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Miclaus Maria-Luiza

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Do you agree with euthanasia? (for humans)

I recently had an argument with 2 of my teachers on this subject. Whenever asked whether they agree with euthanasia or not they were either avoiding to answer or they were completely against it without bringing any arguments to support their opinion.
As far as I've noticed this is a very controversial and sensitive subject but I couldn't find anyone to debate it with.
Both my history and my religion teacher found their safety saying that Jesus says humans have no right to take away anyone's life but they didn't share their personal opinion.
Basically my belief is that endeed we do not have that right but in some cases,when for instance a certain person is too sick and hasn't got any chance of getting better and that person doesn't have the streght or the will to fight anymore and their desire is to die,shouldn't they be given this right?

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    May 31 2013: No-one has the right to impose their beliefs on others. There are the religious, the agnostic, the atheists and the indifferent. Why should any of them impose their beliefs on anyone...as long as that person is not harming anyone else? Whether someone chooses life vs. death is an extremely personal matter. Until we have walked in their shoes, we cannot know what is best for them--to continue to suffer or to end the suffering--"To be or not to be, that is the question."

    Preventing someone from choosing to end his/her life is actually insensitive and cruel. There is nothing virtuous about saving a starving man's life and then not feeding him--yet that is precisely what is being done by preventing that choice...these people seem to be saying: let them suffer for 3 or 4 MORE months until they die a "natural" death. Whether someone chooses death due to illness, physical or emotional suffering, loss of a loved one, insanity, loss of the will to live, poverty, a bleak future, despair, etc., unless we intend to take responsibility to relieve them by getting them back up and out of their misery, we have no right to impose our judgments on their right to live or to die.

    Each of us must be the one to decide whether living or not living is more bearable. Dr. Kavorkian spent many years in prison for standing up for the suffering; it took a lot of courage and empathy but he followed his conscience and did the right thing. We need to defend the right of every individual to choose...whether it be Euthanasia (assisted death) or Suicide. That is true freedom--to be in charge of one's own life.
    • Jun 1 2013: While I agree with you Ginger in that... "No-one has the right to impose their beliefs on others."

      you cant help but note, history up to and including contemporary times, is littered with exactly the opposite point of view. And if takes force, fear, zealotry ( and i reverse the right to apply that to all belief systems) or any other mechanism to get you to capitulate, well you know how the story goes...
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      Jun 1 2013: In the case of some emotional states, there have been some people who were very grateful someone saved them from their folly. That scenario requires us to follow up and show this person that he/she/ is lovable and that they matter. End of life matters concerning disabilities that are painful to the degree that life is nothing but misery, then, even as they do now, medication is given to reduce pain. If keeping the patient comfortable requires that enough medication be given to find relief, and death occurs, so be it. I had a friend with :Lou Gehrig disease who chose not to eat or drink and she passed in two weeks. Do I think that was wrong ? I cannot judge and say this was wrong. This condition only worsens. BTW what do you think of Stephen Hawking ? He believes he matters and has resources to keep him as comfortable as possible.
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        • Jun 2 2013: .
          I resent very much you saying that, "...........Ginger and others here would joyfully cull the population explosion by encouraging govt officials and manipulative heirs to eliminate those they have no use for".

          I don't know what you read into Ginger's comment but I certainly saw no "joyfully" in it at all. It seems that, like other busybodies of your stripe, you don't hesitate to misinterpret, misdirect, and, as in this case, to outright lie, to achieve your selfish ends of exercising some small degree of control of others for your personal satisfaction. No matter what pain or other harm you do.

          Not one of us who support an individual's right to arrange their own ending of life in a dignified manner, has even mentioned having a "cull" by "the govt." or anyone else, let alone supported such a notion.

          That the government has put laws in place to stop a person from having proper guidance and/or assistance in ending their life effectively and painlessly, is true government control of when and how we should die. This interference in a very private personal matter resembles, much more, a totalitarian state than a supposedly democratic one.

