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SugarBlossom
04-05-2006, 21:27
Hey everyone,

I've been reading a book about a lady with cancer who euthinised herself, and it broke my heart as the person who helped her got charged with her murder.:no:

IMO, if someone is in that much pain they should be allowed to take their life, as it's theirs to take.

To me quality of life is far more important than quantity.

Whats your opinion?

MammaMia
04-05-2006, 21:33
Whilst I haven't been there, and I have no difficulty with pain management that has a side effect of hastening inevitable death, I think euthanasia is a slippery slope.

Difficult area to balance and I prefer to stick with the blanket approach regarding the sanctity of life. I have the same approach regarding sanctity of life for issues such as suicide, and capital punishment.

I guess your answer will depend upon what your beliefs are regarding the value of this life, in all its variations, and your perspective on any after-life.

WeThree
04-05-2006, 21:43
mmm, definetly a hot topic, and one that lots of people can feel passionate about either way.
I personally dont agree with it, like mammamia, I see nothing wrong with giving as much pain relief as possible to keep someone who is in their last days comfortable, but I think legalised euthansia would only create the opportunity for more unscrupulous members of society to do away with unwanted relatives.
If someone is capable of and wants to end their own life, how can anyone else stop them? but to ask someone to assist, or allow people to assist is only asking for trouble and/or heartache, besides, since when did getting put down like a dog become a dignified way to die?

Ana Gram
04-05-2006, 21:45
Dying is sometimes not the easiest thing. If I was ever at the stage where every second was agonising pain, then I would be all for ending it. To me that's not living. All my family knows that if I was ever in an accident and needed life support, that I would want them to pull the plug.

Ana Gram
04-05-2006, 21:48
If someone is capable of and wants to end their own life, how can anyone else stop them? but to ask someone to assist, or allow people to assist is only asking for trouble and/or heartache, besides, since when did getting put down like a dog become a dignified way to die?

It's when it gets to the point where the person cannot do anything for themselves, including suicide when they ask for assistance.

By the same token, we wouldn't expect a dog to suffer why do we expect our own flesh and blood to?

Worm'sMum
04-05-2006, 21:49
I agree with you Little Buddah baby....I have watched a few loved ones die from illnesses now, and it's not something you want to see them go through...I don't know if I could personally do it myself or assist someone, but I think that right should be there. I know it's a fine line between out and out suicide, but not everything is black and white IYKWIM?? It's heartbreaking seeing someone in pain, nearing death and if they wish to leave this world in their own way, who are we to stop them?

EskimoMumma
04-05-2006, 21:49
I am not too sure.. :confused:

CJJHRA
04-05-2006, 21:50
we wouldn't expect a dog to suffer why do we expect our own flesh and blood to?

ooo, now that, I believe, is a very good point there! And animals cant even speak for themselves

SugarBlossom
04-05-2006, 21:54
I understand your veiw coopsntilly but I think that it is more dignified to end life before the quality in non exsistant:) .

It would obviously have to be controlled by laws and done in a supervised environment other wise, as you said, people would do away with in laws (:idea: hehe) and other less torreleble family members!

If my partner asked me to help him....I would cos I love him and don't want to see him suffer

WeThree
04-05-2006, 21:56
It's when it gets to the point where the person cannot do anything for themselves, including suicide when they ask for assistance.

By the same token, we wouldn't expect a dog to suffer why do we expect our own flesh and blood to?

There is no reason for anyone to suffer a painful death these days, there are plenty of drugs available to ensure that someone in their last days is completly peaceful and pain free, as I said im all for giving people as much of these drugs as possible, even if it means speading up an inevitable death, but I just think the whole idea of assisted suicide opens up the door to others using it to their own advantage, either because they dont want the burden anymore or for financial gain.

reAllytee
04-05-2006, 21:58
Ok well my experience is after watching my father die a horrible cruel death that it should be legalised but as the others have said it is a slippery slope & really needs to be carefully done etc so its very hard.
When my mother finally had the guts to tell the doctors to stop poking & prodding my father & giving us false hope we felt a weight life off our shoulders & even the palliative care staff clapped us ( we had really over bearing doctors ) the nurses then will all their love & care helped us come to terms with the meds they would be using to make him slip away yes a little faster but basically in an induced coma so in some ways it is euthansia but i bless morphine to this day.
We watched my father wither, we watched his body slowly shut down all the while washing his face to at least do "something" for him he lost all dignity in those final days.
I watched him take his last breath & it haunts me to this very day & i refuse to allow my family or friends to go through any of that if & when the time comes.

A year later i watched the same thing happen with my grandfather but with a different set of nursing staff who were rude & had no feeling whatsoever ( i wont go into his story as its too heartbreaking ) it makes me sick the way my father died & that was with great staff but when it came to my grandfather it was a disgrace. My grandfather was a great man & what he went through was very wrong.

SugarBlossom
04-05-2006, 22:03
Good point chellegoth!

Most people wouldn't hesitate to put an animal out of its misery, but can;t do that with our own kind?:confused:

reAllytee
04-05-2006, 22:03
There is no reason for anyone to suffer a painful death these days, there are plenty of drugs available to ensure that someone in their last days is completly peaceful and pain free


Thats not entirely true with my dad even though he was in a morphine coma you could see the pain in his face & it was hard to take every breath for him & he was highly doped up with as much as they could give him.
So even though it seems like we can make their life peaceful & drug free its not always like that.

Ana Gram
04-05-2006, 22:04
The main problem is that you build up a tolerance to pain medication no matter how strong it is, so people at the tail end of diseases like cancer and who are on pain medication like morphine are still in a great deal of pain. There is a limit to how much drugs can be given without killing someone, and quite often they people who do want to die are at the end of this limit.

And once that limit is crossed the autopsy report will show that the drugs killed the person rather than the disease, which could be considered euthanaisa. I think there is a lot of grey areas here.

SugarBlossom
04-05-2006, 22:04
Drugs cannot stop all pain:no:

MammaMia
04-05-2006, 22:08
Good point chellegoth!

