Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

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Jagella
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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 20 by rikuoamero]
Of course you can disagree (it's what this site is all about after all)...
I meant can we disagree with the dying person's presumed choice to die? Obviously we don't honor every choice people wish to make. Why is the choice to die so sacred when we, including euthanasia enthusiasts, refuse to honor other choices the dying might wish to make?

I hope you see what I'm getting at here. Those who push for euthanasia do not use consistent logic. They insist the dying have the choice to die, yet I don't see the euthanasia people pushing for better care and greater freedoms for those we see as disabled. If the euthanasia people were really as compassionate as they claim to be, then why aren't they supporting people's choice to live and live well?
...but why should your view trump that of the person themselves?
I suppose for the same reason that my view "trumps" peoples' choices to murder, rape, or steal cars. If I think an act is immoral or stupid, then I think I have the right to oppose that choice or at least not act on it. Again, we do not and in fact should not honor every choice people might make.
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?
I sure do know that some people sincerely wish to die. I also know that some people honestly want to rape. Just because a person truly wants something does not morally obligate us to grant her or his choice.
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.
While it may be sad that a person is dying and in pain, it isn't my fault. I'm not obligated to kill that person especially if doing so runs counter to my personal ethics.
In the original OP's scenario, there is no treatment. You seem unable to or unwilling to operate under the original OP's scenario.
I already discussed the "original OP." This is a new thread initiated with a new OP. Like I said on the other thread, that OP seemed unrealistic to me. I was being threatened with censorship for my heretical opinions. I'm hoping I can more freely speak my mind on this thread.
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.
Again, doing so might result in a prison sentence. Even homicide charges are a possibility.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Bust Nak »

Jagella wrote: 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.
Feel free to make it known to them that you want them to live on despite their suffering, they may or may not take your wishes into account. Just bear in mind how you go about saying it, least they think you only want to keep them around for what they can offer.
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.
Sure, but their well being should be the top priority, and not some notion of sanctity of life.
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.
It was obvious to her. Does it sound to you like she made her choice without giving the matter due consideration?
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.
Of course choices are limited, that's why we don't allow just anyone to go ahead with suicide. It's not something that should be taken lightly. I even gave you an age threshold for allowing euthanasia. So what exactly did you have in mind with this accusation of flawed logic?
OK, you see death as "positive." Opinion noted.
You say that like you are not expressing your opinion when you voice your concern over euthanasia. Death is a positive in certain circumstances, agree or disagree?
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!
I was asking about suicide. If one is willing to let someone die when choose to suicide, then why not let someone die when they choose assisted suicide? In fact I am not entirely sure what your stances is surrounding this.

Do you think suicide be illegal? If so do those who attempted suicide be punished by law? Do you think assisted suicide should be illegal? If so do those who assist people in suicide be punished by law? If you don't think assisted suicide be illegal then what exactly is your disagreement here?
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.
Great, that I can approve of. Do talk to her more, ask her view on euthanasia and report back.
Yes, I realize that some people want to die. Do you honor everything people want to do?
No, only when it is the right thing to do.
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.
Not offering parachutes turned out to be a horrible idea and more importantly, that is never the doctor's choice in the first place! It is the patient who is doing the choosing. The actual choice for the doctor is whether to work hard to save a life or not, and why would a doctor not give his all just because the patient had the option for, but had not chosen assisted suicide?
Should we set up clinics in shopping malls right next to McDonald's?
I'd prefer a more tranquil setting. I sense this is another rhetorical question? Are you suggesting that having clinics in visible places would entice people to give up on life?

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by KenRU »

Jagella wrote: I already discussed the "original OP." This is a new thread initiated with a new OP. Like I said on the other thread, that OP seemed unrealistic to me. I was being threatened with censorship for my heretical opinions. I'm hoping I can more freely speak my mind on this thread.
To be clear and for the record, you were only asked to stay on the topic of the OP. My issues with our conversation had nothing to do with "heretical opinions".

