I watched the new 2010 movie about Jack Kevorkian on HBO. "You don't know Jack"
One of the statements they made was that "If a person goes into a coma, the hospitals are allowed to pull the plug and allow you to die" (if the next of kin signs the papers or the patient has a living will or there are no relatives) But if a person who is still in their right mind and is suffering greatly wants to die, it is considered wrong and even ghoulish to help them commit suicide.
In the movie, it was those who were "Christian" that wanted him to be stopped and imprisoned. After so many protests, the court (state) got involved, decided it was wrong and imprisoned Dr. Kevorkian.
Do you see assisted suicide for those who go through their life in extreme pain, wrong?
Should the government be involved?
Isn't life and death our choice?
Sure it's our choice. We have agency. However, that doesn't dismiss fact it's wrong or give it acceptable premise and compromise to take the life of another. We have the ability to aid against pain. We, as a people, will also be judged according to our compassion in succoring those in distress. Since this in not a religious category I'll just say that we are judged by other nations. Favorable judgment is on the side of compassion and non-suicide policies. Favoring suicide opens the door, as it obviously already has, to vast avenues of interpretation. When one loosens the boundaries on a principle that principle WILL become corrupt. It is a mathematical certainty. This is what has happened. Assisted suicide gained popularity through news reports. That was a small snowball tossed on a hill. Since then we have used "logic" to give reason for the practice thus becoming a huge snow boulder at the bottom of the hill.
The crushing of the town below is eminent.
It's funny that I was just looking at the definition of "specious" which means plausible yet false - plausible statement that covers falseness.
because that's what I think most of what you say on these forums is - specious - you use religion and the bible to make your arguements and cover your basically false statements. Just because a thing is possible or is approved of does NOT mean that it will become corrupt. If that were so, none of our laws from basic traffic rules on up could be justified. Corruption happens when there is decay. Decay happens when people are not being vigilent. Of course we must keep aware of how people are interpreting ALL our laws. I'm sure you will use the same argument about acceptable premise and compromise to say that abortion always is wrong. You live in a different world than I do, I think.
You are entitled to your opinion. However, I stand by the fact that the more we compromise and explain away moral issues the more that "decay" festers, and yes, causes corruption. We see it day in and day out.
So why is it better to extend life with no quality? What does morals have to do with this.
Even the scripture you believe in says "There is a time to kill"
However, this isn't a religious thread?
Besides religion, what other reason do you have for your take on this?
I don't feel it is murder when the person wants to die.
Yes Deborah, I believe it is our choice.
i missed this post - wasn't a member at the time.
This is hard. I tend to think that there's a reason why we are here for the time that we are... and my feeling is that choosing to end our life might be shortchanging ourselves of experiences (even painful, unhappy ones) which are an important part of our journey.
But of course no-one wants a family member to be in prolonged agony when it could be so easily ended.
Good question. Should make for some debate.
A person facing an agonizing death in a hopeless situation has a right to make their own decisions regarding their fate.
Neither the gov't nor anyone else has a right to interfere.
I remember Dr. Kevorkian used to be portrayed on the news as such a sick and evil man. Now that I've come to understand a lot more about what it is he did I actually agree with him. Modern medicine has sort of skewed our views on death, because we try to save everyone for as long as possible, no matter how much they are suffering. People who are terminally ill and in pain should be given the right to die when they choose, and we shouldn't be throwing doctors who assist them into prison.
Has anyone here seen the Sci-Fi movie "Soylent Green"? If so, later on in the flick, do you remember how that one guy decided to die, as he checked himself into that serene "death room" or whatever you want to call it? That was nice...
Terminal and inevitable, let them. But at the same time, the govt. wanting to interfere in that, they even stopped some terminal patients from helping in testing some drugs to help save lives of others like them, due to it would possibly end their terminal lives even sooner. Go figure. And that was last year. Not a conservative admin.
