Euthanasia – Don Charisma’s Opinion


When I first heard this word, being young, dumb and well, erm, ignorant, I though they were talking about “the youth in Asia” … it sounds quite similar, but I came to learn it couldn’t be a more different topic !

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Clint Eastwood did an excellent job with the movie “Million Dollar Baby” (2004) alongside with Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman. For me it illustrates beautifully several of life’s dilemmas. The narcissistic mother who cares more about herself than her own daughter. The daughter who wanted to be loved for who she was, but could only strive and fight for greatness. The daughter’s determination in finding a trainer who took her to the pinnacle of success as a boxer. Her subsequent hospitalisation due to paralysis from being fouled in the boxing ring. Lastly her wish to be allowed to die because of her suffering and paralysis, being denied by “the system”. In the end Clint’s character takes matters into his own hands and gives her the peaceful end she wishes for.

It’s one of my favourite movies, more power to Clint to be choosing to make movies about emotive and challenging issues such as this one.

This comes at a time when I’d recently chatted with a couple of readers about suicide – their choice, not mine I hasten to add.

Essentially some might say Euthanasia is assisted suicide. Others would describe it as manslaughter or murder, or certainly that is how the legal system in the UK views it – http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Euthanasiaandassistedsuicide/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Also of note is that in the UK, suicide is also illegal. Quite odd that the powers that be wish to deny us our basic right of whether we wish to live or die, but that’s how it is. I imagine it’s similar in USA, and in other countries. In reality making suicide illegal is a “moot point” in that once one has committed suicide there’s no law to answer to anyway. So a bit like an ashtray on a motorcycle, that is rather pointless …

Switzerland from what I understand takes a different point of view, and they have Euthanasia clinics there. So that might be a possible solution for a person who wished to end their own life, provided they had the money to get there and were capable of travelling to Switzerland. And what then of anyone who assisted them in going to Switzerland, under UK law presumably they might have done something wrong, perhaps the airline staff for instance could end up in court on a manslaughter charge ? My legal knowledge isn’t wide enough to more than speculate !

The pro-Euthanasia camp would argue it’s compassionate, it’s an end to suffering and that it’s a human right violation to say that we can’t choose if we want to end our own lives.

The anti-Euthanasia camp would argue that it’s sinful, illegal and basically murderous. Also that there’s a risk of any Euthanasia system being abused by the greedy and unscrupulous.

I’m sitting on the fence on this one. I can see reasons that compel me on either side. Bottom line, personally Iย  believe human life is one of our most precious gifts, so I’m slightly more in the anti-camp for this reason. Within that Million Dollar Baby did change my perceptions regarding this issue – I mean how could you watch someone you love in horrendous suffering, slowly deteriorate against their will, eventually dying of rotten bedsores or gangrene … that’s a tough one, a really tough one …

It’s an emotive, tough topic, so please exercise self-discipline in your comments and have respect for those who may be suffering.

Within that have a good laugh at the fool in the photo, I’ll have to clean my monitor now from the coffee that got propelled onto it prior to me rolling around on the floor laughing ๐Ÿ˜€

Over to you … what do you think ?

Cheers

Don Charisma


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94 thoughts on “Euthanasia – Don Charisma’s Opinion

  1. I believe euthanasia should be legal. However, i do also think there needs to be very strict laws surrounding the process for one to be euthanised.
    I watched my mother battle lung cancer last year, i battle she inevitably lost. She battled on to the very end, and it hurt me deeply to see her in such immense pain.
    At a few points i did wish it would end, and i would be lying if i said that was only for her sake.
    Although i do not believe that if she had the option of euthanasia she would taken it. However, i do believe everyone deserves that right to choose.

    1. That’s very much were the debate boiled down to, the needing to be sure such a system isn’t open to abuse, and people very worried about consequences and repercussions of making euthanasia legal … at the same time a human being’s right to choose is very very important ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Well I believe at some point we need to make a call. Sometimes it’s a deception, a lie, that we all believe in that a person isn’t dying but simply ill. Modern medicine has only taught us how to cure a disease, but never how to sympathize.

  3. Vast and never ending subject…..I did experienced a near death experience and during that moment….I decided to stay…or to come back…if I did…it was for my beloved…not for me….it feels good when you are in huge pain….to leave….so my opinion would be….never judge…and offer freedom to the one facing personally that choice….freedom and compassion….

  4. In the Netherlands euthanasia is legal but in takes a lot of paperwork and at the end of the day ( or life, in this case) I understand that ones family still have the rights to postpone it. Anyway, my opinion is that everyone has the right to end ones life in case of unbearable suffering.

    1. OK, and probably for good reason, there’s a lot of worry about these systems being abused … and yes I’ve touched on that in the post and to a few commenters about the possible violation of human rights in letting the individual choose whether to be alive or not.

