The right to die? | INFJ Forum

The right to die?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Skarekrow, Feb 8, 2020.

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  1. It is against my morals/beliefs and no one should have such a say.

    1 vote(s)
    3.8%
  2. It's fine for others, not for me.

    2 vote(s)
    7.7%
  3. It would be something I would consider for myself.

    10 vote(s)
    38.5%
  4. I support the right to die with dignity, but mental illnesses should not be considered.

    5 vote(s)
    19.2%
  5. I support the right to die if said person fits appropriate criteria no matter the primary reason.

    17 vote(s)
    65.4%
  6. I don't want to think about it...

    2 vote(s)
    7.7%
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  1. Skarekrow

    Skarekrow ~~DEVIL~~

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    The right to die?

    Death with dignity?

    How do you feel about assisted suicide or euthanasia?​

    The main difference between the two:
    Assisted suicide, the patient is in complete control of the process that leads to death because he/she is the person who performs the act of suicide.
    Euthanasia is when another person simply helps (for example, providing the means for carrying out the action).
    There are very strict rules and many states do not have a legal right to die in such a manner.
    Supporters of “death with dignity” have succeeded in legalizing what is also known as physician-aid-in-dying in five states by convincing voters, lawmakers and courts that terminally ill patients have the right to die without suffering intractable pain in their final days or weeks.

    One thing we cannot escape is our eventual death.
    This is not meant to invoke fear or sadness, but is a fact of life and nature.
    In recents years the ideas of "assisted suicide", "euthanasia", "death with dignity" have become more prevalent - and so has the resistance to such a final act.
    When faced with impending death and/or suffering, a growing number of people have opted to forego the possible long and painful act of dying/suffering from whatever terminal illness they are succumbing to.
    Of those that choose to go through the process of being approved - only about 1/3 actually end up going through with it, the general consensus being - it's there as a back-up should they need it - and that seems to be enough to ease the existential fears and fear of suffering some have.
    Just knowing it's an option is enough.

    Statistically pain is not the number one reason people opt in - rather it is a loss of control or autonomy.
    The right to control your own body and/or the way you pass on.

    Pushback has mainly come in the form of Religious institutions proclaiming that God is the ultimate decider.
    Do you feel that God would look down upon such an act and why?
    Are there circumstances where God would approve?

    There is an even more controversial side of the debate - the right to die for those suffering mental illness or distress.

    Of course this isn't a solution to a significant other breaking up with someone - but rather for those with untreatable depression or similar mental disabilities.
    Would such a person be in the right frame of mind to make such a final decision?

    Why would that be wrong if the quality of life is pain and suffering that is seemingly untreatable?

    On the other hand -
    The reasons given in opposition -
    Who may recover...
    And how long must a person wait to "recover" before enough is enough?

    So then they will take their own life in a sloppy possibly horrible way?
    Is there an appropriate mental illness or state of being that would warrant such a final decision?

    _________________________________________________________________________________​

    I myself am an advocate for the right to death with dignity.
    Hospice care is a wonderful service, but we treat our pets with more compassion by euthanizing them when terminally ill imho.
    I personally do not feel that any God would fault or punish a person for opting out of needless suffering.
    When making the decision to end a life of psychological suffering, mistakes are not an option.
    There is no room for error...there is no reversal.
    And yet, how much suffering can one person endure?

    I know I won't be sticking around when my number comes up! ;)

    What say you?

    :<3white:
     
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    #1 Skarekrow, Feb 8, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  2. Aneirin

    Aneirin AKA, David
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    I am in full agreement. I will never forget the last appointment my brother, who was dying from AIDS, had. His doctor gave me enough morphine to stop a freight train. Keep in mind I am an RN and was my brother's nurse as he required daily IV infusions to maintain what life he had. . I ask why the morphine and the doc said< "you'll know when to use it". . I didn't need to, but I was grateful for the option had the need arisen. In truth, physician assisted suicide has been around for a long time, just quietly. .
    We know when there is no hope. . and we know that God is not going to intervene. .it is cruel and pointless to force people to suffer for no reason when we have the means to stop it. I hope that if I am in that situation I will be allowed to make that decision for myself and not have to suffer. . and I want that option for my loved ones as well.
     
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  3. MoonFlier

    MoonFlier Permanent Fixture

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    Had you asked me this a year ago my answer would be different. Back then I couldn't fathom any sane person wanting to be dead, yet I saw compassion in allowing our pets to slip off to the permanent sleep when they were in pain that could not be fixed and beyond enjoyment of life.

