Should Euthanasia be legal?
By reel_faerie85
On 03/03/2011 08:22:20
MODS feel free to move to an appropriate place.

I am doing some research for university and wondered what your views on Euthanasia (assisted suicide) are? It would be great if you could answer these questions for me.

Should it be legal?

Should the person who is assisting the suidice be prosecuted?

Is it legal in your country? Please explain.

In England it is illegal for anyone to assist someone to commit suicide, but as of yet there have been no prosecutions for the same. In Scotland it is not illegal.
In the USA depending on which State you are in depends on the laws. Most European countries excepting Spain and Italy have legalised Euthanasia.

Thanks for your time!!
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By Anon1234567890
On 03/03/2011 10:54:55
My grandfather starved himself to death because nobody could help him. This took weeks. He had had a stroke in 1998 after being THE most active 70-odd year old in the world, and had several more strokes after that, and it ruined him. By the end of 2002 he and my nan were both living in a nursing home as caring for him had made her physically ill as well, and dementia had set in for him. He was taken to hospital but refused to eat or drink. He had a few sips of Ribena once to placate his wife but that's all. So yes, I think one of us should have been allowed to administer something to end his suffering without the risk of prosecution. Tim knows I'd want him to do it for me and I'd do it for him. I've seen too many family members die after years of absolutely no quality of life. I don't want that for myself or anyone else where I have a say. I don't subscribe to the philosophy of "life at all costs". No life at all is better than a painful, miserable life.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By reel_faerie85
On 03/03/2011 13:09:34
Thanks guys for your opinions. I too am torn by the subject. I wouldn't want people to suffer and I believe that they have the own choices however I am also worried about abuse of the system if it was legalised. Withdrawing treatment is not illegal - however I feel this can sometimes be a lot worse than helping someone to die. I don't know if anyone here is familiar with the Liverpool Pathway of Care for the Dying Patient? Its something that is used in the UK and basically is a care plan for those who are dying and puts into place certain criteria they have to meet before fluids and food can be stopped. It is usually set up when death is believed to be imminent in the next 24-48 hours. However I have seen a patient go onto the pathway and still be alive 5 days later. She was then took back off the pathway but she was still too ill to eat or drink and was refusing artificial feeding. 3 weeks later she died. She suffered. She basically starved to death and it was awful to watch her. Surely it would have been better to continue with full medical support or to end her life quickly (of course with her permission) rather than let her die slowly like that and watch both her and her family suffer so much. But as a nurse we are trained that every life is worth fighting for and that we must do everything we can to preserve life. Its a really tough one. I think it is open to a lot of abuse but then we have also had the likes of Harold Shipman who killed hundreds of patients anyway. The likes of him will kill regardless of the laws.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By DefyingGravity
On 03/03/2011 19:04:38
I absolutely believe it should be legal. We have patients come through the ER constantly in excruciating pain with Stage 4 cancer that is going to kill them no matter what - even if a cure to cancer is discovered tomorrow - and they should be allowed to die if they want to. Overdose on Ativan and Morphine? Sounds like an AWESOME way to die. Seriously.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By CheesePlusCake
On 03/03/2011 19:10:19
I saw a movie that was "based on a true story" about a family whose baby was born very premature and was struggling to survive, and if it did survive it would likely have had so much brain damage it wouldn't be able to develop well. The parents eventually wanted to take the baby off of life support since it couldn't even breathe on its own, but the court intervened and wouldn't let them. If this is the case, would that mean that taking away life support would then be illegal, or was this maybe a special case? As for euthanasia, I am very torn. I could see it as a viable option if the person signed something before they became ill saying they'd want that... I'm just unsure of how to gauge the mental state of someone who's been sick for so long, since I'd want to be sure that it was a fully rational decision on their part, since they can't take it back. I also don't know how I'd feel about doctors who are supposed to protect lives assisting in ending them, thinking about doctors poisoning people makes me nervous (isn't euthanasia usually an injection? I could be wrong). Also, would some doctors be forced to perform euthanasia if they didn't believe in it, or would they be able to dissent? I'm not really sure how hospitals work when it comes to things like that.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By Anon1234567890
