Old 12-12-2008, 05:50 AM   #1
Smellyoldgit
Stinkin' Mod
 
Smellyoldgit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Britland
Posts: 13,568
Killed Like a Dog?

I didn't get to see the recent screening of an assisted suicide at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland - but it's showing has got the morality tongues wagging big-time.

If we let an animal suffer as we do some humans near the end of their lives, a custodial sentence is an option. Euthanasia is featuring more and more on the UK agenda and as expected, the main torrent of opposition is from the religidiot brigade.

The 'problem' of dealing with those who wish to die ain't going away - but what safeguards can be put in place to ensure we minimise the risk of systematic abuse of what could be a very difficult process?

Stop the Holy See men!
Smellyoldgit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 06:55 AM   #2
ubs
I Live Here
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 5,193
First you have to define "abuse."

Do you mean insurance companies promoting the benefits of assisted suicide among the elderly? (already happening)

Do you mean doctors facilitating the deaths of someone who is clinically depressed, and wants to die, but is otherwise fine?

Or do you mean the euthanizing of an individual that is in pain but prefers suffering over death?

I'm of the opinion that alive an in pain is always preferable to non existence and I beleive we off our pets for our own comfort and convenience. It's handy that they can't talk.

Never give a zombie girl a piggy back ride.
ubs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 07:26 AM   #3
VladTheImpaler
Obsessed Member
 
VladTheImpaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,347
Craig Ewert Assisted Suicide
VladTheImpaler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 07:29 AM   #4
VladTheImpaler
Obsessed Member
 
VladTheImpaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,347
Quote:
Smellyoldgit wrote View Post
The 'problem' of dealing with those who wish to die ain't going away - but what safeguards can be put in place to ensure we minimise the risk of systematic abuse of what could be a very difficult process?
For one it should not be possible to make money of such a procedure. When the potential for profit is introduced corruption follows.

The price or fee for assisted suicide should be minimal to cover basic costs (equipment, medical products, offices, salary). It should basically be run as a non-profit organization, where any surplus would be given to a random charity.
VladTheImpaler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 07:31 AM   #5
dogpet
Obsessed Member
 
dogpet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: The Mongrel Nation
Posts: 4,832
Quote:
ubs wrote View Post
First you have to define "abuse."

Do you mean insurance companies promoting the benefits of assisted suicide among the elderly? (already happening)

Do you mean doctors facilitating the deaths of someone who is clinically depressed, and wants to die, but is otherwise fine?

Or do you mean the euthanizing of an individual that is in pain but prefers suffering over death?
The big worry is mum being encouraged to off herself so the kids can sell the house.

thank goodness he's on our side
dogpet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 07:36 AM   #6
VladTheImpaler
Obsessed Member
 
VladTheImpaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,347
Quote:
ubs wrote View Post
First you have to define "abuse."

Do you mean insurance companies promoting the benefits of assisted suicide among the elderly? (already happening)
I agree this is abuse.

Quote:
ubs wrote View Post
Do you mean doctors facilitating the deaths of someone who is clinically depressed, and wants to die, but is otherwise fine?
Don't think I'm educated enough on this topic to clarify wheter or not this is abuse. But ultimately I find it hard to imagine that you should deny someone death if that's all they want to do for over a long time period.

Quote:
ubs wrote View Post
Or do you mean the euthanizing of an individual that is in pain but prefers suffering over death?
I agree, that would be abuse.

Quote:
ubs wrote View Post
I'm of the opinion that alive an in pain is always preferable to non existence and I beleive we off our pets for our own comfort and convenience. It's handy that they can't talk.
I agree theoretically, but not sure how I would feel if I was actually in extreme pain 24/7. Rather impossible to judge before you’re in that very situation yourself.
VladTheImpaler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 07:48 AM   #7
Smellyoldgit
Stinkin' Mod
 
Smellyoldgit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Britland
Posts: 13,568
The subject is huge. There's a little bit of black, a modicum of white and a heap big dose of grey.

Most of the major points are outlined here

I'm pleased that discussing the subject is at last no longer a god-led taboo, but I fear it will take decades for our collective law-makers to put a framework in place for euthanasia to be properly controlled - if it ever can be.

There's no doubt that as soon as profit is possible - the solids hit the punkah.

Stop the Holy See men!
Smellyoldgit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 08:26 AM   #8
ubs
I Live Here
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 5,193
Quote:
VladTheImpaler wrote View Post
Don't think I'm educated enough on this topic to clarify wheter or not this is abuse. But ultimately I find it hard to imagine that you should deny someone death if that's all they want to do for over a long time period.
and very difficult to prevent in any case.