  5. 1st time reader of your blog and what a 1st topic to read on your blog. First off euthanasia is illegal in my country, however DNR orders are not.
    I watched the most recent world wide case of euthanasia with huge interest (selfishly) because it is not an option in my country. If it was an option my DNR order would have company along side my legal paperwork.
    Ive been suffering from multiple cancers for over 11 years now and on a couple of occasions I have wanted it to simply end and even though I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy hoped that the cancer would go hassle someone else for a while. I never thought before I got sick that I could or would ever want to end things early but life has a habit of making you rethink things sometimes.
    I applaud anyone that has the personal will to end the pain and suffering and die as you want people to remember you. I’m currently in a very good place health and life wise and have no desire to end anything (well the cancer obviously).
    But i know that if my condition worsened i would expect I would certainly like the option of going with dignity.
    I imagine it would not be an easy thing for my loved ones to deal with but trust that they loved me enough to allow my wishes.
    It is not until you greet death once or twice that you truly know what you will want or how you want to die or live.

    Nice post Don. Hope you don’t mind about a lengthy comment.

    1. Not at all, happy for lengthy comment ! … it seemed the right moment to post about this topic, so it’s what I did. Sorry to hear of your suffering, but I also hear a lot of strength and bravery too, which I admire a great deal ๐Ÿ˜€

      It’s also great that you did comment, as you have first hand experience of the thoughts and feelings, that many of the rest of us can only speculate on. So thanks for chipping in ๐Ÿ˜€

      Warm regards

      Don

  6. I recently had a discussion with my parents about this and ended up with more questions than answers. I’ll share them here:

    It is noble to say you want people “without hope” due to a “terminal diagnosis” to “die with dignity,” but dignity and hopelessness are awfully subjective terms, and a terminal diagnosis is often uncertain. My grandfather lived three years on a six-week diagnosis; his sister is currently entering her second year on a 9 month diagnosis. What pressure do we put on doctors if they know that a faulty estimate might make someone kill themselves prematurely? Will they start giving generous estimates to avoid making a mistake? What if someone’s lack of hope has more to do with depression, doctors bills, or a resistance to going through the grieving process? Is killing yourself in despair at the thought of a drawn out death, or because you refuse to accept the reality of your illness, more dignified that dying of the illness? How might an acceptance of dignity suicides influence others? I think of my beloved grandmother who is in great health but regularly makes morose comments that she “doesn’t want to burden anyone” when her time comes… Now, I don’t think she is ready to commit suicide if she becomes terminally ill, but if someone who is as beloved and supported (she has three kids and 6 grandkids whose families would readily take her into our homes if need be) as Gram struggles with this sort of guilt, what of those who don’t have that sort of support? If suicide becomes a viable option in our culture, will this increase elderly people’s guilt if they choose to continue to live? Is that a dignified reason to commit suicide? If a social worker helping such a patient finds that any of these things are concerns – that the desire for suicide is a product of depression, guilt, pressure from family, etc., will they be obligated to help that person commit suicide if we call it a ‘right?’

    My feeling, as Mom and Dad and I hashed all this out, is that I think legalized assisted suicide would open the door for a lot of sad ugliness and I don’t think it’s worth that. Certainly all people have their free will and may choose to take their own lives regardless of its legality or not, but I don’t think I would do it and I don’t think I would ever allow someone else to do it unchallenged… but, as my dad pointed out, I’ve never been in extreme, chronic pain with a terminal diagnosis. I’m not sure how my convictions might change in those circumstances.

    Sorry, that was longer than I intended. ๐Ÿ˜› Thanks for the space to process my thoughts!

    1. No, that’s fine, it’s interesting and adds to what I wrote … as some others have said, they have changed their perspectives having been with sick and terminal ill family members … I would also add that there’s potentially a human rights issue here in restricting a persons ability to choose to live or die … but like you, I’m still on the fence it’s a tough one to say black or white on …

  7. This is a hard one. I had two friends, both dying of ugly, painful, fatal diseases. One to in his logic, save his family from mental anguish, committed suicide a couple of weeks ago. The other wanted to live as long as he c old t o continue loving. He died about the same time. When it comes down to it, it is not our opinion that matters. It is the opinion of the person making the choice. We have the opinion of right or wrong. They have the choice of live or die.

    1. That’s pretty much where I am on it … on the worry side is people abusing the weak/sick/elderly due to financial gain or similar, people can be coerced/strong armed/blackmailed etc …

  8. The “slippery slope” of euthanasia is simple laziness and fear mongering. The policies to restrict the use of euthanasia and ensure that only those who are only willing and in serious pain are complicated, but not impossible. We know longer have to guess what could happen if it was made legal; we just have to look at a country like the Netherlands where it has been practiced for decades. It is very carefully managed there and it is only used when it is truly necessary.

    Those who argue from the position of the “slippery slope” either haven’t looked at the evidence or have looked at the evidence but are willing to use any excuse to bar euthanasia because it violates some odd moral code they have that demands people suffer right until the end.

