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Opinions on Euthanasia

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You are reading page 3 of Opinions on Euthanasia. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Just so everyone knows, Washington (right above Oregon) passed an assisted suicide law in the past year or two. So there's two states in the NW. As far as I know, they're the only ones in all of the US.

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Hmmm... as with many issues, I don't think the extremes define the viewpoints. One could argue that there are euthanasia proponents who would like use the force of law to end the lives of those whom some might consider a drain on society or resources, or those who have no "quality of life," as defined by some faceless paper-pusher with no connection to the patient in question.

Just my :twocents:

I suppose that there might be those such as you describe... I don't personally know any of them. On the other hand, I know many people who would like the freedom to make their own choices for themselves and perhaps solicit willing family members and/or physicians in executing those choices - which freedom you apparently believe should be withheld them -- it's not simply a matter of different opinions because the people holding the "natural life must be preserved to the final second" view insist on enforcing that view upon the rest of us.

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If you allow euthanasia then why not also alow suicidal teens ands middle age housewife slash men in dispair to end their lives. In their mind they are in great pain with no hope of recoverie. I dunno i wouldnt administer the injection.

Because they aren't diagnosed with a terminal illness. As you said in their mind they are in great pain, yes they may be suffering mentally but they do not have a terminal illness.

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I do not support euthanasia. If all domains of patient care are properly addressed (Pain control, financial, etc. ) no rational person would choose euthanasia. Then again, it's only my opinion.

I disagree. If faced with a terminal prognosis, some rational people would choose euthanasia. Not all obviously but people should still be able to make the choice.

You don't have to support euthanasia but you shouldn't insinuate that only irrational people would make the decision when it came down to it.

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I support euthanasia 'cause I believe in quality of life, not longetivity.

I like this quote. It is a very succint way to say your point of view.

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before anyone can discuss the topic of euthanasia, one must first understand that "voluntary euthanasia" and assisted suicide are two very different things. euthanasia is the killing of another. we euthanize our sick or injured pets. assisted suicide, on the other hand, allows the patient the autonomy to perform the killing act with the help of methods available only with the assistance of a provider.

the ethical, legal and moral dilemmas herein are abundant. as it stands now, euthanasia is murder in all 50 states, last i heard. i believe oregon has a provision that allows assisted suicide.

when thinking about whether or not i (you, anyone) can support any kind of care environment that allows euthanasia (which again is not legal anywhere) or assisted suicide, consider the following scenario:

j.s. is a 68 year old male. he spent his life on the farm that he owns and, until a few years ago, operated with his sons who are both in their 40s. he has a daughter as well, a nurse, in her late 30s. his wife is 62 and has worked for may years as a hospice home health aide. she has recently retired. their sons and daughter are all married, and live nearby with their spouses and children. j.s. and his wife have 10 grandchildren from their three children.

j.s. has been diagnosed with als and has been informed of the progressive, fatal nature of the disease. he has already begun to lose motor function and requires the use of many assistive devices. he is grateful that his wife already retired. because she is a trained and experienced hha, his quality of life thus far has been relatively good, in his own estimation. his daughter works in a level 1 trauma center 30 miles away in the emergency department. while she admits that home health is not her "thing," the fact that she works three 12 hour shifts weekly allows her some time to assist in the care of her father as well.

j.s. initially broached the subject of assisted suicide a couple of months back by bringing up the memory of a beloved horse, who became ill and had to be euthanized when renal failure set in. his daughter quickly pointed out that euthanasia and assisted suicide are not the same thing. he said he understood that but that he did not want to get to the point of being kept alive by tubes and wearing diapers. if that was going to happen, then he would just as soon "end it" before it got to that point.

long story short and fast forward a few months....assisted suicide was arranged and means were available at any time he decided he was ready. each day, he knew he was approaching the point of no return, after which he would be forced to live until nature took its course or until someone decided to break the law and administer his lethal cocktail. he understood that if he waited too long to self-administer the lethal dose of barbiturates, then he might become incapacitated and unable to do it himself. but everyday, his family struggled with the thought that if he took the plunge today, then how many days would he have had left to spend with them while still somewhat independent and autonomous? was he cutting himself and his family short?

he knew what he wanted, and his family knew what he wanted. but he waited too late and now is unable to self-administer the drugs prescribed for the suicide. he no longer can speak, swallow or cough. he requires total care.

what would you do if you were his wife? his daughter?

these are the definitions i found - www.rcna.org.au/literatureretrieve.aspx?id=30458

 

euthanasia, voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide are defined as:

* euthanasia: refers to a deliberate act undertaken by one person with the intention of either painlessly putting to death or failing to prevent death from natural causes in cases of terminal illness or irreversible coma of another person;(3)

* voluntary euthanasia: refers to the termination of life at the request of the person killed;(4)

* assisted suicide: refers to the act of intentionally killing oneself with the assistance of another who provides the knowledge, means or both.(3)

in answer to your scenario, that would be a very difficult position to be in as you know what the wishes of js were.

