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I looked through a few threads for discussions around either topic. If anyone can direct me to a discussion - thanks.
If not? do you have comments on either technique - pros and cons. would you want either or both legalized where you live?
I have read the Netherlands and Belgium and Oregon USA have legalized assisted suicide.
In one culture I'm aware of, euthanasia is accepted and has been for many, many years - probably centuries - it's just not spoken about.
It was just last year an English woman won the right in court to choose the time of her own death by assisted suicide.
I'm on the fence a bit about whether it is the right thing to do or not, but it needs clarified in law because the nearest and dearest can face murder charges if they assisted in any way, including not calling an ambulance until it was too late.
They got a rude awakening from the guy waking after 20 years in a coma here an America. But some say it's the honorable way out from the pain and misery. I'm not sure. I'm not even close to that condition. I may think different if I am.
I'm against allowing people in comas to die. There have been a few publicised cases where doctors/family have decided to withhold treatment - ie food/water until the coma victim died, partly because of what you described above.
Years ago when I was nursing, there was this man who had been in a coma for something like 20 years also. He didn't seem to need medication - as nurses we cleaned him. bathed him and tube fed him. This was in a long stay hospital.
Then one day, he just woke up. Amazing. We were all thrilled, but no-one told the press so it wasn't big news.
He walked out of that hospital a few weeks (or it could have been months) later, so yes it does happen.
I also think withdrawing food/water is an unnaturally cruel way to die. You might as well give them a huge dose of morphine and be finished with it quickly. Also, where was the patient's consent in all this?
well, i think in places where assisted suicide is legal they have various stipulations around it such as - 2 doctors have to agree in relation to the prognosis - a terminal illness, a psychiatrist must form an opinion around the person's mental capacity to make a decision and the person must consent.
Yes - a woman in Canada Susan Rodriquez (lou gehrig's disease) took her case to the supreme court of Canada - a few years back. It was in the news regularly as she fought for her rights before she was unable to fight any longer before the disease rendered her in capable to. In the end a doctor and politician were being investigated in relation to their involvement with her desire to die. They were with her at the time of her death. No one was convicted.
This is similar to the English case. The woman, and she was quite young, had some fatal condition that meant she would be unable to anything for herself after a short time, and that after that her body would just slowly shut down until she was dead.
She wanted the right to die before she became a burden on her family- I think to go abroad to a special clinic in Switzerland - but wanted to ensure for certain that her husband, who would take her abroad, would not be charged with murder or assisted suicide.
She went all the way to the highest court in the land and won her case. And I think the right decision was taken. She was clearly intelligent and articulate and it was her decision.
Indeed they have assisted suicide in the Netherlands. A mere 3 weeks ago, a friend of mine utilized this option to end his suffering from metastatic cancer. Friends and family gathered at his home enjoying champagne and saying goodbyes. The Dr arrived, administered the fatal dose, and he was gone.
I understand he was in great pain from brain and bone mets, but I am very conflicted over his choice and a society that views assisted suicide as a medical service.
The state of Oregon will offer assistance if you stop seeking curative treatment when your survival odds are 10% or less - pretty sure on the percentage but it may be 5%. They do this to save medicare money. I am apalled they can do this.
I'll keep watching this thread - Holly
i don't know but i'm not sure if legalization has come about because of saving money on health care. i think it has been the voice of people suffering and/or watching someone suffering - hope that is the case anyway.
Forgot to add - it must be hard for you losing your friend so recently.
I do believe the Oregon situation is about the money. Wish I could find the links I saved somewhere...A bladder cancer friend there received such a letter as her disease progressed. It was pretty clear.
People suffering is bad whatever the circumstance and pain alone can affect the mental capabilities of the strongest individuals. How can anyone make a determination on who is allowed to die an accelerated death? There is much room for abuse. Personally I have a power of atty just in case I have metastasis to the brain and am unable to make decisions. The option of assisted suicide is unnerving no matter how I look at it.
