71 9

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
Favorite
Please or register to see comments

71 comments

17

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 7 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

12

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
9

To die with dignity is the only way to go.

Steelersgirl Level 3 Nov 17, 2017

But such a rare event.

9

In my opinion - absolutely !

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

evergreen Level 7 Nov 14, 2017
8

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

Annaleda Level 7 Nov 19, 2017
8

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 6 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.

[dailymail.co.uk]

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.

7

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!

6

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 6 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.

5

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.

5

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

Marine Level 7 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.

5

Yes. 100%

gearl Level 7 Nov 15, 2017
5

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

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.

4

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

JimBen Level 4 Dec 17, 2017
4

I think everyone owns their own skin and it is theirs to dispose of as they see fit.

SKDeitch Level 7 Dec 1, 2017
4

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 7 Nov 18, 2017

See my reply to AtheistinNC!

3

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

KKGator Level 8 Dec 18, 2017
3

Yes. Civil, compassionate euthanasia should be an option.

Gary4234 Level 5 Dec 18, 2017
3

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

HeyNow Level 2 Dec 17, 2017
3

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

RussMaughan Level 5 Dec 16, 2017
3

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.

3

Yes. Without hesitation, I say yes. My brother died from complications of AIDS, my father from complications from Alzheimer's disease and my mother died from Emphysema. All were unnecessarily long and quite horrible to watch. While medical science has extended life, little has been accomplished to improve the quality of those extra years which too often are filled with pain, lack of mobility, confinement, and warehousing of the aged, ill, suffering and forgotten.

What is more fundamental than the right to choose when you have suffered enough? To be able to make that choice, prepare for your departure and control the circumstances surrounding your death seems the most humane outcome for this final struggle for control and self determination.

SoloSentient Level 5 Dec 8, 2017

Ten likes for you!

Well said, and I'm sorry for your many losses.

Thank you. Before he died my brother brother said he imagined death would be like taking off a tight shoe. Helping yourself or someone achieve such a passing is a kindness of the highest order.

3

Absolutely it should. As you say, what gives the government the right to come between you, your choices and your medical professionals, no matter the circumstances.

Bucky12 Level 5 Nov 28, 2017
3

Absolutely we should have the right to be helped to die painlessly and peacefully. It is now legal in Canada but only for the terminally ill, which excludes a lot of people who would want assisted dying, particularly those with dibilitating chronic illness.

Bebel Level 4 Nov 20, 2017

Same is true in Oregon where you have to be diagnosed as terminally ill with less than six months left to live by two physicians, of sound mind and capable of administering the lethal dose yourself. Few can meet that criteria which makes the law essentially useless. Highest usage in one year has been 350 people.

3

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 8 Nov 17, 2017

I agree all this should be sorted out by the patient when of sound mind. Having worked in skilled nursing facilities, however, I can tell you that many people in the last years of their lives are incapable of feeding themselves must less preparing and taking an injection. Professional care and aid is a necessary evil.

been a doctor for 35 years. also read a lot about the history of the Holocaust. The first people in that process were exactly the people you mention. I do not have the confidence in people to NOT start a slide down a similar slippery slope again

Excellent point! Both of my parents have asked me to euthanize them if their minds go. My dad told me to take him to the lake, duct tape a fishing pole to his hand, and take the brake off his wheelchair. These things are too much to ask of a daughter.

3

Yes, ditto to @gearl.

AstralSmoke Level 7 Nov 16, 2017
Write Comment
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content read full disclaimer
  • Agnostic.com is a non-profit community for atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics and others happy without religion!