Assisted suicide - thought?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by High Voltage Blonde, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Diode-Man Awesome User Title Registered Senior Member

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    Assisted suicide prevents people from having to die painfully, example: If you're really old and want an efficient/easy way to die. Also, if you're hopelessly mentally ill and/or hopelessly poor and realize a painless death is the way to go.

    The best chemicals used for assisted suicide are exactly as though the person goes painlessly to sleep and never wakes up!
     
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  3. wroberson Registered Member

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    It's not something I would choose. I have a belief that I won't die, the body will. It's just a container. Nothing would change, I would still be in the same conundrum.

    Here's 2 ideas that have been around since the 1930's. I'm not saying the Mayans never thought anything about it, but the Egyptians worked really hard to preserve the body.

    Quantum Suicide
    Quantum Immortality
     
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  5. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Yes, but hardly unexpected. U.S. courts are reluctant to give permission to pull the plug on a patient who has been in a persistent vegetative state for so long that the statistical likelihood of ever regaining consciousness is comparable to aviating pigs. To allow the termination of life support to a patient who is conscious, communicative, and could easily remain that way for decades... no way are they going to do that.

    It's assisted suicide, which is only legal in Oregon. And the only way that law survived federal scrutiny was to include a provision that it was only applicable to Oregon residents. They didn't want Oregon to become a destination for "suicide tourism." I don't know how many years it takes to establish legal residency in Oregon. And I don't know if it would be possible for Tony to be transported there.

    Switzerland allows it, but that's a long flight.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The poor fellow finally died without help.
     
  9. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you, Fraggle.

    “It cannot be acceptable in 21st-century Britain that I am denied the right to take my own life just because I am physically handicapped. It is astonishing that in 1969 we could put a man on the moon, yet in 2012 we still cannot devise adequate rules for government-assisted dying.” ~Tony Nicklinson
     
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Even though much of the West is crawling out from under the dead weight of Christianity, its rules are still unconsciously influencing us. Apparently somewhere along the way Christians were told by their imaginary god that life and death is his business, not theirs. So if somebody wants to die he has to wait for the god to make the decision.

    Of course this is inconsistent with the almost universal premise among Christians that they have both a right and a duty to kill other people if they are interfering with the metastasis of Christianity across the planet.

    This would be amusing if it weren't so horrible. The only life a person should be empowered to make decisions about is his own. Each of us should be free to kill himself if he wants to, but not to kill anybody else. Christianity, once again, has everything backwards.
     
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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  12. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Its amazing to me that there is never such a heated passionate discussion when it comes to the death penalty. The US voluntarily murders perfectly healthy adults who want to live, even if it means remaining incarcerated, yet if some sick person who's in pain or someone who's quality of life is so ill affected by illness they find their life no longer worth living wants an agreed upon dignified peaceful way out there is sever opposition. I don't believe assisted suicide is a question of whether someone has "the right", its a question of whether we want to criminalize such an act or deny someone access to such services. Sure there are doctors who will refuse to take part in such an act and then there are doctors who find helping someone die an act of compassion. The most common form of assisted suicide comes in the form of an injection if incapacitated or a glass of lethal drug which the patient voluntarily drinks themselves. I'm not sure if I even understand the public debate on the issue since its so personal no one can say what is the right course of action for another person. In the end we can only know what we would want for ourselves, we shouldn't decide what is preferable for others by denying them a choice.
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    There's one going on right now. Some members are irate that the Norwegian mass murderer wasn't even sentenced to life imprisonment, much less execution. I keep pointing out that even a mass murderer probably has a mother, father, spouse, children, pastor, coach, scoutmaster, friends, and/or other people who tried to make him a good person and failed. When you kill him you bring inconsolable grief to those people, and they don't deserve it. Furthermore, you're teaching the guy's sons that violence is an acceptable way to resolve a dispute. Most of the world's feuds were started by sons avenging the death of their father. Who wants to live in a country with angry orphaned boys running around looking for the bastards who killed their daddy, believing that their culture condones revenge killing? If you're not sure, spend a few weeks in Albania or Afghanistan.

