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Stewart Ellis

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The right to assisted suicide

Is it legally correct to allow this legal right to be imposed in the UK. Can a human being really take someone elses life LEGALLY and have no legal obligation to taking of ones life? regardless of circumstances I find it unbelievable that it is still even allowed to be contested in a court. I have a terminally ill sister who I would not help with assisted suicide, why? because I am a human being bound by the Human Rights Act and the laws of my country. I do not enjoy the sight or reading of peoples pain, the fact people live in such circumstances is deeply sad but Science itself is a fast paced and amazing field in which cures can be found, surely if someone legally helped in assisted suicide and two years later a cure was found what would be the mental harm that person would feel or expereince? who would foot the bill for their problems that would surely come from it?.

I'm not saying assisted suicide is bad, I'm not saying people should suffer but I enjoy the idea, feeling and future of life and believe that if science was given more time surely as the history books will show, a cure can and perhaps sooner then later may and will be found? Views and opinions please!.

Stew.

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  • Jun 29 2012: The law shouldn't be involved in it at all

    IN fact, we should get rid of most laws along with the many other things that need getting rid of.

    There are much better ways of dealing with our human problems than by making more and more people criminals so that privately run prisons can make higher profits. No one should have nor should be able to, tell another person how to live and no one should have the right, nor should be able to, tell another person how to die.

    We should mind our own business instead of trying to suspend gravity because one person falls off a roof. Everyone else falls off the earth when that is done, meaning everyone elses rights are taken away because of one, or a few, cases.

    What about the problems that will arise? Find other ways to deal with them.
    • Jul 14 2012: The law is already involved, wherever murder is illegal.

      Without a change in the law, anyone who helps someone commit suicide can be prosecuted.
  • Jun 24 2012: This issue is very personal to me. I don't want to go into details, but I have had two family members who probably would have chosen assisted suicide if it was lawfully available. Making them suffer was egregiously inhumane.

    Stewart has the right idea. Lawful assisted suicide should be recognized as a human right, but there must be safeguards to distinguish lawful assisted suicide from murder. Also, there should be safeguards to assure that the family cannot interfere with the process.
    • Jun 25 2012: And if they can legally define that it is not murder also.
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    Jun 22 2012: If it is allowed in your country, I think it is a viable allowable medical treatment. This should be a discussion between the patient and the physician and the medical team should walk the patient through required safeguards. Family should have a part, but they should not be a barrier to the patients decision.

    You are in a normal stage of grief, the 'if only.., then..." If only we had more time, then they would find a cure. You might want to find some help with this, or at least understand that it is normal.

    I understand, more than you know, how difficult this is for you. Voice your concern and your love for your sister and support whatever decision she makes, even if it is not the one you want her to. I have seen too many patients continue treatment after horrible treatment because their families want them to, they are at peace but their families...
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    Jun 21 2012: (2) Safe guards, firstly have a meeting with a psychiatrist with the person who wants to die and their family, then on the same day have a one to one with the psychiatrist and the person who wants to die with an independent person who's trained in the method of communication the handicapped person uses. This is so that the psychiatrist can deem the person mentally fit to decide that they want to die and to make sure that the person hasn't been pushed into wanting to die. Then a certificate would be signed by the psychiatrist and his head of department. Stage two is where you get a lawyer to sign the certificate and bring it to court saying he has read the case and deems it worthy of being carried through. Now Stage 3 where a judge hears the case with the person who wants to die present, along with their lawyer, a representative of the psychiatrist and a representative of the doctor who would inject the lethal dose. Now if the judge deems the person mentally fit to make the decision he then signs the certificate, then this certificate with 4 signatures and maybe even personal notes attached to the certificate are brought to the hospital where a doctor who is willing to euthanize the patient consults with the representative to verify the court case happened as was passed, then the person may die. That there is a full proof system of how to permit euthanasia. It is their human right to live the life they want and if that life is unbearable they have the right not to live that life. Surely it is better to die remembering your favourite memories instead of spending your remaining years hating every moment of life, suffering endlessly. As humans we have a duty to remove suffering from the world, and if someone has to die for their suffering to end then so be it.
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    Jun 28 2012: Stewart, I am not sure if you understand that assisted suicide is NOT someone taking another persons life. It is giving a person the tools to take their own life at the time and method of their choosing.
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      Jun 28 2012: But you would still require safeguards to ensure that the person does in fact want to die
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        Jun 28 2012: Ok I will tell you how it's really done. The terminal patient and the physician have this conversation about how the patient is afraid the pain might get too bad. The physician makes sure the patient had adequate pain medication. The patient hoards some, skips some doses and keeps a little stash they can use 'just in case.' A lethal dose if you will.

        For many patients this is enough to quell their fears and many many never use that option. Just to have the power of the option gives them a sense of control, power over their circumstance. In other words it gives them hope. I know it is somewhat paradoxical but that's how it works.

        Some people use the option and we are never aware of it unless they have a family member in on it. But the family member risks prosecution if they ever tell anyone. So all this happens behind closed doors and closed mouths.

        Wouldn't it be better if all this was part of a treatment plan? We could support families and their decisions. We could also provide follow up care and assist families with this specific type of grieving process.

        My humble opinion.
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          Jun 28 2012: Ahhh I was thinking more euthanasia thank you Linda, my opinions the same then, they should be allowed to do so.
          Thanks
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    R H 30+

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    Jun 23 2012: For me, this is a very delicate and complex issue. I firmly believe in self-destiny - the right to decide one's own fate. Family is family. That's it. Those close to you. But they are not you, and must allow you to the right to life, and your determination of what that means.. But what if someone is in a diminished state? What if current circumstances may be passing? What if their 'cure' is right around the corner? The opposite is also true. What if the love they have for others is not enough for them to endure? What if they have done all they wish? What if the realities of continued survival is an imposition to their loved ones that would destroy their dignity and they just won't let that happen? We, who love someone that is faced with such a decision, are torn apart with grief and the prospect of great loss. Yet, who am I that I should prevent someone from their right to determine their fate as they see fit?
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    Jun 21 2012: (1) Science will not cure everything, it just can't there will always be something we don't know. Now assisted suicide is something which should definitely be allowed to happen. Regardless of whether or not you would end another person's life or not it should be allowed. People have the right to dignity and to have full control of their lives, now I suggest you go onto BBC iplayer and watch last night's Nolan Show and tell me that that man shouldn't be allowed to die. There is no cure for what he has, we are only just starting to understand nerves it will be a very very long time before we can reconstruct brain stems (he has locked in syndrome).
    Now here's a fact, we all have the right to suicide, if I wanted I could kill myself right now and no one would be blamed. But once you become incapable or paralysed you can't kill yourself, you need someone's help. Now this poor man has no money to get to Dignitas so that he can die respectfully, so for now he has to suffer and watch the programme and you'll see just how much he suffers, he can only communicate by blinking, it's a very cheap version of what Stephen Hawking has.
    Now the right to die is there RIGHT, the main problem you seem to have is this idea of murder. Now being a science fan I know there's a difference between life and being alive, if you are trapped withing your body and only conscious then you are basically just a biological machine, now if you are fine with that and you want to live fine it's your right, but do not forget that if they don't want to live that way they have the RIGHT to not live that way, and who are we to deny a fellow human that right, who are we to prolong their suffering, if we had an ounce of humanity we would let those people die with dignity and pride and a final sense of control.
    Now here's a few safeguards to make sure that no one could be forced or persuaded into agreeing to be euthanized in the next post.