Assisted suicide

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Jared Alesi's picture
Assisted suicide

What are your thoughts on assisted suicide? I think it should be legal for those of adult status, but I'm curious your opinions. If I were to do it (I wouldn't, but this is a hypothetical), I would want a Brompton Cocktail. For those of you that are curious what that is, Google it. It's awesome.

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
I'm a firm believer that a

I'm a firm believer that a persons body is their own to dispose of as they see fit if they are legal adults and in possession of their mental faculties.
I have no fear of death, but the process of dying in a regime still run by outdated religious principles is a joke. I do not want to (Read I WILL NOT) die incontinent, in pain, and with only a chaplain for company. That would probably result in a murder suicide....

How we go about allowing those determined to choose the time and manner of their personal extinction is for debate. Not the principle. It will happen everywhere in Australia within 5 years.

Sheldon's picture
Any individual of sound mind

Any individual of sound mind should have the right to make end of life decisions to ensure they die with dignity and with the minimum of pain and suffering.

Anyone diagnosed with incurable degenerative conditions that will mean unbearable pain, suffering and indignity should be given a candid appraisal of their prognosis and offered the choice to terminate their lives in a timing and manner that minimises pain suffering and indignity.

Safeguards would be written into such legislation to avoid abuses of such a law. In Belgium for instance where they have some of the most liberal laws allowing individuals to make end of life choices, it is strictly regulated and far from easy for a person to terminate their lives.

It's important a balance be struck between allowing people to feel in control of the decisions and to end their lives with dignity, but ensure this is not misused either by individuals or by the system to terminate vulnerable individuals.

It is morally unconscionable to enforce prolonged and unbearable pain and suffering for anyone for any reason against their wishes.

Jared Alesi's picture
Now I wonder what the age

Now I wonder what the age limit for such a thing should be? 16 to drive, 18 to smoke, 21 to drink, how old to kill yourself?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Jared

@ Jared

Logically it should be the same age the State decides it can send you off to war and kill you.

Developmentally (unless terminally ill) it should be at early maturity i.e Brain developed at 25 years old.

CyberLN's picture
My rules.

My rules.

Cognostic's picture
Not only am I a firm believer

Not only am I a firm believer in assisted suicide. I plan on checking out as soon as my quality of life becomes unlivable. I will not rot in a nursing home. I have watched people do that and I refuse.

The modern medical system keeps you alive and kicking as long as money is being paid. They do not want anyone to kill themselves less they lose billions of dollars every year. As long as the money flows they are going to do everything they can to keep you breathing. It's a crime. We put our dogs to sleep when they are in pain, but grandpa and grandma can suffer in pain and delusion till the day they die. It's Horrible.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Politics and money aside,

Politics and money aside, what is your reason for checking out early? If death will have you for the rest of eternity, but life only a handful years, why give it a head start? I'd rather experience rotting and pain, over not being able to experience at all.

CyberLN's picture
Your body, your choice.

Your body, your choice.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I think by now you know I

I think by now you know I find the topic of rights and laws boring.

I'm more interested in what makes people make certain choices. If you are cutting yourself with a razor, numbing your senses with drugs and alcohol, or have suicidal thoughts, others should intervene, because the reasons you do are probably negative.

I think people give suicide a pass during old age or disease because of the theme I presented in my Moral Plane thread.

Sushisnake's picture
"I'm more interested in what

"I'm more interested in what makes people make certain choices."

Well, first up, not all the people who opt out of life voluntarily cut themselves with razors or numb their senses with drugs and alcohol. Is there a reason you used the stereotypes of self-harming cutters and self-medicating, clinically depressed individuals?

Voluntary euthanasia/assisted dying can be an entirely rational and ethical choice, as you've acknowledged yourself in the past:

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 07:12
(Reply to #298)Permalink

John 6IX Breezy

I did acknowledge there's nothing irrational about your father's wishes.

Not all of them are elderly and/or diseased, either, John:

You're quite right that there are times "others should intervene".

