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crazymamma





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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:43 pm    Post subject: Choosing to die with dignity? Reply with quote

This sort of ties in with the Spare parts Babies and the value that we as a society place on life and choices.

I found this interesting Article in the Calgary Sun this weekend about the Slippery slope that is euthanasia, mercy killings, right to die with dignity in Europe, most particularly in the Netherlands. From the Article:

In 1990, a report entitled "Medical Decisions About the End of Life," colloquially called The Remmelink Report after Prof. Jan Remmelink, attorney general of the High Council of the Netherlands, who headed the study committee, made some disturbing revelations.

In 1990 alone, 1,031 hospital patients were killed without their consent or knowledge.


Of those 1,031 people:

* 14% were found to be fully competent;

* 72% had never stated that they wanted their lives ended;

* and in 8% of the cases, doctors carried out "involuntary euthanasia" even though they believed other options were still possible. :shock:

http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Co.....636872.php

I guess in some places one should never get old, never get really sick, never be a burden to your family, society and your all safe, otherwise,.......
luca





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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, where do I begin...

If choice is choice, then not wanting to be a burden on the family is a choice and we can't delibreate on it. Otherwise we begin discussing which choices can be made and which cannot, or which grounds are admissible for a choice.

The stats can be shocking, but I'd prefer seeing the details, for instance the condition of those people who didn't state that they wanted euthanasia. Were they in a vegetative state? Did they suffer irreparable brain damage? Were they functioning only by virtue of the machines keeping them alive?

As for the ones who were fully competent, what happened? Did the doctors attempt a cure and it went wrong? Did the death come as the result of a human or technical failure? Did someone mess up the folders and the medications?

As for the last category, I would prefer knowing what were the odds of the other options. Were the other options experimental, dangerous, at high odds of failure, involving total randomness, involving divine intervention? As far as I know this category lumps together everything from "you can die or you can take an aspirin" to the "you are a vegetable, and I can attempt a brain transplant no-one knows how to do, and most probably you'll have to walk backwards and stand on your head. And, uh, you'll live another couple of days longer anyway".

Statistics is both a tool of information and a tool to spread lies, so we should discern.

Having said that, some of the Dutch provisions defy common sense, and you are right to point them out.
SFrank85





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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First thing is first. Doctors should never, ever be allowed to carry out euthanasia. Doctors are supposed to help heal, or help ease the pain. Death is never an option. Plus, in a country like Canada, where the doctors are paid for by public funds, it would be just another form of the state killing its citizens. We have the “left” who generally support euthanasia but when it comes to the death penalty, they are against it. The state should have no role in killing its citizens, pre-birth, execution or euthanasia.

This is not what people who fought for our nation had in mind, especially in world war two, when our enemy was doing these things to their citizens, and now our ‘civilized’ nation is even contemplating this is sickening.
luca





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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WW2 wasn't fought for foetuses, your point completely eludes me.

Doctors shouldn't be allowed to administer death, Hippocrates's Oath still maintains it. Nor should they perform abortions. Again by that oath. That's a valid point, and there are ways around it (such as abortionists and euthanasia "doctors" not swearing and not being joined into professional orders and stuff).

As for the State killing its citizens, thats death penalty. Euthanasia is a choice, and as such the health system is providing a service that the citizen seeks. We can debate whether this service should be provided or not, but we can't equate it to murder. Taking other people's lives is a crime. Taking one's own is not.

I am against euthanasia as a completely arbitrary choice, i.e. the option should be offered only in case of chronic and terminal suffering or irrecoverable damage completely impairing consciousness determined by a panel of professionals (and the relatives). The relatives can be avoided if a clear instruction has been left.

If a possible operation can fix the condition euthanasia shouldn't be offered. Instead, if there's nothing to do but wait for death euthanasia should be an option.
SFrank85





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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luca wrote:
WW2 wasn't fought for foetuses, your point completely eludes me.

Doctors shouldn't be allowed to administer death, Hippocrates's Oath still maintains it. Nor should they perform abortions. Again by that oath. That's a valid point, and there are ways around it (such as abortionists and euthanasia "doctors" not swearing and not being joined into professional orders and stuff).

As for the State killing its citizens, thats death penalty. Euthanasia is a choice, and as such the health system is providing a service that the citizen seeks. We can debate whether this service should be provided or not, but we can't equate it to murder. Taking other people's lives is a crime. Taking one's own is not.

I am against euthanasia as a completely arbitrary choice, i.e. the option should be offered only in case of chronic and terminal suffering or irrecoverable damage completely impairing consciousness determined by a panel of professionals (and the relatives). The relatives can be avoided if a clear instruction has been left.

