Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Turambar, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    So I found myself thinking about a combination of these matters. And I thought of something interesting, I'd like to share with you.

    I think that rationally, laws against euthanasia and suicide can only exist within a theocracy or pseudo-theocracy.

    Let me explain. The idea is that it's a different perspective of property of life. See, it is only justifyable from a religious point of view that you cannot decide over your own life, as it is (in most religions) God-given. I mean, that's one of those things which sort of define religion. God(s) created life, therefore no one is allowed to take it. Not even from himself.

    However, if this is all discarded of (ie, aetheism), all this all of the sudden stops to make sense. If ever life was property of anyone, is the one living it. Mind that this still forbids murder. If no higher entity prevents you from killing oneself, then what is there to argue against the desire of someone to stop living?

    Therefore, when we translate this to politics, laws against (or, in other cases, no laws enabling) it must be dictated or inspired by religion. The first case would be a theocracy and - for sake of discussion - the latter would be a pseudo-theocracy, as the seperation between "church" and state is not complete when laws are inspired by religion.

    An interesting matter would be an inventarisation of (pseudo-) theocracies in this world, as in most countries euthanasia is either forbidden or not allowed (ie, not different from murder, in whatever degree). The political implications are bizarre. Few wester countries would be glad by being called a pseudo-theocracy. Still, at the end of this, we have to conclude that this is the case in many instances.

    But I mean, please point me wrong. These are just my thoughts. I just thought that they were quite interesting and discussable.
     
  2. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    I dont see where any laws can be created outside of an moral position that can be considered arbitrary. Law is legislation of morality. Outside of a uniquely moral being governing by right, what is moral is the majority concensus. This makes criminals simply the minority who behave differently.

    In the absence of a moral code (theological or otherwise) all laws are illogical.
     
  3. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    I will say that I find it interesting that, generally speaking, religions are opposed to euthanasia, but are perfectly comfortable with most advances in medicine to save lives.

    Seems like a double standard, if no-one is allowed to take a life out of compassion, that saving a life is. Either way you cold be accused of "playing God" in deciding who lives and dies.
     
  4. Alchemist

    Alchemist The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    Well, sky, if you go by the "relgious" reasonings here, as it seems you are.
    It is said your life is not your own to take and the like. It is not said, "their life is not yours to save."

    its not a matter of "playing God". If thats the issuse breeding is "playing God" in a way. But in actuality it is not.

    But onto the actual topic, I dont know exactly where I stand on it. While, one side of me says, "mercy killings" are a good thing to perform on person who is in great suffering and has actual no chances of survival at all. Another side says that no matter what medical science says, a person always has a chance.
    And yes there are miracles. Even the most scpetic doctors have seen people survive when every thing in modern science says that that person should be dead. Strange things have happened, just google some and you will see.
    So, I guess I lean against euthanasia, for the simple fact that sometimes there is that one impossible chance that the person comes to.

    Now, as for politics. I firmly believe alot of our laws are "religiously" (i hate that word) based. Take a glance at what are sins, and what are crimes...alot match up...not all...by alot. So "religion" set the primary laws, the morales that should be followed then goverments established and in some cases embelished them.
     
  5. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    Well, al, a non-hypocritical stance would be "if artificial means of ending or continuing life should be avoided in either circumstance".

    Maybe the Jehovah's Witnesses have it right. ;)
     
  6. Alchemist

    Alchemist The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    Well its not really hypocritical. There is a big difference between saving someone's life and taking it. The only possible way this can be hypocritical or "wrong" to save another's life is to believe that we all have a pre-destined time to die, which I honestly think we do-not.
    And if it was pre-ordained for someone to die on a certain day, no one would be able to stop that.
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    Well, the point is sort of that it doesn't matter what the status of the patient is. I mean, if a person, sanely, desires to end his life, that that is his choice. The property of his life is his own, which allows (or would allow) him to do whatever he wishes with it.

    Contrary, this "ultimate" liberty would be prevented in most religious environments. After all, in most religions, Life is property of God(s), which would prevent the same person to do with it whatever he likes.

    I mean, what argument would remain if life is stripped of all it's holiness and sacredness, as under aetheism? Is there any good reason to say that, if life is not property of God(s), then it would be in the hands of whoever lives it, whatever his future may hold for him?

    Euthanasia is, of course, only possible in illness. However, it's all a bit bizarre. I mean, someone can willfully refuse therapy, even if that means certain death. However, doctors aren't allowed to end the same person's life prematurely, even if the effect is much the same - but much more humane. And, again, this would make sense if the gouvernment stuck to religious laws preventing suicide - and with that - euthanasia...

    But again, when this element is removed... what remains to forbid this?
     
  8. HumanInfiltrator

    HumanInfiltrator The Book club lady

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    But how then whould you protect people from themselves? I mean, one of the only ways to have somebody suffering from some psychological problem hospitilized is if they are capable of harming themselves. The problem with saying your life is your own end it if you will is that even if that is true your mind may be twisted by grief, madness or anger and this may cause you to end your life "mistakingly". Do you now add prerequisites?

