77 11

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
Options Favorite Like

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence, and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy

Create your free account



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 8 Nov 14, 2017

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.

I agree. I have no others, so I do feel it's my responsibility to make the decision for myself before I'm too far gone.

GareBear517: There is information online and groups with information on preferred medications or cocktails but they all urge caution because too little or the wrong combination of drugs can have terrible consequences. Vanilla yogurt is easy to swallow and honey for any bitterness.

I am making an exit bag kit for helium for myself. It seems easy to make and use and it's a very quick peaceful transition..Regardless of how it's done one should still have supervision or assistance. Even with something as straight forward as an Exit Bag, a hose can come loose as your posture changes or the gas can run out with disastrous results if you are alone.

Have you seen the movie Soylent Green? I love the part when you decide when to die, go to a clinic and they put on your favorite music, you lie down and peacefully go to sleep. I think euthanasia is the most humane way to die. All pet owners who have had to do this agree that the elimination of suffering is the most important when it's time to go. It should be a choice, not governed by someone else religion.

@SoloSentient With passing of my 91 old mother who wanted to be euthanatized, I would also want an exit kit. Dying slowly is not pretty. As I understand the right type of helium is hard to get a hold of. If you have any info to help me prepare, please sharesmile001.gif


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 2 Nov 14, 2017

To die with dignity is the only way to go.

Steelersgirl Level 3 Nov 17, 2017

But such a rare event.


In my opinion - absolutely !

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

evergreen Level 8 Nov 14, 2017

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

Annaleda Level 7 Nov 19, 2017

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 7 Nov 18, 2017

That seems a fair barter. Lately, I have wondered if there would be money to be made to satisfy the plutocracy by arranging end of life celebratory cruises where those who wished to die and their significant others might spend a few lavish and intimate days at sea towards the end of which those who so desired would be euthanized in their sleep then buried at sea over some deep marine trench killing two birds with one stone, no pun intended.

There are just not in the US.

Here is a great article from a documentary last year.


There is a movie: Suicide Tourist.

There is a suicide law in Oregon to protect ones right to take their life. But I’m not sure on specifics.

Thanks for the link! A very interesting read, and you can tell that the writer is a tad biased by her statement "Suicide is the biggest killer of young men in this country [UK] and the more it is normalised, the more people will think of it as a way out."

The "way out" part is what caught my attention. Suicide is the "way out" of what, exactly? It sounds as if she has NO concept of what death with dignity is, and has the religious mind set of "keep them alive as long as possible, so they can suffer with the rest of us".

Personally, as I said before, I think everyone should have the choice of ending his/her life whenever they damn well feel like it, and it shouldn't be frowned upon or shown contempt. The spark of life is ours to do with as we wish, and if we wish to estinguish it, so be it.

:0) She was very bias. Haha. True.

@Annaleda There is an assisted suicide law in Oregon where I live but it is highly restrictive. Two physicians must state the patient has less than six months to live under any circumstances, the patient must be of sound mind when making the request and the patient has to be capable of administering the lethal dose themselves. How many invalids in their final days can meet these requirements. Less than 350 people in a state populated by 4 million people have been able to take advantage of this in any one year.


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 7 Nov 17, 2017

I'm with you, brother!


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 7 Nov 17, 2017

We definitely have death without dignity for those who cannot play the corporatist plutocrat game invented to squeeze the last dime out of the desperate. When you have no more money to buy tokens to feed Big Pharma, the insurance rackets and corporate medical networks you can just go to a corner, wither and die. I think they call it Freedom.


Yes. Being alive should not be a prison sentence of suffering.

JimBen Level 4 Dec 17, 2017

As a cancer survivor, some mornings during chemo, I truly didn't expect to wake up. And when I inevatably did, I felt as though I landed on the wrong side of Occam's razor. I had a good prognosis, but if I hadn't a hope in recovery, ended my suffering would have been the kindest thing to do.
Americans fear death more than most other cultures. It is inevitable for all of us. I firmly believe dying with dignity isn't just a treatment option, but the human right of the untreatably I'll.

Eponymous Level 5 Nov 24, 2017

I could not agree more!

all creatures in fact

As another cancer survivor-I had a hard time with pain-not knowing from day to day if I would survive. I think I had the fear of losing control of my body functions and not dying with dignity.

American's do fear death and avoid to subject, even with the dying. I do not fear death. What I fear is dying. Once beyond death's threshold fear of pain and death are gone. I fear the legal pressure, corporate greed, political fraud and bureaucratic medicine and their effect on my choices and treatment at the end of my life.


It is the right of every person to decide their own faith and especially when very sick.

Marine Level 8 Nov 17, 2017

Autocorrect could have changed it on him. My phone won't let me type "NC" (even though I live in north carolina) and always changes it to "NJ".

My computer won't let me use lower case letters for christian and other religious terms unless I go back and override the auto-correct.


