0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
This one is a real ethical bugger. People of sound mind and body can end their lives at any time, but really don't need to - indeed we spend a lot of effort trying to stay alive. No real problem.People of sound mind and intractable pain can end their lives as long as they are physically capable of doing so, but generally prefer to try to mitigate the pain. Miserable choice, but no legal or ethical problem.People of sound mind who wish to die and are physically unable to kill themselves, cannot be assisted in doing so. This is a moral outrage. In a just world, anyone who votes against assisted suicide should be tortured incessantly, but never quite to death. No problem in principle, and some humane legislatures have solved it in practice.But you have put your finger on the ethical problem. How do we distinguish between those who really wish to die but are incapable of expressing that wish coherently, and those who are just incoherent but perfectly happy to stay alive? Most people have at some time said "I want to die", but when should we take them seriously? My mother seriously contemplated suicide when she was fully rational but deeply unhappy, but towards the end of her life she was clearly both demented and cheerful. I share your desire to die at a time and place of my choosing, but I wouldn't go for a lethal injection - significant failure rate with large and previously-healthy men, and no gentle transition to oblivion. Nitrogen hypoxia and slow hypothermia are very pleasant and orderly. My preferred approach so far has been to set an arbitrary date (currently my 84th birthday) when I want to die at my own hand or with the assistance of a lover, and to review that date annually. It hasn't changed in the last 30 years.
I chose 84 as an arbitrarily distant but reasonable guess when I was about 40, and I review the date every birthday. I'm now 72 and apparently fit to fly (that is, I'm unlikely to have a heart attack or diabetic coma when airborne, but they never check my sanity or mental arithmetic - odd, 'cos aviation is a mental, not a physical task!) but I know that deterioration of mind or body is something of an avalanche when it happens, and the acquisition of new skills is already obviously slower than it was.The great thing about being a rationalistic atheist is that I have no fear of being dead, just an aversion to the usual processes of dying. And having the absolute certainty that the show is over when the curtain comes down, gives me a strong impetus to get on and "do it now", because there ain't no encore!
Now here's a chance to do some proper science. Wherever we go post mortem, you are statistically likely to precede me by a couple of years, so keep in touch and send me the photographs. Or better still, live video. Just like polar explorers and astronauts, we'll amaze the world. It would be so much easier to believe in heaven or America if anyone had ever sent back some actual evidence.
My wife and I have just had our 55th wedding anniversary. I met her when she was 15 and I was a boy of 17 and for death to separate us forever would be hell and cruel.
Quote from: Alan McDougall on 30/06/2016 18:30:03My wife and I have just had our 55th wedding anniversary. I met her when she was 15 and I was a boy of 17 and for death to separate us forever would be hell and cruel. My wife died just after our 25th, when life was just about to blossom - kids left home, business booming, looking forward to a healthy retirement with the greatest love I could imagine. There being no higher authority to blame, it wasn't cruel, just biochemistry in an indifferent universe.
In reading through this thread, I am left with profound doubt that any of this was written by anyone with actual experience of spending time with an actual Alzheimerś patient.As a sophomore I worked in a facility caring for them. I would get them out of bed and shower the pee off of them. None of them ever showed signs of distress --- certainly enough to require euthanasia. I am sure there are those who lack sufficient tenacity of life that they fear the prospect of senility enough to commit suicide. That is tough darts for them.I, however, recall that despair comes from lack of faith and that the Christian virtues are Faith, Hope, and Charity. I have always been a stingy man so I must be strong in the first two.As long as I can enjoy Tchaicovsky and pretty women you can stick euthanasia where the sun does not shine.
Is there a case for positive euthanasia for end stage Alzheimer sufferers?
I don't think theres really such a thing as "positive euthanasia".
Furthermore, alternative treatments for Alzheimer exists. https://alzheimersnewstoday.com/2016/06/30/cannabinoids-may-protect-alzheimers-patients-from-plaque-buildup/
Quote from: Alan McDougallIs there a case for positive euthanasia for end stage Alzheimer sufferers?I don't think theres really such a thing as "positive euthanasia". Furthermore, alternative treatments for Alzheimer exists. https://alzheimersnewstoday.com/2016/06/30/cannabinoids-may-protect-alzheimers-patients-from-plaque-buildup/
I deeply sorry to her about the of your beautiful wife , "but she was not just biochemistry", she was much more than that she was/is a living soul and you know that, because when you looked into her eyes you did not see a brain looking back at you, but another soul that loved you.
