MAiD is Medical Assistance in Dying. That little ‘in’ is doing a lot of work.
The recent MAiD in Canada: Treatment Resistant Depression post attracted the following comment from Gus – firstname.lastname@example.org – that was just too good to leave as a comment.
Are you people for real? Is this MD for real, saying “Essentially none failed to recover. Even the most severe psychotic depressions that had to be tube-fed recovered on average in 5-6 months, with fewer relapses than happen now.” This is completely false. How can such a lie be stated.
What is being said against MAID and those who really do suffer intolerably for years from intolerable suffering is beyond idiotic. The suffering is real people. Many are helped by talk therapy, and perhaps meds (although I am skeptical), some people are not. Their lives are destroyed. They lose their jobs, their families, their life. This is a fact, despite many of them being highly intelligent and capable individuals, who have received the best care possible. Wake up! I encourage you to google Adam Maier-Clayton, and read his story. Most importantly, listen to what his mother has to say.
Listen up Gus
When it comes to the data Gus, I have more data on these issues than pretty well anyone else on earth. You can download a good deal of it later on in this post. If you don’t have data to counter the following points, if you don’t have anything to say taht is it might be best to shut up. Idle comments will not be posted. Anything of substance will be posted, as well as any amusing abusive material that might shed light on you.
First, it is unquestionably the case that even in the pre-drug era people with severe Manic-Depressive Illness committed suicide. This was part of the reason for asylums – to prevent suicides and the asylums were much more successful than modern hospitals when it came to this. We are more successful now at secluding people for record periods of time even though this verges on the illegal than we were back then. Finally, no-one back then would ever have believed that one day we’d be offering to servicecide you as a matter of course – once the paperwork was in order.
Once in a hospital like the North Wales Asylum, people with depressive psychosis or manic-depressive illness found it very difficult to kill themselves.
The second point is that if they had a depressive psychosis, they invariably recovered and didn’t relapse. See Melancholia.
Third, if they had manic-depressive illness – the real thing not bipolar disorder – they had relapses but fewer than now. They were much more likely to be euphoric when admitted to hospital then compared with now and they spent much less time miserable and depressed then compared with now. See Bipolar.
Fourth, there was another group of patients in hospital who had schizophrenia – something of a living death with patients hospitalized till they died. This was the biggest group of people in any asylum. But despite this, before the antipsychotics none of these people killed themselves. See Mortality in Schizophrenia.
Since 1955, with the advent of antipsychotics people with schizophrenia kill themselves at rates equalling the rates found in manic-depressive illness. This is not because they can’t cope with life outside. It’s primarily down to the akathisia inducing effects of drugs like Olanzapine (Zyprexa) which appears to have the highest rate of suicides in clinical trial history. Eli Lilly, the makers of Olanzapine, refuse to release their trial data into the public domain.
Pretty well everybody with what is now called Treatment Resistant Depression will have had antipsychotics like Olanzapine or Abilify or Rexulti – drugs I would never willingly prescribe to anyone. How could I, if I can’t let you know what the risks are? Besides there are safer antipsychotics.
What we have in the case of TRD is a bunch of people who have effectively been chained down and forcefully chain-smoked for years and had alcohol poured down their throats non-stop who end up with cancers or dementia and in such awful shape death is preferable.
Who benefits by terminating them? The neat things about a sanctioned medical procedure is that questions like this will be buried with you.
It’s likely that even in the case of Motor Neurone Disease, aka Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease, that a proportion of these horrific states have been triggered by prior drugs. The statins are linked to this condition (this is data based). SSRIs seem likely linked as well (this is based on my clinical experience).
MND/ALS is such an awful condition that I imagine if I had it, regardless of the likely cause, I might want medical assistance in dying.
But except in extreme cases, there are a number of issues to keep in mind.
First most (90%) of the diseases from which we are likely to die, from cancer to dementia to whatever are environmentally precipitated. This is what the epidemiology points to. Even schizophrenia seems linked to an environmental toxin possibly lead – this illness didn’t exist before we began putting lead in everything including the food we ate and medicines we took and its incidence is now declining as we clean lead out of everything. See Schizophrenia Incidence.
The toxins in our environment, out of which someone is profiting, are the single biggest cause of death. Along with the toxins we increasingly put into ourselves.
When chosen collaboratively and wisely, short term courses of poisons to combat serious disorders can save lives, along with a few treatments like insulin, but the evidence is increasingly clear that chronic and daily treatment with 3 or more and especially 5 or more drugs is shortening our life expectancy, increasing hospitalization rates and impairing our quality of life. See Shipwreck of the Singular for more data.
Against this background, taking SSRIs that are arguably misbranded as antidepressants and which many people find impossible to stop, ain’t a great option.
Second, manic-depressive illness, schizophrenia and depressive psychoses can be managed without going M.A.D.
Of the mental conditions likely to hit mental health services then, this leaves what were once called the neuroses and the personality disorders. People with these conditions are pretty well certain to have been compromised by being stuffed full of SSRI and related drugs as well as antipsychotics and anticonvulsants – all of which take the pleasure out of life, induce a restlessness that most militaries have found a useful form of torture, and trigger active thoughts of death. These are not things that any talking therapy can help with.
In addition, as the words neurosis and personality disorder indicate, these conditions entail a degree of maladaptation to at least some situations. Being poisoned by prior treatment is a situation anyone would find difficult to adapt to and in this case the problem is not strictly speaking of the person’s own choosing even if they all but begged for treatment. It was not freely chosen in the sense of being fully informed in that the literature on these drugs is entirely ghostwritten and the risk of ending up in a state of chronic agony, so bad you might prefer to be dead, were written out of the script. But it happens, extremely frequently, to people who were once view as being likely to adapt poorly to things generally.
Finally, and most important, a proportion of those you, Gus, are likely to seek treatment from will themselves be neurotic and personality disordered.
You, Gus, can easily seduce them into believing you have 3 or 5 or 10 different personalities and they will work hard to help you cement these in place and gratify you by telling the world about this amazing patient they have.
You can get them totally on board with the sexual abuse that happened to you on an alien spaceship at the age of 1.
You can walk them into thinking that letting you expire in a languorous fashion with a draft of some feel good liquid is one of the most uplifting things they have ever participated in – setting your spirit free of all that pain.
Some of them won’t be doing this because they are totally stupid. Some of them will be doing it because they enjoy it and think you are totally stupid. See Medically Assisted Death in Canada.
I have no problem with the idea that you find this hard to believe just like most Catholics for a long time found it hard to believe their priests were anything other than saints. But you won’t be doing anyone any favours by closing down discussion of the safeguards we all need in this area.