Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia

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Hob Nob King
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What are your views??? Is it right for an individual to choose the time of their own death if they have a terminal illness, or is all life precious, and the individual could benefit from other forms of care/treatments to make their quality of life better. Please discuss
 

ozdave

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Life is precious but suffering is cruel, although I guess some would say it serves a purpose. If a consenting adult of sound mind has had enough of pain and suffering, and there is no chance of improvement, why would anyone want to prolong that suffering? Let them die peacefully when they chose.
 

floatyhippyflower

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All life IS precious but our own lives are just that; our own. Society and current law don't remotely take into account quality of life, which is just as important (if not more so) than quantity of life. It's 100% a personal choice issue in my opinion; on those grounds I think it's a scandal that voluntary euthanasia in such circumstances is against the law and anybody caught assisting a loved one in ending their suffering can be arrested and jailed. We are allowed to 'actively not act' with a view to early death in such instances, but we aren't allowed to administer to those who desperately want or need it? We don't allow animals to suffer needlessly but sanction it for human beings? Ridiculous.

And this is coming from one who probably wouldn't choose euthanasia as an option given I harbour huge fears about dying and death personally.
 

trancetheory

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I believe we have a right to death as much as a right to life.

Very often keeping someone alive is out of a deep-seated selfishness, of course its not a selfish decision that is being made, but the fact that we dont want to loose people close to us, which ultimatly is selfish.

There are major issues surrounding it, the system could very well be abused, but as with other things in life that can be abused, i think the abuse needs to be dealt with, rather than forcing everyone else to not have the options which i believe are our right to have.
 

Bacchanal

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I'm inclined to agree with most of the above, it's surely up to us.

However not to keen on the way my mum keeps getting us to promise to 'put her down' if she goes senile and loses the plot. Mind you she's just lost her father who after a lifetime of academia and intense intellectual exertion had been totally out of it for the last year and a bit so I suppose it's on her mind...

Would be a hard thing to have to do, but then quality is what counts.
 

trancetheory

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i have the same wish, if i ever get to the point where i am unable to look after myself due to greatly decreased mental capacity, i dont know about physical capacity, but i guess i will be able to make my mind up if it happens if i am still mentaly able to
 

tortoise

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Don't you think that maybe assisting someone to die might be out of deep seated selfishness too? Not wanting the hassle of looking after them. Wanting to inherit, not having the money to look after them? I mean, I can see that if it all got too much you might want to go, but I suppose I'm using that thin-end-of-the-wedge argument.

At the moment, putting someone out of their misery pertains to relieving someone of an unbearable life because of extreme pain, or having to be on life support, the furthest limits of what is endurable. But can't you see it, eventually, ending up becoming acceptable to do it when, say, someone needs round the clock nursing care, even though they might have some quality of life?

My granny spent the last years of her life in a nursing home totally deaf and unable to communicate, in pain, unable to do anything for herself, but she would have hated to be put down like a dog and she still felt her life had value, even though she never actually left her bed or did anything AT ALL. Most people would consider that to be reason enough to go, and I do wonder if euthanasia had been acceptable, if certain members of the medical profession would have been thinking more about the bill, than about her right to life.

I'd like to see more focus on really good palliative care, really good pain relief, giving people back a quality of life, NOT removing it as with NICE recently saying that Alzheimers patients shouldn't be given that drug which gives them an extra few years of lucidity because it's, guess what, too expensive.

Just a thought really...
 

Squagnut

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Tor, in any case enforced euthanasia is murder. We don't have the right to force it on to someone else without their present consent, however much we empathise.

Following a massive stroke, my gran died in hospital a couple of years ago. They had discontinued her treatment after a setback, and she died shortly afterwards. Everyone knew the discontinuation was the right thing to do. I'm for voluntary euthanasia, but I quite understand a lot of the misgivings about it.
 

tortoise

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That's true Phil, I'm not judging your family's situation and am quite sure that you did the right thing, but you know how often boundaries seem to get blurred. I mean, if someone's in a long term coma they can't actually tell you they don't want their life support switched off, can they? there have been cases of people coming out of them after years. And over long periods of time attitudes can be slowly manipulated so that the boundaries of what is acceptable change. I may be paranoid, or cycnical, although I do accept that those who are currently campaigning for the right to die with dignity genuinely do have the interests of those they love at heart. I just think it would be a very easy thing for the powers that be to manipulate, a few years or decades down the line.
 

trancetheory

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tortoise said:
That's true Phil, I'm not judging your family's situation and am quite sure that you did the right thing, but you know how often boundaries seem to get blurred. I mean, if someone's in a long term coma they can't actually tell you they don't want their life support switched off, can they?
true, well i have had that made clear to everyone close to me anywayz

I agree that people may abuse 'euthenesia', because its a 'hassle', but thatz not euthenesia, thats murder, it relies on the consent and wish of the person

abuse is another issue I believe, and criminalizing all the people out there who are genuinly helping for the sake of a few who may abuse the system is wrong imo stricter controls and checks can be made to prevent abuse, but no system is perfect, and shouldnt be expected to be
 

Tryptamind

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tortoise said:
Don't you think that maybe assisting someone to die might be out of deep seated selfishness too? Not wanting the hassle of looking after them. Wanting to inherit, not having the money to look after them? I mean, I can see that if it all got too much you might want to go, but I suppose I'm using that thin-end-of-the-wedge argument.