Thank you for acknowledging my friend, Leigh. And yes, his passing is a very tender place. So was losing Lisa, Claire, Angelo, and Marie...Other friends who fought invasive bladder cancer lost. Only Leigh chose the assisted suicide option, and I have another dear friend with mets who is looking into it for herself. It is hard, and hard to call. Holly
You should watch "You Don't Know Jack" a recent HBO movie.
http://hubpages.com/hub/A_Conversation_ … _Kevorkian
That was an excellent movie.
I was in agreement with "Jack" from the beginning!
I have a "living will."
When I am living because of hoses attached to me, there is no "quality" of life...LET ME GO!
I loved the "euthanasia" scene in "Soylent Green!"
If a person is of sound mind and desires to go and all efforts have been made to convince him/her otherwise, then "assisted suicide" or "euthanasia" should be legal and used!
Keep idiot "religionists" outa my life!
The "euthanasia" scene in "Soylent Green" was beautiful!
We are in agreement on that. I also have a living will. Jack K is a character who was on the right track. He just got a bit out ahead of his interference.
What's disturbing and virtually unreported in the media is that there are groups actively OPPOSED to an individual's right to make end-of-life decisions in advance with his doctor. This was actually the focal point of Palins defense of the 'death panel' quote, which was all about a section that provided for Medicare doctors being able to bill for end-of-life consultations - and SP opposed.
Evangelicals want to control the politics of the begining of life and the end of life.. and everything inbetween.
I don't know.
It is all fine to say yeah one way or the other.
But when the time comes and it is someone you love and care about. I would imagine it could be a hard thing to consider and undertake.
Part of me thinks it ought to be legal solely to allow for the individual's choice.
But then there is a huge part of me deep down that says it is not right and should not be legal. Some part of me relates it akin to murder. Just unaceptable
Leaving aside the religious angle, the question is whether a situation is irreversible - whether the person can get better? Who decides that?
Haven't there been cases where all hope was lost and the docs said so, but the patient got better? Personally, I can understand a person going through severe pain/disability wanting to end his/her life, but its really a tough call to make to assist.
Can a system like this not be abused? Can a wrong decision not be made?
I think that's the main problem, the fact that it could be abused.
well hopefully it wouldn't be abused. i think when someone is very, very close to dying they may ask for help - depends on the person; i'd assume each situation would be viewed individually because the choice is supposed to come from the person, not anyone else (if legal).
i think it is euthanasia and/or assisted suicide is happening underground a lot more often than we realize - i could be wrong though. if someone is dying in their home, hospice may leave a supply of drugs available for a caregiver to administer for 'comfort purposes' and not necessarily monitor the drugs as closely as you'd expect. each situation would probably be different.
i haven't heard of anyone in the care of hospice (either at home or onsite) get better. there could be cases.
They we're very good with my stepfather when his time came. Very nice accomadations and care. Kept him so morphined out he didn't know much. But at a point where he could still talk and be cognizant.
I think the Hospices, the one we used anyway, are a great thing.
I'm sure a "system like that" can be abused like any other system. No system is perfect. The issue is whether individuals should have a choice in how they wish to end their lives. Kevorkian was very careful in his determinations whether to assist in a suicide. He turned away many people whom he believed were not terminal or who were mentally disturbed, recommending that they seek or continue treatment. In all cases but the last, the "patient" him or herself flipped the switch. Kevorkian's last patient had ALS and was unable to do that so Kevorkian did the injections that ended his life, himself. This resulted in his conviction and sentence to 10 years. There are many safeguards in Oregon's death with dignity law.
The bigger problem and underlying to all of it, is how can anyone justify suicide, the act, as sane or rational. It is illegal for a person to take their own life, let alone, have assistance? Just a thought.
Well, I think it's somewhat different. What I think makes suicide a crime is that you leave all of your responsibilities unattended (credit, children, etc). In euthanasia, death is near anyway, and its purpose is to ease a person's suffering.
What makes suicide a crime because killing a human being is murder. That by definition makes suicide(the taking of a life), murder.
However, I am of the understanding that suicide is a law and that it is by my account an unenforceable law. Hence, no reason for it.
