Assisted suicide

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posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 10:48 AM
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ms. duadara, that is an interesting look at the issue, allowing oneself to die. But I think your analogy of the dog fails, because a dog has no concept of suicide. If he had, and had the means to do so, who can say what he would do?




posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 11:43 AM
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No other animal on earth has or understands the concept of suicide. Kind of says something about us hu? Taking your own life goes against everything natural. Allowing yourself to die is perfectly natural.

Maybe its the dogs advice we should be seeking.

[edit on 26-7-2006 by mrsdudara]



posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by mrsdudara
Taking your own life goes against everything natural.


I just want to propose that this concept is strictly societal and cultural. In some cultures, suicide is considered honorable.



Suicide is viewed in varying ways among the cultures, religions, legal and social systems of the world. It is considered a sin or immoral act in many religions, and a crime in some jurisdictions. On the other hand, some cultures have viewed it as an honorable way to exit certain shameful or hopeless situations.
Source


I'm just saying that I disagree that it goes against everything natural. In some cases, it can appear to be the most natural thing to do.

If we didn't have the stigma around suicide, it might be easier for people to let go of life when they were old, infirm, dying or simply didn't want to live any more. I don't feel that it is against everything natural.



posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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My views on this are fairly simple, If you are an adult and have some type of illness and or disability that you cannot live with (for whatever reason) then your should be allowed to end you life in a non violent matter, (doctors should assist) its your life, body, it should be your choice. If you are not an adult and or just want to kill yourself because you are depressed that day then no, that shouldn’t be allowed, counseling is the way to go.

[edit on 26-7-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 04:51 PM
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BH, it may be concidered brave to some people, even noble. But the fact remains that it still is not natural to kill yourself. Can you hold your breath until you die? No, because your mind and body naturally try to survive. A person knows when they are ready to die, and then they do what comes natural. This is my view with out my beliefs mixed in. AND believe me it is taking a LOT to not mix my beliefs in here.



posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by mrsdudara
But the fact remains that it still is not natural to kill yourself.


You call it a 'fact', but I disagree with you. I think it depends on what you mean by natural.



Can you hold your breath until you die? No, because your mind and body naturally try to survive.


Your mind? I don't think that the fact that you can't hold your breath until you die proves anything. That's just biology. Suicide encompasses so much more than biology.



This is my view with out my beliefs mixed in. AND believe me it is taking a LOT to not mix my beliefs in here.


These are your beliefs. You believe that it's not natural to kill one's self. I disagree. I think it's possible for it to be a completely natural thing to do, depending on the culture in which someone is raised.



posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 07:33 PM
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Originally posted by mrsdudara
No other animal on earth has or understands the concept of suicide. Kind of says something about us hu? Taking your own life goes against everything natural. Allowing yourself to die is perfectly natural.

Maybe its the dogs advice we should be seeking.


People flying in airplanes and talking on phones is unnatural, too. We're different than other animals.

Whether or not we live or die is always our choice, and we own our "own" bodies that way, until we get into a position where we can't make that choice. When we get in that position, society takes over and does with us as the existing laws see fit. In a way, we do become less than human, because according to the law, it is our ability to reason and act on our reasoning that makes us human and allows us to make contracts -- written and implied, with individuals or with society as a whole. If we can't do that, then our contracts are voided, and society calls the shots (so to speak).

But it's really no big deal. Society makes decisions about who lives and who dies all the time. And not just people in hospitals. I like to use the example of automobiles. About 50,000 people die each year in car accidents in the United States. We could lower that number if we decided to pass and strictly enforce laws that required cars to be 10 times safer than they are now. But that would also make cars more expensive. So society -- that includes you and me -- is willing to kill around 50,000 people every year to keep automobiles more affordable. See what I mean?

The only difference is anonymity. It's just harder for us to remain objective when we know or think we know one of these people personally. The more people we kill, the easier it becomes. That goes for all of us, not just Nazis.