On 03/04/2011 02:20:36
I'd wager that many people wouldn't want to be euthanised by a doctor. If they could kill themselves they would, they're just not fully capable of it. They just need a bit of help; some people only need a tiny bit of help. For some ill people it would simply be a case of someone passing them some pills and helping them take a drink of water to wash them down. People want control over their life/death and that will often come right down to the MO.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By Helen
On 03/04/2011 03:59:32
Can I add that I am sure it is illegal in Scotland, being that I live here. It has never been contested in court here, but since a Scottish MSP Margo McDonald has Parkinsons it may change as a result of a Memeber's Bill. Helen
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By Cadbury_Eater
On 03/04/2011 05:24:40
^Oh my, that story made me tear up. Perfect case in point of why I think euthanasia should be legal. If the person in question was not terminally ill, they could commit suicide unassisted. However, they are too ill to end their lives, which are going to end soon anyway, why don't we let them die on their own terms? I mean they didn't pick to get their disease, or how awful/debilitating it'd be so they should at least get to choose how/when they go...
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By Christine
On 03/04/2011 08:02:09
I actually voted no, and then when I read Odessa's post I changed my mind. Life and death decisions are so difficult. I guess that is why we refer to serious stuff as, "life and death". Keep On Dancing*
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By reel_faerie85
On 03/04/2011 08:53:16
Helen - theres actually nothing defined in Scots Law with regards to suicide and assisted suicide and therefore it is not specifically illegal - however it has not been tried or tested and I am guessing they would actually use the English system and try for murder or manslaughter.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By Heart
On 03/04/2011 11:56:24
It should be legal, but IF AND ONLY IF: -the patient is declared by a court of law to be in sound mind; the court of course consulting expert witnesses, for example, a panel of psychiatrists who specialize in this area -the patient has voluntary and specifically requested it, OR has a living will stating the specific circumstances under which euthanasia should be administered -the illness truly is terminal, not just unpleasant -the patient has exhausted all other treatment options The problem I have with removing a ventilator or feeding tube is that it causes EVEN MORE suffering. You suffocate or starve to death. THAT SUCKS. I'd go that route only if the person is knocked out and in a medically induced coma or on a ton of morphine or something. The Angelique Flowers story is so freaking sad... if I was her, I would've jumped off a building. (Suicide, by the way, is also illegal. Sounds weird, but that is why police will show up if someone is threatening to harm themselves.)
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By Kekoa
On 03/04/2011 23:40:39
100% for. I think many groups of people get too hung up on the "all life is sacred and precious thing." We're not talking about doctors helping depressed people off themselves. We're talking about giving people the right to decide how they want to go, when it is for certain that the end is coming. Like Angelique pointed out, we put our freaking dogs and cats to sleep to spare them pain, but people don't deserve that? Surprise surprise, pain medicine often doesn't work on terminally ill patients and none of us can fathom what that must feel like. I believe all individuals should have both a will and a living will in place, and that everyone should have to include detailed plans for end-of-life care in these situations. If that happens, I don't see it being abused. Most doctors aren't idiots and they're terrified of lawsuits.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By lux
On 03/05/2011 01:31:31
Also, would some doctors be forced to perform euthanasia if they didn't believe in it, or would they be able to dissent? I'm not really sure how hospitals work when it comes to things like that.
I imagine a system similar to that authorising abortions could exist. In Australia, a woman requires the authorisation of two doctors before she can receive an abortion, which- I believe -is performed by a third doctor. However, doctors can refuse to sign these authorisations- my Dad is a GP and Catholic, and refers patients seeking abortions to other doctors.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By izraehl
On 04/08/2011 00:15:57
