Ending Of Life - Beyond The Obvious

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Ending Of Life - Beyond The Obvious

Post by intothelight » 29 May 2014, 17:08

I have a friend who has confided in me a great secret they have. I thought I knew the answer to their question, until they explained things to me. This person has struggled with their health for the past 10 years. While I also have health problems, there pale in comparison to what this person is going through. I've seen them go from being a vibrant person to what I thought was depression. In speaking with them, the clouds have lifted as I've realized that they've just been developing inside since their body is so unable now to do almost anything. Worst of all, their health - already in a poor state - has gotten dramatically worse. They have water on the kidney, a pericardial effusion, their bone marrow is failing (constant infections and fatigue), and their liver appears to be decompensating. They've had horrible teeth all their life, and those are also beginning to crack and fall out - adding to their risk of infection greatly. Their weight is a level that most doctors would want to put them as an inpatient to a hospital. They continue to work their job from home, but they are not sure how long they will be able to do that. They have left their family and have been carrying out a pretty "good" deception that their health is at least as good as it was prior to the recent falling away. It is heartbreaking. They have expressed to me that they wish to pass away quietly and gently, without having things get a lot worse, and without getting to a point where they can no longer do the most basic things in life. They have brought up several instances in their lives where they nearly died, and say they think perhaps that was God calling them back home. In their "suicide" wish, they don't wish anyone to know it is a suicide - and I don't know, it's probably possible. They are so sick right now. It would be less pain and suffering for them, and many of those around them. They actually have great mercy towards their body, and actually talk about alleviating it's suffering as one motivation.

They know what the church doctrine says, and desperately want to do what is right, but they are interested in alleviating so much suffering before it gets worse. No, they have in NO way asked me to assist them in carrying this out. Only to advise them as to how they would be received on the other side. Their mind is very sharp and clear. They say they have not given up, but that they have accepted. They honestly do not believe that God intended His children to suffer as they do - and that perhaps God will be OK with some gentle way of dying that does not hurt or traumatize those around them.

Can anyone offer some advice? Please, think very carefully before replying. I thought I knew the answer, until I had them explain to me what life is really like for some as death approaches - and that it can get worse than I ever thought was possible.

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Re: Ending Of Life - Beyond The Obvious

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 May 2014, 17:12

The Church does not classify suicide as murder, although, obviously, the counsel is to not take one's own life.

Ultimately, the official position is that God will be the judge - and I support that fully. The decision is in the hands of the individual, realizing the effect such an action will have on others, as well.

I can't offer anything else.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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Post by cwald » 29 May 2014, 18:51

I voted for medical marijuana as well as the Death With Dignity act. Both are laws in Oregon.

I voted because I felt it was the moral and ethical thing to do.

I would respect your friend's wish and decision whatever that might end up being.

I believe in just gods...who are much more understanding and kind than what is commonly taught in the Christian realm, including mormonism.

Just my oponion.

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Re: Ending Of Life - Beyond The Obvious

Post by DarkJedi » 30 May 2014, 03:38

I do feel for your friend, and I understand. I don't have anything else to offer except that like Ray and cwald I have a testimony of the love, mercy and grace of God.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Re: Ending Of Life - Beyond The Obvious

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 30 May 2014, 06:45

I have thoughts about this and they go both ways. Then I have feelings about it as well. In
Certain situations I support it when they are nearing death and reach acute pain that won't subside. However as a person who very nearly died from suicide and should have medically speaking I can say this. There is nothing dignifying about death or suicide. It is always hard, always. You can't die with dignity, only live with it.

Since then I have spent years trying to help people off of the Golden Gate Bridge. In hospitals, speaking several times for at seminars for it. The main reason I do is because of a common misunderstanding on both sides.

One is that some how suicide is equated with murder in and out of the church. And the treatment post suicide by people is horrible with a clear lack of understand Pandora's box for that person wherein everything comes Pitt of the box but also the one good thing "hope" isn't there.
The other side of the coin is that there is nothing romantic about how you die or death. The need to dispel the romantics notion that exist. Most people I witnessed how died slowly or jumped immediately retreated just after doing it before they died. Some did not.

It's a fact if life and will always be a fact if life. It's complicated, but most regret it afterward. But the key is most, sometimes in some situations it probably is more human thing. I do not know all the particulars of the situation and I am not involved with the person or history. It's a very personal call. 90% of the time I wouldn't agree with it.

But it's not mine or our decisions, it's theirs. The best we can do is just listen to the story of tours and try to understand. I'm many cases that usually helps as well, but it doesn't guarantee anything. After all thee are no guarantees in life or the next. And that's scary for many people who realize it. Pushing forward in the face of uncertainty is the challenge many will face. But sometimes the near death and pain of someone or a constant pain illness complicates things. I wouldn't presume to suggest what would happen on the other side with god or pretend with any certainty there is. But I wouldn't ad romanticism or com damnation to it. The choice and chance of uncertainty is taken either way. But most usually regret it after they make the decision to end it early. It is nothing like they envisioned it to be. But for some people with nothing but pain to look forward to. It feels and seems like the only option when diagnosed with the regality of the condition they are in.

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Re: Ending Of Life - Beyond The Obvious

Post by Shawn » 06 Jun 2014, 15:59

intothelight wrote:No, they have in NO way asked me to assist them in carrying this out. Only to advise them as to how they would be received on the other side.
I don't see a way for you to answer that. I would say, "I don't know. It's between you and God."

Generally, I feel that people who complete suicide are happier. Sorry, but I don't believe it should never be considered and that it can never be dignifying. Death: "For some, it was new freedom; for others, just relief."

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Re: Ending Of Life - Beyond The Obvious

Post by amateurparent » 13 Jun 2014, 14:33

When we take someone off of a ventilator and wait to see if they can breath on their own -- and they cannot -- We do not consider that suicide. Giving morphine in a high enough dose to take care of the pain, while knowing that the patient will be too sedated to eat or drink .. that isn't considered suicide either.

Years ago, I had a patient who had moved away from family and not contacted them for over 16 years. They didn't know where he was. He worked in a factory and kept to himself. One day, he collapsed at work and was brought in to the hospital and diagnosed with end-stage cancer. He had no friends. He had no family. His parents were contacted. They couldn't get there fast enough .. They arrived an hour after his death. It was the worst death experience I was ever involved in .. because it was the loneliest death I have ever seen.

With that in my thoughts, I tell you that I am concerned for your friend because he is socially isolating himself. He has made the decision that as his body has begun failing, he is moving away from all sources of familial emotional support. When someone sees suicide as a better thing than letting others see them in a weakened state, I am concerned. We are social creatures.

While I see a time and place for suicide, it shouldn't be considered out of pure vanity. It could hurt his family in ways beyond easy repair for them not to have the opportunity to be involved in his diminishing health.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

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Re: Ending Of Life - Beyond The Obvious

Post by pzzam » 13 Jun 2014, 20:20

I'm really sorry to hear about your friend. I will say a prayer for them. I just hope things work out best for her without having her take her life. There has been miracles happen to those in the worst of health.

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