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.
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    May 29 2013: Philosophically speaking, life itself is terminal.

    Love as in "love your neighbor" is, usually, defined as caring for the neighbor's well-being. I'm not sure how death can be considered "well-being" or a better condition than life in any way.
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      May 29 2013: Arkady, I think you are seeing this as a third party duty of care. I do not believe it to be so complex. If someone wishes to die with dignity then why not let them? What right does someone who is not part of my family have to tell us how we can die, they have spent enough time telling me how to live - stay out of my death.
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        May 29 2013: I also think that it must be a personal choice. Government, doctors, relatives, and society should stay out of it. This is why I oppose assisting anyone to commit suicide. I would refrain from any word or action that may affect such decision. I, personally, would not give anyone anything knowing that the person may use it to end his/her life. I speak for myself here. I also would not to impose my opinion onto others with legislation or otherwise. Although I have a fairly strong opinion about this issue, I would not vote on it.
        • May 29 2013: What if someone wants to die, but are too weak to? If someone had a mental illness, such as clinical depression, they could be cured, or they could kill themselves without assistance. But if someone with a physical illness (like when old people have heart, lung, and/or kidney problems) is in so much pain that they don't want to live anymore, but they aren't strong enough to kill themselves, what are they going to do? Obviously they will ask someone else to do it (preferably painlessly). Give that person the right to die even when they can't do it themselves.
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        May 29 2013: Daniel,

        See my comment below. Who determines what constitutes "unbearable suffering"? I would not trust anyone to define that, even the person in pain. We don't know our own capabilities, neither do we know the future - how much we have left to live. Killing people who ask for it? People change their minds every minute.
    • May 29 2013: I guess the real question would be, do you own your own body, or does the state? Since I believe I own my body, I believe the only person who has the right to my life or death is , ME!
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        May 29 2013: I don't believe the state owns our bodies. I oppose an idea that the state can tell people what to do with their bodies. This includes vaccinations, RFID chip implants, etc. I strongly support the IV amendment.

        Who owns my body is a different question. Having to support a family of 5, I seriously doubt that I am the "sole proprietor" of my life - there are multiple "shareholders" with vested interest.

        One may think that I contradict myself. Moral choices usually have 2 sides: when applied to self and when applied to others. Self-consistent moral choices can only be applied to self. When we attempt to impose our moral choices on other people, it's usually, hypocrisy.
        • May 30 2013: But the problem itself comes from the State's position that it is illegal,[in most states] to kill one's self. If they can do this, with the support of religious types, they are in essence telling you they make decisions for you, and have final say, or in other words own you. As far as you having a family of five, congratulations, but you are giving them the right to your body, it should not be theirs without your consent, which is another thing altogether.
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          May 30 2013: You make a good argument for your statement Arkady. I agree, others do have some vested interest in our lives. They should have some say in our decisions where they are directly affected.
        • May 31 2013: Interesting John, should they have that vested interest above and beyond your wishes? Where does their say begin and end?
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        May 30 2013: Timothy,

        I am not sure how suicide can be outlawed. Are they going to punish suicide with capital punishment? It's not the suicide that is illegal. It's assistance with suicide. Most laws are about "physician-assisted suicide". Kill yourself all you want, just don't help others to kill themselves, bluntly speaking. Assistance with suicide seems well withing the government jurisdiction. If not regulated, the line between assisted suicide and murder is blurry.

        Remember the old boy scout joke? "Why did it take 3 boy scouts to help an old lady across the street?" - "Because she didn't want to go."
        • May 30 2013: Suicide if completed cannot be prosecuted to be sure, but that doesn't make it legal, ask anyone that fails.Personnaly, I am 100% for someones right of choice to die, with dignity if ill.
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        May 30 2013: I'm all for a peaceful painless death as well. I'm against putting other people to death or helping them to kill themselves painlessly or otherwise. That's the controversy. This position, however, is not necessarily inconsistent.
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        Jun 1 2013: Re: "should they have that vested interest above and beyond your wishes? Where does their say begin and end?"

        Very good question, Timothy. I wish my children required a little less of my time, attention, and money. Fortunately, my dad is able to take care of himself. But for many people, aging parents are added to the "preferred stockholders" which have to be paid off before I pay off myself.

        There is no correct answer to your question. For some people, "the pain is too much" so they decide to end their life. For some people, "the burden is too much" so they commit abortions, abandon their families, or facilitate the death of their parents. It all depends on the proportion between our love to ourselves and our love to the people close to us - the perceived ratio between "self" and "not self", the size of our ego. (I'm judging others, I know).

        I don't see much dignity in dying to avoid my own pain and suffering. For me, dignity is living, suffering, and dying for others. Sorry for moralizing. It's all hypocrisy, I know. I don't measure up to my own standards. (False humility... I'd better shut up...)
        • Jun 1 2013: While I agree that my children and grandchild have a hold on me, the hold is my choosing. To be truly free, you have to come to certain conclusions. I can be held captive, I can be tortured, I can be ruled by my sense of responsibilty and love, but in doing the latter, I give up that freedom. In the first two, I only give it up if I go along.
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    May 29 2013: Re: "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?"

    My question is: who determines how much pain we can endure? Who determines that a person does not have any chance? Forget the doctor; can even the person in pain know these things? Some people give birth without anesthetics, and some think that pain from a cut finger is unbearable.

