Author Topic: Euthanasia  (Read 503 times)

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Offline Nick

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Euthanasia
« on: March 31, 2013, 09:12:24 AM »
86 year old, George Sanders, of Ariz. got probation in his court case for mercy killing his 81 year old wife, Virginia.  Virginia had MS since 1969 and was wheelchair bound.  George had been her sole caregiver all that time.  She had recently been diagnosed with gangrene on the foot and was going to have to have toes taken off.  A nursing home was prob after that due to George's health getting worse.  Virginia begged George to get a gun and kill her. He said he could not do that but she said ,"yes, you can".  He finally agreed and she asked if it was going to hurt.  He said she would not feel  thing.  Then he shot her in the head.

This is where we are in this country.  Not allowed (in most states) to even consider assisted death with a doctors help.  Instead a loved one must remember his wife this way.  We treat our pets better than we do our own family members.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 09:49:25 AM by Nick »
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 09:40:04 AM »
I cannot imagine desiring death, and I cannot imagine assisting a loved one in death.  But I also cannot imagine living damn close to half a century with a debilitating disease. 

And yet medical science allows us to take baby steps in these decisions. 

When my beloved father's cancer surgery resulted in complications, and 3 months of hospitalization, (rather than the expected night or two in the hospital) my mom and I decided to bring him home after the three months, and not pursue additional, aggressive treatment.  Complex health problems unrelated to the cancer made it unlikely that he would respond well to additional surgeries, and he probably was too weak to survive chemo.  Instead, he spent his last days of life in his home, surrounded by family, watching his favorite movies, discussing politics, (often a bit incoherently) and even enjoying a cocktail a day or two before he slipped out of consciousness. 

Aggressive efforts might have kept him alive a couple more months, in pain and discomfort, in an institution.   It was hard.  Initially, my father had said that he wanted to be kept alive, at any cost.  After months in the hospital, he said he wanted to go home.   

My family's decision was acceptable by commonly acknowledged ethical standards. I  know we made the right decision, and I will always value that last week together.

I wish this man could find comfort as he contemplates the end of his wife's life.  I wish that society could have offered her the power to make decisions that would not have put her poor husband on trial. 

Offline Traveler

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 10:36:29 AM »
Washington state has a law that states that a terminal patient with less than six months to live has the legal right to assistance in suicide. Its a step in the right direction.

I've always found it depressing that with our pets we're allowed to, and expected to, "put them out of their misery" if their condition warrants it. But people must suffer and die in the worst possible ways, even if their wishes are clearly put. There are situations where people are allowed to refuse life-saving measures, for instance, by refusing a feeding tube, but then they slowly starve to death. How much more humane to let them choose a quiet shot of drugs, perhaps with family around them to hold their hand and say goodbye. If I'm ever in that position that's what I want. A loved one holding my hand, some music perhaps, and quietly slipping away. That's a humane death.
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Offline Irish

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2013, 08:16:16 PM »
I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the documentary I watched on this subject.  It dealt with the more recent law that passed in Washington state regarding assisted suicide.  The main storyline followed a woman (who I believe was also an advocate in getting the law passed) who had some sort of cancer and complete liver failure.  The end of the documentary concluded with her deciding on a death date, gathering family and friends to her house for a party, and then crushing up her prescription pills into her Gatorade and drinking the mixture.  Cameras outside her house took over but you could still here the audio of her telling her loved ones goodbye one last time as she slipped away peacefully.

I agree with Traveler.  We are expected to ease the suffering of our pets - from large animals such as horses all the way down to the smallest hamster and especially the most beloved of pets, the family dog - yet the same care and expectation doesn't seem to be present in regards to our grandparents, parents, siblings, children, and, especially, ourselves.  It's all rather paradoxical and strange that we should ease the suffering of pets but deem it unlawful and immoral to do the same for the humans we love.

Though I am still young (today is my 25th birthday) I have a mental note that in the event of any hospitalization I may require I will instruct any doctor or nurse to use any and all available means to save my life - in effect I want the opposite of a DNR.  I want any available means to save my life - be it risky, invasive, costly, cumbersome, experimental, dangerous, or just a pain in the ass to medical staff - because I love living and want to continue living. But if the time comes where I am suffering beyond control I want the option to end that suffering.
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Offline kindred

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 05:08:50 AM »
I don't know what philosophy it came from bet isn't their a whole line of thought that human suicide is immoral because it is giving up and that a human should die fighting for life and a person who can't take suffering for the right to live isn't worth time and attention?

If somebody knows what line of thought or philosophy that is, it would be much obliged if you would benevolently divulge that information.
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Offline Nick

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 05:58:57 AM »
I seem to remember that as part of the Catholic teachings.  Suffering is suppose to be a good thing.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 11:16:35 AM »
I don't know about catholics, but I thought the more radical of the christians were against suicide because we'd be playing god. That its his choice when we croak, not ours.

As for the immorality of suicide because suffering is cool, I don't know who it was. But I think in addition to some variants of christianity that some variants of buddhism are into that.
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Offline Odin

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 07:10:32 PM »
He finally agreed and she asked if it was going to hurt.

He told her, "Yeah, it's going to hurt.  It's going to hurt a lot.  But, that's OK.  Because it's only going to hurt you!"

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[snicker]

Online wright

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 02:33:08 AM »
I was once asked by a friend who had limited mobility and was severely depressed if I would help her commit suicide. I said yes, and though she never took me up on it (thankfully, because her situation improved immeasurably), I'm still not sure what I would have done had it come to the test.

Adults in their right mind should have this option. It's a damn tricky thing, legally and ethically, but it needs to be addressed. People are living longer and longer, and circumstances like that described in the OP will get more and more common.

He finally agreed and she asked if it was going to hurt.

He told her, "Yeah, it's going to hurt.  It's going to hurt a lot.  But, that's OK.  Because it's only going to hurt you!"

Odin, King of the Gods

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Offline Odin

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 08:11:29 PM »
I was once asked by a friend who had limited mobility and was severely depressed if I would help her commit suicide. I said yes...

That's just great, wright.  Don't help with what could be right in her life, suggest drug therapy, counseling, or other professional help.  Just agree to put her out of her misery.  Stephen Hawking has had limited mobility for a long, long time.

Lighten up.  This whole web site is not exactly serious.

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Euthanasia
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 08:19:21 PM »
Must have missed this part:

... I'm still not sure what I would have done had it come to the test. ...
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