Yes. 100%

gearl Level 7 Nov 15, 2017

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 8 Nov 14, 2017

But what if they don't want to go on living - even without a terminal illness? Shouldn't that be their choice? If you don't think so - why not?

That is a tougher question. If a person doesn't have a debilitating illness, but still wants to commit suicide, I fall back on the old saying that "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem".

Of all the people who attempted suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, everyone who survived changed thir minds after jumping... usually on the way down.

I think in al;most every case persons who are suicidal have built a kind of psycholigcal box for themselves in which they can see no way out. I myself have had suicidal feelings, and one of my sisters attempted suicide twice (persons raised in a rigid religion are at least three times more likley to commit suicide). In both of out cases, all we needed to do was knock out one of the walls of our psychological box, simply by leaving the religion, and we had a way out other than suicide.

In the end we all die anyways. I look at it as staying to see how our life story goes I've had a pretty miserable childhood, nto as bad as some, but not happy, and I only have the one life. I'd like my adult life to be much a happier, as i have more control over that part of my life than I did as a child. I want to see how the adventure ends based on my own, not somebody else's decisions about how to live my life.

So, for the vast majority of those who are suicidal, I think they can adequately recover and live happy and fulfilling lives. However, I cannot say for sure who can and who can't recover. I think help should be offered and be available for suicidal persons.

From a stand point of valuing human life, if there were no efforts to prevent suicide, then human life itself would be devalued, and then how would we feel about people taking the lives of others? For that reason, even if it only makes a light difference in valuing human life itself, suicide of physically healthy people should be prevented if possible.


When life has become too hard to bear, not enjoyable, not happy and painful, and you are of sound mind, then ending it should be your decision and proper aid should be available without legal persecution.

PEGUS Level 5 Jan 2, 2018

As a life-long dog owner I have faced the euthanasia of deeply loved ones many times. It is Necessary!
If I was a good daughter, I would have helped my Mom when she needed it. A Huge regret! If I had let a dog suffer like she suffered in her last days, I would rightly have been prosecuted.......

AnneWimsey Level 8 Dec 20, 2017

Absolutely, yes. Why shouldn't we have the right to control our own lives, or deaths?

KKGator Level 9 Dec 18, 2017

Yes. Civil, compassionate euthanasia should be an option.

Gary4234 Level 5 Dec 18, 2017

Absolutely. Everyone should have the right to control their destiny.

HeyNow Level 3 Dec 17, 2017

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 8 Nov 18, 2017

See my reply to AtheistinNC!


Every person has the right to decide to end their life without interference.

PhoebeCat Level 7 Jan 23, 2018

Curare may still be fairly easy to get if a person was adament on self medicating into oblivion. You don' eat it though. Like ancient African hunters it must go directly into the bloodstream. They used it in blowgun darts to hunt and ate their prey to no ill effects. The animal simply stops breathing, all muscles cease to function, eventually even the heart. I think the total time from wounding to clinical death is 45-90 seconds depending on dose and vigor of the prey.
You probably already guessed, I support euthanasia. In a sane world it would be a highly respected choice. Only a slavemaster would want his slaves to "believe" any different. There is that believe word again. Just don't do it. heh

FynTul Level 6 Dec 16, 2017

It's my life. Keeping people from this is nothing more than controlling others in the name of their religious beliefs. Pretty much the same as telling women what to do with their bodies.

KevinD872 Level 5 Dec 16, 2017

I definitely support this. I am now 56 and have some health issues. I easily foresee a time arriving when I decide that the costs of living (not monetary but in terms of what it takes to keep me alive measure in my estimate of suffering) are just too great. Then I want to be able to make that choice of ending my life. Nay, I WILL make that choice, albeit perhaps not legally.

BookDeath Level 8 Dec 12, 2017

A couple of years ago I saw a video on YouTube of a British Senior showing viewers how to make a Suicide Bag, or Exit Bag. If it wasn't such an important issue for me it would have seemed like a Monty Python skit. She was a good presenter and her design is smart and simple to assemble. The video was pulled and I believe she was forced to stop selling the kits she produced.

But this is a real improvement over poison, firearm and so many other methods. Just Google Exit Bag.

It's not 100% foolproof but there is no need for people to suffer more than they choose to endure. But laws have to change and others must be written to clarify our rights at the end of life.

SoloSentient Level 5 Dec 11, 2017

Good info on Exit Bag. Thanx!


Yes. And I've wondered why believers fight so hard against this. If heaven is real why wouldn't you let your people go?

Arcosanti Level 4 Dec 8, 2017

To the religious it is unnatural and is playing God. They fail to see that the ways of extending life is also unnatural and playing God. I like to think these people say they can't wait to meet Jesus, but not just yet.

Write Comment
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content read full disclaimer
  • Agnostic.comis the largest non-profit community for atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics and others happy without religion!