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95 years old..wants to die

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by footdrcb, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. footdrcb

    footdrcb Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    I met a lovely man today who is 95 ...ive treated him for 11 years ...His wife died last year and he brought a book to show me by Dr Nishkie...how to die..
    He asked alot of questions and I just did not know how to respond...He said he was tired of being alive.......I guess that at some point, we all just are content with our life...>This man was amazing...He was honest , open and the most real person Ive probably ever met.....I said to him initially .."dont be a dickhead" but then we spoke some more....Isnt it lovely that humans can finally accept their life and perhaps their death .......it shows great character .
    I have no comments or answers to this enigmatic consult....I just wanted to share it with fellow practitioners...

    The older i get the less I know about anything..

    Id like to hear some thoughts on this unusual issue

  2. drsarbes

    drsarbes Well-Known Member


    I missed the part where this is a positive story; why this one man, alone and aged, represents "humans" and why having no desire to wake up each morning and continue living is somehow a good thing! Why giving up on life is somehow a decision you feel is an honorable one.

    I'm sure as he discussed the most deep and vital aspects of human nature, i.e., life itself, that calling him a "dickhead" really raised the level of conversation.

    Here IS a good thing; you didn't choose to become a Psychiatrist or answer the suicide hot line!

  3. DAVOhorn

    DAVOhorn Well-Known Member

    Dear All,

    I have spoken of this with many over the years.

    I have come to a simple conclusion. It is your life do with it as you see fit.

    For many whose lives are at an end the desire to die painfree and at a time and place of their choosing is very important to that person. The ability to make an informed choice at this important time.

    We all DIE, why in Western Society do we always fight right up until the inevitable and leave the poor soul to a dismal painful frightening demise.

    He lost his wife, he lives alone is probably infirm and frail and no doubt in some discomfort. So why should he be forced to endure, because of your conscience!!!?????

    We must in this society deal with euthanasia in an intelligent and compassionate manner.

    But the reigious will interfere as only GOD has the right to end life. He may have been trying for years but the bloody Doctors keep treating the illness that God has decided should despatch you.

    It is the choice of the individual and that choice should be available.

    We will in 10-15 years time have many millions of BABY BOOMERS clogging up hospitals and Nursing Homes costing Billions which could and should be spent on those with a more viable life.

    Ho Hum David
  4. drsarbes

    drsarbes Well-Known Member

    Hi Dave:

    I think this topic, possibly more than any other, really is dependent on your perspective. Having both my parents in their 90s and myself just turning 60, I find nothing "lovely" about this interaction discussed in the original post.

    You think it's "societies" job to "deal with euthanasia" ?
    Let me rephrase that sentence for you so we all know exactly what it means:

    Someone ELSE should decide when you die.

    Very nice.

    Count me out.

  5. DAVOhorn

    DAVOhorn Well-Known Member

    You have misunderstood.

    What i meant is that Euthanasia for those who are terminally ill should be made legal. This is what i meant by Society, as it would require a change in the law.

    Holland, Belgium, Switzerland have made euthanasia legal, so there is protection in law to protect those who opt for it, and also for those who do not.

    As i said it is an emotive subject.

    My parents are 83 and 85 and enjoy a decent quality of life. Both have expressed a desire not to be resuccitated or have thier lives prolonged. I do not know if there is a living will. But the sentiment for their wishes has been made plain.

    This is a very personal topic as it involves personal desire/wishes, cost to society as a whole, changes in legislation, changes in the philosophy of medical care, religion/faith etc etc.

    I believe the choice should be there and the choice should be exercised by the individual.

    regards David
  6. MJJ

    MJJ Active Member

    Is this particular man terminally ill? Should this choice only be available to people who are?

    2 weeks ago a lady jumped off one of the bridges here, it was all over the news. It turns out that it was the wife of a guy that I know quite well. I think that giving people a more dignified option than jumping off a bridge or shooting themselves is nice, but I think it would have other advantages. The process of seeking out doctor assisted suicide would certainly involve some counselling, which may help to prevent some suicides.
  7. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    I agree with Steve that it is not our place to analyse an individuals mental state with regard to choosing to end ones life. Or indeed to counsel any individual with regard to suicidal thoughts other than to encourage them to discuss this in detail with their own general practitioner who will hopefully refer them to more specialised care. A white coat, business suit or scrubs may colour a patients perspective & suggest a level of knowledge about mental health which we have no training of.

