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  • Euthanasia

    And I'm not talking about juveniles from China... :icon_lol:

    I heard on a radio show that some Scandinavian country (I always get them mixed up...) has approved euthanasia to be used on newborns with birth defects. I also heard that a "death with dignity" type of law recently passed in the UK and that someone there is calling it a "duty" for elderly people to give up their life rather than be a burden on their family or society.

    What do you all think about euthanasia in general? Is it right to cull newborns with birth defects? Should the parents be able to make this decision? Is it right for someone to tell an elderly person that they should give up their life so as not to be a burden? Is it right for an elderly person to voluntarily end their life? Does it matter if you're elderly or not? Is it ok if middle-aged people take their own life? What about teenagers?
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  • #2
    Re: Euthanasia

    Was this what you were talking about? msn article about Netherlands(Dutch) grappling with legal euthinasia: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6621588/

    Complicated subject. Starting with your questions about "is it ok for an old person(or any age) to voluntarily end their own life", I think "Yes, it's their life, they can if they want. The same way they can drink, smoke, and engage in other destructive lifestyles choices, why not allow them to take it to the extreme?"(which possibly exempts teenagers/children from voluntary ending life, as they are not allowed to smoke/drink/etc either as they are not considered able to take on that kind of responsibility)

    But I think that decision should be discouraged as much(and more) as we discourage other destructive impulses. So, no, I don't think it is ok to try and guilt old people into dieing. But I wouldn't deny an old person who DOES feel that they are a burden, from doing what they feel is right. (And remember, a whole heck of a lot of us will be old one day!! Think ahead!)

    Backing off a bit to an old person(or any age) who is on life support, should someone be allowed to remove said life support? I say, if the person's intentions can be gleaned from a living will etc, it should be respected, and yeah, that could mean allowing them to die. If a person's intentions can NOT be gleaned, then the decision should rest in the hands of a gaurdian figure(spouse first, parents next, close kin, and only if ALL other options are exhausted should the Gov't step in) and a doctor. These people would have the responsibility to decide if the person can recover, and live a reasonable life, and it *is* subjective, and it is *their* decision to make, in what they believe to be the best interest of the person on life support. (Careful who you marry! It is serious!!!!)

    Now, the article seems to imply that the Euthanasia of babies was only carried out in extreme cases of pain and suffering with no reasonable hope for abatement. We're not talking *any* birth defect here. Only those serious enough to make whatever life the child could live, not worth living. Who are THEY to make that decision?! They are the child's PARENTS. Personally, I'm very much for letting parents do what they believe to be for the best for their children, even if it goes against what *I* think would be best. When the parent's motivations stop being for the best for the child, or are blind to the facts in front of them, then intervention would be neccesary. This is why they also need the consent of the child's team of doctors(note, not just one Dr you can pay off, they imply every doctor working with the child). Checks and balances.

    So, while I am very consious of a slippery slope, bad precedent, creeping line, etc... I think that the safegaurds they put in place are designed to single out those few, exceptional, extreme cases where it would be more humane to end a childs suffering than force them to live a life of hell. I don't like it, but I find I can't condemn it either, and if (God forbid) I was ever in that situation, and I had to make that horrible decision, I'd like to decide(with the help of medical profesionals who were following ethical guidelines written by a committee who had considered the problem), not have the gov't decide for me.

    Just my thoughts... off the cuff...

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    • #3
      Re: Euthanasia

      Originally posted by eternal
      First thing I thought of was Soylent Green, it may become a reality.
      Mmmm, yummy. Steaks are so boring, anyway...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Euthanasia

        I think it's a bad idea.

        http://www.starcourse.org/euthanasia.htm
        for example.

        From another site:

        3. Euthanasia will only be voluntary, they say Emotional and psychological pressures could become overpowering for depressed or dependent people. If the choice of euthanasia is considered as good as a decision to receive care, many people will feel guilty for not choosing death. Financial considerations, added to the concern about "being a burden," could serve as powerful forces that would lead a person to "choose" euthanasia or assisted suicide.

