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View Poll Results: Euthanasia, what do you think?
Euthansia should be legal option for everyone and I might opt for it 85 79.44%
Euthanasia should be legal option for everyone, but I would never want it 8 7.48%
Against euthanasia 13 12.15%
Other, explain in comments 1 0.93%
Voters: 107. You may not vote on this poll

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Euthanasia
Old 04-06-2008, 04:38 PM   #1
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Euthanasia

Comment from Rich in Tampa about stroke victim in his office got me wondering.

Are you in favor of Euthanasia?

If for it, what would be reason for taking that option?

If against it personally, would you be okay to allow it for others?
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:15 PM   #2
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My political/religious/philosophical beliefs are amorphous.

I demand the right to self autonomy.

I see no purpose in surviving the first stroke.
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:51 PM   #3
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I believe God takes people when they are ready but I have no problem with other people practicing it by themselves not assisted by strangers .
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:23 PM   #4
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Comment from Rich in Tampa about stroke victim in his office got me wondering....
My grandmother survived 26 strokes but the 27th was a kicker. When they were packing her up to go home from the hospital (neglecting to say that they thought she would prefer dying at home), she said "Oh, no I want to REALLY go home."
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:24 PM   #5
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I don't know anyone who is against it. I do know some people who think it should be mandatory.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:53 PM   #6
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I recently posted about the experience of putting my 16 yr old dog down. I looked into her eyes one day and it was like she was shouting at me " Don't you see how much pain I am in, you said you loved me, so why don't you do something?"

I would love to make the decision to end it rather than be sent to live out my days in an institution and have no control. When and if I get to the stage where I have no "quality of life" please pull the plug, and end it. Don't let me or my family endure more pain than is necessary to let go.
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:11 PM   #7
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I spent 8 weeks in traction leading up to back surgery at age 18. I went through cancer surgery and treatments at 36. I watched my mother suffer through alzheimers and spend 3 years in a nursing home. I have no desire to live below a certain quality of life. I would willingly forego a few years of life to assure that I can control the decision as to when I have reached that point.

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Old 04-06-2008, 09:57 PM   #8
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Putting my dog down was a difficult decision to make. However, being involved in the actual process makes it much more "human." In our case, I simply held Lucky (just a great dog, too--like everybody's great dog) and the vet simply and gently injected the needle in the dog's front leg and Lucky seemed to fall into a sleep. That was it.

I'm not sure how a doc puts a human down, but my guess it's probably less human. An injection that puts you to sleep seems to be the way to go. I remember seeing pictures of Kervorkian's (sp)? machine and it just looked bizarre.
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:32 PM   #9
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Not surprised by the results from the readers of this forum.

After seeing my grandfather with Alzheimer's have virtually no quality of life for the last five years of his life, I have to be in favor of euthanasia. I believe he could have been saved a lot of suffering if euthanasia was legal and he had had an advance directive.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:02 PM   #10
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I don't think Alzheimer's will ever be enough of a reason for euthanasia to be called into play. Just how would one go about ending a person's life who was simply in their own world--or no world? And, who would actually end the ill person's life? Would it be someone who had a medical subspecialty in euthanasia? Anyhow, I am all for it, but I just don't see it happening. I understand taking people off of life support, but anything more active than that, I just don't know if it's ever going to happen. Kind of might be a slippery slope type of thing.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:12 PM   #11
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I think we are working with differing definitions of euthanasia here. If it is an injection by a doctor or assisted suicide (Kervorkian style) I would say no. In my opinion, that goes against the Hippocratic Oath.

Removing life support when it is clear there is no chance to be kept alive/breathing/heart beating etc without it, OK. This is what is have directed my wife to do in case I have a dibilitating disease (heart-attack, stroke) that puts me in such a circumstance. But while there is a hope, I want to cling to that hope.

On the other hand, if we, as a society, were to approve Euthanasia in principle, I would want to see doctors of this practice separated from doctors who practice healing, so that at no time is the life or death decision made by the service provider. A decision like this should be left with the individual (in the form of a will or medical instructions).

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Old 04-06-2008, 11:20 PM   #12
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redduck, I certainly wouldn't advocate it for all or most people with Alzheimer's...but for myself, if it was possible to specify before I got Alzheimer's that I would like to have my life ended if, say, I was unable to respond to simple questions or could no longer feed myself or control my bodily functions, I would do so. I agree that such a thing is unlikely to be legalized and there would be many administrative issues, but in an ideal world, I'd like to have the option.

That's definitely the Kevorkian-style euthanasia, so I guess I may be on the more extreme end on this issue.

