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Assisted suicide

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posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 05:23 AM
The life that was breathed into us is one of the greatest, most wonderful mysteries that can be pondered. To separate a living, breathing individual from an inanimate object is the work of a higher hand.

Regardless of your religious convictions, this life is the act of a Creator.

But once we have this gift, is it truly and totally our own, to end when we deem it has run it's course? Do we have the right to end it when we determine it is time? Or do we owe the Creator the privilege of naming the moment?

We could have a brief lucid moment out of years of pain where we decide we do not want to go on. Or we could be suddenly thrust into a sentence of years of bedridden vegetative state through some unfortunate incident, as was Terry Schiavo. Whatever the situation, should we be able to name our own time?

Should we be allowed to name the person who would assist us in dying? Should society have a class of people such as physicians who have that responsibility? Should we give them the privilege to make the determination to end another's life, as occurred in New Orleans during Katrina?

Is our life truly our own, or does it belong to society?

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 10:54 AM
Let me kick off the discussion with a few thoughts of my own.

I believe that a person should have the right to determine when they have lived enough. A person could be pain-wracked with cancer, or subject to mental issues that they cannot live with. They should be allowed to end it without having to suffer the indignity of waiting for nature to take it's course.

At the root of this is the question whether society has the right to make that determination for another person. I don't believe they have, except for the guardianship of a family member or trustee.

I do believe that the decision should not be made and carried out forthwith. There should be a formal declaratiion date of the day the decision was made, followed by a period of reflection and a time for others to offer their thoughts and help.

And a person should have the assistance of a physician so that medical complications could be avoided.

I realize that there may be religious objections to my thinking. My own religion forbids it under the reasoning that to destroy life one must first assert the role of Master of the life, and to have absolute dominion over it, which is reserved to God, not man. But these are the interpretations of mere mortals, who use the same reasoning to wage wars. I believe that my own God would be more compassionate.

There can be no societal debt which prevents suicide, since this debt is borne so irregularly by individuals that it is impossible to measure when it is paid.

There are laws which prohibit suicide, but they are hypocritcal and contradictory since there are also laws permitting capital punishment and warfare.

In the end, it is society's selfishness that prohibits suicide. And it is not a selfishness that seeks to keep a person alive for the benefit of society. It is merely one of the most tyrannical control mechanisms of members of society.

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 11:03 AM
there are a number of cases around the world where doctors set out to make there patients die. there was a famous case in england around a decade ago that helped his elderly patients to die.

so it probably goes on.

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 12:37 PM
I come down on the side of each person has, or should have, the right of self-determination. If a person decides that he or she has had enough pain and chooses to end this particular skien of existance than so be it.

Personally, where there is life, there is hope. Most pain can be managed by several different means, drugs of course, and I have heard, don't know if it is actually used or not, that hypnosis has had promissing results. Any one know anything about this? I feel that if pain can be managed, without reducing one to a drugged out stuper, than a certain level of life style can be maintained without too much difficulty.

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 12:52 PM
but even with the pain factor aside, what about those that have sever debilitationg illnesses and chose to end there life before things get any worse for them. for example there has been cases where an alzheimer's patient wanted to chose when to die before there memory completly went because they found it to distressing to go through the rest of there lives being a burden to others and not being able to remember the simplist things. Or cases of patients that have illnesses where they knowq the out come is total reliablilty on others, sever pain, emotional and physical distress and ultimatly death, do these people deserve to have the choice to end their lives?

I personally believe that it should be a persons choice when and were they can die.

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 05:49 PM
i remember hearing a lecture on ethics by some professor, and one part of it was, can a person be better of dead.

maybe the thread starter should of called his thread "CAN A PERSON BE BETTER OF DEAD".

the problem i got from the lecture was he seemed to be an athiest, and did not consider after life.

[edit on 20-7-2006 by andy1033]

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 08:37 PM
I don't know what the thrust of the lecture you attended was, but my questions were geared more toward the question of whether a person should have the right to have an assisted suicide. We do not currently have that right.

Was asssisted suicide part of the lecture you attended?

It's interesting that you mention afterlife, as if it were a certainty. Not everyone holds those beliefs. But it would be interesting to hear from someone who believes in reincarnation, to see how suicide affect one's rebirth.

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 08:47 PM
I have very strong feelings about this subject. Some are religion based; others based on the impact on the suicide's family. I believe that suicide is wrong; life was given to us and to kill oneself is the most grevious sin.

However, over and above the my religious convictions there is the impact on the family. Surviving family members are devestated by this action. I watched a special news edition on TLC discussing this topic. It showed interviews with the surviving members of doctor assisted sucides in Oregon. Surviving family members were agonized and angry with the way their loved ones chose to leave them. Wives, husbands, children and grandchildren stated that they felt their loved ones had robbed them of precious time and indeed hope. I truly believe that suicide is one if not the most selfish action a person can take. I wish I could remember the day it aired.

