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Author Topic: Assisted suicide  (Read 18716 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Reply #45: February 03, 2010, 08:25:47 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.

At that point, it would depend on the person's ability to care for themselves.  If someone's capable of living on their own and making their own decisions, they're capable of making that one as well.

Honestly, I'd FAR rather err on the side of having someone live than letting them die, simply because it's a slippery slope issue.  I think that EVEN IF a guardian agrees, the person who is going to suicide MUST also agree, regardless of age, mental capability, etc.  If there's ANY doubt, my answer is no.

But .. I think the option should be there.  Just used as rarely as possible.
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« Reply #46: February 03, 2010, 09:07:05 am »

At that point, it would depend on the person's ability to care for themselves.  If someone's capable of living on their own and making their own decisions, they're capable of making that one as well.

Other people here probably know more about this than I do (possibly yourself included), since I'm not in the psychology field, but...  A psychologist friend of mine and I were discussing a TV show on which a character was depicted as being paranoid schizophrenic (allegedly; the symptoms shown didn't fit the actual disease, but that's TV for you) and having an experimental treatment administered for that against her will.  There are many, many other issues involved in that specific example, but what's relevant here is:  My friend was telling me that in her experience that should not have been legally possible, that the patient's consent must be sought for treatment even if they appear too impaired to make reliable decisions about their own care.  She made it sound like it was possible to get that decision-making capacity transferred to someone else, but that it was a long and involved process and not as simple as having a guardian sign off on something.  I'd expect the same to apply to assisted suicide.

(And I may be waaaaaay off-base here, may have misunderstood what she was saying, etc., and if so I apologize.  It just seemed relevant, if I was understanding correctly.)
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« Reply #47: February 03, 2010, 11:05:42 am »

My friend was telling me that in her experience that should not have been legally possible, that the patient's consent must be sought for treatment even if they appear too impaired to make reliable decisions about their own care.  She made it sound like it was possible to get that decision-making capacity transferred to someone else, but that it was a long and involved process and not as simple as having a guardian sign off on something.  I'd expect the same to apply to assisted suicide.

In my experience, it is much easier for parents or other folks to  be legal guardians for people  with pervasive developmental disorders than schizophrenia.   The problem that makes schizophrenia  so difficult is that it people with  schizophrenia,  when medicated, are often truly able to make  informed decisions.  Compound that with the  fact that schizophrenia  typically has onset after the age of  18, and it is a much trickier issue to get guardianship.

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« Reply #48: February 03, 2010, 01:45:29 pm »

Mental illness runs in my family. My mother has severe bi polar with schizophrenic tendencies. She currently lives in a home for the mentally ill elderly (she's about 72 I think) My brother is in his late 40s and has schizophrenia. But he works and barely holds on to society (living in a weekly rate hotel). Both are still considered able to make their own legal decisions. Both really shouldn't be able to. I work with my mother to help her make her own medical decisions. Though she is ill, most of the time she is able to get what's going on in the real world etc. There have been medical situations that she has not agreed to that would have cost her her life. I.e. she did not want dyalisis treatment. I was able to convince her. But over time she has periodically stopped treatment for just whatever reason. She's been a week's from death's door on many occasions. And I WILL NOT force her. She's on the borderline of being responsible for her decisions. And I will always side with her decision, even if I know better. She is my mother and I must respect her as a woman. I would want the same for me.  So in the somewhat near future I know I will have to let her die when she is ready to.
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« Reply #49: April 15, 2010, 05:19:26 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'm on the fence.  I can see reasons for doing this, like if it is a terminal disease with no recovery, a coma, etc.  I can understand that. It's not really my decision if someone wants to take their own life, unless I somehow become involved in it, then I might have an opinion.  But OTOH, a minor or someone not in sound mind probably shouldn't make that decision--at least not alone.  As for the not in sound mind person, one never knows who makes those decisions, so maybe a committee should be involved?  Interesting question.
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