Your individual right to life and right to choose is to always remain in the hands of the person making the decision. Government shouldn't be involved. Government is an altruistic ideology, built on misconception after misconception, so usurped positions of power can be obtained at the expense of others.
*side note- no government does not need to go away and that is not my intention of saying that perceived notion of my words. there should be limited government.*
i think when it comes down to it and a person is faced with whatever dying must feel like, and they contemplate a more humane way out, the last thing that will be on their mind is whether they are breaking a law.
And maybe for those who have spiritual beliefs around suicide - euthanasia is the answer.
the word suicide is really a bad description of it i think - just my opinion.
people cringe at the word suicide for other reasons of course. it's still a topic that is swept under the rug in a way - that is when u hear about someone killing themselves for reasons other than being terminally ill and in a lot of pain.
so Cagsil - was wondering when you'd comment - u've been busy i see. i'm ending my day now...later..
Well, I see this conversation as I do abortion. It's a non-issue. It shouldn't be something that is subjected to society's ideology about it. It is a personal decision, for which, should be dealt with on an individual basis. Family members can help or Primary care physician, should jointly make the decision.
Government should not be involved in any aspect of it.
neither should religion
unless the individual wants it to be
this is a MYOB situation if ever there was one
I totally agree Cagsil. We allow abortion whether it is socially right or wrong, because it is an individuals choice, yet someone's choice to take their own life is deemed to be wrong. Allow the person help so that it can be done properly without undue suffering and keep goverment noses out.
I often wonder why is it that as a human nation we do not tolerate animal suffering, and if our pet cat or dog is diagnosed with some horrible disease we don't hesitate euthanasia, yet a human who is suffering the same disease and stress we allow to live. Is this us being selfish because we just want to keep the people we love no matter what? or is it really that assisted suicide is wrong?
I believe that if someone wishes to die because they are suffering then they should be allowed to do so.
It's less important about the person committing suicide because the law can't prosecute that person. What is important is how it effects all the survivors and anyone assisting or complying with that person's wishes. We have to put away the discussion about whether or not suicide is moral or not because regardless of what anyone thinks, people still do it. They don't care what others say about the consequences of doing it. They do it anyway. So the issues are about how to protect those who survive whether they are bystanders or assistants. Assistants do bear some responsibility because they have to be able to rightfully defend their position in front of the law, regardless of what society's morals are on the subject, and win the case or be prosecuted for murder.
In other words, if you're going to assist someone in suicide, don't do it and then claim you're a victim of circumstances beyond your control. You chose to assist and did so consciously, knowing that you could be prosecuted. If you don't want those consequences, then don't involve yourself.
good points - i'm sure people would consider the consequences of doing something that is not legal by law; i think their consideration of helping or not would be more in tune with being humane.
and when someone is dying and makes the decision for help - i'm sure only those initimately close will be privy to that choice...everyone else would expect that the person would die anyway and the usual grief would be there.
That's an interesting take on this subject - the psychological effects on the people assisting in the suicide. I would think there has to be an impact, minimal / moderate, but there has to be!
Perhaps, someone can quote from any studies done from this perspective! Although I don't think this would be a big factor in any decisions anybody makes on this!
Hey Someway, the topic brings up many questions, like I said before suicide is against the law, but now I want to think of it this way and see how foolish the law is actually - Should someone fail, then they are charged with "attempted" suicide, but never charged with suicide(because a failure) and my point here is that - How does the government charge those who have succeeded??? What do they go after the parents for being accomplices? Seriously, how do the charge, convict and sentence someone who is already dead?
Yeah, I realize it's early morning, but it's worth thinking about.
---yea, it is early...no jelly beans this a.m.- darn......I might add my 2 cents later after I absorb more of what you just posted...off to work....have a good day
i'm awake now - yeah how do they charge someone. i'm not even sure if they do charge a person who attempts it - attempts are made all the time by some suffering from serious, chronic mental illnesses and as well for other reasons.
The term 'suicide' doesn't fully describe this topic however - i think anyway. how 'bout assisted euthanasia.
by nightwork47 years ago
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