    This year I've seen some stuff with my dad's decline and have fully changed my mind. He'd be very upset to see himself this way. The problem is that even if it were allowed in the US as it is in Canada, the person would have to be of sound mind to make the decision to end their own life. This dementia crept out of nowhere fast right alongside his cancer.

    I told my kids that if I develop dementia, point me to a raft and push me out to sea. (I joke as they'd be accused of attempted murder as I float back in on the next tide, Ha!) I don't want anyone mopping up my drool or changing diapers as I wait to die. No thanks. Bad for them, bad for me, bad for my kids to see me that way.

    I also have strong faith that all will be okay after we're gone.
     
  4. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    Thanks for a thread on an important topic, Skare.

    I remember when this was a controversy in the 90s, Doctor Kevorkian was in the media, and the absurdist non-profit Church of Euthanasia started up.

    Personally, I am pro "the right to die". I didn't vote above because nothing quite aligned with my thoughts and there is always something more to learn.
    All patients should be evaluated. I'm not sure what I think about assisted suicide/euthanasia being available to people who are not physically ill, but are suicidal. Treatment should be the course of action in those cases, perhaps with assisted suicide becoming available as the last, rare resort for extreme untreatable cases. (Some forms of depression don't respond to treatment.) Many people are suicidal because they are marginalized and this is a bigger issue than psychological treatment and pills. Making assisted suicide an option should also mean taking better care of the living.

    I've heard of many people who have Alzheimers' committing suicide before their illnesses progress to the point where they lose themselves, which means they have to do it early. They lose the last good part of their lives because they don't want to live through what is to come. Someone my father knew committed suicide for this reason a few weeks ago. My das accepted it, but he still wanted to talk about it, which is rare for him. It seems like there should be another options for Alzheimer's patients. Currently, I know someone who is catatonic (as in, nearly in a coma, but she moves her eyes to look at people) because of Alzheimer's. She's been this way for a year and may live many more years, even a decade. People should have the right to say, "Turn off my switch when I get to that stage."

    I'm not even sure it shouldn't be an option for our elders who don't want to be confined to nursing homes.
     
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  5. Sandie33

    Sandie33 Love Often & Absolutely ♡
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    Agreed!♡

    As a bit of backstory, I just locked horns with my endocrinologist. I have LADA, which is a form of Autoimmune diabetes that presents in adults. His last entry in my medical notes was, "patient presents with depression and fatalistic outlook on life ".
    Ha.
    This is his translation to my refusing to add more medicine, to be poked, prodded, try this or that any more.
    No.
    Now, if employing a wait and see attitude is a fatalistic mindset then call me guilty. I'm not quitting, but I'm done experimenting. Experimentung has only led to more health issues.

    Back to OP's quote above, I'm a firm believer of having the right to choice. After all we typically have the right to choise in most all other aspects of life, why not in death too?

    Is it because of the fear of finality and taboo surrounding the act of dying?

    With choice, we should, reasonably, be able to chose how to end our own life with dignity and self-respect in the same means with which we live our life with dignity and self-respect. Yes?

    Because I refuse the doctor's agenda and head my own in light of the facts of what my whole story, not just a piece of it is, I'm somehow defunct in my decision? (choice), mentally unsound so to say, in my decision to keep with what I have and flow along until details and circumstances change? I think not.

    As an example, because I get emotionally frustrated that my point isn't being articulated "correctly"... currently, when an individual decides on gastric bypass surgery they have to adhere to certian stages before they can have the actual surgery. Some are: recognizing and changing dietary and exercise habits, learning how the human body processes food for fuel, commitment to suffering a bit to gain a new lifestyle in the result, ect., ...the biggest commitment in the entire process is the mental health assessment. The tummy docs send this person to be "analysed" as to their committed investment regarding all the components of the lifestyle change. If they determine the patient is off mentally, or won't commit to the life style long term, they get a no.

    Why can't this type of assessment of facts work for end of life decision making too? Evaluate the individual's need to euthinasia, or assisted suicide, how deeply they are committed to that choice/need and design a plan to carry out their wishes?

    To me it's sensible. The added time and investigation to the depth of the need would help those that can be to live and those that can't to have dignity in death and the decision making process. Let the individual retain control, we break others' spirits when we invade and take their sense of self-control away. Why do we as a soecies continually do that?? (It's because of fear, really, whole another convo;))

    A question that often rolls through my mind when in this type of conversation regarding right to death is do we really know what a dying person is thinking or feeling in those end moments?