          I can only hope, Kate, that your own death is a quick, easy and painless one. I would not wish, even upon such an arrogant twit as you, the kind of excruciating agony and slow painful ending that you are advocating for many, many others.
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          Jun 2 2013: Kate: I think you've missed my point. It's one thing to intercept whenever possible if the sufferer has not yet searched his soul and reached his final decision--of course Euthanasia should always be after the individual has explored all other alternatives. In an empathetic society, however, the final choice must be in the hands of the suffering. Life is only precious to those who are NOT severely suffering, with no signs of improving their situation, and nowhere to turn. Why is it though that when someone is putting themselves in the shoes of another individual, wanting only to provide love and comfort, there are people like you who want to look for ulterior motives? This is precisely why there is so much cruelty in the world...in the name of "for their own good." Whose good?
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        Jun 2 2013: Helen: All humans matter...that's why it needs to be their own choice whether they wish to exist or not. Why would you even bring up Stephen Hawking who, very admirably, lives a very full and happy life. It's his choice, not yours or anyone else's.
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          Jun 2 2013: I have given Power of Attorney to those who can execute it to not use life support....Ventilators, feeding tubes. Of course everyone matters but some people don/t believe it.
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        Jun 2 2013: Larry: I wish more people were able to actually "understand" what they read...rather than complicating every issue by making up ways in which to be disagreeable. This mindlessness is holding back any progress while so many have to suffer the consequences. The world would be a better place if more people had your "clear thinking" ability.

        We can learn so much more from history when we are able to, not only see what was done right in the past, but also by revisiting the mistakes and righting those wrongs. So many people get stuck on traditional practices and beliefs--without ever considering that there might be a better way to bring justice and empathy to "every" living being.
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          Jun 3 2013: Ginger....You are dealing with an 81 year old lady who is becoming senile and stupid.and
          closeminded and "plague on our nation"
  • Jun 1 2013: Choosing to end or continue with life is the prerogative of the owner of that life. If the government or your church owns you then it is their decision. If you own you then it is yours.

    But the big argument with euthanasia is not on that subject. The big question is whether or not someone - like your doctor - can assist you in ending your life without being charged with killing you.

    I am an old man with multiple health problems. Some of those problems will get very painful in the near future. I will end my life when that happens. I'm going to need to do that about a year earlier than if I could get professional medical assistance because I'll need to do it while I still can do it myself.

    Those who think that preventing me from getting proper medical assistance to end my life will prolong my life are actually forcing me to end it sooner than would otherwise be the case.

    Thanks a lot...... busybodies!
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      • Jun 3 2013: .
        Thank you but I took care of that about 20 years ago. And long before the US had forms for this, we in Canada had dealt with our own peculiar legalities by leaving instructions of DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) with our doctors, and Power of Attorney with our executors as well as carrying a brief note about the same thing in our wallets along with our Organ Donor cards. (We Organ Donors now have that information recorded on our Driver's Licences here).
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    May 29 2013: Yes it is a controversial and sensitive subject. But to me, the answer is simple. I agree with euthanasia for humans in the situation you described - a terminally ill person who is suffering deciding to end his/her life.
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    May 29 2013: Miclaus, I agree with you. I think if a person who is too sick, or have lost the will should have the right to elect for euthanasia. I have a number of significant injuries, and have told my family that I am not to be a burden and if they need to, pull the plug. Do not let me suffer, and do not let me be kept alive by machines. I do not subscribe to any religious or other theory. Religion was created by man to control man; just like our modern day laws do now.

    My response to right to lifers is this. Why do we force the sick, the weak, the feeble to suffer to appease some "merciful" god; but if I do that to my dog - I get charged with cruelty?
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      May 29 2013: I agree with what you said a bout religion. I don't mean to offend anyone but my opinion is that religion is just another way to manipulate people.And you are definitely right about euthanasia too. The way I see it,sometimes that is the most merciful action one can take for somebody else.
      • May 29 2013: Wow! What you said is offensive! There is no I don't mean to offend about it. It makes you sound ignorate about the subject.
        • May 29 2013: Religion is so controversial and strict that there will always be people who don't like it. I myself feel like religion is far too controlling, and for that reason I don't like it. But it's not offensive to have an opinion. You may feel the opposite. But to say that is offensive is a little insulting, far more than what he said. He's allowed to have an opinion. And in my opinion, religion IS just a way to manipulate people. If there is a god, prove it to me, and I will forever believe in my religion, but until then I refuse to believe any of its rules. Back to the original argument, if someone is in physical pain that has no known cure, and they want to die, they should have the right, even if they are unable to do it themselves. It isn't fair to make them suffer. From both a moral point of view and a scientific point of view, euthanasia is a positive thing, but from a religious point of view (that would conditionally have no effect on my decision), it is a sin. Either way, two beats one. Euthanasia is the only fair thing to do.
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          May 29 2013: Bit harsh James, I do not accept that the if someone says, "I don't mean to offend", they are being offensive and/or ignorant. In today's society sadly, we must add caveats. Me, I did not find it offensive. I find is more sad that people feel the need to add that caveat.
      • May 29 2013: Yes religion is strict. Thats because man made it. Christians don't follow religion and often dislike it. Christ is about freedom. When you understand that you are free indeed. It is not about religion its about a relationship. There is even a book out on it, which most don't take the time to really read and understand but it is the most popular book in the world. BIBLE
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          May 29 2013: James, can I be free without Christ? Can I go to heaven, if I do not accept Christ as my saviour and accept he died for all my sins? If you answer no - then you prove my point about being tied to a particular group think. If yo answer - yes. Do not tell your church leader.

