't of age, and between 12 and 16 years old, who fits the criteria above the doctor can honor his request after the parents and/or caretakers can agree with the decision.

After the patiënt has died the doctor should fill in a report and inform the coronor.

All cases should be reported by a special board, so the case can be reviewed in detail.
When the board needs additional information they can request this to be given.
They can also request to be informed about the case by others.

The board is responsible to The Law.

The board is also subject to investigation by The Law, the inspection of health, and a national board of inspection. (I can't translate all those functions in detail, but you'll get the idea.)

Each year the board has to submit a written report to the government about:

  1. the amount of cases
  2. what kind
  3. the conclusions and how they reached the conclusions.

The boards are very critical in their reviews. They won't accept any mistake. That also means that the consulted doctor should follow every detail of the law.
Otherwise the case will be reported to the police.

That's part of the law. There is far more, like the expected amount of time left before death.
But enough here.

So you see, there is no place for a familymember or a friend to take action.

I have been in the situation of a family member and later of a friend that were suffering.
It was awful to see.
But unlike the ways people act in soap operas, there is no chance to pull the plug.

All I could do was to express my concerns to the doctors in question and ask them to give all the medical care possible.

I tried to reach out to my dad and friend on a psychological level.
I tried to divert their attention with love and care.

My friend asked me to bring him an a hypnotic state after he said goodbye to his family and friends.
It helped a bit, and he was able to engage in some conversation before he died.

When my baby was dying in hospital I was so terribly afraid the doctors would come to ask me what to do.
I was ready to make them stop causing her pain, as it was clear she would die.
Maybe I would have pulled the plug to prevent further agony.
I would even have taken imprissonment well, with the knowledge that she wasn't suffering anymore.
But I would never ever had another child.
I can deal with nature letting children die, (2 of my babies died), but I would have never ever been at peace with myself.

Because I'm "high risk" I've spoken about this subject a long long time ago with family, friends and my family doctor. I've also a written form in my files.
I don't want any lifesupport when that means I can't communicate, can't discuss matters with others. And I don't want to be put to sleep and die from dehydration and/or malnourishment.
I hope I'll be able to deal with my suffering that there's no need other people are involved than my own doctor and the legal consultant.

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Fleur de Lisa 5 February 2008 at 03:33  

Thank you for sharing your answer to #3. It was so educational and informative. I really learned something today, thanks to you!

tommie 5 February 2008 at 04:55  

First time to visit your Manic Monday.

Great answers....Very informative on #3. Goes to say, one does learn something new everyday.

Happy Monday

Anonymous,  5 February 2008 at 05:34  

Hello Laane,

Thanks for sharing your experiences and the information on #3. I understand what you have written.


Gellianne 5 February 2008 at 05:41  

Hi! Your answer to #3 is very informative. I will remember that.

Mica 5 February 2008 at 05:42  

Hello there!
Great answers.I agree with you at no. 1.

Gabriel 5 February 2008 at 06:13  

What a great post, Laane! The best I've seen in a long while.

I hope you had a happy MM! Sorry for visiting you back so late.

milet 5 February 2008 at 14:27  

wow! thanks for sharing your answer to number three with us.

Regina Avalos 5 February 2008 at 19:28  

Thanks for stopping by MM!

Anonymous,  6 February 2008 at 00:33  

I learned alot from your answer to #3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, and for the comments you left on my MM. *HUGS & SMILES*

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