    1. I see some validity in the slippery slope argument, there have been and will continue to be miscarriages of justice so I would put this as a risk for legalised Euthanasia … In the UK for instance the GP doctors are very “precious” about giving out medicines, you have to face a spanish inquisition to get anti-fungal tablets … the reasons for is to stop people abusing medicine … the reason against for me is that it makes it an absolute pain in the backside to get simple medications …

      Moral codes I agree are often odd/weird/distorted, but societies thrive on them, so they need paying attention to even if we agree with them or not …

      Thanks for letting me know about Netherlands, I wasn’t aware … the Dutch I’ve always found to be progressive country of people, I like a lot of their attitudes to things, it’s relaxed and easy going way of life from what I’ve experienced.

    2. Glad to connect, arollinson. As I used the slippery slope as part of my argument for valuing life from it’s natural beginning to end, I want to clarify that as an American, part of my concern is the inclusion of government entities in the life and death decisions of individuals and their families. For argument sake, let’s say that the Netherlands has a perfect record of their policies not being abused; no one is killed or kills themselves outside of protocol. While abuse of policies and protocol is a serious concern, I have a problem with a family entanglements with government agencies on such matters in the first place. In this discussion, it appears that we disagree on the role of government, which is just part of the slippery slope of my concerns.

      1. Ah I see. I suppose I can understand that, especially when the government you are concerned about is the American one. The fear of government is quite a big deal there, or so I am told (I live in Canada). I might be hesitant to allow the US government to intervene in such affairs (but then again, maybe not). I do not really understand the principle of not allowing ANY government involvement in personal affairs. Indeed, I spoke of evidence before. When I look at America where freedom from government seems to be favored over virtually everything else, I also notice that I would not want to live there due to insane income, inequality among other things. When I look at a country like the Netherlands or Finland however, I see cultures that invite the government into their lives and who live happier, healthier, more educated lives. If your fear of government is greater than your desire or equality, health, and education, then good thing you live in America. I however, would gladly work with my government to create the best life for everyone, including the option to die with dignity.

        The government itself is not personally responsible for the decision to end someone’s life anyhow, nor is any one person. Everywhere it is legally implemented requires quite an array of consenting people, usually including several doctors who must be present when the death is actually carried out.

      2. Thank you for your thoughtful reply, neighbor to the north. You are right that some are fearful of government but thankfully, I have no fear. I’ve been curious about government and it’s workings since I was a child (I went on to earn an MPA, political science/public administration.) I highly desire health, education, and good things for all, and government is certainly a part of our interconnection. You also mentioned equality, yet I lean more toward E pluribus unum, (out of many, one) as my understanding of how we fit together, sharing our unique selves with each other.

        My husband works with the Public Health Service here and I, too, have worked within government agencies to serve those in need. Because of my experience, I’m cautious about what authority government takes upon itself. I agree with you that dying with dignity and respect is of utmost importance. I lean toward dignity measures being given to the individual in need via their family, friends, health care providers, volunteer groups, church members, neighbors, and local government agencies rather than the federal government being entangled in matters traditionally reserved for those closest to us. This type of dignity, respect, care, and love pairs well with the view that life is valuable and to be protected from it’s natural beginning to it’s natural end.

        I really appreciate your time and have taken away much from this discussion. I wish you all the best and am going to check out your blog next ๐Ÿ™‚

      3. I am glad to hear that you do not have an irrational fear of government like I thought might be the case: too many do. However, I am now not sure I quite understand what you are in favour of then. Clearly not euthanasia, but what involvement do you see for local government agencies , neighbours, church members, volunteer groups, et cetera?

        And when you say natural beginning and natural end, is that because you value things that are natural for natural’s sake? Many, many people have the idea that things humans do are not natural and, furthermore, that anything that is “artificial” is somehow inherently bad. Human intervention has caused an enormous sum of harm, I am aware. But we are now at a point where the best way to undo that harm is through further, smarter intervention. Not to mention that human “meddling” has generally increased quality of life for people all around the world steadily since the turn of the 20th Century. I see the universal adoption of carefully managed euthanasia as just another step in that direction.

        Of course, I have no idea what you really think so please do tell! And thank you for checking out my blog (which is still under construction), I appreciate it. Yours looks fabulous too!

      4. Alex, I try not to go out in public without makeup on and I’m very grateful for the help that it gives my aging nature, lol! Additionally, I’m very grateful for beautiful, brilliant, and life-enhancing contributions; social media comes to mind :D. And I am cautious about how these insights and technologies are applied. In this discussion, I am concerned about those that cause death. I use the word, “natural” to describe life as beginning at conception and ending at the body’s last breath.

        I appreciate your desire to undo harm through further, smarter interventions, and I see truth in it. I lean my trust toward further, loving interventions, too. That’s where family, friends, and the community closest to us come in. Throughout time and culture, it has been the work of those closest to us to help us through our dying without clinging to life at all costs (extreme end of life measures) or euthanizing. Euthanasia breaches this long held way, making it prudent to question if it is a well-intended solution that will unleash more foreseen and unforeseen problems.

