Dementia you opt for euthanasia?

So you’ve just had a diagnosis of dementia/alzheimer’s from your doc. You’re still relatively capable and you understand the implications of your diagnosis. It means you will most likely deteriorate mentally either slowly or rapidly…and will eventually become a burden upon your family, friends and the medical system. Let’s assume for the purposes of this question that there are NO meds or treatments available at the time you get your diagnosis that can reverse the damage already done.

What’s your preferred options?

Me? I watched my grandmother and mother lose their personhood with Alzheimer’s disease. I don’t want to inflict that upon myself or my children. Voluntary euthanasia is now a thing where I live, and given that Alzheimer’s is a terminal illness, I thank my lucky stars that I have that option.


That’s the wrong precondition. :slight_smile:

If you were to alter it to ‘no treatment that will stop it getting worse’, then yes, I’d look in to ending my life on my own terms.

It is not (yet?) an option where I am, but I would most definitely try to find away either to get to a place where it is, or find a local doctor willing to assist (illegally) in my suicide, or as a last resort, just commit suicide. I leave ‘regular’ suicide as the last resort because I don’t want to make a mess and I don’t want to suffer or have something go wrong that would leave me in a worse condition.

I’ve been suicidal in the past, so I don’t fear instigating my own death for logical reason, let alone the desperate reasons I had used at the time. I’d definitely write in a euthanasia clause in my medical records, or wherever.

I continue to live, by whatever means necessary or possible, until my brain dies.

Any preemptive termination of my existence is unacceptable.

I’ve discussed this with my husband, and I’ve convinced him that euthanasia is the only way out, when/if the time comes. I even know how I’ll do it.

My mother had such a horrendous time, taking care of my father. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Dementia is a termination of you.
The body is merely a container.

absolutely, my life, my choice.

I live alone, so yeah, I’d get homes for my cats and then, bye.

There was a case reported in the paper of a woman become more and more demented. The obvious problem is that you want to hold off until you are too far gone to be able to make a decision. Early on, she and her daughter discussed this at length. They ordered a poison (I think it was from Mexico) and the woman delegated to her daughter the decision making. At a certain point, the daughter decided that the time was coming and told her mother that in a couple months she would administer the poison. The mother apparently understood (if barely) and agreed. On the agreed date, the family got together and the daughter administered the poison. Although I fully approve, the ordeal must have been hell on the daughter. There really is no good solution to this. No doctor would do it, no matter how firm the directive.

What I would want is to be able to sign a directive saying that when the me had departed, the body should be allowed to follow. I cannot see the law ever allowing such an option.

I think suicide can be tough on family and loved ones even when it’s for a good reason, like this. The family does not get to have the experience of taking care of the person and knowing they’ve done all they can. Although caring for someone with dementia comes with many challenges, it also makes their passing either since you know you’ve done all you can and the person knows how much you cared for them.

What would make me most happy is a method which causes my health to decline rapidly so I’m more certain to die after a period of time. For example, give me a cancer which takes several months to kill me and is relatively painless. Then I can make the decision for myself while I still have my mental facilities. My family doesn’t have to deal with the moral and emotional issues of administering a suicide drug for me. And then my family is allowed to have a more gradual transition that allows them to be in a better place emotionally.

Hari Seldon - I’m surprised that wasn’t prosecuted. From what I’ve seen/read, the person has to be cognizant at the time they take the drug that taking the drug will end their life. They must have the capacity to back out if they change their mind.


I have told my daughter and friends, when I can no longer change my diaper, I want to move on.


Not just for the quality of life, but also financial reasons. I read a story about someone whose grandparents had a 7 figure net worth, and who spent it all on medical care due to dementia. What a waste. I’d rather just euthanize myself and use that money so the next generation can have money for college and bills.

You have CATS? Huh.

How many?

You do realize that, when you are not in your right mind, it is entirely possible that you will change your mind about this?

I am also on the side of staying alive as long as possible, even with dementia. Just because my brain isn’t working the same way it used to, doesn’t make me less of a person or less worthy of life.

I also think that my money is mine to choose to do with what I wish, including caring for my needs. I do not owe anything to my heirs, nor should they expect anything from me.

Where I do draw the line is with anyone else’s money (other than services from insurance or the government, which I have previously purchased through premiums or taxes) being used to keep me alive.

I don’t foresee any circumstances in which I would choose euthanasia. It’s possible that in the case of extreme pain I might change my mind at some point, but until that time I take the position that euthanasia would never be my choice.

I wish other people would have as much respect for my choice as I do for theirs.

Keep in mind that the problem being discussed here is not extreme pain-it is dementia, and what you will or will not be willing to do in a decreased and/or changed mental capacity cannot really be determined while you are now in your right mind.

I know - it’s a Catch-22. You can’t know how you will feel about being unable to make end-of-life decisions until you’re unable to make end-of-life decisions. The only thing you can do is make the best decision you can now, when you’re in your right mind. And for me, that decision is to stay alive, no matter what. My family is aware of this, we’ve had numerous discussions about it, and while they don’t necessarily agree, they do accept it, just as I accept their end-of-life choices.

Having lived through this with my mother in law, I’d choose euthanasia. After her diagnosis, which didn’t come for at least 10 years after we started noticing symptoms, she lived for another 16 years. She went though ALL of her savings & we had to foot the nursing home bill for the last 5 years, which was a HUGE burden. Additionally, it was horrible to watch her lose ALL of her dignity. She had been a proud independent woman, but slowly became bedridden,angry, spiteful, wore diapers & could do nothing for herself. She seemed to have no awareness of her condition & was like an animal only concerned with her own comforts. Sadly, that is how all her grandchildren remember her. I never want to be like that.