Euthanasia yes or no



  • Was reading this today and wondering what others thought https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/11/assisted-dying-california-law-betsy-davis
    I'm in favour of it and its great that she got to go out on her own terms and say goodbye. My mother used to be a nurse and is against it, her thinking is that selfish relatives might think that granny is a hassle to have living with them and she's left them money in the will so they'll pressure her into ending things. I doubt that, i'm sure as a society we can put sort robust checks in place to ensure that doesn't happen.
     
    Whats your take on it?



  • Arguably your most basic human right I'd presume.
    I'm for it largely because of how technology has offered a robust method, thinking of that Aussie doctor's method etc
    But
    It pretty much relies on a sound mind and decision and that's where things get murky



  • As long as you have an advanced care plan or are capable of expressing your desires, I'm all for it. Some people may be unable to end their life after they've decided that the quality of life isn't there anymore. Who am I to deny them?



  • As soon as I'm 85 I'm buying a one way ticket to Zurich



  • I'm ambivalent. The high profile cases in the media are usually pretty clear cut candidates for legalised euthanasia, but "we'll know it when we see it" doesn't make for great policy - I'd want to see it really carefully thought through. The grey areas in the middle and sorts of people that Jegga's mother worries about also worry me a little.



  • I would prefer to have the choice myself . There would have to be checks in place and a few hoops to jump through though to stop the circumstances mentioned above from occurring



  • My mother used to be a nurse and is against it, her thinking is that selfish relatives might think that granny is a hassle to have living with them and she's left them money in the will so they'll pressure her into ending things. I doubt that, i'm sure as a society we can put sort robust checks in place to ensure that doesn't happen.
     
    Whats your take on it?

    My mum was an RN for 40+ years and is all in favour of it. To the point where I suspect the old bird has probably seen it go down a couple of times, particularly during her time in aged care.
     
    In fact, she's down as DNR if she gets into an appropriate state.
     
    In any case, I think the right protocols have to be in place - psych assessments, physical suitability, prior instructions, numerous medical evaluations.
     
    I don't see why not.



  • Yep all for it. Then again thats easy to say until someone you care for wants it



  • We will put the dog down to keep it from suffering but will often do everything in our power to keep people alive even after all dignity and will to live is gone.
    The ones that worry me are the ones who may opt for death because they no longer what to be a burden or an inconvenience. I am thinking of the same people who remain on the kitchen floor with a broken arm and not asking for help because they didn't want a fuss made. Interviews may not identify these people because they will know the right things to say.
    I am a fence sitter on this one.



  • All in favour of it. Throw in some basic checks, eg 2 doctors sign off on it purely from a medical & competency point of view & its all good.
     
    Had a few family members die of cancer & thats 1 month of good stuff - still doing OK, saying goodbye to everyone, chatting through stuff that should have been sorted, then a month of pain & zero dignity & often so much drugs that they didn't know who was there or what they were saying. All concerned could have done with skipping that last month.
     
    Same with shit like dementia, you get diagnosed with that you should be able to set up a sort of will that lets them cap you when you've totally lost it.



  • That's the thing I reckon: when they're no longer the person they were through the intervention of drugs, or the serious loss of faculty.



  • My mum was an RN for 40+ years and is all in favour of it. To the point where I suspect the old bird has probably seen it go down a couple of times, particularly during her time in aged care.

    I've heard a few stories - it was amazing how accurate doctors were at predicting imminent death once the family had arrived from all ends of the earth...



  • Put me down as a yes with the appropriate checks and balances. What those checks and balances may be probably needs some further diiscussion.



  • The greater good would suggest that euthanasia is a good idea. The amount of people that could have their pain and misery alleviated would be significant but weighed against this is the old adage that human life is sacred (yes, up until the point your Government asks you to go to war and kill or die for your country). Whatever checks and balances that could be put in it is inevitable that there will be abuses. The question is can we live with the abuses for the common good? I'm with the Crazy Nag, sitting on the fence.



  • Put me down as a yes with the appropriate checks and balances. What those checks and balances may be probably needs some further diiscussion.

    deliberate?
     
    Is a tough one, as above, often the person may not be in a state to give consent, but then, that is part of the problem, and too many people don't have a will, let alone instructions about what should happen to them in the event of needing life support.



  • Had a few family members die of cancer & thats 1 month of good stuff - still doing OK, saying goodbye to everyone, chatting through stuff that should have been sorted, then a month of pain & zero dignity & often so much drugs that they didn't know who was there or what they were saying. All concerned could have done with skipping that last month.

    Hindsight is a marvellous thing, here, and it's what makes it such a tough debate (not having a go at you at all).
     
    After the one month, you think the family member might be OK, or even getting better. They are unwilling to 'pull the plug' at this point because they are healthy and could have months or years left. But then things get worse quickly, and either it's too late (they are not of sound mind) or you think they might come out of it. It's a fucking HUGE decision at any point to say 'yep, let's end it now'.
     