    You may end your own life if you can prove that you are of a sound mind a not so sound body and under no duress or externall influence. And what of those who are not of a sound mind? Who get's to decide for them? Their parents, children, lovers, spouse or the attending medical proffesional?
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    Oh yes, HI... I understand the problems here. I mean, there are circumstances in which you can call for your own death in a moment of insanity. I mean, these are the trouble you encounter when you want to legalise euthanasia. How does one know the genuinity of one's deathwish? I suppose there should be a psychologist involved. But still, in many countries there is no such legislation allowing euthanasia under any circumstance. Let alone have supporting structures. And what about people who've physically or mentally have lost their sanity?

    See, that's where the problem lies. These are the details that could uccur. Still, it's not a good reason to ban euthanasia alltoghether. I mean, in by far the most countries it's not Euthanasia is legal unless - but rather it's illegal period. Which is something very unexplainable when democracy preaches seperation of church and state...
     
  10. AjaxTorbin

    AjaxTorbin New Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    lets say this is the same as suicide, thats what Euthanasia is, assisted suicide.
    the most baisic freedom is choice, the most basic choice is life/death.
    the question one should ask(when restricting a freedom) is, 'does this act impair the existence of someone else.'
    note i said existence, not happieness. one has the right to pursue happieness,
    NOT to not be unhappy.
    in my country we've lost that meaning, we now think we have the right to not be offended
    (offended=unhappieness) no, something in life WILL offend, like say the loss of a loved one
    due to 'self-termination'(actual medical term)
    if one is emotinaly balanced, and willing to do it in a way that will not infringe on others,
    (like, pay for their own funeral)they should be allowed to end their own life. with help if they
    so choose.
    (i think the act of planing their own funeral would stop most)
    maybe have a three month waiting period, like buying a gun.
     
  11. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    French cancer sufferer Chantale Sebire begs French president for the right to die

    Some idiot on a message board interpreted this as "The French president doesn't have the right to kill this woman!"

    Which is blatantly stupid, because SHE is the one asking to die. This is about voluntary euthanasia, not forced euthanasia. They are totally different topics so don't anyone blur the two.

    Being an aetheist, I personally don't buy into the argument that your life belongs to god, therefore suicide is a sin. I believe if a sane, mentally competent person is in such a situation, if they pass medical checks and psychological evaluations, that they should be able to choose to end their life in dignity, with safe medical assistance. Otherwise they'll put a gun in their mouth or jump in front of a train, which will traumatise their family and anyone who witnesses it.

    I do think Ajax's idea of a waiting period is a good one, to allow people a chance to change their minds. However it shouldn't be too long, no more than a month perhaps, if they're in agony you don't want to torture someone with an arbitrary timeline decided by some random government thinktank.
     

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  12. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    I support euthanasia. I do not care what religious people think about it, I care what people think about. Religion should not have involvement in this, saying it is a form of suicide to threaten people they will go to hell if they ask for it. If one is sane of mind, but sick (and really bad) of body then they should be given this option if there is really no hope anymore to be saved. Also in cases where doctors could say that they can postpone your death, you should still be able to choose whether to postpone it or not. If you rather die now if the doctors give you a medicin that would still keep you alive, but in a miserable way, you should still have the choice of Euthanasia, again if the mind is sane.
     
  13. Blackness

    Blackness Well-Known Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    For once, i agree with you ;)

    Although i don't see the sanity of mind as a prerequisite... people dying from brain tumors, for example, should be given euthanasia ( unless ofcourse they said they didn't want one while they were sane ).
     
  14. eleni

    eleni New Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    Hi Anakin/

    I guess everyone is entitled to an opinion!
    No arguments there!
    But, let's say for arguments sake.....
    The suffering you are experiencing will not END there, but be continued to a higher suffering of which would be eternal, would you still agree 'euthanasia' to be the right way to end the suffering experinced now?

    The reason I bring this up is because I have read statements of people wanting the 'sufferings' to stop and in a dreamlike state have found themselves away from their body and taken to a place like hell, just to show them what it would be like to really suffer, and this would be eternity....of which is a very long time!
    Would your stance on 'euthanasia ' change?
    Just a thought to ponder!

    I have read many stories about 'sane' people who have listed in their will, to actually end their life by euthanasia, simply because Old is plainly too much for them to handle!
    Is that right?
    The fact remains that ALL people will get old and die one day....we can't change that!

    As for those that have experienced 'O.O.B.E,' know that not all, Is as it seems!


    eleni
     
  15. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    Yes I agree, with that Blackness, that in case for other situations such as you described with Brain Tumor and other cases where the person is not sane of mind. Well it would give me a dilemma if I had to decide for another family member or for Padmé, if I could make the decision for her to treat euthanasia. I would really drive me crazy if it was upon myself to decide. But on the other hand, if I know they are suffering so hard and they can't make the decision themselves. Would I be their saviour or their killer if I made the decision for them. A bit of both I guess. I would feel both guilt but I would also be happy they aren't suffering anymore. My guess everybody would feel a bit like this. Maybe others would be more happy or others would still doubt their decision and feel guilty about it. Depends on the situation and the individual itself.

