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Curious what others think about helping a terminally ill person end their life.

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hey guys,

Last night I heard on the news that someone is trying to legalise assisted dying. Here's a news link, mentioning some of the stuff I heard.

In some ways I think this is okay. If someone is very ill, in a lot of pain, can hardly move and the only thing they can think about is death then I do think assisted suicide should be allowed in cases like this.

I don't think it should be allowed for everyone though. There may be some people incapable of making a decision properly, so I feel that these people should not be allowed to decide when they die.

I know this is a topic that some of you may feel quite strongly about and there might be some very mixed opinions but I'm hoping for an interesting debate :) You may disagree with other peoples opinions, but everyone is entitled to their own, just as you are. Looking forward to hearing what other people think..

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My concern is that it will be abused.

    But I do think that someone should be allowed to make the decision, as long as they're mentally able and understand it all.

    The person who helps them shouldn't face charges for it. The article says that they want to be helped to die with the aid of a doctor, which to me is fair enough.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Pretty much what Melian said, all 3 points.
    Perhaps there should be an impartial person/committee to decide on a case-by-case basis. I really don't think the decision should be left to the person alone, or even their family.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know that there is a minefield around this issue on whether a system can be abused or not but, in principle, I feel any terminally ill patient should have the right to choose the time of their death, if there is no hope for recovery and there is a potential for a steady decline into pain and suffering.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why do the family's needs or desires come ahead of the person who is sick?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    charleton wrote: »
    I disagree with that. It is difficult for family member to allow your one member to die even he or she is ill.

    Is it though? I watched my grandmother suffer from dementia for nearly 15 years - it was incredibly though for her and everyone around her. Watching someone slowly losing control of their own body, not knowing who they are and being reliant on other people to feed, change and wash is more painful, in my opinion, than watching them die with dignity. She would get very distressed daily and it was cruel having to continuously force to do basic things, but there wasn't another choice.

    Terminal or degenerative diseases so frequently mean that people have no control or dignity, allowing them to die in a less painful manner is offering them the respect they deserve and ends years of suffering for them and their family.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    charleton wrote: »
    I disagree with that. It is difficult for family member to allow your one member to die even he or she is ill.

    But it's even worse to sit there and see them suffer. Especially if they're terminally ill and will die within the year or so. It's not up to the family members. Yes, it's not nice to allow someone to die. But how is it fair to see them slowly dying and slowly losing bodily functions?

    I have a relative who is slowly dying from cancer. It's awful having to see how he is and hearing how his wife is struggling with caring for him. Especially as both are elderly.

    it's not just the ill person who suffers. It affects the whole family. I have a friend whose wife has Dementia. She's been given 3 and a half years to live. Because of his own health issues, she's in a care home. It's awful having to listen to him say that she's slowly losing her bodily functions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's the same old arguments every time. The pro-life lobby comes in with the "it'll create a queue of old people forced to die" argument and the judges say "it's not for the courts to change the law" (though there seems to be little issue with this in other cases) and the politicians are too scared to add it to their agenda.

    Personally I feel that people who have consciously expressed a wish to end their life and who cannot do so themselves, should be allowed to have an assisted death. I'm not sure exactly who is benefited by removing this option, or making it more complicated than it otherwise needs to be.

    Obviously there is a far trickier argument around the group of people with a diminished capability to come to a decision, but I don't see why the two groups of people necessarily need to be handled in the same way.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Being someone who suffers from chronic pain all the time and having spent load periods of time practically bedbound, I totally understand why these people would want to do such a thing and as long as they are properly mentally assessed (by 2 doctors) I think its a really good idea and a humane thing to do. I would want to know if I wanted to pass if I knew I was never going to get better then I would want to go knowing anyone who helped wouldn't suffer and I think thats only fair - if we relieve the suffering of animals why when we can give concent do we make other humans suffer so? Its cruel!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't endorse morals, but then yeah, IMO it's immoral to stop somebody from killing themselves.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can understand the argument about stopping someone from suffering, but I don't think consideration should be given to those who suffer in the side lines. It gets dangerous when you bring in people other than the person who is terminally ill. I know the wishes of a family member or next of kin are quite important in many medical conditions, but as I said above; decision should be based on whether or not to ease the suffering of the terminally ill person and not just to ease the suffering of those who suffer by proxy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    I can understand the argument about stopping someone from suffering, but I don't think consideration should be given to those who suffer in the side lines. It gets dangerous when you bring in people other than the person who is terminally ill. I know the wishes of a family member or next of kin are quite important in many medical conditions, but as I said above; decision should be based on whether or not to ease the suffering of the terminally ill person and not just to ease the suffering of those who suffer by proxy.

    But at the same time someone shouldn't be stopped because their next of kin don't want them to - as long as they have the capacity to make such a decision.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree, my point was that we shouldn't let this happen just to ease the suffering of someone who isn't the ill person. However, you also cant and shouldn't force or expect someone to assist in suicide if they dont want to. Perhaps some of the unwillingness comes down to the understanding or lack of people have of the law (and the law itself).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Many people in the situation who are unable to say whether they choose to die or not, as you said, are unfortunate because of this. I do believe that to put someone out of pain and give them freedom is the most merciful thing you can do. However, I do think that life is not forever but is the many seconds that we live it, and whether we are alive or not living or living but not alive, we should treasure it because your strength is being tested. And the longer you live everyday as best as your abilities and opportunities will allow you, then there is not limit and no end to the power you are giving yourself. Death is permanent. If the person in question cannot make a fully thought decision and communicate their wish, then I feel that the carer or family member should not be the person to decide because they do not understand the feelings and thoughts in exact of this person. Family or not, it is impossible to know someone's thoughts without communication.
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