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Assisted suicide

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Roger Hicks, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Democracy does not apply to everything. If democracy applied to the law, we would still have hanging and probably transportation to the colonies and a lot of other things. Penalties would also be much stiffer overall.

    This should not be a political issue.
     
    Catriona likes this.
  2. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    That I accept.
     
  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member


    Of course it does.
     
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Andrew,

    This is the weakest of slippery slope arguments. Why should it happen? And what makes you think it would be politically acceptable?

    On one side of the argument is a vanishingly small possibility at some point in the distant future. On the other is countles people dying a protracted and painful death right now. I do not find it hard to choose between these two options.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    steveandthedogs likes this.
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Andrew,

    You are conflating popular opinion without a vote; plebiscites (binding and non-binding); and representative parliamentary democracy. Which are you talking about here?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    What on earth are you talking about? Do you know any doctors personally? "Imagine being taunted as a legal version of Dr Shipman." You might do that sort of thing, but I've never met a doctor who would. Most are well able to think for themselves and make their own moral judgements.

    "Right wing" because the right tends (a) to think the worst of people other than themselves and (b) to be very authoritarian.

    Incidentally it's euthanasia not euphanasia.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  7. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    The time comes when we all die.
    usually at a time and in a manner we would never have chosen.
    seems better to me to have a real choice.
    death is inevitable
    Only the time and manner is in question.
    We should be able to choose the best time and manner for ourselves.
     
    steveandthedogs and Roger Hicks like this.
  8. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member


    This is a matter of law and law is made in our country by parliament. The actions of parliament are influenced by popular opinion although seldom directly. Plebiscites are relevant only as indications of popular opinion in our system. There is also the influence of the (currently) 803 members of the lords.
     
    Catriona likes this.
  9. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I remember a film called Logan's Run. A central part of the story was that everybody had a clock implanted that showed their stage of life, when only one year remained it turned red. The point being that on the, I think, 35th anniversary of their birth everyone was killed. hence some of those who were nearing 35 tried to escape.

    I am absolutely certain that none of us want this scenario to become reality.

    I am also fairly convinced that our ever "advancing" technology is partly to blame for the situation we have. Medical science can keep people "alive" with almost zero quality of life. For me the question should not be about ending life but when not to artificially extend it.
     
    Trannifan, Footloose and Catriona like this.
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Andrew,

    In other words, you're not saying.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Geoff,

    The first of which has nothing whatsoever to do with assisted suicide, and the second of which has very little to do with it.

    Define "artificially extended". I could have died of diphtheria at 3, appendicitis at 59 or the recent affliction at 66. At which point was I "artificially" kept alive, as distinct from being cured of a disease?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  12. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The first is relevant only in that wild extrapolation of an assisted suicide law would suggest that it is a logical end to such.

    In the case of artificially extended life I am thinking of Geren's friend or the baby that not so many years ago would have died soon after birth but was kept alive for nearly 12 months. Both extremely sad cases but was the medical intervention that kept them "alive" justified or just a demonstration of what is possible. A cure is a cure but the distinction is far from clear hence my comment. We can discuss assisted suicide but we must acknowledge that a number of those wanting to "benefit" from such a law might not have needed it even ten years ago as they wouldn't have survived that long.

    Prolongation of life, especially with no quality of life, is as much a moral dilemma as assisted suicide.
     
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  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Geoff,

    No, the first is an illogical end. Logan's Run is a pretty poor and ill-premised piece of fiction as compared with (say) Brave New World. One of the jobs of fiction is to help clarify our thoughts. It is not necessarily to be taken as a meaningful prediction: see my short story David. I hope and just about believe that even Trump's incipient fascism will not actually lead to what I describe.

    Yes, for the second, it is a moral dilemma about when to cease treatment. But it's a completely separate moral dilemma from assisted suicide.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  14. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I am not sure that the two can be entirely separated, extend life without any quality and you have people saying that they wish that they hadn't been kept alive and please help me to commit suicide.

    There will always be those with degenerative diseases and the like who wish to end their lives with dignity but that doesn't mean that we can completely separate the discussion of assisted suicide from that on prolongation of life. Especially if by extending life we increase the number of people wanting assisted suicide.
     
