Also very pleased this didn't get passed. This and the drugs taken off the drugs fund would have been too much xxx
Belinda I read the past posts which I found upsetting as 2 ladies are not with us anymore but I was in agreement with you all and I am glad it has been rejected.
Very concerned about this bill being passed today, I understand it's a possibility. Reading through here again, our late friends posts, nothing has changed my mind. And drugs have since been removed from the Cancer Drug Fund in England. If this bill is passed palliative care will, I believe, become even harder to access, it will change thinking amongst doctors, oncologists, nurses. It's hard enough now that we are accessing drugs as to whether they are universally value for money.
Dear Belinda and everyone,
The Assisted Dying Bill, if passed, would make it legal in England and Wales for adults of sound mind, with six months to live, the right to end their life at a time of their choosing. Two doctors would have to independently confirm the person was terminally ill and had reached their own, informed decision to die.
If passed, the Bill will mean a significant societal change because it’s currently an offence to encourage or assist a suicide or a suicide attempt in England and Wales.
The debate among the peers, in the press and in your posts on this thread capture the divergent opinions. There are those who believe assisted dying is a fundamental human right for the terminally ill, and those who fear that right could easily turn into pressured obligation for the vulnerable. We understand the arguments on either side of the debate and are listening carefully.
At Breast Cancer Care, we know that many people living with secondary breast cancer have specific needs that aren’t being met. These include little or no access to specialist nurses and emotional care, ineffective or untimely symptom support, and not dying in their chosen place.
Whatever the outcome of the Bill, we will continue to campaign to improve the standards of care for people living with this complex disease so that everyone, regardless of where they live, or their beliefs receives the expert support that they need.
Please do continue to express your concerns about this here and if you would like to talk to anyone, please do contact our freephone helpline 0808 800 600 Monday to Friday 9-5 & Saturday 10-2.
I have looked at the website concerning the assisted dying bill and see that it is, indeed, only for those who are deemed to have six months or less to live. It also says that the patient must be:
Have had all of their end of life options explained them
Able to self-administer the drugs to end their life
All this seems pretty straightfoward. This bill only seems, to me, to protect doctors from prosecution for prescribing life-ending medication.
It doesn't actually say that it is not assisted suicide, but it does say it will not 'Legalise assisted suicide for people who are not dying'.
It also says that without this bill being passed, people would continue to take decisions without adequate safeguards which included, bizzarely, the decision of 'ending their lives themselves'. A link to those words tells the sad story from the wife of a man with MS who took his own life 'while he still could, rather than risk becoming physically incapable of taking his own life'. The suggestion was that with this bill he could have lived a longer and happier life. Without wishing to be disrespectful, once he became incapable of taking his own life he might not have been eligible for assisted dying as doctors are not allowed to administer the drugs under this bill. A more convincing case was a woman's statement about her mother's last months and I can see why this would have been an option for her.
The website also claims that this bill is supported by 80% (it doesn't say who). When you look at their research, it only includes the general public, people with religious views and disabled people. There doesn't appear to be any opinion from terminally ill patients.
I believe people should have a choice, but I am uncomfortable with assisted dying becoming legal and some of the reasons given for choosing it as an option.
And Helen I agree, all life is precious. I hated feeling like I'd been written off. I would never have agreed to the biopsy on my liver (they weren't sure what they'd found) if I'd known that confirming the spread meant I would be treated so differently. Never apologise for being negative - getting it off your chest is a good thing, and therefore it becomes positive xxx
Hi Tink I don't think it is too strong. I think you hit on a lot of what it is about this bill that makes me nervous. I've just been on the campaign website for the bill and it says it should be assistance at the patients request. However it does say it is NOT assisted suicide, as this would include elderly and disabled people, it is aimed at terminally ill people with 6 months or less left. As someone on here already pointed out being told six months is by no means a certain dx.
What I found really alarming was some of the tweets scrolling on the page. I glimpsed one that was referring to the bill as 'practical' for me that is one step away from calling it convenient! I know this probably wasn't a campaigner but it is still very worrying.
They say 80% of people are in support. I wonder how many people in our position would support it?!
Helen, you are not being negative (as though only 'positive' thoughts should be allowed). Being written off is hardly a happy notion and we should have the right to fight if we wish.
Very sensitive topic follows.
I'm going to throw something out here now that has been bothering me a bit and it is a sensitive subject so apologies beforehand.
The bill is titled 'Assisted dying'. The last time I looked this topic was referred to as assisted suicide so that those who wished to end their lives but were unable to do so on their own could be assisted in their choice. As far a I am aware, the individual still needed to complete the task themselves and I understand and respect why someone might make this choice.
The change of wording to assisted dying, to me, seems to be to make the idea 'kinder' in peoples' eyes, but is also more vague. For me, the words assisted suicide would make it clear that it was my choice to end my life and mine only; I only needed help to set things in motion.