At the moment, putting someone out of their misery pertains to relieving someone of an unbearable life because of extreme pain, or having to be on life support, the furthest limits of what is endurable. But can't you see it, eventually, ending up becoming acceptable to do it when, say, someone needs round the clock nursing care, even though they might have some quality of life?

My granny spent the last years of her life in a nursing home totally deaf and unable to communicate, in pain, unable to do anything for herself, but she would have hated to be put down like a dog and she still felt her life had value, even though she never actually left her bed or did anything AT ALL. Most people would consider that to be reason enough to go, and I do wonder if euthanasia had been acceptable, if certain members of the medical profession would have been thinking more about the bill, than about her right to life.

I'd like to see more focus on really good palliative care, really good pain relief, giving people back a quality of life, NOT removing it as with NICE recently saying that Alzheimers patients shouldn't be given that drug which gives them an extra few years of lucidity because it's, guess what, too expensive.

Just a thought really...
totally agree with you
the impact of silent pressure and influence of family on the elderly should not be ignored.
this for me is an important argument against euthanasia.
think your post is worth quoting in toto just to reiterate
 

floatyhippyflower

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Tor, my Granda had several strokes towards the end of his life, which left him increasingly incapacitated. Difficult thing for an active man who had fought in WWll and finally made his living doing the one thing he really loved, gardening. I used to look after him for £1 when I was young so my Nana could visit the temple in London on an overnight stay occasionally. I'd make his breakfast, help him button his shirts and we'd eat Black Bullets together and watch cartoons all day, which he loved. He was my absolute favourite person and eighteen years on I still miss the old devil! Like your grandmother, there was no question of his wanting to end the life he had, even as it was towards the end. But then his is not the kind of case I'm talking about, not even close. As far as I'm concerned, without the desire and consent of the person, it's not even an issue.

I think as with any system, sanctioned euthanasia would fall open to abuse of some kind, no doubt about it. For that reason very strict guidelines would need to be in place for it to work; pre-existing, legal consent from the party in question and only under very particular circumstances, such as painful terminal illness, vegetative states etc. Certainly NOT as a way of culling the elderly to relieve the burden of a family or the system! Christ, that's the absolute opposite of everything I believe in and as Sqauggy says, it would be nothing short of murder. I'm 100% with you on better treatment and care for those in need, elderly or otherwise, irrespective of my opinions on euthanasia. I just think we have a right to decide what that care is for ourselves, even if it means we choose death over a life of suffering.
 

tortoise

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In a way I suppose I equate this with the issue of abortion. When it was first legalised, the government set in place all sorts of safeguards, strict guidelines if you will, to ensure that abortion wouldn't end up as just another method of birth control. That it would only be used in situations where the mother's health was at risk, or where the validity of the foetus was compromised. Two doctors would have to agree to all this and various perameters were set.

What's the situation now? It's just another form of contraception.

I do not trust the medical profession, or the greed of people, to keep to strict guidelines. No matter how much I feel that people do have a right to determine when it's their time to die.
 

trancetheory

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tortoise said:
I do not trust the medical profession, or the greed of people, to keep to strict guidelines. No matter how much I feel that people do have a right to determine when it's their time to die.
I really believe that is a diffrent issue, thats murder you are talking about, and can be done with or without giving trust worthy people the right to die
 

tortoise

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Well, it's a related issue. If you are going to implement something, you really do have to think about ways that the system can be abused.
 

trancetheory

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tortoise said:
Well, it's a related issue. If you are going to implement something, you really do have to think about ways that the system can be abused.
Of course, but murder is a seperate crime.

A buss can be used to run over people, infact hijack a buss and drive down the pavement on oxford street and its gonna be mass murder, doesnt mean we should remove the risk by banning buss'z

life is full of risks, and I dont believe that freedom should be taken away from people for the sake of a risk.

What about dealing with the issues behind why someone might want to murder sumone in the first place?
 

tortoise

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I think you are being over-simplistic though miszt. You haven't really answered my argument. My argument was that you can slowly make it acceptable to end life early for various reasons and it stops being perceived as murder and becomes deciding to go early to save the family a lot of hassle and unecessary hospital bills. This to me would be a total abuse of euthanasia.
 

trancetheory

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tortoise said:
I think you are being over-simplistic though miszt. You haven't really answered my argument. My argument was that you can slowly make it acceptable to end life early for various reasons and it stops being perceived as murder and becomes deciding to go early to save the family a lot of hassle and unecessary hospital bills. This to me would be a total abuse of euthanasia.
I cant see that happening tbh, imo, survival is a core element in our instincts, I might be wrong, but I dont think thats going to happen
 
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