    99% of cases I've heard of successful euthanasia (if you can call it that) is folks who were so fucking determined to do it, it almost defined them. And they did it before they began to go downhill.
     
    FWIW I think it should be available, but I'm not sure how that looks in reality. A lot of people say they would do it, but when it comes to it it's such a massive call that not many actually do. Just having the option there would be a real comfort to a lot of people IMO.
     
    The bigger conversation for mine is around managing death better than we do now, investment in palliative care and educating people (and doctors) about making the call to stop treatment and face their death. All the studies show that people who embrace a fatal diagnosis earlier and stop treatment live better and longer lives than those who cling on and go through round after round of chemo etc.



  • The bigger conversation for mine is around managing death better than we do now, investment in palliative care and educating people (and doctors) about making the call to stop treatment and face their death. All the studies show that people who embrace a fatal diagnosis earlier and stop treatment live better and longer lives than those who cling on and go through round after round of chemo etc.

    I think Crowe is a case in point there. Once he stopped treatment and and just went about enjoying the time he had left he seemed much more relaxed and "at peace".



  • Good post Barbarian , my father had emphysema which is a long drawn out way to go. My step mum found out he was having the odd smoke even though he'd told her he quit and she marched him down to the doctor expecting a lecture and instead he told her that my dad was on countdown and if he wanted to have a beer or a smoke now and then it was fine by him .i thought was a pretty honest way of looking at things.



  • I think the last century has seen a slowly degradation in the way in which human society handles death.
     
    A hundred years ago people would get death portraits. Now they;re getting their dogs cloned because they love them so much. FFS!
     
    When mortality rates were higher, and life expectancy lower, I think the realities of it didn't give people time to fuck around.
     
    Palliative and aged care are also big business, and only getting bigger.



  • I blame climate change. Much harder to put granny on an ice floe these days....
     
    It's our quest for immortality. I don't want to live forever if it means declining quality of life, hence why it's important to advise people about your wishes. Advanced care plans dictate with legal enforcement in Australia regarding the refusal or withdrawal of medical treatment. It doesn't even have to be a current illness for most jurisdictions, unlike Victoria.



  • The most fundamental human right is the right to decide when to die. Euthanasia happens now, we just expose the people that help people end their suffering to criminal action.



  • It's nearly 2022, shouldn't we be eating old people by now?



  • Much of the topic has been about Euthanasia for the terminally ill - what about those that aren't terminally ill but the desire to live has gone? 
     
    Over the years I have been first response and subsequently investigated too many suicides to count. Not all of them stay in my thoughts but some do. I don't know why. 
     
    A couple of years ago I attended an attempted suicide where a guy tried killing himself in a brutal way. His motivation? Ringing in his ears that was so severe he had not slept for months. There was no cure for him. The problem wasn't terminal but it was never going to go away and the guy was slowly being driven 'crazy' by, the constant noise and lack of sleep. He was patched up but his suicide attempt left him scarred and in more physical pain. He was also given psychiatric help. Six months later he killed himself in a way that must have hurt like hell.  I cannot fathom ever being able to have the nerve to do it that way myself. If Euthanasia was an option I don't know if he would have taken it, but it certainly would have given him a chance to die with dignity and without pain. His family wouldn't have found him like they did either.
     
    Then there are the examples of old people that kill themselves. I have seen many examples of the elderly who have just had enough of being alive. They had no known mental health issues. It seemed like they decided they had lived long enough and wanted to move on. It is amazing how often you talk to family, friends, neighbours and you hear how the deceased had seemed so happy in the days leading up to their suicide. I recall one neighbour of an old fella who gassed himself in a car saying the deceased had visited him the day before and had seemed really chirpy and relaxed. Like a burden had been lifted. They shared a beer and the deceased had thanked him for his friendship and all for he had done over the years. Surely these people deserve to die with dignity too.
     
    I could go on. What about the people who have mental health issues? The ones that are trapped inside a mental hell and see no way to escape it? Do they deserve the right to die with dignity? 
     
    And then there are the people that find those who have committed suicide. The child that finds dad swinging from the rafters or the train driver who ran over the old lady on the train tracks. These people suffer too. Do these people have a right not to find a suicide victim?
     
    Euthanasia, or state sponsored suicide, could not only help the terminally ill, it could help other people too. I guess the problem is, if we let the terminally ill end their life on their own terms, what about giving everyone else that right? Where does it end?



  • Euthanasia, or state sponsored suicide, could not only help the terminally ill, it could help other people too. I guess the problem is, if we let the terminally ill end their life on their own terms, what about giving everyone else that right? Where does it end?

