Medically assisted suicide/patient induced death

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Tinuviel, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Tinuviel

    Tinuviel New Member

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    Do you feel that a person should have the right to have a medically assisted death? Should a terminal patient be allowed to take a few pills, prescribed by a MD, to end their life? Why or why not? If you feel it should be allowed, where is the line drawn, who is a candidate for this type of intervention?
     
  2. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    Funny, I had thought about starting a thread on Euthanasia.

    From someone who has lost a father last year from cancer, I believe that if someone is of sound mind and wants to end their life, they should be able to.
     
  3. Arwen

    Arwen Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I think people should be allowed to end their lives if they are suffering that much.

    What about signing those "do not recessitate" papers? thoughts?

    I know I wouldn't wanna be a vegtable kept alive by a machine....
     
  4. Tinuviel

    Tinuviel New Member

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    My $.02. I do think that a terminally ill person should be allowed to end their life painlessly, with dignity, and with medical assistance. I do think it is a fine line to cross though. I do not feel as if any person of sound mind that wants to die should be able to get a doctor's assistance with that(at that point they need a doctor's assistance with therapy). I think that living wills are a wonderful thing. Personally, I would not want to be kept alive by machines in a vegatative state. However, I would not want a DNR(do not resuscitate) order on my charts. That is too broad for my comfort level. (i.e. If I had a heart attack and needed CPR, I would want that. )

    I do struggle with the question of whether parents should be able to make this choice for their children. What if a child is suffering horribly and has no chance for recovery? I loathe to imagine that scenario, but many have lived it. :(
     
  5. Tinuviel

    Tinuviel New Member

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    Sky, I am very sorry that you lost your father. My condolences.
     
  6. Tinuviel

    Tinuviel New Member

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    Oh no! The senility is setting in! Sky and I had parallel thoughts. (off to bleach my brain) :eek:
     
  7. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    Thank you. As terrible as this sounds, with the suffering that he went through, it was almost a relief when he died.

    Back in 1978 he had a kidney removed because of cancer, at which time they felt that they had gotten it all. A year after he retired, he went to the doctor because of a tickle in his throat. It turned out to be a malignant growth on his thyroid, and further CAT scans discovered multiple growths in his lung, pancreas, and behind his eye. Later, during the biopsys, they confirmed trhat in fact it was renal tissue that had metasticised.

    Because he was only had one kidney left, and that one was actually undersize to begin with, he had to use a combination of a milder chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. The tumor behind his eye resulted in the loss of sight because they had to remove his optic nerve, and between them scraping and irradiating his frontal lobe to get any residual cancer, he lost his ability to focus and killed his short-term memory. The pancreatic cancer gave him diabetes, where between that and the chemo he swelled from 200 to 300 pounds, and couldn't breathe well because of the lung tumor.

    Miraculously, he lived this way for another two years, bit by bit getting worse. Now, don't get me wrong, he never indicated to us that he wished to die. But if that would have been his desire, I would have wanted a doctor to help him to die. I would hate to make anyone against their will go through that.

    Because, apart from the cancer, my dad's body was pretty strong. He lived a lot longer than even his doctors expected him to. And that, to me, seemed almost like a punishment.
     
  8. Lonearcher

    Lonearcher Nocturnal

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    Skyanide,

    I'm sorry to hear about your father. My condolences to you and your family. It sounds like he really went through hell for a long time before he finally passed.

    I feel that a person that is terminally ill should be able to end their life with peace and dignity.
     
  9. Kiernan

    Kiernan New Member

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    I'm not sure how I feel about this. My first impression is that anyone terminally ill and suffering should be able to end their life.

    I don't have a terminal illness myself, but I do have a chronic illness. There have been times where I've really suffered from my illness, never to the point where I wanted to die though. Experiencing great suffering makes me understand how some people would want to just give in and die peacefully.

    The main problem I have with euthanasia is that terminally ill people are not always themselves when they have to make the decision to die. I know the last time that my illness struck, it destroyed many of the things I held dear in my life. I was really depressed for a while, not really myself. I didn't want to die, but I hesistate to think that depressed terminally ill patients are able to rationalize as well as if they were mentally healthy. Many terminally ill patients are taking medications with mind-affecting effects, such as morphine or other strong pain killers that could impair their judgement as well.

