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EasternAssistance185 t1_j89vdxv wrote

What becomes of these people? They just live in a vegetative state for 60 years? I think it should be legal to euthanize people in advanced states given consent by families. I know I’d never want to live that nightmare and put my loved ones through that.


mynameisneddy t1_j89xdhw wrote

The person eventually loses the ability to swallow as the disease progresses (speech and cognition are long gone). I guess you could keep them alive for a while with tube feeding, but that’s not normally done.


EasternAssistance185 t1_j8a4j9g wrote

Terrible. They should be out out of their misery the moment they no longer have cognitive abilities and are basically goldfish… what a nightmare.


Jolly-Independence64 t1_j8avgjs wrote

From a standpoint of saving resources yes they should be. But these people aren’t suffering anymore. Their brain is so far gone that I imagine being bored isn’t something they have to worry about. If you can’t talk, or even swallow anymore, then I doubt you still have a functioning consciousness.


scotty_dont t1_j8c8oll wrote

Generally they lose the ability to swallow correctly. This leads to food aspiration which leads to infection. This becomes a cycle. Eventually (perhaps the first infection) families will choose not to treat and they will be kept on morphine as everything shuts down.

You could make more and more drastic interventions but at that point there is nothing of the person you knew remaining and there is no “better” way for them to die on offer. You will have a few days notice for loved ones to say their goodbyes and keep vigil if they want.

Unfortunately we don’t know how to do non-voluntary euthanasia. It’s just not a system we have figured out as a society/species. “Family consent” is hiding a lot of cost/complexity/trauma under the surface. The “decision not to treat” is effectively a soft form that offloads a lot of the complexity. So you need to present a cost/benefit analysis of how to move that date up and by how much. A much more traumatic process that only speeds things up by a few months probably isn’t worth it, but the earlier you aim for the more of the person remains.


EasternAssistance185 t1_j8canev wrote

Easy to see why Robin Williams took matters into his own hands.


scotty_dont t1_j8cf7i2 wrote

Absolutely, I would not go out that way. We have figured out systems for elective euthanasia, but it isn’t obvious to me that they are better than diy. Failure is definitely a concern, but low risk methods exist