Could you post a link to info about the drug trials that were stopped? My understanding is that there are greatest risks in phase 1 and II trials. They are sometimes abandoned if the results are not promising in any way. Other than that I am not aware of government stepping in.
Currently, 34 states have statutes explicitly criminalizing assisted suicide: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin
Nine states criminalize assisted suicide through common law:
Alabama, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia
Three states have abolished the common law of crimes and do not have statutes criminalizing assisted suicide:
North Carolina, Utah, Wyoming
In Ohio, that state's supreme court ruled in October 1996 that assisted suicide is not a crime.
In Virginia, there is no real clear case law on assisted suicide, nor is there is a statute criminalizing the act, although there is a statute which imposes civil sanctions on persons assisting in a suicide.
Only the states of Oregon and Washington permit physician-assisted suicide.
Source: Associated Press
Why don't these able (the ones who are not vegetables) people that want to die, just commit their own suicide; nobody can stop a private overdose or a good ol' slash of the wrists. What? Do you need someone to sharpen your knife for ya? Save us some oxygen... Do it!
I'm trying to be informative and all that good stuff...
It's hard to commit suicide even when we are physically able. I think those who are ill should be allowed to ask for assistance.
Give 'em a couple sedatives and some coaching and those folks are on their way. PCP doesn't count, since that is the easy way out.
This hub hits a little close to home for me to be completely objective. A few years ago my father lay in a hospital, terminally ill. Much of his time was spent drugged to the point of hallucination and the rest of the time in considerable pain. Doctors indicated he might live a couple of months there, or probably a few days at home. We (his children and wife) explained the choices to him and, in an increasingly rare period of lucidity, he indicated he wished to go home. We checked him out later that day and he passed that night, in his own home, surrounded by his loved ones. Neither my siblings nor my mother have ever regretted our action; it was the greatest act of compassion we could have shown my father.
While this may not be technically "assisted suicide" it does not fall far from it, and I see no moral or ethical difference. At his request we removed our father and husband from medical care necessary for him to live; indeed, I drove the car that carried him to his death. We were fortunate enough to do that without government intervention, as it should be.
I can also see and understand the possibility (or even probability) for great abuse. Greed and money top the list, with next of kin wanting inheritance monies for themselves able to convince an invalid of the desirability of suicide. It must be overseen carefully to stop such actions, whether by priests, government, doctors or someone else I cannot say. I just know without doubt that the concept is valid and ethical if done correctly.
Yeah, the "Hospital" makes loads of cash keeping the terminally ill alive! Well, that is, if they have good health insurance......
Sorry about your father. I lost my daughter, my brother, my mom and my dad. My sister-in-law gave permission for them to take my brother off life support.
Dr. Kevorkian only assisted a few people in their death. He turned down 95-97% of the requests. They were those who suffered the most.
Dr. Kevorkian was very careful about who he assisted. He taped the episodes to show the persons were in their right mind. Most of them begged the doctor to hurry up.
Lots and lots of modern medicine - not just the hospitals - keeps people alive well beyond their usefulness, their ability to care for themselves, their happiness, their comfort - is this progress? I really think modern doctoring often just profits from the illness when they know they can't cure or even comfort the patient. Will I go to a doctor who profits from my illness to give me a cure? NO! Of course, things need to change. Laws need to change - the earth is overpopulated. I wish for myself that I will never outlive my comfort and usefulness, but how can I plan for that? I'm trying.
Deborah, indeed you raise an important and tough topic. My aunt passed with a doctors assisted suicide in a way that didn't look so. Only the family knew and she was at home.
But I still feel almost guilty for knowing what was happening at he time. Almost as though we [family] were responsible for her death, and always question 'what if...'
However no one should live as she was and I know she is out of pain.
So I guess I agree with this but struggle too.
Good thread Deborah, surely thought provoking
You wouldn't let an animal suffer needlessly when in agony and with no hope of recovery or survival - you put them out of their misery with compassion and allow them to die gently and with dignity. So why do we allow people to suffer and endure so much pain, trauma and humiliation in the same situation?