Most people wouldn't hesitate to put an animal out of its misery, but can;t do that with our own kind?:confused:

Perhaps because an animal is not a human... hence the reason that animals are treated differently from people in all other ways of life. We are not animals - we are complex people with complex relationships, we are people of influence, with hearts, souls & spirits.

I think that argument is about comparing apples with oranges...can't compare because they are fundamentally different.

Frankly, regardless of what my views are on euthanasia, I don't think it strengthens the argument for it to compare ending the life of a human, who has impacted our world, been nurtured, loved and loved in return at a level much greater than any dog, no matter how pampered, with ending the life of an animal.

I think the argument about assisting to end the life of a human can only lie in an interpretation of compassion.

Sara's Boys
04-05-2006, 22:29
I would have to say I agree. After watching 4 of my dear relatives go through terminal illness, to various type of cancer, and hearing them beg in their last monthes/ years for "some thing to take them" away from their suffering, sadness and excrutiating pain. Morphine can only do so much.

As Religious people are usually the ones who disagree with euthanasia, it angers and annoys me. To me there is no God, just good and bad energy and beautiful and harsh nature. Pain and suffering is REAL. Praying to some imaginary or spiritual being doesn't make it any better.

And until those people are sitting there counting the days til their pain and suffering ends, watching their loved ones suffer with them, only then will they know, that NOTHING can really help you.

I do however believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I hope this post doesn't offend to many people. Because this is my life experience.

We should all have a choice.And it's very hard to imagine..But if some one wants to die....don't you think it must be pretty horrible to get to that stage.

My Dad is dying, a ver slow and tragic death. He contracted Hep C through a blood transfusion 17 years ago. They only found it 2 years ago. He has a genotype that doesn't respond to treatment at all. However he gave it a go, hoping for a miracle, hoping to see my first sone grow into a young man. He went through two 8month bouts of kemotherapy, every second day. It didn't work.

I don't wish to ever m ake a call on his life, but I would understand his decision. It's hard enough for all of us to hold back the tears,when we talk about the future and my son, but it's harder to know that my son will have his last memories of his nonno as a sick dying man, who can't even remember any ones name because he is on so much medication.

I hope this can shed a litltle light on this topic to all the people who disagree but haven't suffered the way my family and I have, and will.

Mister Noodle
04-05-2006, 22:32
There's more than just pain, as well.

Paralysis. Incontinence. Having to have your bowels manually cleared every day. Convulsions. Continuous intolerable nausea. Stinking bedsores the size of your hand. Insects crawling under your skin. Involuntary screaming fits. Progressive dementia. Constant muscle spasms. Permanent respiratory distress.

Just a handful of the uncontrollable symptoms of many terminal diseases / conditions out there.

I don't see that anyone has the right to demand that people endure them against their will, especially knowing that they'll never improve. Just imagine knowing that everything will only get worse for months or even years, and knowing you can't even die.

They'd better not try to demand it of me, if I ever reach that point.

reAllytee
04-05-2006, 22:36
They'd better not try to demand it of me, if I ever reach that point.

Here here !
Thats why i think it should be an individuals right.
Nice to see you went into the nasty side of it all i hadnt dared Mr N lol.

WeThree
04-05-2006, 22:38
Mr Noodle, having spent all of my working life caring for the terminally ill and people suffering from severe dementia, I know only to well the terrible things people can suffer, and the indignities it can bring, I would never demand anyone suffer these things against their will, I just dont feel it is as clear cut as just making it legal and so be it, nor do I want to be asked to be responsible for ending someones life for them.

MammaMia
04-05-2006, 22:49
I think that it is important to realise that those who oppose euthanasia do so not because they lack compassion for or insight into the suffering of others.

The argument against euthanasia finds much of its substance in the question: how do we draw the lines in the sand that will protect our people?

For your motives may be based in your desire to ease the suffering of another, but the motivation of others may not be as pure and yet, they may hide behind euthanasia.

There is much made of drafting appropriate legislation. Let's not forget that no legislation that is drafted addresses every scenario, nor the times when BHers cry foul that the law has let the community down. The law is an imperfect solution to a difficult question. It's effectiveness is limited on such unemotional topics as contract law. How much more difficult would be it be to draft comprehensive legislation that seeks to protect and simultaneously enable a killing? Our murder, manslaughter and sexual offences are often in the media spotlight for the injustices that we see within our legal system.

I think you are putting far too much faith in a flawed system to provide an answer to a complicated and emotional subject.

Mister Noodle
04-05-2006, 23:05
The system is flawed, and the issues involved in adding to it are indeed fraught.

But the potential for future injustice is no excuse to leave existing injustice as-is. And I'd call it injustice that the law forbids us to seek a dignified death.

reAllytee
04-05-2006, 23:06
I agree with what you are all saying dont get me wrong but im more of the idea that i hope one day things can be put into motion to make this happen.

Mammamia - I would also like to add i wish i could string my words together like you do & that remind me never to get into a heated debate with you :p
Mushy brain will now exit stage left :o

SassyMummy
04-05-2006, 23:08
I think euthanasia should be legal. For sure.

I find it funny that we put an injured animals to sleep because it's the "humane thing to do," yet we just let people die out...even if they just want it to be over and done with.

I think pulling the plug on someone CAN be far more inhumane than giving them a lethal injection or whatever. What about that Terry Schaivo (I forget her name...it's something like that) woman everyone was raving on about last year? I was appalled that her EX husband was given the sole responsibility of deciding her fate. While I thought it is stupid to keep her ON life support any longer (as she had been on it for about 10 years already...), I think letting someone starve to death for over 2 weeks (which is how long she lasted I think) is SO CRUEL. If euthanasia were legal, things like that would not have to happen.

I think it should be a personal decision. Maybe when we're 18 or whatever, we can all sign something saying "I want to be euthanised" or not, and that choices made about our lives should be based upon that. It should be easy to change too (like being a donor). AND if we are able to make a conscious decision at the time, then that should over-rule our written choice.

