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Author Topic: Assisted suicide  (Read 20341 times)
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« Reply #30: February 02, 2010, 01:19:39 am »

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?

If I was terminally ill I would want to have the right to choose.  I don't see a point in making someone suffer longer than they can endure when there's no cure to save them.  I would want assisted suicide available as a last resort if I were terminally ill. 
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« Reply #31: February 02, 2010, 01:23:13 am »

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.

I think that the difference is that most people with a mental illness don't need help to do it, The physical illness issue comes from the fact that the person that wants to die cannot do it themselves. They need someone to do it for them. That is why it is such a big deal, A lot of people can't see the difference between assisted suicide and willful murder.
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« Reply #32: February 02, 2010, 01:32:30 am »

I think that the difference is that most people with a mental illness don't need help to do it, The physical illness issue comes from the fact that the person that wants to die cannot do it themselves. They need someone to do it for them. That is why it is such a big deal, A lot of people can't see the difference between assisted suicide and willful murder.
Ahh I see your point there. The actual act of suicide needs to be helped along due to lack of physical capability. I think we just need to find some way to make sure that it's the will of the person and there is no other outside motive. Because then you get alot of tv episodes like Law and Order where it's like oh he wanted to die your honor! I think you should be able to make your own choice of how you die. If nothing else in this world. It should be at the minimum of that.

To throw in another scenario. What about a person with Down Syndrome? Do they also have a choice in how they die?
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« Reply #33: February 02, 2010, 01:44:42 am »

To throw in another scenario. What about a person with Down Syndrome? Do they also have a choice in how they die?

Ah, Down's is not a different issue. My aunt has very severe Down's and she is a lovely woman. She is very happy with a job, friends and family, and is in housing with others with Down's. People with Down's aren't slow-they are quite the opposite. Their intellegence is so high, and their thought processes are so fast, no 'normal' person can understand it. It is almost like another form of Autism. It doesn't mean that they should have fewer rights than anyone else. All people should have the same rights IMO. If they can understand completely what it is that they are doing, what they want and what the consequences are, then they should be allowed to do it. But there must be no doubt whatsoever that every part of the decision has been thought about and understood.
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« Reply #34: February 02, 2010, 01:55:01 am »

Ah, Down's is not a different issue.
I had no idea about their high intelligence. I read conflicting articles and reports. I assume the choice would legally fall in the hands of the legal guardians though, right? Not that I know of any Down Syndrome people that want to kill themselves. Ok. What about a teenager? Should they be allowed to kill themselves with assistance? I guess I want to see where the line is drawn. And if everyone should be allowed to make their own life/death decisions does indeed mean 'everyone'. I mean I agree with choice. I just wonder if there is a line people draw personally.
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« Reply #35: February 02, 2010, 02:08:05 am »

I had no idea about their high intelligence. I read conflicting articles and reports. I assume the choice would legally fall in the hands of the legal guardians though, right? Not that I know of any Down Syndrome people that want to kill themselves. Ok. What about a teenager? Should they be allowed to kill themselves with assistance? I guess I want to see where the line is drawn. And if everyone should be allowed to make their own life/death decisions does indeed mean 'everyone'. I mean I agree with choice. I just wonder if there is a line people draw personally.

Personally, yes I do draw a line. I don't agree with someone killing themselves because it is an easy way out, it is a 'cool' thing to do, because they are bored, etc. There has to be a incredibly good reason for it. It is too often used as a threat-'if you leave me I will kill myself' or 'do x, y, or z or I will commit suicide'. It is a serious thing to even consider and, in my mind, there has to be a very bloody good reason for even thinking about doing it.
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« Reply #36: February 02, 2010, 02:15:37 am »

Personally, yes I do draw a line. I don't agree with someone killing themselves because it is an easy way out, it is a 'cool' thing to do, because they are bored, etc. There has to be a incredibly good reason for it. It is too often used as a threat-'if you leave me I will kill myself' or 'do x, y, or z or I will commit suicide'. It is a serious thing to even consider and, in my mind, there has to be a very bloody good reason for even thinking about doing it.

Here is an article about Terry Pratchett making a case for assisted suicide:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/feb/02/terry-pratchett-assisted-suicide-tribunal
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« Reply #37: February 02, 2010, 08:05:02 am »

I had no idea about their high intelligence. I read conflicting articles and reports. I assume the choice would legally fall in the hands of the legal guardians though, right? Not that I know of any Down Syndrome people that want to kill themselves. Ok. What about a teenager? Should they be allowed to kill themselves with assistance? I guess I want to see where the line is drawn. And if everyone should be allowed to make their own life/death decisions does indeed mean 'everyone'. I mean I agree with choice. I just wonder if there is a line people draw personally.

