Assisted Suicide

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by bracomadar, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. bracomadar

    bracomadar Well-Known Member

    I've seen some of my relatives die slow and horrible deaths before. My aunt died in agonizing pain from cancer. My grandmother had a stroke and was confined to a bed, unable to move, talk, or do anything on her own for nearly 10 years before she died. My aunt volunteered to take care of her, but it was clear that it was a burden on her to do so.

    It got me thinking more about what I would do if I were in their place. I honestly don't know what my choice would be and I certainly hope I never have to make a choice like that, but I do know that I would at least like to have the option of assisted suicide. I currently don't see the point in living if I know I only have a few weeks, months, or years to live and they're just going to be horribly painful, or I'm just going to be staring at the ceiling, from a bed, with little brain brain activity. Being kept alive is not what I consider living. I also wouldn't want to put a huge burden on my family to take care of me and watch me slowly suffer. I don't want my last moments alive to be filled with complete agony for me and sadness for my family.

    Certainly, if it were legal, the choice should be left up to the patient, doctor, and the person(s) assisting them in suicide. Only when the doctor says there's little, or no hope to get better and the patient and whoever is going to kill them agree they're okay with doing it, should it continue. I think people should prepare ahead and make it know that's what they want, in the event they can't speak up and say that's what they want. I don't want to give the power to kill a sick person to a relative, or the government. I also think it should have its limits. Someone shouldn't be allowed to assist someone to kill themselves just because they are depressed, because they wouldn't likely be in their normal frame of mind and it's not as hopeless as other medical problems. However, if the person has severe medical problems, there's no cure, and things are just going to get worse, then I think the option should be left available. I can understand how a relative wouldn't want to personally do it someone they love. I can also understand that some people would want to live out the rest of their life, no matter how painful that is, and that should ALWAYS be their choice, but I don't think everyone should be forced to take that choice.

    We as a society kill people we consider to be bad and the CIA has given suicide pills to U2 pilots to use in the event they got shot down. We kill our pets when they are sick and suffering and call it the humane thing to do, but when we see a person suffering and there's no way to help them get better, we think the best thing to do is to do nothing and just slowly watch them die, even if they're begging for death. I just don't get it. If the person's last wish is to end their life so it can bring an end to their suffering, why not give them that? To refuse them that just seems needlessly cruel to me.
  2. keeb

    keeb Well-Known Member

    To me there is a huge difference between a human life and the life of a pet. I don't think that it is our responsibility to be ending some one's life by assisted suicide. I have spoken with my father who is in bad health. We have discussed it several times and he does not want to be resuscitated if he is on his death bed. He was very honest with me about not wanting to be hooked up to life support and I will honor his wishes if the time comes. My aunt's husband just passed away during the summer due to cancer. He went home when there was nothing else the doctors could do for him. The patient can always choose the DNR but I do not believe assisted suicide is an ethical option. :twocents:

  3. factory909

    factory909 Well-Known Member

    well there could be problems if its left up to the patient...what happens when the patient can no longer make the choice and its up to the POA to make the decision...i could see this going really bad if greed is involved. My dad was also coded as a DNR keeb, he didnt want to be all doped up, or hooked up to any life support systems...

    this is an interesting topic and cant wait to see others' posts.
  4. I somewhat agree. It seems cruel to allow people to waste away, like my Grandma due to Alheimers.

    However, the difference between animals and people is that people have souls and animals don't.

    It depends on if a person views life through a "sanctity" viewpoint or a "quality" viewpoint. Later years quality definitely wanes but that doesn't automatically mean that the sanctify of life does. It's the same reason humans allow mentally retarded and handicapped children to live even though they grow up with a rough life.

    And then there's the whole point as to, "who determines what quality" is. I assumed it'd be the government, and they are moral-less and almost always wrong it seems like nowadays.

    Slippery slope. Very slippery.
  5. bzbrent

    bzbrent Well-Known Member

    The conventional con viewpoint is that assisted suicide is the antithesis of the Hippocratic Oath. Then, of course, there's the proverbial Pandora's Box that get opened up as we try as a society to define "quality of life."

