[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?