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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
I'm not interested in the illegal part. It's the part where we actually help some people commit suicide and then try to get help for others that bothers me.

Like a physical disability changes a person from someone to help to someone to help along.

Yeah, if they choose it, it does.

I'm not afraid of growing old. I'm not like most women who seem to stop aging after 29 and won't admit their age. (I'll be 32 tomorrow, for the record.) I understand that there will be discomfort and that things won't be as easy as they are now. But the thing I fear the most, in my case, is losing my mind. If I develop Alzheimer's, for example, I would want to die before I got too far along. Since it is illegal for others to help me with this, should I get this diagnosis, I will probably kill myself (unassisted) before I get far enough along to completely lose myself. I see no value in additional life at that point. And it doesn't matter if you do. YOU can choose to live as long as you like and if that's your wish, no one should assist you to the grave. But *I* want that right. *I* want that choice. I believe strongly in mercy killing and do not see it as the same thing as murder. Then again, I don't see life as an ultimate virtue or death as an ultimate evil.

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katharina
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So a physical disability makes a person not as worthy of being helped.

Nice. That's exactly what I want to avoid - that's eugenics. That's extremely unethical.

In both cases the person is choosing it. But for one, you decide that should get help, and for the other, you agree that they are better off dead. That's definitely eugenics.

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The Pixiest
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Oh you wacky Kath! Everything is Eugenics to you! It's like your own personal Godwin!
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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
So a physical disability makes a person not as worthy of being helped.

Nice. That's exactly what I want to avoid - that's eugenics. That's extremely unethical.

In both cases the person is choosing it. But for one, you decide that should get help, and for the other, you agree that they are better off dead. That's definitely eugenics.

I'm not sure you know what eugenics is.

I'd also appreciate it if you'd not put words in my mouth, something that you have flown off the handle about others doing to you. I said nothing like this.

BTW, I believe that clinical depression IS a physical disability, so I don't distinguish between the two the way you seem to do.

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katharina
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If someone is less worthy of living or less in need of help to want to live because of their physical disability, then that is discrimination based on a physical disability.

I don't think that only physical mostly perfect human beings are worthy of life, and assisted suicide just for the sick people is a step in the absolute wrong direction.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
If someone is less worthy of living or less in need of help to want to live because of their physical disability, then that is discrimination based on a physical disability.

I don't think that only physical mostly perfect human beings are worthy of life, and assisted suicide just for the sick people is a step in the absolute wrong direction.

Who in the world said anything about not helping people? Who in the world suggested that we're going to go around killing people with disabilities? Who in the world said we shouldn't do everything in our power to improve people's quality of life, try to ease their pain, and help them feel better about themselves?
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Raymond Arnold
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In all cases where a person is contemplating suicide for any reason, you should do everything in their power to help them. But for some people, no matter how hard you try to fix it, life will continue to not be worth living. Forcing those people to stay alive for years and years in pain is not kind and is not good.

And of course, those people are going to have disabilities, either physical or mental. That doesn't mean we're going out of our way to help disabled people kill themselves, it just means that a desire to kill oneself in the first place is, by definition, the product of an unhealthy person.

I do acknowledge how legalizing assisted suicide (as opposed to independent suicide, which is silly to criminalize for already discussed reasons) can lead to questionable circumstances that border on murder. And for that reason, I'm not sure where I stand on the issue. But arbitrarily deciding that "life" is more important than "living" in any meaningful sense of the word seems pointless to me.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:

I do acknowledge how legalizing assisted suicide (as opposed to independent suicide, which is silly to criminalize for already discussed reasons) can lead to questionable circumstances that border on murder. And for that reason, I'm not sure where I stand on the issue. But arbitrarily deciding that "life" is more important than "living" in any meaningful sense of the word seems pointless to me.

This point I can agree with. It would be very difficult to legalize assisted suicide without opening the door for serious abuses and for that reason alone, I'm torn on the legal end of the issue issue. But in a general, moral sense, there are times when I think the most humane thing to do is to help someone to die.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
This doesn't even make sense to me. Whyever should it be illegal?

Because otherwise there is no legal standing when you attempt to prevent it.
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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
This doesn't even make sense to me. Whyever should it be illegal?