          The world's most popular book was written by man some hundred's of years after the death of Christ (yes I believe in Christ and he existed and did amazing things, I just do not accept he was the son of god). It contains many contradictory statements and appears to endorse slavery. Leviticus commands certain people be killed for certain acts. Hardly a book about freedom!
      • May 30 2013: Brian sounds like you haven't read the whole book or you are a "black sheep" (biblical reference).
      • May 30 2013: The statement made was harsh and it sounds like she knew it.
    • May 30 2013: But you miss a point Brian, that being you could be in a coma, and the doctors know that you may come out of it, but because of financial implications they pressure the person to pull the plug.
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        May 30 2013: Tify, your scenario is at best hypothetical. As I understand it there is no mention of monetary gain in my arguments. It is about human dignity and the right to choose the moment of my departure.

        To end the life of someone who can "come out of it" for pure monetary purposes is murder - plain and simple.
        • May 30 2013: Brian with all due respect the scenario is far from hypothetical.

          Doctors who are in the US make that decision every day, maybe you dont know of about it, most dont, but I can tell you that every hospital in the US has a 'revenue' department. Nor is it hypothetical for people in the US who don't have sufficient health care benefits.

          And if you don't have it, pressure is put on family members to end life, now of course it's put out there in the nicest possible way, but dont delude your self that every day this happens.

          Simply put - Every minute on life support - Costs money.

          Just as people think the system is free, as their counter parts, in the UK/Europe where an analysis of a persons status, ie breadwinner, number of dependents are all taken into account before serious procedures are allocated, as well as the total government allocation for that procedure, from national to local. Look up National Health Trusts in the UK, see exactly what they do and how they operate.

          Then you'll unfortunately come to the realization that the scenario is far from hypothetical.
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        Jun 3 2013: Thanks Kate, but I have a long time to go before I will need to think about it.
  • May 28 2013: Hi Miciaus,
    this is indeed a sensitive subject.
    I live in the Netherlands, where euthanasia is practiced quite commonly, under extremely strict circumstances. I also know several people closely, who have seen their loved ones suffer beyond belief, and were relieved when they were finally put out of their misery.
    In some cases, the person suffering was the one who made the decision when they were of sound mind, knowing that their sickness was incurable.
    In others, like when my father-in-law suddenly suffered a crippling heart attack, the family made the ultimate decision.
    In no way was this an easy decision to make, by any party involved. There is always hope, even when all hope seems to be lost. What I understand, from those who experienced it first-hand, is that when one's quality of life is so compromised, the person who is suffering seems to actually be trapped in his/her body. The machines are keeping a physical body alive, but that person is actually already gone.

    I sincerely hope, I never have to make such a decision, for myself or someone I love. I wish we could all 'simply' die of old age in our sleep!
  • Jun 2 2013: Hi Mic, I think the focus needs to be on "pain management" and "dignity" instead of one's rights to die. I mean, we all die no matter what, and choosing for it to be sooner than absolutely necessary is unnatural. If a human being could manage their physical pain, and if they find a way to remain dignant, these things would take away their desire to be euthanized, wouldn't it? I know its much more complicated than this of course, but at its root I see those issues that are unresolved in any person seeking to be euthanized.

    If there is no chance of avoiding great pain and great loss of dignity in the time preceding imminent death, then why make someone suffer longer? YES, it should be their decision and YES they should be allowed to choose a quicker death. After all, creating/choosing for our lives is the greatest right of all of us... and that should extend to creating/choosing when that life ends. But this matter is best handled by individuals and their loved ones, not hospitals/politics. So, NO, I don't agree with euthanasia, per se. I envision these candidates for euthanasia to have access to life-ending chemicals/medication, provided by their hospice physicians, and its up to the individual to utilize or not. But I don't think a doctor should set them up on some lethal-injection machine and do it that way. It should be entirely the doing of the individual as much as possible.

