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Subject: Assisted Suicide rss

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Green Dan
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So, there was a documentry on last night about Assisted Suicide. I didn't watch it but it got me thinking.

I'm generally Pro the legalisation of Assisted Suicide. Providing the correct safeguards are in place. Ie: You've been diagonosed with an inncurable disease, you are still in command of you faculties and responsable for your own decision making.

It should not be avaible as a route for Dr's or carers to use. Ie, if you have handed over medical decisions to another person they cannot make this decision for you.

I think some states in the US have a system in place, how does that work? I know some Euro countries have it (Sweden was mentioned in the discussion about the documentry).
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Jasper
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The Netherlands have a fairly extensive framework around euthenasia. In essence conditions need at a bare minimum involve incurable suffering be it mental or physical. If a doctor follows the correct procedures he or she is not liable to be persecuted for the assisting.
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Adrian Hague
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I did watch it, and now kinda wish I hadn't... (having said that I've seen worse on Channel 4)

The weirest thing was the location of the house that was used. Because of the nature of the business involved, Dignitas were not allowed to build the house in a residential area. So the last bits of Switzerland you get to see before shuffling off the mortal coil is that of a Swiss industrial estate.

The quandry that Terry faced was that by the time he would be ready to die, he would be too far gone with Alzheimer's to make the request.
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Adrian Hague
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tscook wrote:
Unquestionably for. The fact that I know how to commit suicide painlessly is probably one of the greater comforts I have.


This was also reported by Dignitas. A fair proportion of people who register with them are never heard from again. The reason given was that a lot of people took solace in the fact that they had a 'way out' ifd they needed it (regardless of whether the option was used or not).
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Matt Thrower
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It seems fairly obvious to me that it's something that ought to be allowed, with appropriate legal safeguards in place.

I'd be interested to know if there have been cases in any of the countries that allow legal assisted suicide that have caused controversy over the wishes of the person involved or their family.

I'd also be interested to know if any of the higher-profile people arguing against the legality of assisted suicide are atheists - in other words that we can discount a religious motivation for their opinions and assume a moral or rational one instead.

I suspect that the answer to both questions is no.
 
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Jasper
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MattDP wrote:

I'd be interested to know if there have been cases in any of the countries that allow legal assisted suicide that have caused controversy over the wishes of the person involved or their family.
There have been minor controversies, but nothing serious. There was a case in which the patient reversed their earlier wish at the last moment but was then no longer of sound mind. The family decided (not unanimously) to continue with the process of euthenasia through stopping to administer liquids. Did not show up in the news apart from a minor blurb.
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Andrew Rowse
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MattDP wrote:
I'd also be interested to know if any of the higher-profile people arguing against the legality of assisted suicide are atheists - in other words that we can discount a religious motivation for their opinions and assume a moral or rational one instead.


Disabled rights activists often argue against, using slippery slope arguments that result in all disabled people being liquidised against their will. I'm sure that some of them are atheists (albeit atheists somewhat prone to hysteria).
 
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RacNRoll Gaming
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Terry Pratchett apparently is all for it..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/12/pratchett-starts...
 
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Green Dan
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RacNRoll Gaming wrote:
Terry Pratchett apparently is all for it..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/12/pratchett-starts...


It was Sir Pratchett who hosted the documentry last night.

So far we seem to have wandered into another area of the law, where everyonce generally thinks the law need to be tweaked, but no politician is going to touch it with a 10 foot stick of career ending death?
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Adrian Hague
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Greendan wrote:
So far we seem to have wandered into another area of the law, where everyonce generally thinks the law need to be tweaked, but no politician is going to touch it with a 10 foot stick of career ending death?


Much like the current UK drug policy...shake

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Green Dan
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AdrianPHague wrote:
Greendan wrote:
So far we seem to have wandered into another area of the law, where everyonce generally thinks the law need to be tweaked, but no politician is going to touch it with a 10 foot stick of career ending death?


Much like the current UK drug policy...shake



Ssssshhh, I was trying to avoid that can of worms.
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Wade Nelson
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It's a sticky issue, but I'll weigh in with this:

If I'm mentally capable of making informed decisions and am suffering without hope for recovery, then I should have complete authority over what to do with myself. If I can't express ownership and control over my own body in a way that does no harm to the general public then I do not live in a free country.

If I am not mentally capable of making informed decisions and am suffering without hope for recovery, I am an organ donor. Put me in a medical coma and start harvesting, because there are a lot of people who with a transplant could live a life of much higher quality then mine.
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Chad Ellis
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Greendan wrote:
I'm generally Pro the legalisation of Assisted Suicide. Providing the correct safeguards are in place. Ie: You've been diagonosed with an inncurable disease, you are still in command of you faculties and responsable for your own decision making.