Because otherwise there is no legal standing when you attempt to prevent it.
I'm still not following this...you can't prevent something unless it's illegal?
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rivka
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On what basis would the police prevent someone from committing suicide if it were legal to do so?
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The Pixiest
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rivka: Preventing something doesn't always require legal action. Talking someone out of it is a moral way to stop someone from committing suicide that does not resort to the use of force.
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ClaudiaTherese
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The Straight Dope has an article on the history of the law and suicide.

Police officers intervene in many situations where nothing illegal is being done: e.g., if someone is in jeopardy from falling off a building or tree or cliff (whether intentionally there or not), if someone is deemed to be a risk to self or others (to be detained and hospitalized, with culpability to be determined by the courts), etc.

I think there is some concern I am missing here, as I don't see why illegality is necessary for assistance or even detainment -- as, for example, someone behaving bizarrely in public and considered to be a risk to him/herself can be detained while it is determined whether that person is of unsound mind, even in states where suicide is not illegal. Maybe one of our lawyers can weigh in?

---

Edited to add: a couple of rewordings and the underscoring that I have a nagging feeling I am indeed missing the thrust of the complaint

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
On what basis would the police prevent someone from committing suicide if it were legal to do so?

Well, let's take the high-drama suicide jumper. I'm thinking...humanity? It certainly beats the people driving by in their cars while a woman sits on the edge of a bridge, delaying traffic, egging her to jump. We don't need laws to make us compassionate people.
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ClaudiaTherese
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I am heading out to take care of other things, but I did find this, an online booklet explaining the rights of those with mental health disorders under UK law. Although it is the UK and not the US, I believe similar rationale is used in the States; i.e., the focus is on assistance, not punitive.

quote:
Can the police detain me for any other reason?

If you are in a public place, the police also have the power to detain you if they think you have a mental disorder (section 136) and that you are in immediate need of care and control. They must take you to a place of safety , preferably a hospital, but possibly a police station. You can be held there, until an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) and either one or two doctors have assessed you, for up to 72 hours. This power cannot, at present, be used to detain you if you are on private premises. They can move you from one place to another within this period; for example, from a police station to a hospital for the assessment.

---

Added: I suspect those engaged in committing suicide (or who appear to be doing so in a serious attempt) can be assumed to have a mental health disorder until it is ruled out by a mental health professional. But this isn't something I am up to speed on anymore, and doubtlessly, things do vary by jurisdiction. I do think modern underlying rationales are generally similar, though.

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rivka
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Fine. Now let's talk about someone who is not going to traumatize passersby or do damage to someone else's property. They have pills and they're at home.

If suicide is legal, then what standing does "harm to self" have?

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ClaudiaTherese
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(Should I refer you to the post I just made, or did you already see it and find it still wanting? Just checking -- things go by fast.)

---

Added: I'm not sure why this seems to be a sensitive or charged topic, either, or if I am just misreading you, rivka. If it is a tense matter, I'm happy to leave it here -- I have no vested interest in the conversation.

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BannaOj
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Tangentially, here is a fabulous explanation of what chronic pain sufferers go through.

http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/navigation/BYDLS-TheSpoonTheory.pdf

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Fine. Now let's talk about someone who is not going to traumatize passersby or do damage to someone else's property. They have pills and they're at home.

If suicide is legal, then what standing does "harm to self" have?

It's still a matter for human compassion. Someone is clearly hurting and whoever discovers this (be they the police or family or friend or neighbor) ought to get them to a hospital. It's a sickness, like a heart attack. Do we need to make heart attacks illegal in order to be able to call 9-1-1 and get emergency service?
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ClaudiaTherese
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That is, I am not sure whether it is being claimed that the police cannot intervene in cases where there is no action being taken directly against some law (which they can, though, as above), or whether they should not (presumably because it is believed that the police shouldn't have the authority to exercise in this situation that they already do have).

The latter would be a call for philosophic justification, I take it? Joel Feinberg explains John Stuart Mills' argument about voluntariness in Harm to Self, which may be a good starting point for further discussion. But I'm on my way to lunch, weeding, and the garage. [Smile]

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rivka
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I saw it. I'm not assuming any sort of punitive reason (I agree that's pretty useless).

I still don't see the difference people seem to think there is between suicide (in a presumably depressed but otherwise healthy individual) and assisted suicide. I also suspect this could go round in circles for pages without any real exchange of information.