  15. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member


    I thought I had. It isn't one of those simple binary answers. Humans and their decision making is messy.
     
  16. saxacat

    saxacat Well-Known Member

    I remember being part of a debate regarding euthanasia at my RC school in the 60s; at the time I was strongly against it, not on any religious grounds, but purely because I believed any system would eventually be abused.

    Now in my early 60s, my opinion has changed and I would support some sort of euthanasia process. In 2000 I watched my Mum die by what I now know to be the Liverpool Care Pathway; I do not want to die like that, nor have my children have to watch it.

    I think it is understandable that some medical personnel would not be comfortable being actively involved. However, I get quite angry when people of a religious disposition use 'their' faith to prevent a change in the law.
     
  17. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Andrew,

    You hadn't and haven't. You made a vague statement about "democracy" without defining it, and then an even more vague statement about how "democracy" works in the UK. Which is why it is meaningless to state that "democracy" is or should be supreme, especially in such a complex matter as this.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Geoff,

    We can't separate the discussion but we can separate the dilemmas. Quite easily, I think.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    What? You mean you WOULDN'T want to die of starvation and dehydration, while having to be turned over every couple of hours to avoid (even worse) bed-sores? Why not? What are you, some kinda Godless commie?

    Just because you don't want to watch someone being slowly tortured to death doesn't mean it's a bad idea.

    Or on second thoughts, maybe it does.

    Of course some medical practitioners wouldn't want to get involved. Others would be prepared to do what's best for their patients. If easing the pain (to the point where it's imperceptible) means pain-killers in lethal doses, well, that would not be unknown.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  20. Mark101

    Mark101 Well-Known Member

    I've been in this position a number of times and felt like giving up, on one occasion a decision was made for me, but based on my belief . That belief is that where there is life there is hope. Now, before the objections start, it is my belief and based on my life experience of very serious illness to the point of it being almost being akin to an endurance test, but the attitude which has stayed with me is a most belligerent attitude of not letting illness beat me.

    When I suffered collapse from Viral Pneumonia and was placed on ECMO for three weeks unconscious December 2015, and subsequently suffered a chemically induced stroke, the Doctors at Papworth Hospital asked my wife for a lead. There was a good chance, following the stroke, that I might not walk or talk again work, would Mark like to live like that and what where his views ? Diane made it very clear that I was a great fighter, although illness did get me down and I was depressed a lot, but I would want to live. At that stage the Doctors did everything they could to save my life regardless. The outcome we know, which was a 99.9% recovery from the stroke and pneumonia and to be honest, you would never guess I was so close to death, nor can you tell that I've had a serious stroke.

    Cancer therapy was just a little different. During 2005, unknown to me even after consultations with my GP, my shoulder socket had been eaten away by a Plasmacytoma and I lived in great pain for a year that I was reduced to pain filled days and nights, often unable to sleep, to the extent the pain would cause me to scream out in agony with sudden movement of the arm., After a year of Cortisone injections, I insisted on seeing a Hospital Consultant who diagnosed my condition and I ended up having 25 courses of radiotherapy. The therapy burnt the skin on my shoulder and I suffered three months of pain due to burns whilst ruining no end of shirts plastering myself in a silver based cream to cope with the burn, which turned clothes black.

    In 2008 the condition turned into full blown Multiple Myeloma and I went into chemo with the addition of Thalidomide and Steroids. Image the pain of not only being ill due to the chemo, but the Thalidomide cause constipation from hell. This was quickly followed up by a stem cell transplant which left me ill for months.

    As you know, I've just spent seven months in therapy again on Velcade, following by a second stem cell transplant. I've lost my hair again, I spent days unable to eat and feel so drained that I'm confined to bed most of the time and my feet hurt all the time, which is a side effect of the Velcade.

    To conclude, did I feel like giving up ? Yes, many a time. Did I give up ? Obviously not. Why didn't I give up ? Because I knew there would be better days in the future, although I'm stuck with this cancer for life. Additionally, I think of the effect on those around me should I give up and the hole it could leave in their lives. Will there be more pain and suffering ? Yes, without doubt, but I'll keep up the fight until there is no more energy left.
     

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