    The practice of killing sick people would, actually, dramatically reduce healthcare costs, solve much of the social security crisis improving the government budget, and make society overall healthier and more productive. Someone just has to define what constitutes a "terminal illness" and "unbearable pain". Way to go?
    • May 29 2013: that such a great point. i'm sure nearly everyone would be familiar with the idea of overcoming adversity and being thankful that they didn't give up, and the same goes for fights against diseases like cancer, it's always darkest before the dawn and all.

      that said though i wouldn't wish an increasingly painful slow death on anyone, knowing that every day is going to be worse than the previous one is akin to torture, so there more be some kind of line, as you suggest.

      also there's not just the individual to consider. when a person dies they take all of their knowledge, experience, and potential with them, and i'd argue that healthcare costs are irrelevant. disease can come to any of us so we shouldn't begrudge those who are sick because it could just as easily be us in their place. the costs are a result of the disease, not the diseased person. in addition, in trying to treat the sick we learn, and so society is much healthier thanks to treating sick people rather than just letting them die.
      • Comment deleted

        • May 29 2013: i don't know anyone thankfully. the transmission of pain can be blocked to be sure, but debilitating diseases such as brain tumors can progress to the point where loss of motor control and bodily functions is continuous and ongoing. the pain of slowly becoming trapped within one's own body cannot be fixed with an IV.
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          May 29 2013: I like your point of view.I think everyone should hold on tight to their lives for as long as they can and try to enjoy every minute of it. I especially liked when you pointed out that everyone should be "the master of their own destiny". I believe that what makes a person is his character and attitude towards the world,but,more important,towards themselves.
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          May 29 2013: Kate, I strongly agree with your position. Taking action to end one's life is a different moral choice than taking no action to save one. Trying to ease the pain of a dying person while not acting to prolong the person's life is acceptable to me. Acting to end the person's life is not.
        • May 30 2013: kate i really agree with you. what i mean to say is that it shouldn't be completely off the table. i too would probably choose to spend every possible second with my family even under the agony, but i could completely understand people who, in say the last 2 weeks of their life, had said their goodbyes, gotten everything in order, and would prefer to end it there rather than waiting to be suffocated to death by their disease at some random interval between now and the next 2 weeks.

          all of my grandparents too lived right to the end, however if one of them had wanted to cut it short by a week or 2 i would have found it very difficult to refuse their request. how can we be master of our own destiny if we're prohibited from deciding to end our own life?
      • Comment deleted

        • May 31 2013: right i understand that, you've reiterated a number of points that aren't what i'm asking.

          say you were in the final stage of a terminal illness, you were in the final 2 weeks of a battle years long, you'd gotten your affairs in order, said your goodbyes, and had left left but to endure increasing pain all while waiting for your disease to asphyxiate you at some random time between now and the next 2 weeks, and so you decide you'd prefer to end it now and on your own terms. how would you feel about someone telling you no you couldn't because it's illegal?

          how can we be master of our own destiny if we're prohibited from deciding to end our own life?
      • Comment deleted

        • May 31 2013: i hear you fine, you're not reading my comments properly. as i said above not all pain is physical and so not all pain can be controlled by medication.

          please answer my question regarding choosing to die now peacefully on your own terms or waiting to be die naturally, gasping for breath as you are asphyxiated by your disease at some random time in the next 2 weeks?
    • May 30 2013: Ultimately it should be up to the individual himaelf and hopefully, his loved ones, government and others would honor HIS wishes...whatever they be.
    • May 31 2013: Arkady: The practice of killing sick people would, actually, dramatically reduce healthcare costs, solve much of the social security crisis improving the government budget.

      Didn't they use that same justification in pre-war 2 Germany?
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        May 31 2013: I said that with "tongue in cheek", "playing Devil's advocate". I hope, eugenics is gone for good. Somehow, many attempts to improve society end up doing the opposite.
        • Jun 1 2013: there really should be a tongue in cheek icon :)
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    May 28 2013: Euthanasia is to let a person die with dignity.

    All caution is needed to prevent its malpractice.
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    May 28 2013: You have asked the question, my simple answer is yes! In life there are 2 certanties, death and taxes. If a horse is lame we will euthanise it but if it's a person then their suffering is prolonged until the eventual certainty arrives. This is to me flawed thinking.The only real reason to keep someone alive is because their is hope to make them well again...quality of life. If their is no hope what is the point!
    Now my view on the status quo of death is different. I THINK EVENTUALLY PEOPLE WILL BE SMART ENOUGH TO DISCOVER A CURE FOR DEATH! What does this mean, well to be honest, don't be scared, your ancestors have all done it and you are pretty well done in any case, so just face it but be a bit smart about it. I planned on building a business around it, and so what do you have to lose by preserving yourself ( for example) in alcohol so that in 500 years you can be re- energised... we are after all 65% water and utilise electrical and chemical impulses! Anyway, just saying you don't have to go with the status quo!
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      May 29 2013: Hmm, I am rather intrigued by your statement and you brought my curiosity to surface. Still,I think that death is just another phase and that it only represents that our consciousness reaches a higher level.
      Do you think that it would be better for humanity if there were a "cure" for death?
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        May 30 2013: We may be born to die, but if you had a choice would you rather live or die? Our consciousness only physically knows being alive. Religion and other concepts aside, what if there only was life and in death you are nothing. No spirit, no other world, no other awareness, just nothing!
        What if, in 500 years, technology had advanced to such a state that re-energising people who were dead was akin to recharging a flat battery and they sent them off to populate on auto pilot to far reaching Earth like planets that had been developed for human population.
        Perhaps it takes 350 Earth years for the space ship to make the journey! My posit here was purely in terms of the worst of the worst case scenario, as in you are nearly dead and you are in pallative care.
        Personally, I don't know if one would want to burden their loved ones with final stage pre death downward spiral of their human condition. As much as one wants to spend time with their loved ones, truthfully the act of dying slowly and painfully (in terms of doped up to the eyeballs with no bladder control and fed via tube etc with no resemblance to who they were as now they can't even communicate etc) could be psychologically traumatising to them.
        Ok so bad as inevitable death is, give people hope that in the future, a cure may be discovered for their illness and for death itself and for every other ailment that man presently suffers.
        I obviously am not using todays technology or understanding of biology or DNA etc etc play a part as this may be hundreds or thousands of years away or maybe even never. I don't know, it's just a hunch I guess. Anyway what do you have to lose by backing it?
        • May 30 2013: You are assuming death is a negative and none of us should be feared into this belief in humanity's positive effect. Perhaps death holds a positive? None of us can answer that.
    • May 30 2013: TT - Quality of life is Subjective.

      Reductio ad absurdum: That if you're quality of life is not of sufficient standard then there is no point in saving you. IE your a homeless person, therefore you have no QOL so let them die.

