Euthanasia, your opinions?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Diode-Man, May 22, 2012.

  1. Diode-Man Awesome User Title Registered Senior Member

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    Euthanasia is a humane thing for anyone considering leaving this world, such as if they are going to die painfully from a disease or if they are hopelessly lost in mental illness. (there are a few painless ways to die, like just going to sleep and not waking up)

    The government should be pro-euthanasia!

    What say you?
     
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  3. CptBork Valued Senior Member

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    If it's done for suffering animals, I don't see why human beings should have to endure unbearable suffering either. As long as there are adequate safeguards to make sure it's what a person truly wants for themselves, they understand the implications, and there aren't reasonable prospects for an improvement in their conditions, I don't see why not. No one gets to vote on being born in the first place, so if they're in severe long-term pain, it's only fair that they receive the option for a merciful opt-out.

    Slippery slope when it comes to mental illnesses, but I don't think someone should be condemned to live out decades of a life they're not enjoying, especially if it only looks to be getting worse as they get older (unless they're in prison for something serious, in which case the deterrence factor of punishment is important). You'd naturally have to first make sure there's some suitable arrangement for the care of any children they'd be leaving behind, like a foster family (which isn't a very savoury option in itself, mind you).

    Many people would argue that anyone who truly wants to die should basically have no problem sawing themselves in half, and I'm kind of shocked at the detachment from reality in that line of thinking. I would expect within a generation we'll be seeing voluntary euthanasia for terminally ill patients (or at least an alternative such as terminal sedation so they basically fast to death while on painkillers and unconscious). I wouldn't expect the same compassion to be extended towards emotional suffering anytime soon, because that's far more subjective- most people are fairly happy with themselves and ignorant of how others perceive their own lives in turn.
     
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  5. Diode-Man Awesome User Title Registered Senior Member

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    Very well put CptBork!

    I may be considering Euthanasia myself! (mental illness) I have no children and only the need to painlessly leave this world behind. I wish more people would be as accommodating as you... I'm over 18, the choice IS mine.
     
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  7. MisterSelmo Registered Member

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    Something tells me that the powers that be are trying to steer us toward a place where euthenasia is not just an option, but the noble option. There's definitely been enough media casting it in a favorable light, depicting those who assist in suicide as angels of mercy and, ultimately, heroes. I know the catholic answer. I know the tough guy answer, which is to say that, what is essentially the act of taking one's life to ease suffering, is the coward's way out. I know that whenever you say something like, "if it's okay for animals, it should be okay for people" you run a high chance of encounter with "humans aren't animals" and the eventual degradation into a creationism vs. evolution flame war...

    But my opinion, I don't really know. I mean, think about the complexity of what you're asking.

    It is essentially saying, "What would you do in a situation that nothing can prepare you for?" Well, I don't know, honestly. "What if" rules the day. What if... the day after you shoot someone up with a needle full of chlorine bleach, they would have begun to recover? Ouch. You may not believe in God or even a god, but dang... that's kind of overstepping the natural bounds of human law, isn't it?

    A person has time, and that is the only commodity we all possess. To take someone else's time away seems, to me, a sin regardless of what you believe. But of course, we all plan to take the high road, don't we? In my opinion it ultimately comes down to which is the greater evil in that situation?

    Before you can make the decision, you would have to ask yourself if by keeping them alive: Are you actively prolonging suffering, or are you easing someone's inevitible demise? Are you forcing them to die in pain, by keeping them alive with inhuman devices or are you allowing them to die with dignity?

    I like it when something raises a lot of questions.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  8. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    This is a frightening post...
     
  9. MisterSelmo Registered Member

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    I was going to say... by God, someone help this man!
     
  10. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

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    Help him what?
     
  11. MisterSelmo Registered Member

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    Find a reason not to kill himself.
     
  12. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

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    So, you feel that if someone is so miserable, they should be talked into more suffering?

    Just curious.

    I bet ya think vegetables should be kept on life-support, right?
     