Never give a zombie girl a piggy back ride.
ubs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 08:42 AM   #9
Irreligious
I Live Here
 
Irreligious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Around the way
Posts: 12,641
Quote:
ubs wrote View Post
First you have to define "abuse."

Do you mean insurance companies promoting the benefits of assisted suicide among the elderly? (already happening)

Do you mean doctors facilitating the deaths of someone who is clinically depressed, and wants to die, but is otherwise fine?

Or do you mean the euthanizing of an individual that is in pain but prefers suffering over death?

I'm of the opinion that alive an in pain is always preferable to non existence and I beleive we off our pets for our own comfort and convenience. It's handy that they can't talk.
Those are very tough questions, ubs.

I was not aware that insurance companies promoted assisted suicide among the elderly, and I always thought (mistakenly, perhaps) that psychologists (psychiatrists?) thoroughly examined sentient patients who request to be taken off life support. I am aware of this happening recently with a colleague. He was completely paralyzed below the neck after a horrific accident and was in excrutiating pain where he could feel. Apparently, there was nothing doctors could do for him to relieve his discomfort without impairing his ability to breathe.

It's hard to know what I would do in a similar situation, but I think I'd like to have options that included euthanasia.

I don't think I can agree with you that pain is always preferable to nonexistence. It might be for you, but you really can't speak for everyone.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Irreligious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 08:50 AM   #10
ubs
I Live Here
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 5,193
Quote:
Irreligious wrote View Post
I was not aware that insurance companies promoted assisted suicide among the elderly, and I always though (mistakenly, perhaps) that psychologists (psychiatrists?) thoroughly examined sentient patients who request to be taken off life support.
That's what I thought too, but check this out
Quote:
The Oregon Health Plan will not cover chemotherapy unless there is a better than 5% chance it will help patients live for five more years. Patients who don't meet that standard get a letter denying coverage for chemo and suggesting comfort care, including pain relief and, potentially, doctor assisted suicide.
In other words, as soon as you're a cost control problem you are provided with options. Those insurance companies, so full of mercy. And then there's this story
Quote:
When Roger Kusch helped Bettina Schardt kill herself at home on Saturday, the grim, carefully choreographed death ritual was like that in many cases of assisted suicide - with one exception. Schardt, 79, a retired X-ray technician from the Bavarian city of Würzburg, was neither sick nor dying. She simply did not want to move into a nursing home and, rather than face that prospect, she asked Kusch, a German campaigner for assisted suicide, for a way out.
Quote:
Irreligious wrote View Post
I don't think I can agree with you that pain is always preferable to nonexistence. It might be for you, but you really can't speak for everyone.
I think our moral objections to suffering are misplaced. Your every developmental is a product of discomfort. You learn to walk out of frustration, you eat and reproduce to relieve stress, you work to avoid the pain of the elements. Suffering is good. Long live suffering.

Never give a zombie girl a piggy back ride.
ubs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 08:57 AM   #11
Irreligious
I Live Here
 
Irreligious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Around the way
Posts: 12,641
Quote:
ubs wrote View Post
I think our moral objections to suffering are misplaced. Your every developmental is a product of discomfort. You learn to walk out of frustration, you eat and reproduce to relieve stress, you work to avoid the pain of the elements. Suffering is good. Long live suffering.
Hmm. I don't think my objections to unbearable suffering are misplaced at all, any more than my objections to the willful infliction of torture by one individual towards another. I think excrutiating pain sucks. If it's incurable and unremitting, I see no reason to force an individual to endure it.

Few of us want "not to be." But nonexistence is inevitable. I'm not so sure that nonexistence is the worst thing, either. After all, there once was a time when we did not exist and to no real detriment to our nonexistent selves.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Irreligious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 09:21 AM   #12
ubs
I Live Here
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 5,193
Quote:
Irreligious wrote View Post
Hmm. I don't think my objections to unbearable suffering are misplaced at all, any more than my objections to the willful infliction of torture by one individual towards another. I think excrutiating pain sucks. If it's incurable and unremitting, I see no reason to force an individual to endure it.
Probably everyone here has been in intense pain before, albeit not over a period of years, but even so I've always been able to contain it enough mentally such that I could notice other things around me and it's hard for me to beleive that any suffering could be so great that an eternal void was a preference.

The only exception I can think of would be torture. The malicious intent of another sentient being would be tough to ignore, but in that case I would argue that the removal of the torturer and not the tortured would be the optimal solution.

