Dying not always ‘gentle’

LETTER

Re: Natural death generally more gentle than expected, April 9 letter.

Renee Joubert appals me with her attitude towards the terminally ill and their suffering.

Some palliative care doctors may believe that “dying people usually get to the point of accepting their situation and wanting to live as long as they can”. The operative word here is “usually”.

What about those who do not fall into the “usual” category — and there are most certainly some — who no longer wish to suffer extreme pain, lack of dignity and the many other horrendous manifestations which often accompany dying? Are these people’s wishes to be overlooked and ignored because they do not “fit” the expectations of palliative care staff and Ms Joubert?

For many, dying is not “gentle” but violent, heart wrenching and tortuous.

Ms Joubert does not speak for the majority of New Zealanders who are not naive enough to believe that all suffering can be mitigated by the management of a dying person’s “psychological and existential reasons”.

Everyone is different.

For those who do not wish to suffer a cruel death, nor the patronising ministrations of folk such as Ms Joubert, there needs to be a choice of medical assistance to die, so that they, and they alone, have control of their dying, and are supported to make their own decisions about what is right for them.

Helen Cartmell, Upper Hutt

Re: Natural death generally more gentle than expected, April 9 letter.

Renee Joubert appals me with her attitude towards the terminally ill and their suffering.

Some palliative care doctors may believe that “dying people usually get to the point of accepting their situation and wanting to live as long as they can”. The operative word here is “usually”.

What about those who do not fall into the “usual” category — and there are most certainly some — who no longer wish to suffer extreme pain, lack of dignity and the many other horrendous manifestations which often accompany dying? Are these people’s wishes to be overlooked and ignored because they do not “fit” the expectations of palliative care staff and Ms Joubert?

For many, dying is not “gentle” but violent, heart wrenching and tortuous.

Ms Joubert does not speak for the majority of New Zealanders who are not naive enough to believe that all suffering can be mitigated by the management of a dying person’s “psychological and existential reasons”.

Everyone is different.

For those who do not wish to suffer a cruel death, nor the patronising ministrations of folk such as Ms Joubert, there needs to be a choice of medical assistance to die, so that they, and they alone, have control of their dying, and are supported to make their own decisions about what is right for them.

Helen Cartmell, Upper Hutt

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Chris O'Brien - 4 days ago
That may all be very well Helen Cartmell but no politician can truthfully say that if this bill is passed, there will be no vulnerable persons put to death because of it.
That is the point. No safeguards can ever prevent abuse once any bill decriminalising euthanasia or assisted suicide is brought in. Simply look at the facts as to what is happening in other countries, which let it out. They may have thought it was controllable but it just isn't. We need better palliative care, not killing.

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