  13. CptBork Valued Senior Member

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    Well you have my deepest sympathies, you shouldn't have to feel like a slave being dragged through life to the bitter end. However, I think you should seriously try whatever therapies are available which don't threaten your physical health and cognitive abilities; in the worst case, it's not like therapy would stop you from dying in the end anyhow.

    Many antidepressants these days have far fewer side effects than what was available 10 years ago, so you should give it a fair shot if you haven't already; they're not a cure-all, but many desperate people find they help at least a little, so if the goal is to end your suffering, why not at least try? Often the worst-case scenario is that they simply don't produce any noticeable affects at all, and at minimum I'm sure something can be done for issues like insomnia which can severely aggravate and create mental health problems.

    Also, exciting new paradigms are rapidly emerging in psychology and have already led to many successes in alleviating emotional suffering. What's great about many of the new techniques and understandings is that they won't force you into thinking something against your will, but will open doors for you that you might not have considered before and help you overcome traumas and thought patterns you might feel helpless to resolve. Again, the goal is happiness and an end to unbearable suffering, right? You don't want to exclude a possibility if it's something that might actually bring you inner peace and a genuine will to live, right? So if it has no risk of increasing negative feelings, and at worst you don't feel better than beforehand, it's worth consideration.

    I don't think society ever will or should feel obliged to put someone down forever until they've actually tried things that have often helped others who also felt hopeless, and I can tell you there's no shortage of people all over the world who've had issues just like what you describe (i.e. no kids) and managed to find happiness and a desire to live in the end, sometimes resolving the core issues themselves and other times bypassing them. I can certainly tell you that you're not helping yourself if you isolate yourself in thoughts of hopelessness and don't make efforts to go out and change things. Once you're dead there's no coming back, so it would be stupid to exclude opportunities before they've been thoroughly considered prior to making such a drastic decision as to permanently end the one and only life you get, especially since you won't live forever in any case.

    My stance is that if you've given a fair and honest shot to therapies that have worked for so many others and after some extended duration it still ain't working out, then eventually your own choice should be respected in turn. You shouldn't be shackled to society's expectations for quality of life, but if there's good reason to think you can be helped and ultimately feel grateful to be alive, and your option is still on the table in case such help doesn't really help after a reasonable time period, then seeking and accepting attempts at such help should be the first course of action before you simply give up. If your arm is hurting you and you want it removed altogether to relieve the pain, but you'd want to keep your arm if it wasn't hurting, you wouldn't expect anyone to do that for you until they've tried something less drastic that might fix the problem and leave your arm intact, right?

    Edit: And to add to my last paragraph, the problem is not your lack of kids etc., which may or may not be fixable depending on your situation. The problem is that this and other issues are causing you pain. That pain may or may not be curable with present science, medicine, society etc., but if you're asking for a government to help put you down in some abstract future where they do this sort of thing, you'll have a tough time convincing anyone unless you yourself put in the effort on your part to try what they suggest first. And a word of personal advice- if you're a young guy like early 20's or whatever, I think that's just far too early to even think of giving up. That's still a very young age, not even close to your physical peak, even if it seems like you should have completely matured at this point. If you are in that range, the worst thing you could possibly do is spend years moping about it, and then when you're a few years older you'll gain far more perspective and realize how much time you had where you could have made a huge difference, and then you'll really have something to regret. Once you get to the finish line and achieve your goals, it really doesn't matter how long it took you to actually get there.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  14. MisterSelmo Registered Member

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    Alright, I'll take that bait.

    I "feel" deep within that if someone has a shot at happiness, they should take it. I believe that misery can pass and good stuff can follow. Sometimes. But it's worth a shot. Although I have seen my fair share of hopeless things, and they suck. All the more reason why, if there is any hope, go for it. Not everybody gets the luxury of hope.

    I don't even know if vegetables can be kept on life support. What kind are we talking? Carrots? Cabbage?
     
  15. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

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    So you don't feel people have a say so, when it comes to living/ending their lives?...