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Hmmm... as with many issues, I don't think the extremes define the viewpoints. One could argue that there are euthanasia proponents who would like use the force of law to end the lives of those whom some might consider a drain on society or resources, or those who have no "quality of life," as defined by some faceless paper-pusher with no connection to the patient in question.

Just my :twocents:

That would be why you would have very stringent criteria. It should only be the patient's decision, not the family's, not the physician, not the hospital. Only the patient.

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just for some extra information. this is from where i used to live (i've moved now but i still refer to it as where i live)

rights of the terminally ill act 1995 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/rights_of_the_terminally_ill_act_1995

the rights of the terminally ill act 1995 (nt) was a controversial law legalising euthanasia passed by australia's northern territory in 1995 and, for all practical purposes, nullified in 1997 by the federal parliament. dr philip nitschke, the first doctor in the world to administer legal, voluntary euthanasia, founded exit international in response to the overturning of the act.

while voluntary euthanasia had previously been condoned officially in the netherlands and the us state of oregon, the act was the first time that a legislative assembly passed a law explicitly legalising euthanasia

 

 

passed by the northern territory legislative assembly on may 25, 1996 under the stewardship of marshall perron, and entering into law on july 1, 1996, the act allowed terminally ill patients to commit medically assisted suicide, either by the direct involvement of a physician or by procurement of drugs. it required a somewhat lengthy application process, designed to ensure that the patients were both mentally competent to make the decision and in fact terminally ill. under the act:

  • a patient had to be over 18 and be mentally and physically competent to request his or her own death.
  • the request had to be supported by three doctors, including a specialist who confirmed that the patient was terminally ill and a psychiatrist who certified that the patient was not suffering from treatable depression.
  • once the paperwork was complete, a nine-day cooling-off period was required before the death could proceed.

obviously this is just a quick look at the law. if anyone wants to see the full act here's a link http://www.nt.gov.au/lant/parliament/committees/rotti/rotti95.pdf

 

there are stipulations about financial gain for the physician, family members etc.

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I loved The Suicide Toourist. I adored the wife. So strong, yet contained and realistic and loving.

Here's one about Sassy Squirrel's links:

Recommended DVDs - Mademaoiselle and the Doctor

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I disagree. If faced with a terminal prognosis, some rational people would choose euthanasia. Not all obviously but people should still be able to make the choice.

You don't have to support euthanasia but you shouldn't insinuate that only irrational people would make the decision when it came down to it.

I'm sorry, I was including the statement about rational to dis-include persons with mental illness.

Still, if all domains were adequately addressed, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would prefer death. It's valid that in some cases it may not be possible to address all domains, but euthanasia / assisted-suicide may be an easy way to provide less than adequate care. This is different from DNR and allowing the natural process to happen. Or am I again mistaken / unclear, is withholding; "heroic and futile efforts" ; nutrition and fluids (except that which the patient desires for comfort) considered euthanasia.

The long suffering described in other posts seems for the most part caused by unnecessary life prolonging (eg. Peg in the ALS patient) and not from lack of euthanasia.

Still just an opinion and if anyone feels offended by anything I've written, my apologies. No offense is intended.

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I find most societies' reluctance to let people die with dignity interesting. I suppose for my family, most of them have been lucky to 'go down quickly', so to speak. There were really no years of lingering in pain, no slow descent into the inevitable. Except for one.

My great-grandfather was a very active man--he had to be, growing up in rural Louisiana. I remember all too well the stroke he suffered that left him unable to really, effectively use the right side of his body. Over time (and many more strokes later), he eventually became bedridden. Here was a tall, proud man who was doomed to finish out his days confined to a bed. For us, we spent the next 6 years caring for him in his home, opting to hire an aide to help on occasion rather than putting him in a nursing home. His mind was still with him, but his body wasn't. If given the choice, would he have opted to stay alive as long as possible or would he have chosen euthanasia? I think he would have chosen the latter.

Assisted suicide, voluntary euthanasia--whichever term you prefer, they both boil down to one thing: allowing someone to die with dignity.

I firmly believe it's a choice that should be made by the affected person, not the person's doctor or family.

I think that just because we, as a society, have the technology to prolong a life doesn't necessarily mean we always should. I personally will not allow myself to slide slowly into that last, great unknown. I don't want to spend my days confined to a bed or wheelchair in a nursing home, just waiting to die. If I feel that my quality of life has decreased to a point where it is no longer worth living (by MY standards--no one else's), then I feel I should have the right to die with my dignity intact.

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