I don't think it should be left to a family member to assist in their loved one's suicide. I think doctors should be allowed to humanely put the person to sleep - release them from their pain and suffering, and allow them to die with dignity.
Dignity and compassion - I agree with this post completely.
I signed a DNR order for my baby girl. Obviously this is not the same as an assisted suicide, but having been in that place, to be forced to decide...
I can say that my general opinion has been reinforced by my personal experience. I wish desperately that I could have her now, to hold her. But not at the expense of her own pain and misery.
Any life or death decisions belong to the individual first and the family second.
And to society - never. MYOB: Mind Your Own Business.
I'm divided on this issue. I was brought up to believe that suicide damns you in the hereafter. Still, I don't believe in artificially prolonging a life that's over. We've all got to exit the stage sometime.
This is a much debated issue now and will be for a long time to come!
During the past several decades, assisted suicide has been viewed as a response to the progress of modern medicine. New medical technologies have been developed that prolong life. However, the technologies also prolong the dying processes, leading some people to question whether modern medicine is forcing patients to live in unnecessary pain when there is no chance they will be cured. Passive euthanasia, disconnecting a respirator or removing a feeding tube, has become an accepted solution to this dilemma. Active euthanasia, perhaps an overdose of pills or a deadly injection of morphine, remains controversial. Assisted suicide is most widely defined as a type of active euthanasia in which a doctor provides the means of death, usually by prescribing a lethal dose of drugs, but the patient is responsible for performing the final act.
It is a family matter. My aunt had several severe strokes over the course of a month, and many mini-strokes in her lifetime. She chose to have her feeding tube removed. We moved her into a beautiful Hospice and she was kept comfortable with morphine. She was more peaceful than I'd ever seen her. She made the decision with me, her husband & son were hysterical. I saw a calmness and firmness in her decision. She was in her mid 70's. I knew she was happy when she closed her eyes for the last time.
God bless... my mother died crying and in much pain, so did my father, my grandmother, grandfather, my aunt, my uncle and many others. It is a family matter for sure.
I agree, except there are so many people without the loving caring family that is close by and able to help. As Jane@cm points out, some people simply cannot deal with losing someone. Others, though emotionally capable of helping, are not able due to distance, economics, other family to take care of, etc. And there will always be those few that "help" from selfish motives. The people with those kinds of families also may need help, but not from family. What about them?
wilderness, the last part of what you said, the ones who help only out of selfish motives. They do need lots of different kinds of help for sure!
Yes. That is why, it seems to me, that some form of government or other body needs to be involved. Some people would need help to depart this veil of tears, some need help to prevent others from providing unwanted "help".
When people become terminally ill and/or admitted to a hospital they are offered a living will to fill out. It is up to the patient to decide what he/she wants. They can include anything not on the form.
It is very important that someone has some kind of directive.
I don't know if you remember the case of Terri Schindler Schiavo in Florida.
At 26 years old she suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest to which the *cause was never determined. Her brain was starved of oxygen resulting in injury to her brain.
They put her on a ventilator, but soon regained her ability to breathe on her own.
Her husband, who was living with and had children by another woman, decided he wanted Terri to die. Her mother fought it and so did many more, including me.
I wrote the Governor, Jeb Bush and the judge who had given his OK to starve Terri to death. Our letters and phone calls stayed her execution for about one year.
In 2005 they gave their OK to allow food and water to be withheld from her. It took 13 agonizing days for her to die. (Starving and dehydration is a very unpleasant death)
Her mother could have taken care of her at home, but they wouldn't allow it though she begged them.
THIS IS MURDER.
Dr. Kevorkian was very humane. He allowed his patients to breathe Carbon Monoxide, which has no smell etc. It killed quickly those who WANTED TO DIE.
*Many of us believe that Michael Schiavo had tried to suffocate Terri to death and
was afraid she would be able to communicate this.
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