If I were dying of Cancer, and the doctors said to me: "Stacey, in a few days you WILL die. It will be painful. You won't be able to leave the hospital. We can dope you up to your eyeballs so you won't feel too much of it...but then you'll be a bit too drowsy to pay attention to your visitors" ... (Well, they wouldn't exactly say THAT, but something similar)...then I would want to CHOOSE when to end it. I'd have everyone I love around, tell them whatever it is I needed to, let them say their goodbyes...and then ethanise myself. Or be euthanised. I dunno what the terminology is.

I dunno...I just think it's a much more humane way to let someone go...

Vespera
05-05-2006, 00:36
Little Buddah Baby - I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you are reading Mercy by Jodi Picoult??

I finished it last night and was crying so much DH woke up and asked what was wrong!

As for the original question I agree with Euthanasia, if you are in that much pain and there is no cure the choice should be yours.

MammaMia
05-05-2006, 04:57
The system is flawed, and the issues involved in adding to it are indeed fraught.

But the potential for future injustice is no excuse to leave existing injustice as-is. And I'd call it injustice that the law forbids us to seek a dignified death.

You must accept that the legal system is what it is: the system in its ideal form is based upon the premise that the potential for injustice is to be avoided at all costs. This is how we reached the requisite standard of proof in our most serious matters, involving issues surrounding the death of people - beyond all reasonable doubt. The underlying principle is that it is better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer. And it is on these principles that the potential for injustice can never be overlooked in determining the policy that will underpin any legislation to be drafted on euthanasia.

I do not believe it is possible to construct guidelines that will adequately protect people from either pain, suffering or unwanted intervention by others. We are talking about people who are in a vulnerable position, emotionally and physically. Who will speak for them if someone decides to euthanise them? Our laws haven't protected our elderly from children and carers who hold their power of attorney and place them in nursing homes; children who prematurely enjoy the fruits of their parents labour, spend their money and give no further thought to the financial, physical or emotional needs of their dependant loved ones. If our laws have not been able to protect people from financial predators on this level, how will they adequately protect people in the euthanasia debate? The simple answer is they won't.

You can talk about ideals, but you can never forget the reality of the imperfect world we live in and the impure motives of some of those who stand side by side with our idealists.

MumsieMel
05-05-2006, 05:46
i think it should have it place. :yes:

[Mod] veve
05-05-2006, 06:39
hmm certainly a controversial issue,...

my dad once said to me that if it got to the stage where someone else had to wipe his bum I had to take him out to the paddock and shoot him (he is still alive fit and definatley kicking... so I haven't had to think about it yet :laughing: ) ... I couldn't of course... but now that I am older I can certainly appreciate his view..

I'm definately pre euthanasia... but ONLY if it is a legal system (eg I should be able to sign a form NOW giving a particular person - or two- eg mum and DH permission to end my life in certain conditions) - it is really sad that a patient can reach a condition where they are simply too impaired with injury that they cant take their own life :(

if I am ever totally dependent on machines I have instructed my mum and DH to switch them off- with no guilt... I dont want to be a drain on my DH or my children... I want them to remember a happy mummy- not one that is wasting away to nothing with limited intellect.. :crying:

JMO ..

xxx

melfunction
05-05-2006, 07:27
Mr Noodle, having spent all of my working life caring for the terminally ill and people suffering from severe dementia, I know only to well the terrible things people can suffer, and the indignities it can bring, I would never demand anyone suffer these things against their will, I just dont feel it is as clear cut as just making it legal and so be it, nor do I want to be asked to be responsible for ending someones life for them.


It is one thing to care for terminally ill people in your working life, but it a completely different story when you are 15 yrs old and the terminally ill person is your mother.
Do I believe in euthanasia? Damn right I do.

SugarBlossom
05-05-2006, 07:45
OMG mr noodle, I think we agree on something for the first time!:smiliedance:

reAllytee
05-05-2006, 07:49
OMG mr noodle, I think we agree on something for the first time!:smiliedance:

Scary when that happens isnt it :p

sharvs
05-05-2006, 08:15
I think it should be legal but controlled.

My uncle was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. His family & friends had to watch him diminish from a fit man, to a shell who didn't know anyone, who he was & was in constant pain. My poor aunty had to watch her husband die over a period of 6 months - it nearly killed her to watch.

Why is it we will put down a sick animal & yet we wont allow our loved ones to recieve the same compassion?

My aunty now swears that if she is ever diagnosed with a serious health problem, she is going to take a bottle of pills with a bottle of champagne & not put anyone through what she went through.

sopolicha
05-05-2006, 08:27
since when did getting put down like a dog become a dignified way to die?

I think comparing ending a terminally ill persons to a dog is an affront to any person who has watched someone die. The person is not being put down, they are being released from the unimaginable pain that they are suffering. They are being released from their own suffering and watching the suffering of their family and friends that they know they are causing.


I know only to well the terrible things people can suffer, and the indignities it can bring, I would never demand anyone suffer these things against their will.

The reality of the situation is that terminally ill patients are suffering these indignities against their will. No one signs up for a terminal illness.

I think if you are in situation where you are terminally ill and you are going to die, you should be able to be euthanised.

Why can't we legalise it? With extremely strict guidelines and protocols in place why can't it work? Because of the 'Sanctity of Life' we hear so much about from religious groups, or because of scaremongering such as
unscrupulous members of society to do away with unwanted relatives.


In reality how much of it goes on now anyway?

Aquamarine
05-05-2006, 09:00
That is a really hard question to answer.
I have always been opposed to Euthanasia but it is hard to say for sure.
If one of my nearest and dearest was in that much pain, and suffering more than they can bare, what's to say I wouldn't crumble and agree.

It is easy enough to voice opinions on it now but if you were actually living it what's to say your attitude may not change.

