Letting someone you love die
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27-01-2015, 04:09 PM
RE: Letting someone you love die
(26-01-2015 03:18 PM)gofish! Wrote:  But I'm curious...the lessons I'm taking away from this seem to be that even if someone is a dyed-in-the-wool fundamentalist, they are not excluded from some basic human rights of self-determination.

WTF does religion have to do with anything here, really? Religion happens to factor into your mom's decision. Yes, we don't think that's a good reason. SHE did, and it's her life. And, like I said before, religion is unlikely to have been the only factor in her choice.

Our body is the only thing we really have. Take away our power to decide about it, and we become prisoners in that flesh. We can't get out.

It is the worst fate I can think of.

Point in case is one of my aunts - she had early onset Alzheimer and by age 40 she was unable to speak or do anything but lie in bed. They put her in a "home". She stayed there for over 30 years. The only way you knew that she was aware of anything is that tears would roll down her cheeks when you left. What torture she must have suffered...

I feel very strongly about this topic, the right to die with dignity is one of the most important rights we can have.

[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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29-01-2015, 07:19 AM
RE: Letting someone you love die
(26-01-2015 04:03 PM)bemore Wrote:  I dont think it is rational thinking gofish. Its one of those rare occasions in life where there are no easy answers, especially when they conflict with our own beliefs and we have to go against them.

I think we tell ourselves and each other we did the right thing because the only alternative leads to regret.

Thanks for the thought, but actually I do think there is a rational principal - the respect of the individual and their right to define there world and ethics....which can lead to some interesting conclusions.

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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29-01-2015, 07:24 AM
RE: Letting someone you love die
(27-01-2015 04:09 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(26-01-2015 03:18 PM)gofish! Wrote:  But I'm curious...the lessons I'm taking away from this seem to be that even if someone is a dyed-in-the-wool fundamentalist, they are not excluded from some basic human rights of self-determination.

WTF does religion have to do with anything here, really? Religion happens to factor into your mom's decision. Yes, we don't think that's a good reason. SHE did, and it's her life. And, like I said before, religion is unlikely to have been the only factor in her choice.

Our body is the only thing we really have. Take away our power to decide about it, and we become prisoners in that flesh. We can't get out.

It is the worst fate I can think of.

Point in case is one of my aunts - she had early onset Alzheimer and by age 40 she was unable to speak or do anything but lie in bed. They put her in a "home". She stayed there for over 30 years. The only way you knew that she was aware of anything is that tears would roll down her cheeks when you left. What torture she must have suffered...

I feel very strongly about this topic, the right to die with dignity is one of the most important rights we can have.

I can say that for her, religion was a primary consideration: she actually did not want to die per se (after all, she survived the camps and was always full of life), but her choice precisely was not to consent to treatment she objected to on religious grounds.

But your point is well made and one with which I wholeheartedly agree. The irony is that it led an atheist to be the staunchest protector of her religious rights.

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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29-01-2015, 06:54 PM
RE: Letting someone you love die
(29-01-2015 07:24 AM)gofish! Wrote:  But your point is well made and one with which I wholeheartedly agree. The irony is that it led an atheist to be the staunchest protector of her religious rights.

I can certainly see the irony in it.

[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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21-02-2015, 04:23 PM
RE: Letting someone you love die
I would definitely respect the wishes of a family member even if they were exactly the opposite of what I'd do, just as I'd hope they would respect mine. I'm sorry about your mother.
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21-02-2015, 05:27 PM
RE: Letting someone you love die
(25-01-2015 05:55 PM)gofish! Wrote:  Preface: I considered initially putting this the Casual Coffeehouse, as it was meant to be a general discussion about what you would do. But given the nature of the topic, that people might share their own experiences, and that moreover I know not where talking about my experience is going to lead, I've erred on the side of caution and placed it here.

So, the question is this: you have someone whom you love just as much as is possible, but they're a fundamentalist and you're an atheist. Then the day comes when their life is in the balance and you have the power to choose:

1. Do as they wish, but see them die
2. Override their wishes and see them live

Case in point: my mother was a JW and since she joined the faith I had been dreading the day that I might have to withold consent for a blood transfusion, in order to respect her wishes. Being not only an atheist but a person who strongly supports the use of such techniques to prolong life, it is completely against my ethics to withold such a procedure.

Fate has a funny way of listening into your thoughts as lo and behold, I found myself with the power (including the lack of a living will) to withold treatment to my mother, now laying heavily sedated in hospital and suffering from cancrr which was only treatable with surgery. Surgery she would not get if I supported her choice to forgo blood transfusions, prohibited under the JW credo.

Knowing that there was no afterlife waiting for her, no rational reason to withhold transfusion, that when she was gone, she'd know nothing but I would mourn, and the possibility I could challenge her instruction, I nevertheless respected her wishes and watched her die.

I don't look back in regret because for me, respecting the wishes of the individual is paramount. But what do you think?

I'm curious to hear all arguments regardless of my feelings, so please feel free to offer up contrary views. But for me personally, this question is one of the most fundamental ethical questions we can ever face and one where I hope we know where we're going to stand.

You did right.

..
I was faced with pulling my mom off a ventilator -- and FORTUNATELY - my dad and two sisters all agreed that it was the right thing to do.

The doctor told me he was quite relieved - because it frequently comes down to a fight between family members - making for one ugly situation.

Living wills are the best tool to solve such problems. Not perfect - but tools rarely are.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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21-02-2015, 08:14 PM
RE: Letting someone you love die
"Who are we keeping this person alive for?". I've found this simple question can add clarity to the decision we may find ourselves facing.
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