Assisted Suicide for those with Alzheimer’s?
I read an article about Assisted Suicide for those with Alzheimer’s and was so disturbed by what I learned. It’s one of those things that you must share to receive some response and reassurance that you aren’t alone in your outrage.
The article is from the BBC in the United Kingdom. It discusses UK First assisted suicide for someone who has dementia.
The very title was appalling to me. When I read the article, I was even more disturbed. The saving quality was that the elderly man discussed had only recently received his diagnosis, he had no severe symptoms and was deemed “of sound mind.” But who knows. Who knows what slight variations of thought occur at what time in the progression of dementia or Alzheimer’s?
Dr Peter Saunders, director of Care Not Killing Alliance, said, “This case is hugely alarming and shows that if we were to change the law to allow assisted suicide in this country there would inevitably be further pressure for incremental extension to include dementia patients as is already happening in the Netherlands.”
That is my response as well. There are many kinds of suffering in this life, but not everyone chooses to end their life rather than to find the love and grace gained through challenges. My mom passed away 5 years ago and I would not trade one day with her, nor do I believe she would ever have chosen to end it one day sooner than her passing.
Aside from the suffering someone with dementia might face, there are also evil people in this world who might push someone toward such thoughts. Due to the illness itself, those with dementia are highly suggestible. That’s the nature of the disease, those with Alzheimer’s and dementia suffer cognitive decline. They aren’t able to make their own choices well.
Whether for financial gain or other selfish endeavors, a malicious person could encourage someone with dementia to make decisions for their benefit rather than the person who suffers the illness. We see it everyday in physical and verbal abuse of the elderly as well as theft from those suffering cognitive decline. But allowing the depraved to encourage someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia to commit suicide is outrageous.
My mom forgot who I was as she forgot the word “daughter,” but we were close and shared a multitude of sweet moments as we became best friends. I saw a glimmer in her eye when I entered the room and she waited anxiously for every minute of our time together. I have happy moments and sweet memories in my heart from the day before her passing. I would never have taken all that away from her…or me.
I’d be very interested in your thoughts on this news! Feel free to leave a comment and enter the discussion–
What do you think of Assisted Suicide for those in Cognitive Decline with Alzheimer’s, Dementia or any other brain altering illness?
Full Catastrophe Living in, and IllnessYou Don’t Look Sick!, Second Edition: Living Well With Chronic Invisible IllnessLiving Wills: VA Guide on How to Prepare a Personalized Living Will, Planning for Medical DecisionsPalliative Care: Core Skills and Clinical Competencies