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Author Topic: Assisted suicide  (Read 20340 times)
mandrina
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« Reply #15: January 30, 2010, 10:18:36 am »

I support assisted suicide. I support unassisted suicide. I believe that we should be able to choose when we die. The only thing that I'm against is taking unwilling participants with you when you go.

I can't imagine how humiliating it would be, on a daily basis, to have to constantly worry about urinating or defecating on myself, or how horrible having to rely on someone else to provide me with the basic necessities of life like that would be. To me, it's like a return to an infantile state - and you're stuck that way for the rest of your life, and you have awareness of how helpless you are for the rest of your life. Not being able to take care of myself is one of the greatest problems I have with aging - which is why I have a plan. Legal or not, assisted or not, when I feel that I am getting to the end of my time as a mildly useful human being (I am not currently all that useful, considering that I'm a minor gear in local government... more like a minor tool come to think of it, but I can still type & fill out purchase orders so, eh, I'll stick around), it's all over.

Do you know anyone with an ostomy?  A young person with an ostomy (and it's the only thing) normally doesn't need any help dealing with it.  Tons of older people have incontinence as one of their problems, (heck some of us younger people who didn't do our kegels like we should have when we were pregnant have it), and while buying the incontinence products might be embarrasing if done in the store, that can be worked around.  It's the movement or mental  disability that makes the other things too hard to be dealt with. People live with gtubes and have otherwise normal lived, but they priobably don't go out to eat.

At the same time, if it makes you feel any better, the number of the aged who can't take care of themselves is actually not that high of a percentage.  Most of the elderly live in their own places and take care of themselves to the end.  They may have to hire people to mow the lawn and fix the roof, but alot of younger people do that too.
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« Reply #16: January 30, 2010, 01:05:54 pm »

It should be an option when discussed with proper medical personal.
One of the difficulties with that is that there are very few medical professionals that are not in principle against suicide or assisted suicide. Which makes it very difficult to discuss this openmindedly. 

In several discussions about this, professionals (and especially psychiatrists) have said that they do not find it acceptable in any circumstance that wouldn't lead to death in a few days anyway.
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« Reply #17: January 30, 2010, 01:50:14 pm »

At the same time, if it makes you feel any better, the number of the aged who can't take care of themselves is actually not that high of a percentage.  Most of the elderly live in their own places and take care of themselves to the end.  They may have to hire people to mow the lawn and fix the roof, but a lot of younger people do that too.

Most of the elderly people I know fall into that 'small percentage'. I'm not saying that we should live in some sort of Logan's Run society where people are automatically offed when they hit a certain age (even though that could solve quite a bit of our health care issues), but I do believe that the stigmas against suicide should be relieved and that the right to end your own life should be a basic human right. If someone doesn't want to be alive anymore, why should they be forced to do so?
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« Reply #18: January 30, 2010, 01:52:09 pm »



I support it wholeheartedly, in cases where the patient is irrevocably terminal AND the patient wishes to cease existing with no hope of improvement. (I wrote a paper on this for my medical ethics/law class a few months back.) My father has made me his durable medical power of attorney, and in his advance directive he spells out as clearly as possible that he refuses any extraordinary measures, and in fact wants the option to end his suffering should he be terminally ill with no hope of recovery and diminishing quality of life.  That was a tough discussion to have, but we did--and we were on the same page from the outset.

ETA: He also has a DNR in his medical records as well as in the paperwork at his attorney's office. Everyone who needs to know that, knows it--provided they will honor it, which I intend to be sure happens if and when the time comes.
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« Reply #19: January 30, 2010, 02:57:33 pm »

She did have a DNR order.  I still haven't made up my mind about that.  I've been 'brought back to life' several times and each time I'm glad that I had no paperwork preventing it.  Like you, I can face a lot of physical fragility as long as my mind is okay.  Input is more important than output - I am always curious, even when I can't really comment on what I'm seeing. 

In the states, you can make an advanced directive very specific.  So, for example, you could request that they do basic CPR but no ventillator.  Or you could put limits on ventillator usage, or allow the ventillator but no tube feeding and so forth.  It doesn't have to be a blanket DNR.

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« Reply #20: January 31, 2010, 06:44:43 am »


Such a difficult topic - in Germany even more so.
With a bad history of the mighty ones deciding what life is 'worth' to be lived and what life may not be allowed the same, people are pretty reluctant on that subject. As are the politicians.