    Eleni, I have no doubt, there is no such thing as hell. I have seen too much proof that showed me who Christ really was. And if there truly was a God I would think he was unfair for sending these people to hell in these situations. I do agree that older people shouldn't decide on euthanasia, just because they are getting older. That would just be chickening out.
     
  16. eleni

    eleni New Member

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    Anakin, God does not send people to 'hell' for the 'hell of it! it is a choice one makes in this life.
    Hell was never a place for mankind.....it was for Satan and his demons.
    You say that it would be 'unfair' for those people?
    But why?
    Faith, Hope and Love is what Christians should live by.......Faith in God,Hope that we should never fall into despair and Love that should bind all people together.....without conviction and without judgment!
    Unfortunately, not all that call themselves Christians are true followers.
    God alone will be the judge of that......each person is given a certain amount of suffering,whether it be physically or mentally,this is so we don't forget that we are mortal and that ALL of us shall one day die and meet our creator.
    To try and understand the suffering of those people that experience such despair in their time of suffering is only known to them, but if their suffering continues for eternity...what then?
    Should you then,blame God?
    I mean, did not God warn of such disbelief?
    God did not bring death to this world.....The Book of Wisdom says--For God made not death: neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.
    For he created all things, that they might have their being (Wisdom 1:13-14).
    And in the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, we read: For I desire not the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore, be converted and live (Ezekiel 13:32).
    It is regarded as wrong doing because it is an act of murder,even though it is taking of ones own life...it still is a murder.
    In certain circumstances where people have suicided, we don't know the exact persons state of mind, therefore it is not for man to judge, but God alone.

    You say that you you have seen too much proof, that has shown to you, as to who Christ really is/was?
    Im not going to ask here, as this is not my place to do so......but whatever this was/is,it seems that it has influenced your way of thinking?
    I may be wrong, but never say never!
    Well,
    looking forward to posting more...
    take care,
     
  17. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    Well in response. If we are all learned to suffer, so we realize that we are mortal, why don't we suffer equally as much. Why should another person suffer more than another? And it surely isn't categorized that the disbelievers suffer more than the ones who do believe, cause there are a lot of true followers who suffer as much or more than the one who doesn't believe in God, so that doesn't make sense. And who are you to call Euthanasia murder? Shouldn't it be seen as salvation? To end ones' suffering. Can I ask you what you think of the death penalty? Is that murder? I surely think it is, cause I see it just as taking revenge, but in this case it's not for sinful reasons. It is to release someone from unbearable pain. How can you say that it is murder or suicide? How can you decide, or any religion decide that it categorized as murder or suicide. Who Christ was hasn't influenced my way of thinking. I am someone who has ideals and believes in science, though 'belief' might not be the right word, for I always say that an idea such as in science can be changed, faith can't.
     
  18. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    I agree totally with the concept of euthanasia (or 'the good death') in the situation where the decision is voluntary, well thought through and explicit instructions are given to terminate life or at least not sustain it when the individual is suffering unbearable pain. This assumes there is no hope of there being a cure or substantial improvement in the quality of life possible.

    If you've seen someone screaming in agony even when drugged up to eyeballs with morphine for weeks as a terminal illness takes a grip then you sort of lose any faith that a caring deity is lovingly waiting to embrace their soul and ease their suffering. If there's no 'God' prepared to intervene in a timely manner, then quite frankly let each of us have the right to choose and/or look after our own!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  19. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    Well today I just came of the hospital. I went to a friend of mine who has cancer. It started with skin cancer 10 years ago, but now it has spread about everywhere. Now he just looks like he's 80 years old, can't breath properly, doesn't even recognize people anymore. He barely recognized me. It's only a matter of days, or he could even die today. In some ways I hope so, in some ways I don't. Well the problem is he didn't sign up for Euthanasia and nobody can decide to do that in his place of course. But if he did sign up for it, I would have been happy to have said goodbye today, though I do not have the comfort, believing he's going to heaven, but then again I don't have the discomfort, he's going to hell since some here compare Euthanasia to suicide. So I just wonder, why can't his wife decide it for him. It's a terrible burden to do so, but it's a huge relief for him, cause he's only suffering.
     
  20. imrhien

    imrhien The Lady of the Sorrows

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    Re: Euthanasia, Religion and Politics

    That is a very sad story Anakin. After seeing my grandfather die from cancer, I feel for anyone going through this.

    I wonder also why partners are not allowed to make this decision. It seems even before death, family members are given power to make all sorts of life/legal decisions. There have been occasions here in Australia where people (mostly children) have died, due parent’s decisions based on religious beliefs, i.e. refusing blood transfusions. It seems there is no clear line on which decisions are considered morally acceptable for a loved one to make on behalf of another.

    This fact has always bothered me since I was a young kid, I could never understand why the term humane was used in regards to euthanising a terminally ill animal, when it is not humane to do so to a human. Go figure?
     
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