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Old 04-12-2013, 11:15 AM   #21
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donheff's Avatar
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Originally Posted by bondi688 View Post
While I understand what you say about dementia and quality of life when one is no longer a functional or thinking being, I do not think a choice to end life for that reason will ever come about. That is so full of danger for abuse by way of defining of what is an acceptable mental capability to qualify for life. I will be satisfied with having a choice for gentle passage in case of a terminal illness with a horrible and protracted painful ending.
I agree that it will not soon become an option but I don't see the potential for abuse as a real danger. Any law authorizing such a practice need only demand that advance directives specify an objective test that would be applied to determine whether the dementia patient was far enough gone to qualify. The law could specify what tests could be elected. We do that now where assisted suicide is OK - the test is that the patient must be medically determined to be terminal within specified constraints. To avoid abuse the law need only specify that assisted suicide will not be available absent an advance directive.

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Old 04-12-2013, 11:36 AM   #22
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Join Date: May 2004
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This is obviously an emotional topic.
With euthanasia there is so much potential for abuse, both overt and subtle. Choosing to end one's life, especially while still lucid, needs to be the ultimate personal decision--made by the person involved and only that person. And, since it's obviously a permanent decision, it's fitting that there be a mechanism to assure you are totally committed to the decision. It may seem barbaric, but having the person take the tangible, physical steps to accomplish the deed is the gold-standard way to know it's what they wanted to do, at least at that moment. It shouldn't be easy.
Originally Posted by bondi688 View Post
"Claudia Burzichelli doesn’t want to die like her dad. Nine years ago, her father, already afflicted with Parkinson’s, killed himself with a gunshot to the head days after his release from a hospital where he had been treated for a heart attack. Burzichelli, 54, now suffering from kidney and lung cancer, is haunted by her father’s violent death, even more so as she contemplates her own mortality. She hopes to find a more peaceful way to end her life, if it comes to that.
It sounds like Claudia's dad's exit was peaceful, at least as he experienced it.
I know there are people who want to die and cannot physically accomplish the act. I don't have an answer for that, except better enforcement of the already existing written directives. But for those who are physically capable of acting but unable to muster the courage, who want support (which is encouragement), well, I think we need to give a lot of thought to the ramifications, for everyone, of lowering the bar and increasing expectations that people should just seek out another specialist--someone who performs the final medical procedure. No fuss, they'll be listed in the phone book.
I can appreciate the opposing view on this, but I think maintaining the present prohibitions are overall better for all of us, though individual cases may seem more tragic as a result.

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