News Doctor-Assisted Death For Those Living With Ptsd

rosey

MyPTSD Pro
I'm not real sure about this. My opinion is quite mixed. Do you want die because of PTSD or because you're depressed because of PTSD? That would be my first argument.

N.S. woman pushing for doctor-assisted death for those living with PTSD

"I can't see why (PTSD) would not be included under the current regulations," said Sperry. "It's enduring, it's intolerable suffering if the person can't find a treatment that they are pleased with - all of those things would allow them to make the request.”

N.S. woman pushing for doctor-assisted death for those living with PTSD

This, from a legal view, would be difficult to ever prove due to the sheer number of choices available for treatment. Basically, if you didn't try every available prescription drug, naturopathic, then type of therapy... WOW, that alone would take more than a lifetime if you give each option the required treatment length to determine improvement or not.

What do you think about this?

I struggle with this because I wonder how much of it could be used to make the medical world not have to provide full resources to mental health treatment. With really good treatment then there is the possibility that individuals would not want to die. Is it more economical for those suffering to be written off? That seems dangerous to me.

I also wonder how much it means as a society that we do not have to address the causes of PTSD and can turn a blind eye to some really horrendous acts. Of course, PTSD doesn't have to created by social issues such as rape, child abuse, assault, crime, drink driving etc. But wouldn't it be nice to not have to deal with the fact that we live in a world that turns a blind eye to this sort of thing. it is easier to get rid of the suffering than the problem hey.
 

FauxLiz

Sponsor
Going to add my 2 cents worth but I see both sides.
I wonder how much of it could be used to make the medical world not have to provide full resources to mental health treatment
In the US at least the medical world does not provide full resources to mental health treatment. Insurance companies control access, options, amount pretty much everything related to mental health treatment. My insurance used to have an appointment co-pay for therapy services same as seeing any other health care provider, this year they removed the copay and made it entirely subject to deductible and then co-insurance percentages for the patient. When your deductible is $4,000 and after that you must pay 20% until your out of pocket max it can be very difficult to afford even weekly sessions as it costs anywhere from $125-$225 per session which is an out of pocket cost just for therapy of $500-$900 a month until the deductible is met then still $100 to $180 per month until the max which for me is another $2,350 after the deductible.

On the other hand, assisted suicide is a challenge but if a program was put in place that allowed patients as a last resort and after a minimum number of family counseling sessions as the family are the ones that will be dealing with the aftermath whatever the decision I think it should be an option another tool in the toolkit. Why are cancer patients, individuals with other terminal illness which let's be honest affect their mental health deemed capable of making the decision to either refuse or terminate treatment treated as though their mental health doesn't factor into the decision but individuals with long term mental health diagnoses are treated as incapable of making the decision?

A current example, if I contracted COVID and required hospitalization, I can sign an advanced directive refusing to be placed on a ventilator or receive other life-sustaining measures. If I am diagnosed with PTSD and have received treatment for years if not decades without improvement in the quality of life, I can stop treatment and there is a good chance I may commit suicide when the hopelessness becomes too much and doing so without assistance is going to be much more traumatic for family and friends than if I had to notify them of my intent, we all received counseling together and after a number of sessions if as a group an alternative solution can not be reached then at least they are prepared and won't be subjected to the trauma of being the person to find me after suicide.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Agree, @FauxLiz.

When your deductible is $4,000 and after that you must pay 20% until your out of pocket max it can be very difficult to afford even weekly sessions as it costs anywhere from $125-$225 per session which is an out of pocket cost just for therapy of $500-$900 a month until the deductible is met then still $100 to $180 per month until the max which for me is another $2,350 after the deductible.
Truthfully, the same is an issue with just going to the doctor. I have significant medical debt, and I was insured when I incurred all of it. Now...no insurance, because I just can't afford the premiums and the expenses when I use it.

There is this consistently held belief that those with mental illness can always get better. Or that they can get to a point where they won't suffer so. And that is absolutely NOT true.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
I was thinking sometimes about this, and how I know of personally several ways others could capitalize on it, or have, so any time there is coercion or it's under the rug it's a pretty gross situation. On the other hand:

Why are cancer patients, individuals with other terminal illness which let's be honest affect their mental health deemed capable of making the decision to either refuse or terminate treatment treated as though their mental health doesn't factor into the decision but individuals with long term mental health diagnoses are treated as incapable of making the decision?
^^ I think because mental illness is often confused with mental incompetence. Conversely, many people with depression, anxiety, OCD, and many 'mental illnesses' are going about their professions and days with none the wiser, not ever thinking their viewpoints would be challenged.

As to this:
Having someone who recognizes my struggles and validates me gives me the strength to keep fighting.
and
I disagree entirely. How does validating your SI give you strength to fight on past it and give you relief from the incessant calling of the siren?
I believe there are so many viewpoints, so many who put forward belief in their arguments, whereas only reality remains. The individual who no longer can walk and needs someone to remove the feces from their rear every day; the person with the high I.Q. or previous professional abilities who now works a menial job, or cannot retain one; the families who do not visit because "their 'loved one' smells" (and the doctors who react the same); the 'robust palliative care system' they propose, all the while expecting staff with little or no wages or benefits to perform 45 minutes of care in six- and are not nurses, nor compensated as such; the people who awake every night drenched in sweat with a replay of the decade before; and on and on the list goes. So many losses. So much struggle. So much 'imprisonment' and pain, whether it be physical, psychological, emotional, financial +/or societal.