        People for euthanasia say that voluntary euthanasia will not lead to involuntary euthanasia. They look at things as simply black and white. In real life there would be millions of situations each year where cases would not fall clearly into either category. Here are two:...
        So the argument against volunatry euthanasia a few years ago was that it would evolve into involuntary euthanasia while its supporters said that would not happen, and lo, it's happened.

        I agree that it's a heartbreaking scenario to consider. I just think the arguments against outweigh the arguments for.

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        • #5
          Re: Euthanasia

          Babies don't even begin forming neurons in the upper hemisphere of the brain until around 6-months. All their actions are controlled by the lower brainstem (instinct). I don't think any kid below the age of 1 year is aware he even exists.

          I say this with all do certainty: if I had to choose between being born with horrible physical/mental defects or not being born, I would choose non-existance. I wouldn't ever know the difference.

          Older people are a tougher call because when it's our choice, things get more complicated. The potential for abuse is large. And you have to wonder that if a person has decided to break his natural instincts and kill himself: is he stable enough to make that decision?

          As for me, I've got a .357 Magnum with Hollow-points that would do just fine if I ever needed to hurry the rush to heaven's gate.

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          • #6
            Re: Euthanasia

            I don't believe in any religion (at least any I've come in contact with so far), but I still think its important to let nature take its course.

            Babies with birth defects significant enough to cause their death die of their own natural causes, babies born with a birth defect that wouldn't cause their death should be given the chance to survive, who are we to decide who lives and who dies?

            As far as older folks go, depression, health and mental condition plays a large part in whether they have any will to live. The other thing to consider is that a lot a people who think they are on deaths door sometimes have a miraculous recovery. They would probably be glad to have not taken the suicide option.
            Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter.
            Ernest Hemingway, "On the Blue Water," Esquire, April 1936

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            • #7
              Re: Euthanasia

              I have never understood how anyone besides me should have the right to tell me I have to continue to live if I don't want to. It is none of their business. Period.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Euthanasia

                Originally posted by wickerman
                I have never understood how anyone besides me should have the right to tell me I have to continue to live if I don't want to. It is none of their business. Period.
                Heh... When I was in high school, I watched a Sheriff's deputy shoot a guy that was threatening to commit suicide. It ended up saving the jumper's life, but I found it incredibly ironic at the time...
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                • #9
                  Re: Euthanasia

                  There was a fascinating article about people jumping off the golden gate bridge in the New Yorker last year. http://newyorker.com/printable/?fact/031013fa_fact

                  On the bridge, Baldwin counted to ten and stayed frozen. He counted to ten again, then vaulted over. “I still see my hands coming off the railing,” he said. As he crossed the chord in flight, Baldwin recalls, “I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable—except for having just jumped.”

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                  • #10
                    Re: Euthanasia

                    Originally posted by leejo
                    There was a fascinating article about people jumping off the golden gate bridge in the New Yorker last year. http://newyorker.com/printable/?fact/031013fa_fact
                    ‘I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.’

                    Amazing.

                    I don't know if I'll ever understand what clinically depressed people are going through...
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                    • #11
                      Re: Euthanasia

                      a "death with dignity" type of law recently passed in the UK and that someone there is calling it a "duty" for elderly people to give up their life rather than be a burden on their family or society
                      i would like to hear who called it that and whether they phrased it in such a ridiculous way. that has no baring on the discussion.

                      the law which i think is still being discussed is a decision that has to be made when you are sound of mind. it is a legal document you make long before you are actually a vegatable or semi veg...

                      the proposal is that anyone can walk into their solicitors and in certain circumstances, (only where a quality of life is severely reduced, so not just a case of the flu, can someone make it so that medical care is withdrawn.) it is not someone killing you its the removal of aparatus that is keeping you alive. The notion being that if you cant breath by yourself then you will not breath, if you can you survive. but it must be stressded that these decisions are made before hand, its like carrying a donar card, you agree that you do not want to be kept alive by medical and scientific means if in a vegatable state.

                      i dont know the full logistics of it yet, but it is not just because they are a burden these old people are deciding top peg it. i for one am not sure about this decision i think in theory it is a good idea, i know as soon as i loose the ability to dress myself eat for myself and go to the toilet myself, i dont want to be around. i think i would put my dog to sleep if it were in such a state and i would want the same courtesy for myself. (even though this law has nothing to do with actually enducing death, merely not preventing it.)

                      but seriously the way that is worded is stupid and i would like to know which idiot said that.


