Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Bouncy Castle » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:43 am

....they have the right to be able to say: enough!


Trouble is, with things like Motor Neurone, they may physically be unable to "say" enough.
Last edited by Bouncy Castle on Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

The rest of us are a bit crap.
User avatar
Bouncy Castle
Member
 
Posts: 11988
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:08 pm
Location: London

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:45 pm

Which is why the option to go by assisted death should be out there in a pro-active and easily accessible way so that people who have that kind of 'living death' scenario hanging over them can at least make an informed decision about it before they're in the position where they can no longer make a decision/indicate what their choice is... :cry:

It's common practice now for people with some terminal illnesses to have a 'no resuscitation' clause for surgical procedures including more natural emergencies like heart attacks and strokes and palliative procedures in hospices (talking morphine drips here) also 'ease' a death along in a legally medical environment. Why then are more 'direct' methods so offensive or scary to people who've never been in a position to judge when life is medically intolerable for an individual? You don't know what you'll do until you're there - Terry's said he's not there yet, but he'd like to know what his options are now. That's all. :|

It's getting to be one of those rare situation where human rights legislation could be positively useful and should be debated fully as a basic right at the end of any life. We can make such decisions for beloved pets and be seen as humane so why not for ourselves? I would draw the line at other non-medical people (so relations I suppose) making the decision for you, even (or especially) on behalf of those who are incapable for whatever reason of making a rational/properly informed decision - it's an unpleasant subject but surely it's one that has to be canvassed and supported. :?
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10532
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby michelanCello » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:23 pm

It certainly is delicate... I support the theory of assisted death, it's only problematic to work out the actual technical part of it... :?
Listen.
User avatar
michelanCello
Member
 
Posts: 8747
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: Budapest, Hungary (and yes, I'm sure it's Budapest, not Bucharest)

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby MellowD » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:21 pm

I think the most important point about this though is that it's the choice of the individual.

If this is a discussion, it's about whether a person should have the choice or not. In response though, this is something that would also affect society.

Why shouldn't people have the right to decide when they want to go?

When I said Doctors can make mistakes, I was not considering them having the choice, but rather that it happens often enough that medications or injections are given to the wrong patient. I think that should be reason enough.

In fact the article provides another reason why an individual should not have the right to decide. Irrespective of what ever pain he was suffering, he had chronic fatigue - as a result it's highly likely he was suffering from clinical depression where you lose interest and motivation in everything including life. This is something that can be cured, as is sleep deprivation (which I'm sure caused his muscle atrophy). A person suffering from depression is not in a healthy state of mind to make such a decision. (A further point is that a healthy state of mind can be difficult to assess.)

People in all walks of life can face great trials, I think pain being the top of these, and they heroically persevere - often producing people that have gone on to do great things for humanity.

MD
MellowD
New member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Tonyblack » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:51 pm

MellowD wrote:
People in all walks of life can face great trials, I think pain being the top of these, and they heroically persevere - often producing people that have gone on to do great things for humanity.

MD

That argument is rather like saying that abortion shouldn't be allowed because who knows what that foetus may go on to be. It's not really an argument at all because - who knows?

As someone who suffers from chronic clinical depression - and was first diagnosed over 30 years ago, I have to take you to task on your understanding of the condition. Firstly it can not always be cured. Secondly it most certainly does not mean that you lose all perspective over life and death.

But beside that, I go back to my point about why shouldn't people decide when they want to die? Why is life considered so precious that we have to stick with it no matter how much we are suffering?

It's an old argument but a justified one I think: why is it we see putting a beloved pet out of its misery and suffering as an act of kindness, and yet thinking about doing the same thing for a human being is seen as morally wrong? It doesn't add up.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28821
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:17 pm

MellowD wrote:A person suffering from depression is not in a healthy state of mind to make such a decision. (A further point is that a healthy state of mind can be difficult to assess.)