    I also agree with Dave. My personal experiences lead me to agree that individuals (not society) should be permitted to choose for themselves with regard to how, when we will die.

    Death is the only certainty. It stuns me that we consider it to be humane to euthanase a dog, cat, budgie etc. which is suffering. Although we find it distasteful to permit intelligent human beings of sound mind & the power of cognitive thought & speech the same consideration.

    As Dave mentioned, euthanasia is legal in some countries. The shocking thing I find is that if a loved one is involved or even present they are liable to be tried for murder. Even when the one who has chosen this path may have expressed it beforehand.

    Dave is also right that this is a very personal decision. My own thoughts are most definately coloured by my experiences.

    Kind regards,

  8. MJJ

    MJJ Active Member

  9. footdrcb

    footdrcb Active Member

    Here IS a good thing; you didn't choose to become a Psychiatrist or answer the suicide hot line!


    Thanks Steve..... You are right on the money there.
    It was more about acceptance . I saw it as an honest comment , real thoughts, and I guess we can all fight for life, make the best of it as best we can . One thing we will never know is ..."what it is to be alone and 95" until we are there ourselves God willing.

    All the best mate , thanks for your honesty .

  10. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    He's 95, has lost his life, he wants to quit, fair enough!

    But ask me again when i'm 94....
  11. It is not unusual for someone who has deeply loved their spouse for many years to have the death of that spouse make them feel as if they have nothing to live for. They feel that since their partner for life has now died, that they have nothing left in their life that makes them happy. They no longer have anyone left that knows them like their spouse did, they no longer know anyone from the same generation as their spouse was and, as a result, life itself may become meaningless and pointless.

    It is important for the health professional to be caring, understanding, supportive and offer positive ideas to these individuals about why living can be a blessing for them, even though, currently to them, life seems like a waste of time. I try to encourage interaction with family and/or relatives and/or church group and/or social groups during these difficult times for my patients as a way to offer them support and guidance. In addition, I often see them back more often in my office for "pep talks" to make sure they are doing well psychologically.

    These are the things that a caring medical professional will do for their patients who have entrusted them with the responsibility of taking care of their health...both physically and mentally.
  12. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    footdrcb, I applaud you in how you handled your patient. He probably wanted to die due to the reasons you spoke of and maybe also because he felt his spirit weakening and that death was getting close to his door.

    Words are not important but the caring and compassionate energy behind those words are. Its not so important to even speak but to be completely present and just listen. To just be there and not be in the role of the doctor but as another caring human being. We should be honored to share those sacred moments with another.

    Keep up the good work footdrcb.

  13. Sarah B

    Sarah B Active Member

    My experience is that, even with medication to sedate and calm, the end of a person's life isn't pleasant at all. The human body has evolved to survive, and even in a person with severe respiratory and cardiac compromise will struggle on until it can struggle no more.

    There is an ideal to which many people seem to aspire, in which a life is extinguished as easily and quickly as a candle. The ethical dilemmas involved in meeting this aspiration are many, not the least of which is that a person's wishes may change as their perspective does.

    In the case the OP cites, does the man really wish to die? Or is he actually suffering from depression? Most people who are truly suicidal don't talk about it, they figure out their method and get the job done. Or is it just that the loss of someone so close has made them consider their own mortality?

    In these situations, I have to admit that I ask the person whether they would like to talk to someone about how they are feeling. That could be a counsellor, humanist, or religious figure (depending on the person's preference).

    To my mind, there's a difference between accepting one's life and death, and actively wishing to bring things to an end.
  14. footdrcb

    footdrcb Active Member

    Nice comment my friend....>we can only know what it feels like when we are there ourselves.....