      Or again Reductio ad absurdum says why not preemptively euthanase them. Thought - didn't someone in the 40's try that?

      As for the 45% that your not considering, you need to do some research into DNA and it's longevity while operating with an organism.
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      Lindy R

      • +1
      Jun 2 2013: Time Traveller says "... so what do you have to lose by preserving yourself ( for example) in alcohol so that in 500 years you can be re- energised...
      !!! AAAagggh!!! I am having enough trouble coping with the changes in this world in my life time [ 50 +something ;-) ] that the thought of coming back in 500 years ... to do what? None on my friends or family will be there and I certainly wouldn't be qualified to work in the evolved technology of the world in say 2500... gimme a break!!!!
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    May 28 2013: I believe that human life is precious and that we should always seek to preserve it at all costs. Like abortion, euthanasia, or right to die, is controversial because it challenges our innate predilections against taking life. Irrespective of the chosen terminology, legality, or the wishes of the patient, legally sanctioned euthanasia is still a form of killing.

    In 2005 a very controversial legal battle was waged in the state of Florida regarding this topic. Teresa Marie Schindler, known in the media, and subsequently to the nation, as Terry Schaivo, was left in a persistent vegetative state after suffering severe brain damage following cardiac arrest. In this state, Terry Schaivo was unable to respond to any stimuli, and incapable of articulating her wishes. Terry Schaivo’s husband argued in favor of removing her feeding apparatus, her family objected. The courts ultimately ruled in her husband’s favor, and the feeding tube was removed.

    While I can’t say with any real convictions that I fully agree or disagree with the idea of human euthanasia, I think that in cases when the patient has clearly expressed his/her wishes, such actions should be warranted. Furthermore, I can’t begin to fathom someone not facing some degree of moral conflict if confronted with such a sensitive issue. If faced with the decision to terminate life support for a loved one, many of us would prefer to shun the responsibility.
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      May 29 2013: I agree with you,Carter. I am also somewhere in between when it comes to euthanasia ( even for animals). Although,in some cases,should the ill request it,I believe this drastic action is justified. What I can't imagine is how do the doctors who perform euthanasia cope with taking someone's life.
  • May 28 2013: I am for it and let me quote King George IV - Let no man mourn me and having lived a good life have begun to wonder about what is next. It should be an individual decision and if you are concerned about the relatives, give everything to charity.
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    May 27 2013: Everyone has the right to end their life at anytime they so desire. Nothing is stopping them. If you wait too long, as some have stated, this ability may be taken away from you.

    Passing a law that allows people to die with dignity, is a two or mufti-edged sword. It can be abused. I've seen instances where relatives have come into a nursing home and held the hand of their mom or dad and signed a paper giving them complete control of their assets or outright ownership. The same thing could happen if it were legal to end ones own life via a written document or with family members permission.

    I once, jokingly, asked what people thought about us (older folk), solving our kids economic woe's by having a giant going away party then everyone go away, according to their own design. I was astonished at the number of positive comments to this notion.

    As I stated, we already have that right. Wither we choose to put it into force is an individual choice. No matter how we write such a law, there will be those who abuse it. It's not such an easy thing because other laws may become impacted by a Euthanasia law.

    How could it be legally perceived if a police officer shot someone trapped in a burning car who was "beyond rescue"? More generally, people might support his actions but the legal system would be forced to prosecute. How much money would be spent arguing what is considered "beyond rescue"?

    When I worked as a Suicide Prevention Counselor, we were committed to the notion, there is no reason strong enough to take one's own life. One of the role playing learning tools we used involved a man who called in and had saved his pain meds up to end his life of misery. He wanted to gives us one last try even though he was totally committed. Our supervisor was the one who actually answered the call. If someone ever said they thought it was an adequate reason to end a persons life, They did not pass the test and did not work with our group.

    I'm for it being legal.
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      May 29 2013: You said that people might abuse it. I think you are right. To be perfectly honest, I am actually somewhere in between when it comes to this subject. On the one hand, it is in people's nature to abuse of their rights and this could be a consequence of legalizing euthanasia. Although,in worst cases, euthanasia may seem a gift.
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        May 29 2013: Yes, I understand. I've suffered with chronic pain since I was 19 years old. I'm 62 now. No matter what happens or how worse my condition gets, I always find a reason to continue on. I'm such a curious person that I want to stay around and find out what happens next. :)

        The key is to keep your life as simple as possible, feed the mind, and have a good hobby. All we need to survive is Air, Food, Comfort (includes clothing and shelter), and water. Everything else is icing on the cake. Some could argue that socialization is also as important as the four things I listed above and I could agree with this.
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    May 27 2013: God's given all of us free will and what we do with it in the end is a private conversation between God and ourselves. He loves us unconditionally regardless of how we return home. I believe Heavens door is open to those who give (take) their lives.
    • May 30 2013: Two points Michael

      1) What if one does not believe in god?
      2) Some religions state quite clearly, that you will go to hell if you terminate your own life.
  • Jun 3 2013: Sorry Kate, couldn't access the response to me for some reason, I can understand ypurs and Arakady's reasons for not agreeing with assissted suicides, I just choose to disagree. If I ever get to a point where living is more painfull than dying, I for one will take the prescribed road most beneficial to me, hopefully I will still be able to do the thing myself.
  • Jun 3 2013: The liberty of one ends when the çiberty of the other begins.

    With this I mean that if someone whants to do something, like authanesia, and if this thing does not hurt or kill or prejudices someone than we shouldn´t prohibit it.