    ...as we loved ones loiter around their bedside while they are typically in a breezy hospital gown, unwashed and unkempt hair, no makeup or deoderant, smellin and looking like death already, no show of their regular routine of what they invested in Self to make themselves who they were in life, maintaining the spark of why we have loved them so over the period of time we have shared ... are they embarassed by this, grateful that we are there any way, resolved and relaxed in their exit or anxious and frightened because they have to accept the decisions of us others ?

    I think each person should be given the choice to leave this life in a manner that provides them a comfortable transition. Their idea of comfortable, not what we others think is best. ♤♡
     
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  6. Aneirin

    Aneirin AKA, David
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    there was a famous naval architect that committed suicide. .everyone in that world was lost in wondering why..He learned that he had terminal alzheimer's. He watched his father die of that same thing and made the choice to end his life on his terms. . He knew that if he waited he would lose the ability to end his life, so he did it his way. I know that for myself I would do the same thing
     
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  7. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    I prefer to focus on cures and prevention.
     
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  8. ThomasJ79

    ThomasJ79 Pondering

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    The only cure for life is Death.
     
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  9. MoonFlier

    MoonFlier Permanent Fixture

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    I wonder how many of the famous suicides we hear of are due to similar circumstances. Usually we're not told, but I'm willing to bet that many are simply the decision not to grow old that way.
     
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  10. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Stop.

    Life is not a disease. Disease is often a part of life.
     
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  11. MoonFlier

    MoonFlier Permanent Fixture

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    At least we've progressed to the point of having DNRs, but we're still missing a huge population of folk who have no chance of recovery and are clearly miserable but without ability to stop the agony.

    I'd like to see, at minimum, the ability to add to a living will that if one gets to the point of no hope, they are permitted to die with dignity.
    I'm torn on this though... If my dad had a living will asking us to tell the doctor to end it once he got to stage 7 dementia, would I even want the doctor to know? I fully realize that it's selfish to keep him around just to say "that was my dad in there" as he's pretty much a 4 year old version of himself now. But according to my mom, he has good moments still.
     
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  12. ThomasJ79

    ThomasJ79 Pondering

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    Please excuse my humor. We all deal with death in different ways.

    I agree with you. Our primary aim ought to be curing diseases and prolonging life. Our aim should also to consider the wishes of those suffering at the end of their life so they can die peacefully and with dignity when they are ready.
     
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    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Even if someone wished to die, I don't think anyone has the right to kill them.

    No to euthanasia and suicide.
     
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  14. ThomasJ79

    ThomasJ79 Pondering

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    That decision really should be up to them, not anyone else's. Not everyone thinks or believes it is morally wrong. It can be the morally right thing to do. It is killing, but it is not wrong like murder. It is compassionate. Many humanists believe this.

    If the person dying thinks it is wrong, then it should NOT be done to them. They deserve their dignity just as much as anyone else's. Of course, no one should be forced to kill if they feel it is wrong, even if the dying wants them to.
     
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  15. SpecialEdition

    SpecialEdition THANKS RUG

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    It's legal where I am and people are exercising that right. We have surveys we can choose to complete once in awhile to discuss a variety of factors around scheduling our own deaths and I think it's great.
    If I was at a point in my life where someone had to care for me around the clock and I was suffering with no quality of life, I would like to have the choice to die if it got to a point where there was no foreseeable chance to improve my condition.
     
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  16. ThomasJ79

    ThomasJ79 Pondering

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    My uncle and my grandmother were in hospice with lung cancer and they were given morphine drips. They could push a button to give themselves more morphine when the pain became worse. But, that would only work for so long and the pain would return intensified, so they would give themselves even more. They slowly ended up giving themselves enough morphine to slow down and stop their breathing.


    The other thing is, toward the very end they were pretty much out of it and couldn't push the button anymore. That is when family would push for more if they looked or sounded in pain.
     
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  17. Aneirin

    Aneirin AKA, David
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    Seems like we had no choice to enter this life. But, we should have the option as to when to leave it. of course, mental illness is not a reason, if left untreated. I do not think we should be forced to suffer because of the religious beliefs of someone else, because that is really what it comes down to. .Had John began to suffer, believe me, I would have ended it. . as it was, he drowned and I kept him comfortable in his few hours. . and I was there at his side from beginning of his death day to the last heart beat. .
     