Tötung auf Verlangen - Killing on demand is in fact not treated like murder in a court of law.
But that's not a guarantee for going free with it.

The problems really start to occur if the person in question is not able to express their will without a doubt.
There is a wealth of problems in this matter. As in the psychological condition of the patient. A lot of things have to be considered.

My personal opinion tho'?
If life is nothing but pain, if there is no hope for a cure and if the person wants an end to it - why on earth is it 'right' to deny a human being, what is (sometimes too) readily granted to pets? This is what I don't get and I think it plain wrong.
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« Reply #21: January 31, 2010, 10:20:29 am »

Do you agree or disagree with assisted suicide? If you do, why do you, and if not, what reasons do you have? Are your reasons for or against social, religious or moral?

I can certainly sympathize with people that make this choice.  I think that perhaps it should be legal, but only under very narrow circumstances.  One of the big problems with people like Kevorkian, is that he helped people with depression, people with dementia, and people without fatal illnesses commit suicide.  The push was largely from family members tired of dealing with the person. 

Legality aside, I don't think this is a choice I would make.  With a mixture of pain medication and sedatives, most conditions can be dealt with in other ways.  I also don't think it is fair for someone to ask another person to help them die.  It puts a huge burden on the helper.

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« Reply #22: February 01, 2010, 01:48:30 pm »

I also don't think it is fair for someone to ask another person to help them die.  It puts a huge burden on the helper.
But well... so does living with someone in uncurable pain. Is it more fair to ask someone to help you when you don't want to die but need HUGE care?

This sounds very harsh, and my own opinion isn't nearly as harsh, but... I know people who have basically given up their own life (health, social life, work) to take care of someone with a severe disease. That too is a huge amount to 'ask' for. And you can't 'unask'. There is no way my parents could not care for me if something would happen to me and just go on with their lives. But it puts a big burden on them, and there are things I would not want them to give up for me. Especially when there is not that which defines 'me' anymore. (The spirit, I think, or whatever it is that makes me 'me', and I don't know what it is but I do know it wouldn't be me if there were no ways to interact with the world.)

(And this would mean that at a certain point, I wouldn't care for the sedatives anymore... what use is it to live when you can't experience it because your consciousness is blocked? As a temporary means... it could be useful. But as general or prolonged treatment?)

But what certainly makes a difference is that I do not value life as such as much as most. I care for the individual, the personality. I care for the universe in general. I care for the actions and experiences. But a body will stop living eventually and I somehow do not find it the most important thing in the world, as strange as that may sound. As I see it, death has become a very big deal for us as a society and I do not share that view completely. 
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« Reply #23: February 01, 2010, 02:15:11 pm »

Most of the elderly people I know fall into that 'small percentage'. I'm not saying that we should live in some sort of Logan's Run society where people are automatically offed when they hit a certain age (even though that could solve quite a bit of our health care issues), but I do believe that the stigmas against suicide should be relieved and that the right to end your own life should be a basic human right. If someone doesn't want to be alive anymore, why should they be forced to do so?

So are the ones I know well, but then again, I don't go to church and I work in a nursing home.  I'm not a member of any groups that have a number of elderly members.  At the same time, 10 years ago, when I did go to church, and still worked in a nursing home, I'd say the numbers were at least half and half or better in favor of the elderly at home group.  It really depends on your environment.  PEople who work in healthcare, probably do know far more on the inside than on the outside, while people in juvenile correction know a heck of a lot more juvenile delinquents than I do, and so on.
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« Reply #24: February 01, 2010, 04:13:50 pm »


This sounds very harsh, and my own opinion isn't nearly as harsh, but... I know people who have basically given up their own life (health, social life, work) to take care of someone with a severe disease. That too is a huge amount to 'ask' for.

This is what the SO's mother wanted.  In addition to wanting to control our household.  She ended up engineering a fall to have an emergency room visit and all the drama associated with it - and was pissed when I took off work instead of the SO (he would have been fired - she had cried wolf too many times).  But she made a mistake in her ploy - they found something (fluid in her chest cavity from renal failure) and she had a dnr.  So they drained it and sent her to a hospice (said she couldn't go home with us - we were glad of that decision - the SO said it was good that he then wouldn't come to hate her before she died) because they gave her 2 weeks.  She lasted about 10 weeks (stubborn) and at the end was asking the SO how to die.  In her case it was only a matter of time - the fluid was buliding up again and in hospice it would not be drained.  And her heart was in the final stages of cardio myopathy (sp).  It was a toss up which would be the cause.  But she was giving up and didn't want to live - what if she had gone on like that (seriously in need of nursing care) for years?  