Very recently we were helping to care for my grandfather who was dying of kidney failure. It was such a hard an emotional time for all of us, especially my mother who was there everyday changing sheets etc etc. Seeing someone you love suffering is very very hard but we also received alot of positive things out of it to. Alot of spiritual things happened around this time, and after he passed, that were very uplifting and will remain in our hearts and minds forever.

I don't agree with Euthanasia but I guess every case is different.
You just never know what the future holds.:confused:

Mister Noodle
05-05-2006, 09:04
What does the person doing the suffering receive out of it?

This isn't done for the sake of those who merely have to see suffering...

Angelmist♥
05-05-2006, 09:16
Perhaps because an animal is not a human... hence the reason that animals are treated differently from people in all other ways of life. We are not animals - we are complex people with complex relationships, we are people of influence, with hearts, souls & spirits.

I think that argument is about comparing apples with oranges...can't compare because they are fundamentally different.

Frankly, regardless of what my views are on euthanasia, I don't think it strengthens the argument for it to compare ending the life of a human, who has impacted our world, been nurtured, loved and loved in return at a level much greater than any dog, no matter how pampered, with ending the life of an animal.


Hmm sorry MamaMia,

I just had to point out that every horse or dog I've ever owned definitely possessed thier very own individual heart, soul and spirit.;) Most of them, I would put over some humans any day!

I don't agree with taking your own life, but if your spirit/ soul has died, or you are unable to acknowledge your family/relationships why should your body carry on?? IYKWIM.

Mum2Lucas
05-05-2006, 09:26
I do believe that the terminally ill, once the illness has gotten to the point when they're in constant pain, should have a choice whether they want to go before it gets any worse.

But did you know that in some cases in hospital they give overdoses of morphine to a certain extent.
My grandad spent 3 weeks in hospital before he died at the beginning of the year, He had cerebral ataxia ( which eventually leads to paralysis and organ shutdown before death) and leukemia. We were told in the final days that when it was time and he asked for some pain relief that they do give them the morphine and just give them that little bit extra and they go to sleep and dont wake up.
Even if he had lived longer and the cerebral ataxia had paralised him and all he could do was lie in a bed, if he asked I would do it, but only if that's what he wanted, I would've with my grandma too when she died of cancer 10 years ago.
If i had no quality of life or was terminally ill and euthanasia was legal I would in fact ask to be euthenised.

Aquamarine
05-05-2006, 11:38
What does the person doing the suffering receive out of it?

This isn't done for the sake of those who merely have to see suffering...

Of course it isn't done for the people who see the suffering. Do you seriously think I am that naive not to know that???

I made a point saying that I have never been in a position of choice over Euthanasing someone and I cannot seriously say whether I could agree or not!

Of course it is all about the person who IS suffering!

I was merely trying to make points from my side. I was in no way stating that the people seeing the suffering are the ones to feel sorry for more than the person who is suffering. Goodness me!

I have been around several people who were dying and all the sympathy I have in me goes to out these people!

Cinta
05-05-2006, 11:42
I think that Euthanasia should definately be legal.

Chellegoth has some very good points.

Taking drugs isn't going to take away all of the pain. In many cases the pain is so severe that the drugs don't do much at all. If someone is terminally ill and in constant pain every day, why should we take away their choice to be able to die. It is their life, if they don't want to live in that way they shouldnt have to. Its not like the time before they pass away is quality time spent on earth. Imagine just waiting around to die in constant pain, not being able to do anything for yourself.

Let me ask you this CoopsnTilly. If you were in constant pain knowing that you were going to die and couldn't do anything for yourself would you seriously not consider euthanasia?? I think that if you were put in their situationthen you would deeply consider it.

Think about it. No meaning or point to your life. Just waiting around to die. Not the most pleasant thing to do. No hope at all in your life that you will miraculously (spelling?) recover.

Imagine friends and family of the person in question. It would be a heck of a lot easier for them knowing that your not in pain, your out of misery. It would be a lot of strain on them the whole time that you are in pain and waiting to die.

Would you want to be a burden on your family? You may say now that they wouldnt be a burden but i can tell you right now...they would be. I know if someone i knew was like that, secretly i would be hoping for them to die peacefully away by giving a lethal injection rather than seeing my loved one depressed, lonely, in pain, misery etc.

Just my opinion. :)

WeThree
05-05-2006, 11:50
I think comparing ending a terminally ill persons to a dog is an affront to any person who has watched someone die. The person is not being put down, they are being released from the unimaginable pain that they are suffering. They are being released from their own suffering and watching the suffering of their family and friends that they know they are causing.

I wasnt comparing it to a dog Sop, just the opposite, my point was that a human life, your mother, father or someone else you love, is worth so much more.


The reality of the situation is that terminally ill patients are suffering these indignities against their will. No one signs up for a terminal illness.

I think if you are in situation where you are terminally ill and you are going to die, you should be able to be euthanised.

Why can't we legalise it? With extremely strict guidelines and protocols in place why can't it work? Because of the 'Sanctity of Life' we hear so much about from religious groups, or because of scaremongering such as


In reality how much of it goes on now anyway?

Of course noone signs up for a terminal illness, and as I said before, who am I to tell someone they can or cannot end their own life? I just think it is not a black and white subject, it is something that must be handled very delicately, besides its just my opinion anyway, Im certainly not forcing anyone to feel the same way as me.

WeThree
05-05-2006, 12:16
Let me ask you this CoopsnTilly. If you were in constant pain knowing that you were going to die and couldn't do anything for yourself would you seriously not consider euthanasia?? I think that if you were put in their situationthen you would deeply consider it.

Think about it. No meaning or point to your life. Just waiting around to die. Not the most pleasant thing to do. No hope at all in your life that you will miraculously (spelling?) recover.

Imagine friends and family of the person in question. It would be a heck of a lot easier for them knowing that your not in pain, your out of misery. It would be a lot of strain on them the whole time that you are in pain and waiting to die.

