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  1. #1
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Default "Death with Dignity" Prescribing Medication to End Life

    This is one of the ballot questions in Massachusetts this election. The major criteria, as I understand the question, are that the person needs to be an adult of a sound mind able to make their own medical decisions and that they are diagnosed with six months or fewer to live (and I believe that has to be confirmed by a second, independent doctor).

    Does anyone live some place where this is legal? It seems humane to me, but perhaps it is abused in some situations?

  2. #2
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    It will definitely be abused. This is why many permanently and severely disabled people have spoken out against assisted suicide. The problem with people who want to die is not that they are alive, but that they want to die. Already many people near death believe (wrongly) that they are a useless burden on loved ones and society.

    Pressure on those people to just give up and die will increase if assisted suicide is legalized.

    Don't believe me?

    Check out baroness Warnock's comments.

    Elderly people suffering from dementia should consider ending their lives because they are a burden on the NHS and their families, according to the influential medical ethics expert Baroness Warnock.

    The veteran Government adviser said pensioners in mental decline are "wasting people's lives" because of the care they require and should be allowed to opt for euthanasia even if they are not in pain.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...ty-to-die.html
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    It will definitely be abused. This is why many permanently and severely disabled people have spoken out against assisted suicide. The problem with people who want to die is not that they are alive, but that they want to die. Already many people near death believe (wrongly) that they are a useless burden on loved ones and society.

    Pressure on those people to just give up and die will increase if assisted suicide is legalized.

    Don't believe me?

    Check out baroness Warnock's comments.




    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...ty-to-die.html
    Well, I am opposed to what you describe, pressuring people to die who do not want to, who still have many years in front of them, not caring for our weakest members of society.

    Here is from the "Information for Voters" publication:

    In Favor
    When my father was diagnosed with brain cancer, he had little time left. As his final days neared, he chose to use the Death with Dignity law in his home state of Oregon. The Massachusetts version, like those in other states, will allow mentally competent adults with no chance to survive their illness to take life-ending medication prescribed by a physician.

    My dad knew he wanted to die in the comfort of his own home; competent and aware instead of detached and sedated; on his own terms instead of those of a fatal disease that had already taken too much.

    My dad was already dying, but because of this law, he could say goodbye to those he loved, with dignity and grace in my mother’s arms.
    That seems like the humane side of it. Are there any states/countries with a "dying with dignity" law where there are conditions written into the law to ensure it is not abused? I would like to know. In the Massachusetts initiative, the six-month prognosis is one of the conditions for a prescription for the medication.

    I still do know how I will vote on this one.

  4. #4
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Well, I am opposed to what you describe, pressuring people to die who do not want to, who still have many years in front of them, not caring for our weakest members of society.

    Here is from the "Information for Voters" publication:

    In Favor


    That seems like the humane side of it. Are there any states/countries with a "dying with dignity" law where there are conditions written into the law to ensure it is not abused? I would like to know. In the Massachusetts initiative, the six-month prognosis is one of the conditions for a prescription for the medication.

    I still do know how I will vote on this one.
    Think about what you're asking. You're asking to find a way to make something that is inherently harmful (prescribing deadly drugs) nonabusive. I'm sorry, but that doesn't make any sense to me. Besides you can't make it illegal for nurses and family members to put guilt trips on the dying. That's just not feasible.

    This "dignity" talk Is just propaganda that is meant to emotionally manipulate people like you who honestly want the best for others. The reality is that such laws dehumanize people who's lives involve severe suffering because we as a society tell these people that such a life is not worth living.

    I do understand the sentiment involved here. I really enjoyed Wendell Berry's story about a son who "kidnapped" his dying grandfather from a hospital so that he could die in a barn on his farm. Yes, he hastened death. But, there is a stark ethical difference between removing assistance and directly causing harm.
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  5. #5
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    I'd vote for the principle, not sure about the specifics. It would need to be restricted, obviously, with checks to ensure the decision is not pressured and arrived at purely at the wishes of the patient.