Quote:
Irreligious wrote View Post
Few of us want "not to be." But nonexistence is inevitable. I'm not so sure that nonexistence is the worst thing, either. After all, there once was a time when we did not exist and to no real detriment to our nonexistent selves.
True enough, but isn't our desire to hasten our nonexistence a sign of mental illness - a symptom rather than a solution.

It seems to me that as the bulk of the population passes into their autumn years - euthanasia is gaining more and more supporters.

Never give a zombie girl a piggy back ride.
ubs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 09:33 AM   #13
Philboid Studge
Organ Donator
 
Philboid Studge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Beastly Muck
Posts: 13,136
One of the problems with Merkin health care is that humans are living longer, and the end is often painful, drawn out, and expensive. I don't have an objection to the Oregon Health Plan policy.

The very old should be put in paddocks and utilized for any remaining healthy organs; their nutrients should be extracted; and they should ultimately provide fertilizer or other composting material for the young.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
La propriété, c'est le vol ...
Philboid Studge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 09:56 AM   #14
Irreligious
I Live Here
 
Irreligious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Around the way
Posts: 12,641
Quote:
ubs wrote View Post
Probably everyone here has been in intense pain before, albeit not over a period of years, but even so I've always been able to contain it enough mentally such that I could notice other things around me and it's hard for me to beleive that any suffering could be so great that an eternal void was a preference.
I have never been a victim of unremitting pain. I can't even imagine what that would be like, nor do I really want to.

Again, ubs, your assertions might very well work for you, but I don't think either of us is in a position to speak for other people on this topic. We all have different pain thresholds and abilities to sublimate our discomfort. It's not fair to assume that what would be tolerable for you ought to be tolerated by everyone.

I honestly think I'd rather be dead than to experience agonizing and unremitting pain for the remainder of my sentient existence. YMMV, but that's to be expected. You're not living in my skin and I ain't living in yours.

Quote:
ubs wrote
The only exception I can think of would be torture. The malicious intent of another sentient being would be tough to ignore, but in that case I would argue that the removal of the torturer and not the tortured would be the optimal solution.
From what I'm told, some chronic pain is equivalent to torture. I don't see the qualitative difference between pain that is intentionally inflicted by an outside source and organically derived pain as a result disease or illness. It's still pain.


Quote:
ubs wrote
True enough, but isn't our desire to hasten our nonexistence a sign of mental illness - a symptom rather than a solution.
No. I really don't think so. At least, not necessarily. It could also be a sign that existence is unbearable. Sometimes, it is. Nonexistence is merely an alternative option to that predicament.

Quote:
ubs wrote
It seems to me that as the bulk of the population passes into their autumn years - euthanasia is gaining more and more supporters.
That is problematic, especially if euthanasia, as an option, is not handled with sensitivity and with respect for the fact that we are all individuals. Again, what works for you may not work for me.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Irreligious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 10:33 AM   #15
ubs
I Live Here
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 5,193
Quote:
Irreligious wrote View Post
Again, ubs, your assertions might very well work for you, but I don't think either of us is in a position to speak for other people on this topic. We all have different pain thresholds and abilities to sublimate our discomfort. It's not fair to assume that what would be tolerable for you ought to be tolerated by everyone.
I am mistrustful of people's claims of ultimate suffering. Neither of us can jump into the skin of another we don't really know if the person is a suburbanite who's grit has never been tested or if what they are experiencing is beyond human capacity, but I do think it's fair to question.

Unless the person is living in the woods in a house they built themselves without tools and hunt their own food, they are participating in society and thus society has some claim and some responsibility regarding their existence.

The real question comes down to how much claim does the group have over the individual? If severely mentally disabled person wants to stick a fork in a electrical socket, do we have an obligation to stop them? I think we do.

Quote:
Irreligious wrote View Post
From what I'm told, some chronic pain is equivalent to torture. I don't see the qualitative difference between pain that is intentionally inflicted by an outside source and organically derived pain as a result disease or illness. It's still pain.
Believing yourself to be at the mercy of random events rather than the victim of injustice is, I think, significant. Perhaps I see it as worse because it can be alleviated.

Quote:
Irreligious wrote View Post
No. I really don't think so. At least, not necessarily. It could also be a sign that existence is unbearable. Sometimes, it is. Nonexistence is merely an alternative option to that predicament.
Conceded.

Never give a zombie girl a piggy back ride.
ubs is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:47 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin - Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2000 - , Raving Atheists [dot] com frequency-supranational frequency-supranational