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  1. #1
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Unhappy Assisted suicide or a show of love?

    "Alan Purdy, 88, sat by while his beloved Margaret, 84 and in unrelieved pain, killed herself. San Diego County authorities arrested him, but the issue is tough for everyone involved."




    "Alan Purdy, 88, shown with a painting of his late wife, Margaret, at their San Marcos, Calif., home, told authorities that he did nothing to stop her as she committed suicide."

    SAN MARCOS, Calif. —When paramedics arrived at the Purdy home March 20, Margaret was seated in her favorite chair in the living room. The morning sunshine streamed in through a picture window that overlooked a valley. A plastic bag was over her head, tied securely at the neck. A suicide note in her handwriting was in a folder on her desk, beneath a shelf with books about death and dying. She had written that the pain from her various medical conditions had become unbearable. Alan Purdy met the paramedics at the door. He said that his 84-year-old wife had taken 30 sleeping pills mixed with applesauce and then suffocated herself. Please hurry, he recalled telling them. She had donated her body to UC San Diego Medical Center, he said, and they need to harvest her organs for transplant as soon as possible. Sheriff's deputies showed up and took him to the backyard patio, away from his wife's body. Purdy, 88, shivered in the cold, still urging them to hurry. The deputies started questioning Purdy. He repeated what he had told the medics: He was present as his wife committed suicide. He insisted he did not help her but admitted he did not try to stop her. Homicide detectives then led him in handcuffs to the patrol car and drove him to the nearby sheriff's station. His shoes were taken away. He accepted a blanket and threw it over his shoulders. He said he could not stop shaking and grew increasingly upset. After several hours, he was taken to the San Diego County jail in Vista and booked on suspicion of in a suicide.

    Read the whole article before commenting please. Apparently Mr. Purdy's wife had attempted suicide before. This is a really sad story, but asks highlights some important questions. Is suicide always wrong? Should Mr. Purdy be imprisioned? What would you do in his shoes? Is it time to legalize euthanasia? If so, what criteria (if any) should be adopted to allow it to go forward? Is this just wrong? How do you feel about this?
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  2. #2
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    No he shouldn't be imprisoned, if he knew his wife was suffering that much, and he did nothing to interfere, then he did it as an act of love.

    On the other hand, neglect is considered a form of allowing evil to happen (I'm actually a strong advocate of harping on people who show too much passivity or benign neglect in the face of bullshit, I see it as enabling) so from a legal standpoint, what he did could still be seen as illegal. I think.

    You might have to ask a lawyer or do some on-line research to see what the exact laws are, but as far as I know, even attempting to take YOUR OWN LIFE is against the law.

  3. #3
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Why didn't she do it when he wasn't around?

  4. #4
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    No he shouldn't be imprisoned, if he knew his wife was suffering that much, and he did nothing to interfere, then he did it as an act of love.

    On the other hand, neglect is considered a form of allowing evil to happen (I'm actually a strong advocate of harping on people who show too much passivity or benign neglect in the face of bullshit, I see it as enabling) so from a legal standpoint, what he did could still be seen as illegal. I think.

    You might have to ask a lawyer or do some on-line research to see what the exact laws are, but as far as I know, even attempting to take YOUR OWN LIFE is against the law.
    It is illegal. I am asking if you think it should be. Does this provide any benefit to anyone?

    @Elaur probably didn't think through the ramifications
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    It is illegal. I am asking if you think it should be. Does this provide any benefit to anyone?

    @Elaur probably didn't think through the ramifications
    Well of course from a perfectly logical and rational standpoint, this still has to be investigated as a murder. It reminds me of an Agatha Christie novel. Once they rule out the possibility of murder (they have to, it's the only fair way, you can't presume innocence in a matter such as this) then I can personally say it was probably an act of love, possibly merciful euthanasia, that kind of thing.

    I believe in some cases suicide is actually the sanest and most logical act.

    However, when it comes to enacting new laws, there still have to be details addressed to assure that legal assisted suicide isn't being twisted into murder. It would have to be regulated.

  6. #6
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    He is not being charged w murder. He is being charged w assisting in a suicide.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  7. #7
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    It breaks my heart, what that man must have gone through while that was happening, and what kind of decisions had to be made in the days before that. Honestly, I hope society is willing just to hand wave it away, if it looks like an honest suicide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    He is not being charged w murder. He is being charged w assisting in a suicide.
    What I said still applies. We can't just say "welp, let's just let this one go." The legal system doesn't work like this, if they change the law they have to manage details, but due to his age and condition they can probably find a way to at the very worst get him into some kind of "counseling/therapy" sort of "punishment" instead of putting him in jail.

    Because he clearly doesn't belong in jail if they've ruled out murder.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    Honestly, I hope society is willing just to hand wave it away, if it looks like an honest suicide.
    Yeah, that'll work, because we live in a small village of approximately 157 people.

  10. #10
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    What I said still applies. We can't just say "welp, let's just let this one go." The legal system doesn't work like this, if they change the law they have to manage details, but due to his age and condition they can probably find a way to at the very worst get him into some kind of "counseling/therapy" sort of "punishment" instead of putting him in jail.

    Because he clearly doesn't belong in jail if they've ruled out murder.
    The state disagrees. They want him in jail even if his wife legitimately committed suicide.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

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