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Estrella Reyes

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What are people's thoughts on euthanasia?

People are generally for or againt euthanasia, and I'd like to know what people think. I, myself, am torn between pros and cons when seeing how people react so differently when the event actually occurs - when a decision has to be made. What are your thoughts on it, one way or another?

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    Nov 9 2011: 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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      Nov 9 2011: I agree 100%

      I'm drinking the kool-aid.
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        Nov 9 2011: I don't mean to make light of the subject for I have thought much about it myself, but I thought this story was humorous:

        One man came up with standing on a mountain top holding an iron bar up to the sky in a lightening storm. Then he said, "With my luck, it would just blow off the little hair I have left."
    • Nov 17 2011: Right On!
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    Nov 9 2011: I am utterly torn about this issue. I worry that it will be abused. I worry that elderly or ill people will be pressured into ending their lives by people who make them feel guilty about the cost of care in their final days. I worry that depressed or unloved people will give up. I worry about people who have no advocate.

    The reason I am torn though is that I see both sides. My brother-in-law was a brilliant accountant who had an early onset Alzheimers and died by 46. He died of a pneumonia that could have been cured but cured to what purpose? He was being diapered and fed by his loving wife long after he had gone through losing his business due to malpractice law suits because no one recognized what was happening to him. We did not understand his violent outbursts and neglect of his business.

    More recently, my aunt, a woman on dialysis, was diagnosed with brain cancer. She chose to turn off her dialysis before the cancer robbed her of her identity. She said goodbye to everyone, and she left me a legacy of advice I will never forget. She died on her own terms in peace and leaving all who loved her with a peaceful sense that she died as she had lived- with dignity and choice.
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      Nov 12 2011: Likewise, in some ways i think it will have a positive outcome, because some people who are terminally ill, are not capable of handling the pain. i think allowing them to die painlessly before the illness leaves them in a worse state is actually helping them.However, i also do believe there is a chance that it will be abused. i read somewhere that legalizing euthanasia would make the patients feel it is their DUTY to take that route rather than face the illness because of the heartache and "burden" it would place on their families. With that in mind, i would hate for someone to end their lives because they feel they HAVE to. I guess no matter what, everything always has a risk.
  • Nov 9 2011: Hi Estrella, tough debate!
    ( good luck!)
    Why would you be torn, about this?
    Think about it.
    Scenario, if I had a loved one, in pain and wanted to leave this world. I would help.
    Small problem, the governments of the world, have to regulate it?
    It comes down to a human decision. Not a government, not a religion, not a list of pro's and con's.
    Good Debate!! (yea!)
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    Nov 15 2011: I'm all for it: With regulations of course but if someone is terminally ill or on their last legs and after much dilberation they choose its in their best interest to die, then go right ahead.

    I mean if someone is depressed and have thoughts of killing themselves they should not have access to this.

    If you look at this rationally, It makes sense,

    The only reason why this is even debated is really for religious reasons. Many oppositions to this is not medical, scientific or philosophical but religious and to be honest that is not a good basis for opposing this. It is indeed a value question (we are talking about an individuals life and well-being) but rational choices can still be made for this and the rational for this is not because people want to justify suicide but for other reasons.

    great question by the way
  • Nov 14 2011: Estrella, I thought I would pass on two links - the first is a current case in Canada and the second refers to an earlier case. A distinction is also made between "assisted suicide" and euthanasia.

    Assisted suicide laws challenged in B.C. Supreme Court
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/11/14/bc-assisted-suicide.html

    The fight for the right to die
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2009/02/09/f-assisted-suicide.html
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      Nov 15 2011: thank you so much for both links, which were very helpful =D i really appreciate it
      • Nov 19 2011: Glad you found it useful, Estrella.
  • Nov 13 2011: I am for euthanasia as the very last personal choice. Our society has advanced in allowing people to make their own personal choices, But hasn't (in my opinion) allowed for us to make one of the most personal decisions. In our lives we face medical problems and our doctors give us all of our options and tell us the risks of all of them, and allows us to make our decision. I don't see why this topic should be treated any differently.

