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Quality of life, and physician assisted suicide

Medical Ethics Medicine Quality of Life Assisted Suicide

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#21 Raina

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 02:44 AM

I'm all for doctor-assisted suicide. The thing I fear the most is being in terrible agony and dying slowly and painfully, or being entirely brain-dead and having my body kept alive artificially. If the former ever happens to me and no doctor would assist me, I'd end my life myself.

"First thing they tell you is to assume you're already dead... dead men don't get scared or freeze up under fire. Me, I'm just worried that hell's gonna be a lonely place. And I'm gonna fill it up with every toaster son of a bitch I find." -Racetrack

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#22 SparkyCola

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 07:08 PM

Godeskian- I disagree with the basis for your argument. Clearly, anyone CAN commit suicide- i can safely say that that is a fact (though I'd rather you didn't make me prove it..). Just as you CAN set alight your X-men mag, though a bit of a flawed analogy I feel. You CAN murder a child. (not legally, but you CAN do it). Does that make it right? The law doesn't say you can't do it. It says if you do it, we will provide consequences for your actions. And that seems fair to me, all told. Therefore the argument that 'adults should be able to do what they want' doesn't really hold much weight with me.

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I'm for physician assisted suicide. I always have been. It is up to the person who is ill to make that call and no one else.

Mary Rose- I strongly disagree with this comment. What about the person who has to murder them? I also believe if they truly love their friends and family, they would have a say in it too (not to would be selfishness), but MOST importantly- the person who is to do it.

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I've always figured that people who are against any form of assisted suicide have never seen a human being die in pain you wouldn't let your dog suffer.

Rhea- Ok well there are two parts to my answer here.

a) I strongly disagree. I watched helplessly for years while my dad died slowly and painfully of Cancer. Yet I disagree with Euthanasia. I'm almost inclined to think that comment condescendingly arrogant, but I'm sure you meant it as more of an actual point than how I took it at first, just to warn that it could be seen that way by people in my position.  :blush:

b) There is one thing I am against more than Euthanasia in this topic- the 'in-between' zone. Either Do it, or Don't. I am against it, but I'm even more against an attempt to compromise which falls down badly. Letting people starve to death is absolutely ridiculous. How is it any less killing them? In which case- why force them to die a worse death than one would put down their pet?? It's craziness to me. So I suppose in that way, I agree.

Though it IS the OT and I don't really feel up to being pounded to a bloody pulp for having an opposing opinion, I will at this early stage try and belay people's retaliations by stating some of my reasons why I am against Euthanasia.

- If a person cannot say one way or the other, who the hell would presume to take away their life? (I appreciate some of you state only people who CAN say should etc. but put it in for good measure)

- "Quality of life" is not something which is simply a fact- there isn't a table of how happy you will be under certain circumstances. Now- a) the argument from a relative that someone has no 'quality of life' shouldn't stick, just as with the abortion related issue (that'll be a thread next i bet..), and b) why be so quick to say 'so kill them'? If someone were suicidally depressed and explained to you why, would you say 'ah yeah, that really is really bad. Ok then- let me help you commit suicide now *chucks off bridge*.' surely not?

- The person who has to do it is likely to be scarred by the incident for decades, if not for life (and there's no going back if you regret doing it).

- Some situations are far too ambiguous in nature, I wouldn't want to go into hospital fearing for my life if i fell into a coma or whatever. Doctors would easily be able to do it, or they could talk patients into it.


- can I ask you how you'd feel if you 'euthanased' someone - who had say 4 months left, and then medicine found a way to cure or prolong the life for that person? Medical advancement is rapid enough for that to be an issue. There is a real issue about what would happen to the trust between doctors and the dying.

- Doctors are often very wrong in their predictions of how long people will live.

- It's easy for doctors, and may prevent them ever realising they have more to learn. Hospices were set up to deal with terminal illness, and it can be noted that the countries allowing Euthanasia, example- Holland, have far poorer Hospice facilities than the UK and US.

- Let me quote a British doctor:

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Relieving pain, restoring dignity, quality of life and giving people back control over their lives is far better than fatal injections. Most people are visibly relieved when I tell them euthanasia is not an option. When symptoms are properly controlled, fears dealt with, appropriate practical, emotional and spiritual help is provided and people feel safe, it is very rare for people to ask again for death by euthanasia.

http://www.globalcha...om/euthandt.htm

^ an interesting read as it is from the Doctor's point of view.

