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Euthanasia

shoutevenshy
Posts: 5
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9/8/2015 11:32:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The discussion about assisted suicide is one of the biggest ethical dilemmas we have today. Both sides have quality argumentation, which makes it so hard to pick a side. Sources claim 70 per cent of the population is in favor of assisted suicide (source: http://www.abc.net.au...) though I think there is a very good reason why it is not legal yet. People are not really in disagreement whether we should allow assisted suicide, people are in disagreement where to draw the line, and to be honest I doubt many regular people have given this question a thought, and that is why the side against is winning.

Think about it for a second, where do we draw the line? Do we set an age limit? if so, is it ethically right to let an 8 year old suffer simply because he"s too young to be granted the right to die with dignity? If not, is it ethically right to let an 8 year old decide whether or not he wants to live, and if that isn"t good enough for you either, then is it ethically right to give other people the right to decide on an 8 year old children behalf whether he gets to live?

Does the law only apply to terminally ill people? If not, what are the demands we need to require for a person to be eligible to die with dignity? Do mental illnesses count? If so, what about Schizophrenia, which is a disorder where the person can lose his sanity? And what about depression and other disorder that are curable, but make people suicidal? Should we obey their illnesses and let them "die with dignity"?. These are just a few of the questions the side in favor can not answer the opposing side, and this is why the law does not get passed in most places. 80% in favor is useless, unless we make a referendum, but for such an ethical and life-threatening as this one, I think it would be stupid to put the decision in the hands of uneducated people with no experience on the matter.

The effectiveness the side in favor is clearly effective on a public matter. Their argumentation is good and persuasive, but it is weak when it receives any form of criticism from educated people. If they want to win, they need to make a clear list of what they actually want this law to apply to.

The opposing side is much more strong, simply because they know exactly what they want. It is much easier to be against something than be in favor of it, so it"s not because they are more clever, or they are right " that is just how it is. But what makes them unreliable is the fact that many of them are affected by their own religion. Almost all religions, especially monotheism, frown upon suicide, because they believe it takes away the privilege they believe their God has, which is to give and take life. When religion is taken into account in any political discussion, it becomes hypothetical and irrelevant. Those might be odd choices of words, but let me explain. Almost all countries have a large religious diversity. When your argumentation includes your own religious conviction you are automatically pushing everyone who have a different conviction than you onto the other side, because the battle of the religions is a never-ending hot topic. Your point becomes irrelevant, not because it is bad or wrong, but because those who share your religious views agree with you for that reason, and those who disagree with them disagree with you too.

Hypothetical, because when including religion in your argument you automatically raise an even bigger question " is there a God? Are there supernatural powers? And you base your argumentation on that the answer to these questions is; yes. Since the answer to these question are, as for now, unknown to man, people will read or hear your point of view and say; Yes, that"s a very good point, if your religious conviction is true.

Even though it seems like I am opposing assisted suicide, technically I am not. I am not completely in favor of it either, because I think the points the opposing side is making are valid and important. Especially since there are people who say that when they found out their disease was terminal they "might have been open to the option of ending their life by legal means, had these existed." (source: https://www.churchofengland.org...)

Terminal diseases are emotional rollercoasters. Depression, stress, fear and countless other things that risk your own sanity are usually follow.

Go onto Google and type "miraculously healed from terminal disease". You get a lot of hits, because there are miracle stories, people with terminal cancer have been healed and more importantly doctors have been wrong, a lot of times actually. This is why I find it very disturbing that people with terminal diseases are so quick to give up. Maybe that is insensitive and possibly even a stupid thing to say. If it was me who had lost all hope of getting better, that doesn"t mean my family has. And even though I"m dead and unable to have an opinion after I am dead from assisted suicide, my family is not. They are forever going to ask the question "what if?".