(If I understand my grandfather's case correctly, Alzheimer's *can* result in a situation that's more "pull the plug"...he was fed by IV and, I believe, on oxygen for the last period of his life, with as far as I know no illnesses other than the Alzheimer's.)
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:28 PM   #13
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- I'm against it for practical reasons.
- In some situations, there are built-in incentives for parties (health-care bean counters, grasping next-in-line relatives, etc) to want to hasten the end for a person unable to make a decision. Not a good situation
- When allowing yourself to be killed becomes legal, it then becomes accepted. Next it becomes expected ("Why won't your Mom agree to the euthanasia option? She's not going to get better, and she's using up her savings we were counting on to pay off this house!). I don't want any pressure on anyone to end their own life.
- If you want to shuffle off this mortal coil, do it by your own hand. It should be hard, and not something you can ask someone else to do for you. If you become physically unable to do it, that falls into the category of "very bad luck."
- In this regard, pets have it better than we do. When the time comes and everyone says their goodbyes and cries as they hold him, Rover doesn't know that his end has come. It's a blessing for all concerned. This "consciousness of mortality" may be the biggest burden of being human, but we can't ignore it.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:39 PM   #14
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aworkingrachel:

I completely agree with you, I'd like to have the option. But the problem is, if you can't feed yourself, can't respond to simple questions (most 16 year olds can't), don't have control over bodily functions, but are not in pain, BUT can be delighted (even for a moment) when you hear music or see an animal, or work hard trying to get a cookie in your mouth, you (and I) will not have the option of euthanasia. However, one more run-on sentence like the one above, and I might be a legitimate candidate for the procedure.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:17 AM   #15
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I absolutely want the ability to check myself out when the time comes. Thing is, I'm pretty sure I have that now -- so long as I can swallow a few bottles of pills. I understand that some folks who wish to die are unable to manage this small effort, but I agree with samclem about the dangers of having it be too easy or acceptable.

I remember my father once saying that he was looking into a reverse mortgage and my sister indignantly replying: "Don't do that -- you'll leave your children with no inheritance!" As much as I hate to say it, there are families out there who WOULD try to guilt Mom or Dad into shuffling off early.

If I have to choose between having some who want to die linger on, vs some who want to stay leaving prematurely, I'll vote for the former, as imperfect a choice as it is.

As to the Alzheimer's question, my DP works with Alzheimer's patients now and many of them seem to enjoy their lives, as Redduck suggests. They enjoy meals and eat well, they participate in activities with enthusiasm, they remember old songs, play bocci ball... Every day he tells one 90-year-old client, Josie, how beautiful she is, and every day she beams at him and tells him he's a doll, which he just loves. So not only is she still capable of joy, but she is still able to bring it to others.

I understand that this will change, but who is to say when we cross the threshold between a valuable life and one that is no longer worth living?
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:19 AM   #16
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I am surprised at the strong consensus of the poll.

My mom lives in Oregon, AFAIK the only state which has legalized some forms of euthanasia. I know my mom is pleased that she has the option.

AFAIK, having Alzheimer's is not enough to be eligible for physician assisted suicide. I have to admit if the person isn't in physical pain, and isn't mental competent, I don't know what the right decision is.

Still with such a huge proportion of our medical expenses incurred in the last 6 months of an old person life, I think as society we are going to have to start making tradeoffs and some tough choices.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:27 AM   #17
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Still with such a huge proportion of our medical expenses incurred in the last 6 months of an old person life, I think as society we are going to have to start making tradeoffs and some tough choices.
As long as the tradeoff doesn't include hospitals suddenly marketing their own food line to recoup costs. Mmmmm, Soilent Green.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:28 AM   #18
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This topic has infuriated me for years. We all have the right to off ourselves (based on the results of this poll it must be one of those rights that we believe are self evident). But society chooses to make it difficult and painful because they insist on imposing a variety of religious beliefs on everyone. I too have held a dog being euthanized - a very painful experience for me but a simple, painless process for the dog. Is it possible for me to get the drugs for myself if I get a painful, terminal illness? Not legally. I read the book "Final Exit," which preaches a right to suicide and counsels on effective methods. It paints an awful picture involving wrapping a plastic bag around your head - the pills are not reliable enough so you need to take extraordinary steps. I would rather put a gun to my head (assuming DC is forced to let me). But there is no reason on earth I should be required to do so. At a minimum, I should be legally entitled to get proper drugs to end my life as painlessly as we can end a dog's life. I doubt we will see assisted suicide legalized broadly soon but it doesn't present insurmountable difficulties and there is no conflict for doctors to perform it. All you need is the requirement for clear and specific medical directives. As things stand, thousands of doctors and nurses are doing this today but are at risk if some wacko prosecutor wants to challenge their actions.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:59 AM   #19
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I'm a believer in euthanasia and have been for a long time. I believe we should each have a choice and it peeves me no end that those who are against euthanasia are able to inflict their desires on my wants.

However, I do believe there does not to be some control so family members don't go offing each other in order to get their hands on an inheritance or just get rid of someone who has been bothering them.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:44 AM   #20
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I'm the "other". Samclem voices my objections much more clearly than I can.

Loving and Leaving the Good Life, by Helen Nearing. That's my plan. Wonderful book, sensible suggestion--Scott Nearing, after reaching 90, began feeling that his life wasn't what he wanted, he was tired, and ready to go. He just quit eating. Not all at once, he tapered off gradually, then just...went. You don't need machines, or guns, or pills. Just go on your own terms, totally in control. It is a truly wonderful book--filled with stories of their life together and his peaceful and private end.

I'm pretty sure that they don't put people on feeding tubes unless they really want to be, based on my grandfather's death in October. I can say with some assurance that if I'm beyond the point of making the choice to have a feeding tube, I'm beyond the point of wanting one.
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