Why isn't the second half sufficient? If someone is in full command of their faculties and responsible for their own decision making, should they have to justify their reasons (as implied by the incurable disease)?
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Boaty McBoatface
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Venga2 wrote:
MattDP wrote:

I'd be interested to know if there have been cases in any of the countries that allow legal assisted suicide that have caused controversy over the wishes of the person involved or their family.
There have been minor controversies, but nothing serious. There was a case in which the patient reversed their earlier wish at the last moment but was then no longer of sound mind. The family decided (not unanimously) to continue with the process of euthenasia through stopping to administer liquids. Did not show up in the news apart from a minor blurb.


As I have writen before reversal of an end of life request should not be dependent on being of sound mind.
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Green Dan
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wadenels wrote:
It's a sticky issue, but I'll weigh in with this:

If I'm mentally capable of making informed decisions and am suffering without hope for recovery, then I should have complete authority over what to do with myself. If I can't express ownership and control over my own body in a way that does no harm to the general public then I do not live in a free country.

If I am not mentally capable of making informed decisions and am suffering without hope for recovery, I am an organ donor. Put me in a medical coma and start harvesting, because there are a lot of people who with a transplant could live a life of much higher quality then mine.


Agree with the first part.

Sort of disagree with the second part as this can lead to the slippery slope of what menatally capable means, and what suffering means. How much suffering is too much?
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
Greendan wrote:
I'm generally Pro the legalisation of Assisted Suicide. Providing the correct safeguards are in place. Ie: You've been diagonosed with an inncurable disease, you are still in command of you faculties and responsable for your own decision making.


Why isn't the second half sufficient? If someone is in full command of their faculties and responsible for their own decision making, should they have to justify their reasons (as implied by the incurable disease)?


Yes, depresion is not incurable. So some one may decide that they can't handle it any more, then a week later win the lottey meet the girl of thier dreams and win the nobel prize for being just so wonderfull.
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Green Dan
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slatersteven wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
Greendan wrote:
I'm generally Pro the legalisation of Assisted Suicide. Providing the correct safeguards are in place. Ie: You've been diagonosed with an inncurable disease, you are still in command of you faculties and responsable for your own decision making.


Why isn't the second half sufficient? If someone is in full command of their faculties and responsible for their own decision making, should they have to justify their reasons (as implied by the incurable disease)?


Yes, depresion is not incurable. So some one may decide that they can't handle it any more, then a week later win the lottey meet the girl of thier dreams and win the nobel prize for being just so wonderfull.


Suffering from Depression would count you out of the "In full command of your faculties" group in my head.

I do however think you should be someway down the road to death by inccurable desease via chronic suffering before euthanasia becomes an option. Not just, "I'm bored, what haven't I done yet?"
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Boaty McBoatface
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Greendan wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
Greendan wrote:
I'm generally Pro the legalisation of Assisted Suicide. Providing the correct safeguards are in place. Ie: You've been diagonosed with an inncurable disease, you are still in command of you faculties and responsable for your own decision making.


Why isn't the second half sufficient? If someone is in full command of their faculties and responsible for their own decision making, should they have to justify their reasons (as implied by the incurable disease)?


Yes, depresion is not incurable. So some one may decide that they can't handle it any more, then a week later win the lottey meet the girl of thier dreams and win the nobel prize for being just so wonderfull.


Suffering from Depression would count you out of the "In full command of your faculties" group in my head.

I do however think you should be someway down the road to death by inccurable desease via chronic suffering before euthanasia becomes an option. Not just, "I'm bored, what haven't I done yet?"


I would tend to agree.
 
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Jasper
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slatersteven wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
MattDP wrote:

I'd be interested to know if there have been cases in any of the countries that allow legal assisted suicide that have caused controversy over the wishes of the person involved or their family.
There have been minor controversies, but nothing serious. There was a case in which the patient reversed their earlier wish at the last moment but was then no longer of sound mind. The family decided (not unanimously) to continue with the process of euthenasia through stopping to administer liquids. Did not show up in the news apart from a minor blurb.


As I have writen before reversal of an end of life request should not be dependent on being of sound mind.
Why? The reverse decision is. Is the decision to live on not equally important?

I am not yet sure either way myself, but I'd like to see some more reasoning behind it.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Venga2 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
MattDP wrote:

I'd be interested to know if there have been cases in any of the countries that allow legal assisted suicide that have caused controversy over the wishes of the person involved or their family.
There have been minor controversies, but nothing serious. There was a case in which the patient reversed their earlier wish at the last moment but was then no longer of sound mind. The family decided (not unanimously) to continue with the process of euthenasia through stopping to administer liquids. Did not show up in the news apart from a minor blurb.


As I have writen before reversal of an end of life request should not be dependent on being of sound mind.
Why? The reverse decision is. Is the decision to live on not equally important?

I am not yet sure either way myself, but I'd like to see some more reasoning behind it.


Yes and no. It is the saem impoprtance in the sence that is about life and death. But in this cae its about life, not death. As such the right to life (irregardless of your state of mind) nust be considerd more important then your right to death. Its a safe gaurd against presure.
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slatersteven wrote:


Yes, depresion is not incurable. So some one may decide that they can't handle it any more, then a week later win the lottey meet the girl of thier dreams and win the nobel prize for being just so wonderfull.


