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Euthanasia


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#1 DSTM

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 01:52 AM

Should Euthanasia be available to those who request such?
Who should make the ultimate decision?
Do you think it's kind to let loved ones suffer.
Are religious beliefs more important than human dignity?
Is turning off ones life support, a form of euthanasia?
Is it right for doctors to resuscitate a patient,even after they
have stopped breathing?
I have seen relatives brought back to life,only to see them
die again.
If they are riddled with cancer,and absolutely no hope of recovery,
what is the point to die two or three times over?


DSTM.

Edited by DSTM, 24 November 2006 - 02:29 AM.















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#2 MaraM

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 02:32 AM

DSTM, I think of these things as sort of seperate, although the situation of Euthanasia and 'Heroic Measures' can surely overlap at times.

'Heroic Measures' taken by Ambulance Attendants/Firefighters, etc are wonderful things and thank goodness we have them!!

'Heroic Measures' in a hospital situation can also be wonderful things - if applied to those that have a future if these measures work and the quality of life/future awaiting the patient is going to be something that they want.

'Unwanted Heroic Measures' re a hospital situation ... well, and the decision about that 'future' and the wanted quality of it should surely be made by all of us while we still can. (What horrible things happen when mom/dad/aunt Betty or whomever is on their 'death's bed' and the family breaks apart while arguing what mom/dad/aunt Betty may or may not have wanted! Surely this could be one of the greatest gifts we can give those we love is to make this decision ahead of time, while we still can?).

'Euthanisia' - well, I think of that as something requested by a person who is mentally cogniative yet wish to die and are unable to physically do so themselves. It - Euthanasia - is illegal here in Canada - but I'm ever so certain it quietly goes on in various ways. (An example of 'Euthanisia', for me, at least, would be someone who is suddenly made a quadrapalegic and no longer wishes to live. What a horror for that person and how hard it must be for the person being asked to 'help'). But to answer your question, yes, I do believe that a person such as the example above has the right to make his or her choice and to die with dignity.
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#3 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 05:13 PM

I'm with MaraM on this one regarding euthinasia.

I think that if someone wants to die, they should be able to (especially if they're elderly or put into a position where life would be incredibly difficult from then on). I personally have already told my family and friends that if i were to ever become a vegetable, or be put into a "permanent" coma, they should go ahead and just let me die. I don't want to "live" without being able to LIVE my life. I don't want to spend the rest of my days stuck in bed having to rely on others. That's a drain on both me AND those that must take care of me.

As for those that don't have the ability to decide for themselves, such as those people that became catatonic (or whatever you call it) before making the decision, that's definately a tough question. I'd say it's up to the person's IMMEDIATE family (spouse, children (if old enough)), then up to their parents/siblings. Of course, the person's "BFF" is ALWAYS the top priority (south park reference). :thumbsup:

As most people here probably know, i DEFINATELY wouldn't put religious beliefs before dignity or logic. If someone's been so damaged that they have extremely limited use of their mind and body, i see no harm in "letting them go". The whole thing w/ teri schiavo was a fiasco. They should've let her go LONG before the media explosion....

#4 kbk

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 07:23 PM

I wrote a paper on this in 9th grade, got an A too, but since my other website was removed for some reason I can't get it anymore. Anyway, I think euthanasia is wonderful, I personally would not want to be kept alive by a bunch of machines, I've told my parents countless times that if I'm in that situation to pull the plug. I say it all depends on the personal wishes of the person, also the condition they are in if they never specified one way or another. The family has a definitive right to make a decision based on what they think the loved one would want, and their decision should be final and not disputed.
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#5 Orange Blossom

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 07:55 PM

I separate extreme measures to keep someone 'alive,' which I call prolonging dying, from euthanasia. I view these as separate things, though I know that others do not.

It is important to discuss end of life issues with one's loved ones and to include one's spiritual advisors or equivalent in those discussions. Here in Indiana, there are documents called living wills. There are separate documents in the case of an accident or in the case of illness. The person while in his or her sane and sound mind fills these out and files them with his or her physician, the hospital, the spiritual advisor or equivalent, keeps a copy in the freezer (yes the freezer), and with what is called a "medical power of attorney." This is different from a regular power of attorney, and the powers of the medical power of attorney cease upon the death of the person in question. The medical power of attorney has the authority, granted by the person, to determine what medical assistance the person should receive when that person is unable to make his or her wishes known. Note: family members are not necessarily the best people to make those decisions as family members may not agree with what YOU want. For example: I would never entrust my brother with making those decisions for me, and I think the opposite is true as well. We simply hold opposite views on this issue, and I do not think it is right to cause a loved one to make decisions opposite to his or her convictions or to make that loved one make a decision in opposition to what he or she knows the other really has decided.