        Thanks, Alex, for the challenge to be more clear and precise, however short I have fallen! Thanks again, Don and all contributors. I’ll bow out of this discussion, leaving it in great hands. For those celebrating on Thursday, have a delicious Thanksgiving โค

      5. You’re welcome Angie, and I don’t think you fell short, you’ve expressed your point of view very clearly and charismatically. Which makes me for one listen, even if I don’t through my own personal life experience exactly agree ๐Ÿ˜€

        ‘Fraid I’m from UK, and we don’t do TG, but I wish you yanks a great day …

      6. I can see both sides of the equation having personally experienced corruption and some of the insane stuff governments do do … on the other side of the equation government for most is necessary, countries don’t run themselves, so would make sense to try to live more in harmony with the government.

        Here in Thailand they regularly have coups, and from what I understand the government is often very corrupt … corruption and people’s life and death I don’t think make great bedfellows !

        Currently the military are running Thailand until a new government in place, not sure that the military are well qualified to deal with issues like euthanasia …

  9. Hi Don ๐Ÿ™‚ Life is the most precious gift and must be valued and protected. We must help others to carry their suffering with support, comfort measures, and love. The slippery slope of euthanasia is terrifying.

    1. Hey Angie, agreed on the family and friends support, some support systems do a better job than others though … I think it’s a precious gift too – but what about freedom of choice, isn’t living or dying also a choice that we should be free to make for ourselves ? Who are we to determine someone else’s fate ?

      1. Within society there are many limits to choice which are for the benefit of individuals, their families, and the community as a whole. We are not free to choose to steal, for example, because it harms those who have been robbed and I would argue it harms the person who stole because it lessens the person to a thief. We also do determine the fate of others every day by how we choose to live. For example, if we drive carelessly, we may without intention harm someone else via a crash. I understand that these examples are not proportionate to the gravity of the issue at hand but they do establish that none of us is free to choose anything without cost and that we are all interconnected.

        I don’t believe that the individual is the smallest unit of society, but rather, the family is. And that each family is connected to their community. What an individual does reverberates throughout the entire network. We need to strengthen networks, these support systems, to help people in their time of need, to include their time of dying.

        I’ve had the privilege of working with the dying while I was a Hospice volunteer. The main thing I learned was that faith, hope, and love can grow through pain, suffering, and natural death. I’ve witnessed, experienced purpose in natural death.

        So while all of us lovers agree that it is terrible to see a loved one suffering, we may disagree about whether that suffering has purpose. Athletes, for example, suffer physically every day because it will make them better, stronger, faster, etc. I believe that suffering at the time of death is purposeful even if I don’t know exactly why, allowing for mystery beyond my understanding. Since I believe that life is objectively valuable at all ages and stages, placing death in the hands of natural death, like our ancestors and the vast majority of people throughout time and culture have done, is a prudent choice.

        Hey, Don, while I normally avoid hot button topics via blogging, I trust your honest inquiry and I trust you to treat me and anyone else who participates in this conversation with courtesy, kindness, and charisma ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for that and have a great week!

      2. I see everything that goes on here, and I have on occasion had stern words with people who’re rude to others … generally they leave quietly, if not then I moderate them, permanently if necessary, worst case I make a public example of them. There’s usually very few excuses for a lack of respect or empathy for others, these tend to be behaviours of those who’re sociopathic.

        To be honest I wouldn’t have challenged you, if I didn’t think you could take it … sometimes I do play devils advocate or challenge people to explore different angles … occasionally I got out of the wrong side of bed, but then who’s perfect ? … and sometimes people are just plain dumb, and I got out of the wrong side of bed LOL

        Pain and suffering have much to teach, most spiritual paths indicate that this is so. Pain indicates that something is wrong, physically it means we can seek help through medicine or doctors or whatever. If we didn’t have pain then we wouldn’t know perhaps that there was “something wrong”. Emotionally it’s slightly more complex, but my experience is that there is a passing at some point, and usually something to learn, in simple terms. It’s also said that pain can make us stronger, although I’m not convinced this is the case in every circumstance. I watched a film about Japanese torture of English soldiers during WW2 and these tough guys were DAMAGED in some cases permanently by the pain and cruelty they experienced.

        With loving/collaborative/supportive families around one, then yes I can see the point. However some people have absolute shits for families, narcissistic parents, abuse and so on. These people can experience themselves as the smallest unit of society – they are on their own, ie don’t trust anybody. After all who really wants to be “close” or relating to bad people, most people don’t, most people don’t want continued abuse or humiliation, for why would they continue to be harmed ?

