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View Poll Results: Should the Ulitimate Decisons About Life Be Medical not Moral?

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  • Yes

    4 44.44%
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  1. #1
    heart on fire
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    Default Brazen new world?

    Mar 4, 2008 21:32 | Updated Mar 5, 2008 9:26
    Brazen new world
    By AVI SHAFRAN


    "....This past January 30, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, Canada issued a policy statement that may come to permit the professor to add "prophet" to his curriculum vitae.

    In that document, the governing body of the Canadian province's medical profession directs that doctors have the final say with regard to ending life-sustaining treatment of patients - regardless of the wishes or religious beliefs of the patients or their families. It also establishes a baseline for justifying life-sustaining treatment - including a patient's ability to "experience his/her own existence" - below which a doctor is directed to end life-sustaining treatment, regardless of the wishes of the patient's family. The new policy paper has garnered much attention, and may well have ramifications throughout Canada and, conceivably, elsewhere.

    Underlying the document - saturating it, actually - is the premise that ending a human life is a medical decision, not a moral one. Or, alternately, that medical training somehow confers the ultimate moral authority to pass judgments on the worthiness of human lives.

    Either contention is offensive. A foundation of what has come to be called civilization is that people are not mere things or even animals, that human life has a special, sacred, nature....(more at link)


    Thoughts on this issue?

  2. #2
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Wow, some tough issues.

    Morality does not allow for common sense. If a person is in severe nontreatable pain or is brain dead then it just doesn't make sense to force them to live. Nonetheless, many families who value life because of their moral beliefs would do just that.

    On the other hand, giving that power to doctors could be giving them a license to practice euthanasia.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  3. #3
    you are right mippus's Avatar
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    If medical means objective, then it takes away all liberty of a patient, if it doesn't, then it is the doctor's morality.
    Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas

  4. #4
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I've always supported pulling the plug on permanently incapacitated people, as well as assisted suicide.
    The big issue has always been a matter of proving that death was desired by the patient, or given to a patient that had no sentience or hope to recover.
    What ensues is an enormous argument of splitting hairs that is legal, scientific, and ethical... and it's really a headache that I don't feel like dealing with.

    I'd like to add that I believe humans are animals and things. I spit at the word "special".

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Wow, some tough issues.

    Morality does not allow for common sense. If a person is in severe nontreatable pain or is brain dead then it just doesn't make sense to force them to live. Nonetheless, many families who value life because of their moral beliefs would do just that.

    On the other hand, giving that power to doctors could be giving them a license to practice euthanasia.
    I agree with your general commentary, but I greatly dislike the bolded line.
    In my philosophy, there usually isn't even difference between morality and common sense.

    I can combat the people that consider it immoral with my own moral stance.
    I think it's wrong to keep people alive in pain. I think it's wrong to waste useful medical resources on hopeless vegetables.
    I think the families that want to preserve their own people either in agony or in mindlessness are actually selfish. What they are doing only serves to satisfy their own emotional problems, it does not help the patient or any other patient.

    As you can see, my morality trumps theirs because it's also mixed with rationale. Someone who's mindless doesn't know what's going on, keeping them alive is no gain. It cost to keep them alive, though.
    No gain + some cost = net loss.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #5
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    What if it is person with terminal cancer? Should that person be allowed to have pallative treatment and live their life out or should a medical board decide who has a "worthwhile" life and who does not?

  6. #6
    you are right mippus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    What if it is person with terminal cancer? Should that person be allowed to have pallative treatment and live their life out or should a medical board decide who has a "worthwhile" life and who does not?
    I believe it is arrogant to be allowed to judge the deathwish of a patient like this. Such choices should always be the patient's.
    It becomes more difficult when talking about children...
    Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mippus View Post
    I believe it is arrogant to be allowed to judge the deathwish of a patient like this. Such choices should always be the patient's.
    It becomes more difficult when talking about children...
    What about the lifewish of someone who is not productive, will never recover and is a drain on resources? Should a medical board be allowed to decide if they should be allowed access to pallative treatments? Even once they begin to slide into the twilight of dementia, should a previous desire for treatment be honored or is it then up to objective terms to decide who is allowed treatment and who is to be put out of their misery?

  8. #8
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I say, if a person is conscious and capable of communicating, or surely will be in the near future, they should get the final say in the medical decision(and this includes being killed, if they want to be killed).

    As for people that are brain dead: "Kill" them.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  9. #9
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Wow, that is really scary. But what does it mean? That the medical establishment has declared it thinks it should have the final say? I doubt anyone would let that pass and even hospitals are not going to green light that into policy. No way they would take on the risk of massive widespread lawsuits.

    I already think the (Western) medical establihment (and it is an establishment) carries hegemonic elements that equals a giant god-complex and already have a habit of disregarding patients. In the past doctors/surgeons have conducted sexual reassignment surgery on ("intersexed") babies without fully informing parents and sometimes without even asking permission. The children of course, once they grow up often have major issues with this (if they ever discover it happened).

    Also, I've known people who have been hospitalized for chronic and serious health issues and seeing the attitudes and practices of the hospital and employees -- hell no attending physcians absolutely should not have the right to arbitrarily make this decision.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I say, if a person is conscious and capable of communicating, or surely will be in the near future, they should get the final say in the medical decision(and this includes being killed, if they want to be killed).

    As for people that are brain dead: "Kill" them.




    There are people in a gray zone though. They aren't brain dead, but they may have dementia or problems with communication.

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