Euthanasia

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Euthanasia

Postby Carleas » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:51 pm

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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:56 pm

Okay, interested parties and partesses, the debate is over.

It was good for me, was it good for you..?

Comments, insults, funny pictures, all welcome.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby cheegster » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:12 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed it, we explored quite a range of stuff in there. I have to apologise though Tab for not coming up with anything new in my last post btw, it was a little rushed. I'm glad the debate ended there though, as my next argument was to euthanize anybody who opposed euthanasia. Only joking kids :wink:

Also, I was thinking...shall we make it obligatory for any voters to write at least one reason as to their vote?
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:20 pm

cheegster wrote:Also, I was thinking...shall we make it obligatory for any voters to write at least one reason as to their vote?


Absolutely. We wrote a couple of thousand words there, the voters can probably manage at least a few themselves - I dunno - like 5 or something.

Now vote, damn your eyes punters... VOTE !!! :lol:
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby tentative » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:30 pm

I watched this debate with interest for a couple of reasons. I'm getting close to the wheelchair/depends/baby food scenario. I'm hoping that a massive heart attack will solve the inevitable problem, but failing that, I'd like to have my options open for no other reason than to preserve what little dignity I possess. (not much, but it's all I got)

Tab, It's a bit unfair, but I know you well enough to see that your heart really wasn't in this one. All your objections noted, they are all issues that procedures could easily overcome. Given the squirm factor of playing god, I seriously doubt that the evil side of euthenasia would be given much room to operate. One compelling argument you missed is euthenasia for the purpose of collecting replacement body parts for the black market. That would definitely be an evil product sellable in poverty stricken countries. I can see some poor Indian with a wife and seven children being told that after going to the big sleep, his family can sell his bits and pieces for enough money to live the good life. I mean, he's going to die at some point, why not now and support his starving family? But in developed countries with strong rule of law, euthenasia could be regulated well enough to insure that the evils would be kept down to a dull roar. You might have mentioned hospice, which is just slow euthenasia. The dying are fed enough dope to keep them out of pain (and out of mind) till the body gives up. Hospice is green-lighted in most developed countries right now, so a form of euthenasia is already in practice.

Cheegster, I think that you had the right idea in emphasizing individual rights for making the live-die decision. You might have pushed it a little harder, because euthenasia is finally an argument over what is best for the individual -vs- everyone else. You might have been a little too polite and had Tab put up a harder fight, you might have lost.

So I vote for Cheegster on this one. My vote may be slightly skewed because I wanted him to win before the debate started.

The debate might have been more interesting if the discussion revolved around the right to choose and who get's to make that decision instead of the downstream effects of euthenasia.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:30 pm

Eh I dunno JT, the best parallel would have been abortion for me. To the point I didn't want to raise it in the discussion. I thought of the the black-market parts bit, but then thought (a) it happens already and (b) old people's organs, esp. third-world old people's organs aren't going to fetch much of a price, hell - competition might even bring the prices down should euthanasia become widespread.

With abortion however, most of the (legal) problems are disposed of because of the dubious individual rights of the foetus, and the fact they own no property or income. Both of these apply in spades to the aged. You might want it, but its explicit version - beyond the hospices, is impracticable.

EDIT: And no offence - but the whole bias thing pisses me off. Read it again without the death-tinted glasses on and tell me I was wrong.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby tentative » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:51 pm

Tab, I guess I'm just a little to the left of left on this one. I'm not looking at euthenasia just for us old 'uns. The cliche "quality of life" has real meaning to me and I see no validity in any argument that others should decide what quality of life means to any individual. The 20 year old parplegic confined to a life of misery and no hope has just as much right to choose death as his failing grandfather. Age has nothing to do with it. What is meaningful life is the most personal of personal decisions and no one has some sort of automatic right to usurp that decision from any individual. Sure, there can be all sorts of artificial laws and penalties created to prevent suicide or assisted euthenasia, but IMO, it is sticking the collective nose into business it has no place. Life is precious - but I get to decide whether continuing my life is precious. No one can take that from me.

I'm not endorsing soylent green here, but since the world managed to get along before I came into being, it will probably manage as well without my presence. My demise is only of consequence to me. Should I decide that I no longer have the quality of life I find reasonable, then friends and family should support whatever decision I make. The clue here is to ask anyone you have ever known if they would choose to give that perogative to anyone else. I'd bet a dollar to a dog turd you couldn't find one.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:35 pm

Sure JT - but the issue here is not the right to take your own life, that's suicide. A different fish. Euthanasia is being legally able to cede the final responsibility for taking your life into the hands of another, to which I do not agree. When my brain goes even a little bit loopy, and the doc says "well tab its all downhill from here" I'm going make sure my will is straight, that everyone I care for is provided for, and then shuffle off the mortal coil in as a convivial means as possible, preferably leaving nary a spot on the carpet. I'm damn well not going to put my son, daughter or wife into the position of being complicit with my killing, legal or otherwise.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby tentative » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:44 pm