        I get that “society” expects that expects people to behave in a certain way, and forbids certain things. My conclusion on this is that these measures are in place for large scale social security, of which I and my loved ones are beneficiaries, usually. I certainly would enjoy my life a lot less if I had to worry about being murdered everytime I stepped outside my house. It’s still a risk, just a very minimal one. Foreigners do get murdered in Thailand, but people do get murdered in the UK too. My point – without these rules/laws/obligations in place, it certainly would be hell on earth.

        Stealing harms the person who’s been stolen from, even if it’s their pride that’s been hurt. No one wants to be stolen from. Theft is a complex subject in itself. Personally I’ve been stolen from by government, police and corporations, often legally – legality of theft is irrelevant to me, theft is still theft whether legal or not. I’ve also been stolen from by people, individuals who should have been trustworthy. So I’m no stranger to theft. However I don’t think there’s much of comparison with suicide or euthanasia, other than the potential impact both of these things have on others.

        I do entirely agree we need to strengthen our support systems, our communities, our families, without others we really are on our own. However there’s a large percentage of people who are virtually completely selfish. My conclusion, keep the keepers, throw back the non-keepers … said as much on my previous opinion post about friends …

        My bottom line on this is – there’s a place for the group and there’s a place for the individual, I think as people it’s good that we have both. A person’s choice to end their life may well be their choice as an individual, it’s what they want. Personally I don’t think I’m more important or that the group is more important than the individual’s choice (whilst that choice is not harming me or my loved ones). So I’d support them on their choice as I don’t feel it’d harm me, more than being upset and missing them. If it was someone I care about then I’d try and talk them out of it. Within that letting them be who they want to be (and letting them do what they want is an aspect of this) is part of being a loving and compassionate person.

        I had a friend who committed suicide (I blogged about him already). He was in his late 20s, lovely man. Such a shame with so much potential and so much to live for. I only found out after the fact that he’d been suffering with depression. I don’t think he’d want me to dwell on it too much, and whilst it’s sad he’s gone, I won’t ever defame his memory by saying he did anything wrong or sinful. It was his choice, misguided or not, that I have to respect.

        Lastly, as for hot topics, yes agreed, generally try to stay out of it is a good bet … but it does broaden us as human beings I think to talk about challenging issues … “death and taxes” is the old clichรฉ – they are certainties for all of us ๐Ÿ˜€

        Cheers

        D

      3. Don, you honor me with your trust and thoughtful reply. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend and send my best regards to all who love and miss him.

        My husband and I met working with mentally troubled children and their families (just updated my About Me page with details here https://familyanswersfast.wordpress.com/about-this-blog-2/ ) and he went on to become a clinical psychologist, gaining an expertise in suicide prevention and aftermath. For example, he was a first responder at the Indonesian tsunami of 2004 and, well, our family has an unusual amount of experience with tragedy, trauma, desperation, despair, and death.

        Because our family has extensive experience with mental illness and serving individuals and their families in time of need, we have had to ask ourselves very difficult questions having to do with life, death, and decision-making. We have had to make difficult decisions about where we draw the line about life, when it begins, when it ends, and who decides. I have decided to err on the side of life beginning at conception and ending at natural death. Anything outside of that starts swiftly sliding down that terrifying slippery slope that I mentioned in my first reply.

        My blog itself is about honoring and uplifting all individuals within the family as well as lifting the family as a whole. I agree that we are morally obligated to choose people outside of the family, friends and trusted others, to make us safe, better, and happy because isolation and loneliness kill. We also need to give and help others to the best of our abilities. While I can’t help everyone, I can individually choose to make the most of my life, to love others where they are at, and to help others to whom I have any connection or influence, to do the same.

        Cheers and warm regards โค

      4. Hope he’s at a better place ๐Ÿ˜€

        You’re good guys and well qualified, more than most to be expressing opinion on this. And erring to the side of natural for someone in a position of care and responsibility, sounds to me exactly right.

        As for the slippery slope, I see risks there, serious and grave ones. I also, as already said, think there’s a high value on a human being’s right to do what they choose with their life. Freedom is precious, men and women died in their millions fighting for it in wars over the ages. So probably why I’m neither anti nor pro euthanasia, I can see reasons for and against, and have an opinion which is not set in the black or white.

        I think it’s enough that you’re doing something, no one person is omnipotent. With the caveat that sometimes one person is all it takes, as a leader ๐Ÿ˜€

        Have a good week Angie …

        D

      5. Thanks always, Don; I appreciate you ๐Ÿ˜€ We’ll celebrate Thanksgiving here in the states on Thursday, so if you don’t hear back from me, I’m likely preparing for our feast!

  10. Truly a very difficult question. My ex husband was an invalid for 15 years suffering excrusiating pain and i know often prayed he’d die. It seemed like death would be a kind release. he didn’t though and slowly was able to start fighting the pain again and then slowly reduce his meds until he was able to get to the point where he was able to start working again and enjoying his life. He didn’t believe in euthanasia but I am sure regularly reconsidered this belief over those years.

