Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

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Jagella
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Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

It appears that at least in some circumstances euthanasia and "the right to die" are very popular nowadays. Modern medicine has advanced to the point where it is able to preserve life that would never have endured in ages past. While most people might agree that the preservation of human life is the right thing to do, others would argue that some people in some circumstances would literally be better off dead. The people who might be seen this way are those who are very sick, injured, or comatose. They are often seen as hopeless cases whose lives are not worth living.

I do not support any kind of killing of such people, and neither do I support any kind of "assistance" given to them to take their own lives. What I do support is improved ways to enable the disabled to live full, active, and happy lives. If anybody experiences pain, then we need to place our resources in pain-management research, medication, and therapy--and not in having them die.

So what do you think? Is euthanasia a "good death" based in compassion, or is it more an act of contempt inflicted upon those we do not value because we are too selfish to care?

I welcome any opinions on this issue and look forward to a lively discussion!

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 1 by Jagella]
and neither do I support any kind of "assistance" given to them to take their own lives.
If someone makes the choice, is able to declare that they want to end their life...why deny them?
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Jagella
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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 2 by rikuoamero]
If someone makes the choice, is able to declare that they want to end their life...why deny them?
We deny any act of suicide because we as a society are supposed to value and respect human life. Nobody's life belongs to them exclusively. Our lives in a very real sense also belong to our families, our friends, and everybody else. If we take our own lives we not only harm ourselves, but we harm others as well.

That said, I do support the right to refuse medical treatment.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Neatras »

Jagella wrote:
That said, I do support the right to refuse medical treatment.
That just sounds like suicide with extra steps. Remember, our lives don't just belong to ourselves, we have a responsibility to use whatever means we have to make ourselves fit for work to support our families or we cause harm to them. We value [strike]the utility of humans who would otherwise want to stop suffering[/strike] life enough to have the Hippocratic Oath after all! Anyone who can decide to refuse medical treatment is basically unreliable in determining the usefulness of their autonomy; after all, someone wishing to be euthanized shouldn't be listened to.

Right?

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 3 by Jagella]
Nobody's life belongs to them exclusively. Our lives in a very real sense also belong to our families, our friends, and everybody else.
Unless I'm mixing you up with somebody else (possible), (part of) your arguments here have been about a slippery slope. Well, the same thing applies to what you just said. If you argue that one's life does not belong only to them but to their family and friends (and everyone else?), then this opens the door to eventually arguing that one's life does not belong to them at all.
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Your life is your own. Rise up and live it - Richard Rahl, Sword of Truth Book 6 "Faith of the Fallen"

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Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

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Jagella
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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 4 by Neatras]
That just sounds like suicide with extra steps.
You might think of it that way, but I tend to see suicide as active rather than passive. Suicide is what you do rather than what you don't do. So choosing not to get medical treatment is passive and not suicide in the normal sense of the word.
Anyone who can decide to refuse medical treatment is basically unreliable in determining the usefulness of their autonomy; after all, someone wishing to be euthanized shouldn't be listened to.
The choices are different in that not getting medical treatment is passive while getting euthanized is active. No adult should be forced to undergo anything imposed on them. They have the right not to do something, though.
Right?
I suppose wrong.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 5 by rikuoamero]
Unless I'm mixing you up with somebody else (possible), (part of) your arguments here have been about a slippery slope.
Another member made that observation on another thread, Post 87.
If you argue that one's life does not belong only to them but to their family and friends (and everyone else?), then this opens the door to eventually arguing that one's life does not belong to them at all.
Yes, but slippery slopes are sometimes real.

Are you arguing that it is dangerous to consider that one's life doesn't belong to that person at all? In a way, that's a potential problem with euthanasia. Who are we to judge that a person's life is not worth living and "assist" that person to die?

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Bust Nak »

Jagella wrote: Is euthanasia a "good death" based in compassion, or is it more an act of contempt inflicted upon those we do not value because we are too selfish to care?
Does the phrase "put (one) out of (one's) misery" mean anything to you? Of course it is based in compassion. If people are actually too selfish to care, then why does it matter whether someone lives or dies, and how is it contempt when they don't care one way or the other?
Suicide is what you do rather than what you don't do.
What about not eating and not drinking? Throw in the same pain management you proposed while their organs fail one by one?
Yes, but slippery slopes are sometimes real.
So stop it when it start to slip bit not one moment before.
Who are we to judge that a person's life is not worth living and "assist" that person to die?
Who are you to deny the person asking for assistance to die, after concluding that his life is not worth living?

Euthanasia need not be in competition with pain-management research, medication, and therapy improvements, by all means put more resources into those. Make the alternatives to euthanasia more viable for those who are thinking of suicide. But that's not an argument for disallowing euthanasia.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 8 by Bust Nak]
Does the phrase "put (one) out of (one's) misery" mean anything to you?
What that phrase means to me is that if a person's life is judged to be miserable or not worth living, then the right thing to do is kill that person.
Of course it is based in compassion.
"Of course"? Is that your argument that euthanasia is compassion?
If people are actually too selfish to care, then why does it matter whether someone lives or dies...
It matters to me because I care about people and their lives. I hate seeing people die. I was good to my Dad trying to make his life happy until he died. I miss him and dream about him often.
...and how is it contempt when they don't care one way or the other?
It's not the people sitting on the fence that I think are feeling contempt; it's those who enthusiastically promote euthanasia that I believe show contempt for those who live lives the euthanasia proponents don't think are worth living.
What about not eating and not drinking?
Yes, that might be considered a form of suicide that's passive. I'll correct what I said earlier by now saying that suicide is usually active with some exceptions.
Throw in the same pain management you proposed while their organs fail one by one?
Yes. If a person's organs are failing, then treat their condition with the best care available and treat their pain with the most effective medications.
Who are you to deny the person asking for assistance to die, after concluding that his life is not worth living?
Obviously I cannot deny anybody anything. If I had my way, I'd make sure the dying have the best medical and psychological care available. We can surely do much better in that regard than we do now. If we did do better and had true compassion, then I'm very confident that "the right to die" would be moot.
Euthanasia need not be in competition with pain-management research, medication, and therapy improvements...
I'm afraid it does compete with better palliative care. Every dollar and every minute wasted on euthanasia is a dollar and a minute that could be used to improve a person's quality of life.

By the way, I'm sure that there's a lot of miserable people in the world who wish to die. They're not always old, disabled, or dying. Teenagers often commit suicide. If you're consistent, then why not offer kids the right to die? Rather than let them suffer terribly with sexual abuse, drug addiction, and getting bullied at school, let's offer them assisted suicide! That way they need not take their own lives--we'll have doctors do it the right way for them.

Great idea, ay? True compassion!

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Bust Nak »

Jagella wrote: What that phrase means to me is that if a person's life is judged to be miserable or not worth living, then the right thing to do is kill that person.
Spot on, and it's not just the right thing to do, it is the compassionate thing too.
It matters to me because I care about people and their lives. I hate seeing people die. I was good to my Dad trying to make his life happy until he died. I miss him and dream about him often.
That does not answer my question/challenge. The point was it made no sense to suggest that the proponents of euthanasia to be both indifferent and be supportive of euthanasia at the same time.
It's not the people sitting on the fence that I think are feeling contempt; it's those who enthusiastically promote euthanasia that I believe show contempt for those who live lives the euthanasia proponents don't think are worth living.
Then they are not "too selfish to care" then, are they? They care enough to promote it.
Yes. If a person's organs are failing, then treat their condition with the best care available and treat their pain with the most effective medications.
But you just affirmed in a previous post that one should not be force to under go treatments. Did you meant to say "then treat their condition... if that is their wish?"
Obviously I cannot deny anybody anything. If I had my way, I'd make sure the dying have the best medical and psychological care available. We can surely do much better in that regard than we do now. If we did do better and had true compassion, then I'm very confident that "the right to die" would be moot.
Other than the implication of fake compassion, the rest I can agree with.

I have to ask though, by "cannot deny anybody anything," are you saying you don't want to deny those asking for assistance to die, or you don't have the means to deny them, but you would if you could? Those are very different positions.
I'm afraid it does compete with better palliative care. Every dollar and every minute wasted on euthanasia is a dollar and a minute that could be used to improve a person's quality of life.
And every dollar and every minute wasted on pain-management research is a dollar and a minute that could be used in combating climate change. It's an opportunity cost, not direct competition.
By the way, I'm sure that there's a lot of miserable people in the world who wish to die. They're not always old, disabled, or dying. Teenagers often commit suicide. If you're consistent, then why not offer kids the right to die?
In principle, we should - It's called "right to die" not "privilege to die" after all. In practice, we can't, for pretty much the same of reason we don't offer the right to marriage, or the right to free elections, or the right to work to kids: They are not mature enough to make such decision.
Great idea, ay? True compassion!
Indeed. Rhetorical question back fired?

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