I would hope that I would never ask somebody to assist my death. Likewise I'd never do it to someone else. It is one of the most understandable things in the world- but I still don't condone it, for reasons stated above.

I know that not wanting to see someone in pain makes you all warm, loving people, and that is extremely valuable. However, I just feel there are important factors coming into play here, and I think they outweigh the argument that it puts someone 'out of their misery'.

SparkyCola

Edited by SparkyCola, 15 November 2005 - 07:13 PM.

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#23 mjtian

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:26 PM

I am staying out of this Euthanasia talk, it'll undoubtly get too heated and I may say something I'll regret  :blink:

Edited by mjtian, 15 November 2005 - 08:26 PM.

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#24 Themis

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:43 PM

In my own case, I am single; most of my friends are my age or older; I am not the least religious but I admit the off chance that there may be "something" after this life.  If I were in the position of being in pain with an illness that was terminal, I'd want someone to increase the morphine drip to the point where I'd be gone.  I'd find out whether there was something next or not.   And whatever my estate consisted of could go to whomever I designated instead of to pay the medical expenses of keeping me alive.  If there's something after this life and I had a terminal illness, I'd be anxious to find out what was next and welcome an assist to finding out.  Those who are religious might feel that way even more strongly.  I would think the religious would feel more strongly about moving on.

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#25 Godeskian

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 02:48 AM

SparkyCola, on Nov 16 2005, 01:08 AM, said:

Godeskian- I disagree with the basis for your argument.

Always a good thing. Keeps discussion going. :)

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Just as you CAN set alight your X-men mag, though a bit of a flawed analogy I feel. You CAN murder a child. (not legally, but you CAN do it). Does that make it right?

Apples and pears Sparky, at least in my view. The X-men mag is my property, any child, even if it's mine, is not. (please note that ownership and being responsible for are different things) What I do to my property, should by rights be my business and no one elses. If I do not belong to myself, who exactly do I belong to.

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Therefore the argument that 'adults should be able to do what they want' doesn't really hold much weight with me.

That's nice, but nowhere in my original post did I make the argument that adults should be able to do what they want. The argument I made was that an adult should be able to do with themselves whatever they want.

There is a difference between those two statements roughly the size of the grand canyon. Nowhere in my post did I suggest a person should be able to totally do what they want except where it pertains to the things they legally own. (and again, I'd like to draw the distinction between own and be responsible for)

Edited by Godeskian, 16 November 2005 - 02:49 AM.

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#26 Smiley

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 08:32 AM

SparkyCola, on Nov 15 2005, 06:08 PM, said:

- can I ask you how you'd feel if you 'euthanased' someone - who had say 4 months left, and then medicine found a way to cure or prolong the life for that person? Medical advancement is rapid enough for that to be an issue. There is a real issue about what would happen to the trust between doctors and the dying.

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I would feel fine as long as it was that person's choice to be euthanased. If it were someone in a coma who couldn't choose, I would probably feel somewhat bad. It's almost (almost) like buying something at full price and then seeing it on sale a few weeks later. You feel a little pissed, but there is nothing you can do about it. Every decision we make has consequences; so long as we do what we feel is right (at the time) we shouldn't feel regret.
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#27 SparkyCola

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 12:08 PM

Godeskian- that comment wasn't JUST aimed at you- others have said it up there ^ also and it was to them to.

And - Although I'm not sure simply owning something gives you the right to do whatever the hell you want with it- because nearly whatever you do with it will affect other people- would you still set alight to the mag if you knew it would devastate dozens of people?

But anyways- how would you define 'own'- why do you 'own' your life? Your parents made you- whatever else they make is theirs- why aren't you? You didn't pay, work, or even choose to be born. People talk about the 'right to die' - you DO have a right to die- funny people don't have a right to be born when it comes to abortion, but i can safely assure you that you will die at some point. You have no control over your birth after all.

Let me also add, that just in case people don't click the link (I know I'm lazy sometimes..) that it raises a valid point which i agree with but didn't state outright last time; sometimes medicine does more harm than good. Sometimes it's right to let someone die naturally rather than keep them alive as a mushroom. There IS a HUGE difference, I'm sure you'd agree.