  11. I realize that for many of the people who have commented this is a practical matter but for me it is a matter of both faith and trust. I believe in a creator. He gave me a life and a purpose for everything I experience in it. He has appointed my time to die. I can trust Him to bring it to an end the way He choses, with the most purpose, or I can fight against Him. In the end, I will die anyway, but I think I would rather die with my faith intact than to die with what some call dignity.

  12. In the case of those that suffer horribly and those that are old and who no longer want to continue on with life, then euthanasia should be an option. But of course we have been conditioned to think it is bad. That it is evil to even contemplate taking life regardless of the suffering involved. I’d say, when given that the pain and suffering of someone makes that “life” an agony, then a compassionate end is worthy. I watched a video today, a student of Sri Yogananda speaking on suicide..He said, “it is worse than murder. That such souls would suffer in a hellish afterlife, then be born again to die as a baby or child.” What rot!!! And how cruel! In ancient cultures people who were sick or old, often left their tribe to die alone in the forest. They recognized that their life-span had run its course and like all things in nature, they recognized there is an end to all things. even one’s life. They did not fear death. We have strayed a long way from common sense when it comes to a compassionate end for those that suffer. Eve p.s. please correct errors, I cannot see the print here very well. I don’t have time to rewrite this. thanks.

  13. I think you need ‘choices’ in your life and this is just another ‘choice’ all be it you may have to go to Switzerland to do it. Also you dont know what life will throw at you so perhaps, for some, its an option. I have no problem with it as I fear ‘lack of choice’ much more.

  14. This particular topic has its fair share of good and bad qualities. Its always smart to start with the bad. Its bad because like Don said it could be abused by people who are directly benefited by doing such action. On the other hand, its good because most of the families affected are financially burdened and sometimes they do it for the sake of their sick family member to end their suffering. Now does that make it right? Who is to tell, it depends solely on peoples perspective of the issue.

    1. Opinions will vary based on personal experience … there are risks, but as others have said who are we to say what someone else does with their own life, it’s their life isn’t it ? …

  15. I cannot imagine living life in constant pain, day after day after miserable day. In the case of extreme, never ending pain, thoughts of a pain-free after life would have me considering the same. Euthanasia seems a better choice than suicide. Suicide conjures up morbid images of death as well as shocked friends, family, and community. Euthanasia has the potential to be more inclusive and considerate. I don’t believe it is just a difference of terminology. Abortion may or may not be for me but I support women having a safe option for their individual choice. Same goes for ending one’s life. People are going to do it. Just because it is not a choice we ourselves would make, who are we to disallow others by way of making it illegal? This is a huge part of why the world is so full of violence-personal views thrust upon others, my way or no way.

  16. SUNDAY MORNING SERMON

    I am a Social Worker who has practiced in the field of Psychiatry for a long time and in Hospice for a brief time. I will tell you the story of another aspect of this issue…
    I arrived one morning to find the entire Hospice team in an uproar over a “VIP” patient; a retired surgeon of renown both with these skills and in teaching. He had practiced in the same hospital where he now courted death. His treatment team had kept him alive for several years beyond the expectations associated with the type of aggressive cancer he battled. This team viewed themselves as miracle workers and using Hospice as admitting defeat; importantly, many of them had been the dying MDs students.
    To this scenario add the fact that “Dr. Death,” otherwise known as Jack Kevorkian, lived in the same community and had for several years been practicing euthanasia outside the law as per some in the media. I had talked with the MDs, Social Worker and RNs on the team of “Keep Dr. Now Dying, Alive” and they were all angry.
    The charting read things like: “patient now the responsibility of Hospice Doctor X….patient handed over to hospice as per pressure from hospital administrators.”
    When I went to the bedside of Dr. Now Dying, I was overcome with what I saw. This man literally appeared to have survived being hauled across many miles behind a tractor trailer. His skin hung from his bones while his hands and feet ballooned with excess water. He reminded me of a holocaust victim. I assumed that the smell filling his room was the result of prolonged chemotherapy, but I wonder now if it was that of a death process prolonged. I was amazed his veins continued to be able to hold the drugs; his kidneys and liver were now irreversibly failing as was his heart.
    In life review, he spoke to me of his memories of dancing with his beautiful wife and described her as well as the exotic countries they had danced in. I asked him how he felt about being kept alive so long by his doctors and he answered with both compassion and political correctness: “They are excellent Physicians and did the best they could; Dr. X is also an excellent MD who understands dying.” I told him, as did his new Hospice team, that he could die whenever he wanted. He did so about six hours later.
    I think his battle was not just with Cancer but with trying to protect his former students from having to face the fact that they were not miracle workers but helpless children facing something out of their control – Death.
    Because many Western trained Hospitalists see illness as having a cure – and themselves as the mediators of it – they view Death as something needing to be cured & held off for as long as possible.
    In reality, the body heals itself and Healers mediate it. Death is the ultimate healing because we are turned into energy and other forms.

