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Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide refer to, as defined by Medical News Today, as the "deliberate action taken with the intention of ending a life, in order to relieve persistent suffering." It's a controversial topic. As of 2021, active human euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Canada, and Spain. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, the Australian states of Victoria Northern Territory, and Western Australia.

But this issue has many passionate supporters who often know what it's like to care for someone who would have benefited from the practice. They told their stories after Redditor Random2328 asked the online community,

"What are your thoughts on medically assisted death?"

"She was able to go to a place in Switzerland..."

"My grandma was 89 and wasn't dying of anything in particular—she didn't have cancer or dementia or anything—but her memory was slowly failing and her body was generally falling apart from old age and a leg injury from fifty years prior. She had been a widow for fourteen years. She was lonely and in pain all the time and her family lived across the ocean so we couldn't see her as much as we'd want to.

There was nothing actively killing her, but she did NOT want to be alive anymore. She wasn't depressed, just old and in pain and ready to be done.

She was able to go to a place in Switzerland, with all four of her children, and take a pill to end her life while her children sang to her and she looked out at the mountains.

We all got to say goodbye to her and she got to be completely in control of the end of her life. I can only hope that if I am ever in that situation, then the world will be kind enough to let me close my own exit as beautifully and peacefully as my grandma did."

madame-de-merteuil

Your grandmother sounds like she was truly blessed. Being able to make that choice––and still have time with her family––no doubt meant the world to her.

"I don't know if I'd have the courage..."

"I just went through this with a good friend in Canada. He had glioblastoma and was given 3-6 months to live. Ultimately he lived for 15 months, but he wanted to be sure he could end his life when things got bad for him, so he made the necessary preparations. I'd long known he'd made these plans. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. But as I was caring for him for the last six weeks of his life I got to witness the process firsthand.

Long story a bit shorter: Towards the end, my friend could no longer walk or speak. He could understand everything you said to him, but he couldn't find the words to reply intelligently. In his frustration, he made it clear that he was ready. So we explicitly asked him if he was ready to die. He said yes.

The next day two nurses came to his home. They talked to him and confirmed that he wanted to end his life. So, while sitting in his favorite recliner, they put in an IV. His immediate family and I sat with him. The nurses administered medication that made him fall asleep. Then they administered a second medication that stopped his breathing. In less than 5 minutes he was gone.

I don't know if I'd have the courage to make the decision my friend did, but I didn't experience his suffering. Being present for him as he ended his life has convinced me that having the option to end your life on your own terms is the absolute right thing to do. There's no reason someone should have to continue to suffer when they know all they have to look forward to is more suffering. I'm very grateful that my friend had the option available to him. Had he been in my state in the U.S. that wouldn't have been possible. But it should be."

WeAreGray

"She made the decision to have the procedure done..."

"My grandmother passed away last week with a medically assisted death.

She had cancer that had spread to her brain, and was given a few weeks to a few months to live. From what family members said, she was deteriorating fast.

She made the decision to have the procedure done as she wanted to end her time here with dignity. The appointment was made, doctors consulted, and paperwork drawn up. 10 days later two medical professionals came by her house where she was spending time with her children. It was done quickly and comfortably.

Nana left peacefully on her own accord, in the comfort of her own home, and while she was still more or less herself. It was very strange to have a time and a date looming, but it also allowed me to set aside that time to be alone and hold a small vigil of my own (I'm currently in another country, and couldn't get back)

She lived in Canada, where this service has recently been made more accessible, and I'm all for it. If it helped my Nana, it could help so many others."

das_fuzzypants

It sounds like your Nana was able to have peace––and so do you.

"It should be a right..."

"It should be a right for every human to choose when terminal. We euthanize our pets but not our loved ones. We allow our loved ones to suffer miserably at the end of life. I was a hospice nurse and saw the suffering first hand. It is inhumane to allow that."

AeBS1978

Why do we allow it for pets and not for humans? What makes an animal's life worth more than a human's? Shouldn't they both be held in equal regard?

"I have a degenerative brain disease..."

"I have a degenerative brain disease and would very much like to die with some dignity left, so I'm all for it."

MerylSquirrel

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"I longed for there to be a legal way..."

"We let people die in fear and pain, but not animals. The last 6 months of my mum's life were exactly how she didn't want to live - confused, incontinent, immobile. I longed for there to be a legal way to end her suffering. She made it very clear to me during her life that this was not the way she wanted to go. I'm an RN and should make it clear I've never assisted in ending anyone's life, but I've wanted to. Medically assisted death doesn't mean more death, just less suffering."

BenEHadron

"As someone who has..."

"As someone who has stage 4 cancer, I am in favor of having the right to die gracefully."

​Lauren12269

"If it's good enough..."

"If it's good enough for my dog then it's good enough for me."

vulpesvulpesfugit

It's truly as simple as that. We'd be doing so many human beings a favor.

"If you're not legally allowed..."

"If you're not allowed to legally arrange the end of your own life, is it actually your own life?"

Mors_Vincet_Omnia

"It was such a blessing..."

"My grandpa had a medically assisted death in 2019. It was such a blessing to my family as we were able to say goodbye, and knew how much time we had left.

Also it was relief from great pain for him, and I'm so glad he was able to make that choice peacefully.

Will forever advocate for it."

MHart1996

It's truly shocking that euthanasia is illegal in many countries––and that it can even carry a jail sentence. It is a complicated issue that polarizes many people from different walks of life.

Where do you stand on this issue? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!


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