    Live and let others Live. Let them choose. This is liberty.
    And mithology has nothing to do with this matter, again, let others live, to be free to choose.
  • Jun 3 2013: I am in support of euthanasia, but care needs to be taken to ensure it is not abused.
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    Jun 3 2013: Kate: This is not about me. I am happy to be alive and very healthy. This about those who are suffering having the right to choose.
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    Jun 3 2013: Kate: Once again, you've missed my point. It's not abut me, but it's interesting that you deleted your insensitive comments about human suffering.
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    Jun 3 2013: I am only 16 but after reading some comments I agree with those that think that it should be the choice of the person. The state should not be able to take away someone's right to end their life how and when they want to.
  • Jun 3 2013: Hi Kate. FEAR of being sued and prosecuted for 'killing' is there and real for any doctor, nurse, family member, friend. Also many doctors,on religious grounds will not. My GP who is a lovely guy tells me most doctors (80%) believe in mercy killing/voluntary euthanasia however are NOT permitted under current Law. Any friends or family present are also hauled into court and prosecuted for killing. There have been cases of this recently in the press.

    Many of us could 'do it' ourselves and on our own as I believe if I swallowed the whole bottle of one of my medications it would certainly kill me. However I don't know for sure and the worry is, if it didn't, I could suffer more and longer !

    Federal MP Mark Butler Minister for Ageing when I met him early this year said Labor party is looking at the situation of changing the law (and the Constitution to do so). He personally has tatooed on his chest DO not resusitate......he even went so far as to start unbuttoning his shirt to show us but the local politician stopped him. Pity he is nice looking young guy.

    Sadly for us who believe in voluntary euthanasia for ourselves the government stopped Dr. Nitchke in the Northern Territory some years ago and they hound him and try and arrest him when he steps on Australian soil.

    The momentum is gathering to legalise voluntary euthanasia in possibly ACT (Canberra), Sth. Australia & Northern Territory but to my mind should be available all states and NOW.

    Vets are not prosecuted and they believe it is a 'service' of kindness not to let an animal suffer.
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    Jun 2 2013: Wow!!!
    You think (believe) you have the answers.
    I don't think so.
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    Jun 2 2013: I agree with freedom of choice, so I agree for euthanasia if there is the consent of the person.
  • Jun 2 2013: I'm now 76. At 14, after suffering debilitating medical conditions, I was advised I'd be unlikely to survive 14 more years without new medical treatments. Despite continuing debility I enjoyed a life of variety and excitement until at 28 - with only 3 months to live - an innovative procedure provided another 7 years. Four additional surgical procedures in the next 46 years allowed me to live well, despite medical traumas. My life has been documented in 3 memoirs - over 900 pages!. These document the fact that when conditions have seemed unbearable there have always been lovers or medics "depriving me of release" - and that I've ultimately appreciated their efforts. But I've wondered sometimes if I might have subsequently enjoyed an early peace - or whether peace is a condition we should pursue!
    In considering rights and wrongs I've appreciated the interventions of those with a close personal connection. But I've asked myself about religious folks' motivations - seeming to fear "death" (I don't think I believe in death). One might think those who believe in a god would not only have confidence in their access to compatriots "the other side" but also of caring and compassionate systems allowing them to bypass death's agonies? And what of the "godless"? What makes them think that negating the old myths equates with making a determination of spiritual nothingness?
    I don't believe the human concept of death makes much sense, since it ignores the evidence of continuity in the universe. Many who obstruct euthanasia seem to lack a belief in continuity. Science does not allow for "nothingness." I'm confident to ask friends (or pay professionals) to help me get past unnecessary pain and to get over to the other side with priority. Using laws to require folks to suffer before they go is barbaric!
    My main contention is that a human-type god is laughable. "Going over," for me, is gaining access to the spiritual creatures who inhabit a boundless spiritual universe.
  • Jun 2 2013: I think the right exists as a natural right. There are many whose religious or moral beliefs preclude such action, and this is understandable. On the other hand, religious or moral beliefs of others should not be applied to anyone other than themselves, as freedom of belief for one person, requires the same freedom of belief for everyone else.

    Socially and legally permitting euthanasia, ironically necessitates a high social, ethical and legal emphasis on the value of life. In our current world, limited access, restricted access or inadequate access to education, poverty in general, and especially hunger, lack of access to medical care, medicines and mental health care, should be important precursors to this discussion.

    Personally, I would like to have a legal and medically acceptable euthanasia option for end of my life, but there is always taking a long walk in a very harsh winter storm. Such action obviously requires one to be well enough to do it, and Karmel Blue writes eloquently about the most common reality. There are very many people passing middle age in the United States, who feel the same way, many who have parents who have suffered through these same issues. When a good life is gone, the view of death changes, not to be so feared, and maybe to be a welcome end: a comfort.
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    Jun 2 2013: @ Ginger...Since when did the "right to life" become a belief. I have always thought Life, Liberty and the right to pursue happiness were GIVENS, not needing faith, only recognition.
  • Jun 1 2013: Yes I do believe in 'Voluntary' euthanasia. Australian law is only thing stopping it in Australia. Vets have NO problem putting a sick or badly injured animal out of its suffering, so we should not deter the doctors (or family) doing same for humans.

    It is the number one question (want) by people over 65 at meetings.

    Recently a friends wife in her 70's was very ill and suffering and there was NO hope for what ailed her, so they put her into palliative care to lie in a bed for 12 days being starved of food and water until she died of lack of. Everyday while still conscious she would beg her husband to please end her suffering... how much longer she would ask...give me some water please. He wanted her put to sleep humanely the first day ..but NO...made to suffer on. It nearly killed him watching the suffering each day and he remains in a state of depression, he had a fall and broke his foot and now in rehab.

    I am getting older and suffer a genetic auto immune disease which is getting worse each year. I know the time will come when it will be unbearable to keep living and I too will want euthanasia - at home in my own bed and quickly passing over.

