Should assisted suicide be legal and regulated?

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Should assisted suicide be legal and regulated?

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Post by Sugar Floyd Louis on Wed 11 Apr 2012, 10:28 pm

What does everyone think?

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Post by eirebilly on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 7:06 am

Touchy subject and i can only think in my own way and that is, if i was on life support and heavily damaged with no realistic chance of recovering. I would certainly not want to burden my family and friends with this so yes pull the plug on me and let me die.

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Post by Sugar Floyd Louis on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 10:59 am

Yh me too.

I don't know though there's quite a lot of opposition for it out there, (evidently not on 606v2).

Is it mainly religious people opposing this?

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Post by eirebilly on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 11:10 am

I am a very strong believer in personal choice and the respecting of peoples wishes.
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Post by dummy_half on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 11:10 am

SFL
I suspect there's less opposition (at least in terms of numbers) than you think, although the opponents tend to be rather loud. I suspect religion is one of the main motivations, although also there's questions of trust in medical opinion.

In certain very heavily regulated circumstances such as those Eirebilly describes, I don't see why it shouldn't be permitted. It's arguable that we treat dying animals with greater respect than we do dying people.

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Post by Biltong on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 2:01 pm

The question for me how do you quantify assisted suicide?

If it is a case where a life support system is keeping you alive and there is no brain activity then only your body is kept alive by machines, you are however for all intent and purposes dead. That in my view if confirmed by science is no chance for recovery. so pull my plug.

If however there is still brain activity, then it becomes complicated.
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Post by ReallyReal on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 2:41 pm

It's all about choice and if you have the mental capacity to make that choice for yourself, who has the right to prevent you?

On a side note, I know a group of people who've all aggreed to a pact where they'll sort each other out if and when the time comes.

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Post by dummy_half on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 3:09 pm

Biltong
There are a couple of test cases going through the UK courts at the moment that relate to people with either serious degenerative conditions or those who have unimpaired mental faculties but extreme physical disabilities that would prevent them taking their own life. In neither case is this discussing an uninformed decision, which would clearly be the most contentious issue (e.g the 'persistent vegetative state' cases where there is just sufficient brain function to maintain cardiovascular activity).

Your example of switching off a life support machine is exempt because the person is already clinically dead and it is only body functions that are being maintained.

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Post by B91212 on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 3:33 pm

After watching various loved family members suffer and loose all dignity during the latter stages of illness (cancer etc) then I'm a firm believer in assisted suicide as long as the decision is made by the person whilst in sound mind.

We don't let animals suffer unduly when their time is up yet for humans we seem happy to sit back and watch them (and family members) suffer.

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Post by Biltong on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 3:37 pm

Well it is a tough one when you start talking degenerative diseases and or severe disabilities.

A person with severe disabilities but full mental faculties might not want to life anymore and can state there case if they still have the ability to communicate.

The contentious issue comes when they cannot articulate their wish and/or justify their reasoning in court.
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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 4:20 pm

On principal I'm all for it...my sentiments pretty much echo eirebilly's.

Trouble is, if the rules and regulations are not very carefully thought out, it could be open to abuse, with less-than-happy families offing chronically ill or incapacitated relatives for their inheritance, or just to be rid of them.

Biltongbek has hit on another problem. I think this would need some kind of medical equivalent of a will, whereby you sign a consent form, jointly signed by your doctor, to say that if you ever have the misfortune to be terminally ill or severely incapacitated and unable to speak, then you wish to be euthanised.
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Post by Sugar Floyd Louis on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 7:33 pm

biltongbek wrote:The question for me how do you quantify assisted suicide?

If it is a case where a life support system is keeping you alive and there is no brain activity then only your body is kept alive by machines, you are however for all intent and purposes dead. That in my view if confirmed by science is no chance for recovery. so pull my plug.

If however there is still brain activity, then it becomes complicated.

I think this is part of it too.... if you have no chance of recovery and can't consciously make the decision yourselves then should family decide?

May be ok for you but what about someone who doesn't trust their family, or a rich man whose family may be quick to pull the plug etc etc

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Post by Sugar Floyd Louis on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 7:35 pm

dyrewolfe... agree with you. I just read through properly and realised I was making the same point as you.

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Post by Biltong on Thu 12 Apr 2012, 7:55 pm

Something you might find interesting to read.

- LIVING WILLS ARE AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE -
PROTECT YOURSELF BY SIGNING A LIVING WILL
ACCEPTED IN THE COUNTRY IN WHICH YOU LIVE
Almost every country in the world has its own version of a Living Will, each version being based upon the laws of the particular country. The Living Will issued by SAVES - The Living Will Society is based upon the concept of "Informed Consent" which is a patient's Common Law and Constitional Right in South Africa. One of the functions of the Society is to educate the public regarding their right to refuse artificial life-support when dying.

The Society is a non-profit organisation formed in 1974 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and over 43 000 people throughout the country have enrolled as members and signed Living Wills.

In 1991 the Society was instrumental in requesting that the South African Law Commission research legislation for living wills. As a direct result, a proposed Bill entitled: Euthanasia and the rights of the terminally ill is presently awaiting presentation before Parliament, seeking to place on the statute books a situation that already exists and which is widely accepted by doctors, society and religion worldwide.

By joining an officially recognised Society and using recognised Living Will documents, members are assured that their Living Wills will be speedily accepted and acted upon by medical personnel in emergency situations; and that their advance directive will, in need, receive the back-up and support of the Society. Also, by becoming a registered member of the Society, one can assist by increasing the officially recorded number of people who are behind the Society's ongoing petition for legislation of the Living Will.
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