Assisted dying, on the other hand could mean anything, including me not being aware that I was being assisted. Suicide is a very strong and emotive word and I can see why it was changed, but I see this as more of the slippery slope.
If this post is too strong, please let me know and I'll remove it.
Fascinating thread. I do worry that, as secondaries, we get written off in terms of treatment. It worries me that it could get worse if we have assisted dying as the 'fallback option' instead of trying every treatment possible.
The moment my DX changed from primary to secondary (just after my mx) my onc started talking about changing the chemo to give me a 'better quality of life' which quite frankly terrified me. Fortunately she also suggested getting a second opinion from someone at the royal marsden and they decided I was young and fit enough to have some of the same drugs as the primary ladies so I'm about to start EC.
It scares me that doctors could start thinking its easier not to bother as we could just opt out if it gets too much!
Helen it really sounds like you've been neglected. I hope you can get a second opinion from another hospital. xxx
Helen, its unbelievable that you cant get the tests you want
. I dont know which area you live but my hospital is a dedicated Specialist Cancer Centre and I always feel safe there unlike at times attending an ordinary hospital.
Mind you, at my initial consultation I had asked Onc would it be possible to just remove my mets surgically, seeing as I only had 2 (large ones). I did say it slightly tongue in cheek ....and his reply was " I don't see the need to really".
I had at the time translated this to mean that he didn't think it was that threatening but in hindsight I'm wondering if that really meant that he didnt think it "financially viable" due to my life expectancy! Maybe I'm wrong but....?
By the way were you Brca tested automatically? I was going to ask about it as there has never been any type of cancer in my family before my dx in 2005. Then in 2009 just before my second primary dx, my dad was dx with prostate cancer which had already spread to bones then 2
years later to his lung.
Do you think I could have inherited a gene from him?
Lots of love and massive hugs ♥
I'm sorry to hear that your medical team are saying no to your requests, could I suggest you give our helpline team a ring and have a chat with them, they may suggest getting a second opinion is the way forward. 0808 800 6000, lines open 9-5 Mon-Fri 10-2 Sat
I think Belinda that youve made a very valid point there about people possibly being made to feel selfish in wanting more treatments while terminally ill. I believe it would be difficult knowing where to draw the line if this bill came in.
As a point of interest....something that happened just an hour or 2 ago...I was lying on the sofa with my legs stretched over my hubby's lap and he was kindly massaging my feet when he noticed the bunion on one of my feet seemed a bit larger. He was gently rubbing it and said "that looks slightly bigger than it was. Do you think they can operate on it to remove it?"
To which I replied without even thinking..." oh they probably wouldn't think it was worth it now" . He looked quite taken aback and asked why do I think that?
My immediate thoughts were that the NHS would prob not consider it due to my secondary dx!
No, of course I didn't think that My post was in relation to what I had heard on the radio and then after I'd posted it I realised I'd basically repeated what Belinda said. It wasn't really in reply to anything anyone said; I just saw the thread and jumped in hence the caveat about sensitivity and offending in case I did by accident.
That must have been so hard seeing your dad so ill and I bet he cherished every moment he spent with you.
I want to be here for everyday I can as well, but I am aware that there may be others in worse situations who may feel differently.
My other half is already making me feel that I am a bit of a burden, but that's a whole other story.
I, personally, feel that passing this bill could put undue pressure on terminally ill patients to end their lives for reasons other than to relieve their own suffering. I was shocked that the comment about being a burden was even made in the interview.
Hi Belinda, Helen, Desi,
I might be being a bit sensitive at the moment so that may be reflected in this post.
I caught a little of what this bill was about when listening to the radio. I didn't pay attention to all of it as we were trying to enjoy our holiday, but the bit that did stick was about people perhaps choosing the option of assisted dying as they didn't want to be a burden to their families.
This really upset me. The suggestion that I might be too much of a burden to my family and should consider taking my own life was not something I had seriously considered, but the thought is there now. The implication that you should end your own life because you are a burden seems very cold. I appreciate that looking after someone with a terminal illness must be very physically/psychologically/emotionaly draining (I've not had to do it), but there seems to be a 'trend' - Jenni Murray springs to mind - of pressure for the terminally ill to 'just go quickly and quietly' for the benefit of those who (hopefully) will live long and happy lives.
It's bad enough to have your life shortened without subltly being told you should shorten it a bit more because it's a pain to look after you. How about more support for carers.
What do terminally ill patients in pain and suffering want? I can't read their minds but I suspect, given the choice, it would be to live as long a life as possible without pain or suffering due to new treatments and bettter care, not the chance to check out early.
I'm sure for some patients this bill will be welcomed and I respect that, but I tend to see it as the slippery slope the same as Belinda.
I hope I haven't offended anyone - please forgive me and let me know if I have.