    Good on you mate

    Craig FDCB
  15. I was under the impression that there were three certainties: birth, death and a nurse... "Spooner, this is a serious thread about death and euthanasia- **** off" Just trying to lighten things up.... K. Getting my coat (again) :eek:
  16. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    I have to say there are some hopeless (meaning 'without hope') comments in answer to your despairing outreach. Life is by God's grace and by our praise of Him we live in hopefulness and rest assured. This is what the Psalmist tells us and when you know this then there is no disillusionment brought by the deception (the lie that you are told) that you own your own life. We - You, were given life by God and you chose to give it up to another, now the only way to reclaim life is to praise Him and have faith in Jesus Christ who has redeemed you.

    Psalm 115 (New Living Translation)

    Psalm 115

    1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
    but to your name goes all the glory
    for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
    2 Why let the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”
    3 Our God is in the heavens,
    and he does as he wishes.
    4 Their idols are merely things of silver and gold,
    shaped by human hands.
    5 They have mouths but cannot speak,
    and eyes but cannot see.
    6 They have ears but cannot hear,
    and noses but cannot smell.
    7 They have hands but cannot feel,
    and feet but cannot walk,
    and throats but cannot make a sound.
    8 And those who make idols are just like them,
    as are all who trust in them.

    9 O Israel, trust the Lord!
    He is your helper and your shield.
    10 O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the Lord!
    He is your helper and your shield.
    11 All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord!
    He is your helper and your shield.

    12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us.
    He will bless the people of Israel
    and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
    13 He will bless those who fear the Lord,
    both great and lowly.

    14 May the Lord richly bless
    both you and your children.
    15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.
    16 The heavens belong to the Lord,
    but he has given the earth to all humanity.
    17 The dead cannot sing praises to the Lord,
    for they have gone into the silence of the grave.
    18 But we can praise the Lord
    both now and forever!

    Praise the Lord!

    A life praising God is truly amazing, ALL THE TIME!

    Regards Dave Smith.
  17. David Widdowson

    David Widdowson Active Member

    A life praising God is truly amazing, ALL THE TIME!

    Regards Dave Smith.[/QUOTE]

    Well ... from an athiests point of view ... one of us is sure going to be dispointed (or maybe both of us).

    David W
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  18. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    While I think that faith is a wonderful thing. It is not everyone's choice. In life we all have choices (hopefully).

    No person has any right to deny another their own path. Or to dictate how or if we live.

    Personally I don't hold with the hell fire & damnation way of thinking.

    My life, my choice.

    With the greatest respect.

  19. Didnt take long did it Dave - are you sure "God" said that or is that orginised religion saying that in "Gods" name.

    Each to their own I say.
  20. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    No person has any right to deny another their own path. Or to dictate how or if we live.
    Personally I don't hold with the hell fire & damnation way of thinking.

    Religious fundamentalism is evil at its core.

  21. :D:D:D:D:D:D All, take a look at this post, this is illustrative of what is wrong with the world, IMHO.

    Anyone else see the hypocrisy here?
    Oh Lord, bring him back... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7fufgk4s_g&feature=related
  22. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    Not sure what didn't take long but; FDCB asked "Id like to hear some thoughts on this unusual issue" That was mine -i.e. there is hope and salvation and life, it is freely given and already yours, just take it. It's not even a gift, it's your inheritance.

    Other thoughts ranged from:
    1) "I don't know" -
    2) "Seems hopeless"
    3) "It's his/your choice" -
    4) "Let them die"
    5) "Wait"
    6) "Humour" -
    7) "Consider all the variables of which we understand none and then pass it on to someone who maybe does e.g. counsellor, Humanist, religious bloke. (return to 1) -
    8) "I don't know the answer but I'm absolutely sure any answer that appears to leave me helpless (deprived of strength or power) is definentely wrong"

    Just on a argumental level (regardless of the truth or falseness of the premise, which all admit they cannot know) which one seems more appealing and uplifting?

    Regards Dave
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  23. DAVOhorn

    DAVOhorn Well-Known Member

    Dear All

    Well as i said in my first post, religion will rear its head. Anyway to repeat and affirm my argument.

    IF there is a deity then one presumes he/she grants life and therefor by definition grants death.

    So if this is the truth why do we have medicine and


    If to deliberately end life is interfering in GOD's will then again by definition to interfere using medicine to artificially prolong life is also interfering in God's will.