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 22 by Bust Nak]
Just bear in mind how you go about saying it, least they think you only want to keep them around for what they can offer.
If they can offer me friendship, then I think that's a great offer! I like my friends alive rather than dead. I don't believe anybody would be too upset if I was so selfish as to want them to remain alive to be my friend.
Sure, but their well being should be the top priority, and not some notion of sanctity of life.
Generally we don't think of death as well being, or at least I don't. The support for euthanasia seems to be rather Orwellion making life out to be bad and death to be good.
Does it sound to you like she made her choice without giving the matter due consideration?
I cannot read her mind especially now that she's dead. It does concern me that in at least some cases not enough thought goes into issues of life and death. People make foolish decisions all the time and live to regret them. I have. When I hear about cases like Brittany I wonder if she did regret her decision at the last moment as she faced the dark pit of death in terror.
So what exactly did you have in mind with this accusation of flawed logic?
I was referring to the argument that many euthanasia proponents make (not necessarily you) that we are somehow obligated to allow suicide because it is a choice. That logic is flawed, in my opinion.
Death is a positive in certain circumstances, agree or disagree?
I suppose the death of a person who threatens the lives of others might be preferred to having that person live on to kill. For example, if a man with a gun is threatening to kill his sick wife, and the police shoot him dead stopping him from murdering his wife, then his death is preferable to his wife's death.
If one is willing to let someone die when choose to suicide, then why not let someone die when they choose assisted suicide?
Did I say I'm willing to let anybody commit suicide? I just wouldn't sit on my hands doing nothing if I was witnessing a suicide attempt. I'd try to stop it.
Do you think suicide be illegal?
Yes.
...do those who attempted suicide be punished by law?
No. I think they should get the help they need to regain their will to live.
Do you think assisted suicide should be illegal?
Yes, and in fact it is illegal in most states.
If so do those who assist people in suicide be punished by law?
Assisting a suicide should be punished as a felony. If coercion or deception is employed to "assist" a suicide, then the assistant should be prosecuted for murder.
Do talk to her more, ask her view on euthanasia and report back.
I'm not going to do that! She'll think I want her to do it.
Not offering parachutes turned out to be a horrible idea...
Especially for the pilots.
It is the patient who is doing the choosing.
Not necessarily. Sometimes people are coerced into suicide. That's what concerns me.
...why would a doctor not give his all just because the patient had the option for, but had not chosen assisted suicide?
The doctor would not be able to render treatment if her patient killed herself.
I sense this is another rhetorical question? Are you suggesting that having clinics in visible places would entice people to give up on life?
I was being facetious when I asked if death clinics should be located next to McDonald's. (Considering the quality of the food, McDonald's might be right at home next to such a clinic.) Although I don't like to use words like "ridiculous," taking euthanasia to its logical extreme does seem to expose just how crazy it is.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 23 by KenRU]
To be clear and for the record, you were only asked to stay on the topic of the OP. My issues with our conversation had nothing to do with "heretical opinions".
Well, Ken, on this thread I will let the other members decide what is or is not relevant. All threads drift a bit from the issues raised in the OP because people like to expand the discussion into other topics that get raised along the way.

In any event I want this thread to be free and open. I can tackle anything. I won't try to hide.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