I am not sure which side I support. I think I am leaning towards keeping in illegal, but just for now, simply because there are too many dilemmas within the actual dilemma. But I am not forgetting those who have to live everyday in unbearable pain, and I can honestly and fully understand if you would want to take your own life because of that, I also think about the people with diseases like early stage Alzheimer"s, and are aware of what their future holds. I think it is only human to let them die while they still have their sanity, and spare their loved ones from seeing their soul die but their body live on. I also think of those who are facing long, hard, physically and mentally weary terminal diseases. I do think they should be granted the right to die with dignity, but before we decide on where to reasonably draw the line, I am keeping my vote on the opposing side.
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,138
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9/8/2015 11:45:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Assisted suicide should always be illegal. If someone really wants to kill themselves, they can still find a way to do it. They will shoot themselves in the head, or jump off a bridge, or overdose on drugs... But there is no reason to involve doctors. Here are several reasons why legalizing assisted suicide is a bad idea:

1) Doctors would become associated with death. It's already hard enough to get uneducated anti-vax and homeopathic crowd to take their children to see the doctor, so imagine how paranoid they'd be if doctors were actually intentionally killing people.

2) As you said, there are many instances of people surviving after the doctors told them there was no hope. These people might have committed suicide if the doctors had been telling them "it's ok, we'll help you do kill yourself."

3) As you stated, there is a huge slippery slope and it's uncertain which patients would qualify or not due to age, type of illness, severity of pain, etc.

Again, the people who are actually suffering to the point where they believe they can't take it, can easily commit suicide on their own. But we as a society shouldn't encourage people ending their own lives.
shoutevenshy
Posts: 5
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9/8/2015 11:58:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Even though I oppose like you do I do not agree with all your reasons. The fact that people kill themselves anyway is hardly an argument on why we shouldn't help them, if anything that is an argument on why we should. I would rather inject someone with something that 'put him to rest' peacefully than force him to jump off a bridge.

1. Doctors are already associated with death, they are the one's who call them, and already today doctors take decisions when to stop life support and such.
JMcKinley
Posts: 314
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9/9/2015 8:03:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I don't think its as difficult to set up the necessary boundaries as you seem to believe it is. Its quite simple in my mind. I think the following terms would be satisfactory, at least as a starting point.

1) Terminally ill patients after sufficient standard treatment has proven ineffective, and it is apparent that the disease is in its later stages. A doctor must sign off on these conditions.

2) Chronically ill patients whose diseases are not necessarily terminal but cause sufficient pain to render a person's quality of life to a sufficiently low standard. I think it would be fair to require at least one sponsor sign off on this condition in addition to a doctor and the patient themselves if they are able. (Preferably a spouse or next of kin, but an executor of their estate would suffice)

3) Patients who have lost sufficient brain function such that they may never awake from coma, and if they did, their quality of life would be unacceptably low. Again a doctor must determine what is "sufficient brain function."

4) Mental illnesses are not sufficient cause as the judgement of the patient and their control of the situation could always be called into question. Exceptions may be made for individuals who upon discovering a sufficiently severe mental illness in the early stages (while they are still lucid) draw up legal documents clearly stating their wishes and the point at which they wish to end it. Both a medical doctor and a psychiatrist must sign off on what is "sufficiently severe"

4) No children under the age of 18.

5) Doctors must not directly participate in the assisted suicide to preserve their Hippocratic oath, but may prescribe medication for the patient to do it safely and humanely. They may also remain in the room to ensure that the medication is properly administered and to deal with a botched attempt if it were to occur.

6) I think it would be good practice to require both a physician and a psychiatrist to sign off on the final decision, as well as requiring sponsors who know the patient personally.

I think those terms while probably incomplete would provide a sufficient starting point.
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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9/12/2015 1:46:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm not reading through all of that. I do think people should have the right to die. Suicide is currently legal and it should remain that way. Euthanasia should be legal, especially when you're able to keep somebody alive on machines indefinitely. Once humans reach the ability to have indefinite lifespans, than it will really be important to set up suicide booths, such as the ones in Futurama.