You think so? It isn't fair to quote you out of context because you're mostly right in saying that, but it's a hell of an assumption. Enough people suffering from depression take their own lives anyway - often in really painful and horrific ways that not least affect their families and whole social circle in terrible ways, often because they had no idea things were so bad for the person to take that ultimate and irrevocable decision on their own without support.
For people who have to live with depression (I'm one of them although I appreciate you may not know this being relatively new on this forum) suicide is something that you think about a lot, even if you have no intention of doing that for a variety of reasons, even if it doesn't worry you that you'll hurt the people who do love you very much indeed by doing so. Depression distorts your reasoning, even if you're on medication or in deep therapy, but the stand out thing for people with a mental predisposition to end their lives is most often one of isolation. Here's a thing - how would be if there was somewhere you knew you could find out about ending your life safely after being assessed and counselled as to whether it's the right course and where nobody gets prosecuted or penalised for helping you reach a decision? No more deliberate fatal overdoses, jumps from great heights, or onto railway lines, or looking down the barrel of gun in the depths of despair at the midnight hour with an empty whiskey bottle?
When I was on 'suicide alert' I was prescribed strong medication that I was told, in no uncertain terms by the psychiatrist, would NOT kill me if I overdosed no matter how many I took. What it would do he told me would be to f*ck my digestive system irrevocably so I'd need surgery and pain medication for the rest of my life. I wasn't going to suicide then and I'm still not about to end my life now, not because I scared of wrecking my digestive tract, but because I won't hurt my friends and family that way because I've seen what suicide by whatever means does to the people left behind - and I have things I want to do still on a more selfish level.

If I was going to go for it, if I knew there was a legal way to do it (or 'manage' it if you like), then I'd probably choose to use that route so that it at least prepared people, including myself, for the end. Dignatas mostly helps people with terminal illnesses who have already lived useful, enjoyable lives. The people who go there who aren't medically terminal are often not accepted or, if they are, then change their minds because they realise they're not ready yet. That speaks volumes for a system like that being socially responsible and there are other institutions around the world that work in a similar way and where the individual, having 'won' the right to make the decision on when enough is enough, can then determine when that moment comes. For themselves and others.

MellowD wrote:People in all walks of life can face great trials, I think pain being the top of these, and they heroically persevere - often producing people that have gone on to do great things for humanity.

And again that involves choice and an act of will. It's wonderful if you can find the strength to fight so hard and so long, but what if you can't? Most people only have so much strength and, more importantly, hope. It's not a blanket decision but personal and individual, hopefully made from an informed and inclusive perspective.
Where you can establish that a prognosis is bad and life has become unbearable for the patient and for those who care for them, then why prolong the inevitable for the sake of an imposed, or more often unpredictable, timescale. Ditto for legal conformity, where there is no criminal intent and affairs have been 'put in order'. It's not a route for everyone, but it's one that needs to be there for some people to end a life that become insupportable for them, for whatever reason.

It's a parole system in other words where the life sentence serves no purpose any more. A matter of mercy, not convenience. :(
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10532
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Dotsie » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:43 am

MellowD wrote:When I said Doctors can make mistakes, I was not considering them having the choice, but rather that it happens often enough that medications or injections are given to the wrong patient. I think that should be reason enough.

You think that a doctor will just go up to a person and mistakenly euthanise them? Have you ever seen inside a hospital? Yes mistakes are made, but serious mistakes are rare, and it's likely that assisted death will involve much input from the physician before it takes place. Not to mention that the patient will most likely be lucid, and will probably need to confirm there intentions right until the last.

How many people who have genuinely wanted to die gone on to do great things for humanity? Can you name any?
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
User avatar
Dotsie
Member
 
Posts: 9413
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:07 am

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Quatermass » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:03 am

While I believe that euthanasia in extremis (that is, when the person is suffering from a terminal condition that cannot be treated or cured, and the person desires death with good reason and good reasoning) is a good thing, I also should play devil's advocate here and point out some possible problems with legalising euthanasia.

The first is religious. Suicide is almost universally condemned in religion. The actual reason why is that religions tend to sell people on the concept of a wonderful afterlife, but people going through hard lives decide that they want to get to heaven or paradise or wherever quicker. And euthanasia, regardless of the motives, is a form of suicide when it is done, or asked to be done, by the suffering person. Religion may not be quite as powerful as it used to be, but they will still bring pressure to bear on any pro-euthanasia groups, and condemn anyone who dies via euthanasia.

The second, and the more relevant, is legal. For every law that protects well-intentioned people, it also protects the utter bastards of the world. Legalising euthanasia can open up a means for murderers to get away with their crimes. I don't mean murderers like serial murderers, although you might get ones like Harold Shipman, but I mean ones like family members trying to hasten their bequeathment, or doctors taking advantage of those in a vulnerable state. This only means that it can happen, not that it will, though given human nature, it seems virtually inevitable.

