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the right to die

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
couldn't see a topic on this, sorry if i missed it! what are people's thoughts on the tony nicklinson case? link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/23/tony-nicklinson-assisted-suicide-twitter-interview?newsfeed=true

apparently the decision is most likely to be made in september. do you think he should have the right to die? would it open up a can of worms around notions of 'quality of life' for people with a disability?

after watching the desperately sad documentary that was on last week. i think tony should have the right to die with the assistance of someone else and that the person helping should be protected from prosecution. the right to die and the right to life are inextricably linked and i believe both are just as important as the other. denying him the right do die because he is severely disabled in my mind is wrong. if one of our pets were suffering like this we would be advised to euthanise it.

i dont think that by carefully examining tony's case and hopefully allowing him that right is going to cause partners to suddenly start poisoning their wheelchair bound spouse. years ago, tony wouldn't have survived the stroke but because of new fangled medical science he was able to 'live'. if medicine has progressed so much then i think the law should follow suit.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's a tough one for sure. I worry that it would reduce funding for palliative care, respite etc which allow people to *live* with dignity. I worry that it would increase the pressure on the infirm and vulnerable to end their life earlier than really necessary.

    I can see why people might like the idea but it's so full of pitfalls that I think we currently have it right.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's a tough one for sure. I worry that it would reduce funding for palliative care, respite etc which allow people to *live* with dignity. I worry that it would increase the pressure on the infirm and vulnerable to end their life earlier than really necessary.

    I can see why people might like the idea but it's so full of pitfalls that I think we currently have it right.

    There are at least two sides to the pressure to end lives earlier than otherwise might scenario though, especially for those with degenerative illnesses. If you know that once you lose more of your motor skills, you'll also lose the option of being able to chose to die, then there's potentially pressure to end your own life while you still can,
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I remain convinced that people in the position to make their own decisions about their own lives should be free to exercise the right to die. The general argument against this is that it would allow people to "play god" or that it would be reducing the rights of those who are mentally incapable, but there are a growing number of entirely rational people campaigning for their own right to die, because they see their future and want to avoid it.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Mist wrote: »
    I remain convinced that people in the position to make their own decisions about their own lives should be free to exercise the right to die. The general argument against this is that it would allow people to "play god" or that it would be reducing the rights of those who are mentally incapable, but there are a growing number of entirely rational people campaigning for their own right to die, because they see their future and want to avoid it.
    How do you differentiate between something like this case and someone who wants to do it for something other than a physical disease? And on physical diseases, where do you place the line -if anywhere? If someone couldn't walk but were otherwise fine AND mentally capable, for example, would you think they should be allowed to get killed or kill themselves if they wanted to?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why should someone not be allowed to make their own informed choice on the matter? Why should "we" force upon them a lifestyle they would rather not have?
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Mist wrote: »
    Why should someone not be allowed to make their own informed choice on the matter? Why should "we" force upon them a lifestyle they would rather not have?
    So you're saying that anyone who wants to die under any circumstances at all should be allowed to?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think so. Why shouldn't someone be allowed to end their own life?
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    I think so. Why shouldn't someone be allowed to end their own life?
    In the very least because their reason is something that could potentially or perhaps is certain to become better if they don't, I'd say.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In what way will things get better for someone with a terminal illness?
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    In what way will things get better for someone with a terminal illness?
    Who said anything about a terminal illness? If you read what I wrote you'll see that I used phrases like "where do you place the line" and "under any circumstances at all", making it clear (or so I thought) that I'm talking about anyone who wants to die and where you draw the line.

    Besides, as far as I can't tell even the man in the article doesn't have a terminal illness, he just doesn't want to live the way he will with the one he has.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But suicide is 'legal', you can't be prosecuted for it. If a person makes the informed decision to take their own life then it's upto them. I know that people can be sectioned if they're considered a danger to themselves but ultimately if a person wants to kill themselves, they can usually succeed.

