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Should euthanasia or "death with dignity" be available to anyone upon demand under controlled circumstances?

When I hear people talk about the difficulty of euthanizing their elderly or desperately ill pets I immediately think that at least we accord our pets a more logical and merciful death than we do to our fellow humans. The wonders of modern medicine can be as much a curse as they are a blessing. We live in an unprecedented time when we can know what will probably kill us twenty years down the line. To modern doctors death is the enemy which must be fought to the last possible moment. Little concern is given to the quality of life of the patient/victim, only that they be kept alive.
The conspiracy is broad-based. Big Pharma wants to keep you on maintenance drugs and never seems to come up with cures. A patient cured is a customer lost. If they stumbled across a $1 cure for AIDS or cancer would we ever hear of it? And then there are the private, for-profit health insurance companies that are really legalized extortion and protection rackets sucking billions out of the health-care system for administration, profits and to pay lawyers to find ways not to honor the benefits spelled out in their policies. The patient is but a scrap of meat ground up in the gears of corporate medicine. If we truly have free will shouldn't we be allowed to opt out?
There are many reasons someone may want to take advantage of doctor assisted suicide. One would be to avoid a prolonged and torturous illness. Another might be to avoid being a burden to loved ones. There are also those who are alone in life and don't want to go through the steady drip, drip of watching their bodies deteriorate due to age. If the request is initiated by the patient, there is no outside duress and the patient has thought through their decision with the consul of medical professionals what gives the state the right to deny such a request no matter what the circumstances? Like back alley abortions unassisted suicides can be messy affairs that can lead to unintended consequences like paralysis or brain damage. The primary reason for legalizing abortions was to end horrific atrocities committed in non-clinical circumstances. Wouldn't the same argument apply to suicide?

By GareBear517
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25 comments
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Yes, it should be legal on all states. It’s our bodies, our choice. Period.

Annalida Level 5 Nov 19, 2017
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Of course it should. The use of the term 'assisted suicide' is there for the purpose of negative spin. Euthanasia by choice is a better way to put it and far more accurate. The good thing about euthanasia is that the dying can be made painless and without any sort of trauma, either physical or mental. I've heard all the slippery slope arguments, but I just don't see any validity in them. The process would certainly be easier on family and loved ones as well. They would know in advance that it was going to take place and they would know that the person who made the choice would not have to suffer.

evidentialist Level 5 Nov 18, 2017
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Absolutely. We don't get to choose to be born, but we should be allowed to end our life if we feel we are done with it. There should be facilities where we could go to be euthanized and our bodies be used for science.

AtheistInNC Level 4 Nov 18, 2017
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I think a person should be able to make preparations for this while of sound mind and have the means available to them. Involving other people in the actual acts leading to death makes things more complicated.

btroje Level 4 Nov 17, 2017
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I wasn't really into physician assisted suicide until I watched my grandma die of congestive heart failure. It was a very slow and painful experience. I wish she died before she got too bad. It was hard on me to see that and my little cousin I think took it worse than I did. Maybe we all would have taken it better if we didn't see her go through that and slowly get worse and worse.

Digerati Level 4 Nov 17, 2017
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Most definitely.When great individuals like Dr .Kervorkian try to make the world a better place ignorant people win out. It was a travesty that Dr kervorkian was put in jail when he could have been helping people end their lives in dignity. We are able to euthanize our pets but not our loved ones .This is an example of the idiocy of humanity

richiegtt Level 4 Nov 17, 2017
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It is the right of every person to decide their own faith and especially when very sick.

BobHKniola Level 5 Nov 17, 2017
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Fantastic post.. I 100% agree all around...the medical establishment is a corrupt for profit business that has lost all reliability..natural medicine and homeopathic is the way to go.. suffering people should have the right to die...

Ravenwolfcasey Level 5 Nov 17, 2017
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To die with dignity is the only way to go.

Steelersgirl Level 3 Nov 17, 2017
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Yes of course. Every state should have right to die laws but very few do. We should also be able to leave a will stating that in the event we become invalided with no prospects for a life of any quality and diminished mental capascity we should be put to death as there would be no point in going on living such a life.

