Why decide on euthanasia, when palliative care relieves pain?

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  1. profile image0
    savvydatingposted 11 years ago

    Why decide on euthanasia, when palliative care relieves pain?

    If palliative care relieves physical suffering, affirms life and regards dying as a normal and spiritual process, then why consider a "mercy killing?" Is it actually fear or depression that truly causes a person to want to die through assisted suicide? Euthanasia is defined as: "the intentional putting to death of a person with an incurable disease", or "intentionally causing death by not providing necessary and customary care, or food and water."  Are we missing a spiritual component here or do you think that the euthanasia should be legal in the U.S.?


  2. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 11 years ago

    Assisted suicide is already legal in many states, and no I don't agree with it. But I think doctors need more training in the compassionate care and treatment of someone with an incurable disease--especially in pain management.

    1. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks duffsmom. You are correct. Assisted suicide is legal in four states. Active euthanasia is illegal in all states. My question was improperly phrased. I apologize for my error...

  3. peeples profile image92
    peeplesposted 11 years ago

    I think people should have the right to do whatever they want with their own body. I don't think other people should have the right to tell strangers what to do with their body EVER. If someone wants to kill themselves they should be allowed no questions asked. It should not be the business of strangers. There are some things that are impossible to make painless and no one should ever have to suffer if they choose not to.
    I have read a good bit on the topic and it seems most people who consider it are intelligent people who have given it much thought. Not just some random depressed moment.

    1. dashingscorpio profile image69
      dashingscorpioposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. Life is a personal journey. In the U.S. allow the death penalty and Pro-Choice and yet there are those who want to control what a person decides to do with their (own) life. It makes no sense. I really enjoyed the movie Million Dollar Baby

    2. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi peeples. Chronic pain and depression are not  random. Opiates relieve physical pain, but not emotional pain. That's where medications for depression may be of use. Interestingly, half  who have been given suicide pills decide against using them.

    3. peeples profile image92
      peeplesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Which goes to prove these people are mostly of sound minds. I would think anti depressants would be a bad idea (mostly) for someone already debating suicide. The majority of them cause a list of side effects which could make things worse.

    4. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Peeples, Sometimes anti-depressants do help, and with very minor side effects, simply because they can help restore hope. If you are at all open to other perspectives, Denial of the Soul by M. Scott Peck fully addresses this controversy.

    5. IslandBites profile image90
      IslandBitesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree 100%.

    6. Borsia profile image39
      Borsiaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      As someone who takes anti-depressants I can tell you that their success is highly over rated. Almost all have bad side effects at a dosage high enough to work.
      Opiates are also highly over rated in their effectiveness at controlling pain.

  4. rose-the planner profile image61
    rose-the plannerposted 11 years ago

    Yikes.........quite the question!  Actually, I can't say that I agree with euthanasia, however, I believe it is up to an individual to have the option.  We simply don't know, (and by the Grace of God, I hope we never know),  what is going through the mind of someone experiencing immense suffering.  As far as I know, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia are not legal here in Canada.  For most this is a complicated and controversial question because there are so many factors at play such as one's religious beliefs.  Great question but I don't know if we can ever really answer it definitively.  Take care.  -Rose

    1. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks,rose-the-planner. Good answer; it makes reasonable sense. As you said, I hope neither of us has to find ourselves in that dilemma.

  5. ptosis profile image67
    ptosisposted 11 years ago


    Because hospice is in ONLY palliative care so when my honey dying from cancer went into constant convulsions they had to have a meeting with 8 doctors to give him nonpalliative to stop them because they were too disturbing for the staff to watch. 

    It's called  Death with Dignity

    1. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you ptosis. These real life comments are valuable to me. I am sorry for the death of your honey.

  6. ChristinS profile image39
    ChristinSposted 11 years ago

    We will willingly put an animal to sleep to end its suffering and let it die with some form of dignity, yet everyone wants to deny humans the same right and I don't understand that.  What, where and when to die should always be up to the individual.  I can assure you after having watched the pain of people die after months of cancer eating away at their bodies, if I were to have the same illness I would NEVER subject my children to that kind of suffering.  I would find a way to tell them goodbye and end it peacefully. 

    Just because there is "pain management" - seeing your loved one sedated, weak, defecating themselves, etc. is hard and this "humane" process can go on for months and sometimes even years.  No way.  It causes undo suffering on families and it forces someone who doesn't want to end up like that to die without their dignity. 

    I believe in a personal freedom to choose - it is my life, no one elses and therefore should be my choice.  People need to stop putting their own spiritual beliefs and needs onto others. If dying slowly with pain management sounds like a good idea for you - great, more power to you. If it doesn't to someone else, then don't make assumptions about that person's judgment.

    Would I suicide out of fear? heck no, it would be an act of bravery and compassion in my eyes not to suffer myself and not to make those around me endure watching a horrible, awful death.  Why not go peacefully with a nice, large dose of sedative? I'd much prefer that.

    1. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi ChristinS. You may have jumped to conclusions. I hate pain, and I would not be able to tolerate it. I asked this question to learn more about other people's experiences.However, if I chose to live then I would hope my family would not blame me.

    2. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      you were talking about euthanasia vs pain care and  I was stating why I think it should be and why I would choose that over pain management. I don't believe I jumped to conclusions sorry if you took it that way.

    3. IslandBites profile image90
      IslandBitesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      My thoughts exactly.

    4. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Christin, as you said..."great, more power to you. If it doesn't to someone else, then don't make assumptions about that person's judgment."  Words are sometimes misleading. Sounds like we both agree that it is wise not to make assumptions.