    It does get really complicated when someone doesn't have the capacity to take their own life because it puts someone else in the frame. I don't think anyone can fully understand or judge the quality of life of someone else apart from the individual themselves.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Which is fine with me. Who are you to tell someone they have to live when they don't want to? Nothing will get better for him. If someone wants it, and can't do it, then they should be able to find willing aid to end their own life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Who said anything about a terminal illness? If you read what I wrote you'll see that I used phrases like "where do you place the line" and "under any circumstances at all", making it clear (or so I thought) that I'm talking about anyone who wants to die and where you draw the line.

    Besides, as far as I can't tell even the man in the article doesn't have a terminal illness, he just doesn't want to live the way he will with the one he has.

    Do you mean suicide in general or assisted suicide? Sorry if I'm being slow!
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Do you mean suicide in general or assisted suicide? Sorry if I'm being slow!
    Both, really. The topic is (mainly, IMO) whether anyone who wants to die, for any reason at all, should die.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, not if anyone who wants to do should die. but that anyone who wants to die should have the right to die and get help if necessary.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    No, not if anyone who wants to do should die. but that anyone who wants to die should have the right to die and get help if necessary.
    Well, if they can do it themselves and get help in case they can't then it's certain that they will, isn't it? Unless someone tries to prevent it of course but you're also saying that nobody should.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No. That's not what I'm saying. Palliative care should continue, counselling services should continue. But if you are beyond help and have nothing but a slow decline into painful and undignified death to look forward to why shouldn't you be allowed to die on your own terms?
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    if you are beyond help and have nothing but a slow decline into painful and undignified death to look forward to
    So that's where you draw the line. Which is what I've been asking all along.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think more of a line would need to be drawn if that person needed assistance to take their own life. For me, if a person is capable then not a lot of intervention is possible. However I agree with Fiend that palliative care, counselling should still continue but if a person is completely certain of their choice and is capable of doing it then there isn't a lot you can do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So that's where you draw the line. Which is what I've been asking all along.


    No, that's not where I draw the line at all.

    If you want death, then death should be yours to have.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Well, I guess I'm just going to disagree with you then. Although I guess your idea would help a lot with overpopulation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Surely it's only really a question where people aren't physically capable of taking their own life?

    If you've still got the motor skills required to take your own life - then currently you can. The problem comes when you've got the mental capacity, but not the physical ability. If your carer follows your instructions - then they are lining themselves up for a criminal prosection.

    To me there are almost two separate questions - one is about whether anyone should have the right to decide end their own life, if you then take the answer to that as yes, the question is then whether those with physical disabilities should also have that entitlement even if assisstance is required.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What makes you so special then? What magic power do you have to decide who lives and who dies?
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    What makes you so special then? What magic power do you have to decide who lives and who dies?
    I don't decide. But I think I'm allowed an opinion, aren't I?

    EDIT: I guess what I really think is that anyone, before making an irreversible choice as serious as this, should be confirmed to have the mental capacity AND a clear enough mind to make it. That of course raised the question of how you determine that. In some cases it might be simple but in many others it's not. When it's not, shouldn't you err on the side of caution? The question then is which side that is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your opinion is that people shouldn't have the freedom over their own life and death then.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Your opinion is that people shouldn't have the freedom over their own life and death then.
    I added something there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't expect anyone apart from the individual to have power over their decision to live or die. The problem is as things stand that's not the case. You only control over whether to continue living or to end your life if you have the motor skills to end your life independantly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's important we get something straight. He isn't asking someone to turn off life support, or assist him. He is asking a doctor to physically kill him, ie pick up a syringe and stick it in his arm. It isn't a suicide he's asking to be made legal, it's a murder.

    Whilst I can understand people wanting to end their own lives, and accepting that sometimes it is necessary, I think asking a doctor to actually do all of it is too much, assuming they can find a doctor who actually would.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I bet it wouldn't be all that hard to find a willing doctor. And it's not murder, is euthanasia.
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So you're saying that anyone who wants to die under any circumstances at all should be allowed to?

    Why should they not? Note I'm referring to people who would, you know, not be considered to be insane.
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