Would you want to be a burden on your family? You may say now that they wouldnt be a burden but i can tell you right now...they would be. I know if someone i knew was like that, secretly i would be hoping for them to die peacefully away by giving a lethal injection rather than seeing my loved one depressed, lonely, in pain, misery etc.

Just my opinion. :)

I dont know know what I would want, Im sure I maybe would want it all to end, but I just think that legalising it is not the answer, it opens up to many other cans of worms.
I also dont think that whether it is easier on family and friends because it makes them umcomfortable to watch me suffer is really a valid opint, and one that scares me when it comes to the thought of legalising euthanasia, it is not meant to be about the people around the patient, but the person themselves.
I believe that the current state of palliative care is terrible, there needs to be more services available for people to die in dignity and at peace at home, and there needs to be more caring, trained staff in nursing homes.
Mammamia summed up many of my thoughts much more eloquently than I could ever manage in her previous post,
I know that I would never see any of my family or loved ones as a burden, and that I would do everything in my power to make them as comfortable as possible.

WeThree
05-05-2006, 12:24
Let me ask you this CoopsnTilly. If you were in constant pain knowing that you were going to die and couldn't do anything for yourself would you seriously not consider euthanasia?? I think that if you were put in their situationthen you would deeply consider it.

Think about it. No meaning or point to your life. Just waiting around to die. Not the most pleasant thing to do. No hope at all in your life that you will miraculously (spelling?) recover.

Imagine friends and family of the person in question. It would be a heck of a lot easier for them knowing that your not in pain, your out of misery. It would be a lot of strain on them the whole time that you are in pain and waiting to die.

Would you want to be a burden on your family? You may say now that they wouldnt be a burden but i can tell you right now...they would be. I know if someone i knew was like that, secretly i would be hoping for them to die peacefully away by giving a lethal injection rather than seeing my loved one depressed, lonely, in pain, misery etc.

Just my opinion. :)

Mammamia posted alot of my thoughts already much more eloquently than I could ever manage, but in answer to your question, I dont know what I would do, I probably may very well want to end it all, who knows, but I do know that to argue that you are a burden on others is one of the things that scares me about legalising euthanasia, it is not about the others around a terminally ill person, it is about them, and the fact that others around you may be uncomfortable with seeing you like that shouldnt be a factor in any such decision.
I believe that more services need to be available to allow people to die in comfort and in dignity at home, and i think that there needs to be more caring, trained staff in nursing homes, Im not claiming to have any answers, or that someone should suffer unnecessarily.

Cinta
05-05-2006, 12:50
I dont know know what I would want, Im sure I maybe would want it all to end, but I just think that legalising it is not the answer, it opens up to many other cans of worms.
I also dont think that whether it is easier on family and friends because it makes them umcomfortable to watch me suffer is really a valid opint, and one that scares me when it comes to the thought of legalising euthanasia, it is not meant to be about the people around the patient, but the person themselves.
I believe that the current state of palliative care is terrible, there needs to be more services available for people to die in dignity and at peace at home, and there needs to be more caring, trained staff in nursing homes.
Mammamia summed up many of my thoughts much more eloquently than I could ever manage in her previous post,
I know that I would never see any of my family or loved ones as a burden, and that I would do everything in my power to make them as comfortable as possible.

Yes CoopnTilly but thats the thing - They would not be at peace at all, even if it was in their home they would still be in pain and the quality of life would most likely be not worth living.
Well if you are sure that you maybe would want everything to end if you were in that situation, then dont you think this option should be available for others in the situation???
I'm not saying its about the family and friends i was just making a comment on how they would think/feel.
If the person in question does not want to live in the way that they are living, should it not be their choice.
Yes, sometimes they do not have the ability to mentally make the decision by themselves and yes they would have to be very careful but it should still be made an option in my opinion. And if you are saying that you would maybe want things to end for yourself i dont get why you are judging those that would perhaps want it so harshly.

Dont mean to offend just my opinion. I have my opinion and you have yours :)

WeThree
05-05-2006, 13:14
Yes, sometimes they do not have the ability to mentally make the decision by themselves and yes they would have to be very careful but it should still be made an option in my opinion. And if you are saying that you would maybe want things to end for yourself i dont get why you are judging those that would perhaps want it so harshly.


Who am I judging? Where have I judged anyone? Where have I suggested that it is wrong of someone to want to end intolerable pain?
Yes I think life is precious, yes I think there are answers other than legalised euthanasia, but not because I cant understand or appreciate someone wanting to end their suffering.

Mister Noodle
05-05-2006, 14:14
Well, here's the thing.

If you don't legalise euthanasia, you either coerce people into prolonged, unwanted suffering, or you deny the law the power to dictate behaviour.

Neither of these are acceptable, IMV

If I were dying horribly, but anyone helping me to end it quickly would be done for murder... I don't think I could fairly ask it of them. So I have no choice, after all. Yay.

Tea Lady
05-05-2006, 14:18
I haven't read everything here (so sorry if I repeat something), but I just wanted to add that my Dad is a palliative care specialist and has already been in the very sad position of watching family put pressure on ailing family members to take options that will speed up their death (ie stop wasting the inheritance on expensive medical treatment that will only prolong the inevitable) and this is when euthanasia is illegal :shame:

Another thing is that turning off machines etc is NOT euthanasia - it is already your right to choose this option if you are ever in the situation that you are on life support (a good idea though to make an advanced health directive though so your wishes are known).

Our health system is already completely cash strapped and I would hate to ever be in a situation when vulnerable people could be nudged towards treatment that hastens their death because it wouldn't cost the government as much that way (which is what my cynical mind automatically worries would be a possiblility).

I think the measure of a culture / people is the way it treats its weakest and most vulnerable members and frankly I think that our treatment of disabled and terminally ill people is pretty bad and there should be an awful lot more invested in helping improve these peoples' lives before we make it easier to hasten their deaths.

