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**trigger warning** Assisted dying

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  • #16
    Absolutely for.

    Sure, there are a lot of ethical issues, but there are a lot of ethical issues around criminalising it too.

    From a purely ideological standpoint, I believe that every individual should be free to choose whether and when they end their life. This would exclude treatable/manageable mental illness resulting in suicidal thoughts. If somebody's in a position where they are of perfectly sound mind, and truly feel that they cannot continue to live with whatever form of suffering they have (severe chronic pain/illness, terminal illness etc.), then who is anybody else to tell them that they must continue to suffer for the comfort of others?

    I don't think that medical professionals should be put in a position where they are forced to assist if they don't wish to. There should be options available though.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Renn View Post
      Absolutely for.

      Sure, there are a lot of ethical issues, but there are a lot of ethical issues around criminalising it too.

      From a purely ideological standpoint, I believe that every individual should be free to choose whether and when they end their life. This would exclude treatable/manageable mental illness resulting in suicidal thoughts. If somebody's in a position where they are of perfectly sound mind, and truly feel that they cannot continue to live with whatever form of suffering they have (severe chronic pain/illness, terminal illness etc.), then who is anybody else to tell them that they must continue to suffer for the comfort of others?

      I don't think that medical professionals should be put in a position where they are forced to assist if they don't wish to. There should be options available though.
      I agree with this.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by SSecret Squirrel View Post
        No for me. While assisted dying would be an attractive option for the terminally ill, I feel it presents an ethical nightmare and is not something I can agree with.

        For example:
        What illnesses will be deemed assisted dying worthy and which aren't?
        How terminal is terminal? 1 month left?, 6 months left? 2 years left?
        What about people who aren't terminal but have an illness or disability that results poor quality of life?
        What about people with mental illnesses or people who are suicidal?
        What about misdiagnosis? or the people who live longer than expected?
        More importantly doctors take an oath not to harm patients. I would hate for them to be placed in a position where they are required to end life.
        In my mind, an illness would not be enough to deem you eligible, it would have to terminal, I.e. Something with no known cure. does it matter how much time they have left? If it was me, I would only need enough time to get all my affairs in order and have some quality time with my loved ones before the suffering took over.

        Misdiagnoses is a good point. I didn't consider that. I guess you would be seeking many opinions and speak to as many experts in the area of your illness before accepting that your condition is terminal. And i think it would need to be the decision of the person themselves, not for example, someone who had power of attorney, as there could be a conflict of interest.

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        • #19
          Totally for. I agree with "each to their own", people should have the right to determine when their suffering is too great and be able to carry out their own wishes. This debate reminds me of the whole "keep your rosaries off my ovaries" debate. I hate that other people's religious beliefs can have such a profound negative impact on others.

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          • #20
            For.

            If I had a terminal illness and knew that I'd die a slow, painful, undignified death, I would like to have the option to end it on my own terms.

            If my dog were in that much pain with no hope of recovery, I'd do the kind thing and put him out of his misery. Why can't we treat humans with the same compassion?

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            • #21
              For. Totally for.

              I have had this discussion with DH somewhat recently. I brought up MH. What about those people who there is there is no 'cure' for. They have tried everything but their illness is severe.

              It is considered an illness. And is painful - maybe not physical but it is emotional pain different?

              I don't know the answer to this but I was hoping someone would have some insight or thoughts.

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              • #22
                So what if ... if someone was 'assisting' you to die and for one reason or another it didn't work and you ended up worse off than you were in the first place - what then? Could you sue? Could other people sue on your behalf? Would you have to be 'qualified' to do it? Would the person be faced with legal charges? So fraught with danger, I can't imagine that there could ever be an agreement in an Australian parliament to allow it.

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                • #23
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                  • #24
                    For.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by twinklify View Post
                      For. Totally for.

                      I have had this discussion with DH somewhat recently. I brought up MH. What about those people who there is there is no 'cure' for. They have tried everything but their illness is severe.