    If someone was in constant torment 24/7 you would just tell them to suck it up, or see some asshole with a psychology degree? (I am one of those assholes BTW.)

    Personally, I feel that we all have the right to live, or die on our own terms.

    I think if a person has had enough of this life, there should be a way out.

    I would rather a person go to a pleasant clinic for help, than to scatter their brains against a wall where family and friends will see it.

    I guess the vision I see for this, is like the scene where the old guy went to die in "Soylent Green" Just peacefully passed.

    I am an atheist..I don't believe in a God, or an afterlife...

    When you die, that's it. It's just over. So, if you live in agony, why prolong it?
     
  16. CptBork Valued Senior Member

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    I know these questions weren't addressed to me, but I'd like to take a shot at answering some of them...

    I think it should be up to the individual to do so at their own discretion, provided it's unreasonable to think that the person might not really want to do this if there turned out to be a working alternative. Your body, your life, but why should society make it easier for you or have to deal with the aftermath if you don't put some effort into seeking a less drastic solution?

    Give the asshole a chance to help out before giving up. If it doesn't work, you'll be just as capable of dying afterwards as you were beforehand.

    Agreed, as long as it doesn't create an unfair burden to others in the process (i.e. if you go skydiving and sabotage your parachute, you betray the trust of the people who gave you that opportunity and you seriously damage their reputation and livelihoods, as well as traumatizing them).

    Yes, like I said earlier it shouldn't have to come down to sawing yourself in half.

    Neither do plenty of the people who think euthanasia should only be a last resort when other options have failed.

    There should be a good reason to think that existing therapies can't cure that agony within a reasonable time frame.
     
  17. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    In the case of a mental illness, it may not be 24/7 and it may be constructively helped with chemical (drugs) and psychological help.
    Suffering can be a temporary thing as well. I believe that before one ends his own life, he has an obligation to try to save that life, same as anyone in a position to prevent the death of another is obligated to try.

    In a case of KNOWING with certainty that the rest of your life is going to be nothing but suffering, I admit, I do believe that the individual should have the right to choose.
     
  18. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

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    Capt. and Neverfly...

    Don't get me wrong, euthanasia is a last resort...All other methods should be tried first...

    I'm just saying that a "fairly" pleasant way out should be available, when all else fails... As I said before, I would rather "slip away" than feel that my only options are painful and gruesome.
     
  19. Bells Staff Member

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    It depends on the situation and the circumstances of the people involved at that particular time.

    I don't know if the media cast it in a favourable light. Again, it depends on the circumstances and who and what is involved. For example, a person suffering from a terminal illness may choose to end their life early before it gets to the point where they enter a vegetative state, for example. Euthanasia for such patients is about control and I guess, a form of mental empowerment in that they aren't letting the illness control them to the end. But each person is different and some may wish to die in a controlled fashion surrounded by those they love and able to say goodbye. There are various reasons that people feel makes it a valuable and important decison for them. And it is deeply personal and ultimately selfish in that it can only apply to the person feeling it and desiring such an end.

    While many do use the 'we do it to animals' arguments and the like, it leaves out an important factor. Euthanasia is something of choice in that the individual has to make that decision for themselves and it is something they should seek help and counselling on and talk about it first.

    It is very complex, hence why it is not something that should ever be taken lightly.

    _____________________________________________________________


    Diode-Man

    I do think you need to see someone about this. Have you ever spoken to your doctor about the fact that you were considering suicide or euthanasia? Have you gotten some counselling to help you deal with your mental illness?

    What made you feel that euthanasia was a good option for you?

    This is a very serious issue and one that you should definitely speak to someone about it.
     
  20. CptBork Valued Senior Member

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    Well in the case of terminal physical suffering, I think we're not far from seeing such methods start becoming available. In the case of emotional suffering, I think eventually (possibly not in our lifetimes), society will reach a point where euthanasia will become available for that too, but there will still be very tight criteria for applying it. If you can make it to a sufficiently old age, I think there's a decent chance by that point social attitudes towards loneliness and loss of independence amongst the elderly may qualify them. The times they are-a-changing, I just don't know what the exact time frame is going to be nor what exactly the world will look like by that point (i.e. possibly limited food, energy, water). I certainly feel that the present system is a dogmatic, oppressive, abusive atrocity which shows little genuine empathy for physical and emotional suffering, and little competence in treating it, but the upcoming generations are starting to see that more clearly too.
     