And I have better things to do with my day off. [Wink]

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ClaudiaTherese
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Enjoy your day. I will mine, as well. And the world will keep turning here without us! [Smile]
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kmbboots
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Maybe we could license it. One could obtain a license after going through some process with various health care/psychiatric/legal/whatever personnel. Committing suicide with or without help without a license would still be illegal.

With, say, a three day waiting period. This would allow for intervention in the case of momentary desperation type suicides and yet still allow people who have made a firm decision that life is to too painful to have the right to make that choice.

ETA: Also assisting a suicide without a license would be illegal. That would form some sort of obstacle to offing sick but still kicking grandma.

[ June 09, 2009, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
I saw it. I'm not assuming any sort of punitive reason (I agree that's pretty useless).

I still don't see the difference people seem to think there is between suicide (in a presumably depressed but otherwise healthy individual) and assisted suicide. I also suspect this could go round in circles for pages without any real exchange of information.

And I have better things to do with my day off. [Wink]

The only reason I would remotely suggest Assisted Suicide be illegal is because it could more easily create an environment in which people with disabilities are "encouraged" to off themselves.

I consider depression to the point of suicide to be a form of terminal illness that needs to be treated. We don't need laws saying people who die from cancer are doing something illegal. But we could certainly use laws saying that deliberately giving someone an injection of cancer-inducing-substance counts as murder.

Granted, I'm NOT that certain assisted suicide should be illegal in the first place (in fact I'm still leaning towards the opposite) but there's a pretty clear distinction in my mind.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
I saw it. I'm not assuming any sort of punitive reason (I agree that's pretty useless).

I still don't see the difference people seem to think there is between suicide (in a presumably depressed but otherwise healthy individual) and assisted suicide. I also suspect this could go round in circles for pages without any real exchange of information.

And I have better things to do with my day off. [Wink]

The difference between suicide and assisted suicide is the assistance -- and it's huge in a legal sense. If someone gets assistance committing suicide, then there is always the possibility that they did not want to die and that, in fact, the assistance was really murder. Also, the person providing the assistance may have encouraged the person to want to die. There is a lot of moral and legal ambiguity there and it is definitely not a black and white issue.

Of course, when someone kills himself there might have been someone in his life egging him on. You hear stories about that sometimes and it's part of the darker side of human nature that sometimes makes me despair that there is little good in the world.

Hmmmm....and perhaps that is one reason why suicide should be illegal? Because then egging someone on could be considered an accessory? That has possibility...I'll have to think about it.

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sndrake
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Sorry to jump in on this late and rushed, but I'll try to do more tomorrow. I've been kind of busy lately, earning myself a special blog entry on the "Hating Autism" blog, verbally berating a conference audience, and belittling a follower of Lyndon LaRouche from a podium. Oh, and I said some nasty things about Randall Terry, too. [Wink]

This discussion has shifted a bit, and I wanted to address some of the earlier points.

I agree with what CT said about cases in which DNR not only won't work, but in the rare instances when resuscitation occurs, only results in great suffering for a slightly (a few days) increase in how long you live.

There's a different side to the story, however.

Here are two examples:

A coworker here is a young woman with spinal cord injury. It happened about ten years ago. Her family had to fight with the staff of two different hospitals to maintain her ventilation, feeding tube and subsequent rehabilitation. She isn't on a vent or tube now. The staff even urged the young woman herself to take herself off the vent and die when she was awake. Her story should be available online soon.

Another friend has a neuromuscular condition and is currently at a long-term care facility waiting for the paperwork to get him what he needs in his own home. His mother noticed that someone put a "DNR" on his chart. Turns out it was the social worker - who said she just assumed he would have one. Please note that putting that down without the person's consent (or approved surrogate) is contrary to NYS law. It only stayed on the chart for an hour, but you have to wonder how many "I just assumed" errors don't get caught.

