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  1. #11
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    There is no way, NO way I would allow my husband or children or parents to suffer needlessly when there is no quality of life. I watched my mother in law linger for a year with bone cancer, all she wanted was to die. The barrier is the religious and pro-life people pushing their agenda and tactics to make politicians conform, not the vast majority of doctors and health care professionals. I want them the fuck out of the end of my life and the life of my loved ones.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.
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  2. #12
    Rainy Day Member Ingrid in grids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarlaxle View Post
    I can think of two:
    1. Medical Traditionalism: While suicide might very well be a human right (And I believe it is), do hospitals have a right to require their employees to kill? Euthanasia requires someone to assist in killing you, potentially making it part of a doctor's job requirements, which is a problem, because a lot of doctors take a very conservative approach to the Hippocratic oath.
    Not all doctors should be required to assist patients in dying—it should be a role limited to palliative care specialists. Just as many doctors may have ethical issues with performing abortions, they of course are not required to do them. I can tell you that doctors working in palliative care, or primary physicians working with the very elderly, assist patients in dying all the time by often speeding up the process. Although these are cases when the patient is very close to death, ready for it, and waiting for it to come around—not at the beginning of a diagnosis, like the example you give below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarlaxle View Post
    2. Long term benefit: This one is harder to swallow, but I have found this useful when considering the impact of climate change vs the economical impact of heavier regulations. The notion that we must care not just for the benefit of those who exist today but also for the benefit of future generations. Keeping people alive despite a lack of any effective treatment creates a market share for treatments that would be effective - if everyone (Or simply a lot of people) killed themselves the moment they found out they have Alzheimer, our chances of ever finding a cure for Alzheimer in the current system drop pretty close to zero. Euthanasia might reduce the suffering in the current generation or even a few, but a working treatment can solve the problem for every generation after. Depending on how long humanity will last and how long it can can carry that information with it, we are been cruel to millions, but potentially saving billions upon billions.

    In the immediate level, it is certainly the most ethical thing to do for that person, and personally when it's a loved one suffering who wish to end their lives or previously asked for it, I would probably not give a crap either of those factors. But I do acknowledge that there are valid points against it on a global scale.
    I think in practice, this wouldn't happen. People generally aren't ready to die at the beginning of a diagnosis like Alzheimer's, and are eager to try new treatments and be involved in clinical trials. And besides, the bulk of the research for human diseases is done using model organisms, not human subjects.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingrid in grids View Post
    Not all doctors should be required to assist patients in dying—it should be a role limited to palliative care specialist. Just as many doctors may have ethical issues with performing abortions, they of course are not required to do them. I can tell you that doctors working in palliative care, or primary physicians working with the very elderly, assist patients in dying all the time by often speeding up the process. Although these are cases when the patient is very close to death, ready for it, and waiting for it to come around—not at the beginning of a diagnosis, like the example you gave below.



    I think in practice, this wouldn't happen. People generally aren't ready to die at the beginning of a diagnosis like Alzheimer's, and are eager to try new treatments and be involved in clinical trials. And besides, the bulk of the research for human diseases is done using model organisms, not human subjects.
    Huh - That pretty much disposes of the only arguments against it I was able to think of. Legalizing euthanasia it is.
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  4. #14
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I would not want it to be a requirement for doctors, either, and that's a good point- one of the best I've actually heard against euthanasia, actually- but like Ingrid in grids says, I don't think it would be. I would assume it would remain a specialty area that doctors could choose to get into or not, based on their individual beliefs.
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  5. #15
    Rainy Day Member Ingrid in grids's Avatar
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    If I understand correctly, the greatest argument against euthanasia has not yet been raised in this thread.

    While I believe a person should have the freedom to die as they choose, I also believe a person has an undeniable right to life. Ethical concerns arise particularly when the patient cannot advocate for themselves, such as very elderly patients with advanced dementia. I have seen firsthand how this right can be violated by family and medical staff even without the legalisation of euthanasia, as the lines between assisted dying and "keeping the patient comfortable" are sometimes blurred. The main challenge in legalising euthanasia is how to establish a review system that can allow patients the option of euthanasia when they really want (and need) it, and also prevent the abuse of patients who cannot advocate for themselves. Legalising euthanasia could make such incidents more common (i.e., if families were able to advocate for their relative in favour of euthanasia when the patient cannot or has not expressed their own wishes, which I think is unlikely), or it could make them less common, because what counts as "assisted dying" may be more defined, and therefore such cases would require a review.
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  6. #16
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Ingrid in grids- are you in the palliative care field? you seem very knowledgeable.

  7. #17
    Rainy Day Member Ingrid in grids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Ingrid in grids- are you in the palliative care field? you seem very knowledgeable.
    No, I'm just a medical school hopeful.

    My mother is a GP/primary care physician, and many of her patients are elderly. My grandmother is also in a nursing home. I visit her regularly and have good relationships with the staff there.
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  8. #18
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingrid in grids View Post
    Not all doctors should be required to assist patients in dying—it should be a role limited to palliative care specialists. Just as many doctors may have ethical issues with performing abortions, they of course are not required to do them.
    I'm entirely good with this option. We had an incredible experience with hospice when my mother in law was in their care. We also discussed her being able to die as she wished. Once you are up close and personal with death and get to see the vast suffering, I don't understand how anyone can allow it when the means to stop it exist. I wouldn't want doctors forced if they have issues with it but, it has to be an option for patients.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  9. #19
    Super Ape Luke O's Avatar
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    Abuse of the system IS an important factor, as there will be those who want someone to die in order to inherit their assets sooner, rather than an act of care. Just one example of abuse.

  10. #20
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I would not want it to be a requirement for doctors, either, and that's a good point- one of the best I've actually heard against euthanasia, actually- but like Ingrid in grids says, I don't think it would be. I would assume it would remain a specialty area that doctors could choose to get into or not, based on their individual beliefs.
    Like Dr. Kevorkian, I presume.

    The problem with euthanasia (as far as the individual is concerned) is simply that it is suicide.

    There are a number of problems societally.

    First is the "slippery slope" has already been encouraged by medical 'ethicists'
    such as Princeton's Peter Singer -- he advocates involuntary euthanasia for
    Alzheimer's patients...

    Second, as medical costs as a whole in the US spiral out of control -- thanks to
    an aging population, the wholesale importation of Third-World populations, and
    lawsuit-induced defensive medicine, as well as rigorous safety-efficacy bureaucracies
    for new drugs coupled with relatively short patent protections for them --
    what better way to reduce costs than to deny care for those "who are going to die anyway?"

    The problem with that, is that it represents a fundamental philosophical shift from
    human worth to human *economic* value.

    Then there is the room for abuse, by people seeking to off their rich uncle or parents
    to grab their estate, before medical costs eat it all up. (It's already a staple or a cliche
    of "true crime" shows that people are killed for their insurance. What better way to
    beat a murder rap than have it "officially" certified by a doctor as "the wise, prudent,
    sensible course"?

    Good gravy. Looking at the problems with treatment, and VA officials revising their
    time records of patient contact to improve performance metrics, and stories of abuse
    and neglect in nursing homes and the like, unless the patient's family keeps an eagle
    eye on things...once euthanasia is "normalized" it's only a matter of microseconds
    before dishonest suppliers begin to cajole or pressure or drug inconvenient costly
    patients into "voluntary" death; and from there, either killing and lying about it,
    or death becoming a grand patriotic duty.

    And from there, once the principle is established, we are all subjects of a totalitarian state.

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