  21. CptBork Valued Senior Member

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    For those who might just be thinking of giving up and taking matters into your own hands, you might want to read this... The humour is kind of harsh but it makes some excellent points and you should definitely give it some thought before doing something impulsively stupid and rash. Attitudes on euthanasia will probably start changing in the near future, but until then (and even then) you should really think it through, and give some genuine consideration to the ever-growing list of alternatives.

    http://www.cracked.com/article_15658_the-ten-minute-suicide-guide.html
     
  22. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    I've always thought that... I, too, would prefer a less sinister and fast end if I was facing a slow, steadily declining death.

    CaptBork- LOL fun read.
     
  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    “…In his final two years, Eastman {Kodak camera, U.S. patent no. 388,850, issued to George Eastman, September 4, 1888} was in intense pain, caused by a degenerative disorder affecting his spine. He had trouble standing and his walking became a slow shuffle. Today it might be diagnosed as lumbar spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal caused by calcification in the vertebrae. Eastman grew depressed, as he had seen his mother spend the last two years of her life in a wheelchair from the same condition. On March 14, 1932, Eastman died by suicide with a single gunshot to the heart, leaving a note which read, "To my friends: my work is done. Why wait?" …”

    Quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Eastman

    I read this note one summer in Rochester NY, many years ago* and it seemed to me like a wise decision and still does if you are old, have intractable pain, and with some research at sites like PubMed, find there is nothing being developed that offers any hope. As Eastman said: “Why wait”

    * I had highly interesting summer job making one-at-a-time “printed” circuits with vacuum deposition of materials thur masks.** US Air Force paid me via a tiny company called Rank Haloid Xerox, which had bought from Battelle Foundation the patent on complex process of putting thin plastic films on paper, or in my case on copper clad phenolic sheets. It took at least five minutes to manually make a Xerox copy with the more than 15 discrete step process as then existed.

    I was working with about 10 men in the research center, and became very worried one day by a letter sent to us from the owner. (The IPO came at least a dozen years later.) It told of the financial difficulties the company was having, that the owner had placed a maximum possible mortgage on his house, but it would only cover salaries for a several months. The letter requested all who could afford to, to take stock instead of money for their salary. I could not – I needed funds to return to Cornell – and did not think the stock would be worth much anyway. I was relieved when I learned that in NY, salaries had higher claim during bankrupcy than even suppliers.

    After all who would take five minutes to make a paper copy of a letter, etc. when with carbon paper you could get three with no delay? We all thought the main market, if there was one, would be making customized T shirts at the beach – The Xerox process would transfer the plastic powder “toner” to cloth well and people would wait five minutes to have T shirt with their photo etc. on it. We would not need to tell the buyers in advance that their T shirt would smell of the trichlorethene for a few days. Its vapors were the way the toner powder was fused into a film, bound to the cloth or paper copy. Rapid and odorless heat fusing was just being developed when I returned to Cornell.

    Years later when company was a public corporation and just called XeroX, I computed that if I could have accepted stock that summer, and did not foolishly sell it, my net worth would be more than 2 million dollars!

    ** Air Force supplied the masks for very high frequency circuits of interest to them. Frequencies so high that the exact placement and separation of the “wires” etc. was critical. I made the resistors out of evaporated chrome, the capacitors with many sequential alternating evaporated layers of copper and stannous oxide (or chloride? which is slightly conductive and transparent - I forget which as used both that summer) as their dielectric. The Xerox toner is an excellent acid resist. – I etched the conductor designs outside of the vacuum chamber first with copper of the "wires" also etched away where I would later make the resistors and capacitors. If all went well I could complete a circuit in a week.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2012

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