Looking back, we are glad we put the time in we did - but only because it was about 5 months.  Longer and the hard feelings that were building up would have gotten in the way of how we felt about her.  What she wanted was someone sitting there 24-7 in attendance.  We failed and continued our lives somewhat as they had been.  We took her in our house - but didn't quit our jobs.  We visited the hospice house daily - but didn't quit our jobs.  

Because she had set up a dnr - which I personally think she later forgot about - she didn't drag out an existence that she had come to hate.  The lack of freedom and the lack of control over anything but what channel to tune the tv to was devastating to her.  She did not feel she had anything to live for.  It made her into a whiny needy bitch - which is a far cry from the woman I had known before.  I would not wish it on anyone.

I think where I am leading is that if someone doesn't want to live, they shouldn't be forced to.  And when people start screaming about bad assisted suicide is, then THEY should be the ones to put their life on hold for this person who is going to take so long to die.  For 5 months we worked, ate, slept, and at first took care of the SO's mom, and later visited her in the hospice house.  We had no life.  How long we we really going to keep that up?  And stay sane?  We put second a second business on hold, we put visiting other relatives on hold, we did nothing else.  That's not something you can do while someone is kept alive for years - but we knew the fluid was building up and her heart was getting worse (you could see both happening), so we could see an end to her suffering....and ours.  I would hate to see someone go for years that way.  And to have it forced on them - not by their choice - is criminal in my mind.
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« Reply #25: February 01, 2010, 08:47:03 pm »

Well I see most of the conversations here have to do with a medical illness. What about assisted suicide for people with a mental illness such as severe bi-polar or clinical depression? Or people who simply choose not to want to live due to many factors? Maybe abused over many years as a child? Or traumatic experiences that they have not been able to remedy etc? What would your opinion be on something so elusive as the simple will to want to die?
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« Reply #26: February 01, 2010, 08:48:38 pm »


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« Reply #27: February 01, 2010, 09:51:05 pm »

There is a case on the UK at the moment where a mother has, in the last week, assisted her terminally ill daughter to end her life. As usual this has caused all sorts of uproar in both the for and against camps. I would like to know what TC members think. Do you agree or disagree with assisted suicide? If you do, why do you, and if not, what reasons do you have? Are your reasons for or against social, religious or moral?

I believe it would depend on the person who wants to die, as well as the person who wants to assist them. It would depend on their own values and beliefs. I wouldn't feel right judging them either way.
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« Reply #28: February 02, 2010, 12:43:40 am »

Well I see most of the conversations here have to do with a medical illness. What about assisted suicide for people with a mental illness such as severe bi-polar or clinical depression? Or people who simply choose not to want to live due to many factors? Maybe abused over many years as a child? Or traumatic experiences that they have not been able to remedy etc? What would your opinion be on something so elusive as the simple will to want to die?

The reason for most opinions being based on medical physical illnesses is because that was the example that I gave and what I was asking about, due to the fact that it is something I have thought about-mainly due to the fact that my body is collapsing and I will, at some point in the not too distant future, need constant care. I do not want to be hooked up to machinery to keep me alive if I have no quality of life. I don't want ny husband, my daughter, or anyof my family to have to go through that. Neither do I want them to give up their lives to care for me 24/7. I won't be living at that point, I will merely be existing.

Having said that, however, I don't mind the discussion including mental illness assisted suicide opinions too.
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« Reply #29: February 02, 2010, 01:14:12 am »



Having said that, however, I don't mind the discussion including mental illness assisted suicide opinions too.
I am sorry to hear that about you. I bring up the mental illness side because....a big population of suicides are due to a mental issue of sorts. Suicide is also personal to me since I have attempted it twice while on a very bad year long bi-polar swing fest. I honestly wonder if people would actually be able to help someone with suicide knowing it's based on a mental condition. Not that I am talking about oh I am in a sad mood so I am gonna off myself. Meds help sure. But something like my condition? There is no cure. Only maintenance. And though I may be relatively symptom free for years...I do relapse and repeat the process.
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