    No one should have to make a decision about taking their own life while not completely of sound mind, whether from depression, mental conditions, or medication. That's my main concern with euthanasia.

    - Kiernan

    ps. I'm fine now, my illness is back under control for the foreseeable future :)
     
  10. reem

    reem Slaps forehead "Doh!"

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    Personally I don't know where I stand in this. I've always been raised to believe that taking your own life is wrong, and that the decission of wether you live or die is not yours to make. When you die you die, but until then you keep on living no matter how bad it gets.
    But then, things aren't always as clear cut as I've been led to believe. I suppose in some cases it would be best to just let go...but only in very rare situations. Then again, I've never had to go through something like that...so I wouldn't really know what it feels like then.
    reem
     
  11. Fincayra

    Fincayra New Member

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    actually, it seems like we all think that one should end their life with peace and dignity. it's a relief for the person and to the family. people that suffer from terminal illnesses and are in a great deal of pain should decide whether or not to live, and should be backed up by the doctor's medical advice and the familial approval. im not saying that the family should be the one to veto or okay the sick person's decision, but it should help the people involved with the sick one to prepare.
    it should all depend on the extremity of the person's disease.
    Sky, that sucks deeply that your father died. well, at least he;s in a better place, heaven or paradise, or however you want to think of it. Kiernan, im sorry you have a chronic condition but it's awesome that you have it under control. is it by any chance, tourettes? just wondering - probably wrong
     
  12. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro Art House Member

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    The difference between murder and suicide is that if you commit suicide, you won't get thrown in jail.

    Unless it's just attemped suicide- then you're going to the big house.;)
     
  13. reem

    reem Slaps forehead "Doh!"

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    I was talking to a friend of mine about this and he brought up a good point: People shouldn't do it because you can never know what the outcome would be, even if the disease is terminal. Sometimes people suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses actually survive or pull through.

    The point that he was trying to make was that we can't make that decission because we don't know what the outcomes are. Yes it might be difficult to see a loved one in such a position, but it's not our desiscion to make, nor is it his. you die when you die.
    And this whole thing about dieing honorably; there is no such thing when it comes to sickness. I wouldn't commit my grandmother to death if she gets Alzheimer. I'd take care of her and make sure she's comfortable until her time comes.

    Another point my friend made was that suffering can be eased by today's medicines. There are pain killers and anti depressants...etc to ease the pain. It is up to the family to make sure that the person spends what ever time that's left as comfortable and happy as possible.

    I have to admit that after listening to him I changed my mind about the correctness of this thing.
    reem
     
  14. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro Art House Member

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    So how is killing yourself peaceful or dignified?
     
  15. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    It is compared to not remembering who you are, who your family is.

    It is compared to not worrying about p*****g or sh*****g the bed.

    It is compared to being in such agony that most drugs don't work any more.

    It is compared to losing your body functions one by one until you're blind, drooling, diabetic, can't breathe and lapsing in and out of consciousness.

    Noone is suggesting "OOoo. look, I have a hangnail, put me down", just in case there was any confusion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2004
  16. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro Art House Member

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  17. reem

    reem Slaps forehead "Doh!"

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    This is too complex a subject to discuss. I'm outta here!
    reem
     
  18. pinkflyingwalruses

    pinkflyingwalruses Beatnik

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    If someone is really suffering, I believe that it is their choice to die, if they need medical assitance, I'm all for it.
     
  19. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Well, more experience here. I am from the Netherlands, where Euthanesia is legal. About three and a half years ago, we had to make The Descicion for my mom (age 49). She suffered from ovariocarcinoma, cancer, that is. We came to the conclusion that it is better to die than to suffer inhumane and without prospect to get better. The day she signed the papers she died, though. Naturally.
    Personally I think that even only to have a choice about this, elevates the quality of life for a terminal patient. I was glad in those days that we live here where such things are legal.
     
  20. Eowyn

    Eowyn Shieldmaiden

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    I totally disagree with "Medically assisted suicide". I believe that Human life is sacred and that we don't have the right to kill our selves. I don't think that you should, or should be able, to kill anyone, and that includes yourself.
    And Turambar, it doesn't "elevates life" it does the opposite. How can terminating some ones life be elevating it? What can be lower for life than losing it?
     
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