    I find it unsurprising that virtually all of the pro-death penalty arguments are dripping with anger. Angry people must not be allowed to make policy, because anger makes us irrational. The same is true of bereaved people.

    When you so clearly reduce the arguments to their basics, they are obviously derived from the moral code of the Abrahamic religions. Only God is allowed to decide when it's our time to die, no matter how much pain we're in. But with one exception: If we're really, really angry, then we get to make war on the people who made us angry and attempt to kill all of them. So long as we can make a case that we are for God and they are against him, God will support our cause.

    Once a war has been going on for more than a day or two, it becomes nothing more than the soldiers of each country practicing "capital punishment" on the soldiers of the other country for the people they killed yesterday. So when we reduce this to a case of one person having committed murder, God surely would approve us of killing him too.

    Yes, God went to that anger management class and sent the First Hippie down to teach us about love and peace, but it didn't work. I'm an atheist and I'm fairly certain that Jesus was not a real person, but I still weep for him. It's all just too sad.
     
  14. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    @Fraggle

    Norway doesn't have the death penalty so I don't know why anyone would expect that outcome. If anything the heated argument would be wether he was given enough time in prison.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    They know that, so "expect" isn't exactly the right word. More like "demand." One fellow even said the Norwegians were a disgrace to their Viking ancestors, who killed, raped and pillaged with abandon. I told him that apparently some people manage to become more civilized than their ancestors, while others don't.

    We're all descended from cavemen, after all. Reexamination of fossils using modern instruments has discovered that the majority of adults in the Paleolithic Era died by violence. In other words, more humans were killed by other humans than by all other causes combined. Some of us are proud to have evolved beyond that.

    As for "enough time in prison," the maximum sentence in Mexico is 20 years. Of course twenty years in a Mexican prison probably feels like a lot longer.

    Anyway, if we were a people who were reluctant to take a life even as punishment for a vile crime, and even as retribution for the sins of an entire nation (i.e., "war"), then I could understand a matching reluctance to assist a person who seeks his own death as an end to physical or emotional suffering.

    But ironically, today the Swiss, one of the most peaceful peoples on earth, are the ones who allow assisted suicide even for non-residents.
     
  16. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

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    I'd like to make a profession of being a suicide assist. All kinds of lucrative opportunities. The sociopaths equivalent of being a lawyer, really... only a sociopath might have some problems pretending to be empathic, which is part and parcel of lawyering.
     
  17. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

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    The only question remaining for you, Fraggle, is whether or not "civilisation" as a sociological term, has outlived its usefulness.
    The term you should look up is Saturation. Dispense with the species-specific bias while you're there.

    Step outside dem 'ole Human shoes.

    And some of us are wondering if our own evolution hasn't gone too far.

    Perhaps the Swiss are quite keenly aware, as a people, that there are far too many people on earth and that one or two less here and there really doesn't make too much difference.

    What difference, should you be one of those who might disagree, do you think it might make?
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Sorry, the word has too many meanings to find the specific one you refer to.

    Homo sapiens is qualitatively different from all other mammals in so many important ways that my bias is justified. Most of them derive from our uniquely large forebrain, which gives us the unique ability to override instinctive behavior with reasoned and learned behavior--wholesale. (At least unique in degree. Some of our companion species such as dogs and parrots can act against their instincts but only to a minor extent and only once we teach them.) The history of humans since the first Paradigm Shift from nomadic hunter-gatherers to sedentary farmers has been one long saga of overcoming our instincts and developing new ways of dealing with nature. Typically that involves transcending nature and building an environment more suitable to ourselves.

    No thanks. I'm proud of who we've become, not to mention deliriously happy about it.

    My ability to hear professionally composed and performed music 24/7 is, by itself, more than enough compensation for "giving up" the lifestyle of the lower animals. Since I don't enjoy camping or hunting, and furthermore because I have an incredibly satisfying job as a writer (my favorite activity), that life without language is of no interest at all.

    Good for you. It's always good to question everything. But I would clarify your terminology. What you're regarding as evolution is not evolution, and that's not a trivial point. The Neolithic Revolution occurred only a few hundred generations ago, and that is not long enough for our DNA to evolve for compatibility with the Neolithic lifestyle, much less the lifestyle of the subsequent Paradigm Shifts: civilization, bronze, iron, industry and electronics.