There has been some discussion here about how people should be allowed to be put out of their misery, but I think it is important to realise that that can all to easily become "I want so and so put out of MY misery because I can't stand watching them suffer". I'm not at all saying that is the case with people who have talked about their own experience here - just saying it is a scary possiblity. :(

SugarBlossom
05-05-2006, 14:43
A few of you have missed the point completely!

Euthanasia should be up to the individual to sign their life away. No interferace from anyone...simple.

I simply cannot see how this can be taken advantage off:confused:

But we all have our own opinions:rolleyes:

I just feel so much compassion for the terminally ill, in inmense pain and waiting to die....what a terrible terrible thing. I know I would want to be put out of the misery, no question.

I can't see a down side to it.

[Mod] xkwzit
05-05-2006, 15:05
TL has said things that were on my mind too.

Let me first say that I have not voted as I honestly don't know what decision I would make. It is a very complex issue.

However, if euthanasia WAS legal, surely the potential to misuse that law exists to coerce someone into ending their life sooner than they would otherwise choose. I know that such an evil thing would not be contemplated by anyone in THIS discussion, but there are horrible ppl out there who would. I don't want to make it any easier for someone to be done away with - whether it is wholly thier choice or not. Not because I believe euthanasia to be wrong, but because I believe that legalising it creates an environment where really bad things could foreseeably happen.

JMO ;)

Cheers

WeThree
05-05-2006, 15:11
I simply cannot see how this can be taken advantage off:confused:
.

How can you not see how it can be taken advantage of?

sopolicha
05-05-2006, 15:47
I think what LBB is saying that is should be up to individual. Of course it should, no question. I can see how the problems start to mount up when individuals are coerced into making a decision against their will, which is not entirely unlikely. Because of this euthanasia will never allowed.

If euthanasia was allowed would it be seen as State sanctioned killing?

SugarBlossom
05-05-2006, 16:01
there would of course have to be laws and systems in place to assist euthanasia.

Coops, The reason that I can't see it be taken advantage off is because it's up to the individual totally.

All I'm trying to say is that euthanasia should be there for those who need it.

Cinta
05-05-2006, 16:07
A few of you have missed the point completely!

Euthanasia should be up to the individual to sign their life away. No interferace from anyone...simple.

I simply cannot see how this can be taken advantage off:confused:

But we all have our own opinions:rolleyes:

I just feel so much compassion for the terminally ill, in inmense pain and waiting to die....what a terrible terrible thing. I know I would want to be put out of the misery, no question.

I can't see a down side to it.

Its not always up to the individual, sometimes they are unable to and are not mentally able to make a big decision like that for themselves. In some cases they are not allowed to make any legal decisions as they are just not in the correct state of mind to do so.
There may be some interference from other people, i don't know how you cannot see this. For one, people may interfere and try to pursuade the person in question to go through with the euthanasia. They may want money, may not want the hassle of having their friend/family member waiting for their death etc.
However i really do think that if they want to go through with it, it should be made available to them. i know i would consider euthanasia if i was in so much pain everyday and there was no point to my life.
I do think it should be very controlled though.
Patients should have a mental health test to see if they are able to make the decision by themselves, circumstances should be evaluated, they shouldnt just let any Tom D!ck & Harry go through with it without proper research on the patient.

Chickadee
05-05-2006, 16:11
Its not always up to the individual, sometimes they are unable to and are not mentally able to make a big decision like that for themselves. In some cases they are not allowed to make any legal decisions as they are just not in the correct state of mind to do so.
The case of the American woman, in Florida(?), comes to mind. It was covered in the news the last year I think. Her husband wanted to allow her to die. Her family wanted to keep her on life support, and it was a long drawn out court battle. She was not in a position to make her wishes known. I can't remember if there was a living will or not, but I'm not sure on the legal status of those and whether they are followed or not.

MammaMia
05-05-2006, 16:33
A few of you have missed the point completely!

Euthanasia should be up to the individual to sign their life away. No interferace from anyone...simple.

I simply cannot see how this can be taken advantage off:confused:

But we all have our own opinions:rolleyes:

I just feel so much compassion for the terminally ill, in inmense pain and waiting to die....what a terrible terrible thing. I know I would want to be put out of the misery, no question.

I can't see a down side to it.

Regrettably, not that simple.

An individual's will may be overborne, particularly if they are already weak and vulnerable. You are discussing people who are unable to take the steps to end their own life without external assistance. Therefore, there will be another source of influence and power. Further, there will become open another difficulty when those that are no longer able to clearly articulate their wishes find that another person begins claiming that the person always wished for their life to be ended if they were to find themselves in this predicament. Then, we have to rely upon their wishes being honestly and accurately conveyed. This is a very subjective area and the law does not cope well with subjectivity.

We frequently see this difficulty when the Adult Guardian becomes involved... one side of the family claims this was the wish of their loved one, the other denies it. Both sides are emotional and committed to their position. Who is right? Perhaps both. I have seen a family member oscillate between asserting their desire for it to end and then swinging to the other side.

So, this can never be confined to only the wishes of an individual.

And yes, Sop - it is a State sanctioned killing.

WeThree
05-05-2006, 16:41
The case of the American woman, in Florida(?), comes to mind. It was covered in the news the last year I think. Her husband wanted to allow her to die. Her family wanted to keep her on life support, and it was a long drawn out court battle. She was not in a position to make her wishes known. I can't remember if there was a living will or not, but I'm not sure on the legal status of those and whether they are followed or not.

That particular case angered me greatly. That woman was not actually on life support, she simply had a feeding tube, and whilst basically immobile, was capable of communciating with her family through eye movements, was able to laugh, and had expressed to them various times that she wanted to live, yet her feeding tube was removed because her husband did not want to keep paying the costs of her care i imagine (even though her family was more than happy and willing to take full care of her) So her feeding tube was removed and she was starved to death.
Yes for us, her life may have seemed horrible and pointless, some of us may not wish it for ourselves, but it was her life, imo she was murdered.

