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United Citizens of the World
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14 Aug 2011, 10:44
Acid Fairy
Post Count: 1849
I'm for euthanasia. People choose to kill themselves all the time, who are we to deny help to those who are unable to do it themselves? As the age old argument goes... you don't keep a dog in pain, so why do we allow humans to suffer? Especially when they care SO MUCH about it that they use up all their remaining energy campaigning to be allowed to end their lives? Their very own lives?

As fa as I know, nothing has ever gone 'wrong' at Dignitas. Nobody has abused their position.

It's grossly unfair to deny someone the right to die. Nobody chooses to be born and suffer a life of pain. I saw my grandfather die of cancer and it was fucking grim. He was in a hospice and he was dosed up to the eyeballs on morphine. His skin was grey. Seeing him in that state was worse than anything I can imagine. That is not what I would call 'palliative care'. That's called letting someone die slowly.
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14 Aug 2011, 11:59
~RedFraggle~
Post Count: 2651
You can't compare this to suicide. Are you suggesting we shouldn't try to help those who are experiencing such distress (and are usually psychiatrically unwell)? Try and help them get better so they don't wish to kill themselves?

Dignitas have performed euthanasia on patients who are not terminally ill (one young guy from the UK who was paralysed during a rugby accident went there to die). That is one clear abuse.

The more subtle abuse/mistakes (e.g. a patient requesting euthanasia because they don't want to be a burden to their family) would be impossible to detect because all a patient has to do is lie, tell the psychologists and psychiatrists that that has nothing to do with their decision. No-one but them can know their true thoughts and feelings. it would be impossible to know that anything had been done wrong, so of course you wouldn't hear of it.

In fact your own statement highlights one of the major problems with bringing in legal euthanasia...

I saw my grandfather die of cancer and it was fucking grim. He was in a hospice and he was dosed up to the eyeballs on morphine. His skin was grey. Seeing him in that state was worse than anything I can imagine.

It sounds as if your grandfather was on morphine to keep him painfree, and was probably unaware of what was going on around him. It sounds like this situation was far more distressing for you than for him. And euthanasia should never EVER be performed to prevent distress to the family. It's only goal, if legalised, should be to help the patient. However, often it is the family that is more distressed when someone is dying... this is exactly the point I was trying to make, that people may (and probably do) request euthanasia to spare their family that distress. This is completely wrong. But in a system where euthanasia is legal WILL happen.

I've seen hundreds of people die. And usually, when palliative care is given well they die comfortably and peacefully. Yes it may be distressing for the family. But that is not good justification for taking a syringe and killing someone.
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14 Aug 2011, 12:02
~RedFraggle~
Post Count: 2651
There was an interesting article in this week's British Medical Journal written by a doctor from the Netherlands who used to perform euthanasia there.

It's important to remember that a doctor has to perform this duty, and a doctor has to live with the knowledge that they've killed someone. This is the most relevant part:

Although as a doctor I favour euthanasia, as a person I find it hard to perform. It is a great burden on my personal life and causes me extreme stress. The days before I performed my second (and so far last) euthanasia were very emotional. I shifted between enjoying life and extreme sadness that life had nothing to offer my patient that could make up for the suffering she experienced.

There is also the stress of doing it right and waiting to see whether the committee decides you abided by the rules and will not prosecute.

Euthanasia law grants a patient the right to determine what is and is not psychologically and physically bearable. As a doctor I sometimes feel caught between my desire to do well and the fact that I have to be the means to a patientís self determination.

I wanted to be a doctor to help patients, not to kill them.
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14 Aug 2011, 12:06
~RedFraggle~
Post Count: 2651
Also, your statement that there is no abuse of the system in the Netherlands made me have a look online. And actually, there's a lot of evidence to suggest the system is abused. From The Times:

Involuntary Euthanasia is Out of Control in Holland
The Hague -- Euthanasia in The Netherlands is "beyond effective control", according to a report which shows that one in five assisted suicides is without explicit consent.

British opponents of assisted suicide say that the figures are a warning of the dangers of decriminalising euthanasia, as Holland did in 1984. By 1995 cases of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Holland had risen to almost 3 per cent of all deaths.

The Dutch survey, reviewed in the Journal of Medical Ethics, looked at the figures for 1995 and found that as well as 3,600 authorized cases there were 900 others in which doctors had acted without explicit consent. A follow-up survey found that the main reason for not consulting patients was that they had dementia or were otherwise not competent.

But in 15 percent of cases the doctors avoided any discussion because they thought they were acting in the patient's best interests.

Michael Howitt Wilson, of the Alert campaign against euthanasia, said: "A lot of people in Holland are frightened to go into hospital because of this situation."

Dr Henk Jochensen, of the Lindeboom Institute, and Dr John Keown, of Queens' College, Cambridge carried out the study. They conclude: "The reality is that a clear majority of cases of euthanasia, both with and without request, go unreported and unchecked. Dutch claims of effective regulation ring hollow."

Another study appearing in the journal shows that the legal assessments of cases reported to the public prosecution service in the Netherlands vary considerably. Cases are reported to determine whether a doctor will be prosecuted for murder. The study was carried out by Dr Jacqueline Cuperus-Bosma, of Vrije University in the Netherlands. The paper concluded that there is a need for clear protocols.

Dr Peggy Norris, chairwoman of the anti-euthanasia group Alert, said: "We need to learn from the Dutch system that euthanasia cannot be controlled."

"I know of patients in a nursing home who are carrying around what they call sanctuary certificates all the time, stating that they do not want to be helped to die. People are afraid of being sick or of being knocked down in case a doctor takes the decision, without their permission, to stop treatment."
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14 Aug 2011, 20:45
Chris
Post Count: 1938
Euthanasia is not the same as involuntary euthanasia. Using this article to further your point is silly.
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14 Aug 2011, 22:34
~RedFraggle~
Post Count: 2651
Did you read the article? Of course it's different... The point is that once Dutch doctors were given the right to end lives the lines became blurred... The perception that ending life is the "right" thing to do has led to a number of doctors believing this gives them the right to end the life of anyone they believe is suffering, even if it hasn't been requested. The article explains all of this though so I can only assume you didn't even bother to read it. But you claimed that there is no abuse of the system there, I gave you an example of quite clear abuse of the system.
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14 Aug 2011, 22:35
~RedFraggle~
Post Count: 2651
Sorry, I mean Acid Fairy claimed there is no abuse of the system there.
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