    It is the living that is frightening me not the dying. There comes a point when some lives are just NOT worth living and we should be allowed to 'exit' this life at home with speed and dignity without suffering too long.
  • Jun 1 2013: It is the best option one can have, when there is no light at the other end of tunnel. Why, if one thinks his purpose has been served, he has every right to do so. In India, there are many examples of such instances. Many Indian saints at the very early age of life--even in their twenties and thirties have practiced this. e.g. Saint Dnyaneshwar (12 th century), who wrote very holy book of Hindus, ' Dnyneswari ', went in last peaceful sleep (called samaadhi in India) i.e. a sort of this act, at the age of 22.. Similarly Saint Tukaram ( at the age of 42), Saint Ramdas (both lived in 17 th century) went in samaadhi, when they felt their lives fulfilled and nothing brighter could be done. Maharaani Padmini of Chitorgarh (Rajput kingdom in India), when Muslim enemy attacked her kingdom, killed her emperor husband and defeat was certain, rather than facing molestation by the Muslims, she entered fire with her many followers. Today, one can never say purpose of life is fulfilled, but when helpless due to illness- physical or mental, one must be free to have the option. Society and law too, should permit him to do so, to relieve himself from the punishment of living with pains, dependence and indignity.
  • Jun 1 2013: I believe that when a hospital or any medical facility asks for your "living will", it should also include what to do if there is nothing medically to do, and there is no chance for a true quality of life. Hospice is no option. Hospice allows you to stay alive as long as you can breathe. It puts a burden on your family and friends. Why, when someone dies in their sleep, do we say he had a good death? Because he is generally assumed to have died at peace. That's all I want. When my time is up, I want to go peacefully. I am ready to do that, when the day comes. No extra measures - no tests of new drugs - just a peaceful time to sleep and slip away. We are so much more humane with our anumals. When they are in pain, and age and/or illness makes a recovery appear impossible, we help them along. I wish I were my cat!
  • Jun 1 2013: Freedom of choice plus mandated for those with sub 3 digit I.Q. levels.
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    Jun 1 2013: for those of you who think the bible has a role in answering this question, here are two interesting Oxford debates, one speaker of six in each


    Assisted Dying
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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: 1) you get the pain argument - the person is in too much pain.

    2) you get the God argument - the person's religion states a preference.

    3) The Future - that arbitrarily sometime in the future there maybe a cure.

    But 1) is a "Subjective" argument, ie you try to impose your idea on the person. "ethical subjectivism,"

    But 2) the truth or falsity of typical moral judgments does not depend upon the beliefs or feelings of any person or group of persons. ie God "Moral Objectivism"

    But if your not the person in 1) you have no right to say thats a person's limit.

    Morality as in 2) is dependent on what country your in. Example, Saudi Arabia will cut of one's head, the UK wont. Both are seen as the morally right thing to do.

    Morality as in 2) changes over time, UK middle ages, hung-drawn-quartered, today not.

    You cant use the legal argument, as the government/state may override you, or in-prison aiding someone. You cant use the pain argument, if your not the one suffering, because it's a subjective call.

    As for 3) this may or not be in your foreseeable future, and if it is, one has to evaluate it with contraindications, cost, and benefit. All research I'd believe you'd have to do, as you are the effected one. So mitigating any other subjective (ie doctors/spouse) preferences.

    As for the coma scenario, the reality is, it depends on a) how much money you have b) If you written something done. c) what your 'loved ones' think. d) the pressure put on them by doctors.

    So for society to actually make a decision to make it a "right", based on all these variables is inevitably going to be different depending on the current time / faith / and location.

    Given all of those above, and the questioners comment about it being a "right". It would seem to me that you as a thinking person, ie i think therefore i am, you really don't need any authority to "give" you this as a "right", inherently you have the ability to make that judgement on your own. And act on it as YOU wish.
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      May 31 2013: This is way too complicated. It does not have to be. My view is very simple:

      My own life and death - my own business.
      Other person's life and death - not my call, sorry.
      When in doubt (a patient is unconscious) - choose life.

      With this philosophy, everyone is free to live or die as they choose.
      "Assisted suicide" ("helping" others to end their life) - not OK in my book.
      Forcing my choice onto others (this one included) - not OK either.

      I would love to hear criticism of this position. Please, let me know if you see any inconsistency, hypocrisy or hidden agenda in it or if it contradicts any religious doctrine.
      • May 31 2013: Yes it is too simplistic, because you're not taking into account, many things, that obviously why mine was more complicated.

        You're not taking into account a few factors that are important. One such being the state, and how they deem it legal or illegal on a moral basis, and the how & why that changes depending on location.

        That's one point, the other is, all of these are points you make are taken from your (a subjective) point of view, they would never be the rationalization for a state or law makers changing or creating such a law.

        Thirdly, absolutely it contradicts religious doctrine, one only has to look at many of them and see what they say about it.

        Lastly, sorry to be so harsh, but the point I was trying to make is that the solution is not as simple as your making out it out, nor the cop out on the "other person's..." line. Nor the "choose life", unless your willing to foot the bill for the intensive care that has to be paid, and believe you me, someone somewhere pays it.
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          May 31 2013: Tify,

          What is right and what is legal are separate considerations. I believe, here we are trying to figure out what is right. What is legal and what the state thinks about it is a separate matter. I think, what is legal must be based on what is right. Basing our moral judgment on what is legal would lead to circular reasoning and go nowhere. So, perhaps, for the purpose of this discussion, it's best to leave the state out.

          Regarding religious doctrines, I would be glad to discuss specifics if you care.

          Why do you call "other person's" line a "cop-out"?

          Regarding the bill for mandatory intensive care, I don't call for it. There are two types of laws: the laws that prescribe an action (e.g. fill out a tax return) and the laws that prohibit action (e.g. "do not murder"). Prescribing laws, usually, restrict freedom. They tell people what to do - people have no choice. Prescribing laws are the most oppressive and expensive. Prohibiting laws, usually, protect rights. People are still free to do whatever is not prohibited, but they are prevented from causing harm. I am in favor of prohibiting laws.

          With this philosophy in mind, I would oppose a bill prescribing intensive care. Taking action to end a life of an innocent person is, generally, prohibited. I would leave it that way. It protects people from being murdered for whatever reason. There is no need to open the door for arbitrary interpretations. As Kate mentioned, there are plenty of ways to end one's life with dignity. In my opinion, letting things take natural course and administering painkillers to ease suffering is different than taking action with intention to end life.
      • Jun 1 2013: I would ask this Arkady, your parent comes to you in their 90's, sick, in pain, and asks you to help them die, do you refuse help?
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          Jun 1 2013: Perhaps, there is a misunderstanding about what "helping to die" means. I would do my best to relieve their pain and take care of them in their final hours. That's how I understand "helping to die". A dying person is still a living person.

