Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
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09-04-2014, 12:45 PM
RE: Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
(09-04-2014 12:38 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  
(09-04-2014 12:03 PM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  On the topic of Euthanasia, I agree with Cathy that it's an issue of bodily autonomy. No one has the right to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own life and body so long as it's not harming others. I too have watched a loved one slowly die of some terrible disease for which there is no hope of recovery. I know that if I were faced with the choice of dieing slowly and painfully while those who loved me watched helplessly, or putting my affairs in order and saying my goodbyes before bowing out gracefully, I'd take the latter. Call me a coward if that makes you feel better, but no one should have to go through that amount of suffering simply to assuage your feelings on suicide.

I don't even think its always about bodily autonomy. As I said, I watched many loved ones die a very slow death. I watched my beloved uncle gasp for breath as his lungs slowly filled with fluid. The death rattle is an awful sound. While I stood by, helpless, I watched the doctor inject more morphine and I wanted to grab the medication and give my uncle a fatal dose. To end his struggle right then.

But instead we waited for his heart to stop "naturally."

Same thing with my 94 year old grandmother. She stopped eating and starved herself to death because she thought "god forgot about her" finally one morning she stroked out, and never regained consciousness. She wasn't drinking any fluids. It took her another 5 days to die. Again, while I watched her die, all I wanted to do for her was to inject an air bubble into her vein.

I remember a nurse coming out of my dad's room just as I turned up the hall. She stopped and leaned against the wall and was crying. My dad could be a bastard and I stopped to ask what was wrong in hopes that he hadn't said something awful to her (she was a wonderful nurse). She was upset because she could not give him enough meds to stop his pain without it being a fatal dose. That certainly helped me make up my mind about the right to die.

The people that can work with people at the end of their lives are made out of a lot tougher stuff than I am.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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09-04-2014, 01:49 PM
RE: Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
This question often gets compared to the way we treat our pets. Give a dog a diagnosis of cancer, and his owner often chooses to euthanize rather than make the animal suffer through even treatment, let alone an eventual and possibly painful death. But with humans, we tend to get pissed if the patient suggests not wanting treatment (disclaimer: I have some personal experience with that, my mom chose not to be treated for lung cancer for who knows how long before finally succumbing) and would prefer to end their life. A friend of my mom's was handed the diagnosis of early onset althzeimer's. He told my mom (but not his wife), spent the next few weeks getting his affairs in order, then took a walk in the woods and shot himself, such was his desire not to linger and be a burden on loved ones.

Since I've had he opportunity to ponder this subject, I think a lot of our discomfort with human euthanasia has to do with how we often set ourselves apart as a species from the rest of the animal world. We can have our secret thoughts about a person who would rather let his pet die of natural causes, maybe in pain and unable to move around well, but change his pet to his brother and those thoughts often do a 180.

As much as I'm 100% in favor of my right to decide when and even how my life should end, I find I have to support those who want to hang on as long as they can. My father used to say he wanted to live long enough to be a burden on me, but he suffered a massive heart attack at 57 and after finally convincing his wife that his worst nightmare was to live plugged into a machine which did his breathing and heartbeat for him, fed through a tube and permanently catheterized, she agreed to let him go. Which in his case meant unplugging him and letting his body give out. I think I could have been the one that pushed a massive dose of something that would simply let him go "to sleep" much the same way we do with pets, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

I don't think I want to linger and suffer through a terminal illness and have my family watch me die, potentially slowly. I think I'd rather go quickly, and let them get on with the business of moving forward, rather than living in stasis waiting for me to die. To me, that seems less cruel.
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09-04-2014, 01:57 PM
RE: Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
Good points Mat about animals and people.

My dad was a veterinarian, the ending of the suffering of animals was something he was quite familiar with, as were we kids.

I think his mind was made up for a while but he waited until he saw everyone that was coming across country to see him. He said his goodbyes and was gone, he had suffered enough.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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10-04-2014, 06:37 AM
RE: Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
Like I said day before yesterday I am not a supporter of euthanasia. Since I had to travel for work yesterday I had all day to think about this and kind of clairify my position. I think of euthanasia as others deciding when the time is right to end the life, not a person deciding to end their own life. I can understand their are end of life issues that may drive a person to take their own life. That is their decision, just do not involve others or let others decide.
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10-04-2014, 07:03 AM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2014 07:07 AM by Dom.)
RE: Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
You are not talking about euthanasia in general here, you are talking about voluntary euthanasia or better, assisted suicide, or just suicide.

I am 100% for it. Pointless suffering is pointless. Everyone should be able to decide this for themselves. No one should be able to decide this for someone else.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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10-04-2014, 07:32 AM
RE: Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
Tough call, as I'm currently dealing with this with my wife.