    DNRs (Do Not Resucitate)... the existence of these kinds of things tell us what we need to know about choosing to die... that sometimes allowing the physical body to die is the best way to live freely.
  • Jun 1 2013: Do I not have a right to self determination? Can I not pursue my dreams, a career, my pleasures? Can I not choose how I develop spiritually or intellectually? Am I able to tattoo my body or pierce it or modify it as I want? Why, then, can I not choose to free my spirit from my body? I would say that this life i have is mine. I may think about my mind and body in different ways than others. I am free to think am I not? Therefore, at such time when I feel that my quality of life is not what I desire, why can't I choose to free my spirit from my body? Why would that offend anybody? I want to have the choice do live with dignity or to die. I think everyone should be permitted to have that choice whether they agree with it or not. Many people are trapped in bodies that have become their prisons and yet society tells them that they must continue to suffer. Why? Because of someone's own religious views? That's not fair. My religious views are just as valid as anyone else's and if I choose to embark on the next adventure a little sooner, why not. It should be my choice. And if I leave a letter instructing someone to help me in that choice, should I not be able to do it myself, then that person or persons should be absolved of any crime. They are not maliciously killing me, they are acceding to my wishes.
  • Jun 1 2013: I wholeheartedlly agree with euthanasia. Every person should be able to make the choice of spending their last days in hospitals in great pain or just going to sleep and not waking up on this side. We don't let animals suffer because of our "compassion " and love for them, but we will let a human suffer intolerably and won't assist of give them the relief they are desparately searching for. WA state is a "right to die with dignity" state, however their are many loopholes that let the medical community mandate how the death is controlled or "allowed". This is big money for the medical community, just take a look at the nursing homes and the costs associated with being placed in one. It's big money, not compassion or religion that halts the measure of dying with dignity or leaving the earth by peaceful means. I am 77 and have planned my escape when I become to feeble to enjoy the quality of life. I consider us like the roses, we bud, we bloom and we wither and die. Let's make death pleasant and a choice of each individual.
    • Jun 1 2013: Say Adolf, Joeseph, Mao, Polpot, Obama,

      It is not your choice citizen. It is the State's choice. Don't be fooled murder is still murder whether it is a helpless child or an older person. Also you can figure in ethic people groups that the State finds undesireable such as Jews, Gypsies, negroes, Mexicans, or pink people.

      Don't be fooled.
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    May 30 2013: I can only approach this argument from the standpoint of how I would feel if I was the one in unbearable pain, and I had become burdensome to others. It is the stuff of nightmares for me - so much so that I would write it in my will that my life should end at the hands of trusted others before I get to that point, and if it were legal to do so.

    But here's where the hypocrisy starts: If any of my loved ones were in that position, I know I would probably do everything in my power to keep them alive.

    Assuming I'm not alone in this, I think it may be one of the main sources of dilemma in this debate. Why does morality change so much when we consider our own mortality, as opposed to the mortality of others close to us?

    I'm guessing here, but it may be something to do with the difference in our perceptions of what loved ones (who are suffering) have left to give (which would be held in high regard), as compared to what we think of ourselves and what we have left to give (which may be held in less regard).

    Who then, is the best judge of life or death based on those perceptions? The autonomous individual who is suffering? Those closest to them? Those who are professionally appointed to do so?

    Personally, I think autonomy should be retained, and the only way that can be achieved is when the decision for euthanasia is untainted by the illness itself - ie request painless death in one's will whilst still in sound mind.
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      May 30 2013: Re: " Why does morality change so much when we consider our own mortality, as opposed to the mortality of others close to us?"

      I completely agree with this statement. I have observed some time ago that any moral rule when applied to others is hypocrisy. Even the "do not judge" principle - when I rebuke someone for judging other people, I'm guilty of judging others myself. This invisible border between "self" and "not self" (self-consciousness) is so fundamental to our ability to draw lines and define everything else including "good" and "evil".

      This is why the abortion issue will always remain controversial. It's fundamentally impossible to solve with reason: an entity within entity, "self" within "self" with a conflict of interest of death and life nature. What a wonderful legal and moral dilemma! Once that fetus is outside the mother's body, things become a lot more clear.