Relevant to the latest parts of the discussion is today's blog entry - kind of a "how I spent my weekend" kind of thing:

Chicago NDY Visits Final Exit Network's Annual Meeting

More tomorrow. [Smile]

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rivka
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Christine, you misunderstand me. I am asking why some people seem to think assisted suicide is ok, but plain old suicide is not. I suspect it has something to do with not valuing the lives of those who are old or sick.
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The Pixiest
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quote:

Another friend has a neuromuscular condition and is currently at a long-term care facility waiting for the paperwork to get him what he needs in his own home. His mother noticed that someone put a "DNR" on his chart. Turns out it was the social worker - who said she just assumed he would have one. Please note that putting that down without the person's consent (or approved surrogate) is contrary to NYS law. It only stayed on the chart for an hour, but you have to wonder how many "I just assumed" errors don't get caught.

THAT is attempted murder in my book.

*insert tiring rant about social workers that bores and offends everyone*

DNR, and assisted suicide should both require WITNESSES and paperwork. No one should be allowed to assume or simply take someone's word for it.


Boots: Your solution would ruin the surprise. (I know, I know.. don't joke about suicide...)

I don't want a death license from the government. The idea gives me the willies. If there is a right to privacy, ending your life has got to be the most private and personal thing you can do.

However, the idea of a license for assisted suicide *does* strike me as a good idea, given the state's responsibility to prevent murder.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Christine, you misunderstand me. I am asking why some people seem to think assisted suicide is ok, but plain old suicide is not. I suspect it has something to do with not valuing the lives of those who are old or sick.

Not exactly. I think that people could more easily understand the desire for suicide in someone so helpless by illness that they would need assistance. That kind of helplessness is terrifying to some people and is often accompanied by great pain.

Plain old suicide is often a response to more transitory impulses - say being a teenager in many tragic cases.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by sndrake:
I agree with what CT said about cases in which DNR not only won't work, but in the rare instances when resuscitation occurs, only results in great suffering for a slightly (a few days) increase in how long you live.

How rare? *interested

The tallies I've seen of total DNRs are not in middle-aged or young people, regardless of condition; e.g., mostly 80+ yrs of age and in intensive care environment as the bulk of them.

[ June 09, 2009, 05:41 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Eaquae Legit
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quote:
Originally posted by sndrake:
Sorry to jump in on this late and rushed, but I'll try to do more tomorrow. I've been kind of busy lately, earning myself a special blog entry on the "Hating Autism" blog, verbally berating a conference audience, and belittling a follower of Lyndon LaRouche from a podium. Oh, and I said some nasty things about Randall Terry, too. [Wink]

The entry on you was hilarious, and sad. I can't believe how much ugliness I had to wade through to find that post, though. What a sad, angry person.
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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Christine, you misunderstand me. I am asking why some people seem to think assisted suicide is ok, but plain old suicide is not. I suspect it has something to do with not valuing the lives of those who are old or sick.

In any type of suicide, a person's life is in his own hands, so value doesn't really play into the questoin for me. I'm also not sure in what sense of the word it is "ok" or "not ok" to commit any type of suicide. I don't think "ok" ever plays into it. It's an act of desperation, an expression of deepest pain. Anytime there is a way to end that pain in life, then this is the preferable solution.

ETA: Thinking about it a bit more, I think I may see this duality (the idea of assisted suicide being ok but regular suicide not being ok) as a problem in the exact opposite direction. It's the idea that it's not ok to commit suicide if you're clinically depressed that I see as an inability to understand that depression is a disease rather than a weakness -- something that's all in the mind. Of course, I don't think we should let anyone die if there is a way to help , but many times when people say it is not ok for a person to commit suicide, they go on to say that suicide is selfish, cowardly, or weak.

[ June 09, 2009, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: Christine ]

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rivka
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I have not said any of those things. I do think suicide is always wrong, but that is not why.
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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
I have not said any of those things. I do think suicide is always wrong, but that is not why.

I know you didn't. Most of those comments were not directed at you, they were just my own mind wandering after reading what you wrote.
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Bob_Scopatz
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to: sndrake:

Thanks for posting here.

The story of the "I just assumed" is pretty scary to me. I'm glad the mistake was caught.

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scholarette
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I think that one big difference between assisted suicide and regular suicide is the "sound mind" idea. A person with cancer is presumably still able to make sound decisions for himself, but the clinically depressed person is not. (I am not actually arguing that point- but it is a distinction I have heard people make for this argument).
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rivka
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I have heard the argument as well. I do not grant that it is true.
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pooka
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It seems to me (and I admit I might be wrong) that a lot of the idea behind assisted suicide has to do with the suicide being approved of or endorsed.