Besides- you're talking about suicide. This is about Euthanasia. Before abortion was legalised doctors could say 'no i don't want to do that.' now they can say that till the cows come home -but they ultimately still have to do it. It would force doctors, like the one from my link- to do something they don't want to do- and that's not right.

Do you have a comment on my other points, or were you deliberately not going to get into them :unsure:

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#28 Godeskian

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 12:25 PM

SparkyCola, on Nov 16 2005, 06:08 PM, said:

Do you have a comment on my other points, or were you deliberately not going to get into them :unsure:

I'm actually just on my way out so i'll have to keep it short. I was responding to the points you'd raised regarding my post, the rest of the points seemed pointed at other people. I will answer them though, if you want. I shall also respond to this post properly when I come home

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#29 Rhea

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 12:32 PM

SparkyCola, on Nov 15 2005, 04:08 PM, said:

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I've always figured that people who are against any form of assisted suicide have never seen a human being die in pain you wouldn't let your dog suffer.

Rhea- Ok well there are two parts to my answer here.

a) I strongly disagree. I watched helplessly for years while my dad died slowly and painfully of Cancer. Yet I disagree with Euthanasia. I'm almost inclined to think that comment condescendingly arrogant, but I'm sure you meant it as more of an actual point than how I took it at first, just to warn that it could be seen that way by people in my position.  :blush:

b) There is one thing I am against more than Euthanasia in this topic- the 'in-between' zone. Either Do it, or Don't. I am against it, but I'm even more against an attempt to compromise which falls down badly. Letting people starve to death is absolutely ridiculous. How is it any less killing them? In which case- why force them to die a worse death than one would put down their pet?? It's craziness to me. So I suppose in that way, I agree.

I think it's pretty much up to people and their families to decide what will happen if they get into a situation where they're stuck on machines and there's no hope of recovery. For me, I'd rather the plug be pulled, having watched two family members die lingering deaths because in Texas plug pulling is mostly not done.

I would like doctors to have the option of doing it for someone who has no hope of recovery and no family to help.

And I meant what I said - most of the people I know who are against pulling the plug haven't really seen a loved one die and their tune often changes when someone they love is forced to die a lingering, painful death. I know I made promises to my mother up to and including pulling the plug myself if she's ever in that position.

I certainly wasn't aiming my comment at you or intending to offend you. Some people believe that there's always hope, and that's fine for them and their families. But I want every individual and their family to have the choice, up to and including doctor-assisted suicide. There are many instances where even the strongest pain medications don't work any more and there's literally nothing else anyone can do. If the person is in full possession of their faculties and chooses to die such a death, that is certainly their right. But for people who have no hope of recovery and choose to make a more dignified exit before they're reduced to a whimpering mass, that should be their right too.
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Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#30 Eskaminzim

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 12:37 PM

Sparky:

>>Before abortion was legalised doctors could say 'no i don't want to do that.' now they can say that till the cows come home -but they ultimately still have to do it. <<

If this was mentioned in the link you provided, I couldn't see it becuase for some reason, it won't link for me.  But be that as it may...at least here in America, I'm not aware of even one physician who has been forced against his or her will to perform a voluntary abortion on any patient.  I'd like to see links (or ones I can actually see, at any rate. <G>) where a physician was forced into performing abortions.  I mean, brain surgery is legal, but they can't force my GP (general practitioner) to perform one on me just because I want it.  One, he's not qualified, and two, he's a free citizen of the US of A who doesn't have to do something that I want just because I have a legal right to have it performed.

Case in point...I believe it's in Mississippi (though it could be in Alabama as well) where, because of restrictive abortion laws and the general hostility toward abortion providers (you know, pesky things like bombs in clinics and stuff like that), where the state is pretty much down to one abortion provider.  Women aren't showing up, that I know of, demanding their GP or OB/GYN perform a voluntary TOP on them.  No, they're having to go to another state where there are people who will provide what they need.

Most hospitals have 'consciencious objector' clauses in their contracts, meaning that if someone does not feel comfortable doing something, like an abortion, or assisting on an abortion, they are can't be fired or held criminally liable for refusing, unless, I believe at least in some cases, the life of the mother is in immediate danger.

Legal or not, there are going to be minions of physicians whose moral code will not allow them to prescribe a lethal overdose of medication in order to assist, however obliquely, with euthanization of a patient.   And, legal or not, there are minions of physcians who not only WILL, but currently ARE doing just exactly that.