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Jagella wrote: If they can offer me friendship, then I think that's a great offer! I like my friends alive rather than dead. I don't believe anybody would be too upset if I was so selfish as to want them to remain alive to be my friend.
That's for your friend (or soon to be ex-friend) to decide if you are too selfish or not. Personally, I would place concern for their well being above what they can offer me.
Generally we don't think of death as well being, or at least I don't. The support for euthanasia seems to be rather Orwellion making life out to be bad and death to be good.
Generally we don't think of death as well being. You choice of the word "generally" here is giving me the impression that you do accept that there are instances where death is the better option than keeping someone alive for the sake of keeping them alive. No one is suggesting that suicide is always the right choice, we are only saying it is sometimes the right choice.
I cannot read her mind especially now that she's dead. It does concern me that in at least some cases not enough thought goes into issues of life and death. People make foolish decisions all the time and live to regret them. I have. When I hear about cases like Brittany I wonder if she did regret her decision at the last moment as she faced the dark pit of death in terror.
Are you suggesting that because some people make foolish decision, no one should have the option to make life and death decisions? Besides, that's what trained professionals are for, to stop foolish decisions. Either way, are you willing to go as far as to say her decision was wrong? If not then it follows that some lives are not worth living.
I was referring to the argument that many euthanasia proponents make (not necessarily you) that we are somehow obligated to allow suicide because it is a choice. That logic is flawed, in my opinion.
Many? When has an open season ever been suggested by euthanasia proponents? That sounded very much like a strawman version created by the euthanasia opponents to me. The whole point of making it legal is to regulate it.
I suppose the death of a person who threatens the lives of others might be preferred to having that person live on to kill. For example, if a man with a gun is threatening to kill his sick wife, and the police shoot him dead stopping him from murdering his wife, then his death is preferable to his wife's death.
Not seeing the relevance for that particular example in discussion here. Am I to conclude that you cannot think of a situation where euthanasia is the right choice? Would you go as far as to say it is never the right choice?
Did I say I'm willing to let anybody commit suicide? I just wouldn't sit on my hands doing nothing if I was witnessing a suicide attempt. I'd try to stop it.
Stop it you say, but how far would you go? Would you resuscitate someone despite their explicit instruction to "DNR?" Surely you understood that was what I was getting at when I asked for your stance on DNR a couple of posts ago?
No. I think they should get the help they need to regain their will to live.
Well that doesn't make much sense. You want something to be illegal but not punishable by law?
Assisting a suicide should be punished as a felony. If coercion or deception is employed to "assist" a suicide, then the assistant should be prosecuted for murder.
Why not offer help to those assisting a suicide, where there was no coercion or deception?
I'm not going to do that! She'll think I want her to do it.
Why not? You don't trust her ability to comprehend, or you don't trust your own ability to communicate? Or perhaps your real fear is by alerting her to the idea of suicide would in itself encourage it.
Not necessarily. Sometimes people are coerced into suicide. That's what concerns me.
Which is a slippery slope argument. Are you suggesting that because someone would abuse the system, therefore no one should have the option?
The doctor would not be able to render treatment if her patient killed herself.
Okay and in that example, it's not the doctor's choice now, is it? So how exactly was that suppose to support you concern over how hard a doctor would work had patients have the option of euthanasia?
I was being facetious when I asked if death clinics should be located next to McDonald's. (Considering the quality of the food, McDonald's might be right at home next to such a clinic.) Although I don't like to use words like "ridiculous," taking euthanasia to its logical extreme does seem to expose just how crazy it is.
I don't see how it is any more crazy than sticking hospice in a mall next to a McDonald's.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 26 by Bust Nak]
Personally, I would place concern for their well being above what they can offer me.


Except that your idea of well being is death in some cases.
You choice of the word "generally" here is giving me the impression that you do accept that there are instances where death is the better option than keeping someone alive for the sake of keeping them alive.
I don't want to keep people alive "for the sake of keeping them alive" whatever that means. I want people alive so that they have hope. There is no hope beyond the grave.
Are you suggesting that because some people make foolish decision, no one should have the option to make life and death decisions?
I'd say that since suicide is foolish and dangerous not only to the person committing suicide but to others, then it should be prohibited.
Besides, that's what trained professionals are for, to stop foolish decisions.
Yes, and there are trained professionals who can stop suicides. If you are suicidal, then I urge you to contact one of these professionals.
Either way, are you willing to go as far as to say her decision was wrong?
Yes. I think she did the wrong thing.
When has an open season ever been suggested by euthanasia proponents?
Hitler's Aktion T4 program declared war on the disabled.
Not seeing the relevance for that particular example in discussion here.
If a man attempted to euthanize his sick wife, and the police needed to shoot him dead to stop him, then I think the police would be justified in doing so. So yes, killing a person is sometimes justified.
Am I to conclude that you cannot think of a situation where euthanasia is the right choice? Would you go as far as to say it is never the right choice?
No, I cannot readily think of any instances in which euthanasia would be the right thing to do.
Would you resuscitate someone despite their explicit instruction to "DNR?"
That's a tough question. If they were dying as a result of natural causes, then no, I don't think I would resuscitate them. If it was a murder attempt, then yes, I might resuscitate them.
You want something to be illegal but not punishable by law?
Yes. Much like drug abuse is not legal, but we shouldn't punish an addict. In the same way we should not punish a suicidal person but try to help her or him.
Why not offer help to those assisting a suicide, where there was no coercion or deception?
It's still wrong to "help" a person commit suicide no matter how much you try to white wash it.
Why not? You don't trust her ability to comprehend, or you don't trust your own ability to communicate? Or perhaps your real fear is by alerting her to the idea of suicide would in itself encourage it.
Her name is Emma, by the way. I've known elderly people to become alarmed by the idea of euthanasia. They feel threatened and for good reason. I don't want Emma to feel that way.
Are you suggesting that because someone would abuse the system, therefore no one should have the option?
Yes. In this case abuse is murder.