The third, mentioned earlier, is psychological. It may take only a single depressive episode in someone who has a potentially (but not actually at the time) terminal illness to request euthanasia. Death is final, death is irrevocable, death is forever. But not all cancers are untreatable, for example, and some variants of motor neurone disease act over decades rather than a couple of years.

In short, if euthanasia is to be legalised, then it needs a metric f**kton of regulation in order to minimise as many of these issues as possible. And quite frankly, I don't see euthanasia becoming legal in a country any time soon where the monarch is the head of the state religion.
I've lived for over 2000 years, and not all of them were good ones. I've made many mistakes. And it's about time I did something about that.

-The Twelfth Doctor, Doctor Who: Deep Breath
User avatar
Quatermass
Member
 
Posts: 5614
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:58 am

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Quatermass » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:15 am

Dotsie wrote:How many people who have genuinely wanted to die gone on to do great things for humanity? Can you name any?


Dunno about great things for humanity, but apparentl Vanilla Ice is one example.

Tom Baker is probably a better example. When married to Anna Wheatcroft, he was forced to act as a nursemaid to his father-in-law Alfred Wheatcroft after he had a stroke. Tom Baker decided to commit suicide using antidepressants, only to wake up some hours later alive, but badly constipated. And this was at least a decade or two before he starred in Doctor Who. Anyway, that's what he claims in his autobiography.
I've lived for over 2000 years, and not all of them were good ones. I've made many mistakes. And it's about time I did something about that.

-The Twelfth Doctor, Doctor Who: Deep Breath
User avatar
Quatermass
Member
 
Posts: 5614
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:58 am

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:57 pm

Q - did you see Choosing to Die when it aired over in Oz recently? The younger of the two men who went to Dignatas featured in that had attempted suicide several times and still managed to sod it up, even in one early attempt after taking enough of whatever drug it was to kill a rhino (apparently). He woke up 5 days later having been in a coma and doing further damage to his innards in addition to the pain/distress he was in with his MS.

It's for people like that, who pro-actively and seriously seek death (not impulse/'cry for help' cases like TB) with or without a terminal condition who will most benefit from legislation to allow 'elective' death, as it will offer them a socially sustainable avenue to ending their lives in a less distressing and uncivilised manner which is the mark of genuine suicides in most cultures at present, where it's still mostly stigmatised in some manner for whatever reason.

The religious argument is totally bogus as it's simply to stop people attaining the afterlife whenever they feel like it and is really to support the normal social deterrents, more than a matter of faith per se. A case where state and church are as one in binding their eyes to a problem that needs addressing from a modern and scientific standpoint. :x
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10532
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Quatermass » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:16 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:Q - did you see Choosing to Die when it aired over in Oz recently? The younger of the two men who went to Dignatas featured in that had attempted suicide several times and still managed to sod it up, even in one early attempt after taking enough of whatever drug it was to kill a rhino (apparently). He woke up 5 days later having been in a coma and doing further damage to his innards in addition to the pain/distress he was in with his MS.

It's for people like that, who pro-actively and seriously seek death (not impulse/'cry for help' cases like TB) with or without a terminal condition who will most benefit from legislation to allow 'elective' death, as it will offer them a socially sustainable avenue to ending their lives in a less distressing and uncivilised manner which is the mark of genuine suicides in most cultures at present, where it's still mostly stigmatised in some manner for whatever reason.


I taped it, but haven't gotten around to watching it. I missed taping (though not watching) the first few minutes because I needed to tape NCIS for my mother. The recording starts from the bit where Terry Pratchett visits the man with motor neurone disease.

But if you don't have a terminal condition, I personally feel that suicide is a stupid option. As I believe that the odds of an afterlife are Buckley's, and that in all likelihood oblivion awaits after death, I feel that it is better to experience the trials and travails of life than to have no experience at all. If life has any meaning, then it is experience.

Euthanasia should only be provided in extremis. In other words, if the condition of the person is irrevocably terminal. And please don't make any sardonic remarks about life being a terminal illness. I don't think this is the place.

Jan Van Quirm wrote:The religious argument is totally bogus as it's simply to stop people attaining the afterlife whenever they feel like it and is really to support the normal social deterrents, more than a matter of faith per se. A case where state and church are as one in binding their eyes to a problem that needs addressing from a modern and scientific standpoint. :x


Oh, I wasn't agreeing with it. I was just pointing the issue out. Remember, I said 'devil's advocate'.