    I am always in favor of people being in control of how they live their lives and that includes how those lives end.



  6. #6
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    In theory, it'd be great. Someone in a lot of pain, near death, could choose an ending that gives them the opportunity to tell their loved ones good bye, and see them on their terms, instead of sitting on the edge and then having a family member feel guilty that they took that big business trip and missed their last opportunity. Someone diagnosed with Alzheimers could die knowing the people they love, instead of being reduced to a vapid, child-like state.

    In reality, it'd be horrid. Terminally ill parents, possibly feeling isolated and depressed in their end states, being pushed by greedy, disgusting kids to get inheritances. Someone taking a pill thinking they only have 6 months to live, but they ended up living for years on end had they never. (My grandma was given less than a year.. she lived for 8 more after that.) Someone poisoning their spouse to ensure they go with them. Someone seeming of sound mind could request this and actually be really loopy. (What constitutes a sound mind?) Medically unsound decisions (we went through three doctors before we got a correct diagnosis on my mother) that make people make a decision that didn't have to be at all. I see an endless string of terrible possibilities.
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    Do all those problems happen, though? In Oregon and other states where this legislation exists? If it does, I haven't heard about it. I've heard much more about the deplorable conditions of nursing homes where many people are forced to live out the end of their lives. My grandpa had stuff stolen from him all the time at the nursing home, and had a collapsed lung for like a week before anyone noticed. In a medical facility! Granted, this is in a very small town, but still.

    I do think individuals should have the right to determine whether they want to fight through 6 months of pain and suffering, or end their lives on their terms.
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  8. #8
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    Do all those problems happen, though? In Oregon and other states where this legislation exists? If it does, I haven't heard about it. I've heard much more about the deplorable conditions of nursing homes where many people are forced to live out the end of their lives. My grandpa had stuff stolen from him all the time at the nursing home, and had a collapsed lung for like a week before anyone noticed. In a medical facility! Granted, this is in a very small town, but still.

    I do think individuals should have the right to determine whether they want to fight through 6 months of pain and suffering, or end their lives on their terms.
    The quality of nursing homes shouldn't be an advocate of permanent alternatives. Nursing homes were never a smart move, but they've become a necessary burden in modern times.. but that shouldn't be a factor either way.

    I think it would be abused like crazy. Anything that directly, or indirectly, involves money is going to be abused. I wish it weren't so. The rules they're giving are too restrictive in all the wrong ways.

    Alzheimer's is a disease that takes years and years to destroy a person, but the personality and mentality are long gone before they only have 6 months to live. They're a shell of a person they once were, with a few glints of a former life showing up at random intervals. They also are not mentally sound once diagnosed. I'd much rather be able to make a decision to end my life before I become a massive burden on someone with a disease like that, than to have terminal cancer and be in pain but sound of mind for 6 months or so. The restrictions are strange ones to me.
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  9. #9
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    @Beefeater

    You can't just call anything you cannot relate to propaganda, lol.


    People should be able to control when they die, my beliefs in personal liberty knows few boundaries. I'd rather professional assistance than a botched attempt, or gruesome discovery. My grandmother heard a gunshot next door and had to comfort the old man who blew his brains out's wife until city servicemen came to help. Mind you, her own husband had just passed the year before...

    If he'd had a place to go...

  10. #10
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    The quality of nursing homes shouldn't be an advocate of permanent alternatives. Nursing homes were never a smart move, but they've become a necessary burden in modern times.. but that shouldn't be a factor either way.
    I wasn't suggesting that it should be. I was just giving the example that I've heard of lots of bad things happening in nursing homes, but not bad things happening as a result of laws such as the one in question. I'm not saying it wouldn't be abused, but there are already places where this law has been passed, and I haven't heard of any abuse. That is why I asked if all the terrible things that everyone is imagining could happen, actually do.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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