I find it counterintuitive that involvement of another person would increase soundness of mind -- if that's even what was being suggested.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
I think that one big difference between assisted suicide and regular suicide is the "sound mind" idea. A person with cancer is presumably still able to make sound decisions for himself, but the clinically depressed person is not. (I am not actually arguing that point- but it is a distinction I have heard people make for this argument).

I can see why people would say this, but I don't think it's true. This argument makes it seem as if a sound mind is anything other than a legal term when in reality, we are all swayed by the pressures in our lives and our bodies. The terminally ill cancer patient's mind is filled with pain just as much as the suicidally depressed person.
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Tatiana
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1) We all have the terminal illness called "life". The only difference is in duration.

2) Family members are the first suspects in cases of murder. What does this say about trusting family members always to have the patient's best interest in mind in other life-and-death situations?

3) My 19 year old son had DNR put on his chart by a nurse. When I said DNR? That means Do Not Resuscitate! Don't put that on there! The nurse told me she didn't really know what it meant, she just always put it there in that spot on the form. I found that unbelievable, but it's true. I honestly think she didn't know what it meant.

4) My mom has had suicidal depression on and off for most of her life. Now she's in her 70s and still has it. She's very big on suicide (assisted or not) being okay for old people. But it's also true that she doesn't value many people's lives. She thinks only if you're strong and perfect and able to pull your own load should you be allowed to live. She thinks societies who leave the old people on the mountain to die are the wisest.

I think all that comes from her suicidal depression which is a physical ailment, plus a mistake in her understanding of life. I think we're all "profitless servants", the strongest of us no less than the weakest, and all of our lives are gifts to us which none of us deserve more than others. I definitely don't want her in charge of any of my end of life decisions, and she doesn't want me deciding for her either.

5) End of life care decisions are always hard. There are no good choices, in many cases. So I'm always grateful when it's not my decision to make. I try not to second-guess those whose decision it is. I beg forgiveness from any in the afterlife for whom I have made wrong decisions. It's an agonizing thing, either way. I'm including pets whom I consider to be fully "people" and cherished family members.

6) I've spent a good deal of time talking to people who want to die, most of them young and perfectly healthy. They all seem to have obviously mistaken ideas of themselves and their place in the world. "Everyone will be relieved when I'm dead", "nothing I ever did was good", "I've felt this way my whole life", (when you know of many times when they seemed genuinely happy, that they deny), etc. Major depressive episodes cause people's brains to lie to them in these ways. These things FEEL true, but they aren't.

7) Depression is often a side effect of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, etc. Oftentimes when ill people feel like they want to die, it's because of depression rather than any objective view of their situation.

So how do you untangle these things? I think when it's your decision, you try to err on the side of life and hope. That's my answer. Thank heavens it's not often my decision to make.

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sndrake
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quote:
Originally posted by sndrake:
I agree with what CT said about cases in which DNR not only won't work, but in the rare instances when resuscitation occurs, only results in great suffering for a slightly (a few days) increase in how long you live.

How rare? *interested

The tallies I've seen of total DNRs are not in middle-aged or young people, regardless of condition; e.g., mostly 80+ yrs of age and in intensive care environment as the bulk of them.

I mistyped. I was in a hurry. What I meant was that - in circumstances such as you describe (body riddled with cancer, etc.) - when the CPR rarely *succeeds*, it doesn't do much to prolong life but causes a lot of suffering.
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sndrake
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quote:
The entry on you was hilarious, and sad. I can't believe how much ugliness I had to wade through to find that post, though. What a sad, angry person.
I don't look at him quite so charitably. The guy has a history of being something of a predator in regard to people who seem vulnerable. He's been kicked off of a number of sites.

I never linked to that entry or wrote about it - they guy needs attention the way that fire needs oxygen. And what really ticked him off is that I allowed him *one* comment on my blog, to which I replied:

quote:
If you'd bothered to do a little digging into the nature of my disabilities, you'd know that they are identifiable. Doctor-induced head injury at birth.

But that's not really the point with you is it? This is entertainment for you. I hope that whatever you get out of playing the bully online results in some benefits - like maybe sparing your loved ones from verbal abuse or worse.

I know that you love finding new places to play. This will not be one of them.

Your first comment on this blog is also your last one.