          Euthanasia, however, refers to killing a person. That I would not do - painlessly or not.
      • Jun 1 2013: RE:What is right and what is legal are separate considerations.

        How can that be, because as I stated morality changes, not only over time but in locations. And what is legal, is a reflection of the morality of that country in that time, and also a direct reflection of what people believe is right.

        You can directly see that by looking at the dealth penalty, the abortion issue, as well as the legality of assisted end of life, in various US sates, EU member countries, and every other country in the world.

        You talk about "Prescribing laws", but in reality, there are laws prescribing intensive care, by the very fact of making assisted death, illegal. They are flip sides of the same coin.

        You talk about "Prohibiting laws, usually, protect rights. People are still free to do whatever is not prohibited", but look below, there the persons rights are taken from them forcefully.

        It's the same set of laws that force a doctor to send you to a facility, if you even ever mention suicide, in many EU and other countries.

        It's somewhat that I'm seeing this not as a simplistic is it right or wrong, but bring in to the table what makes or morality, what makes a country choose a different path to another, what aspect does religion play, if only because I'm looking at it from a global perspective, again as people on here are from all over the world, with different laws, religions, beliefs.

        And to that end there maybe some people on here who are Catholics whom I'm told it is a cardinal sin, ie a sin of the worst degree to take one's own life, in -any- fashion.
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          Jun 1 2013: Re: "What is right and what is legal are separate considerations.... How can that be?"

          I did not say, they are unrelated. A horse is connected to a carriage, but a horse is not the same as the carriage. It matters what goes first. I would say, changes in morality drive changes in the laws. Therefore, when we consider what is right, it is irrelevant whether it is legal.

          I do not see how a law that forbids to kill a person can effectively mandate intensive care. Forbidding to kill is not the same as mandating to save a life.

          I can only repeat that all moral teachings are hypocritical when we talk of moral rules for others. I can only speak for myself and emphasize that this is my personal opinion that I don't want to force on others. But even that is hypocrisy because, by refusing to change the law, I effectively force my choice onto others.
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          Jun 1 2013: In those "pro-life/pro-choice" issues, I'm "pro-choice of life". I'm against abortions, but I'm against forbidding them also. To forbid doctors to perform abortions means to force women who would do them anyway do it in dangerous conditions. I'd rather see women choosing life for their babies on their own.

          Forcing other people to do the right thing is not the right thing to do. Moral choices must come from the heart.

          Perhaps, to be consistent, I need to say that I'm against euthanasia, but I'm against forbidding it also. Perhaps, there should be a due process for making this decision and a strictly controlled procedure to do that to prevent abuse. But I'm still against suicides and killings.
      • Jun 1 2013: So you would refuse said parent, I understand.
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    May 30 2013: This might sound out of subject at first but it is not.
    This is a subject i was actually thinking recently.

    So everything in the universe evolves.We have seen this even in our own microcosmos here on our planet.Humans though stopped evolving when they decided to created cities,came out of nature completly that is.We haven't keep in touch in the slightest with the thing that created us.

    So we grew other abilities of survival.Language that is.Qui-Gon stated "the ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent",true.We reached to the point that we have to manipulate language to convice others to our own little ideologies.

    I feel the answer is the same as for the abortion subject.We must understand that only humans actually created crisis and tragedies,before everything was just a play,just a ride.Humans try to control everything,make them obey their will and this is what;s wrong in reality.We must stop creating problems,crisis and miseries to feel alive and grasp whats reality.

    Nobody has authority over anyone however good our rhetoric might be,We must ease the pain,not create it,let people die gracefully,as a supernova does.Not as a twisted human ideologie.The only reason humans don;t want other humans to die is if they don't gain nothing from it.No profit?No die.
  • May 29 2013: From a biblical view point...

    Thou shall not murder. Killing is not murder. We see soldiers defend us and we do not call them murders. In the bible their were many deaths at the hands of the Jewish nation in the name of God. Once again killing in war.
    Jesus said that anger is the same as murder - Sin

    From a legale viewpoint...

    Murder is against the law. The degree of punishment for this varies depending on where and how.

    From a political viewpoint...

    Next question! The subject touches some hot buttons that could isolate a canidate from voters.

    From a persoal viewpoint...

    I don't want to be kept alive by a machine. My wife is aware of this decision. I want a life worth living but I know God has a plan for me better than any I could think of and until my last breath it is for him I live. Until my death or his return I live for him.
    • May 30 2013: Who's biblical point of view? And who's biblical point of view do you use for the law?

      I use to drive by 3 churches on the way to work, one said "Thou shall not murder", the other said "Thou shall not kill", the other said nothing.
      • May 30 2013: Try going in any of them?
        • May 30 2013: No. I couldn't decide who was right.

          And i didn't want to bet my immortal soul on the wrong horse.
      • May 30 2013: Not deciding on that is deciding
        • May 30 2013: not really, as like your original question, to go in is simply put irrelevant.

          As all / any are going to do is try to convert me to their beliefs. Because I doubt if any are open enough to revisit their belief systems to take anything else than their so called faith into account.

          And since they post it on the outside of their church, to go in and question it, again simply put, is irrelevant, and even worse - a waste of my time.

          As much as going into a shop on the day after a sale ends, and asking why the sale is still not current.
      • May 30 2013: And so is this conversation it seems. I hope someday you find faith in God because he has faith in you.
        • May 31 2013: Ah the fatuous "find faith in God because he has faith in you", now really you know that's not a valid argument, let alone it's an assumption that I haven't. Which is incredibly rude and presumptuous.

          Typically that written or said, when a person can't rationalize a point of view into a coherent argument. I suppose the equivalent alternative would be:

          "I hope someday you find the ability to use your brain, because after all you do have one."
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        May 31 2013: I wouldn't go into a church to question their beliefs.
        I'd go to question mine.

        Some question to challenge.
        Some question to understand.

