Right to Die | INFJ Forum

Right to Die

PintoBean

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May 18, 2015
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So I recently read about how Belgium okayed the physician assisted suicide of a 24 year old woman who is chronically depressed, but otherwise physically healthy.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/right-die-belgium-inside-worlds-liberal-euthanasia-laws-2/
Right to die questions have long niggled at me. This case is upsetting. Others less so. I know that if I fell pray to some horrible disease (for example ALS) I would dearly wish a painless and dignified death. Also, if diagnosed with early stage dementia, I would certainly wish for it. Having worked in a dementia home for some years, I am certain most of those patients would not have wanted to spend 5 years of their life crapping on themselves and not even knowing who they or their loved ones were. But of course, there really is a huge slippery slope issue here. We don't want situations such as our most vulnerable people, our elderly, etc to be afraid to go to the doctor for fear of being pressured into euthanization. What are your thoughts on the right to die/physician assisted suicide issue?
 
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What are your thoughts on the right to die/physician assisted suicide issue?

Life is a privilege, not a right. If you don't want to take part in it, you shouldn't be forced to because other people have moral or ethical concerns.
 
I don't believe in incurable depression...and at 34?! Disgusting. Not the person, the doctor...the establishment.

Psychiatric treatment is not comprehensive or altruistic enough to be killing people who don't respond to treatment.
 
I don't believe in incurable depression...and at 34?! Disgusting. Not the person, the doctor...the establishment.

Psychiatric treatment is not comprehensive or altruistic enough to be killing people who don't respond to treatment.

Wholly agree. This case is egregious and alarming. At exactly the same age (24) I suffered a severe bought of depression. At the time, from my skewed, mentally ill and immature perspective, I wanted to die. If someone offered it to me, I would have said yes. So glad such an offer was not on the table.
 
If you're not willing to put in the time or effort, you shouldn't be forcing people through torture with no light at the end of the tunnel. I know what it's like to feel like death would be mercy nearly every day for years so I can sympathize. That being said, I don't think someone so young should have it easily within their grasp, especially institutionally. When the collective response amounts to suck it up or take your zombie meds, then it shouldn't be any wonder when people can't find it w/in themselves to cherish their lives. If you want to die so badly, there's either something physically wrong or a very long series of BS has fallen your way, which itself amounts to something physically wrong (I am a through and through materialist, though spiritual descriptions have at least approximations). Everything has a cause. There's plenty of technology on the doorstep that would allow almost everyone to be life coaches if they wanted. There's material in sappy feeler-type books out there. You need a team holding your ankles, when you're dangling in the abyss. Sometimes, the one's dangling kick and scream a lot, or have a team of zombie horses pulling at them from the other side.
 
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Considering she's been living in psychiatric care for a long time and has made multiple attempts to end her own life I don't have a problem with it. It seems that her level of psychological pain she's endured has been chronic and ongoing for many years.

Anyone who doesn't get how crippling it can be really shouldn't be airing opinions on it from some moral high horse. Depression to the level that you constantly want to take your own life robs you of any quality of life. It is physically and emotionally taxing. Sometimes it is better to be dead..
 
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Considering she's been living in psychiatric care for a long time and has made multiple attempts to end her own life I don't have a problem with it. It seems that her level of psychological pain she's endured has been chronic and ongoing for many years.

Anyone who doesn't get how crippling it can be really shouldn't be airing opinions on it from some moral high horse. Depression to the level that you constantly want to take your own life robs you of any quality of life. It is physically and emotionally taxing. Sometimes it is better to be dead..

I'm not sure I agree with you that she is better off dead. This based on the fact that she is so young and there remains hope, as many mentally ill people have found. But supposing you are right, my problem is in offering her institutionalized assistance when she cannot even be in the right mind to decide for herself. Really, I would rather she privately jumped off a bridge than have it become institutionalized procedure that people like her can be put down like suffering dogs. The fulfillment of her mentally ill wish becomes a real danger to other vulnerable, unstable individuals who do yet have a real chance at healing and QOL.
 
I don't believe in incurable depression...and at 34?! Disgusting. Not the person, the doctor...the establishment.

Psychiatric treatment is not comprehensive or altruistic enough to be killing people who don't respond to treatment.

Okay, let's say that it's disgusting. Why should they have to comply with your moral opposition to the matter? Are you better than them? Smarter than them? Holier than them?
 
I'm thinking the patterns with which her neurons fire must be distinctive. If for example the toughest kind-hearted cookies can't cheer her up, then perhaps there's something that can't be helped with therapy... puppy therapy? Fabio? Failing puppies and Fabio, there's something way more going on in the brain, and maybe people ought to be trying more than just drugs. I guess there may be value in more centralized health system, or one that has a pool for funding research that wouldn't be funded by for example pharmaceuticals. I think that maybe the problem with sharing technology like I'm thinking about is that as it stands people would adapt it and use it to cause all sorts of havok and mayhem by thoroughly messing up people, knowingly or otherwise, or frankly through sheer ignorance, being products of the times we are in.
 
I'm not sure I agree with you that she is better off dead. This based on the fact that she is so young and there remains hope, as many mentally ill people have found. But supposing you are right, my problem is in offering her institutionalized assistance when she cannot even be in the right mind to decide for herself. Really, I would rather she privately jumped off a bridge than have it become institutionalized procedure that people like her can be put down like suffering dogs. The fulfillment of her mentally ill wish becomes a real danger to other vulnerable, unstable individuals who do yet have a real chance at healing and QOL.