                      It is considered an illness. And is painful - maybe not physical but it is emotional pain different?

                      I don't know the answer to this but I was hoping someone would have some insight or thoughts.
                      I have thought about this a lot lately, I'm not sure why. I think maybe experiencing my own mental health issues has made me realise that for some people, there is no cure, no medication or therapy that helps. While I am very fortunate that my mental health is under control thanks to medication, hospitalisation when needed, a fantastic GP and amazing family and friend support, other people are not so lucky. And in that circumstance, I can understand wanting to die with assistance to end the anguish.

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                      • #26
                        For 100%.
                        People are kidding themselves if they think terminally ill patients aren't already taking their own lives. My grandfather did it 30 years ago under indirect advice from a doctor. It wasn't painless, but it was much faster than waiting for the illness to consume him, and he had to do it alone (with just my grandma with him). It would have been so much nicer if he could have told more people his plans and everyone could have said a proper goodbye.
                        If it's against your religion/personal beliefs don't euthanise yourself....but your right to decide not to doesn't trump someone's else right to decide to end their life.

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                        • #27
                          In principle, I'm for. I'm thinking in the case of someone who is very unwell and there is a consensus medically that no more can be done to improve the person's quality of life. I don't think any reasonable person would think such a law would apply to people who are newly diagnosed with a serious illness who then decide to 'get in early' so to speak.
                          To me, it's similar to making the decision to stop treatment and move to palliative care - essentially you're ceasing medical intervention anyway and therefore letting the person pass away. Assisting the person to die in a less painful or prolonged way seems quite reasonable to me in that situation.

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                          • #28
                            100% for it. My dad is terminally ill and he is deteriorating slowly, not knowing what is happening around him and drugged up so he is made "comfortable". While I want as much time with him as possible, I feel it is selfish to have him alive but not "living" his life just so I can have time with him.

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                            • #29
                              I think there are so many complexities around this that I can't say right now that I am 100% for or against this but I lean towards for. I'll try explain some of my thoughts.
                              How do we judge (and who judges) what kinds of situations would be permissible for assisted suicide? Is being 'tired of life' a reasonable reason for assisted suicide? If not why not and who decides this?
                              What safeguards would be in place?
                              What if someone with a non-terminal but untreatable (in the sense that treatment options have been exhausted without improvement) wants to die? I'm thinking mental illness and chronic pain specifically here (or the other example of being tired of life). A big part of me thinks that people consumed by such diseases should have the option to ease their suffering. I come at this as a sufferer of chronic pain myself. So then I question well should we all have access to means to end our life for whatever reason we choose? Isn't that the ultimate autonomy? How do we judge which reasons are worthy?
                              On the other hand I struggle with the notion of giving some humans the legitimate ability/power/capacity to assist in the death of another.
                              I also struggle with the way that we look after certain population groups in society (principally the aged, people with a disability) and how some groups have a lower worth placed on their life and may be coerced into early death. Or decisions might be made for some people who can't make them.
                              This article (whilst clearly biased against assisted suicide) is quite interesting in discussing the against arguments: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...0/#!po=31.2500
                              So I have a lot of questions around how this would work in practice. If I come back to relating this to a personal situation (and yes I have had close relatives die slow, painful deaths) I think my first concern is why are we still so bad at managing death in so many respects? We are bad at pain management, bad at knowing when and how to stop intervention and bad at supporting individuals through their own death and their loved ones. I really wish we could make great improvements in this part of health care.
                              I think at the end of it all I hope that people can be supported to be comfortable and have a 'good' death and the experience of that will be different for all of us. Some may want to depart this life early and perhaps it's ok to facilitate that safely, some way want to take every breath they can and we need to get better in our supportive treatments to make that comfortable and an 'acceptable' choice too.
                              As I said I have a lot of thoughts on this which swing across both sides of the argument but deep down I support individual agency, just not sure how we safely support that from a societal perspective.

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                              • #30
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