Speaking of this to a doctor friend of mine about this subject, he said that not only was he in favor of such a law, but that he had made an arrangement with an anaesthesiologist of his acquaintence (who has since passed on) that if he (my friend) were to undergo surgery, and during that surgery it came about that his life would be reduced to something akin to a turnip, that there would be an 'accident of anaesthesiology' that would take him out, painlessly, before he ever got out of the OR.  And he was totally and completely serious on that fact.

What I believe it comes down to is...if you, personally, are suffering from a terminal illness and are in great agony, and feel that you must struggle for every breath and minute of life left to you, then that is your perfect right to do so, and none should step in and give you a shot to end your suffering, because it is your choice, as a human being, to stay alive for as long as possible.

Conversely, if someone else suffers from the same terminal illness going through the same agony, and they do NOT want to struggle for every minute of life, that should be *their* right, as well, and no one should step in and demand that they do so, just as they should not demand that you die.

IMHO.

#31 SparkyCola

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 12:43 PM

I'm well aware that some aren't against it regardless of the law. The nurses continually offered my dad more morphine, knowing that he didn't need any more- he and my mum had to keep rejecting them and telling them to stop asking about it.

But as for the abortions thing- I was told that, and was under that impression, but I could very well be wrong. If anyone else has more conclusive or evidence which negates my comment, please add it :)

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#32 SparkyCola

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 12:46 PM

Incidentally I feel people are being more than a little selective about what they choose to respond to. Still I suppose it is early days. Just..I fear many of my points will be ignored in favour of simply repeating comments BEFORE my post :unsure:

Thank you for not sniping at me though ;) :hugs:

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#33 Eskaminzim

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 01:01 PM

Sparky:

If that last post was in some way related to me (and it might not have been), I do tend to respond to parts of a post that I feel qualified, in some way, to respond to, which is why I, personally, do it.  It's not cherry picking, honest.  <G>

As for offering your dad Morphine, I'm not the nurses so I can't say for sure why they did it, but....there is no way on God's green earth that anyone could KNOW that your dad didn't need it.  Pain is a subjective entity, unique entirely to the person experiencing it.  Yes, there are some telltale signs, such as sweating, writhing, frowning, crying, increased heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, but they are not universal.  Some people do not show any of these things, even though they are in great agony.  They can be smiling and laughing and dancing a jig around their hospital bed naked, and still be in extreme pain and would kill for a shot of Morphine, if only someone would offer it to them.  

Some folks are socialized into not asking, because of a pride thing that makes it seem like they're begging...or taking up the nurses' time..or whatever.  Some are socialized against showing any sort of 'weakness' altogether, and so will refuse to show outward signs of pain, even if they're in it.

The nurses, being who we are, are obligated to offer pain medication regardless of whether or not it appears that the patient we are offering it to (always assuming they have an order for it, etc) appears to need it or not.  It would be totally against who we are and what we do if we refused to offer easement to suffering.

That's why you'll see those charts with the smiley and frowny faces on them in most hospitals and doctors offices.  Because pain IS a subjective thing, and we can't tell whether or not you're in pain just by looking at you.  That's why we ask YOU if you are, and what level that pain is at, and don't just assume.

Them offering meds to your dad was a good thing.  Really.

#34 Rhea

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 01:30 PM

Eskaminzim, on Nov 16 2005, 09:37 AM, said:

Speaking of this to a doctor friend of mine about this subject, he said that not only was he in favor of such a law, but that he had made an arrangement with an anaesthesiologist of his acquaintence (who has since passed on) that if he (my friend) were to undergo surgery, and during that surgery it came about that his life would be reduced to something akin to a turnip, that there would be an 'accident of anaesthesiology' that would take him out, painlessly, before he ever got out of the OR.  And he was totally and completely serious on that fact.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I have a friend who was a doctor who did the same thing many years ago and unfortunately, at a fairly young age, the hospital staff did exactly as he asked.
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When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#35 Godeskian

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 02:15 AM

SparkyCola, on Nov 16 2005, 06:08 PM, said:

Godeskian- that comment wasn't JUST aimed at you- others have said it up there ^ also and it was to them to.

Fair enough.

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And - Although I'm not sure simply owning something gives you the right to do whatever the hell you want with it- because nearly whatever you do with it will affect other people- would you still set alight to the mag if you knew it would devastate dozens of people?