While I agree with you, your "cures" for depression show a shocking lack of understanding of what depression actually means.

That said, I disagree with allowing assisted suicide for people who are depressed or some other psychological condition that's led them to be suicidal. Not because I think they're not capable of making that decision, and certainly not because it will stop people from killing themselves. I am against sanctioned suicides for those people for a couple reasons:
1. At least when I was taking psych courses in college it was thought that most suicide attempts are not actually attempts in earnest, but a desperate means of attracting attention and help. If you gave those people a way to kill themselves that's 100% effective, suicide rates among depressed individuals would rise.
2. In spite of Steven's insulting and condescending take on treatment of depression, it is frequently curable through therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. If we're considering euthanasia to keep from forcing people to live with a poor quality of life when there are no other options, I'd think we wouldn't want to encourage suicide in people who might have plenty of other options.
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Chad Ellis
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slatersteven wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
Greendan wrote:
I'm generally Pro the legalisation of Assisted Suicide. Providing the correct safeguards are in place. Ie: You've been diagonosed with an inncurable disease, you are still in command of you faculties and responsable for your own decision making.


Why isn't the second half sufficient? If someone is in full command of their faculties and responsible for their own decision making, should they have to justify their reasons (as implied by the incurable disease)?


Yes, depresion is not incurable. So some one may decide that they can't handle it any more, then a week later win the lottey meet the girl of thier dreams and win the nobel prize for being just so wonderfull.


Understood, but life is terminal. If we're able to tell someone that their life isn't their own, how do we decide what constitutes a life so hopeless that a person can choose to end it?
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Chad Ellis
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Venga2 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
MattDP wrote:

I'd be interested to know if there have been cases in any of the countries that allow legal assisted suicide that have caused controversy over the wishes of the person involved or their family.
There have been minor controversies, but nothing serious. There was a case in which the patient reversed their earlier wish at the last moment but was then no longer of sound mind. The family decided (not unanimously) to continue with the process of euthenasia through stopping to administer liquids. Did not show up in the news apart from a minor blurb.


As I have writen before reversal of an end of life request should not be dependent on being of sound mind.
Why? The reverse decision is. Is the decision to live on not equally important?

I am not yet sure either way myself, but I'd like to see some more reasoning behind it.


The case I'd make is that a decision to live on can be reversed later, while one to die cannot. What's not given here is whether the person's state of unsound mind was permanent or temporary.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
Greendan wrote:
I'm generally Pro the legalisation of Assisted Suicide. Providing the correct safeguards are in place. Ie: You've been diagonosed with an inncurable disease, you are still in command of you faculties and responsable for your own decision making.


Why isn't the second half sufficient? If someone is in full command of their faculties and responsible for their own decision making, should they have to justify their reasons (as implied by the incurable disease)?


Yes, depresion is not incurable. So some one may decide that they can't handle it any more, then a week later win the lottey meet the girl of thier dreams and win the nobel prize for being just so wonderfull.


Understood, but life is terminal. If we're able to tell someone that their life isn't their own, how do we decide what constitutes a life so hopeless that a person can choose to end it?


No life is not terminal, death and illness are. If we did not age or suffer from other morbidities we would not die, so death is not an inevitable part of being alive but of the weakness of the design of our systems.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
Greendan wrote:
I'm generally Pro the legalisation of Assisted Suicide. Providing the correct safeguards are in place. Ie: You've been diagonosed with an inncurable disease, you are still in command of you faculties and responsable for your own decision making.


Why isn't the second half sufficient? If someone is in full command of their faculties and responsible for their own decision making, should they have to justify their reasons (as implied by the incurable disease)?


Yes, depresion is not incurable. So some one may decide that they can't handle it any more, then a week later win the lottey meet the girl of thier dreams and win the nobel prize for being just so wonderfull.


Understood, but life is terminal. If we're able to tell someone that their life isn't their own, how do we decide what constitutes a life so hopeless that a person can choose to end it?


No life is not terminal, death and illness are. If we did not age or suffer from other morbidities we would not die, so death is not an inevitable part of being alive but of the weakness of the design of our systems.


Pretend we're all born with an incurable disease then, one that might be resolved in a later generation. That said...

Chad_Ellis wrote:
Greendan wrote:
I'm generally Pro the legalisation of Assisted Suicide. Providing the correct safeguards are in place. Ie: You've been diagonosed with an inncurable disease, you are still in command of you faculties and responsable for your own decision making.


Why isn't the second half sufficient? If someone is in full command of their faculties and responsible for their own decision making, should they have to justify their reasons (as implied by the incurable disease)?


I think it's reasonable to add that second bit for euthanasia. This isn't just suicide, it's asking someone else to kill you. That's a good safety measure for everyone involved.
 
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