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 03:07 AM
Fair enough i see your point there about the family members feeling angry and robbed, and their thoughts that the loved one they lost was selfish, but what about the person suffering? Imh it could be the family members that are seen as being selfish in letting thier loved one go on through life suffering horribly in some cases. This subject is never an easy one and a decision like this is never taken lightly. I understand peoples religious thoughts on this aswell but think of it this way, if your family pet had an illness that was going to leave them in pain and suffering and ultimatly die what would you choose for that animal? Most would choose to have them put down than see them suffer.

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 08:16 AM

Originally posted by bombers8

I don't know what the thrust of the lecture you attended was, but my questions were geared more toward the question of whether a person should have the right to have an assisted suicide. We do not currently have that right.

Was asssisted suicide part of the lecture you attended?

It's interesting that you mention afterlife, as if it were a certainty. Not everyone holds those beliefs. But it would be interesting to hear from someone who believes in reincarnation, to see how suicide affect one's rebirth.

no it was a lecture recorded and put on the internet. interesting but if he is not religious, many of his statements would not really work with religious people.
thats the lecture, you may find it on kazzaa or NEWSGROUPS or something. lecture 14 you will see better of dead. he said that question was useless because when you die there is nothing, and nobody knows is there an afterlife anyway, so the question is not really relevent.

i asked sleeper(he seemed to be someone who believed in reincarnation) in the soul collector thread, about what happens to people that commit suicide. his answer was that they are born into worse circumstances, like being born in a third world country or something. he advised against suicide saying you may be reborn into africa or something. i am not to sure about that, but it may be possible there may be punishments for suicide.

but then you hear others who say, like priests who i have heard interviewd who were hindu saying that hindus actually do not believe in reincarnation, which i found strange because everyone i have heard said it does.

also the man given the lecture reckoned every suicide affected at least 6 people, left behind.

[edit on 21-7-2006 by andy1033]

posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 10:10 AM

Originally posted by bombers8
Regardless of your religious convictions, this life is the act of a Creator.

Well, if you have a religious conviction, I can see how you might believe that. I have no religious conviction and I'm not at all sure that my life is the act of a "creator" beyond myself.

Is our life truly our own, or does it belong to society?

My life certainly does not belong to society. I believe it is my own and I believe I should have the freedom to say when I move on, regardless of my reason. I cherish my life. I love living, but when the time comes for me to move on (and I do believe in an afterlife) I want that choice.

Life is great, but I happen to believe that death is great, too. I don't hold the negative connotations that most people have around death. Perhaps because I experienced my mother's death in such a positive way and because I have looked at the possibility of my own death right in the face, I am not afraid of it nor do I wish to avoid it or distance it. When death comes, I'm ready.
It's not a bad thing.

And there are much worse fates than death, in my opinion. Living with a painful, debilitating disease would be MUCH 'worse' than death to me.

Many people hold the position that life is so precious that we should hold onto it for as long as possible. And that's ok for them. I hold the position that life is so precious, I don't want to hold onto it past it's 'flower'. I don't want to strangle every bit of life from myself, making it last as long as possible. It loses it's 'preciousness' then.

So, yes, I want the right to assissted suicide. Unfortunately, people in high places with the big hammers don't see things the same way I do...

posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 10:55 AM
There is a huge cultural lag between the right to live and the right to die. In the US we begin with the assumption that life is always preferable to death, regardless of the circumstances. Although in fact, no one can prove what happens to us after we die.

I understand that people believe they know what will happen based on their religion and there are some religions that forbid assisted suicide, but we should not base our laws on anyone’s religion. To do so would be to sacrifice our freedom of religion.

Originally posted by bombers8
But it would be interesting to hear from someone who believes in reincarnation, to see how suicide affect one's rebirth.

I do believe in reincarnation. I believe that assisted suicide would rarely have any consequences on one’s rebirth, especially in the instance of severe illness or fatal disease. For some, the basis of reincarnation is that we have come here to live as mortals in order to learn something or improve the condition of the soul. One cannot learn or work on his/her soul while in a vegetative state, or while in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, etc, so there is no purpose for continuing the life.

posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 11:12 AM
We tend to be forced into life. No one asked us if we wanted to be born. Thus, we shyould not be saddled with a life that we no longer feel is worth living for whatever reason. It is the individual right to decide when life should end. Not society.

I believe in reincarnation. I believe that after you die, you go to a sort of mid-afterlife, where you review your life, rest, share experiences, and decide where you want to go next. After that, you move onto your latest incarnation, or you merge with a higher force.