Tab wrote:Sure JT - but the issue here is not the right to take your own life, that's suicide. A different fish. Euthanasia is being legally able to cede the final responsibility for taking your life into the hands of another, to which I do not agree. When my brain goes even a little bit loopy, and the doc says "well tab its all downhill from here" I'm going make sure my will is straight, that everyone I care for is provided for, and then shuffle off the mortal coil in as a convivial means as possible, preferably leaving nary a spot on the carpet. I'm damn well not going to put my son, daughter or wife into the position of being complicit with my killing, legal or otherwise.
??? euthenasia is suicide by _______. Having made the choice, it makes no difference who pulls the plug. But we're on the same page - kinda. You don't have to make anyone complicit. It's YOUR decision. All you ask is that they honor the decision YOU have made. They don't have to agree with the decision, just your right to make that choice.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:54 pm

People who want to commit suicide kill themselves and leave a note. People who want to talk themselves out of it tell other people about it first. Why would you do it..? You kill yourself after a nice self-congratulatory chat with the family and they are left forever thinking "What could I have done..?" "What could I have said to stop dad wanting to die..?"

I mean what..? Do you hate your kids or something..? To dump that headtrip on them..? It is our duty to protect those we love from that kind of crap remember, even if it is our own crap.

It makes no difference who pulls the plug..? What are you on..? I'm sitting with a gun in my lap.

(a) I pull the trigger.
(b) I call my wife on the phone and have her pull the trigger instead.

No difference..? Seriously..?
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby tentative » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:24 pm

Tab wrote:People who want to commit suicide kill themselves and leave a note. People who want to talk themselves out of it tell other people about it first. Why would you do it..? You kill yourself after a nice self-congratulatory chat with the family and they are left forever thinking "What could I have done..?" "What could I have said to stop dad wanting to die..?"

I mean what..? Do you hate your kids or something..? To dump that headtrip on them..? It is our duty to protect those we love from that kind of crap remember, even if it is our own crap.

It makes no difference who pulls the plug..? What are you on..? I'm sitting with a gun in my lap.

(a) I pull the trigger.
(b) I call my wife on the phone and have her pull the trigger instead.

No difference..? Seriously..?

But that's the beauty of euthenasia. The family doesn't have to "help", they just have to stay out of the way. Obviously, you would want your family to understand that there is no guilt for them. It has nothing to do with your love for them or their love for you. It is back to the quality of life issue, and if they know you, they know how you would choose to NOT live. Families are often forced to make that decision for an incapacitated family member on life support in a hospital. When do we pull the plug? The scenario of your wife or your children having to pull the plugis a nightmare possibility, but it doesn't change the fact that someone has to make a decision. So what? Hang on till you can't make the decision yourself and force someone to make it for you?

Hey, are we having a debate? CHEEGSTER! Get your ass in here...
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:48 pm

The family doesn't have to "help", they just have to stay out of the way.


"Or through inaction allow a human to come to harm." Even robots know that one.

Hang on till you can't make the decision yourself and force someone to make it for you?


I'm assuming you think this is bad yes..? I agree. Which is why depending on euthanasia is cowardice, and suicide is not.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby cheegster » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:09 am

Whoa, looks like you guys are having a debate all by yourselves! I'll have some comments tomorrow.

Tentative (and anybody else here on in) your vote and comments are much appreciated!
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby tentative » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:18 am

Tab,

One of us is a little confused - or both of us. You say:
You kill yourself after a nice self-congratulatory chat with the family and they are left forever thinking "What could I have done..?" "What could I have said to stop dad wanting to die..?"

I mean what..? Do you hate your kids or something..? To dump that headtrip on them..? It is our duty to protect those we love from that kind of crap remember, even if it is our own crap.


And a post later you say:
Which is why depending on euthanasia is cowardice, and suicide is not.

If suicide is not cowardice, is it bravery? Is the effect on family different should one choose euthenasia over suicide? Would the family feel better about suicide than euthenasia? There is a link here I'm missing, or there is some sort of disconnect? Are you saying that neither euthenasia or suicide is acceptable?
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Blurry » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:29 pm

If I may interject --

Tab, when a person gets to a point where they would consider something like euthanasia, they're probably already dying slowly. One would think that a person would push it off until the last possible lucid moment, but eventually the quality of life of a person in that situation goes to zero, and how is it any more painful for family for the person to then decide to end their life than it is to watch a person they love die slowly, and more than likely with some amount of pain?