I probably wouldn't, but that wouldn't take away my legal right to do so. There is a distinction between what is legally right, and what is morally or ethically right, or even just plain consideration for other people's feelings. Having said that, if I genuinly believed it was in my best interest to burn the thing, I would.

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But anyways- how would you define 'own'- why do you 'own' your life? Your parents made you- whatever else they make is theirs- why aren't you? You didn't pay, work, or even choose to be born.

I would define own as being the sole owner of my physical body, and mental processes. This is generally achieved by the mostly unspectacular feat of living to the age of majority in whatever country you live in. Legally at that point, your parents are required to renounce any legal claims and authorities over you, and you become the owner of yourself.

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People talk about the 'right to die' - you DO have a right to die- funny people don't have a right to be born when it comes to abortion, but i can safely assure you that you will die at some point. You have no control over your birth after all.

I'm unsure how abortion entered ito this debate, but I don't think it's in any way relevant to an adult choosing suicide (or if terminally ill euthanasia) because in most countries you are your parents property at the very least, untill you are born. Ultimately, you are, as a fetus, in no way capable of making any decisions whatsoever, about life or death.

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sometimes medicine does more harm than good. Sometimes it's right to let someone die naturally rather than keep them alive as a mushroom. There IS a HUGE difference, I'm sure you'd agree.

I do agree there is a difference. When I say I support euthanasia, I don't mean that doctors should be lining up to lethally inject anyone diagnosed with a headache. I'd rather see something closer to the Dutch model where not only does the patient have to present their case, but it has to be checked by a doctor not related in any way to either the patient or their physician, to confirm the original doctors reccomendation.

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Besides- you're talking about suicide.
I know, I segued into that, and I apologise for derailing the thread.

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Before abortion was legalised doctors could say 'no i don't want to do that.' now they can say that till the cows come home -but they ultimately still have to do it. It would force doctors, like the one from my link- to do something they don't want to do- and that's not right.

It's odd to hear you say that, because every few weeks we have a thread in OT about one doctor or another who is refusing to do things on religious or moral grounds. I can provide, if you want, links to such news-reports and articles, so i'm not sure I'm willing to accept that any doctor must perform a procedure they are morally or religiously opposed to.

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#36 Godeskian

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 02:41 AM

SparkyCola, on Nov 16 2005, 01:08 AM, said:

- If a person cannot say one way or the other, who the hell would presume to take away their life? (I appreciate some of you state only people who CAN say should etc. but put it in for good measure)

I agree with this, barring the possibilityt hat the person in question has clearly expressed their will prior to losing the mental faculties to make that decision. For example, I have a will that specifically states that I authorise my family and my doctor to pull the plug on life-support if I am no longer likely (in at least two independant doctor's opinions) to ever recover.

However, The moment the person is no longer able to personally express their wishes, i'm not sure if it's euthanasia anymore.

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- "Quality of life" is not something which is simply a fact- there isn't a table of how happy you will be under certain circumstances. Now- a) the argument from a relative that someone has no 'quality of life' shouldn't stick,

I agree completely. This decision can, and should imo only be taken by the person in question, barring my previous caveat.

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b) why be so quick to say 'so kill them'? If someone were suicidally depressed and explained to you why, would you say 'ah yeah, that really is really bad. Ok then- let me help you commit suicide now *chucks off bridge*.' surely not?

I really don't like this as a characterisation of what i'm calling for, because it isn't and has never been my position. I have very clearly specified when I would support euthanasia and under what conditions, and under what supervision. I realise this wasn't pointed directly at me, but you did ask if I was going to respond to your other points, and the only way I can respond to this one is by saying "But I have never, ever in my life suggested that this is the way to treat euthanasia"

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- The person who has to do it is likely to be scarred by the incident for decades, if not for life (and there's no going back if you regret doing it).

Doctors deal with death all the time. If every doctor was scarred for life every time an action by them (either by misdiagnosis, or if a patient passes on an operating table or during treatment) caused a patient death, I can't imagine there would be many doctors left. Do you have any evidence in support of your opinion that a single rendering of euthanasia will leave a doctor scarred for life?

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- Some situations are far too ambiguous in nature, I wouldn't want to go into hospital fearing for my life if i fell into a coma or whatever. Doctors would easily be able to do it, or they could talk patients into it.