What I find very interesting in this particular debate is how to interpret non-voluntary (NOT involuntary, that's murder) euthanasia's role on the patient's autonomy. 1) Should one even consider the patient's will, even if they are not autonomous, if the situation calls for none-voluntary euthanasia? 2) If euthanasia is enacted upon the patient it is generally because of what the acting agent for the patient believes it's what the patient would do themself. Given this circumstance: - Would euthanasia then be considered a respect to the patient's autonomy? (as if they had it, because we tend to consider what they'd want even if they are currently incapable of 'wanting' anything, we aim to respect their humanity) OR - Is ending their life a disrespect to autonomy inherently because it violates something essential to the existence of autonomy: being alive? (if no, then obviously you wouldn't consider them living anyway and euthanasia is arbitrary.)
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By Heart
On 04/08/2011 13:10:52
non-voluntary (NOT involuntary, that's murder)
...what? Non-voluntary (which is not a word) and involuntary mean the same thing. You can voluntarily choose for someone to do something else for you. I didn't pierce my own ears, but I gave someone else permission to. Or for a better example, I was unconscious when I got my wisdom teeth out, but I voluntarily choose to have the operation done. Anyway... I think you're referring to euthanasia being given to incapacitated patients who are unable to communicate their wishes. When this happens, medical power of attorney passes from the individual patient to their next-of-kin. Most people who've got two licks of sense in them get this taken care of by securing a medical proxy document, and certainly terminal patients have the sense to do so. (Such a document just says "If I am to become a vegetable, XYZ has the medical power of attorney for me.") One sincerely hopes that the patient has expressed their wishes to the proxy to act in their stead. Which is why I suggest euthanasia only be administered to patients who are able to voluntarily request it, or who have specifically stated their wishes in a living will or advanced directive. I don't think anyone is suggesting we make euthanasia available for patients who have either not expressed an opinion either way (which, again, is a [i]really bad idea[/i]) or have specifically stated that they want to be kept alive in a vegetable state. That would be straight-up killing someone. [i]However,[/i] if no legal document exists, a la Terry Schaivo, the decision is up to whoever has the medical power of attorney.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By izraehl
On 04/08/2011 16:36:45
First, are you a femanon? Secondly,
non-voluntary (NOT involuntary, that's murder)
...what? Non-voluntary (which is not a word) and involuntary mean the same thing.
Stanford disagrees with you: "Our concern will be with voluntary euthanasia — that is, with those instances of euthanasia in which a clearly competent person makes a voluntary and enduring request to be helped to die. There will be occasion to mention non-voluntary euthanasia -- instances of euthanasia where a person is either not competent to, or unable to, express a wish about euthanasia and there is no one authorised to make a substituted judgment (in which case a proxy tries to choose as the no-longer-competent patient would have chosen had she remained competent) — in the context of considering the claim that permitting voluntary euthanasia will lead via a slippery slope to permitting non-voluntary euthanasia. Nothing will be said here about involuntary euthanasia, where a competent person's life is brought to an end despite an explicit expression of opposition to euthanasia, beyond saying that, no matter how honourable the perpetrator's motive, such a death is, and ought to be, unlawful." http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/euthanasia-voluntary/ here's an example of non voluntary euthanasia in law, if you're interested in such a thing: http://www.nightingalealliance.org/pdf/Dutch_Court_Decisions.pdf etc. etc. Terri Schiavo was a case of non-voluntary by the way. Involuntary and non-voluntary are quite different indeed, unless that recently changed and invalidated years of law related and philosophical literature. Involuntary euthanasia is when someone is killed against their will which is much different than non-voluntary. Try to at least attempt to know what you're talking about if you're going to form opinions. This may have helped you: http://tinyurl.com/3h7jnvu I didn't really consider anything else you wrote since you started it off so misinformed and then proceeded to include your cute little picture. Please try again later. Also, I will not acknowledge any response to this post. I will not, in fact, view this topic again.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By Heart
On 04/09/2011 23:58:30
Also, I will not acknowledge any response to this post. I will not, in fact, view this topic again.
Maturity! I love it. I also answered your question... but you were too busy quoting Stanford to notice. I would apologize about misunderstanding you, but you won't read it. Inigo Montoya frowns upon your lack of humor.
re: Should Euthanasia be legal?
By Heart
On 04/09/2011 23:59:12
Also, I will not acknowledge any response to this post. I will not, in fact, view this topic again.
Maturity! I love it. I also answered your question... but you were too busy quoting Stanford to notice. I would apologize about misunderstanding you, but you won't read it. Inigo Montoya frowns upon your lack of humor.

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