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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, May 26, 2004.
Ah those communists on the 9th Circuit are at it again... Legislating from the bench and all that.
We'll see if the feds can keep their hands off this one, or if the right's 'state's rights' battlecry is just a joke.
I am convinced that assisted suicide will trump abortion in the next few decades. The baby boomers who have reshaped society like few other generations is going to demand that their final years be as healthy as possible but when their health no longer allows them to live in dignity, I'm sure they will demand assisted suicide.
I've long stated that anyone with a terminal illness has the right to a dignified exit. That prolonging suffering is one of the most inhumane acts that we as a society can commit, much less the phenomenal financial burden this will place on society as technology increases our ability to keep vegetating humans alive.
I applaud these judges who've refused to allow religious extremists to trump state law. Maybe now other states will come forth and express their innate compassion by passing similar laws for their own citizens.
Yay for Oregon (where I live)...before the recession/budget crunch up here, Oregon was a model for progressive initiatives in social services, education, as well as the assisted-suicide and medicinal marijuana laws...and Oregon is a pretty conservative state, but a reasonable one. Hopefully in time, the state will recover enough cash to re-fund most of these remarkable initiatives, but I will settle for this good news...
As someone who has been close to a person who has suffered from depression for years I'm strongly against suicide. It's one of those personal experience things.
I am just amazed that a political party can, in the same breath, claim to be for individual rights and then attempt to remove one of the most fundamental rights we have, the right to do with your life what you please as long as it harms no one. I guess something's only a "right" when it conforms to their highly restrictive millennia-old system of values. How can any party that is so fundamentally contradictory of itself have any members, or even be taken seriously?
I find myself in the odd situation of agreeing with Neserk. In addition to his point about suicide, I'd like to add that I'm against the idea of physicians being involved even if it is legal. A doctor should not be involved in killing.
Although admittedly not a comprehensive rebuttal to you and Neserk (who is a "she" BTW), I think in many cases, if a person is terminally ill (and in many cases, in great pain), it is ethical for a physician to end their suffering. If I was to come across a mortally-wounded animal, I may be inclined to put it out of its' misery, although normally I do not advocate killing animals (another poor analogy).
I see this as another "government powers" issue. While you may be morally against assisted suicide, and suicide in general, do you want to give the government the power to interfere with a person's ability (and their doctor) to make this choice?
This is why I am "pro-choice" but personally against abortion.
It's the same reason I am against the death penalty. You can argue all you want about justice, revenge, victims rights, etc. I simply don't want the government to have that power. (I always thought I was very conservative about these things until the big government Republicans began to appear. Now I guess I'm liberal because I'm for limited government. I'll take me a while to adjust to this idea.)
Legalizing assisted suicide neither condones nor encourages suicide -- it simply means its not a crime. Before we prohibit something (that is, create a new "Prohibition") we should be sure we all agree that we are doing this for good legal and Constitutional reasons.
Finally, I actually think that a legal form of assisted suicide might prevent many suicides. A doctor would be able to evaluate the patient to see if this is a case of depression, a rash decision, etc. Anything that gets someone contemplating suicide into a doctors office would be good. My father committed suicide, so I personally know the pain that can accompany suicide. Had he seen a doctor about his desire to die, I'm sure his impulsive act could have been prevented.
Man, I must be out of it today, i knew that. Sorry Neserk.
The problem is that when a person is suicidal they are making a choice based on false assumptions -- when one is depressed their outlook on the world is skewed and when the depression lifts they often realize that things are not as bad as they previously thought. It is not doctors (MDs) who are in the positon to undestand this. It is psychiatrists and psychologists who are trained for dealing with it.
and if that person, after therapy and meds, still wants to end their life, what then?
Their view on reality is still skewed. There is no "after therapy." Therapy for someone who is chornically depressed is an on going process.
granted. after how many years of meds and therapy can the patient get his/her wish? or is it never?
Remember we are not talking about suicide for suicide's sake. We are talking about doctor assisted suicide when the patient already has a terminal illness and wants end their life on their own terms.
Depression would not be an acceptable reason for an assisted suicide. The "patient" would have to have a terminal illness in order to request help from a doctor to end their life.
A patient suffering from depression would not be eligible for suicide assistance from a doctor. Because of this, I feel that a number of patients who requested doctor assisted suicide and were suffering from depression, and were treated first for their depression, might in the end reject doctor assisted suicide. Getting these people to talk to a psychiatrist could be very beneficial.
In any case, doctor assisted suicide must have plenty of checks and balances to make sure that the patient is truly suffering, is truly ill, and is sure they are making the right decision.
I disagree with the interpretation of it being "on their own terms." Make the person as comfortable as possible (presuming they are in pain). Then their body will decide when it is time to go. Do a DNR. Refuse medications. But to actually allow assist the person in ending their own life through action (versus inaction) is not right.
For some depression is terminal. And a person who is choosing to end their own life is depressed. Granted there may be an accompanying organic illness with it by the desire to end their life before their body has "given up" is a sign of clinical depression.
exactly. and health insurance companies agree.
It is still treatable. Think of it as being similar to diabetes. You will always need insulin but that doesn't mean you just give in and end it all.
oh yeah, i completely understand that. and i'm really just playing devil's advocate here.
i also understand that, where the OR law is concerned, it's not meant for depression. but i still think it's an interesting topic. and i'll submit that, after a period of time of unsuccessful treatment, doctors should be able to assist w/ suicide.
It is important that the law against suicide remain in tact. People who suffer from various mental illnesses which include depression and suicidal ideation need to be able to be treated against their will with temporary hospitalizations (usually up to 72 hours). Without the law there is no reason to do it. Health Insurance companies are even required to pay for the hospitalizations because of the law. The state of being suicidal is temporary. It is important that people who are in that state be protected from their own will during that time when their view on reality is skewed.
i get where you're coming from, i just think that if some poor soul has been miserable for 20 years, or more, and have tried every treatment under the sun, let's let 'em sign the insurance waivers and decide to end their life humanely, painlessly and finally.
That person has family and friends and an actual life to lead. Being miserable is no reason to end it. It is simply something the person learns to live with, literally.
I don't understand why suicide is illegal in the first place. What will be next, being illegal for refusing medical treatment. It is your life.
BTW, I am against abortion because it is taking a life that isn't yours.
I know people who have committed suicide, and I can attest to the despair and confusion that it causes the family, but it really should be the person's choice. Maybe there should be babysteps to make everyone happy, like one year of counseling required before you do the deed.
Now what we are talking about is very different. Suicide with a terminal illness makes sense. You are relieving your family of thousands and thousands of dollars in medical expenses, you are stopping your suffering, and you are leaving when you have some measure of quality of life. It should be your choice.
BTW, are people in other countries so adverse to suicide?
We're not talking about people who are depressed with their lives here. We're talking about people with terminal illnesses that will either spend some amount of time in extreme pain and then die, or will be allowed to leave on their terms. The family is going to face that persons death anyway, the question is whether they will go through the agony of certain terminal illnesses or not. This is only to be used in cases where the outcome is not in doubt. Put any safeguards you want on it (I certainly don't want to see anyone pressured into offing themselves by family or an insurance company) but don't take the right to choose away.