Our cats often get a better deal at the end of their life than us

When I was at the vets the day my late Charlie was euthanized, at the moment the veterinarian concurred with me that it was the correct decision to “put him to sleep”, I remarked, through a torrent of tears and a heart contorted with anguish, that I hoped I’d have someone like me around when my time came to die. I was not boasting. I was simply stating the obvious that we should be allowed to die with dignity and peacefully.

I was there looking out for my cat, making sure that his last moments were comfortable and that his passing was as gentle and as serene as possible, not slow, painful and agonising.

At lot of human deaths in hospital wards are unsatisfactory. We don’t know how many but a very great number of elderly patients die in hospital in a variety of mysterious ways some plainly killed by hospital staff. There is confusion and despair amongst an army of elderly ladies and men at this very moment in NHS hospitals across the country.

It is my view that the time is overdue to allow people to assist their loved ones to voluntarily euthanize themselves. In the words of veterinary surgery to be PTS. That would put us on a par with our cats.

There is a bill going through the House of Lords at the moment, the Assisted Dying Bill for the terminally ill. It should be passed. It is time.

Provided proper safeguards are in place, assisted dying is very civilised, far more civilised than the current state of affairs in many NHS hospital wards today.

People should be allowed to die when they want to. No one is given the option whether they wish to enter the world or not. At least rectify that injustice by giving them the right to leave the world peacefully and with dignity at a time of their choosing.

11 thoughts on “Our cats often get a better deal at the end of their life than us”

  1. Two factors come into play for dying people.

    One is the very strong will to live that can keep them in a state of denial or move them to try method after method in an attempt to prolong their lives.
    The second is that there is big money to be had by keeping a terminally ill person breathing as long as possible.

    Both of these are bad.

    There was a time when people were deprived of the knowledge that they were dying. They would consent to test after test, procedure after procedure, and surgery after surgery. It’s better today; but, people are still not being told whole truths. They consent to chemo and radiation therapies based on the premise of a false 50/50 response. If some cancers are caught very early, these therapies may work. But, the rule is that, by the time cancer symptoms appear, it is too late for a cure.

    I’m a believer in total honesty with patients. My opinion is that Dr Kevorkian was the best human to have ever hit this planet.

    We need him as much as our cats need us when it’s time to alleviate pain and suffering.
    My disclaimer is that, if an old and dying cat (easy to tell) doesn’t seem to be suffering, leave them alone. They know what they’re doing.

  2. Our late mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she hated hospitals as she had been so badly treated in them. So we took care of her, with the help of our GP and visiting nurses and she died at home in her own bed, but after weeks of pain and the last few days real agony for her and very traumatic for us.
    Our cat Bryan was diagnosed with cancer, when he stopped eating and started hiding away we knew he was ready to leave us and the vet came out to our house and I held him in my arms while he was gently PTS.
    I know our mother would have chosen to go like that if she could have done and I would too if I get an incurable illness and suffer like our mother did and having loved ones watching me suffer.

    • I think we have the same opinion as you mum. In the paper today most NHS nurses admitted that they don’t know how to care for dying people.\

      “Only one nurse in ten says they can look after a dying patient properly” (Times newspaper)

      There are “profound” problems with end-of-life care in the UK.

      • There was a woman dying in a side ward of cancer, one afternoon when our mam was in the ward and we were shocked at the way the nurses were nagging her to get out of bed and the door was open and we could see and hear it all.
        We went back the same evening and she had died!
        It was all so public and clinical and we were determined that wasn’t going to happen to our mam at the end of her life.
        Our district nurses at home were very kind to her and to us.

      • My opinion is that end of life is handled pretty well here. Dying patients are, on occasion, given false hope, mostly if families are intent on prolonging their lives regardless of the suffering; but, it is very frowned upon. And, any good nurse will tell a patient when they believe that a procedure or surgery may do no good. The days of bowing to a doc are over here. It was a very hot issue for some years, because there is big money to be made in prolonging lives. But, The American Nurses Association gave nurses a strong voice. And, Elizabeth Kubler Ross was an inspiration for nurses in helping patients die.
        In my 35 years of practice, I never saw a patient deliberately killed, even passively; but, I saw many that should not have been kept breathing and suffering.

  3. I am a fan of late Dr Kevorkian and firmly believe that people including me should be allowed to die if their life becomes a case of the “LIVING DEAD”. As a Catholic i know its wrong but seems human euthanasia should be legal for totally terminally ill patients. Like michael i shudder at the state of my physical self should i live to a ripe old age beyond the 70’s where you are not covered by “INSURANCE” nor have any close human companions.Till the i believe in living life to the maximum awaiting that unavoidable fateful phase when confinement to a house would be the ultimate living. None of us humans can escape ageing or death and as Michael said o our pets are lucky as we have some control over their lives and can help them live comfortably.

    • Thanks Rudolph for your support on this. I don’t mind dying. I just don’t want to die horribly, confused and in pain in a hospital ward where no one really cares and someone wipes my bottom every day…. 😉 I’d rather jump off a cliff if I have the courage.

  4. I do agree with you on this matter, but when the time comes ,I dont think we can be sure what we will do.We may hang on long as we can .

    • This is it. Do we have the courage to go cleanly? When tested do we have the courage and clarity of mind to end our lives? It is a bit of a nightmare. I am convinced that one day it will be legal to self-euthanize if only for one reason: there will be too many old people for governments and insurance companies to support and world population will be too high so we’ll have to cull them 😉


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