    And in regards to cultural and religious reasons against euthanasia those are once again personal beliefs that should only affect personal choices, but if you want to know more about how culture and religion affect peoples' feelings on euthanasia I suggest you study thantology (a field of science that deals with death and peoples' feelings towards death and how to comfort them)
  • Nov 13 2011: The point is that many social organization wants euthanasia for her and case is running in the highest court of land, Hospital staff wants to save her and these social organization wants to give her right to euthanasia.......But question is does she deserves to live or put to death as practically she is only body which has lost sense of being human, it is not easy to decide……As she cannot decide as she has no sense of being alive and Some social organization feeling sorry for her and asking courts permission to end her life....Law is confused what to say.....Question is Who do decide and on what ground.......Its big debate with no answer in sight..........
  • Nov 13 2011: Hi Estrella, this is a good debate! How are you torn between pros and cons? Humans are human, we will react differently to this topic. How are you torn, what are thoughts, opinions? With respect to an excellent debate!!!
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      Nov 15 2011: i am torn because as a christian myself, i grew up thinking that only God can take life and give life, but when i came across this topic i found myself doubting what i previously thought because to think that there might be someone out there suffering, without any chances of survival and no medicine to alleviate the pain, how is it human for us to just let them suffer instead of giving them the choice of a painless death, on the other hand, what if they did have the choice, but people began abusing it, and wanting euthanasia only because they grow tired of life, regardless of the fact that they may or may not be ill? also, i cant help but think about how a life is always valuable so in taking it, we are in some ways doing somehting immoral, but at the same time, forcing someone to continue fighting an unstoppable disease is also immoral when all they want is peace through death. i hope i'm makign sense, which i most likely am not
      • Nov 16 2011: Nope you are making perfect sense, Estrella! Now I see why you are so torn. It would be abused, if it became legal. I am sure of it, as much as I am sure, I am a human. However, if one of my loved ones, were to become sick and no chance of survival. IF they asked me, I would probably help them. Some say it makes me a bad human. I say , it makes me a compassionate one. (see, I have been thru this question before) You need to follow your heart and what you truly believe. Do not let, no one, stop you!! With Respect! :)
      • Nov 16 2011: Oops Estrella, I am breaking all debate rules here! Apologies! (i bad) :)
      • Nov 16 2011: Do not lose it! Cyber hug!
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      Nov 16 2011: I have been very involved in issues of palliative care, hospice, dignity and control at end of life for many years

      Many people face an excruciating end of life that cannot be addressed with palliative care short of an opiate induced "coma" ( morphine etc. puts you right out of the picture and dsstroys being present in awake moments..I tell you that from my own experience)

      Organs failing is an undignified and messy business, for the patient, and also , as most patients in this circumstance are aware, for their family and for their caregivers .The skin is an organ..as organs fail ugly painful sores develop ( at the very end of life).

      For so many, the privelege of choosing when and how to die in full consciousness, in the presence of friends an d family, awake and able to speak, to have the spiritual closure dying requires of each of us is the most compassionate and beautiful tribute society can pay to the bravely dying, to the gravely suffering.

      What right do we have to deny that?

      Why should the dying be in a position of having to ask care givers family and friends to comit an illegal act.to help them fulfill their wish to die with dignity?
      .How can such a compassionate act be illegal?
      Don't we all have a right to die with dignity?
      To die on our own terms?

      Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment ( POLST) could easily specify a patients elective for a pain free lethal medication in the event of the patient not being able to speak for themselves or ask for that. A POLST removes a lot of the uncertaiinity and debate about misuse because it is initiated by the patient anticipating death while they are still able to express their wishes. Usually a POLST is exceuted when a patients life expecatncy is less than 12 months but that could become unexpecetdly a reality for any of us through accidents,

      The more time I spend at the bed sides of the dying, the more I think the only immorality is not having this option of self directed/self requested euthanisia.
      • Nov 17 2011: Hi Lindsay, excellent and sad comment! You hit it on the nail!
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          Nov 17 2011: Thank you Tishe..seems almost everyone has a strong opinion on Euthanisia and few actually have witnessed the circumstances under which a person would ask for Euthanasia.

          I felt it important to share a bit of what those cricumstances are. So that someone could imagine, grahically, themselves or a loved one in those circumstances before opposing euthanasia.

          By the way, hospice needs volunteers all over the country.
  • Nov 11 2011: I would like everyone to read about a real life incident (though it’s inhuman to call it incident its more than that), I am posting a web link about this incident it’s about Hospital Nurse in Mumbai (India) Aruna Shanbaug, try to read as much as you can about her life (Can we call it life). How she react to her surroundings and other things. This case gives both side of human life good and bad….. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aruna_Shanbaug_case
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      Nov 12 2011: I am astounded by what hapened, and yet confused. so after she was assaulted, and it talks about her vegetative state, she remained like that for 38 years? I am also enraged at what happened to her because honestly she was attacked and totured on someone's behalf?only because the man was upset with the medic she was to get married to?
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    Nov 10 2011: Euthanasia is a word from the Greek "good death": eu (well or good) + thanatos (death); refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.

    The answer depends on the perspective and of what are our beliefs. We feel confused to end a life without answering the dogmatic questions.

