My concern over life & death decisions as an autistic

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Canadian1911
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20 Jan 2022, 11:27 pm

*Warning: This post contains mention of assisted suicide, euthanasia, etc*

Some neurodriverse and autistic people may be against assisted suicide because they fear they may be pressured into it when they don't want it because of their condition.

I actually have the opposite fear. I fear my requested for an assisted suicide may not be taken seriously because of being on the spectrum, because some medical professional may assume I lack the knowledge or capacity to make that type of decision. However I am more than competent enough to have a drivers license, a firearms license, and have graduated college.

I have thought about this issue a lot in the past, and I have decided that if I ever have a terminal illness that includes severe pain, severe chronic pain, or am confined to a hospital bed for the rest of my life, and similar, I want to end my life. Where I reside in Canada assisted suicide is in fact legal in those kinds of cases.

My grandfather recently passed a couple weeks ago, and I was actually happy to hear that news, because after months of being confined to a bed, not able to feed himself, or move any muscles, probably in pain, needing to get a toe amputated, and then catching COVID in the hospital, he is no longer suffering that kind of extremely poor quality of life. The last few months of my grandfather's life has further cemented my decision to request an assisted suicide, if I am in a similar situation as previously stated.

I am just really scared that I may be denied my choice (whether given previously in a legal document, or at the moment depending on my ability) and made to suffer needlessly because of infantilization of autistic individuals, and some overzealous do-gooder trying to "save me".

I also understand the other side, those who fear being pressured into something against their will. I think the solution would be to stop infantilizing autistic people, and respect their choices whether pro or con, because we are all different with our own beliefs or values, and whichever way we choose, those choices are valid.

Assuming that we are on the high-functioning side, and show clear understanding of such an important issue. I am in no way advocating for those who are so called "low-functioning" or have mental impairments of a significant degree to be able to make a life or death decision.



IsabellaLinton
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20 Jan 2022, 11:31 pm

I have a legal Medical Power of Attorney document outlining my choices for end-of-life care. It was prepared by my lawyer and it's part of my Will. Assuming you're of sound mind and body, and an adult, I don't think anyone can override your decisions provided you've had legal counsel.

Mine doesn't specifically mention euthanasia but it does illustrate my choices on several questions involving life support, brain function, and quality of life.



Canadian1911
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20 Jan 2022, 11:58 pm

@IsabellaLinton

Good Idea, I need to get one of those made, and include my decision about euthanasia as well. In case I'm ever in a state when I would want it, but am not able to speak or communicate in any meaningful way.



IsabellaLinton
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21 Jan 2022, 12:05 am

Canadian1911 wrote:
@IsabellaLinton

Good Idea, I need to get one of those made, and include my decision about euthanasia as well.


My lawyer had all sorts of questions and scenarios for me to consider. They seem to be standard legal questions for the document, likely given to everyone.

What if a, b, c happens? What about e, f, g?

How long would you consent to life support?

What if ______ and ______ but not ______ happened?

There were so many complex situations to consider, I can't really even remember what I said to be honest.

Come to think of it my daughter who is 25 also has a Will and Medical POA for herself, so she could omit her dad from any decision making in her future care. She has a lot of health issues and wanted to be sure that all decisions were mine or hers. We just prepared it last year with my lawyer. She's also Autistic by the way, and that wasn't an issue at all.



Dear_one
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23 Jan 2022, 1:47 pm

"And why do you want to die, Mr. One?"
"So I won't have to deal with any more bureaucrats."
"Denied!"

All I want is a realistic manual of options for the do-it-yourselfer.



CockneyRebel
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24 Jan 2022, 12:14 am

When does the right to die become the duty to die?


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