[edit on 26-7-2006 by Enkidu]



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 09:11 AM
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Enkidu, you made some good points. We are not like any other animal. Other animals do not second guess their instincts. We do, we second guess every instinct we have to the point of insanity at times.

BH, I still do not see how it can be natural for some to commit suicide. Survival is natural, its instinct. Risking your life to save others is natural, but just killing yourself....I dont see how that is natural. Can you please try to explain to me how and in what circumstances you see suicide natural? I do not understand that point of view...at all. Help me out here.

By beliefs, I ment religious beliefs.

Sorry I was hazy in the holding breath example. I was mearly trying to point out and give an example of how it is natural instincts to survive.

[edit on 27-7-2006 by mrsdudara]



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 09:37 AM
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mrsdudara, It's not 'natural' to me right now, either. I'm just being open-minded about it. I'm just saying that even though I have no desire to kill myself now, there may be a situation in which I would find it quite natural and the right thing to do.

Let's say there's some sort of cataclysmic event in the US that causes a lot of death. Bird Flu or a terrorist attack or the government is gathering people up to put them in 'hospitals'. Let's say my husband dies because of these events and I know 'they' are coming for me. I'd rather die. It would be (to me) the most natural thing to take my life instead of having it (or my freedom) taken by someone else.

Another example is a terminal disease. I've watched my mother and my best girlfriend die of cancer. I've had cancer myself. I was lucky. I got it off of my body before a war waged within me. They didn't have that opportunity. If I am ever in a position that I get cancer and it cannot be sliced off of my body, I refuse to allow my body to be a battleground. At that point, I have decided to die. Why not make it fast and painless if I can? Why let something take over me slowly, painfully, eating away at me a little every day? It seems the most natural thing in the world to put me out of my mysery and prevent a LOT of suffering by a LOT of people who love me...

And regardless whether or not I can imagine a situation in which I think it's a natural thing to do, I can't bring myself to lay that judgment on everyone else. In other words, just because it's not natural TO ME right now, doesn't mean it's not natural (or acceptable) for someone else.

I am not at all afriad of death. Death is natural! It's as natural as birth. Deciding to make myself die is as natural as deciding to have a baby!


Life comes and goes. Ebb and flow. We're all just so hung up on the stigma that death is a bad thing. I just don't believe that anymore.

I'm fully committed to this life as long as I have it, but when it's time for me to go, for whatever reason, I will know that and I am comfortable with that. And if I need to facilitate it, I will be happy to.

That's just my perspective on the issue.



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 09:49 AM
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You have voted Benevolent Heretic for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.


Well put BH.
But I must ask, do your views on that change with respect to minors?



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 10:16 AM
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to posters this sensitive subject is an ethical and humanitarian issue and religious beliefs should find no place in these affairs. There is no proof of a divinity or reincarnation irrespective of whatever faith you or the sufferer believes.
I recently had to watch my father die of cancer and to witness his suffering was emotional torture for the family and his friends. He was unable to speak but weeks before when he could he hoped it would be quick. I recall his last words 'Beers, not tears' he said, 'celebrate my end happily' we did just that! During his brief but rapid decline he did agree with assisted suicide. Would we have done it? No! never!
The 'we shoot horses dont we' brigade will always exist whether we deem them morally bankrupt or not.



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Well put BH.
But I must ask, do your views on that change with respect to minors?


Thanks, Westie.


I don't have children, so my views may be a bit too 'objective' for some. If I had children, I might even feel differently, but no, I have to say that there is no magic age (16, 18, 21) that I feel someone is 'old enough' to decide he's done with this life. I would certainly hope that anyone who wants to take their life would speak with others about it and get input and consider the impact it might have on the living, but ultimately, it's up to them.

As it is today, even with all the negative stigma attached to suicide, if a kid wants to kill himself badly enough, he does it. No amount of laws or public scorn is going to have a positive effect. In fact, if it wasn't such a dramatic, forbidden, 'romantic' thing for teens to do, I dare say it wouldn't be as attractive to them.