When we were younger and discussed Alzheimers, because her step mother had it bad, we agreed that neither of us wanted to live like that and put the other through it.

Tho, now that my wife has strong dementia and her body is rotting away, she doesnt seem to want to give up, and is continuing down a road of a miserable existence, making my life even more miserable than I thought possible.

So what to do? Let nature take its course?

In this case there isnt anything else to do, unless she decides to end it herself, then I wont interfere, nor help.

If bullshit were music some people would be a brass band.
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10-04-2014, 08:05 AM
RE: Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
(10-04-2014 07:32 AM)War Horse Wrote:  Tough call, as I'm currently dealing with this with my wife.

When we were younger and discussed Alzheimers, because her step mother had it bad, we agreed that neither of us wanted to live like that and put the other through it.

Tho, now that my wife has strong dementia and her body is rotting away, she doesnt seem to want to give up, and is continuing down a road of a miserable existence, making my life even more miserable than I thought possible.

So what to do? Let nature take its course?

In this case there isnt anything else to do, unless she decides to end it herself, then I wont interfere, nor help.

Did you have the conversation with her? During a lucid phase?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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10-04-2014, 08:14 AM
RE: Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
(09-04-2014 09:37 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  In response to a very brief conversation with Wazzel, the topic of Euthanasia came up (in response to abortion). I'm not sure if its ever been discussed before, so I apologize if I am kicking a dead horse. But if this horse is dead, than another kick won't bother him.

I admit I know little about this topic so lets start the discussion.

For or Against?

Why?



To begin, I am for the practice, as I believe it falls to bodily autonomy. I have watched loved ones die a "natural" death while they gasped their last breath after struggling to breathe for hours, often days. We ease their pain with morphine, and I do not understand why easing pain (unnaturally) is acceptable, but easing death (unnaturally) is unacceptable.

It boggles my mind the length a person might go to in order to keep someone alive, yet have a hands off approach to allowing that person to die.

Further, lets clarify one very important distinction. The word Natural is not synonymous with the word Good, or the word Better. Dying a natural death is not any better than dying through artificial means.


Go

I am for euthanasia. The practice is kept outlawed for the same reason at the pro-life movement is against abortion; becuase they feel that God is only one who should have the power to take a life (capital punishment not included).

"IN THRUST WE TRUST"

"We were conservative Jews and that meant we obeyed God's Commandments until His rules became a royal pain in the ass."

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10-04-2014, 08:14 AM
RE: Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
(10-04-2014 08:05 AM)Dom Wrote:  Did you have the conversation with her? During a lucid phase?

There are no more "lucid" phases, at least none that are applicable to make such a decision regarding life or death.

We had talked about it about 10 years ago, both of us in good health.

If bullshit were music some people would be a brass band.
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10-04-2014, 08:25 AM
RE: Euthanasia - what is so wrong with death?
I don't think we can talk about this in terms of society in general without bringing up religious superstitions that tend to get in the way of a rational discussion.

1) Prematurely ending life robs God of the chance to perform a miracle healing.

2) Suicide is considered a mortal sin by some. Assisting someone with it is also.

3) Killing an "innocent" person is also a sin.

4) Life is sacred

Although...it's not like we could really thwart the plans of the Almighty. If he really wanted to show off he could always move up his time table for the healing miracle or turn it into a resurrection from the dead miracle instead.

For the mortal sin argument to work, we would need evidence that there is a hell, that some people actually go there and that suicide for any reason will always buy you a ticket to the hot place. As far as I know, they can't even use the "because my ancient book says so" argument to support the claim. It's more like a Pope at some time probably realized that life sucked for the common man and if he offed himself the church would loose out on his tithe money. Definitely not something that should influence public policy.

"Thou shalt not kill" is often interpreted as "though shalt not commit murder" to get around all the killing the Israelites were commanded to do after receiving the popular version of the ten commandments and to reduce cognitive dissonance regarding religious support for the death penalty. So, helping an innocent person die could make someone guilty of murder in the eyes of The Lord. Never mind that they will quickly claim that no one is innocent as soon as the argument turns to the problem of evil...

Finally, life is sacred. That might not be so bad except that they only mean breath and pulse when they say it - quality of life is irrelevant. It's like George Carlin said, "If you're pre-born, you're fine. If you're pre-school, you're fucked." From this perspective, it doesn't matter how much you're suffering, only that you keep ticking until God decides you're done. Undecided

"I feel as though the camera is almost a kind of voyeur in Mr. Beans life, and you just watch this bizarre man going about his life in the way that he wants to."

-Rowan Atkinson
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