My aunt is a nurse, and she used to do in-home care. She worked for a woman who, at the age of 70, was in excellent shape, went jogging every day -- until the day she was jogging and got hit by a car. She spent the next 10+ years of her life lying in a bed unable to move, being taken care of by a bevy of nurses, until the day she just gave up. She didn't want to be alive anymore, so she quit eating. Her family and all the nurses who had worked with her for so long and grew to love her got to watch her kill herself over the course of a week and a half, and it was torturous. They contemplated force-feeding her, hooking her up to some tubes and pumping liquid nutrients into her, but that would've been downright cruel and they knew it. How much more peaceful and easy could the process have been for everyone involved if she had been able to request a shot that would send her to sleep to never wake up again?
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby cheegster » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:05 pm

Okay so it seems like you guys are pretty focussed on voluntary euthanasia.

Whilst I may not agree with everything I was arguing, this point picked up by tentative is something I have always been genuinely quite passionate about.

euthenasia is finally an argument over what is best for the individual -vs- everyone else


So, as I was drumming home in the debate, depending on what is in the best interests. I have to say that there is close link of suicide to euthanasia, but I think that both the allowing of euthanasia to go ahead (Tab's idea of a headtrip then suicide) and actual assisted suicide by applying the injection to stop their suffereing are two different types of euthanasia. But euthanasia at that, imo.

Blurred, do a vote!
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:43 pm

JT wrote:If suicide is not cowardice, is it bravery? Is the effect on family different should one choose euthenasia over suicide? Would the family feel better about suicide than euthenasia? There is a link here I'm missing, or there is some sort of disconnect? Are you saying that neither euthenasia or suicide is acceptable?


Death is never desirable of its own accord, happy, healthy people don't go and shoot themselves in the head. As such neither suicide nor euthanasia are things to be wished for. Both result in the death of the sufferer, but which causes more suffering, is what I'm after with you JT.

You seem to be okay with letting the family in on your death, as long as apparently, they 'respect your decision' and 'keep out of the way'.

But exactly what would you think of a family like that..? "Yeah sure Dad, you go 'head if that's what you want. We'll keep out of the bathroom for an hour or two, okay..? Will that be enough..? Hey Mum, do we have enough Ajax and brillo-pads to scrape Dad's corpse outta the tub or y'wanna I make a run to the store..?"

Seems... Somehow callous to me.

The opposite is mayhem. The family will call interventions, put you on suicide watch, whatever, they love you, want you around. And always will, because if you have enough braincells left to sit down with them and articulate your designs for a quiet dignified death, then you are still enough 'you' for them to discount the acceptability of your suicide. Do you get this..? While you remain functional and complis-mentis enough to initiate this kind of dialogue with your family they will automatically seek to circumvent your desire. The only point where they will agree that you're no longer worth having around is when you're not, and by that time you will be so fogged and disabilitized that you won't be able to do the job yourself.

The only sane way to do it, to spare both sides, is, if and when you decide, simply to put your affairs quietly in order, write or otherwise record your goodbyes, and disappear.

You can't have it both ways, cannot have your death-cake and eat it. You die isolate and with dignity, or die in company like a dog.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:51 pm

Blurred wrote:until the day she just gave up. She didn't want to be alive anymore, so she quit eating.


Why didn't anyone just smother her with a pillow at some point during that week of starvation..?

Horrible question I know. But apt. It was obvious the old lady wished to kill herself, and yet no-one helped her to. Why not..?
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby AnitaS » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:11 pm

Tab wrote:Death is never desirable of its own accord, happy, healthy people don't go and shoot themselves in the head. As such neither suicide nor euthanasia are things to be wished for. Both result in the death of the sufferer, but which causes more suffering, is what I'm after with you JT.

You seem to be okay with letting the family in on your death, as long as apparently, they 'respect your decision' and 'keep out of the way'.

But exactly what would you think of a family like that..? "Yeah sure Dad, you go 'head if that's what you want. We'll keep out of the bathroom for an hour or two, okay..? Will that be enough..? Hey Mum, do we have enough Ajax and brillo-pads to scrape Dad's corpse outta the tub or y'wanna I make a run to the store..?"

Seems... Somehow callous to me.
Really? Because it seems even more callous to me to sit around watching your loved one in agony, left with no hope for recovery, but no immediate end to the suffering in sight.

Perfect example:
Blurred wrote:until the day she just gave up. She didn't want to be alive anymore, so she quit eating.

Why didn't anyone just smother her with a pillow at some point during that week of starvation..?

Horrible question I know. But apt. It was obvious the old lady wished to kill herself, and yet no-one helped her to. Why not..?
Why not indeed - it all boils down to legalities, doesn' it? Therein lies the rub - the gap between what a living will legally covers and what often happens in reality. A living will is all well and fine as far as it goes - you can elect to have no extraordinary measures taken to keep you alive - but that doesn't help much if you're suffering but live on even without any extraordinary measures.