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  18. Rit4lin

    Rit4lin Community Member

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    I have always been an advocate that a person should be able to go on their own terms if they wish to - provided their situation warrants such an extreme measure. My aunt died of lung cancer just over a decade ago, having smoked like a chimney for pretty much all of her life. She knew she was dying, and that there was no avoiding it, but she didn't want to die in her hospital bed coughing and wheezing. So every day she grabbed her pack of cigarettes, walked far enough away from the hospital and lit one up (sometimes more than one). I believe her doing that during her time there gave her a pride and dignity she otherwise wouldn't have had.
    In terms of religion I don't want to say too much being an atheist. But I believe in matters such as this, humanity and compassion trumps doctrine. Even if one cannot separate topics such as these from their theology, I don't think it would be too far fetched that no matter what deity you believe in, they possess the love and understanding of someone's plight to be okay with such an action.
     
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  19. OP
    Skarekrow

    Skarekrow ~~DEVIL~~

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    Wow, great insights and wonderful replies everyone!
    Thanks!
    I think some of my own perspective (pro) comes from being in the medical field almost my entire working career.
    Part of it though is from the death of my own Father in 2007 - it was a long and drawn out process.
    When you reach the point that you are consciously sedating someone it's probably time - because what tiny bits of reaction and life that still remained in my Dad were winces of pain, he could no longer talk and barely opened his eyes.
    He was a shell of what he looked like 4 months prior...seemingly aging 30 years in that time.
    A skeleton with skin on.
    Even sedated he held on several more weeks which is insane.
    There was no chance of any amazing moments of clarity anymore, the brain tumors and cancer in his body were too far gone.
    He would not have wanted to be in such a state.
    And yes, as someone said, Hospice does sometimes help people over on the down-low, but circumstances must be right.

    I also agree that we should be focusing on cures and prevention, but there is no ultimate cure, eventually we will die from something - at least until other breakthroughs in medical or brain science can move past that (which only opens new questions about overpopulation, who can afford everlasting life, etc.).
    At some point there is no more point in prolonging the inevitable.

    Statistically most Doctors actually do not take as drastic of measures with themselves as they suggest to their patients or that their patients or families want done.
    It was fairly common to see...a person who would suffer some type of terrible accident or illness and the family would insist on all and every life saving procedure be done on them even though we all knew they were not going to make it.
    Of course it's not the same when it's a child or young person when compared to someone older or elderly, children sometimes have a way of beating the odds, but there is a point of cruelty to continue for any age imo.
    The reasons given by Doctors not opting in for extra rounds of chemo or radiation or other possibly life saving measures is because they have seen and understand firsthand the very real difference between quality of life and quantity.
    Many decide that they would rather enjoy their final days in their own way rather than spending them chasing extra time that may or may not be there only to suffer and succumb to the the treatments themselves.
    It's for sure a tight-rope walk in many cases.

    Of course Canada is ahead of us on this too!
    lol

    Much love all!
    :<3white:
     
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  20. OP
    Skarekrow

    Skarekrow ~~DEVIL~~

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    I have also seen people commit suicide because of a prognosis too.
    In fact, I have seen several people fail at their suicide attempt only to wind up in worse shape and unable to "help" themselves this time.
    Not to mention the trauma of a suicide on the family.
    A death is difficult enough.
    I would not consider assisted suicide to be the same as shooting yourself in the head.
    One case that always sticks out in my mind is the older gent who had a bad prognosis and shot himself in the head only to be taken by ambulance to the ER.
    We were called down from the OR to do some bedside procedures or attempt to stop the bleeding from the terrible head wound this AWAKE man had in his head.
    Since the moment he shot himself he never lost consciousness until he died of blood loss in the ER without any family by his side.
    The trauma he caused his wife (who was pushed out of the trauma room while he was worked on) was palpable.

    That story always gives me thoughts of sadness for those in such a state - having attempted suicide myself at 19.
    I fully understand the hopelessness that can and does drive someone to take such forever measures.
    Admittedly I am weary of assisted suicide or euthanasia being used for psychological reasons
    There are certain candidates that would fit the bill though - there are also those who if you don't help them, will do it themselves anyway.
    That doesn't always turn out how they pictured it as I described in the story above.
    There should be a safe and proper way screen people as @SpecialEdition described in Canada with the evaluation process.
    Cheers!
     
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    #20 Skarekrow, Feb 9, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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