Originally posted by anglosaxon
to posters this sensitive subject is an ethical and humanitarian issue and religious beliefs should find no place in these affairs.


Please realize that to many (not me), their religious beliefs are very much tied into their ethical and humanitarian beliefs. Some people just work that way. I'm just sayin'.



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I don't have children, so my views may be a bit too 'objective' for some. If I had children, I might even feel differently, but no, I have to say that there is no magic age (16, 18, 21) that I feel someone is 'old enough' to decide he's done with this life. I would certainly hope that anyone who wants to take their life would speak with others about it and get input and consider the impact it might have on the living, but ultimately, it's up to them.


Well, maybe it’s just the thought that scares me but I’m going to have to disagree with you here. Some children, especially teens, are under a lot of pressure and stress nowadays, especially from social and academic factors (to name a few). So IMO they may make a rash momentary decision to take their own life because of something that may be only temporary and or current. They may do this regardless of what the law says but I still wouldn’t want to give them a legal option, just incase. I don’t have children, yet, but I wouldn’t want my child to take his/her own life over factors which I mentioned above. I think a cutoff age should be implemented, say around 21, unless there are extreme and obvious permanent circumstances. Such as a terminal illness which will only prolong the suffering, or in cases of extreme paralyses and amputation. I’m not religious (I think you know that by now) so that does not affect my views on this but I do value life (you don’t need to be religious to do that), so I cannot imagine granting someone the right to end their own life when it is only in its infancy of potential, again barring any extreme and dire circumstances.



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 11:34 AM
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I totally understand where you're coming from.

I don't think we're talking about legal options here, though, are we? I mean, isn't suicide already against the law? I doubt a suicidal teen decides against suicide because he doesn't want to break the law...

Your opinion reminds me of the mindset many have about making contraceptives available to young people. They don't want to do it because it would appear to condone casual sex. They feel that somehow, if they keep kids from getting contraceptives, that they'll decide not to have sex or that if they make them available all kinds of kids are going to start having sex.

The fact is, if kids want to have sex (or commit suicide) they're going to do it whether or not contraceptives are made available to them (and whether it's against the law or not).

My hope in removing the stigma of both situations, is that kids would feel more at ease talking with friends or adults (parents, teachers, councelors) about it before making up their minds.

But, yeah, we just disagree. (Again)



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I totally understand where you're coming from.

I don't think we're talking about legal options here, though, are we? I mean, isn't suicide already against the law? I doubt a suicidal teen decides against suicide because he doesn't want to break the law...


Well I meant if we were discussing making it law since we both agree, at lest to some degree, that suicide and or euthanasia should be made legal, throughout the country.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
My hope in removing the stigma of both situations, is that kids would feel more at ease talking with friends or adults (parents, teachers, councelors) about it before making up their minds.


Well, I hope that it would help and reduce the numbers but I wouldn’t take that risk. And the though of a child coming up telling you that they are going to commit suicide still bothers/scares me.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
But, yeah, we just disagree. (Again)


Well, I must say that we do have our moments, but disagreeing with you and two other fine ladies (I think you know who I’m referring to) for me is about as constant as they come.



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by mrsdudara
BH, I still do not see how it can be natural for some to commit suicide. Survival is natural, its instinct. Risking your life to save others is natural, but just killing yourself....I dont see how that is natural.


Good old Mother Nature has a huge number of fail-safe methods in place to help ensure the survival of the species. One of them is suicide, which is self-murder. It generally happens when the individual is so mentally messed-up they just can't live in the world. So suicide is one of nature's ways to trying to keep them from procreating and passing the flaw along to the next generation.

It's also a natural consequence of our ability to reason. If we find ourselves in an untenable situation, either being in too much pain or crippled by an inability to function in society, we can reasonably weigh our options and decide to take a chance and end our lives rather than continue being tortured. We're smart enough to understand our situation, and willing to trade pain for the unknown quantity presented by death.



Can you please try to explain to me how and in what circumstances you see suicide natural? I do not understand that point of view...at all. Help me out here.