    So you are running across the moor with Partner and Dog when you keel over grasping your chest and gasping your last.

    Do your family praise God and thank him for God's will.

    or do they scream blue murder to get the ambulance and start CPR and whisk you off to hospital to save life. Cardiac surgery later you are walking around again. I bet god i s real ****** off as you interfered in his Will.

    So IMHO you cant have it both ways.


    regards david
  24. Humour in my mind, and each to their own, Dave. That'll be the point. Forgive me, if you think my choice is wrong.
  25. DAVOhorn

    DAVOhorn Well-Known Member

    I did not use the ****** it was done by the site. the word i used began witha P and ended with a D.

    So i did not use a foul profanity, which is what the * suggests.:drinks

    Also i believe Oregon in the USA has legal Euthanasia.

    not a user of profane language
  26. Dave the quotes you used are not yours, someone else wrote them and then they got rewritten and rewritten etc.

    Dave your option and ideas have much more weight than some quotes. Thats what important in my veiw.

    So what does dave think and has this view changed and why that would be something rather than some quotes .
  27. Pi$$ed?

    Swear my ****ing arse off at the drop of a hat. Forgive me.

    I'll find Stephen Fry's video regarding the use of the English language, if I can be tossed.

    Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_osQvkeNRM
  28. DAVOhorn

    DAVOhorn Well-Known Member

    Simon thanks for that. Very funny .

    Forgotten some of the sketches. Loved the judge.

    Also Hugh laurie as concerned of Surrey is a real character.

  29. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    While I think that faith is a wonderful thing. It is not everyone's choice. In life we all have choices (hopefully).

    No person has any right to deny another their own path. Or to dictate how or if we live.

    Personally I don't hold with the hell fire & damnation way of thinking.

    My life, my choice.

    With the greatest respect.



    I quoted a portion of Mandy's post which I did agree with when I wrote Fundamentalism is evil at its core. Fundamentalists believe they know and own the only truth and believe everyone else is wrong. This then leads to conflict as it is destructive as history and present times have shown time and again.

    What I am saying is to be authentic and have your own belief system but to respect the belief system of another. This is constructive. We are all different colors of the same rainbow.

  30. It is really too bad that a thread regarding a serious, potentially life and death subject that may affect all of us both professionally and personally during our lives can't remain on subject for even a couple of days here on Podiatry Arena.
  31. I disagree Kevin, I think it has remained on subject. What this demonstrates is the varying approaches of practitioners to a particular issue and how one's own belief system might influence this. My approach to most difficult situations is to meet it with humour, as exemplified by my posts here. Others, meet a similar situation from different terms of reference, as exemplified by their (and your) posts here. What has not been mentioned here, is the patients belief system. Surely this is key, in a patient centred approach to care.
  32. Humor is good. I also use it frequently in my practice, even with patients such as the one we are discussing here.:drinks
  33. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member


    The most valid point so far.

    Salutations Dr Spooner.

  34. Sarah B

    Sarah B Active Member

    I just want to clarify my stance with our friend Dave who chose to post a quote from a religious text as their thoughts: You misrepresented me when you misquoted me. My suggestion of help from outside was intended to respect the beliefs and culture of the man in question; and has nothing at all to do with my opinions and beliefs.

    I must say I've enjoyed Simon's take on this subject! ("Always look on the bright side of death", cue whistling)

    Now, I have nothing further to add.
  35. Lizzy1so

    Lizzy1so Active Member

    Hmmmmmmmmmm. I had a client who told me he wanted to die and that he was going to kill himself. He was 90 and crippled with arthritis and had lost his wife about two years previously. He was an amzing person and his memoirs are now published and archived. He was a sane, logical person and not overtly depressed, he had simply had enough. He did kill himself. I dont feel he did anything wrong, he was exercising power over his own destiny after a life well and truly lived.