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                      • #12
                        Re: Euthanasia

                        Originally posted by leejo
                        I think it's a bad idea.

                        http://www.starcourse.org/euthanasia.htm
                        for example.

                        From another site:
                        3. Euthanasia will only be voluntary, they say Emotional and psychological pressures could become overpowering for depressed or dependent people. If the choice of euthanasia is considered as good as a decision to receive care, many people will feel guilty for not choosing death. Financial considerations, added to the concern about "being a burden," could serve as powerful forces that would lead a person to "choose" euthanasia or assisted suicide.

                        People for euthanasia say that voluntary euthanasia will not lead to involuntary euthanasia. They look at things as simply black and white. In real life there would be millions of situations each year where cases would not fall clearly into either category. Here are two:...



                        So the argument against volunatry euthanasia a few years ago was that it would evolve into involuntary euthanasia while its supporters said that would not happen, and lo, it's happened.

                        I agree that it's a heartbreaking scenario to consider. I just think the arguments against outweigh the arguments for.

                        perfect example of what i am talking about, as far as i can see the Dutch are grappling with the idea that we can voluntarily ask for assistance with drugs and so on to die whilst they are in the situation.

                        the UK law has explained that instead the person must be deemed by doctors sound of mind, and they can at any time in their adult lives make this request.

                        therefore the financial burden and emotional burden is far reduced (still evident i would say) but far reduced that the alternative.

                        as for euthanasia in general, i say who the hell are we as a society to stop someone ending their own lives. suicide in general whilst tradgic (and preventable in some cases) is the persons decision. if the person in question here was fit and healthy and wanted to commit suicide, there is nothing we could do to stop it if they were that committed. the only difference when discussing things like this is the fact that the person with no quality of life who is dependent on all for everything cant do it themselves.

                        what gives you the right to take anothers life, nothing but then again what gives you the right to control anothers life. again none.


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                        • #13
                          Re: Euthanasia

                          Originally posted by wickerman
                          I have never understood how anyone besides me should have the right to tell me I have to continue to live if I don't want to. It is none of their business. Period.

                          but adress the babbies issue, i know i cant. i totally agree with you... just because some politician who livs in neverland thinks life is great, and i am living like a vegatable prisoner in my own body, why does he decide.

                          but i really dont know about the kids, i know someone with cerebral pausy (totally wrong spelling) a mate of mine from school, now his life is hard going sometimes, but he still has hopes and dreams and does things all the time that surprise me. he isnt as bad as some, but when he was a baby they had no way of knowing that.

                          im sorry i cant decide on that one. ill agree that we have the choice as fully formed human beings with independent minds, but as for a child. i cant do it.


                          www.TeamElement.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: Euthanasia

                            Well some things give me the right to take another's life - self-defense, and we in TX would argue that persons convicted of murder and other heinous crimes can be killed.

                            With regard to euthanasia, I just don't like the state getting involved. Medicine's little secret is that good doctors have known how to administer paliative care combined with cessasation of treatment to artificially support life for a long time in order to accomplish the same goal under the legal radar.

                            But when the state steps in then there are forms to complete and of course a poor person has the same "right to die" so the state will begin funding these procedures. It all gets very icky. Furthermore, why should medicine and pharmaceuticals invest billions to treat or cure these diseases that are so nicely cured by the deep sleep? While suffering is tragic, it's also a hell of a motivator.

                            We have also already witnessed the slippery slope - 1st voluntary euthanasia happened, now involuntary euthanasia is happening in the Netherlands. When do we start to consider not only victims of uncurable diseases but people suffering from BARELY curable diseases. Pancreatic cancer, for example. What % survivability is sufficiently low to cash it in?

                            It's just not a good plan.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Euthanasia

                              yeah but do you want to be the one who advanes medical science by suffering and ding anyway. i know i dont. and you just replaced one way the government steps in by another. its not a solution its just easier to say no from a distance.


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