But I noticed, Jan, that you did not discuss (either in agreement or disagreement) the legal concerns I raised.
I've lived for over 2000 years, and not all of them were good ones. I've made many mistakes. And it's about time I did something about that.

-The Twelfth Doctor, Doctor Who: Deep Breath
User avatar
Quatermass
Member
 
Posts: 5614
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:58 am

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:08 am

Quatermass wrote:But I noticed, Jan, that you did not discuss (either in agreement or disagreement) the legal concerns I raised.

I was in in a hurry and had already said a lot in here so was just addressing what I had focussed on with your posts. ;)

I have given my own views and discussed them in terms of the legal and the moral aesthetics in other threads on this subject. Of course there has to be a fairly strict legal framework to cover all the bases for the weak and vulnerable people that the bastards of this world would exploit and I think I mentioned in my reply to MellowD's observations that elective/assisted death (euthanasia to me implies something less flexible and prescriptive though still enshrined in law) is probably not ever going to be a route for people who are legally or educationally unable to make rational decisions due to impaired mental or physical capacity, simply because of the disadvantages they already have. However, in an informed and civilised society it's certainly something that ought to be debated politically in terms of basic social rights where there is a demonstrated need for a review of attitudes and expectation of how people can expect to exit this world in the same way that people are now taking advantage of advances in genetics to bring newborns into it? People are already helped to die medically in most modern hospitals after all so why is it so abhorrent to want to talk about making this more transparent and 'accessible' in certain circumstances which can be defined legally and morally as well as purely medically?

As for suicide as an option - I'd probably never do it myself and would certainly not recommend any one else do it, but that doesn't stop it happening. Life as an experience is largely down to attitude - determined suicides generally have had a bellyful of adverse experience as they see it, which is why they want to do it. That's not being facetious or even cynical, just a plain fact. People don't generally take their own lives for the hell of it, even if they're total fruitcakes but because they are in extremis as you say - if they weren't then they wouldn't be considering such a desperate act at all. I did say in my earlier posts that people who suicide are often extremely isolated and feel they are beyond help and that's why they usually die in terrible or even squalid ways that have horrible repercussions for their families and social circle. If there was a regulatory administrative or judicial body handling applications to legally end life, with 'proper' guidelines etc then perhaps that would at least mean that they'd get counselling and advice on their situation and then perhaps some desperate people might not feel they need to leave the world quite so dramatically or at all. That's at least saving some lives or making their last days not quite as harrowing for the individual or for those who care about them if they are determined to go. Wannabe suicides may not be in physical distress necessarily, but they're in pain and anguish in their heads or hearts and that can make make life intolerable as well - if they're rational about their reasons then maybe we're back to the parole argument with death as the outcome for a life that's over so far as the 'owner' is concerned? :?
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10532
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby robbinzo » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:45 am

I am a Terry Pratchett fan but unfortunately I have to completely disagree with assisted suicide. Terry's alzheimers might even benefit from adding coconut oil to his diet and he may never need to be assisted in death.
http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscienc ... rs-Remedy/
The numbers of people effected by this issue are growing but once this thin end of the wedge is driven in to the door, it opens a world of potential evil.
It all ended very badly after Hitler decided who was fit to live and die. That began with killing mentally handicapped and the so-called "unfit."
You can not trust government with this sort of power, especially when I read about doctors arguing that killing children up to the age of three is ethically the same as abortion.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healt ... s-say.html
We already have the "Liverpool care pathway" which sounds like torture to me.
In Plato's Republic the question was asked "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Or "who will guard the guards themselves?" Terry even referred to this concept in the discworld books. Plato's response was that the wise men who rule are the only ones capable of guarding society. They therefore will guard themselves. However, back in the real world we find that there are no wise men. I would argue that nobody should be allowed to decide who lives and dies and that this means that it is up to the individual to end their own life. And yes that means that some won't be able to do this because of their inability to physically move. Assisted suicide might be right for some but history tells us that it will be abused.
This is all too close to eugenics for my liking.
robbinzo
New member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:15 am

Re: Why assisted death MUST become legal...

Postby Dotsie » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:01 am

Hi robbinzo. I have to say, this is nothing like eugenics. The difference being of course, the individuals' right to choose - the direct opposite to Hitler's philosophy.

And how unlike a religious website to propose a theory without evidence (properly gathered, controlled, peer-reviewed), and call it 'science'.
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
User avatar
Dotsie
Member
 
Posts: 9413
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:07 am

Previous

Return to Terry Pratchett

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests