Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

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Jagella
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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 10 by Bust Nak]
Spot on, and it's not just the right thing to do, it is the compassionate thing too.
Can you explain how you judge if a person's life is worth living? Can you post examples of people whose lives are worth living and examples of those whose lives are not worth living?
Then they are not "too selfish to care" then, are they? They care enough to promote it.
I meant care in a positive sense. Caring for a person having a quality life is what I mean when I say care.
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?"
I meant that we should make sure to offer the best care available and the best pain medications. If the suffering person refuses this medical care, then she or he has the right to do so.
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?
I don't have the means to deny assisted suicide. I'm not sure if I would deny that assistance if I did have the means to do so. I'd want to hear more from people who are suicidal and why they may want to die. The problem with euthanasia proponents is that they claim to speak for others who presumably want to die. That's way too indirect. I see a danger in that those who claim to speak for others are just trying to get rid of those others.
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.
Yes, it is an opportunity cost. One of my concerns is that euthanasia would detract from efforts to provide good medical care for the dying. I think it's much wiser to focus on better care.
In principle, we should - It's called "right to die" not "privilege to die" after all.
You are consistent. The right to die for kids? Put up a website.
They are not mature enough to make such decision.
At what age do we have the right to die?
Indeed. Rhetorical question back fired?
I'm surprised you answered it.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Bust Nak »

Jagella wrote: Can you explain how you judge if a person's life is worth living?
I judge it by the how the person in question feels about his life, and their mental capacity to do a thorough evaluation of their current and predicted quality of life.
Can you post examples of people whose lives are worth living and examples of those whose lives are not worth living?
Easy enough, my life is worth living; Brittany Maynard's life was not worth living.
I meant care in a positive sense. Caring for a person having a quality life is what I mean when I say care.
But we do care in a positive sense about a person's quality of life, that's why we think it's better to end it in some cases.
I meant that we should make sure to offer the best care available and the best pain medications. If the suffering person refuses this medical care, then she or he has the right to do so.
Okay, where exactly do you stand in "do not resuscitate" cases? Euthanasia is only one helper away from the typical suicide.
I don't have the means to deny assisted suicide. I'm not sure if I would deny that assistance if I did have the means to do so. I'd want to hear more from people who are suicidal and why they may want to die. The problem with euthanasia proponents is that they claim to speak for others who presumably want to die. That's way too indirect. I see a danger in that those who claim to speak for others are just trying to get rid of those others.
Then by all means seek them out and speak to them. Is it really too much to presume that when they insist that they want to die; when some go as far as to undergo psychiatric evaluation to lend support to their claim; when some actually go though the whole process where it is legal and regulated, that they do actually want to die?
Yes, it is an opportunity cost. One of my concerns is that euthanasia would detract from efforts to provide good medical care for the dying. I think it's much wiser to focus on better care.
But euthanasia doesn't take much effort at all, least of all scientific/research resources. The tech is here, the facilities are here, the people with the right skills are here, it's merely a political issue at this point.
You are consistent. The right to die for kids? Put up a website.
There are already such websites - there is a case of a 14 years old who fought (note the past tense here) for her right to die.
At what age do we have the right to die?
16 with parents' permission and 18 without, those are the usual go-to threshold for issues surrounding maturity.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 9 by Jagella]
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.
In the original thread that this argument started on, kids would not have been considered. The original thread was about terminally ill patients who had no hope of treatment and who actively expressed a desire to die.
At age 20, I tried suicide. Obviously I was not in the same category as the original thread.
Obviously I cannot deny anybody anything.
Then why are you arguing in favour of denying terminally ill people the right to choose for themselves? Is the reason a new thread was created was because you could not successfully argue under the restrictions of the original OP?
If I had my way, I'd make sure the dying have the best medical and psychological care available.
What happens when there simply is no medical care that can treat them and they are in constant pain? Why keep them alive against their will if they express a desire to end it?
If we did do better and had true compassion, then I'm very confident that "the right to die" would be moot.
If we could treat terminally ill patients or find some way to block pain completely, then I'd agree with you. However, we don't.
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.
If the person is terminally ill, in pain and expresses a desire to die...note that you seem to be having trouble with all three of these, especially the last one in conjunction with the first two. It's not other people who are saying "Hmm...this guy is not worth living", it's the patients themselves who may or may not be saying it.
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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 11 by Jagella]
Can you explain how you judge if a person's life is worth living? Can you post examples of people whose lives are worth living and examples of those whose lives are not worth living?
As said up above, under the original OP, it was the patients themselves who were making this decision.
I meant that we should make sure to offer the best care available and the best pain medications. If the suffering person refuses this medical care, then she or he has the right to do so.
Okay, so if the patient refuses pain medication, what happens? Why...they're in pain. If they then express a desire to end it, why not help them? Going with your ideas here, you would leave the patient in pain for no good reason.
Seems that at this point, you'd have three options available
A) Give them painkillers, against their will.
B) Not give them painkillers, but do not kill them, thus having them be in pain.
C) Not give them painkillers, but do something to end it (a painless lethal drug of some sort?)

The first two would be violating the patient's expressed desires.
I'd want to hear more from people who are suicidal and why they may want to die.
I question the sincerity of this, given that your arguments so far, both here and in the original OP, are against following the patient's desires, i.e. not listening to them.
The problem with euthanasia proponents is that they claim to speak for others who presumably want to die. That's way too indirect. I see a danger in that those who claim to speak for others are just trying to get rid of those others.
You though, as I have just said, have been arguing against not allowing terminal patients the choice. So who is really not listening to the patients?
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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"

I condemn all gods who dare demand my fealty, who won't look me in the face so's I know who it is I gotta fealty to. -- JoeyKnotHead

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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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 13 by rikuoamero]
I judge it by the how the person in question feels about his life...
I think I agree with you to some extent here. Generally we should take into consideration how a person feels about her or his life when assessing the quality of that life. My personal approach is to point out flaws in that assessment, however. Many people might not see qualities in their lives that others can see. It's the greatest shame for a person to throw her life away not realizing what she had to offer. This idea was made famous in the film It's a Wonderful Life.
...and their mental capacity to do a thorough evaluation of their current and predicted quality of life.
I agree that we definitely should take a person's state of mind into consideration when making end-of-life decisions. If a dying or very ill person becomes suicidal, then those feelings might result from depression or anxiety. If so, then psychological support might help that person regain the will to live.
Brittany Maynard's life was not worth living.
I just read a Wikipedia article about Brittany. I find stories like that to be very sad and disturbing. I'm well aware that many people like Brittany want to take their own lives because they suffer in some way. That's obvious. What isn't obvious is if taking one's life is the right thing to do. The euthanasia crowd argue that we need to "honor" whatever a person decides. The flaw in that logic is that a mere decision on a person's part does not necessarily obligate us to allow that person to go ahead and do what they have chosen to do. I can freely choose to open an account at the bank, but I cannot freely choose to rob the bank! Our choices are limited. So the "choice" argument for euthanasia is flawed logically.
But we do care in a positive sense about a person's quality of life, that's why we think it's better to end it in some cases.
OK, you see death as "positive." Opinion noted.
Okay, where exactly do you stand in "do not resuscitate" cases?
I happen to have a DNR. Coincidentally, I was just discussing rescinding that DNR with my doctor. DNRs are tricky because what I decide today may not be what I want if unconscious and dying. It's easy to sit back and ponder what we would want if facing death. Actually facing death is another matter!
Then by all means seek them out and speak to them.
One of my neighbors I believe is in that situation. She attempted suicide a few months ago. She's elderly and is experiencing pain. I saw her recently and asked her how she is doing. She answered: "Miserable!" I think I'll try talking to her the next time I see her to get more information from her. I don't believe she has internet access. I might offer to do some research on her condition to see if there are resources she can make use of to feel better.
Is it really too much to presume that when they insist that they want to die; when some go as far as to undergo psychiatric evaluation to lend support to their claim; when some actually go though the whole process where it is legal and regulated, that they do actually want to die?
Yes, I realize that some people want to die. Do you honor everything people want to do?
But euthanasia doesn't take much effort at all...
Maybe, but it does detract from efforts to prolong and enhance the quality of life. If medical professionals realize they have no choice to assist with dying, then perhaps they'll work that much harder to help the living to live well. It's like the story of WWI fighter pilots using parachutes. The air force officers initially frowned on fighter planes being equipped with parachutes. The idea was that if the pilots knew they needed to fight hard to stay alive without a choice to float gently to the ground, then they would fight hard! In the same way a doctor's choice of assisting with suicide might cause her to more readily give up on a patient living rather than doing her best to save that patient.
The tech is here, the facilities are here, the people with the right skills are here, it's merely a political issue at this point.
Should we set up clinics in shopping malls right next to McDonald's?

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 15 by Jagella]

Just for clarification, Jagella, the above post from yourself (Post 15), although marked as replying to myself, is actually you quoting from and replying to Bust Nak (Post 12). If you are still within the time window that allows you to edit your post, please edit it to show who you are replying to.
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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"

I condemn all gods who dare demand my fealty, who won't look me in the face so's I know who it is I gotta fealty to. -- JoeyKnotHead

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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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

rikuoamero wrote: [Replying to post 15 by Jagella]

Just for clarification, Jagella, the above post from yourself (Post 15), although marked as replying to myself, is actually you quoting from and replying to Bust Nak (Post 12). If you are still within the time window that allows you to edit your post, please edit it to show who you are replying to.
Thanks for pointing that out.

Everybody please note that my Post 15 is not quoting rikuoamero. I meant to quote Bust Nak.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 12 by Bust Nak]

See Post 15 for my reply which I mistakenly replied to rikuoamero.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 14 by rikuoamero]
As said up above, under the original OP, it was the patients themselves who were making this decision.
Is it OK if we disagree about the value a person places on her or his life? I've found that I often have a better view of a person than that person does. Sometimes we say and think unflattering things about ourselves hoping that others will honestly disagree. If a person says she wishes to die, she may be seeking help to live.
If they then express a desire to end it, why not help them?
I do help them. I have known people who express a wish to die. I encourage them to go on seeking a better way to live. I would NEVER encourage them to commit suicide or assist them to do so. Not only is doing so immoral in my opinion, it is illegal in most states. Here in Pennsylvania I could be guilty of a felony if I encouraged a person to end her life.
Going with your ideas here, you would leave the patient in pain for no good reason.
Not necessarily. Chances are that I might help alleviate that person's suffering. You'd be amazed what a few kind words can do to help a person feel better.
Seems that at this point, you'd have three options available
A) Give them painkillers, against their will.
B) Not give them painkillers, but do not kill them, thus having them be in pain.
C) Not give them painkillers, but do something to end it (a painless lethal drug of some sort?)
D) Overcome the person's reluctance to take medication by encouraging them to take the proper medication and receive treatment.
I question the sincerity of this, given that your arguments so far, both here and in the original OP, are against following the patient's desires, i.e. not listening to them.
I'm sorry if I confused anybody about listening to the person in pain. We should listen to what anybody who needs help has to say. I surely do.
You though, as I have just said, have been arguing against not allowing terminal patients the choice. So who is really not listening to the patients?
The choice to kill themselves? Yes, I tend to discourage people from taking their own lives. What would you do if somebody asked if they should end it all? Again, if you did something like encouraging them to commit suicide, you might go to prison for doing so.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 19 by Jagella]
Is it OK if we disagree about the value a person places on her or his life? I've found that I often have a better view of a person than that person does.
Of course you can disagree (it's what this site is all about after all), but why should your view trump that of the person themselves?
Sometimes we say and think unflattering things about ourselves hoping that others will honestly disagree. If a person says she wishes to die, she may be seeking help to live.
Do you allow for the possibility at all that they may just honestly want to die? Or is there no possibility at all for this?
if I encouraged a person to end her life.
We're not talking about you convincing or suggesting or encouraging that person to end their life. We're talking about that person being terminal, being in pain and them expressing a desire to end their life. In other words, it's them encouraging you.
D) Overcome the person's reluctance to take medication by encouraging them to take the proper medication and receive treatment.
In the original OP's scenario, there is no treatment. You seem unable to or unwilling to operate under the original OP's scenario.
What would you do if somebody asked if they should end it all?
If they were a terminally ill patient, in pain, there was no treatment...I don't see a reason why I wouldn't help them to end it, as long as they asked.
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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"

I condemn all gods who dare demand my fealty, who won't look me in the face so's I know who it is I gotta fealty to. -- JoeyKnotHead

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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