Suicide, in my beliefs, usually does not affect your incarnation. However, sometimes suicide can. I think that if you kill yourself before your soul experiences in this life what it was meant to experience, you will be returned to a life similar to the one you left, with similar problems and situations until you have experienced or corrected whatever it was you were meant to.

But sometimes, perhaps its the soul's desire to incarnate into a life that the individual will end anyway.

posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 12:15 AM
Hmmm I think in the end it is up to the person when they want to go on. I myself can only see one fate in wich I would choose suicide over life and that would be Alzheimer’s.

I just can not fathom how horrible it would be to lose all of one's memories, the things I believe shape who we become.

To quote Bladerunner "All those ... moments will be lost ... in time, like tears ... in rain."

[edit on 24-7-2006 by Desolatus]

posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 01:16 PM
Alzheimers is a particularly difficult one. Even should a cure be found for it, and with the research being done, I feel one will be found. But will it bring back the loved one we've lost, or are in the process of loosing? I don't know. I can't even begin to imagine the heartache and pain involved in caring for a victim of Alzheimers, or watching them loose themselves.

Self-detemination is our god-given right. We make our own choices in life, why not in our deaths. At first glance that would seem slightly contradictory to my own personal view of life equalling hope, but I choose to believe that we also hold the right to our own life, to continue on in the face of what may seem like a hopeless course, or to end it and move on to what ever comes after...make your own choice if and when it becomes neccessary, and I'll hold your hand, if only metaphorically.

posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 03:00 PM
So frustrating, ATS just ate my post. Now I attempt to retype.

Allow me to begin by saying this is a subject that is filled with gray area. What may be right for one situation could be completely wrong with the next.

I think we all have the right to life, and with the right to life comes the right to die. We were granted this wonderful gift we call life. Once it was handed over to us, it is ours to keep and we should have the right to end it, to an extent. If a man is in severe pain and has no hope of ever retaining his health, death is something he may look forward too. But what about those last moments with your loved ones? How could you turn your back on another day with those who love you the most?

What about the starving children who die everyday and are only wishing they could have one more day. These kids would do anything to be tortured for one more day, while we turn our backs on tomorrow. Not really fair there is it.

So like I said, what might be wrong for one situation, can very well be completely wrong for another.

If somebody wants to take their life, it should be through a process determined by family members and the approval of the courts. If the family approves, the court should have no jurisdiction.

(Now I copy & paste this to try again)

posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 06:09 PM
This is a gray area and while I believe with all my heart and soul that suicide is wrong; it would also be wrong of me to impose my beliefs on others. Besides life the other great gift given to us is free will. Free will allows us to make our decisions based on what each of us believes is right for them. I still firmly believe that suicide is wrong but it is equally wrong for me to judge others.

Alzheimers is a terrible disease that takes a huge toll on the family. However, a good friend of mine and her kids are taking care of Grandma as long as possible. She told me that she has learned important life lessons from watching her Mom live with this condition. That is to enjoy the small pleasures that we receive every day. Her Mom thinks a root beer float and a movie is the greatest thing. She enjoys every moment of it. Perhaps this is the lesson we should learn from people with Alzheimers and indeed I'm sure there are other people with other conditions who choose to live life to the fullest they are able to.

I have two medical conditions that are painful and for which there is no cure or indeed no good treatment but I can't imagine giving up time with my daughter. To me suicide would be a huge waste. Just my thoughts on this issue.

posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 06:30 PM
I don't have a problem with assisted suicide, or suicide in general for that matter.
Your life is yours, no one elses, and what you choose to do with it is your decision.

If, say, I wanted to end my life, I don't of course, but anyways, if I want to, it's my right to do so, and no one should be able to tell me otherwise.

As for it being selfish, well, I honestly have to say "get over it", I mean if someone I cared about (which incidentally I can count on one hand, and still have some fingers left), commited suicide, of course I would'nt be happy about it, but I'd understand that it's there choice, and I'd just accept the fact.

posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 06:42 PM
It's a hard question. I'm against it, and not due to any religious convictions or anything.
There was a case here in Australia, where a lady chose to opt out of her life due to the pain she was suffering from cancer and believed it was not worth going on.
An autopsy however found that she had no cancer at all, it was something else totally. Whether it would have killed her in the end I'm not sure.

I guess it's hard to comment when you don't have to go through the agonizing pain of disease.
I Just think that some things are too big for us all and should be left to a higher power, whether you call it god or whatever. Not our decision to make in my view.

posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 08:08 PM
Suicide, or allowing yourself to die? Which is it we are talking about? Suicide, ending your life quickly, doing something to kill yourself...wrong. Allowing yourself to die, stop taking meds, stop eating, what ever, is totaly natural. Even a dog when its days are comming to an end, will run off on its own to allow itself to die. It will stop eating and will drink very little. There is a big difference between the two. In order to allow yourself to die, you have to really be ready.

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