  7. Billie Kelpin profile image84
    Billie Kelpinposted 11 years ago

    i held the hand of my 35 year old dying friend, Mary,  35 years ago.  I was with my mother a few days before she died 25 years ago.  I was with my Cousin Audrey a few days before she died, 4 years ago and with my 94 year old Aunt Marion the whole week before she died in December of this year.  I have seen a slight improvement through the years in care.  The nurses through the years were absolutely incredibly kind.  However, the process is archaic in my mind.  When I had to have my dog put down, the Vet came to the car because Sniffy was afraid of the office.  I held her in my arms and the Dr. gave her a shot.  In a second Sniffy lay limp.  With tears running down my face, I thanked the doctor for making Sniffy's last day peaceful and for treating her with such kindness.  "We should be so kind to humans," he replied. And I agree.

    1. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Billie Kelpin,, I am so sorry for your losses, but I feel grateful somehow that you were there for your loved ones during their final days. The dying should always be given ample medication to die a natural, peaceful death; this is essential..

    2. profile image0
      jonnycomelatelyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I suspect that "to die a natural, peaceful death" bit is to make the process a bit more comfortable for those looking on.  It doesn't give much consolation to the person about to die.

  8. Borsia profile image39
    Borsiaposted 11 years ago

    First I will point out something that only those who have suffered with unimaginable pain can really understand, as a amputee I have some experience.
    Real pain isn't something most people have ever felt. Maybe you have slammed your hand in a car door, had migraine headaches, broken bones and such but these things are like comparing a pea to a bowling ball. Even childbirth, kidney stones and the like are practically nothing.
    True sever pain can't be stopped and pain management can only reduce it. Drugs like morphine and stronger drugs don't so much take the pain as keep you from remembering it from one minute to the next.
    This leads us to the next approach, adding more sedation, but that doesn't men you aren't in unimaginable pain it just means you are disorientated and confused as well as in pain.
    When we are talking about terminal diseases the victim knows every minute that the next minute will only be worse, that the pain will be greater and the drugs less effective.
    If that person wants to end their suffering it is their right to do so and to force them to continue suffering is the true meaning to a sentence of cruel and unusual punishment.
    The situation may be a little better for those with sever conic pain but not by all that much and unlike the terminal patient there is no end in sight,,, only more pain. The drugs used can't be as powerful and are often addictive. The drugs also come with huge, and often horrible, side effects.
    Life without quality of life is meaningless.
    In the argument against people having the right to self determination isn't rooted in good medicine or good science it is rooted entirely in religion and greed. It is trying to force religious dogma that it is somehow a sin to choose not to suffer, that somehow there is some kind of valor, bravery or majesty in suffering,,, pure religious BS. The only other goal is to suck as much money out of the victim as possible, and if that means screaming agony for them well F^^ them.
    Personally I'm a purist in that I believe that any person of sound mind has the inalienable right to self determination including the right to depart this life if they so choose.
    Nobody has the right to tell someone that they must suffer needlessly and nobody has any right to inflict their religion on others.
    The only thing more despicable is profiting from their pain.
    The pain I felt has diminished with time, I knew it would, though I still feel pain beyond what most would want to consider an everyday thing.

    1. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, Borsia. I am glad you are better, though I wish you didn't have to deal with pain. My aunt has terminal cancer. Before using morphine, she was in excruciating pain. Now she is lucid and pain free. She smiles, interacts and is at peace.

    2. Borsia profile image39
      Borsiaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      what is so hard to see is that the pain is still there and I'm so very sad to say that it will get worse. Many people deny it and tell their friends and family "it isn't that bad".
      I hope she can pass easily and I wish you and her love & peace.

    3. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      B, Thank you for your well wishes. Rest assured, my aunt isn't one to pretend for anyone. Morphine does remove pain, though not the illness. Here is a useful site: http://www.hospicenet.org/html/pain_myths.html

    4. profile image0
      jonnycomelatelyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Very well said, Borsia.  It's not " rooted in good medicine or good science," and why should I or anyone be subject to the religious beliefs of someone else?   Personal choice is paramount.

    5. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Johnny, My point is that hospice offers more than some know, including sedation if pain gets worse. Sedation differs from euthanasia. Let's be clear. I do believe in a soul, but I also believe the dying should not feel pain. Hospice can help.

    6. Borsia profile image39
      Borsiaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Why would you want to lay in horrible pain so sedated that you can't think straight as the pain gets worse and worse,,, what is the point?
      I only hope that if I am in such a position I am able to get about enough to take matters into my own hands.

  9. profile image0
    savvydatingposted 11 years ago

    There are a lot of myths about palliative care vs euthanasia. For anyone who has a terminal illness, or knows someone who does, I encourage you to research the facts, rather than assuming that you give up all control. The "it's the fault of religious people" argument is getting old, frankly. I ask that any new comments stick to researched facts. Dying is a social issue, rather than a religious or secular decision, for none of us will escape death and we are all affected by it. Here is a site that explores some of these issues, if you are interested:


    As an aside, after having fully researched this matter of palliative care vs. euthanasia - France, Scotland, England, South Australia and (New Hampshire), have opted to improve palliative care services and to educate health professionals, and the public. Euthanasia is against the law in all these countries. It is about time we began educating physicians, and the public about dying. One other thing to know about hospital settings is that if you don't ask, you don't get. If you need more drugs, ask for them. The idea that a terminally ill person will become addicted is false. In a way, it is laughable. That's the last thing a dying person needs to worry about.
    This question has been here for seven days, and may not get any new readers, but please know, we are here to discuss facts, as well as feelings. I ask that any new comments be respectful. Dying is a serious matter.


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