It is important to revisit these documents on a regular basis. What you may decide when you are say 40 may be very different when you are 50 or 60 or 80 or whatever.

It is important to have a doctor who agrees with your end-of-life beliefs in order to avoid potential frictions. Such frictions have occurred.

These documents are very important. It is much easier legally to keep the machinery from being hooked up in the first place, than to have the plugs pulled. It is also easier to refuse chemotherapy etc. than to stop treatments after they have started. Personally, I don't view pulling the plug or refusing chemotherapy or tranplants etc. as euthanasia, but others do.

Note: In Indiana at least, by law if one is in an accident, they have to hook you up to brain scan and some other machinery for 24 hours. What happens after that is determined by what is in the end of life in case of accident papers. If no papers are on file, hospitals tend to keep the machinery and so forth going, unless - and I'm being cynical here - the person has no family, no insurance, or no money.
----------
Now as for euthanasia that isn't a matter of unplugging machinery or refusing chemotherapy etc. I personally don't agree with it. This I view as a form of assisted killing. No, I don't think patients should needlessly suffer, and caregivers should provide what is necessary to alleviate suffering, but not to deliberately end the life.

Orange Blossom :thumbsup:
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#6 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 10:50 PM

All hope is lost to live when you STOP fighting.

Even cancer can be beaten. Many have lived through it even when the doctors said they has not time to live.

#7 Orange Blossom

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 11:38 PM

Aye, I know people who have pulled out of cancer also. Jose Carrerres (spelling?) is an example. He is in complete remission from leukemia after a terrible bone marrow transplant and is back to singing. On the other hand, I've seen people suffering significantly more from the cancer treatments than from the cancer and still didn't live any longer. How people react to treatment partly depends on the stage of cancer and what kind it is. It also depends on how people react to medicines etc. I personally get terribly ill from many medications, even over the counter medications, that many other people find commonplace and very helpful.

Personally, I'd rather live more fully, actively and shorter than longer and less fully and active. It's not a matter of giving up for me, just a matter of preference.

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#8 MaraM

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 12:25 AM

This is NOT a comment against your post, CGM, honestly it's not, as I suspect you know that there are no definites when it comes to cancer or many other serious illnesses.

But for some, they truly believe that, for instance, "cancer can be beaten". Period. And if a person doesn't beat it, it's because they either gave up, didn't eat the right foods, didn't have enough faith, or another reason. Which, in turn, often increases the guilt for the person who is dying and for the family watching them go through this horror.

I've watched my mother and brother and two precious friends die horrible and slow agonizing deaths from cancer - and in each case, they were not diagnosed until Stage 3 or even Stage 4 and even though they gave it everything, the agony and death won in the end. Sometimes life is just plain cruel and other times magic happens,

Although I agree that there are times Euthanisa crosses over to 'murder' (such as when the ill person is no longer cogniative to make the decision), there are rare times when 'murder' (in this context) can be the greatest kindness of all. (And no, I never murdered any of these family members - gentle smile. In fact, each choose to fight to the 'bitter end' and I stood by their decision all the way).

PM to Heretic Monkey ... could you please explain what ""BFF" stands for? (Sorry, but I didn't watch South Park). Thanks.
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#9 locally pwned

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 11:12 AM

Sometimes life is just plain cruel and other times magic happens,


That says it all, Mara...
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#10 sq2

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 11:54 AM

Should Euthanasia be available to those who request such?


We as a society don't have a problem with putting a pet down when that pet has been severely injured or is suffering from some sort of disease, but when it comes down to euthanasizing a human being than we seem to have a problem with it. I think a person has a right to die if they are suffering and their quality of life is gone, after all it is that persons life and no one else should make that decision but the person who is suffering or a close family member.

Who should make the ultimate decision?