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I wasn't using stereotypes; I

Well, I wasn't using stereotypes; I was giving three situations in which the "my body, my rules" heuristic doesn't seem to apply. Understanding why people do what they do, does inform society's decision to intervene or not.

dogalmighty's picture
I learned something many

I learned something many years ago after discussing this very issue with the attending, while doing my residency rounds in the PICU. We discussed a blind 5 yo child with microcephaly and multiple systemic issues that required extensive support for life, while on the topic of assisted suicide. It was my contention, that in this case, death would be preferable over life...why should someone so profoundly separated from his surroundings and unable to interact to anything, be subjected to this suffering. The attending, one of my proctors, had me stay for an extra three hours after my shift end. I wanted to kill him, although he stayed as well. He knew that the child's mother was coming in at a certain time, as she did each day. When she arrived at the nurses station to check in, he told me to watch the otherwise expressionless face of the child. When the mother touched the child's face and spoke to him, he smiled. We are going to have to limit the inclusion criteria to people fully aware of their situation and options...and exclude power of attorney representatives acting on behalf of individuals, as their decisions are often based on their own personal beliefs, rather than of those that they are representing. Your life, is your life. To this day, I respect this. Our dog of 18yrs died this last month. The month prior she lost the ability to walk and appetite, my wife wanted to end our dogs suffering by ending her life. I told my wife the above story, and how we do not know what our dog wanted. We agreed to let her poor health take its course, and spent as much time with her as possible. I believe we need to respect each individuals wishes, and if we don't know those wishes, only interfere for support and comfort.

Sapporo's picture
I'm reluctant to voice assent

I'm reluctant to voice assent to it, although with caveats, I think it should be legal.

turning_left's picture
We should be able to live and

We should be able to live and die on our terms.

I struggle, though, with when we would deem someone of "sound mind" and able to make this decision for themselves. I have a sister who committed suicide years ago. She suffered from severe depression and anorexia for 10 years, including several failed suicide attempts. Her death wrecked me and I'm still heartbroken that she isn't here, but I also feel like this was her choice to make. Her suffering was so deep, she'd tried so many different treatments, rehabs, etc. and nothing helped. But depression/suicidality is usually viewed as a disorder - so would emotional suffering be as valid a reason as physical suffering?

Another experience that's been thought provoking for me: My mother is in end stage renal failure. Going to dialysis 3 times per week is the only thing keeping her alive. She also struggles with mental health issues. She and I once had an argument that triggered an "episode" for her (disconnection from reality, extreme anger, delusions) and she decided that she was going to quit dialysis and die. My (other) sister and I intervened and essentially forced her to go to dialysis. She is now living a very happy, though limited, life. After this incident, my sister and I had a conversation about how we totally respect whenever it is that my mom is ready to go. Dialysis is very painful for her, and her quality of life is poor. We just want to make sure she makes that decision when it's really what she wants. But also, who are my sister and I to determine that for her? It's so tricky.

CyberLN's picture
When Oregon State was

When Oregon State was considering its Death with Dignity (DwD) Act I 1997, the most vocal (and well-funded) opponent was the RCC. Despite the doomsday messages they purported, the bill passed and Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize assisted suicide. Absolutely zero of the predictions they made concerning a decent into complete iniquity occurred.

My mother wanted to end her own life. She was trapped in a body that was kicking her ass. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the option of a legal assisted suicide. She had to take matters into her own hands. She chose to stop all medications, nourishment, and fluids until that killed her. How sad that she had to do things this way. My sister, on the other hand, is currently in hospice and wouldn’t dream of taking a DwD option.

To each their own. As I said earlier, my body, my rules. What saddens me tho, is that we too rarely afford people the option to manage their own lives in the way of their choosing. What shameless egos some people have that they consider themselves better able to choose for another!

LogicFTW's picture
Fortunately there is simple,

Fortunately there is simple, easy, comfortable ways to off yourself, if you are of sound mind enough to research them on the internet and separate out the garbage from the legitimate. Unless you are mostly paralyzed all you need is a credit card to order a few small basic cheap everyday supplies delivered to your front door that is completely legal and uncontrolled to be able to painlessly but effectively drift off to sleep that you will not wake from. In fact, it is likely you have everything you need but one in your home already.