Again, I can't comment on this except with a 'I have never ever suggested this is an acceptable way of treating euthanasia'

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- can I ask you how you'd feel if you 'euthanased' someone - who had say 4 months left, and then medicine found a way to cure or prolong the life for that person? Medical advancement is rapid enough for that to be an issue.

In 99.9% of the cases I don't agree that medical advancement is an issue when it comes to real cases for euthanasia. Not the strawman, 'oh you have a headache, let's take you out back and shoot you', but real cases of terminally ill patients in a great deal of physical and mental pain.

Having said that, I would be willing to do it if the conditions i've already specified were met, and if it turned out that I was wrong, I would accept that it was unfortunate, but that the patient clearly expressed their wishes, was in a great deal of pain, that a fellow doctor had confirmed all of the above. I would accept it as unfortunate, but ultimately what the patient asked for and what was right witht he information at hand at the time.

I don't like the 'well what if medicine cures something next month' suggestion, because it asks doctors not just to be doctors, but to be soothsayers and prophets as well. It demands perfect, 20/20 hindsight in advance, and I think that's an unfair burden to put on anyone.

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- Doctors are often very wrong in their predictions of how long people will live.

Bioligy, especially human biology is a very inexact science still. However while I agree that they do get it wrong, they also get it right, and there is a huge difference between getting the timing wrong and the difference between 'terminal' and 'non-terminal'

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- It's easy for doctors, and may prevent them ever realising they have more to learn.
I seperated this out because it appears to be a different point than the one about the hospices. I don't see why controlled euthanasia would stop someone from learning. It should, properly, be an absolute last resort.

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and it can be noted that the countries allowing Euthanasia, example- Holland, have far poorer Hospice facilities than the UK and US.

I'll take your word for that as I have no idea from personal experience about hospices in the Netherlands.

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- Let me quote a British doctor:

Unfortunately quotes prove little, because another doctor might well say differently. People should be given control of their lives where possible, and where not, I believe they should be given control of their deaths.

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I would hope that I would never ask somebody to assist my death. Likewise I'd never do it to someone else. It is one of the most understandable things in the world- but I still don't condone it, for reasons stated above.

That's your choice and I respect that. However I feel very differently.

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However, I just feel there are important factors coming into play here, and I think they outweigh the argument that it puts someone 'out of their misery'.

And you have the right to that opinion. However I believe differently.

Defy Gravity!


The Doctor: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles... and that's a theory. Nine hundred years and I've never seen one yet, but this will do me.


#37 SparkyCola

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 04:53 PM

Ok not that I think we'll suddenly change each other's opinions on this matter, but:

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there is no way on God's green earth that anyone could KNOW that your dad didn't need it

I think my dad knew- he HIMSELF and my mum had to refuse it repeatedly, they're not stupid - they knew what was going on, k?

{{{{{{Godeskian}}}}}}

Thank you for such a mature thread. You are a great poster on OT (even though we're on opposing sides..), though could we save abortion for another thread? I'm not trying to avoid it- please do actually open another thread if you like- it's just, trying to argue the points of TWO huge topics is gonna a) be kinda confusing and b) make posts MASSIVE :crazy: and c) put people off!

And no, I believe you, and retract my comment on Drs being forced to against their moral will etc.

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Do you have any evidence in support of your opinion that a single rendering of euthanasia will leave a doctor scarred for life?

Did I say doctor? Relatives ultimately make the decision. And if doctors are so ok with it, why do some object on moral grounds, as you stated previously? It's a little different. You can't compare 'I tried my best to save them but ultimately I couldn't save them from the poison they ingested' and saying 'I poisoned them to kill them and end their pain'.

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It demands perfect, 20/20 hindsight in advance, and I think that's an unfair burden to put on anyone.

I'm not sure you're getting my point here. You don't have to be a prophet to know that medicine will advance in months to come and maybe a cure will be developed. And frankly, a blind man can see that killing them gives them 0% nil, zero, zilch of a chance when it comes to timing of medical advancements.

for timing- no, because 'in a few weeks/months i'll die anyway' could be an argument for somebody to choose Euthenasia and doctors are SO WRONG SO MUCH when it comes to this kinda thing, perhaps they would have preferred to spend a couple more years with their family.

I think the sum of my arguments, more than anything outlines why it should be illegal. I hope you read the article that I posted. Yes, it is a quote from a doctor. I wasn't using the fact that he was a doctor to strengthen my argument, but a) because he articulately writes what I also agree with and makes some very good points, and b) like i said, has the different perspective of being a doctor. I think he raises a lot of points I would not be in a position to, not being a doctor.