    It says something of footdrcb's skills as a human being and not just a clinician that this person felt they could confide in him on this very sensitive subject. Is it not a cultural as well as spiritual question? If we look at the case of the passengers on 9/11 who tackled terrorists on a plane while it was in the air and before it hit its target, I think perhaps they knew they might die. Was that suicide? Is it ok to die if it is for the greater good? So perhaps this really boils down to choice, and I think we should all have the choice even if our "faith"says we shouldnt, after all people die from self inflicted illness all the time.
  36. footdrcb

    footdrcb Active Member

    A turn around

    Firstly , let me thank all of you who commented for your thoughts and wisdom. Today at three fifteen , Mr nintey five came back to see me. Not for an appointment but wondering if I had a few mins to chat with him . As it turned out , I was not busy so we sat , I made him a coffee and we talked for 45 or so mins.
    He told me, much to my surprise that he thought about what we spoke about the other day and (If you know Australian farmers , the term dickhead is not an insult , it is more a phrase that says, yes sure, especially when it is said as a throw away comment please read my first post and the following one)
    Anyway .

    He trusted me with his thoughts which were. He had time to think about the fact that he was not judged.... I felt amazing at this point by the way .

    He also said that if God wanted him , he probably would have taken him.

    He also said. There must be a reason Im still here.

    He also said that there was no way he ever could haved talked to his family about what he spoke to me about .

    But he felt good.

    I was , for a moment , and im not a new age wanker or tosser by any means, honoured.

    Life keeps throwing curved balls at me .

    There was no answer to his initial comments, no more talk about it. We spoke about the old days on the farm for him , his kids, his grandkids, his great grandkids and it was left at that.

    Once again , the older I get the less I bloody know about anything


    FDCB * ( I should have charged him five hundred bucks ) but i got more out of it .. Just joking by the way .
  37. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    Mike good point and you are so right on the money for the most part, however when you explain a mechanical theory do you use Newton's laws or do you make some new one's up that reflect your own opinion on mechanical principles. Truth is truth it makes sense to repeat it.

    However you are completely correct that personal experience and testimony of it often trumps theory, regardless of it's truth, in terms of its power to communicate a concept or ideal and touch the heart or mind of it's recipient. The change that you point out from one

    E.G. Experience testimony - This is how I used Newton's law to help me design and orthotic for Mr C and his foot pain rapidly resolved.

    So here, the raw but slightly abstract theory put into practice gave a real change visible and tangible to others and so at the very least another person must consider why that change happened and allow at least the possibility that it was Newton's laws that were the cause of change and the prime truth in the process.

    So you asked,

    What does Dave think now?

    You know that already from my earlier posts

    How has my view changed?

    In this case you mean from before I was Christian since this is the event and proposed cause of the change.

    Well, God revealed Himself to me and my experience of God as the Holy Spirit has changed my life and these experiences are real. Once the bible is read in faith it becomes a living word, speaking to the reader at each stage of Christian maturity. Therefore I accept that Jesus as Christ is real and so what He says must be true. You can't see this change over the internet and even to see it in the flesh might be difficult since you would need to know my heart and experience or observe the change. If you accepted that I did change then you might at least ask why. The answer is God changes your heart but change in itself is not the purpose of God, His purpose is that you should be able to return to Him and He had a plan to enable you to do that through the redeemer Jesus Christ.

    When I accepted Jesus he bought all my debts, tore them up and threw them away, I now live in that freedom. So when the tempter comes to me and tries to deceive me and convince me that I am still indebted to him and must do the work that he requires, I can say no this is not true, Jesus has set me free and I only do what Jesus does. That is my experience, I am free in Jesus, it is very liberating and that is why I want you and others to know.

    Its not about religion that wants to sign you up to a club with laws and rules and tradition and dogma, its about freedom and new life.

    Why would that be something?

    Well that is for you to decide, this a gift of freedom, freely given not a chain of obedience or prison sentence. Is that something or nothing?

    rather than some quotes

    As I explained these quotes are truthful facts told by Christ and the Father.

  38. Yep Spelling not one of my strong Suits.

    I will just say that religion has been manipulated by man to manipulate people through History, in the name of God. So while it´s great that you have found God, I often think people find religion rather than God and stop thinking for themselves -( Not saying you do this Dave as I only know from your writing here ) I have a huge problem with organised Religion throughout History.

    Maybe for another time and Place.

    Enjoy yourself Dave.

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