    What is life? What is death? What are we? Why are we here? What is the meaning of living? Is there an afterlife? Did we live before?

    Euthanasia is a reflex of Human fear from death and how it will happen... and/or how other people around feel about it.

    Letting someone die is different from intentionally killing someone. So I would say the answer is in the middle.
    Euthanasia: no.
    Do Not to Resuscitate or perform rescue therapies: Yes.
    Help with palliative care, by limiting physical pain as much as possible and other symptoms, by having psychological support from specialized professionals, by sharing feelings of peace and letting the patient feel loved.
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      Nov 12 2011: in your stance of "Do not resusitate or perform rescue therapies" do you mean only if the patient asks for none?
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        Nov 12 2011: No, diseases have their course and at that stage "Do Not Resuscitate" (DNR) is a clinical decision.
        This is an option taken in a very terminal stage. When you let things take their course but before that the patient should had been offered all the proper care with the option between all treatments available and possible, medications to relieve symptoms and psychological support.
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    Nov 10 2011: Hmmm. I would like to give this a little more time. I rushed my last response. This question runs through me like a freight train and i understand it is an individual choice or at least it should be. Legislation should allow for the choice and this is at the heart of the issue. It is fine by me for people to go on suffering and live it until the very end if that is what they choose. But for me. Mr. Whimpy, I want to go when I am ready. Good and old/or terminally ill. and ready to make that choice. I'll take the drugs whilst i can. I wonder if everyone looked into their heart of hearts might they find the humane answer. The details and circumstances will change the decision but we need the choice.

    I hear that the Christians dont believe in the taking of any life. I find that such an inhumane stance. Hell get to Heaven please - stop the suffering!
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      Nov 12 2011: I agree. Legislation should at least allow for the choice. many people consider it inhumane to allow someone to die, but I personally think it is more inhumane to force them to continue suffering when all they wish for is a painless escape.
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    Nov 10 2011: its humane, just need to get the detail right.
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    Nov 9 2011: Euthenasia asks the question about what is the value of any individual life. If a person wants to die and can make a clear rational decision about it not fogged by drugs, depression, or pressure then they can choose to dismiss their spirits. First I would think that counseling and a review of all the good they have done in life would be a important. As pet owner and a horse man I have had to put animals down to eliminate their suffering. It was not easy but it needed to be done. I do not know if I could make that decision for another person.
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      Nov 12 2011: i also do not think i could ever decide for someone else. and i understand how with your animals, sometimes it's necessary and it makes it seem worse if you were just to allow them to continue suffering right? i know what you mean, i think the counseling and review af all the good things they have done is actually a good idea. sometimes people choose to give up or want euthanasia solely because they cannot focus on anything other than the negativity of what they are going through, but perhaps if they were to see some of the good things they had done in their lives, they would change their minds.
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    Nov 25 2011: I have a few experiences with family and a friend: a seven year march to death from Alzheimer’s, a four year struggle with heart problems at an age past operability, and a two year multiple attacks from diabetes, multiple myeloma, and complications.

    If doctors had recommended euthanasia for the Alzheimer’s case, I would have agreed. The heart patient starved herself to death and I think I saw her lips breathe, “I love you” to the family in the room, so she did not need help for her departure. She was one of the most sensible people I have known.

    The last case is the one who needed euthanasia. I assisted him for two years and during that time I had my most meaningful visit with him. He very lucidly said, “There’s no one to talk to.” I understood his misery but did not understand his message. Two weeks later, I watched him struggle for oxygen for one week. Doctors did not diagnose a stroke, but he could not speak. I’ll never forget the misery in his eyes the last time I saw him struggle for breath. His last week was a travesty.

    I have no doubt that I prefer people to have the right to well decided euthanasia, like Christophe Cop mentions and Lindsay Bowker suggests and others support.

    Please put it in place before I need it.
  • Nov 17 2011: Hi Lindsay, this is a tough subject. I know, in my heart, I would help. You did good! It may help Estrella in her quest. I want euthanasia, to be a choice. Last time I looked, we are humans, free of control. (by government and religion) Does that make sense? With Respect to All! :)
  • Nov 9 2011: It might be glib and sound crass, but if someone truly wants to die - whatever their reasoning - let them.

    The world is heinously over-populated as it is, with tens of millions starving per annum. Prolonging the lives of those who do not want to live (let alone those poor souls suffering terminal illnesses and the like) is idiocy of theological proportions.

    Much like with abortion and capital punishment, pragmatism is key. Mawkish morality must be left at the door if the correct choices are to be made. As we all know, 'belief' is an anathema to logic and reason.
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    Nov 9 2011: Pull the plug but make it look like suicide.