  17. Euthanasia is probably the only controversial topic I don’t have a solid opinion on. On one side, I think it’s a good way of having that sense of control over your life and saving yourself the agony of having to live through a terrible illness. For example, I would like to live a long life but I would NEVER want to be in a position where someone has to clean my waste and feed me because I’ve grown too old to even stand up. < That goes little to what others live through but it's similar in the way that-at that point- life isn't worth living..essentially, and moving on seems like the most peaceful and correct decision.
    On the other hand, I think about natural death…and the similarities between Euthanasia and assisted suicide…:/
    Tough topic.

  18. I once really thought it was not a great idea. But like anything in life; once I saw my mother waste away to nothing my mind was changed. Would I want people ending it because they feel they are ugly due to bad acne? Of course not! But even as a Christian type, the doctors and every member of my family knew my mothers prognosis was at zero. So why put a person through that just because someone else wants to impose their views on what life is?

  19. well we put dogs and other pets down if they are in pain or suffering and nothing can be done to cure them so why not humans as long as they are compus mentus (not sure of spelling lol) when they make the decision. I used to be on the fence about this too but when I became disabled myself and in continuous excruciating pain, there are times when I feel I can’t take any more pain, and that I feel useless and am just taking up space on this overcrowded planet and using up oxygen, luckily these feeling pass for me but I understand if they didn’t go away how frustrating it would be not to be allowed to choose ๐Ÿ™‚
    I think there should be stipulations though and not just anyone could do it

  20. I enjoyed reading your opinion. I don’t know if it is a matter of semantics, but I always thought that euthanasia referred more to a third party choosing to end a life than suicide.
    As such, I am completely against the idea. If I can decide the relative value of your life or if someone else’s, then something is definitely wrong with the system. It brings to mind the death camps of Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, and others.

    If I am wrong, (which would not be a first) and it refers to ones personal choice to end their own life, then I would like to persuade them to change their choice, but could not contest their ability to choose.

    1. My understanding is that it’s generally a terminally ill person who’s in agonising suffering, by their OWN decision wants to end their own life. They also generally don’t have the capability to do it themselves so they have to ask for help.

      The term assisted suicide I got from the NHS website, which is in the UK, and we’re anti-Euthanasia in the UK … one of the other commenters commented on the semantics and clarified the terms … suicide it seems is something the person would do “wholly” themselves, so that terminology isn’t the clearest … but hey, English language is often ambiguous !

      And agreed MOST people including myself would say the same for a loved one, we’d try and talk them out of it, but if their mind was set … basically this is what “Million Dollar Baby” boils down to towards the end …

  21. I wrote a blog about it once- my BFF’s mother had Alzheimer’s and decided to put an end to it before it got so bad she wouldn’t be able to. She was 81, had lived a good life, and for her it was the correct choice. It was a brave move, allowed us a chance to say good bye. It was still shocking and sad when she died, but we were happy she left this world before the ravages of the disease took away her dignity.

  22. I have been on the caretaker end of watching my brother slowly and very painfully die from cancer. The last two weeks were so hard for all involved and it almost killed our mother by being around him. He was in more pain than I can imagine, and half of the time he was very confused and lost. He very much wanted to end it, but when he approached the subject, it upset our mother even more, so he decided to ride it out. I do agree that when you are this ill, and there is no hope at all that you will get better, you should be able to end it. I have no idea what I would do as I have yet to be faced with such an illness or pain.

  23. Euthanasia is well defined in the laws of nations that are enlightened enough to permit it, but it’s for sure not ‘assisted suicide’. Euthanasia is the active termination of life by means of administered lethal dose of several medications. This is overseen by 2 doctors, the patients personal doctor and a second specially trained neutral doctor.

    Assisted suicide is a separate thing altogether, this involves aiding someone to commit suicide either by default or by handing over the means.

    My late wife having chosen for the 1st option was fortunate enough not to have to wait out her terminal cancer.

    1. Thanks for filling in the blanks, and defining the terms in more detail. NHS website I got some details from is based in the UK, and we (the UK) are against Euthanasia as a country. But yes that makes sense ๐Ÿ˜€

      (And I don’t represent/support the UK, just saying that UK as a country in anti-Euthanasia)

  24. From what I’ve read, the woman, who the movie was based on, did not go for assisted suicide and went on to have a fulfilling productive life. Kind of makes you think about giving one’s self time to see what might be coming around the corner. Assisted suicide is a HUGE decision but you never know what time might eventually bring.

    Really enjoyed your evaluation in your posting, however. A lot of true thought and feeling went into it.

    1. Thanks, it’s an interesting topic, and guaranteed I’ll learn something by asking for opinions … So we have true life vs fiction, I haven’t researched so can’t concur with you … and yes I think that’s the worry that temporary conditions will become better and the person has passed needlessly …

  25. I have so much to say about this. Where I live in the state of Oregon in the US we have Death with Dignity and I approve of it.