Downs is NOT a reason for suicide - my niece has Downs, and she's quite functional and a lot of fun.  (Though sweet?  No.  She's a member of MY family, after all. Cheesy )

As far as teens, etc - I think it should be TRULY a last resort.  Every other option should be explored first, if other options are possible.  There are medications for depression.  There are ways to deal with heartbreak.

There ISN'T a way to deal with physical shutdown.  We have pushed the bounds of medicine to the point that quantity of life can far outstrip quality, which is why these discussions exist at all.  It's only even an ISSUE because we have the capability to keep people alive far beyond what their own bodies can do.

That said, I think it's something that needs to be viewed very carefully - my father is only alive because of modern medicine.  If we said that no long-term lifesaving stuff was allowed, he'd be dead.  (Clearly, I'm against that).  That said, he's also still working full time, he's still HIMSELF, and he can take care of himself.

And I would NEVER say that someone ELSE should make that decision for someone.  No one else can say when life isn't worth fighting for anymore.  No one else SHOULD.

But .. last resort.  ABSOLUTE last resort.
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« Reply #38: February 02, 2010, 08:29:36 am »

People with Down's aren't slow-they are quite the opposite. Their intellegence is so high, and their thought processes are so fast, no 'normal' person can understand it. It is almost like another form of Autism.

While there are cases in which Down's Syndrome seems not to have affected intelligence, I have seen no evidence for the claims that people with Down's are more intelligent nor that it is anything like the ASD.  Do you have sources for this?

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« Reply #39: February 02, 2010, 08:37:04 am »

While there are cases in which Down's Syndrome seems not to have affected intelligence, I have seen no evidence for the claims that people with Down's are more intelligent nor that it is anything like the ASD.  Do you have sources for this?

It is a new set of neurological research. A very good friend of mine has a son who is a neurologist that is involved in it. Usually he just lets me know about any developments in MS research, but he let me know about this as he knows my aunt. Nearly all people with Down's have an aptitude for something-reading, maths, puzzles etc. My aunt is a genius when it comes to jigsaws. Doesn't matter the size, she will just look at the picture a couple of times and she can do it straight away without ever putting a piece in the wrong place. The theory is that it works the same way as with Autism. I don't know what has been published as yet, but I will post it as soon as it is.
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« Reply #40: February 02, 2010, 09:38:52 am »

Here is an article about Terry Pratchett making a case for assisted suicide:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/feb/02/terry-pratchett-assisted-suicide-tribunal

I love Terry Pratchett (and Neil Gaiman too!)
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« Reply #41: February 02, 2010, 09:41:57 am »

I love Terry Pratchett (and Neil Gaiman too!)

I'm really not a fan of his books but he is a really nice guy. I've met him.....4 times now. My hubby is a huge fan so I always go to any new book signings that I can get to. He is very down to earth and relaxed, which generally means that he is a great guy to talk to.
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« Reply #42: February 02, 2010, 08:22:59 pm »

<snippage> What about a teenager? Should they be allowed to kill themselves with assistance? I guess I want to see where the line is drawn. And if everyone should be allowed to make their own life/death decisions does indeed mean 'everyone'. I mean I agree with choice. I just wonder if there is a line people draw personally.

Under US law, unless the teenager in question is emancipated (no longer legally under the protection of his/her parents or guardian), the immediate answer would be no--unless said parents or guardian are willing to approve the request and subsequent legalities. The only state in which physician-assisted suicide is legal at present is Oregon (the Death with Dignity Act of 1994). I seem to recall while doing research for this particular paper that Montana and Washington were also considering similar legislation within the last couple of years, but I don't have references to hand. The particulars of Oregon's law are very, very specific--and IMO could be used as models for other states that wish to consider similar legislations.

Reference: Pozgar, George (2010) Legal and ethical issues for health professionals. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
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« Reply #43: February 03, 2010, 04:02:43 am »

Downs is NOT a reason for suicide - my niece has Downs, and she's quite functional and a lot of fun.  (Though sweet?  No.  She's a member of MY family, after all. Cheesy )
Oh. I wanted to make clear I wasn't saying Down Syndrome = reason for suicide. I was mentioning it in the context of ability to give consent. I was curious to see if a person with Down Syndrome could legally give consent if they are being care for by a legal guardian etc.
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« Reply #44: February 03, 2010, 04:07:00 am »

Oh. I wanted to make clear I wasn't saying Down Syndrome = reason for suicide. I was mentioning it in the context of ability to give consent. I was curious to see if a person with Down Syndrome could legally give consent if they are being care for by a legal guardian etc.

I honestly don't know. You would have to check into the law for that one. Don't forget, over here any attempted suicide, assisted or not, is illegal.
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