If a possible operation can fix the condition euthanasia shouldn't be offered. Instead, if there's nothing to do but wait for death euthanasia should be an option.


Did we not fight a fascist regime that was doing this very same thing to their citizens? Choice or not, it should not be funded by the state with tax money. Obviously we can’t outlaw it, but the state should make laws banning it, because as the stats have soon, the slippery slope theory is true in this case.
luca





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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt the sick doings of Nazi Germany were high on the "reasons to invade" lists of the major powers.

And the phrase "we can't outlaw it, but the state should pass laws banning it" is an obvious contradiction. Please clarify.
crazymamma





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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the practice of euthanasia especially when it has not been requested is negating and disregarding the strong will of the human soul, mind , body and determination to live. Putting aside those that believe in Biblical type miracles, having worked in a Hospital there have just been too many folks walking out the door that I would have not given a snowballs chance in Hell.

I would also like to ask WHO makes the final say here? What if the Doctor has had a really bad day? Maybe you have a really bad day too?

Does this not feed into the organ donation card phobia that some people have because they fear Doctors will not go to extraordinary measures to save you if you have possible compatible organs? This whole thing just stinks and doesn't sit well with me at all. But my Gut reaction is just that a emotional GUT reaction.
SFrank85





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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luca wrote:
I doubt the sick doings of Nazi Germany were high on the "reasons to invade" lists of the major powers.

And the phrase "we can't outlaw it, but the state should pass laws banning it" is an obvious contradiction. Please clarify.


We can't outlaw it in the fact as the same as suicide, however laws could ban doctors from doing it.
luca





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's fair, the State can pass these laws if it so wishes. However, this would also mean that whatever the person's instructions the plug will never be pulled in any case. Alhough these instances are rare, patients maintaining a basic level of vital activity but permanently and irrecoverably unconscious would be forcefully kept alive despite everything indicating that there's no chance.
SFrank85





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luca wrote:
That's fair, the State can pass these laws if it so wishes. However, this would also mean that whatever the person's instructions the plug will never be pulled in any case. Alhough these instances are rare, patients maintaining a basic level of vital activity but permanently and irrecoverably unconscious would be forcefully kept alive despite everything indicating that there's no chance.


In those cases, when there is no medical hope, and in the case of power of attorney, when the person clearly stated that under these circumstances, when it is impossible to regain consciousness, then you can pull the plug.

Plus, medicine has advanced so much that terminally ill people will live out their final days in relatively no pain at all. What is dignified with wanting the doctor to perform suicide on you? Suicide, including euthanasia should be looked more down upon, but unfortunately our society sometimes immortalizes these people who commit these acts.
luca





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, so we agree that so-called "biological wills" are in order, i.e. instructions to pull the plug when it is absolutely clear that there's no chance of the person regaining consciousness.

I would look at the issue of quality of life rather than just pain, although it is the major component. Some terminal or chronic illnesses deteriorate our abilities without making us feel pain or taking consciousness away from us. Here lies the biggest debate with euthanasia. Do we allow people the choice or do we force them to live, regardless of the quality of this life?

Some might use Stephen Hawking as an argument against euthanasia (tremendous condition, strong will, perfect conscience, outperformed all survival predictions). Others might say he is an exception. Some people might not consider such a condition worthy of being maintained, were it to happen to them.

Ultimately the big question is: to what extent do we force people to give life, whatever the conditions, a chance?

I sign up to the self-ownership philosophy, ergo one is free to do with his life whatever he wishes, and set his own standards for acceptable quality of life. In the wider world if one decides to end it he can get a gun. Many of those who might want to end it are however in a hospital, where different rules apply. I don't agree with my freedom of choice going out of the window when I step (or am carried into) a hospital.

I recently had an internal dilemma facing me. A very close relative had multiple cancers spreading through his body, mainly the nervous system. Throughout, until the last days, he was conscious and maintained a decent degree of memory, recognizing people most of the time, and was mostly aware of his surroundings (and not happy, since it was a nursing home).

His standards were clearly different from mine, as he placed more emphasis on fighting to the last breath, while I would place more emphasis on not being seen slowly extinguished and generally causing those close to me shorter anguish and tension. Whose choice is more right?
SFrank85





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a moralist, I believe that suicide is wrong, however if they person chooses to die by their own hand, then that it their choice. However the ethical dilemma we face is using doctors to perform the suicide. Not only do I think it is wrong, but it creates legal problems. It is obvious that these people who want to be euthanized can’t perform it on their own. Another problem is that if they are serious disabled or terminally ill, how are we to determine if they are in a true state of mind where they are able to make rational choices. We give them the most comfortable death we can give them, without euthanizing them, because when people are sick, are they truly making a rational choice, or is their choice to die based on irrational thinking? It is a interesting debate.
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