    As Fro said, that's a COMPLETELY subjective argument and, if you have no voice to defend your own life, it could be incorrectly determined my a misguided care-giver.

    Also, at what point do you give up on recovery? Or, in the case of a severly handicapped child - how much, as a parent, are you willing to endure? That question leads to late-term abortion, etc., etc., etc.

    Then there's the whole morality of it - sin or not?? If you're Roman Catholic, it's eternal damnation no questions asked. Us evangelicals are a little more open to interpretation, but it's still not a topic you're going to find at many Bible studies.

    Basically, as a world society we have collectively agreed to not allow "mercy killings" and/or assisted sucide for various reasons - but mainly because of the "slippery slope" it creates. There are, however, a few countries (and three states - Oregon, Washington, and Montana) where it is permissable to have "voluntary euthenasia."

    The fail-safe for all of states where it's legal permissable is that you have to be a legal Bra, you can't just move there on a whim to off yourself. Sorry.

  6. factory909

    factory909 Well-Known Member

    anyone ever seen Soylent Green?
  7. mwmwbm

    mwmwbm Well-Known Member

    This is a tough one, I am watching my Dad die of cancer. He has been suffering horribly for a year and a half. I believe if it werent for my Mom and my sons, he might have offed himself already. I would say that i support the idea in theory. BUT, it could be abused easily.

    I hope I never need to know what i would decide.
  8. johnf

    johnf Well-Known Member

    SOYLENT GREEN IS MADE FROM PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:eek:

    I'm not a fan of the assisted suicide thing, or murder by proxy as I see it. My grandfather when through a very rough death and I it still bothers me to think of what he went through, but I just can't see how I could allow someone to have killed him, even if it was his wish. I can see taking someone off life support, refusing treatment or a DNR. The difference is that with those options nature is taking it's course. Assisted suicide is wrong IMHO.
  9. D33RHUNT3R

    D33RHUNT3R Well-Known Member

    I'm with the majority on this one A.S is wrong Morally.. People and animals are 2 different things even though their are many group that try to put them on the same level they aren't IMO..

    I'm pretty sure the bible says something on this subject and I'm pretty sure it says suicide is bascially,self murder..

    As much as we all hate to see anyone suffer is GODS choice when and how we take our last breath, not ours, ...I'm not against medications to help with the pain and God forbide it ever happens to me, because it would be very difficult for me to see my family go thru such a bad situation or have to go thru it with someone close to me.. But that is why we have family and or friends isn't it .. to support us and care for us in out time of need physically and spiritually?... We should not be in the business of helping people commit self murder for any reason.. I dont have any problem with DNR ..

    I would bet anyone that thinks abortion should be a womans choice wouldn't have any problem with this either.. which leaves us about 50/50 in this country..
  10. mikeljosf

    mikeljosf Well-Known Member

    I have dealt with old people on 2 different occasions taking care of them till they died and I have heard that even when they appear to be a vegetable that they will hold on till they feel at peace about leaving their loved ones. Also if a person wants to and believes it is their time to die they will not need to be assisted in the matter
  11. bracomadar

    bracomadar Well-Known Member

    The way I see it, assisted suicide is already in use and acceptable in society in a way. I personally don't exactly see the difference in taking someone off of life support, as some of you have brought up, and directly giving them something that will put them to sleep and kill them. Taking a person off of life support would in some cases be an even more agonizing death depending on how long they stayed alive afterward. If you take a person off of life support, you know they're going to die, so I guess what I'm saying is why is that not considered assisted suicide? It's not as direct as giving them poison, but if suicide is doing something you know is going to kill you with the goal of dying, then I think taking someone off of life support would fall into that category.
  12. johnf

    johnf Well-Known Member

    Taking someone off of life support is allowing nature to take it's course. Assisted suicide is killing someone. They are two completely different things. That's like saying an abortion and a miscarage are the same.
  13. ace777

    ace777 Well-Known Member

    i don't believe assisted suicide is wrong, if a person is in a situation where there is no hope of recovery and is only going to face pain and suffering for their remaining days it should be their choice to end it. i have watched a few of my close relatives suffer tremendously in their end days and it's not an easy thing to deal with. we had to make the decision to take my dad off of life support, it was his wish that if ever in that situation, that's what he wanted. still extremely hard to do, but it's what he would've wanted.

