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Euthanasia/Physician-assisted suicide


wiggyrichard
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**** me Wiggy! There I was having a relaxing Thursday wind down and then you pop up with your heavy, moralistic questions!

Sorry dude. But seriously, as Mike says, everyone imo should have the right to end their own life, should it get to the stage where no other treatment available is able to cure them.

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What worries me is the fact that my Dad had Alzheimers, which would be one of the conditions that would make one incapable of making a rational decision. It scares me.

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Ok serious hat.

There are too many grey areas for me. Eg is the person of sound mind, impact on others, what qualifies you to be able to do it?sliding scale? are some more worthy than others? etc

Because of that I think it becomes impossible to regulate properly and manage.

Therefore for me it is a no.

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It happens every day of the week in a way already. My dad died aged 60 nearly 10 years ago now. He had cancer. In the end it wasn't the cancer that killed him it was the morphine over dose his GP gave him. Had it not been for that I'd imagine he could have lived in pain for anything up to another month. My dad just wanted to die in the end. In fact as soon as he found out there was nothing that could be done he requested to come out of hospital where they could have treated him and he'd have lived for maybe another couple of months to come home and die which he did 5 days later. It was when he wanted to go and I don't see what that has to do with anyone else.

I can also remember something similar to the above happening with my nan years ago and the family doctor giving her what he knew would be a lethal dose of morphine.

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I'm for it generally, though I get torn over how far I take the principal that I believe largely underlines this - that a person should be, as far as possible, master of their own fate.

This topic has come up before on the forum and, given how vocal he is on the subject, usually has Pratchett's thoughts come into it. He's produced a fair amount of media on the subject, he's referred like Mark has above to the history of this sort of thing - in the Victorian era doctors would often help the terminally ill 'along the way'.

A few months ago Pratchett was involved in a documentary called 'Choosing to Die', in which he followed the story of some British people who had chosen to end their life at the Dignitas clinic in Sweden. The documentary eventually showed the process that that clinic provides in intimate detail - they were allowed to film the death of one of the men who had travelled there with his wife. It was a moving and powerful watch, and also quite... sobering. This painless end was not clinical. It's hard to describe but as a watch it was quite grim. Having taken the 2 liquids required this mans end came in the arms of his wife in some odd cabin hundreds of miles from home, pleading, deliriously, for water he was not allowed to have.

What particularly struck me, though, and what makes me falter in my belief that is up to a man to decide his fate, is that it was discovered a fair number of people that had travelled to Dignitas sought their services because 'they had become weary of life'. I can't quite bring myself to say I would be happy to know that people, who physically were fine, but suffered some mental health issues (given the vagueness of Dignitas' description, perhaps even comparatively minor depression issues), had died, which I would view as a tragedy that could, perhaps, have been avoided and with treatment and support left someone with a lifetime ahead of them.

I've never quite been able to feel confident in a stance that undermines a principal I largely feel is right, but allows for something I struggle to accept.

Pratchett proposed that those who wished to end their life, would go to what amounts to a tribunal to be granted a licence to end their lives, with the panel effectively only granting such a licence to people who, of sound mind, suffered from a terminal illness that would in time significantly impact their quality of life. I find this probably the best truce between the principal I want to hold and the worries that that principal would give life to, though it still sits slightly uneasy with me somehow.

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It's a no-brainer for me. I really can't see why anyone would be opposed to it..

If there is really no hope of recovery, why should we force people to end their lives in suffering. We also put pressure on friends and family, and punish them for it, when they are doing the humane thing and what the patient wants.

Saw a thing a while ago too on a woman who went to Switzerland to have assisted suicide, and she went about 2 months sooner than she really had to - because she was worried that if she waited too long she'd be unable to fly.. she could have died peacefully in her home.

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