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DN Opinion. Euthanasia gives more dignified end than suicide

Leif Engström refers in its reply to my letter to the editor of the DN Opinion on euthanasia to the author Vilhelm Moberg's suicide in 1973. The circumstances for this are incompletely known – which makes the example Moberg fits poorly into the debate about euthanasia.

However, there is a other suicide that is very illustrative: the Moberg jämnårige author Hjalmar Gullbergs drunkningsdöd 1961. Hjalmar Gullberg led by the then incurable disease Myasthenia gravis, which affects andningsmuskulaturen.

Before Gullberg decided to end his life had he been treated in a respirator, an experience which he considered so appalling that he again wanted to go on a ventilator, but preferred to drown herself. He had lived in a country with legal euthanasia, he had likely received the aid.

raises two important questions. For the first: which is preferable, to drown or to fall asleep with the help of drugs? Personally, I would without a doubt choose the latter.

The second question – which is also Sven Román is inside in his latest response – deals with the requirement that all treatment options should be exhausted before euthanasia. Hårddrar the requirement would Gullberg not meet the criteria for euthanasia; he could have lived a little longer if he against his will again put on a ventilator.

Had it been sense to require this of Hjalmar Gullberg? Not if you follow the Board's current recommendations on futile treatment. It is permissible to turn off a respirator or discontinue other life-sustaining treatment is no longer seen as meaningful.

the reasoning should Gullberg did not have drenched themselves, but agreed to be on a ventilator – which could then be disconnected.

the Example for on to Sven Románs discussion about patients that are not ”finished” would be able to get euthanasia in the us state of Oregon. The concept can be defined in different ways depending on the situation: either there is absolutely nothing to do to extend the life – or have come to a point where a prolongation of life would cause suffering and/or poor quality of life.

in this Respect, can the sentences go apart, but the one that should have the last word in such cases, the patient himself. In order to be considered ”finished” is that people should not be forced to put themselves in the respirator or subject themselves to yet another torturous chemotherapy with uncertain results.

have reached so far that behind the many deaths is a decision not to continue the treatment. Such a decision may be taken by the doctors, or – I mean – where possible by the patient himself.

Suicide is a bad alternative to euthanasia. Suicide may mean a cruel death, or failure, and perhaps wakes up with severe injuries and forced to live on with them. Then it is better that euthanasia is available for the small few people that palliative care cannot offer a worthy death.

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