Over the years I have been asked more times than I can count by elderly persons unable to care for themselves if I could give them something so they could die. They didn’t want to live anymore with the everyday suffering of being bedridden and in pain. They didn’t want food pushed into their mouthes before they had finished swallowing any more.Or the pain that comes from large open bedsores that could take fifteen minutes or more to dress.
They didn’t want to lie for hours in wet,stinking nappies. They just wanted to leave this world with dignity.
I couldn’t help them.
It seems that in Switzerland where I live,the cost of caring for the elderly whether in their living accommodation or in a
nursing home will double between now and the year 2030. In that year an estimated 2 million people over the age of 65 will be living here. In 2005 there were only 1,2 million.
The growth of the over 80 year olds has risen enormously. This has had a massive influence on the cost of health care.
A study by the Swiss Health Observatory says the price for care will rise from 7,3 billion francs in 2005 to around 18 billion in 2030.
The rise is of course affected by the prescription of multiple medication for the aged, on average fifteen tablets a day,and performance of complicated operations, excluding emergency orthopaedic procedures on over seventy five year olds. Higher nursing and so called hotel costs add to it.
Ethics play a great part in how we approach the situation at the moment.
Mankind has the right to live ,but when are we going to have the right to die?