      I don't mean to derail this topic. Just an illustration of how moral reasoning works.
      • May 30 2013: I agree with Arkady's analysis. But does that not bring it down to the individual's decision, right or wrong? Some will more deeply consider the consequences of their actions than others but that is human difference, no? And it will always remain so.
    • Jun 1 2013: I disagree with you all.

      I think it takes a strong will to allow you not to be hypocritical. And in fact also one that truly respects the other persons, possibly different viewpoint, and choice.

      Be it a loved one, me, or a stranger, I have absolutely no problem in people deciding for themselves and the outcome of that, irrespective of the their singular choice. It's their choice, it's their life. If not, then one is saying a loved on is not really a loved one, but a slave to your decisions, your morality. What freedom, what justice is that?

      If I demand and require that of others, then I cannot deny others what they choose, as it's their choice, even if i disagree wholeheartedly with it.

      Which is also why the Abortion issue to me is not an issue at all, same principle.
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    May 29 2013: Euthanesia with consent ( To let the person die with dignity and avoid people misusing it)
    1.Consent of person
    2.Consent of family if the person is incapable of giving consent.
    3.Consent of the board of Physicians who will confirm the medical condition of the person
    4.Consent of the State
    • May 30 2013: That does not work, what happens in 1) if the person is in a coma?
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        May 30 2013: Tify I mean atleast three of the above four consents should be taken before allowing Euthanasia.

        When patient is in coma no2. consent of family memebers is an option
        • May 30 2013: adesh, realistically there are people in the world who dont have living family members, and / or they dont get on with them. So you'd like them to make that choice?
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          May 30 2013: Consent of the heirs is probably easy enough to get ...
        • Jun 1 2013: it might be easy enough to get (possibly not in this global commuter village).

          But it still might not be want YOU want.

          And do you want someone whom you have had no relationship for possibly a long time, nor know what their beliefs are, nor what motives maybe in play (ie your will) in making that call.
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        May 30 2013: Kate i am an ENT surgeon i have seen patients dying of advance cancer of this region.

        Believe me their sufferings are unimaginable. Because cancer does not stop growing and stop destructing in such cases. Only a few can afford quality palliative care and i believe it decreases the suffeferings to a certain extent only
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          Jun 2 2013: I agree Kate...good palliative care can control most pain. When volunteering at the terminal care facility for a couple years and helping care for several friends and family members as they were actively dying, the only person I observed in pain, was a person who chose to decrease the dosage of perscribed meds, in favor of being alert during the dying porcess.....that was her choice.
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        May 31 2013: Hi Kate

        I am a proponent of Euthanasia if conditions as follows are full filled

        Euthanesia with consent ( To let the person die with dignity and avoid people misusing it)
        1.Consent of person
        2.Consent of family if the person is incapable of giving consent.
        3.Consent of the board of Physicians who will confirm the medical condition of the person
        4.Consent of the State

        I agree with you also that not all moribund patients need Euthanesia,
        and there are patients who will benefit greatly from excellent pallitive care... alas available to only those who can afford it.
        • Jun 2 2013: .
          You and Kate make the same error. The state has no laws against committing suicide. The sole question is about whether an individual can seek, and get, assistance that might let him live past the time when he can do the deed on his own.

          All this blather about "who has the right to pull the plug" on someone else is a red herring that distracts from the real question and is, in fact, a completely different question altogether.

          When my wife suffered from an aneurism and was in a coma, I was asked whether life support should be continued or ended. My information was that she'd never regain consciousness. We had previously discussed this kind of situation - more with regard to me being in such a state since I was much older than she - but she had agreed with me that, in such circumstances, she would prefer to have life support withdrawn. I told the doctors to end life support. I've never made a tougher decision. Yet, I've never made a better one.

          But getting back to the topic of this blog..... I own me. I, and I alone, NOT doctors, relatives, and most certainly not politicians (the state), have the right to chose how and when I will cease to be. I'd be able to live a bit longer with a little professional help but I'm fully prepared to go at an earlier time so that I can do it without help.
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        Jun 2 2013: Tify,Kate. Paul Hi

        Consent of relatives only will not suffice

        Consent of Board of Physicians and of state must be taken before allowing euthanesia. This will be a safe guard against misuse of euthaneia.
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      Jun 2 2013: Adesh, Tify, Kate, Paul, and Larry,
      Interesting thread you have going here. I strongly suggest to everyone, to have a signed and distributed (to family members, medical caregivers, local rescue squad, local hospital, etc.) advance medical directives, because I believe a person has a choice.