To me the idea of assisted suicide is a great thing. As it may help prevent spur of the moment emotional suicides over something that was just temporary like a break up. Where unassisted the suicide could be botched horribly or the person is succesful when suicide likely was not the best idea but came up in emotional distress. And ofcourse assisted suicide can help those that are unable to order basic supplies and do a basic easy procedure themselves because of paralysis or bedridden or similar incapacitating effects. It would also remove any shadow of doubt of a situation where: it is a "staged suicide" that was really murder.

I would like to add sort of as public service message: Ways you should NOT try to kill yourself:

- Drugs. Pills. And most any other form of something you ingest. OD'ing is not a pleasant way to go, almost universally. And it quite often is not very effective. Yes certain cocktails exist that avoid much of this, but they are usually hard to aquire and there are much better, cheaper ways.

- Anything "violent" like: fire, gun, hanging, throwing yourself from great height, etc. Not only are these potentially painful and horrifying ways to die, all to often they are not effective where you will survive but with grievous injuries. Plus work must be done to rule out foul play.

- Lots of people adopt a suicidal do not care attitude, and drink themselves to death, stop eating, eating very poorly, engage in lots of dangerous activity etc. This can take a very long time, most certainly not pain free, and you will be surprised the abuses a body can take, especially when you are not very old and feeble. Plus for anyone that still cares for you, watching this slow suicide is one of the worst pains you can inflict on others that do care for you.

- blood loss: frequently ineffective, foul play must be ruled out, a bit gruesome, there are ways that are much less dramatic and scary, and at the very least, easier to clean up.

Sky Pilot's picture
In America just call 911.

In America just call 911. The cops will show up and kill you.

algebe's picture
Even if assisted suicide

Even if assisted suicide becomes legal, there's one group that will not be eligible by definition: dementia sufferers. They are unable to give informed consent for anything, although they are fully capable of suffering. As populations age, there are going to be a lot of people in that situation. It's truly appalling to see a strong, intelligent loved one turn into a demented bundle of fear, pain, and indignity for year after year.

You can stipulate in a living will that you don't want live-extending care or resuscitation. We should be able to stipulate assisted suicide in the event of irreversible loss of mental faculties.


LogicFTW's picture


Ofcourse "irreversible loss of mental faculties." Will have to be very carefully defined. And finding a line we can all agree on will be a difficult process.

Sushisnake's picture
My Dad was so terrified of

My Dad was so terrified of dementia he asked my son to put him out of his misery if he got it and couldn't do it himself. He watched it take my Grandmother. Dad now has Rapidly Progressive Diffuse Lewy Body Dementia. He's not even 70. I know what choice he'd have made, Algebe.

Sky Pilot's picture
As I said before, the cops

As I said before, the cops are eager to kill anyone who takes too long to commit suicide. In America just call 911 and a cop will show up and shoot you dead on demand.

Washington County deputy fatally shoots man
The man was allegedly armed with a handgun when deputies found him in Lake Elmo.
By Chao Xiong Star Tribune
April 12, 2018 — 2:12pm

"A suicidal man was fatally shot by a Washington County sheriff's deputy shortly after midnight Thursday.

According to a news release by the sheriff's office: authorities received a call at 12:09 a.m. for a suicidal male. The caller said that a 23-year-old white male made suicidal comments."

Sky Pilot's picture
Cops love to shoot people who

Cops love to shoot people who are suicidal =

Armed woman, reportedly threatening suicide, is shot by police in Laguna Beach
Alene Tchekmedyian
By Alene Tchekmedyian
Feb 11, 2018 | 9:30 PM

"Laguna Beach police shot a woman after she got out of her car carrying a handgun, authorities said.

Dispatchers received multiple calls around 2:40 p.m. reporting a woman making suicidal statements, Sgt. Jim Cota said. One reported that the woman was armed with a gun.

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