    For adults, I'd say they should be able to make application, spend time with a psychologist and go on their merry way. After all, if someone really wants to kill themselves, you're not going to stop them.



  • I'm for it, in a controlled environment with the checks and balances.
     
    I've sat with a few dying relatives, and it was horrific. Can't eat, can't sleep, doped up on morphine that doesn't even take the edge off the agony, slowly drowning to death because their lungs can't cope anymore. I wanted to punch certain other people in the face - everyone had said goodbye, but still they made these poor people suffer with poking and prodding and more drugs, not willing to let them go to peace.
     
    That is neither decent nor humane. It's fucking selfish cruelty. And I hated them for it.



  • It could actually be a strong positive from a mental health point of view, if its made open to anyone who goes through the process for a lot of non medically ill people the process itself could get them the help they need to no longer want to die.
     
    IE if you are suicidal & hiding it & can end your life this way, you just need to have 5 chats with a shrink. For many the 5 chats with the shrink may well open up treatment or options that you didn't know you had.
     
    In most cases where people top themselves or attempt it, people around them had no idea they were that down & the people themselves haven't explored their options because they've been too depressed.



  • psychology and psychiatry are a bit of a minefield, as different practitioners have polar opposite points of view. if that is your check / balance, then you would simply get shopping around.



  • And what are the 'right' reasons for wanting to die and who gets to define it?



  • And what are the 'right' reasons for wanting to die and who gets to define it?

    I'd argue that in a totally free society its up to the individual to decide, BUT they should be doing so with a clear view of their options. EG someone under huge debt, afraid of losing their house wants to kill themselves, goes through the mandatory counselling & finds out they can declare bankruptsy & the house can't go because its half owned by theiur spouse. Shit like that. People who top themseleves very rarely clearly think shit through, if they have & approached the decision rationally why not let them do it?



  • Like Crazy Horse, I've been to more suicides than I care to remember, lots of them involving people who were elderly or people who had terminal illnesses. All of them are tragic in their own right, but the one that most sticks out for me was a person who had taken their own life because their advanced MS was becoming so hard to live with that they didn't feel it was worth living anymore. We turned up at the address because we had been called by the frontline guys, who had thought there was a bit more to the story than the deceased's spouse was letting on. 
     
    The room was littered with right to die books and in one was a DVD with a note to the Police saying "please watch this". In it, the deceased, aged in their late 40's outlined over the course of 15 minutes how they didn't feel that they were committing suicide, because they didn't want to die, but they felt they had no choice because their quality of life was such that they could no longer toilet themselves, wash themselves or even leave the house to do the things they used to enjoy, so they were just sitting around waiting for their body to shut down. It was one of the most haunting things I had ever watched, I swear someone was cutting onions in the office as I sat there and watched it.
     
    We ended up charging the spouse with assisting the suicide. I sure as hell didn't want to, because I in all honesty would have seriously considered doing the same thing for someone I loved who was suffering like that, but we were directed to by the hierarchy. The evidence suggested that the deceased would have been unable to buy and put together all the items needed for their contraption, so the spouse had bought them and helped the deceased set it up and then left the house knowing what they were going to do. The spouse then went and got an alibi at a local coffee shop before going back home knowing what they would find. The most horrendous tragedy in it all was that the deceased had to die alone in their room because the law prevented their spouse from sitting there with them and comforting them in their last moments.
     
    Long story, the spouse got a great lawyer, pleaded guilty and got discharged without conviction. Since that day, I've been pro-euthanasia, prior to it I was neither here nor there.



  • Fuck. I could never do your job.



  • Fuck. I could never do your job.

    You could, you'd just be a loose canon who refused to play by the rules. And was due to retire next week.



  • Fuck. I could never do your job.

    It had it's moments. The suicides were generally always the hardest because it almost always involved a really devastated and traumatised family searching for questions. 
     
    Someone earlier on posed an interesting question about where do you draw the line as to who would and wouldn't be eligible for euthanasia. Terminal illness, significant loss of quality of life etc. I read an article recently about a girl in her 20's who was considered eligible for euthanasia because doctors agreed she had incurable PTSD as a result of severe sexual abuse she suffered between the age of 5 and 15. 
     
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sex-abuse-victim-in-her-20s-allowed-by-dutch-doctors-to-undergo-euthanasia-due-to-severe-ptsd-a7023666.html
     
    Or would you allow someone who is paralysed from the neck down as the result of an to be euthanised, given their quality of life would be so severely affected? 
     
    As I said earlier, I'm pro euthanasia, but I wouldn't want to be the one responsible for drawing up guidelines around how and when it can be used.



  • Dear god that poor woman in Holland that asked to die
    What the poor wee bugger must have gone through
    To continually ask health professionals to please grant you permission to end it all. I found the reponses at the bottom of the article to be extremely callous in relation to the girl in the situation


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