      These forms are available on-line in the US.

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        Jun 2 2013: Choice to prolong life as well as choice to cut it short if its unbearable.
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          Jun 2 2013: Yes, I believe I have that right Adesh. There are SO many interpretations of what is "unbearable" and with the advance medical directives, a person him/herself can decide, the details of what is "unbearable" in his/her mind and body.

          That prevents the arguments that have been presented above....what if one family member wants to keep them alive....one wants to pull the plug.....doctors say this or that......etc. etc. etc.

          With a written document, at least in the US, people can make the choice for themselves and make it very clear what their preference is.
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        Jun 2 2013: Hi Colleen
        Written document makes sense.
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          Jun 2 2013: It does indeed make sense Adesh, and it is legally binding here in the US.

          I looked to see if there was anything similar for India, and I cannot find anything. Perhaps you can start a movement by simply taking the forms available on line and distributing them.....it might start a movement in India?
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          Jun 2 2013: It is sometimes called a Living Will here as well Kate, although now, they have added more detail to the Advance Medical Driectives form and still have the less detailed Living Will form. Some care facilities and personel do not accept the old living will/advance directives because it was not clear enough.

          Since you have worked in hospice, as I have, we know that it has been going on right along, and many people do not understand it, nor do they want to!

          The state I am in, just this year passed a law making it legal, and the conversations in the legislature were ridiculous because as you insightfully say, we have had the freedom to choose for a long time. I think people just don't know that!
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    May 27 2013: My auntie always told me that letting her dad go was the hardest thing she had ever done.

    But she taught me that she did it out of her love for him.

    What she did was selfless, and I believe in this lesson with all my heart.
    • May 28 2013: All I know is that we don't let our precious pets suffer needlessly.
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    May 27 2013: http://www.ted.com/conversations/6992/what_are_people_s_thoughts_on.html? for a previous conversation.

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/6992/what_are_people_s_thoughts_on.html?c=355063 my comment:
    In Belgium, we have laws that allow for euthanasia. They are good and help people who wish to end their suffering (letting them die).

    In broader terms, the dilemma is: to which extent can a person decide to commit suicide (not in practical terms, but from a moral point of view). To me, this is up to the person, so in principle suicide is a right.
    However: suicide during depression or as reckless act are not the cases I'm pleading for.
    A person who wishes to end his life needs to be capable of making the decision ("my life is not worth living -anymore-") under well thought out circumstances and needs to eliminate (fulfill) his/her responsibilities before doing so. (A parent of very young children should consider the education of their kids as an important responsibility for example).

    So for euthanasia: the conditions under which it is allowed are congruent with my proposed criteria. The person is often completely dependent on others (for care), chances of recovery are very small and the pain has been indicated as continuous and intolerable; or their mental state is going to the vegetative kind. Life as such can be judged by the person as "not worth living". If doctors and family understand (and somewhat agree), we can have a very humane form of euthanasia.
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      May 29 2013: This is my thought exactly. Under no circumstances should we take another person's life,but, if it is their will,then it doesn't sound like murder anymore.
  • May 27 2013: The right to self determination is a fundamental plank in a free and open society.
    In the west we don't do "death" very well and the old and infirm and physically and mentally handicapped are by many seen as a waste of space. The truth is that we all are born and we all die ... it is a matter of when and how.
    A more healthy approach is to just look at "what is" honestly without the filters of unexamined belief and ask what kind of society do you want?
    One that is caring and compassionate that also acknowledges the right of ewach individual to make their own decisions regarding the subject of euthenasia.
    Despite the unbelievable strong imperative to survive at all costs (think survivors of the Holocaust for example) there are times when, as a caring society, we do no justice by allowing people who are suffering with no chance of remission to be allowed to take the necessary steps to leave this plane.
    I do not think that anyone takes the decision lightly but because it is hard we should not shrink away and pretend ...
    Voluntary euthenasia with ample checks in place does not mean we are entering the Nazi world of eugenics.
    We also then remove the dreadful stigma around the loved ones who, not able to watch that terrible suffering and at the request of the ill person, assists them in ending their time in a dignified and painless way.
    I had a gay friend with HIV in Melbourne who ended up dying and the loss of dignity and autonomy at the end was tragic. He wept and rued the fact that he had not taken the opportunity to end his own life while he had the independence to do so.
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    May 27 2013: This is a right of each person. None of us have the right to deny others the right to die humanely when needed. We should clearly help our fellow humans when they ask for our help at this most important time

    A.C Grayling and others address this at a high level during a debate at Oxford Uniion
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      May 30 2013: It's interesting to note that in combat, the question of Euthanizing a comrade comes up often enough. Many make a pact with one another to make sure the job is done right, quick and painless. Battlefield wounds can sometimes cause unbearable pain and suffering.
  • Jun 3 2013: Euthanasia ... is a much debated topic.