Someone claimed that Alzheimer's is the worst disease.That is an incredibly naive remark. I have known sufferers from Tic Douloureux to hang themselves -- while babysitting their niece.Let us call a spade a spade. "Positive Euthanasia" for Alzheimer's means killing someone without their informed consent. People who do that are rightly imprisoned because it is Homicide.Nor can it be argued that it is ethical because it inevitably involves freeing oneself of a burdensome relative and very often financial gain by inheritance. I have personally witnessed that more times than I care to remember.In short, it is abhorrent homicide to civilized people no matter how much some people may try to pass it off as some act of "mercy".If someone finds it too burdensome to care for a sick relative, then they should pass the burden off to someone with more fortitude. Making up some baloney about "positive euthanasia" to get out of caring for them may be understandable human weakness. It is never the less advocating a criminal assault.Even in this Brave New World. So pull up your socks and let's hear no more of this deplorable double-speak about the propriety of Nazi style ethics.
In the entire 40 plus years of my career involving frequent contact with Alzheimer's patients I have never seen even one of them "suffer".They may be frustrated that they can't go walkies and get into the traffic. That, however, does not begin to approach the condition of "suffering" in any rational mind.If anybody is "suffering" it is the family members. That is life in the big city. Life is a [uh-oh!] and then you die. You have to learn to deal with that without killing other people because looking at them makes you feel sad.If a person who is sane ( and not being coerced by "well-meaning" relatives to save money on treatment) chooses to suicide that is one thing.Killing somebody who is not asking for it because looking at them makes you feel down in the dumps is quite another.They send people to prison for that depravity.This is an extremely unfortunate discussion. Someone reading it may come to a wrong conclusion about a family member's "suffering" and commit murder in the mistaken belief that they are being ethical.I wouldn't want that on <<my>> conscience. Would you?
A " living will" is not and should never be considered sufficient grounds for euthanasia of patients who are now non compos mentis. Full stop.If a patient has become too obtunded to eat or drink ( or even feel hunger or thirst) and medical intervention cannot restore their ability to do so, it is often the case that a feeding tube is discontinued and death proceeds naturally.This is a very different matter than shooting them up with a lethal dose of seconal before they have reached that point in their lives. Life is too precious for that kind of "mercy".That is the way hospice issues are handled in the real world.All of this nonsense about "positive euthanasia" is uninformed twaddle by people who have not yet come to terms with end of life issues.People who have spent their lives by distancing themselves as far as possible from the dying have not had time to think this out sufficiently.They should not get a vote.
It would indeed be silly of me to argue with someone suffering from the delusion that he can usurp God's prerogative and take upon himself the decision of when somebody else should die. I am continuing this thread to highlight the nature of this pernicious and depraved argument.Let us hope that this deranged idea is not wide-spread in the post modern brave new television world which has spawned this unfortunate twaddle. Being new, this post-modern nonsense ignores the fact that people have been dying all by themselves ( thank you very much ) without the "merciful" assistance of this kind for (What's today?) 100,000 years. That is God's own business. Only a benighted post modern heathen would dare to deny that it is not.Those others of us who still fear the wrath of God may recall that he has said...."Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?"If someone wants to go about preaching their own gospel about their right to interfere with God's business that is their own affair and between them and God. Bad cess to it.I prefer this variation of Pascal's wager --Whether or not God exists, life is better if you act like he does.God is <<not>> mocked. For myself, as that old hymn goes, I will cling to the old rugged cross.Now doubtless Mr. McDougal will pop in again to deliver another 500 words of the gospel according to McDougal. I will ask you this. if you find yourself on the judgement day explaining how you helped bump off a dozen or so senile and helpless old women, will your defense be, "McDougal said it was OK"?
Only a benighted post modern heathen would dare to deny that it is not.
Zinoviev himself couldn't have put the case for atheism better....right up to the time he was executed as a left deviationist along with Kamenev. Maybe you have heard of that? (Maybe not)But you post modern television culture wallahs are all better than that.. Aren't you, young feller me lad?Take care that you don't end up "sneezing into the basket" for being an ill-feckit "social parasite". Or perhaps they'll just pack you off to some GULAG on Baffin Island.Here's a picture from a recent time when people bought your "wisdom"..