Which is why this doesn't make any sense to me:
And always will, because if you have enough braincells left to sit down with them and articulate your designs for a quiet dignified death, then you are still enough 'you' for them to discount the acceptability of your suicide. Do you get this..? While you remain functional and complis-mentis enough to initiate this kind of dialogue with your family they will automatically seek to circumvent your desire. The only point where they will agree that you're no longer worth having around is when you're not, and by that time you will be so fogged and disabilitized that you won't be able to do the job yourself.
Your family would normally seek to circumvent your desire if you invoke it while still in good health. But that is what I'd consider the fine distinction between assisted suicide and euthanasia: one turns into the other only at the point at which there is no hope for recovery.

Once that line has been crossed, would your family really want to circumvent your wishes? That, to me, is what would be callous.

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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Blurry » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:05 pm

Tab wrote:
Blurred wrote:until the day she just gave up. She didn't want to be alive anymore, so she quit eating.


Why didn't anyone just smother her with a pillow at some point during that week of starvation..?

Horrible question I know. But apt. It was obvious the old lady wished to kill herself, and yet no-one helped her to. Why not..?



Because to do so would've put whoever helped her in prison.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:15 pm

Look, let me see if I'm understanding what you three are saying. Because I'm struggling.

For simplicity's sake - yes/no.

You don't want to have to suffer pain before you die, if there is no hope for your recovery, and the life you are leading has become unbearable.

Rather than that, you'd like someone, a family member, ie. your children to take responsibility for either killing you, or having you killed.

To this effect, as a guard against being too crazy or otherwise incommunicado to request it, you'll leave a document saying "in the event of x, y and z, I hereby authorize the bearer of this document to end my life."

Would you agree, that most of the time, you will actually have some notice of impending drastic life-standard change - for example end-stage terminal cancer doesn't just hit on an unexpected Tuesday. ie I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, BHAM!!! I have end-stage terminal cancer and am too weak to put myself out of my agony.

If it is your turn to take out the trash, your responsibility, would you leave that trash until it got to the point where it was really stinking your house up and even then tell one of your kids to take it out for you..?
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby tentative » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:14 pm

Tab,

No one is suggesting ending life on a whim. I'll go back to quality of life. My family knows how I would choose to live, and the lower limits of those choices. They would never wish for me to have to give up those minimum choices just to keep breathing. Quite frankly, sad as it might be, they would be relieved if I made the decision as opposed to forcing them to make it for me. In short, because they know me, they would support any decision I make. I recently had an old friend do exactly what Blurred described. He simply decided to stop eating. His family regretted his decision, but they honored it, as did his close friends. Every effort was made to keep him from having pain and all of us took turns standing "watch". It wasn't fun, but we honored his decision. It may be that you aren't trusting family and friends to know you well enough to allow you to make the decision out in the open in front of the whole world, but some of us would prefer no secrecy, nothing but facing reality. There is nothing wrong with transparency and there are very few who aren't aware that sometimes, life is over before the body gives up. It's about making informed obvious choices. Whether we call it suicide or euthenasia the important thing remains having the ability to make the decision. Is everyone happy happy? No. But don't sell people short on their ability to understand that only the individual has the right to make that decision.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:37 pm

It may be that you aren't trusting family and friends to know you well enough to allow you to make the decision


Yeah, thanks for that one.

You just don't see that I want my family and friends to have no part in what to me is a distasteful business. You want to put those you love through the experience of watching you slide toward death like a bag full of pus then that is your choice.

Frankly, this is too personal a matter right now for me to discuss without losing my sense of perspective, and obviously already too late for my sense of humour. Let's call it cultural and aesthetic differences and leave it.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby AnitaS » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:54 pm

Tab wrote:If it is your turn to take out the trash, your responsibility, would you leave that trash until it got to the point where it was really stinking your house up and even then tell one of your kids to take it out for you..?

If this is the only way you're able to view the situation, Tab, well, I think that's an extremely narrow view. Couldn't you also look at it as allowing a loved one to give an invaluable gift? If you had a dying child, a dying parent, suffering excruciating pain with no hope of improvement, wouldn't you be willing to do just about anything to give them the gift of peace? Wouldn't you want to do anything in your power to save them from their misery? If I were ever in that position, I sure wouldn't see it as "taking out the trash."


I realize this issue is so complex, and it's relatively easy to argue against the extremes; in reality there are so many gray areas. I just know that if someone I loved deeply was spending their final days in intense pain, I would gladly bear the burden of guilt if I could relieve any amount of their suffering.

edit: sorry, I just now read your most recent post. no need to respond, as it wasn't my intent to make things harder on you.

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Re: Euthanasia

Postby tentative » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:58 pm

My mother is still with us at 87 and you're right. There is nothing humourous about it. Done and done.
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