        The first two, perhaps, mean the same thing, just say it differently.
        The one that says nothing is, perhaps, the one worth listening to.
        • May 31 2013: The first two, perhaps, mean the same thing, just say it differently.

          That's what I assumed Arkady , but they, after some research, importantly they DON'T mean the same thing.

          And the comment was given that difference in ideology, and the dangerous assumption that all religions make that there's is the only correct one, I thought that it was an important perspective to raise, with respect to the religious perspective on the subject of euthanasia.
      • May 31 2013: Difference in statements: I intended you good will.
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        May 31 2013: Tify,

        There is a difference between righteousness and self-righteousness. Unfortunately, it is true that religious people are often self-righteous. I don't think, anyone can claim monopoly on truth. If you believe in God, you may add "except God". If you don't, you may leave it at that. It does not change the meaning of this statement.

        It appears to me that the Gospels, generally, condemn self-righteousness and public piety. Those who preach from high horse might want to read Luke 18:9-14. Unfortunately, these "believers" have the most visibility and tend to form public opinion about religion. But most believers I know do not shove their faith into everyone's face.

        This is why the church without a sign seems most appealing to me. This is also why I'm not a fan of forcing my moral choices onto others. The "others line" is not just a "cop-out" as you called it. I feel skeptical about obtrusive moral teachings. And what I write here is not without hypocrisy.

        As for the interpretation of the Biblical commandments, I don't think there is a "right" one. I think, Bible raises questions more than it gives answers. Finding answers is our own job. How do you interpret "Thou shalt not kill" (KJV) or "You shall not murder" (NIV)? Especially, in the context of euthanasia?
        • Jun 1 2013: RE: If you believe in God, you may add "except God". If you don't, you may leave it at that. It does not change the meaning of this statement.

          It can if the implication is posed as that if I dont believe whats being sold, I am just not aware, or somewhat lacking. That is an insult.

          The "others line" is not just a "cop-out" as you called it.---- please quote the comment I cant find what or where it is.

          Let me be very clear I DONT force anyone to take ANY moral line, and I EXPECT the same from them - WHATEVER their believes are.

          Some people just cant seem to either respect the other person enough to do that, or want to feel morally superior because they believe they have been "given" the answers, or are just blind to the fact that there can be alternative viewpoints, and logic and reason have little sway.

          As for the kill/murder/nothing, I thought it was an interesting observation, and a point to put up, as obviously is clearly shows how religion holds sway for some people in this matter, and how it differs.

          Because if we cant see that there are differences, and still respect the other, we are doomed to forever repeat history. Which seems to be happening right now in the middle eas, except these crusades are not for a goblet.
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    May 29 2013: Tell me about it.

    Euthenasia, and death in general, is a difficult topic. I think that if one chooses to die, they should have the opportunity to do that. On the other hand, if even one family member wishes for that person to live, then there should be the opportunity for that much to be examined by a court of law. A physician should not be like Dr. Kevorkian and just pass out death-pills to anyone who thinks they want it. Here is an example of what I mean.

    A number of years ago, a law enforcement vehicle: Departamento de Seguridad Pública de Tejas, came to my home with an official document. Then, they drove me away. I wasn't sure what the next event would be for me.

    I was taken to a large, well known prison: Penitenciaría Estatal de Alcatraz y el Amazonas. While there, I watched someone I knew die by ejecución legal y letal. The execution was lawful and ordered by the Corte Suprema del Estado Nacional.

    I guess they expected me to be impressed. Instead I was just baffled. I was just glad that this individual was gone, never to reenter my life again. I didn't care if he lived or died. I still don't. I just wanted him OUT of my life! That is all that matters to me and to anyone.

    But if the court decided, then that is how it is. Alive or dead, the court decided the issue. Life or Death is decided by the courts alone. That's how it is in my home country. Viva la revolucion!
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      May 27 2013: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_euthanasia

      It has been legal in Belgium for more than 10 years, and no cases of serious abuse have been reported.
      But maybe there are cultural differences.
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          May 30 2013: Be careful when using (a variant of) the precautionary principle, as that might lead to horrible consequences and more suffering (for example: not using a drug that can save 80% of a target population but causes serious harm for 0.001% while not using it will harm all of them)

          So errors will always happen and there are rare occasions when recovery happens. Though I'm not willing to pay millions to keep people alive and in pain in order to save one. I'd rather let those million people die in peace (as is their will), even if one could be saved. That one life is not worth all the suffering.

          I know, this is cold calculus, but sadly, utilitarian decisions need to be made in health-care and in respecting peoples wishes.
          If you go for moral imperatives (you shall not kill), then you value the rule higher than the will of all the individuals. I'm not willing to go so far.
  • May 27 2013: This may sound very contradictory with some of the conditions of human life, but I believe 'life is God with us'. We are not in charge, so don't have the authority to end the life of the body.

    We are in two worlds at the same time, are influenced by and influence both at the same time. It is a two-way street.
    This is an article about the influences that exist about what age we die.

    So I think God has a use for us for others in this world or/and the other world. There are things God wills but also things that He allows, both for the eternal happiness of mankind.
    • May 27 2013: I disagree with you on so many levels that it's hard for me to find a place to start.

      So I won't..... I think I've made my point already.
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      May 28 2013: the god thing is disturbing as a basis for anything, but that is your choice Adriaan, and I would not take that away from you if this is what you wish for yourself....but you have no right to impose this view on others.
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        May 29 2013: What I think is that the people's beliefs determine them to react the way they do. Sometimes,religion is a base for people and they live their lives governed by it. Everyone finds their "safe heaven" and some people find it in religion.
      • May 31 2013: Hi Peter, thanks for seeing it as my choice. I gave my opinion. Do you. however, have the right to impose your view on others??
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          May 31 2013: no, I don't Adriaan. that's my fundamental point. We are not here be used by others or convinced by others that we do not own ourselves, that we aren't allowed to make important decisions for ourselves about how we should live and die. That's a major problem I have with the message of many who are religious. if your god wants to impart an important message to me why not do it directly. How is that you and other know so much about the intentions of this mythical being? I truly believe it is your choice, and implied in that is that each of us have a choice, and that nether your or I have the right to fool people into believing otherwise.
    • May 31 2013: Adriaan Braam: Your basing your whole argument on if god exists.