SugarBlossom
05-05-2006, 16:45
Your right coops i agree with that...if she wanted to live then they should have let her, not starved her to death:mad:

That was just so inhumanely cruel

Ana Gram
05-05-2006, 17:22
That particular case angered me greatly. That woman was not actually on life support, she simply had a feeding tube, and whilst basically immobile, was capable of communciating with her family through eye movements, was able to laugh, and had expressed to them various times that she wanted to live, yet her feeding tube was removed because her husband did not want to keep paying the costs of her care i imagine (even though her family was more than happy and willing to take full care of her) So her feeding tube was removed and she was starved to death.
Yes for us, her life may have seemed horrible and pointless, some of us may not wish it for ourselves, but it was her life, imo she was murdered.


That particular case is not as black and white as it is made out to be. 5 doctors examined her. 2 from the husband, 2 from the family and 1 court appointed. 3 including the court appointed doctor all agreed that she was in a vegetative state with severe brain damage and zero chance of recovery. I personally don't think this is a very good test case for this issue. People do this one ALL the time. Machines keeping people alive in whatever form are turned off everyday. When the medical condition does get to this point, it is up to the family to decide whether to keep medically treating them or to call it a day.

I think the main idea is for people who are terminally ill and can actually make themselves heard. They would need to be deemed of sound mind ie dementia patients could not be taken at their word. I think if someone who is terminally ill can actually say 'I've had enough and I want to die', that should be made available to them.

SassyMummy
05-05-2006, 17:30
I think you're all talking about Terry Schaivo (or something like that).

It angered me too - as I DO NOT see it as a humane way to let someone die. She lasted over 2 weeks before actually dying of starvation if memory serves me correctly...

The man who MADE the decision was her husband who she was separated from. There were suggestions that, as she was not fit enough to sign a divorce, he was still legally her spouse. Apparently, he was with another woman and had "given up" on her (which IMO is understandable - she had not improved in 10 years...). There were suggestions that he made the decision so his marriage would be over and he could re-marry...which IMO is why another should not have the decision to end your own life. As I said, it was only suggested - god knows what the truth was!

Another arguement FOR removing the tubes was that she was in a vegetative state. APPARENTLY, she couldn't think or feel or anything like that. She laughed and moved and whatnot, but it was just her body moving for her, not her controlling the movements in any way. So I'm uncertain as to whether she was actually communicating with her family or not.

I do agree though, that if her parents wanted to control the decisions, they should have been given that opportunity. I know I certainly wouldn't want my practically-ex husband deciding my fate...it's really quite wrong IMO.

WeThree
05-05-2006, 21:10
~ Chelle, I know what you are saying, but she had a feeding tube, she wasnt on any sort of life support, millions of people have feeding tubes for all sorts of reasons, I know that I am getting off track a little discussing her, as Im assuming that most of us would agree that this is not the ideal example of what they mean when they say they would like to see euthanasia legalised, but her family were only to happy to give her all the love and care she needed, what did it matter to him? It was scary that simply from him stating that he recalled her not wanting to be that way should anything happen, that she was made to die, and that is what worries me when we talk euthanasia.
Besides, so what if she had no hope of recovery, who decides what is an acceptable quality of life? It is easy for us to say 'oh she is better off dead, who would want to live like that?' but how do we know? She was dearly loved, very well cared for, in no pain, I think the lack of respect shown for human life in that particular case was very scary.

Tam-I-Am
06-05-2006, 00:15
I think the issue here is that, as it stands, people who are euthenased (?sp) (and it does happen, regardless of the law) CAN be pushed into doing something they don't want to do to suit anothers' purposes. If euthenasia were to be made legal, which, IMHO, it should be, there would obviously have to be extensive provisions to ensure that this didn't happen. I feel confident that as a reasonably intelligent race of people, we could do this.

reAllytee
06-05-2006, 01:30
Thats exactly my feeling Tami !
There are always going to be people who flaunt it no matter whether its legal or not that case is one that shows us !!! Even now here in Oz you will find its being flaunted every day ! Also when it comes down to it my dad was euthanised because they even told us that they would up the dosage which would put him into his coma leading to his passing making it a bit quicker. So in other words they sped up the process allowing a little bit of dignity or as much as the law allowed them to get away with ! To me if had even been a day earlier it would have been much better im sorry but no matter how many people tell me its about protecting life i will never agree. When you watch someone you love become what they do that isnt life its death. Your watching death every day in a hospital bed & you can even smell it. You never ever forget about it ever. Every nite when i close my eyes to sleep i see those moments & im sorry but unless you have witnessed it on someone you love & care for its indescribable (sp?). Dont get me wrong working with it would be very confronting & palliative care do an amazing job but its not the same as watching a loved one & never could be.
I just dont get how in a society like ours where we can save premature babies or even give life saving surgery to babies in utero we cant organise a way to have this legally done.

MammaMia
06-05-2006, 07:46
The faith in our legal system and those who draft our legislation demonstrated in this thread is very impressive. However, it stands in stark contrast to the lack of faith in our justice system exhibited in multiple threads that have appeared on BH. To me, those threads demonstrate precisely how difficult it is to get it right in legislation when you are dealing with complex human behaviours. An example often cited here is dissatisfaction with how our laws protect our children from predators.

The example is not that far from this present discussion. Both deal with vulnerable people within our community, both have high ideals underlying the legislation and both seek to impose protective mechanisms for the weak from predators. The significant difference is this: the end result. In this case, we are talking about an end result, which if wrong, leads to the termination of life.

Drafting adequate legislation is not a matter of being unintelligent. It is a matter of being able to address all of the requisite checks and balances, permeations of the circumstances leading to the end result and providing for the lowest common denominator in human behaviour whilst simultaneously providing for the highest respect for a person's wishes.

It is important to remember that the crux of euthanasia is a person's inability to affect their own death without assistance from another party. It is the actions of the other party that must be addressed in legislation. In doing so, it must be considered that the other party's motives might not be pure.