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Bust Nak »

Jagella wrote: Except that your idea of well being is death in some cases.
Yes, and it is becoming increasingly clear that you disagree absolutely, that there are no cases where death is better than life.
I don't want to keep people alive "for the sake of keeping them alive" whatever that means. I want people alive so that they have hope. There is no hope beyond the grave.
But you can't press a button and give people hope. What happens where there is the hope is a quick and timely death? How do you justifying keeping someone alive in those cases? That's what I meant by for the sake of keeping them alive.
I'd say that since suicide is foolish and dangerous not only to the person committing suicide but to others, then it should be prohibited.
And you say this in the context of Brittany Maynard. You first it isn't obvious if she made the right choice and now you are saying it was a foolish and wrong choice. By not obvious if it was right, you meant it was obviously wrong.
Yes, and there are trained professionals who can stop suicides. If you are suicidal, then I urge you to contact one of these professionals.
Right, but what of the trained professionals who don't stop all suicides, just the foolish ones?
Hitler's Aktion T4 program declared war on the disabled.
That's a) not an example of open season for euthanasia, it's limited to those "deemed incurably sick, after most critical medical examination" and b) not what we are taking about since it is involuntary.
If a man attempted to euthanize his sick wife, and the police needed to shoot him dead to stop him, then I think the police would be justified in doing so. So yes, killing a person is sometimes justified.
Still not what I was asking though. But you've answered it clear enough in the next sentence when you say you cannot readily think of any instances in which euthanasia would be the right thing to do. Would you go as far as to say it is never the right thing to do?
That's a tough question. If they were dying as a result of natural causes, then no, I don't think I would resuscitate them. If it was a murder attempt, then yes, I might resuscitate them.
Again, not what I was asking. Would you resuscitate someone who is dying in an suicide attempt, despite their instruction to DNR?
Yes. Much like drug abuse is not legal, but we shouldn't punish an addict. In the same way we should not punish a suicidal person but try to help her or him.
Drug abuse is not legal, but should drug abuse be illegal in the first place?
It's still wrong to "help" a person commit suicide no matter how much you try to white wash it.
Is it though? Even in those instance where there is no hope?
Her name is Emma, by the way. I've known elderly people to become alarmed by the idea of euthanasia. They feel threatened and for good reason. I don't want Emma to feel that way.
Then explain yourself clearly to Emma? Earlier you said you were interested in talking to from people who are suicidal and why they may want to die, and you seem to think Emma is in that position.
Yes. In this case abuse is murder.
Is that not analogous to wanting to ban knifes because people murder by abusing knifes? Or banning cars because people murder using them?

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Jagella »

[Replying to post 28 by Bust Nak]
Yes, and it is becoming increasingly clear that you disagree absolutely, that there are no cases where death is better than life.
I really have a problem with seeing death as preferable to life. I'm sorry that you find some instances in which you believe death is better than life. I do hope that your judgment does not reflect the condition of your own life.
But you can't press a button and give people hope.
That's correct. Hope often requires hard work and dedication. It is important that we never give up on people and their lives.
What happens where there is the hope is a quick and timely death?
That's obviously a loaded question. Death, like I said, is not hope to me.
How do you justifying keeping someone alive in those cases?
We don't really keep people alive. We help their bodily processes to maintain life. That's what the practice of medicine is all about. It's about saving and enhancing lives, not destroying them.
You first it isn't obvious if she made the right choice and now you are saying it was a foolish and wrong choice. By not obvious if it was right, you meant it was obviously wrong.
If she would have asked me while she was yet contemplating her suicide, I would have encouraged her to live on. Would you have told her to go ahead and kill herself?
Right, but what of the trained professionals who don't stop all suicides, just the foolish ones?
I'm not sure what you're asking. Can you rephrase the question?
Would you go as far as to say it is never the right thing to do?
Again, I cannot think of any cases in which euthanasia is clearly justified.
Would you resuscitate someone who is dying in an suicide attempt, despite their instruction to DNR?
Yes, I think I would unless I was a medical professional. If I was a paramedic, doctor, or nurse, then I'd need to go by the rules.
Drug abuse is not legal, but should drug abuse be illegal in the first place?
I suppose the legality of the drug depends on its dangers. I think marijuana should be decriminalized, but not cocaine or heroine.
Is it though? Even in those instance where there is no hope?
Again, we cannot know if there is no hope, and that's why you're wrong.
Is that not analogous to wanting to ban knifes because people murder by abusing knifes? Or banning cars because people murder using them?
The difference is that knives and cars do not kill people if used properly. Euthanasia always kills.