My assumption is that this decision was not made lightly and that it was made based on the length and severity of the illness. I can't see them just automatically granting someone's wish to die without exhausting other avenues first. It's not like you can just walk into the doctor's office and ask them to euthanize you on the spot.

I don't feel anything about her wanting to be dead. I would rather her have sought medical attention and assistance, been evaluated extensively, etc. and have her euthanized in a controlled environment than have her go throwing her off a bridge and having other people stumble upon her body and go through the trauma associated with that. And what if she tries to kill herself AGAIN and doesn't succeed and it compounds her misery?

If I was her family member and found that she had to resort to taking a bunch of pills or hanging herself or slitting her wrists I'd feel terrible that she had to act against herself in that way. It's more humane to allow her to die by the hand of a trained professional who can ease her suffering and let her go gently into death than having a violent end and having to stumble in on her body and clean the blood out of the bathtub.
 
This is a pretty complex issue and I really dislike the idea of euthanasia as an option for mental illness, but SpecialEdition does make some very good points. She's been suffering from childhood and even wanted to shoot herself at six. She's tried numerous routes to mental health, but nothing has worked. She's also been in a psychiatric facility for three years. It could be incurable depression and just like any incurable disease that will cause years of pain with no chance of becoming better, it might be more just to allow her to die.

Still, the idea makes me uneasy. There might be other facilities and other treatments that could help her. Mental illness is more complicated than physical so it's possible she could be helped by different practitioners. It could also set a dangerous precedent.
 
I believe in the right to die but the system is not ready for this. The way the psychiatric treatment system works is not for it.

There's a conflict of interests because the system is still not going to let people in their care commit suicide on their own. That is the real problem. In facilities they still take away your belt, shoe laces, and any sharp objects and they don't even let you take the plastic utensils out of the canteen.
 
I don't believe in incurable depression...and at 34?! Disgusting. Not the person, the doctor...the establishment.

Psychiatric treatment is not comprehensive or altruistic enough to be killing people who don't respond to treatment.

It makes me uneasy too to see an institution having that kind of control over a patient... Even if it is in the name of respecting "basic" human rights. Also mental institutions have been for a long time under scrutiny when it comes to respecting one's rights and unfair use of power over their patients.
 
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My assumption is that this decision was not made lightly and that it was made based on the length and severity of the illness. I can't see them just automatically granting someone's wish to die without exhausting other avenues first. It's not like you can just walk into the doctor's office and ask them to euthanize you on the spot.

I don't feel anything about her wanting to be dead. I would rather her have sought medical attention and assistance, been evaluated extensively, etc. and have her euthanized in a controlled environment than have her go throwing her off a bridge and having other people stumble upon her body and go through the trauma associated with that. And what if she tries to kill herself AGAIN and doesn't succeed and it compounds her misery?

If I was her family member and found that she had to resort to taking a bunch of pills or hanging herself or slitting her wrists I'd feel terrible that she had to act against herself in that way. It's more humane to allow her to die by the hand of a trained professional who can ease her suffering and let her go gently into death than having a violent end and having to stumble in on her body and clean the blood out of the bathtub.

Destigmatize suicide and the rest will follow.

Feeling trapped is often a large portion of suicidal thought, and suicide stigma contributes to the trapped feeling. The sense of "I'm not even allowed to die." Taking away a person's final exit can make them feel even more cornered, and almost any sentient being becomes desperate when cornered.

Not saying we have to encourage it, just stop demonizing it. Some people might be more willing to try and hang on if they're not forced to hang on.
 
What's wrong with living with dementia, or depression? Is having a degenerative disease reason to say life is not worth living?

As a society I think we could be so enriched by striving to make the lives of everyone better and happier, especially those people who can't reciprocate our love and care, because giving becomes its own reward.

Naturally, I shy away from the thought of one day losing my mind and control of my bodily functions. However, I accept such a state, hoping that ot doesn't bug me too much at the time; and hoping that it will help those helping me to learn to put aside selfishness and learn selfless love.
 
What's wrong with living with dementia, or depression? Is having a degenerative disease reason to say life is not worth living?

As a society I think we could be so enriched by striving to make the lives of everyone better and happier, especially those people who can't reciprocate our love and care, because giving becomes its own reward.

Naturally, I shy away from the thought of one day losing my mind and control of my bodily functions. However, I accept such a state, hoping that ot doesn't bug me too much at the time; and hoping that it will help those helping me to learn to put aside selfishness and learn selfless love.

You can't decide what makes other people happy. Trying to do so anyway is the opposite of selfless.
 
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You can't decide what makes other people happy. Trying to do so anyway is the opposite of selfless.

Don't worry, I never decide what makes people happy. Everyone decides that for himself... although I think if someone decides to be unhappy about something he/she can't change, I would hope it would not be because of a lack of support and assurance from their orbit of friends.
 
Don't worry, I never decide what makes people happy. Everyone decides that for himself... although I think if someone decides to be unhappy about something he/she can't change, I would hope it would not be because of a lack of support and assurance from their orbit of friends.

When you're demented or depressed you start losing the ability to decide things like that. Luckily people who are depressed might be able to find a way to deal with it, but people with progressive dementia are not so lucky.

You not understanding the problem doesn't mean you should act as if there's no problem.
 
[MENTION=862]Flavus Aquila[/MENTION]
Also if you're really interested in supporting and loving people, you should know that "What is wrong with x?" is not a supportive question. It's actually kind of trivializing and rude.