To be honest you seem to agree on a lot of the more serious of my arguments, so I'm surprised you still feel that Euthanasia should be legalised. Your argument of it being the absolute last resort means it makes a little more sense though...but like I say...It would never be a counsellor's last resort for a mentally depressed patient, to kill them. Why should it be for a doctor?

Thank you again for responding to all my points and being a great OT poster :hugs:

Incidentally, if you happen, by any chance, to be fluent in German...would you mind helping out my german A-level friend by translating these points into Deutsch?  :rolleyes:  She's doing coursework on it i think.. That's at anyone- do we have any Germans on Ex Isle?
Able to entertain a thought without taking it home to meet the parents

#38 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 06:34 PM

Euthanasia is one of those things where there are too many grey areas for it to work.

I agree that in a clear cut case of an individual who cannot be cured, who is undergoing painful treatment that simply staves off death or degeneration, who is in a lot of pain due to their condition and who really wants to die, then there are few who could say that they should not be able to.....

But think of the grey areas:

- people who want to die so as not to be a burden on their family
- people who are persuaded by their family for the sake of inheritance etc
- people who may be cured but are giving up
- people who cannot consent as they are paralised, in coma etc
- and many more besides.

and what of those who have to do it? Its easy to say that you wouldnt mind as long as they wanted it, but have you ever killed anyone?? You can never know what it is like until you have done it.

I have had my experience with euthanasia. I can see both for and agaist.

My grandfather was given an OD of morphine and my father watched him die. I have seen the pain from that reflected in his eyes. It devastated him. I would not want anyone to have to feel such pain. It is not easy to watch any creature die, let alone your own father.

My parents best friend. She has cancer and was slowly dying. There was little anyone could do for her except give her morphine. It got to the point where she was concious but on a machine to survive. She could not eat or drink on her own, it was being pumped into her stomach. She was in agony the likes of which few people will ever experience. She was denied euthanasia, or even having the machines switched off. So she killed herself. She ripped the tubes from her belly, mortaly wounding herself, and bled to death over night. When the nurses got to her there was no help to be had.

If this was the alternative, would you deny someone a swift and painless death?

I am not saying for or against here, mearly placing a few thoughts.

Personaly I think that an individuals life is their own. I do not believe that we are God's creations and therefore we cannot kill ourselves as our bodies are his, not ours, or most of the arguments against suicide. However, I think that the practical application of such a policy is so difficult and full of potential for abuse and mistake that it would be folly to allow. If you can take the issue into your own hands, then do. But if not, no-one should be obliged to do it for you.

However, I am fully in support of DNRs and provisions by individuals for if they fall into coma etc, and I believe these should be respected by family and doctors. An individual whose wishes are not know can cause havoc. It is expensive to keep an individual on life support so any who can be taken off it (by their own wishes) should be, and hysterical family memebers really only complicate things - there was a recent case in England when a husband had his wife taken off life support against the wishes of the parents. It is possibly the case that he wanted to re-marry but could not while she was in coma, so he solved the problem.... this could have been avoided if she had set out her wishes.... but thats another issue.

But its getting late so I'm not being very coherent LOL!

Edited by Schmokie_Dragon, 17 November 2005 - 06:39 PM.

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#39 Rhea

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 06:49 PM

^You were very coherent.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#40 rponiarski

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 09:26 PM

Eskaminzim, on Nov 14 2005, 07:48 PM, said:

I've got friends on Duragesic patches with both time released and regular Morphine for breakthru pain, plus enough Xanax and/or Ativan (anti anxiety medications) to euthanize a family of elephants, and it's stashed away against the time that they just can't deal with the agony anymore, and their doctors have given them no hope.

Are the doctors involved aware of the medication they're prescribing being used this way?  I'm sure they are, but keeping a terminal patient as pain free as possible is their ultimate goal, so it's really a six of one proposition.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I am not 100% sure that all the doctors are aware that your friends have all that medication. I know for a fact that the DEA and New York State are very strict with controlled substances. Matter of fact, I believe that some pain specialists have been targeted by the DEA and are being investigated about their prescribing habits. Has a chilling effect on many prescibers, I can assure you of that...
Richard M. Poniarski
Everyone is entitled to live in the reality of their own choosing...



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