Animals don't commit suicide, because they're not smart enough to realize they can. But what usually happens is that the mother figuratively and literally "smells" something is wrong with one of its babies -- it just doesn't act normally -- and she'll purposely abandon it or let it starve to death. Or they eat it.

But because we humans like doing things that are "unnatural" compared to other species, we foolishly tend to try to save all our babies, even the ones that would never stand a chance of surviving in the wild. As a result, we carry a lot of insanity and genetic abnormalities forward and poison our own species a little. A more natural response would be to wring the necks of any babies who weren't up to snuff, or maybe eat them. As it is, we let them run around insane until they're either killed or old enough to kill themselves. Sometimes this results in them breeding, which passes the genetic flaw forward. So human beings are naturally a little bit crazier than most species, and some of us naturally kick our own buckets.

It's all part of DNA's clever and prefectly natural plan (so to speak) to create enough similarity within a species to procreate, yet offer just enough diversity to help the species survive an unexpected change in its environment.

[edit on 27-7-2006 by Enkidu]



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 01:37 PM
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When assisted suicide is involved in a decision moral and ethical questions do come into play, not so much on the part of the person wishing to end their suffering in this fashion, but on the part of the professional medical practioner who is aiding and abetting. It seems to me a violation of their Hypocratic Oath "first, do no harm..." I am not sure how a health care professional of any sort can violate an oath so central to their calling. A doctor, and any other health care professional, is first, last, and always a healer. To aid a suicide is so contrary to what they are supposed to stand for as to beggar the imagination.

If one wants to commit suicide to end thier suffering fine, that is their right as a free-willed individual, but a doctor does not have any right to assist. It violates every oath he or she has ever taken as a healer. If suicide is your last best option fine...don't corrupt the medical profession any more than it already is.

Comforting a dieing patient, as best they can is their duty and obligation as healers. Controlling pain, again...their duty. Helping them to die, is not. When my mother was dieing of cancer, the doctors did all they could to no avail, I harbor no ill will toward them for doing all that was humanly possible to do. Had they aided her had she wished to commit suicide, I would have hunted them to the ends of the Earth. Selfish of me? Probably...almost certainly.

Where does helping to end suffering by aiding a suicide end, and euthenasia begin. Oh...morality and ethics are added to the equasion bigtime when assisted suicide is discussed.



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by seagull
It seems to me a violation of their Hypocratic Oath "first, do no harm..."


I just want to throw this in:
Is a doctor doing harm by ending one's suffering a day, week, or month early?

Is a doctor doing harm by refusing to end one's suffering?


I think there is a very fine line here and when that line is crossed, it is only humane to end the suffering of one who is ready to die.



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 06:31 PM
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And again, why is granting someone death with dignity considered 'harm'? If it's something they want, if they're in pain, miserable, emotionally distraught and begging to be freed from the physical body that has become their 'trap', would it really be 'harmful' to aid them?

I don't think so.

Why is death automatically thought of as 'harm'? There are many things worse (and more harmful) than death, imo.

[edit on 27-7-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
And again, why is granting someone death with dignity considered 'harm'? If it's something they want, if they're in pain, miserable, emotionally distraught and begging to be freed from the physical body that has become their 'trap', would it really be 'harmful' to aid them?

And it would be nice to think that people exist in some kind of nice, clean vacuum, too. But they don't. Not only are doctors expected to think of their patients, but their families, also. Every day a person lies in pain in a hospital bed, unable to do anything about it, their families rack up more bills they will be expected to pay whether the patient lives or dies. So by taking the life of someone in pain, can they actually be helping the lives of those who are burdened by the patient?

When Hippocrates came up with his oath two millennia ago, people either lived or died quickly, without lingering in a vegetative state for years. If he was around these days, he might have to either rethink or clarify his oath.

That's the problem when you try to run things according to dogma, whether it's religious or political or ethical. Times change. Things happen that the wise men of old never could even imagine. At that point, we're pretty much on our own.





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