The problem only arises where we are asked to assess the pain and suffering of someone who can't express it for himself. My feeling on this subject is that, once we learn to ignore the fairytale drivel and superstition of religious parasites, we can begin to set down objective criteria for human euthanasia just as we do routinely for other species.
Life is not precious. Ask Tony B Liar, or any other politician. Or any priest who ever sanctioned a crusade or pogrom, or poured holy water on a tank. Or any soldier, or weapon designer. Or anyone who has ever invoked the blessing of the Almighty, or considered that he was doing God's work, or stated that he was protecting the nation, by killing others. Other people's lives are disposable if they are politically inconvenient.God certainly doesn't ascribe much value to the lives of those he kills with plagues and earthquakes, nor of the newborns with congenital syphilis, nor of the stillborn. So let's get away from such fairytale drivel and consider the wishes and suffering of those whom we choose to care about, including ourselves. When life becomes intolerable, you can kill yourself. Why should this most basic human right be denied to those who are not physically capable of doing it? It is, after all, illegal to discriminate against physical incapacity in work, leisure, commerce, sex, free speech....so why not in the one decision and overwhelmingly desirable activity that affects nobody else? As I said earlier, enlightened legislatures don't have a problem with assisted suicide, and anyone who votes against it should be subjected to endless torture in order to prove his point, just as every engineer makes the first test flight or drive across the new bridge.The problem only arises where we are asked to assess the pain and suffering of someone who can't express it for himself. My feeling on this subject is that, once we learn to ignore the fairytale drivel and superstition of religious parasites, we can begin to set down objective criteria for human euthanasia just as we do routinely for other species.
So much twaddle and so little knowledge to support such hubris.Crux sacra sit mihi lux Non draco sit mihi duxVade retro satana Numquam suade mihi vanaSunt mala quae libas Ipse venena bibasIf this is an example of what an Oxbridge education produces, give me a graduate of a redbrick university every time.If anyone here doubts that the devil exists then let them read the Chilcot report
Very well.Mr T.S. Elliot summed up you and your pathetically manque friends here Mr. McDougal far beyond my ability. Here you go, Bub....IWe are the hollow menWe are the stuffed menLeaning togetherHeadpiece filled with straw. Alas!Our dried voices, whenWe whisper togetherAre quiet and meaninglessAs wind in dry grassOr rats' feet over broken glassIn our dry cellarShape without form, shade without colour,Paralysed force, gesture without motion;Those who have crossedWith direct eyes, to death's other KingdomRemember us—if at all—not as lostViolent souls, but onlyAs the hollow menThe stuffed men.--There is more but it would be wasted on your sort. This will do to show what is underneath your braggadocio. Not for you, but for anyone else with the perspicacity to see the fear and despair that is pricking at you. so hard.Yes, I was, fortunately raised in the Christian religion. I guess my favorite hymn is "There is a balm in Gilead".Perhaps you might seek out the version by Mahalia Jackson. It might do you good --if you can get up the gumption to listen to it. It is on youtube. It starts out, "There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.."It really is a powerful hymn. I just listened to it and it has removed most of the taint one feels in corresponding with you.
Upon reflection, I have begun to think that liberalizing the laws around euthanasia may be appropriate in England.Based upon the evidence displayed in this thread, if the people of England choose to autodarwinate in this manner -- it may well be an act of God.Weave a circle round them thrice and close your eyes in holy dread.
Quote from: eeyore on 07/07/2016 19:24:56Upon reflection, I have begun to think that liberalizing the laws around euthanasia may be appropriate in England.Based upon the evidence displayed in this thread, if the people of England choose to autodarwinate in this manner -- it may well be an act of God.Weave a circle round them thrice and close your eyes in holy dread.You brought religion and God into this thread but simply will not answer my question about Numbers 31 because you know it paints God as a merciless depraved psychopath of the likes of Hitler.Simply answer this is the 'God" of Numbers 31 the one you serve, if so people should be very scared of you because you will have inherited his attributes in the process.
euthanasia for a person with end stage Alzheimers would put an end to their suffering
and suffering of all those who have to watch their loved one decay