    Brittany Maynard and her family moved here when she was diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal case of brain cancer. She chose to die on her own terms, when she was still able to make the final decision, and speak and share with her family. You can watch her final message here: http://www.thebrittanyfund.org/take-action-for-brittany-watch-the-video/

    The program where I live has many safeguards in place. You can’t just wake up one morning and decide to leave. Death with Dignity is a loving and logical process. It short circuits massive suffering and distress to both the individual and the families. In exchange for a an extra week or so of living with a quality of life no one would willing embrace, in living in a body that often won’t allow you to speak or share with your loved ones, you can depart with a smile and a message of appreciation.

    As someone who has worked with grieving families for more than five years, I hear the tales of what the final weeks are like…. I’ve worked with children whose memories of a formerly loving parent were the ranting insults of a mind that has been ravaged by brain cancer. Which is better, remembering a loving parent, or an alter ego created by a disease that changes you against your will? Remembering a vital, beautiful person or one living in a shell of a body, hooked up to tubes and a ventilator? Quality or quantity?

    There are many, many religious and moral questions that all of us face when we consider this topic. If you are faced with a life-shortening illness, I hope that you have choices about your own care, and your own life.

  26. I am also on the fence. I think free people have a basic natural right to do what they want to their own body, just don’t hurt anyone else with your freedom. I don’t think any authority has a right to get involved in a persons personal choices.

    Taking your life is so permanent. You can’t change your mind and take it back. I think going through the death process for yourself and your family is so important. Just like the medical establishment is finding out natural birth is very important for the health of the child and the mother. I read that a C section deprives a child of natural protection from infection it would get in a natural birth. The process of birthing the baby triggers important hormones within the mothers body to help it heal from trauma and produce food for the baby. The baby gets a coating of thick mucus that inoculates it from germs it will face outside the womb. Also the pressure of birthing triggers important processes within the body/mind of the child.

    I think the same thing happens when we die. If we avoid the death process, what ever that might bring, including horrible pain and sadness, our next birth will be pretty difficult. Also you leave people who love you in the lurch. Being with a dying person is like going through the birth canal. Important processes are triggered in those who care for the dying and for those who are dying. Of course with the death clinics I read, you can involve those you love. Our culture has cut away all these things that make us healthy humans. We can take the short cut, saves time and money, no pain or mess to deal with. No need to take time off from work to care for the kids or the elderly. Everyone keep on working and paying those taxes!

    1. Magic pills all round … and yes there’s a lot to be said for doing things the “natural” way, I have a friend who won’t take pain killers, well unless he’s in agony … his idea is we don’t need them ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Allopathic medicine just about killed me. The only way an MD is gong to see me is if I break a leg. Long story, I’ve been sick for a long time. Doing okay right now…None of us are going to make it out of here alive. Lost my Dad to cancer when I was five. It’s an awful way to go but I am glad he fought to stay alive and I was able to say goodbye to him. I learned some very important lessons watching him fight, he didn’t give up โค

      2. Yes, I’m pretty much the same with doctors, I don’t go unless I’m *really* sick … in Thailand that means going to hospital rather than clinic … Clinics I’ve seen enough shenanigans to know that it’s a waste of money and time generally …

        And yes, fight till the last, good way to be, strong man by the sounds ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. Stepped in a deep one here, Don! If it were only about the individual and not their families and loved ones it would be much simpler suicide still seems a waste of life! We can debate quality of life issues, but for anyone to assume they have nothing left to contribute is in itself tragic. I myself have toyed with the idea of suicide after a stroke robbed me of much of my physical prowess, paralyzing my left side! But the legacy that would leave my wife and children is one I don’t want to leave behid!

    1. Kind of, but we should be talking about these issues, deep or not … so thanks for chipping in ๐Ÿ˜€

      I’m glad you didn’t my friend, otherwise I wouldn’t be having this conversation with you … I’d assumed Euthanasia was more to do with quality of life issues, rather than the person thinking they don’t have anything to contribute … someone dying as a result of feeling like they have nothing to contribute, well I can’t think of much that’s more tragic than that …

      As yes, in most situations I’d agree that suicide does seem such a waste of life, I had a friend that passed this way …

      Cheers

      D

      1. As have I, had, a friend pass that way, what it left was a string of suicides in his family!

        Mind you, I have a “living will,” no heroics for this man if I am slammed that hard again let me go! This I discussed with my wife and children.

        They all know how hard it was to crawl back, and how difficult it is for me to maintain right now! That is a better option. If you are in that position make your wishes known ahead of time!

        You add color to life, and your question touched me!

      2. Thanks my friend, and glad to have touched. You’re doing your best, which is a testament to human strength, well your strength actually …

        And making wishes known ahead of time, a good way for more certainty for those you may leave behind ๐Ÿ˜€

      3. All I can do. The old soldier in me fights on! I am glad you probe insights – never too old to learn!

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