    When society agrees to grant euthanasia to its members, there is an underlying assumption - that the members are matrued enough to implement the rights with responsibility too.

    Under the banner of Euthanasia, many might choose to implement this in the "wrong" way... is there any way to stop that?
  • Jun 3 2013: If the person of a sound mental health desires to end physical suffering, knowing fully well that there is no recovery, he has the right to euthanasia. In case of a brain dead person, his closest can take this decision, provided there is no personal benefit to the deciding person.
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    Jun 3 2013: Indeed this subject will keep dilemma in the people's mind because no body has the rights to take away the life of others even in any situation although if the person willingly agrees to take his life away it has to be his choice...!!!
  • Jun 2 2013: Hi Kate. Firstly I believe it is right of the person to decide how and when they pass from this life ...dying with dignity in my own home and quickly via a pill, injection and a glass of champagne is my want. You may not want voluntary euthanasia and it is up to you how much you want to suffer.

    My Mother died young 50 with incurable Cancer. There was NO LEGAL passive euthanasia then nor now. Currently Doctors can be charged with KILLING/murder if they do.

    I understand your friend's situation. However in my mother's case it was pure torture for myself and brothers and father to go every day to watch her suffering which went on for 3 months. Totally disgusting and unfair. My Father never smiled again and died of a broken heart !!

    I personally DO NOT want to suffer on to the bitter end and am supporting a change in the Australian Law that will permit dying with dignity at a time and place of my choosing.
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    Jun 2 2013: Kate....You just pushed one of her buttons, meaning Ginger.
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    Jun 2 2013: How is this even debatable? If I am aware and can decide for myself, it is my decision and mine alone! How dare anyone here claim they know better for me! I may decide on further treatment or palliative care or assisted dying.

    My Choice!

    And if I choose assisted dying, it is not your place to intervene, individually (however informed you think you are), or through some illegitimate legislative process, or claims of a superior moral code based on nothing but superstitious claptrap.

    Some nerve. Unbelievable
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      Jun 2 2013: Well Peter......you know.....some folks would like to make all kinds of decisions for us!!!

      Ever hear the saying..."if we don't make decisions and choices for ourselves, someone else will"?
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    Jun 2 2013: Under certain conditions I would like someone to kill me, I think it has to be an individual choice. That said it's a very tough debate because of all of the different circumstances that can occur and the fact the it's so very permanent.

    But I've cared for the elderly and I've even been asked to end a person's life at one time (which I did not do), I've seen the "final years" for some people and most of the time you're alone laying in your own feces tormented by pain and confusion. That's why so many family members say that "it was their time" or "at least s/he isn't suffering anymore" at some point most of us accept that death is the better alternative, why we're not allowed to think or say or do this seems to have a lot to do with the so-called religious "sanctity of life"...

