READER REPORT:

Euthanasia: Dad 'wished he could die'

MURRAY BEAN
Last updated 05:00 06/12/2013
Leonard (Paul) Bean
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LOVED FATHER: Leonard (Paul) Bean was 83 when he finally passed away.

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I could hear the anxiety in Mum's voice and I knew something was wrong. I wanted her to say that Dad had had a heart attack while digging his potatoes or turning his compost. No such luck.

When I arrived the ambulance was already there, dealing with Dad as he sat motionless.

The next day he just slept and we were told of the unlikely chance survival. We adjusted to this, as you do.

The next day a family meeting was called. An hour before this meeting Dad had woken briefly, it was then the glimmer of hope was given. Hindsight now tells us the glimmer was not of hope but of the grief ahead of us all.

This was the beginning of three and a half years of frustration, sadness and a terrible quality of life for Dad.

His stroke completely disabled his right side. He never walked let alone stood up again. But the worst was the Aphasia, he could speak but never the right words, his words were just a random mess, meaning absolutely  nothing to anyone.

He was aware of this and the frustration made him silent after a year or so, except for "yes" or "no" but usually his reply would be "I don't know" even if we asked if he wanted a coffee.

Dad's Aphasia affected all his communication, he could not even write or draw a picture.

He would hold my hand and cry to me. As difficult as it was I would ask him if he wished he could die and he would say "yes-yes-yes" squeezing and shaking my hand with a look of a desperation on his face.

I still have his signed and witnessed euthanasia documents which were done by both Mum and Dad when they  were 100 percent physically and mentally well. We now know they were worth nothing. His wishes meant nothing to the system, the system says you must suffer.

After a great 18 years my cat suffered for just a few days or so, then was put to rest with no more suffering.

Dad had a great 80 years, then the three and a half years in that hospital with that wretched stroke. 
He did not deserve that. No-one does.

We all have choices and must make decisions throughout our life, why can we not have some say about our fate when our quality of life is no more and never will be again?

When life comes to this, society should respect each human's choice to live or die.

If there is one regret I have in my life, it is not being able to help Dad rest in peace sooner. 


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