Me and my wife have made arrangements, that if one of us falls victim to a disease or injury that leaves either one of us in a vegetable or severely suffering state, then the surviving spouse makes the decision to end life. My wife knows that I do not want to live under these circumstances and vice versa.

Do you think it's kind to let loved ones suffer.


I do not want see any of my loved ones to suffer and if I had to make a decision to end their life, I would do it without hesitation. I would want them to do the same for me.

Are religious beliefs more important than human dignity?


I was raised up in a very religious atmosphere, but I am more than willing to put my beliefs to the side if a decision has to be made involving a family member suffering. If I have to make a decision than I guess I will take my chances when I stand before the Man Himself one day.

Is turning off ones life support, a form of euthanasia?


Yes it is, because you are ending their life.

Is it right for doctors to resuscitate a patient,even after they
have stopped breathing?


It depends on the circumstances. If there is no hope of recovery, then I say let them die.

#11 DSTM

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 12:55 PM

Thanks sq2 for your responses to each sub title,and of course all the opinions posted.
My wife and I agree with your thoughts exactly.I am sick of the pain of watching loved ones suffer.
It makes one feel so helpless to watch them slowly die,and there is not a thing you can do to help them.
When there is absolutely no possible hope of recovery, then I think the kindest thing is to end their suffering.


DSTM.

Edited by DSTM, 25 November 2006 - 03:16 PM.















#12 MaraM

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 01:59 PM

Everyone posting here has renewed my faith in humanity, truly it has. And Orange Blossom made some great points as to the legality of our beliefs being permitted to happen - in particular, "It is important to have a doctor who agrees with your end-of-life beliefs in order to avoid potential frictions. Such frictions have occurred".

In fact, this is truly vital. Some doctors feel very strongly about this subject and it won't matter a bit what you or your family may have wanted if it goes against their personal beliefs - and by the time your family gets another doctor involved - well, this is far from easy as doctor's don't like to tread where other doctor's have walked.

In fact, some doctors also have very strong beliefs in administering strong pain-killers such as morphine - another reason to ensure a head of time that your doctor feels similar about such things. (Taking 3 full days to 'force' a physician by using threats to hospital administration of full page 'ads' in the newspaper got the desired results, but in the interim, a precious woman, with no hope of survivial at all, suffered in excruciating agony).

And things worsen for both the ill person and those that love him or her if they are not in an acute hospital setting. Many States and Provinces will charge any person in attendance when someone chooses to die. Leaving some, if they can manage it physically, to die alone rather than risk prison for those they love so much.
If only our governments would share in the humanity of those who have posted here - heavy sigh.
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#13 jgweed

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 02:18 PM

In the original Greek, euthanasia means "good death" and by extension, a painless death. It seems to me, that if one believes that an individual has the inherent right to defend himself and his life, to decide his own course of action in his pursuit of happiness and to live as freely as possible given that he lives in society, then an individual also has the right, if he wants to exercise it, to make choices about how and when he is to die.
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#14 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 04:23 PM

So freedom of life = freedom of death. If you have one, you should have the other :thumbsup:

#15 drivingmecrazy

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 05:32 PM

My grandmother and her four sisters, and my mother and her sister all died of cancer at a very early age. Some of them died quickly and/or with their dignity intact, but others (my great aunt especially - I was a tiny child and it still pains) had a slow lingering death, every vestige of dignity had been stripped from them and they needed help with the most basic of functions.

My great aunt, who had been a statuesque, gracious lady was reduced to a skeletal and mental shadow of her former self. She knew she was dying and wanted to die but she had to continue suffering and deteriorating. Would I have ended her suffering if I could? You bet I would.

For whom is prolonging life beneficial in these circumstances? Certainly not the sufferer.

My mother (at the time totally mentally alert) requested 'no rescusitation' and it caused a family row because some of the family insisted she should be kept alive for as long as possible and some (including me) felt that to do so was selfish in the extreme. Just because it is possible to prolong life doesn't mean it's correct.

I know that some of my relatives would have opted for euthanasia, had it been an option, as I would in a similar situation. The alternative would be cruel in the extreme - I would want to be remembered as a vibrant human being not a breathing corpse.

Sorry, people, to be so dismal but with experience like this I truly know that euthanasia is absolutely right under certain conditions.

By the way, my motive in telling this tale hasn't been to evoke sympathy - life happens.




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