In closing, I'd like to point out that if a person does have contempt for the elderly, sick, or the dying, then she or he would be delighted with euthanasia. Have them die a "good" death? What are we waiting for!

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Re: Euthanasia: Compassion or Contempt?

Post by Bust Nak »

Jagella wrote: I really have a problem with seeing death as preferable to life. I'm sorry that you find some instances in which you believe death is better than life. I do hope that your judgment does not reflect the condition of your own life.
You have a problem with seeing death as preferable to life, therefore no one is allowed to prefer death to life? And had my judgment actually reflected on the condition of my own life, you'd prefer that I suffer though the reminder of my life rather than let me end it at a time of my choosing?
That's correct. Hope often requires hard work and dedication. It is important that we never give up on people and their lives.
Never mind those who are suffering eh? They just didn't put in enough hard work or were not dedicated enough. And you have the nerve to question our compassion.
That's obviously a loaded question. Death, like I said, is not hope to me.
Again, "to you." Shouldn't it matter more whether it is hope to the person whose life we are discussing?
We don't really keep people alive. We help their bodily processes to maintain life. That's what the practice of medicine is all about. It's about saving and enhancing lives, not destroying them.
That's what the practice of medicine is typically about, we are talking about very specific, highly unusual scenarios here.
If she would have asked me while she was yet contemplating her suicide, I would have encouraged her to live on. Would you have told her to go ahead and kill herself?
Yes, as it was the right decision for her.
I'm not sure what you're asking. Can you rephrase the question?
When I mentioned trained professionals, you implied that they are only there to stop suicides. You seem to be ignoring those whose top priority is not stopping suicide, you don't think they count as "trained professionals?"
Again, I cannot think of any cases in which euthanasia is clearly justified.
That still doesn't tell me if you think there absolutely cannot be any possible cases where euthanasia is clearly justified. Should I take that as a "no," you aren't willing to go that far, given the absence of a clear answer despite repeated prodding?

If so, then in those cases where euthanasia is clearly justified, should it still be banned and those involved in facilitating it be shot if that's what it takes to stop them?
Yes, I think I would unless I was a medical professional. If I was a paramedic, doctor, or nurse, then I'd need to go by the rules.
Then you contradicting yourself when you stated "one should not be force to under go treatments" earlier?
I suppose the legality of the drug depends on its dangers. I think marijuana should be decriminalized, but not cocaine or heroine.
But why, if they are not going to be penalized?
Again, we cannot know if there is no hope, and that's why you're wrong.
Well, in hindsight, we can know that there was no hope, what about those cases? And What about the cases where they (including the medical professionals) think there is no hope. Keep them alive no matter what?

A side point - hope is subjective, someone either feels hope, or they don't. Which means if one feels hopeless, then there is no hope, regardless of the actual chances of survival.
The difference is that knives and cars do not kill people if used properly. Euthanasia always kills.
And that's is exactly the answer I was fishing for - euthanasia kills, that alone is the justification for wanting it banned. All you other reasoning are just distraction from your actual, one reason for fighting against it. This is what I meant by keeping someone alive for the sake of keeping them alive.
In closing, I'd like to point out that if a person does have contempt for the elderly, sick, or the dying, then she or he would be delighted with euthanasia. Have them die a "good" death? What are we waiting for!
Since you asked, a person with contempt for the elderly, sick, or the dying, might be waiting for them to die a slow and painful "bad" death. She or he would be delighted with the banning of euthanasia.

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