Harleyman Level 6 Nov 17, 2017
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Yes, ditto to @gearl.

Edward59 Level 6 Nov 16, 2017
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Yes. 100%

gearl Level 5 Nov 15, 2017
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In my opinion - absolutely !

Just because we CAN extend life in an otherwise useless body, doesn't mean we SHOULD indefinitely .

evergreen Level 5 Nov 14, 2017
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We have no problem doing it for animals... yet we have problems when it comes to the suffering of our loved ones... go figure...

Casseus78 Level 1 Nov 14, 2017
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Unfortunately, we have these evangelicals and other religious bodies who feel that we must keep these individuals in pain and suffering because life means everything. They never take into consideration the choice the person should be permitted to voice as is their right.This is also a position that should be provided at birth if a child is born with terrible diseases or conditions that would not allow them a normal life. If the child healthy this would not be an option ,but to place a child in the world that is badly crippled or has another problem that would provide a life of pain and suffering is not humane.

BobHKniola Level 5 Nov 14, 2017
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Agree
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If a person is ill, and suffering with no real chance of recovery, then I think they have the right to determine if they want ot save themselves suffering and end their own life, with or without assistance.

snytiger6 Level 7 Nov 14, 2017
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Yes, the "right to die", should be in all states. I live in Maine,not passed yet tho we are trying. Fortunately, Vermont has it.

mike1951 Level 4 Nov 14, 2017
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The terminally ill should be able to check out when they are ready. There shouldn't even be an argument to the contrary.
Assisted suicide is another thing entirely. What criteria would a person need to meet to be considered a candidate? Who would be administering the lethal dose or pulling the trigger? Most doctors ARE all about saving lives. Do we let people on death row do the killing for us, since they seem to be fine with taking lives? Are we rewarding them somehow if we do allow them to do it? Is it so terrible to reward someone, even a murderer, who can bring final peace to someone who is suffering so much that they actively seek ways to die?

Orly Level 4 Nov 14, 2017
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There is only one criteria that the person considering assisted suicide should have to meet. Namely, that it is their desire to do so. Despair, depression, loneliness are really terminal illnesses in their own right. Should those suffering have only violence (guns, jumping) or risky homemade poisonous concoctions as an option? Counseling should be part of the process but the ultimate decision should be left to the individual. Squeamish doctors should not put their values above those of their patients. But if many opt out there would still be those who would probably have a practice specializing in such assistance. The idea of using condemned convicts as the supervisors over such acts is outlandish and unnecessary. The whole idea is to allow assisted suicide in clinical surroundings.
Doctors are not all about saving lives..just customers
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Death with dignity is carried out every day in hospice care and hospitals however suicide is not.

There are circumstances that warrant individuals and their families to want to speed up the process and they are blocked by religious based laws and obstruction.

I agree with your analogies to abortion rights and would also like to add that what it boils down to is a person having the right to control their own body. And like abortion, painless suicide should be an option legally available and a matter decided between a patient and their doctor. And like an abortion and any other medical procedure yes... under controlled circumstances.

Great post! Thanks.

jodyfine Level 6 Nov 14, 2017
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We talk a lot about freedom and some even believe we have it. But it does not take much looking to find many instances where the government dictates the boundaries often based in religious bias. The Protestant work ethic is a perfect example. Nowhere in the babble does it say, "Thou shalt work 40-60 hours a week and ignore your family, friends and self." but we do it. Free will is illusory at best. Funny it is the ones who advocate small government are the same ones who want the government in your bedroom and controlling all aspects of your personal life.
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Absolutely, it should be available. Legal or not, if I reach the stage of being so disabled that life has little quality and/or if I am a burden on others, I WILL exercise that choice.

wordywalt Level 6 Nov 14, 2017
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Many seniors, including myself, stock pile drugs against the day that we decide enough is enough. But this is risky business as the drugs may not be effective or would lead to a painful death.
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I think it's humane to allow people who are terminally ill or very elderly the right to die.

silvereyes Level 7 Nov 14, 2017
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A few states recognize our right to die but the religious are alway opposed to giving us those rights. I believe any terminally ill person should have the right to end their life. After all what's the point of continuing life if there is no quality. I get upset with the liberal's for including suicide as wrongful death with a gun in their push for gun control. Often the gun is the only means we have of ending our life with dignity.