I think when it comes to policy formation, unless one can understand why someone would die for their cat or dog, or choose to remain on the street with one or 2 trusted people rather than in a bedbug-infested shelter, they just don't understand (yet) what it means to lose all or most of what defines you., or perhaps defines what is minimal to make life tolerable, or feel of value. I think even in terms of the slippery slope argument, there is a tendency towards saying others will be abused, yet (oddly?) no question or focus on why those who would abuse do, and what that implies or shows, and who stands to gain, and perhaps to address that fact. To me, the real question is, if you have lived in an intolerably painful and resourceless situation, and you can now imagine that can never be changed, what would you want offered to you? What would make a difference?

I mean, you can't really blame people, they don't know what they don't know. When it comes to this discussion, if that's the case that is very fortunate, as I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
 
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Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
ETA, much of the debate here against the proposed inclusions is simply that it shouldn't be publically funded through health care. Though I don't think the argument, 'you can still go kill yourself' from those saying they are against it is a sensitive suggestion either.

I do think if human beings actually treated all others and each other in ways that helped them want to live, there'd be no discussion needed on whether it should be mandated whether they must live or can choose to die.

The only way I think a person could really answer, is to say they'd be willing to do what it takes to support their decision: if they're for it, could you do every step, and live with the consequences, including with family and fall-out? If against, would you be willing to give up what you have and be there and provide the care and in the anguish? Easier to say either than to do. JMHO though, pretty gruesome it's so popular.
 

GrayOwl

MyPTSD Pro
Well spoken. I can't add much.
Each person has to reach in to their own heart and make those decisions as they pertain to themselves and their loved ones.
These are decisions that should be well discussed and well known if one is in charge of another persons' life decisions and care.
Guilt and self doubt are cruel bedfellows after the fact.
Having had to make such decisions, I can only make those decisions for myself and for those who have entrusted their welfare to me.
I would not, and could not, legislate broad generalizations and decisions that covered other cases.
How society legislates necessary protections and yet allows necessary compassionate care and end of life decisions is too difficult for me.
I am very empathic and supportive of anyone's decisions and pain when confronted with these circumstances.
All the more reason to live our lives each day with compassion and care for those around us. Ourselves included.
 

FauxLiz

Sponsor
Truthfully, the same is an issue with just going to the doctor. I have significant medical debt, and I was insured when I incurred all of it. Now...no insurance, because I just can't afford the premiums and the expenses when I use it.
I have been in this exact place @whiteraven and filed for bankruptcy in the US due to medical debt. I had health insurance through work at the time and to be honest for the past 15+ years have worked in positions that enable me to advocate not just for myself but all the employees at my place of work by negotiating with the insurance companies to obtain the very best coverage at the least cost to employees but I still ended up with nearly $100,000 in medical debt over 4 years due to a hard to diagnose condition.
I think because mental illness is often confused with mental incompetence.
@Rosebud I think that you are correct here. More so when someone is struggling with SI. The argument is that mental illness negates their competency to make these decisions. But, a terminally ill patient, depressed, in chronic physical pain is given the benefit of the doubt and presumed mentally competent.
To me, the real question is, if you have lived in an intolerably painful and resourceless situation, and you can now imagine that can never be changed, what would you want offered to you? What would make a difference?
@Rosebud I don't know what would make a difference. From the outside looking in, I highly doubt anyone would be able to grasp the pain and lack of resources that I have. I am considered to be high functioning for someone with both the physical and mental health challenges I have. I have a Master's degree, a job, raised two kids as a single parent from 6 and 12 into adulthood. I have a roof over my head and transportation. What I don't have that can't be just offered to me is a support system. My extended immediate family (kids excluded) perpetuated a considerable amount of my trauma or outright ignored the sexual trauma perpetuated by my now deceased brother. Because I felt and acted differently growing up and now because of the trauma I am friendly with many people but not friends. I say that not because I don't put any effort in but because time after time these people have shown me that I am not part of their friend circle.
Each person has to reach in to their own heart and make those decisions as they pertain to themselves and their loved ones.
@GrayOwl I agree with this unfortunately, the laws and stigma of suicide or an "unnatural" death aren't going to change and will continue to impact an individual's decision-making.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I do think if human beings actually treated all others and each other in ways that helped them want to live, there'd be no discussion needed on whether it should be mandated whether they must live or can choose to die.
Yeah, and pretty sure that's never going to happen.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
If it's going to kill you anyway, choose the method and be done. If it is survivable (PTSD) survive in any way you can first. Hospice for PTSD? sure, if you have the cash up front, check in and deliver yourself to the Dilaudid fairies if you want. If that was legal it would probably also be inexpensive compared to the same time spent in Tahiti. I like to think I would go to the far east- Eastern Washington. legal marijuana and still liveable rents and good fishing. Meanwhile, in reality, get on with it, Find the way to survive in spite of the mental pendulum, knowing it will swing here and there, bad to tolerable, horrifyingly bad to near joy (?) at times. Beats the alternative.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
How do you define survivable? Is it only important that you stay alive, no matter the experience?
IMO quality of life is an important factor, but I think I'm still against euthanasia for PTSD. Like for physical illnesses euthanasia requires you to have two doctors state that you have zero chance of improvement, and it is life limiting (and tbh in most cases most docs wont unless it's terminal anyway). And I'm not sure PTSD would fit criteria for the (vast!) majority of folks, because treatments exist and can be effective. And another complication is that with MH issues, maybe the wanting to die is a symptom more than a true objective assessment, not saying people with MH issues are incompetent, but suicidality just *is* a symptom for lots of people.

I think the risk is where saying "I understand why you feel like you wanna die" is okay, but actually making it possible for someone is actually harmful to their mental health cos lack of hope could be factual, or symptom based (dignitas requires two doctors that have known a patient for whatever length of time to state there's no hope of symptoms easing).
 
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