The mooted solution is that a person can give their authority at a time when they are able. Unfortunately this same process could also preclude those who are unable physically or mentally to comply with any prerequisites. There would no doubt be a number of hoops to jump through before the sanctioned euthanasia was performed. Those suffering may not survive the time that this process would take and may still die in pain or without dignity. There will not be a quick time frame: there cannot be if the law is to act as a protector for the vulnerable. This may lead people to commencing proceedings at a time that cuts short the viable and enjoyable part of their life. It may also lead to a disparity in that some will have their suffering addressed in a way they wish, but others will miss out.

This concept is not a cure all. The grey in this area defeats the black and white when it comes to a legislative solution.

[Mod] veve
06-05-2006, 07:52
LOL - MM that is VERY heavy discussion for 7.40am!!!!! (a valid point... but very intense to read while eating breaky!) :D

MammaMia
06-05-2006, 07:57
LOL - MM that is VERY heavy discussion for 7.40am!!!!! (a valid point... but very intense to read while eating breaky!) :D

I know ... don't know what I was thinking! Return to your fun, high sugar cereal and ignore my dark insights into the legal psyche. :D

WeThree
06-05-2006, 10:53
Also when it comes down to it my dad was euthanised because they even told us that they would up the dosage which would put him into his coma leading to his passing making it a bit quicker. So in other words they sped up the process allowing a little bit of dignity or as much as the law allowed them to get away with

I agree that as much morphine should be given to someone in their final days to make them comfortable, even if it means speeding up an inevitable death.



You never ever forget about it ever. Every nite when i close my eyes to sleep i see those moments & im sorry but unless you have witnessed it on someone you love & care for its indescribable (sp?). Dont get me wrong working with it would be very confronting & palliative care do an amazing job but its not the same as watching a loved one & never could be.
.

Im assuming this comment was directed at me. :) How do you know I have never experienced watching a loved one die? I have been through it 3 times now, I understand what it is like.
Also the bond you develop with someone who you are nursing in their last months, weeks, hrs, should not be dismissed, to be with someone when they take their last breathe is something that is beyond words, and to then be responsible for caring for them afterwards is well, in a weird way, an honour, and can be very distressing if it is someone you have known for a long time and cared for day in and day out.

Oh, and fabulous post, as usual, MM!!

2littleprincesses
06-05-2006, 13:16
I think Euthanasia should be legalised, but should be controlled. Maybe there should be medical reports on a patient stating that it would be a fair option and that pain relief is not effective, and compulsory counselling for the family should the patient be considering this option.

I would like the choice to end my life if I was (hardly) living in that situation. BUt I don't know if I would want someone close to me to end their life. FOrtunately I have not known anyone in such a terrible situation.

SOmeone on the first page said that she would do that for their partner because she loves him. I don't know if I could do that because I love him.

it's a tricky situation that needs a lot of consideration, and I beleive should be left up to the individual and his/her family.

reAllytee
06-05-2006, 13:43
Im assuming this comment was directed at me. :) How do you know I have never experienced watching a loved one die? I have been through it 3 times now, I understand what it is like.
Also the bond you develop with someone who you are nursing in their last months, weeks, hrs, should not be dismissed, to be with someone when they take their last breathe is something that is beyond words, and to then be responsible for caring for them afterwards is well, in a weird way, an honour, and can be very distressing if it is someone you have known for a long time and cared for day in and day out.

It wasnt directed at anyone in particular. Will watch how i word things.
Sorry but i still have to disagree watching someone in there final days is not pretty. My father hated having us girls bath his face & hands as well as use a face washer to wet his mouth, it distressed him to no end & more so than it did us. Which was also the same with my grandfather to have his children or grandchildren washing him or asking the nurses to checks wounds or catheter bags etc isnt the most dignified way of dying.
There is no honour in having your body shut down in front of family.
Anyways i realise this cant be something everyone agrees on so its another case of i shall agree to disagree with what some of you are saying & understand you have a different way of looking at things.
Guess its time to back away from another thread :p

WeThree
06-05-2006, 14:17
Ally, you have twisted my words around and Im not happy, you are making me out to sound like some awful weirdo!!
Where did I say seeing someone die a horrible death is pretty?? I was trying to agree with you!! When I said 'It is beyond words' I didnt mean it was something positive, I meant that it is awful. I was simply trying to say that I have been there and that I understand and that the bonds I formed with some of my patients also left an impact on me as well.

reAllytee
07-05-2006, 00:17
Ally, you have twisted my words around and Im not happy, you are making me out to sound like some awful weirdo!!
Where did I say seeing someone die a horrible death is pretty?? I was trying to agree with you!! When I said 'It is beyond words' I didnt mean it was something positive, I meant that it is awful. I was simply trying to say that I have been there and that I understand and that the bonds I formed with some of my patients also left an impact on me as well.


Woah ! :eek:
Hang on !
I wasnt having a go at you it was more that obviously i have misunderstood what you have said & i apologise i guess the way you said its an honour do such a thing is what i saw out of that, so again i apologise. The other thing is i have never meant any of my posts to be personal or attacking anyone elses views.
Im also making the statement about it not being pretty due to many articles i have read about this topic where many people have stated that being with their loved one in their final hours was the best thing for them & felt as though it brought them closer as well as them having those final hours with them which ok thats what they think is a good thing for them but not all of us find it as comforting so to speak & its often a case of the person feeling helpless & embarassed in their final days of whats happening to them.
Anyways as i said before everyone has a difference of opinion on this topic & i respect how some can look past the bad & see the good which is actually what i thought you were getting at Erin which is something i think is great but for me its not something i can do.
Ok so now im outta here.

JATS
07-05-2006, 13:28
Just looking at the poll results, it seems most of us agree that Euthanasia has a valid time and place. If I developed a terminal condition and was suffering badly... I know what I would want.

I think it was Chelle ln the first page who said it best: "we wouldn't expect a dog to suffer why do we expect our own flesh and blood to?"

Mister Noodle
07-05-2006, 17:40
Heh. In fact, you'd be arrested if you kept a dog alive under those conditions...