Harleyman Level 6 Nov 14, 2017
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The inclusion of suicide as wrongful death (by those liberals!!!) when done by a gun is this: suicide is NOT ALWAYS INTENTIONAL. In other words suicide can be accidental... it just means that the gun was used by the person that took their own life with the gun. I live in a heavy gun culture and personally know 2 men that failed in their attempted suicide by gun. And I personally know 2 parents of boys that succeeded in blowing their own heads off.There is NOTHING dignified about losing 1/2 of your face and being rescued by medical science. And there is NOTHING dignified about succeeding with your suicide and leaving a bloody mangled mess for your family to clean up. But damn those liberals for trying to change any laws that republicans deem fine and dandy!
I agree, Jodyfine. Death by gun is a very violent way to go, whether intentionally inflicted or not. If it were up to me NOBODY would have a gun including law enforcement which has proven incapable of handling the responsibility. Victims are more likely to die by their own gun then they are to ward off the bogeyman home invader. And does anyone want to live with themselves for killing someone because they wanted to steal their TV set? It is a sad commentary on our society that anyone would believe that suicide by gun (or cop) is their best option.
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The right to die is just that, a right. I believe that one of the oddest things about the United States is that we practice the death penalty, but then refuse people who are suffering the right to death with dignity (the six states that now have legalized the right to die being the exception.)

MsOliver Level 5 Nov 14, 2017
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I live in Oregon one of the six states with a death with dignity law. But in actuality very few people can take advantage of the law. You have to have two physicians attest that you have no more than six months to live anyway. You have to be "of sound mind" which many physicians believe is automatically precluded if you want to die. And you have to be able to inject yourself with the prescribed medications which prohibits many with paralysis, amputations and neurological disorders from taking part. And then there are those in a coma. You can't stipulate in an advanced directive that you want this nor can you assign this decision to a guardian designated in a living will. And doctors don't want to talk about it. I have diabetes which has led to heart disease. I have already told my doctors I am not going to go through dialysis or amputation and in the event of a heart attack or stroke I have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order on file. But the corporate clinic where I am forced to get my medical care due to dictates of my corporate insurance policy seems to have a policy of ignoring the law and their patients if the patient dares bring up the matter. I can only imagine what the response would be in a catholic hospital.
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Yes, it should. Great post.

By the way, I believe there already is a cure for cancer, Newcastle disease virus, which replicates about 10,000 times faster in cancerous cells than healthy cells. Last I checked, all clinical trials proved inconclusive. I doubt there's much profit in a virus. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/ndv-pdq

bingst Level 6 Nov 14, 2017
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Over the years I have participated in innumerable fund raising activities for every disease from cancer to AIDS. The hook is always, "Help find a cure for______!" fill in the blank. Millions are raised but all we get are more maintenance drugs, never cures. I am beginning to think that instead of making grants to pharmaceutical companies, universities and the like that the search for cures be nationalized and the NIH stop making such grants.
I totally agree.
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Absolutely a person's life is their own and no one else's that is why in most places attempted suicide is not a crime but, rather considered to be a sign of mental illness. Euthanasia should not be a crime either as long as the decision to be snuffed remains with the individual and no one else.
Such a decision cannot be taken lightly and needs to be subject to medical and psychological review because it would need to be a medical procedure, which leads to the next problem finding a doctor to do it. Legal consequences can change and what one day is legal the next could be declared murder with those penalties now falling on the doctor.

HeathenFarmer Level 7 Nov 14, 2017
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Our recoiling in horror at the idea of euthanasia and its being legislated against is mainly the work of religion. Another good reason to build an impenetrable wall between church and state. Like abortion this matter should be left strictly to the individual and his/her physician. And physicians should learn in their medical educations that sometimes death is the cure.
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