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View Diary: Death with Dignity Law Brings No Dignity to Some (272 comments)

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    I know for a fact her garden (she loves to garden) is full of a few certain well-selected plants, and I know she's thought about using them.

    touch wood, we have many years before such a decision will need to be made.

    Here is Australia, you can make a medical power of attorney which clearly stipulates when and if you want treatment if you have a terminal condition. My brother and I share the power of attorney for mum, and while I'm paraphrasing, it clearly states:

    'if it is determined by two medical practitioners that I have a terminal illness, or an illness that has a very high chance of leaving me mentally of physically completely incapacitated, I direct that I be given treatment only to make me as comforable as possible, even if that treatment may hasten the end of my life. I want to die with dignity and in as minimal discomfort as possible, not prolong my life where the outcome has been determined that I will not live, or would live only severely incapacitated.'

    - you get the drift. We wrote this using standard text from legal-medical specialists, and consulted with the state authority here that oversees the registering and implementation of powers of attorney, to make sure the words we used were understood by us all, and would be legally binding.

    As you can gather from this, doctors here overall are in majority in favour and have no objections to prescribing treatments such as very high doses of morphine, rather than let someone die long and slow in agony. May they always be this way. But I'll also be making damn sure my mum never ends up in one of the private catholic run hospitals here.

    "This just can't get more disturbing!" - Willow

    by myriad on Wed May 13, 2009 at 04:51:19 PM PDT

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