    So yeah... If anyone ever hears me asking them to kill me in the future, please do. Or at least provide me with the circumstances to do it myself if I am unable.
  • Jun 2 2013: Oh Gerhard, Gerhard, I believe each INDIVIDUAL has the right to decide when THEIR life is to be over and should have the MEANS to accomplish their departure. I'm not implying that there should be a stereotype for any end of life sanction. Don't tell me how to live or die in my lilfetime and I won't tell you. Murder in my eyes is the taking of someone's life against THEIR will. Taking your own life or finding means to take just your own life is no one's business but their own. Pleaae don't try to make my decisions for me, as any dictator would..
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    Jun 2 2013: @ Kate..."There is only love and a cry for love" Jallalladin Rumi
    Truly you have done a great service.
  • Jun 1 2013: Should I lose the capacity to care for myself, or if a condition deprives me of a sense of dignity, then I'd prefer to have the option to end my life on my terms and at a time of my choosing. The thought of being in my home with my wife, whom I've loved deeply for the past 25 years, is very comforting. Nothing else comes close.
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    Jun 1 2013: During Dr. Kevorkian's era there was an Euthanasia Cruise Line out of Ft. Lauderdale. Every week 25 passengers with one-way tickets would board "The Last Supper" for a final trip to Heaven, by way of Davy Jones' Locker. They each paid $2,500 and could bring one pet. There were 3 days of fancy food, drinking, sex orgies and therapy. Also string quartet music. Outside the 12 mile into International waters, the deck of the 110 foot yacht was greased, titled slightly and the rail removed. Then as the organist played "Nearer My God To Thee," everyone sang, held hands and slid quietly into the ocean forever. What a wonderful way to expire! Those people who chose to die decently were aged 18 to 88. Some were terminally ill. Others were people who had nothing left in life to live for. They were tired of living aimlessly, no goals, no happiness, no mates and just plain bored. Some took their dog or cat with them. But most importantly, all died of their own free will legally in foreign waters.
    • Jun 1 2013: What a wonderful way to die , I know that in Denmark it is allowed , also in Switzerland , Catholic countries , are against it of course . Lets hope that people one day will be able to decide upon their lives . Also because in a near future will shall be too crowded on this planet !
  • Jun 1 2013: .
    I came into this world Alone
    I've lived my life Alone
    I'll leave this life Alone

    This is my personal right:- a pleasant, 'non-violent' and independent manner of death, at a time that I choose. All I seek is unimpeded access to the means to do this. Ideally it would probably be pharmacological, simple, straightforward.

    Case closed.
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    May 30 2013: In this conversation there appears to be huge openness to the idea of an individual making their own choice and, if possible, they do the deed themselves with assistance if needed.

    Most of these same people are, however, not so easy with the idea of others making that choice and carrying out the deed.

    I include myself in this mix.

    I think we should be clear that suicide is not the same thing as Euhanasia. Suicide can be done without much thought about the repercussions or, as Arkady Grudzinsky has pointed out, the reprecussion to other parties who have a valid stake in our living.

    Mental turmoil, though it can cause physical pain, is different from the pain and suffering we are talking about when we speak of Euthanasia.
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    May 30 2013: I'm against it for the following reasons:
    1) we have the meds to prevent pain - the hospice movement gives fantastic support towards the end of life so no one should have to live a painful or degrading death.
    2) if we condone the ending of life in this way, we shall see older people being pressured into taking this option to prevent them from become a burden to their family
    3) murder may become confused as euthanasia
    4) what's next on the state's agenda - euthanasia for the disabled, mentally ill, gays, minorities or for enemies of the state? It was tried before in the 1930's - the world really doesn't want to go there again.
    5) most people have death anxiety at some point in their life - part of life is living through that anxiety and accepting death as something that comes to us all.
    6) just as caring for someone is a gift, being cared for is also a gift. We all know people (usually women) who do all the caring, but hate to be fussed over - well at the end of life they have no option but to be cared for - and that is a lesson and a gift too.
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      Lindy R

      • +1
      Jun 1 2013: "1) we have the meds to prevent pain - the hospice movement gives fantastic support towards the end of life so no one should have to live a painful or degrading death."
      Heather, have you ever known a person requiring hospice services? It is easy to say drugs are pain management tools but if you have to watch a person living with so much pain that their quality of life is minimal.... there is not much you can do when you are drugged up to the point where the pain is completely under control, in some cases.
      Each person should be allowed to make their own choice... thus if YOU want to live year after year in drug-stupor condition that is your choice... it certainly isn't mine. That is not a joy of living.
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        Jun 1 2013: Yes, I'm involved with hospice care in the UK. Cancer is a painful disease, no one is denying that - it is a painful way to die. The broader picture, and the question, under discussion concerns the state sanctioning of medical killing in advance of imminent death, which I don't happen to agree with, for all the reasons I gave.

        Morphine is used in progressively larger doses, until the patient drifts off into unconsciousness, passing away in a peaceful and in a pain free state.
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    May 30 2013: I think it depends entirely on the circumstances, if a person is in sane mind then why shouldn't they have the choice to die with dignity, I know it is hard for the family members and friends they will leave behind, but would you really want your family member to suffer and be in pain just so you could spend more time them .
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    May 30 2013: If you don't practice my religion and you take your life, its still you practicing your free will and where you end up after death is your business. And for the a religion that says if you take your life you will end up in Hell, I would run from.