    Each of us has a caveman inside, and we spend considerable effort keeping him placated so he doesn't take control and go all Paleolithic on us. This is arguably the most important of all the dynamics that define us, and therefore I think it should be kept in mind at all times. We have not evolved to be civilized creatures. We are simply overriding our instincts with reasoned and learned behavior because we've made a rational decision that this life is better than the old one.

    As I have often pointed out, this is not true of our dearest companions, our dogs. They've had thousands of generations to evolve and they have done so. Even though they are a subspecies of wolf, they are considerably different in psychology: more gregarious, less competitive for leadership, comfortable among strangers even of other species, scavengers instead of hunters (with the smaller brain this lower-protein diet requires), and more fun-loving (adult dogs behave like baby wolves). They have adapted to civilization all the way down to their DNA. We have not.

    The Swiss are smart enough and in the loop enough to know that the second derivative of population went negative around 1980 and that the first derivative will do so around the end of this century. I would suspect that they have already moved beyond the population problem (which appears to be solvable by continuing to make communication cheaper and faster so people who live under despots can organize and overthrow them, at which point they'll discover that there's plenty of food, medicine and other resources now that they can actually get their hands on it rather than seeing it commandeered and sold on the black market) and have begun working on a dire problem that humanity hasn't faced in tens of thousands of years: a shrinking population.

    Every economic model since Adam Smith assumes without comment that its engine of prosperity is an ever-growing population. Somebody has to figure out the next model.
     
  19. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

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    Aha, Fraggle. I do like you, you know.

    Forget it. On many occasions I have to concentrate the next day, if I wish to remember what it was I was talking about... and in this instance I have been spectacularly unsuccessful.

    On the peculiar ability of the human to (seemingly) transcend the animal, I have no argument. I also share your respect and admiration for it. I believe the area in which we differ is your seeming acceptance of the direction in which it is headed... you're comfortable with it. I am not. I perceive a systematic elimination of all those particular traits which gave us - coupled with those large brains you mentioned - all that advantage to begin with. Yes, I'm aware it is a natural progression. No. I'm not comfortable with our inability to see that continuing on that path beyond all reason is detrimental. You've read "The Time Machine" (H.G Wells)? Eloi and Morlocks. One animal, one defenseless against the animal.

    That, after the comma, just about sums up the difference.

    Oh, I would never advocate any regression tactic, Fraggle. I agree with you entirely on that point. I merely question the penchant and increasing attempts to eliminate the wolf. Co-operation has taken us far... but then so has competition.
    Where is art, without suffering?

    Don't be so bloody patronising. I'm quite aware that I annoy the shit out of people on occasion, and in my case it is often deliberate. But in yours, it doesn't work. You're too heavily invested in another persona.



    You've said other things I want to address, but I'll just have to get back to you ... eventually. 12 beers down the track now, and you deserve a little more consideration here than I'm capable of giving you right now.
     
  20. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Referring back to Christianity and its Abrahamic roots, i'm not aware of any biblical rule against suicide. Job was counseled by friends to "Curse God and die" - apparently a sure way to end suffering in their belief system. Other than that, the rules are about taking the lives of other people - mostly about when it's permitted and when it's mandatory.
    I have an idea (which i can't immediately prove) that suicide was made a mortal sin only much later, in feudal Europe, to deny cheap serf-power a means of escape. The law is still being used that way. No abortion; life is too sacred - but don't expect any help feeding the little bastards! No suicide; life is too sacred - but don't expect any help with the medical bills!
     
  21. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    You're on the wrong website, lady.
     
  23. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, i do. And if God is allowing some disease to lay waste this temple, He should either repair the damage or tear it down, not expect me to inhabit a condemned structure.

    By retching my guts and coughing my lungs out, pustules oozing yellow slime, moaning and whining, bleeding into body cavities, incontinent at nose and anus?
    Sorry, i fail to see the honour in it.

    Paul wasn't very good at follow-through, either.
     

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