      If he doesn't your whole argument collapses. And since you have no proof that god does exist, simply put the argument put forward, is one based on a blind faith you have on a being that might or might not exist.

      Others may prefer to be a bit more pragmatic, when it comes to their health and their life.
      • May 31 2013: Hi Tify
        --"Others may prefer to be a bit more pragmatic.."-- you mean more animal like?

        I have made the choice, based on experiences and information, to see proof TO ME that God does exist. Lots of people need a NDE to come to the same conclusion, but no one is forced to.

        It is all about majority and who is in charge.
        • Jun 1 2013: No I dont mean more animal like, I mean more intelligent, you know free will, thought, the ability to see beyond doctrine.

          Because any one who believes in that God, that thinks it's find and dandy to insult other people, I really want nothing to do with either of them.
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    May 27 2013: Euthanasia, from a religious stand, takes away God's ability for His will to be done. From a secular stand, if you believe that there is just this life and nothing after, then why not?
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      May 29 2013: I believe that there is something after,although not a "heaven" or a "hell". And maybe that certain person is going towards a better place.
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        May 29 2013: Miclaus, just to let you know where i am coming from. I am a christian of no particular denomination because there isn't one that preaches biblically in my experience, which is sad. So much dogma has turned so many potentially saved people away from Christ's teachings. Your answers should be in a wonderful book called, "The Holy Bible." Even different editions have omitted key verses. I recommend the King James Version as it is the most complete and the most universal. The others were written in order to reach a specific thinking population and segregates the rest, this is horrible and not what was intended by the original orators. We as humans do not know what is in a person's heart at the moment of death. This is why "we" are told, by the words in the bible, not to think we do and not to make decisions based upon the belief that we do.
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    May 27 2013: No, I don't agree. People can always revive, so they should be kept alive until dead. What is your argument for euthanasia?

    However, if someone tells you they want to die, I don't know the answer. On the one hand, it is their life, so they should have a right to end it. On the other hand, we, the outsiders, know their life might be better, might improve, so we should prevent them from ending it. I would say someone who wants to die should have the right.
    • May 27 2013: You want an argument for euthanasia, I'll give two: 1) Unbearable constant pain which cannot be relieved by any available medication. 2) A terminal condition which leads you to an unavoidably pitiful end. There may be more, but this two I know from first hand.
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        May 28 2013: right, George, but are these arguments for euthanasia, or the right to commit suicide. If I understand euthanasia, it is given where the person is unconscious and cannot make a decision themselves. In that case, we would not know if the person is in pain, we cannot assume they are in pain, thus we cannot, secondhand, make the decision to end their life. As far as the pitiful end, well, again, if the person is unconscious, we cannot make the decision to end their life even if we perceive them headed for a pitiful end, because we don't know if the end is coming, they may get better and return to conscious life.
        • May 28 2013: In the case of an unconscious person you just cannot know if keeping them alive is an act of kindness or an act of torture, drawing a line between extending life and elongating agony can be extremely difficult even for highly trained and seasoned physicians, so whatever decision you make in the behalf of the unconscious person can be an act of humanity or a crime, and you may never know. On the other hand I don't think the concept of euthanasia should be limited to unconscious people... what if you are diagnosed with a disease which will disable you completely in a matter of months? would your life still be worth living? what if such disease is not covered by your insurance? what if you don't have insurance? is it ethical to rest the burden of your disabled self on your relatives? how long would they stand it? what if you don't have any relatives? what if you are homeless? is it ethical to classify as "suicide" the act of requesting medical help to end your life under such circumstances?
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        May 28 2013: Well, George, if we didn't know whether the person was in pain or not, I think we would have to attempt to extend life with the idea that they might not be in pain, and they might recover. Wouldn't we have strong clues as to whether they're in pain, in other words, if they're lying there unconscious and not groaning or moaning, wouldn't it suggest they're not in pain?

        If you are diagnosed with a disease that will disable you...well, the problem is that noone has a crystal ball. You may be diagnosed with that prognosis, but you may be the person who beats the prognosis, sometimes people do do better than the doctors predict. So I'd still keep the person alive.

        As far as the financial question, I don't have such a ready answer. I would tend to think one's relatives/society should bear the financial burden until it becomes too heavy a burden, in many situations in life one has to decide between competing claims and this seems like one.
        • May 29 2013: You may be right, physicians are not gods, however their training makes them reliable sources of information, so when 2 or 3 of them give you the same prognosis, is very unlikely all them be wrong... yes you will might be stronger than the disease, but what if you see your body degrading steadily without any improvement? what if additionally you start loosing mental clarity?... I don't think the feelings of that moment would be easy to cope with, would it be worth living a bitter (rest of your) life? would your relatives deserve to be mistreated? would they be willing to understand you? who's going to take care of you? for how long? does that person (or institution) has the physical and financial strength to sustain you until the unavoidable?
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        May 29 2013: I don't know, George, I suppose if someone started losing mental clarity there's always a chance they could get it back. So I'd still avoid euthanasia. But I could envision a point where the chances that a person would get better are outweighed by the drain the person is making. Would you agree with that? Where would that point be, or how would you know if you've reached it?

        Did you say you had some personal experience with these issues? What was it?
        • May 29 2013: Preservation of life must be the main priority for any health related professional, no doubt about it... however as a patient I believe I should have the right to decide when a disease (or pain) is making my life not worth living any more... specially if I am in a terminal stage of the disease. I don't know for you, but in my case, I wouldn't want to see my wife and children sacrifice their health and financial safety just because I was too greedy to avoid to say good bye on time.

          I didn't say I had personal experience, I just said I knew a couple of cases from first hand, but I am sorry, I rather prefer not to comment on that.
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      May 29 2013: I do not agree with taking someone's life without permission no matter how bad the state is. However, should a person ask for his/her death than I think they should be given the right.
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        May 29 2013: So far that's about where I am on it, too, Miclaus.