    our goverment allows people to make a decision to end a life that is not theirs before it ever begins, but won't allow someone to be responsible for their own? hypocracy at it's best (or worst).

    i have a living will in place that clearly states what i would want in these situations, so there is no confusion. my mom, sisters and i have all discussed this and we all feel the same. if there is no hope and all that remains is pain and suffering and burdens for the families involved, none of us care to stick around. it should be the individuals decision and no one else. jmho
  14. johnf

    johnf Well-Known Member

    Being legal doesn't make it right either.
  15. bracomadar

    bracomadar Well-Known Member

    What I'm about to say is pretty straight forward and might sound insensitive, or judgmental to some people, especially those who have had to take a loved one off of life support. My intent isn't to attack those that have done that, but to make a case for assisted suicide, so if I offend someone, I apologize. That was not my intent.

    By that logic, you could take a sick person on an airplane and that airplane is technically their life support, because without it, they'd fall and die. However, if you open the bomb bay doors and let them fall out, by your standards, it's not assisted suicide because you're letting gravity (nature) take it's course. Taking away the breathing machines, or taking away their airplane would both result in a death. Calling two things something different doesn't always make them both different. Taking a person off of life support just sounds nicer than calling it assisted suicide, just as pro choice sounds better than pro fetus killing.

    If you wanna cut hairs about it, there is a slight difference in taking a person off of life support and assisted suicide. One way to end a persons life would be taking away something they need to survive and the other would be giving them something that would quickly end their pain and suffering faster. To me, giving them something to quickly end their pain and suffering just seems better than taking away their means of survival and letting nature take it's course. If there's one thing I know about nature is it can be very cruel to those it kills. While it might make others feel better, having no feelings of guilt, knowing nature killed their loved ones instead of them, I think the more important thing is ending a person's life with the least amount of suffering. If assisted suicide can do that better than just taking a person off of life support, I think it should be available. If the person being killed is okay with it and says to do it, then any guilt should be on them, not anyone else.
  16. johnf

    johnf Well-Known Member

    Your logic is completely flawed man. Come one the plane thing, that's just grasping at straws.
  17. bracomadar

    bracomadar Well-Known Member

    Then show me how they're different, besides just one is an airplane and the other is a breathing machine.
  18. There is a big difference in stopping or not starting an artificial device or chemical which would prolong life and actively killing some one. If you can't see that there is not much to debate here.
  19. bzbrent

    bzbrent Well-Known Member

    DNR directives, living wills, etc., are legal documents wherein the signator is "of sound mind," as witnessnessed and notorized - usually in triplicate. Then too, it's assumed that the person agreeing to the "death pact" or "assisted suicide" is also of a reasonable person (or the at least passes the legal sniff test of "reasonable).

    Your example of the airplane is baseless because it uses flawed logic. A person rides in an airplane of free will, but a reasonable person would never agree (nor would a reasonable person ever offer) to be dropped out of a plane without a parachute.

    Now...should a person of sound mind agree to jump out of said airplane with a parachute, their inevitable collision with the ground, and the resulting "live-or-die" scenario would be, at that point, left to God. The parachute might not open, they might drift into a power line, etc. That would pass the legal "sniff" test of reasonable, but it would still make a terrible analogy to assisted suicide vs. DNR.

    Just sayin'...

  20. johnf

    johnf Well-Known Member

    Well an airplane is a vehicle that gets you from one place to the other and a breathing machine is a medical devise. That's like saying a bicycle is a life support and shoving someone off it would be like taking them off unbroken leg support. It's just a completely rediculous argument.