I don't give a flying crap what you think about it or what you say. Most of the readers of this blog have little or no interest in neurodiversity issues and aren't interested in anything you have to say.

Good luck finding other playmates (or people to bully).

Then I just cut him off. Deleted his submitted comments. Refrained from commenting on his blog attack on me (which is full of factual misinformation, among other things), and didn't post about it.

I'd like to say this was about taking the high road for me, but honestly, it is just common sense and I knew it was the most annoying, infuriating of all possible responses.

But for the record, I claim the high moral ground on this one, OK? [Wink]

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sndrake
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Bob said, taking my name in vain [Smile] :

quote:
I would like to point out that I am not an enthusiastic supporter of euthanasia. I do believe that the individual has the right to choose. The problem I have in how things are implemented here in the US is that "assistance" starts to look a lot like murder in some cases.

It is also a problem that in some areas we already see slippage from "individual choices" to "we know _____ would not want to have to live this way."

The Not Dead Yet organization is a great resource for folks who wish to see the issue from another perspective, by the way. I think Diane, Stephen & crew are the most articulate folks on the web, period.

Anyway, Glenn, I think the US has a history of coming to terms with difficult social issues, but that it takes us a long time -- sometimes generations. We get there, eventually, and, it seems to me, get to the point of siding with individual freedom -- sometimes even to the detriment of society in general. But that's us. That's who we are.

For disability activists, this isn't quite it. It isn't really about individual freedom unless "assistance" is made available to everyone serious about wanting to kill themselves.

Here's the closing paragraph in a flyer we just used in Chicago:

quote:
WHY WE CARE: People with disabilities are faced with multiple hardships in our society. Discrimination in education and employment lead to wide-scale impoverishment. The multitude of physical and attitudinal barriers that still prevent full inclusion of people with disabilities into the life of society leaves many isolated and in despair. This despair is remediable calling for time, money and resources to help people out of the ditch. People with disabilities deserve the same suicide prevention as everybody else. Assisted suicide, giving people a shove when they look into the abyss, takes no time, money or effort at all and its the final abandonment, the ultimate discrimination.
Please notice the absence of the word "depression" - clinical depression isn't necessary for getting to the point of feeling life isn't worth living. And in many cases, neither medical intervention nor counseling is really what is needed.

The annual meeting of the Final Exit Network was there. In other years, the news surrounding this group would be a major national story, but it only gets (occasionally) front page coverage in Atlanta and Phoenix where group members face charges. At last count, I have 24 entries on the Final Exit Network on the Not Dead Yet blog. I've been the major voice used by reporters in terms of what token opposition exists in news coverage - that is, where coverage actually contains any contrary voices.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by sndrake:
For disability activists, this isn't quite it. It isn't really about individual freedom unless "assistance" is made available to everyone serious about wanting to kill themselves.


Why would someone who is physically capable need assistance?
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sndrake
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kmbboots asked:

quote:
Why would someone who is physically capable need assistance?
That's a good question, but it's almost never asked. The simple answer is - they don't "need" it, they *want* it.

Whether we're talking about Kevorkian's body count, What we know George Exoo's body count, the Final Exit Network "eligibility" criteria, the majority of people (from what limited info is available) of those who have taken legally prescribed lethal doses in Oregon - almost all have had more than enough physical ability to kill themselves in any number of ways.

It's really about access to a certain *means* to commit suicide, and access to those means are controlled by the medical profession.

FWIW, there are high-level quadriplegics who have joined NDY on occasion that say they can come up with quite a long list of creative ways to kill themselves if they wanted to do that. Ventilator users already have the right to have their vents shut off, and to be sedated when it happens.

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The Pixiest
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Actually, killing yourself is harder than it sounds. And I don't just mean the mechanics of it (though making sure you don't fail is tough too. Failure can mean extreme physical damage and an inability to try again. Or worse, Group therapy sessions.) The will power to actually off yourself has been bred out of humanity over time. That doesn't mean people can't do it (because, obviously, they do) just that you can't just pick up a gun, point it at your head and casually pull the trigger. Your lizard brain won't let you. Anyone who COULD do that suicided themselves out of the gene pool long before you were born.

For an able bodied person seeking to end their life, of their own free will, someone there to hold their hand, and help with the mechanics would be an enormous comfort in their last moments.

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katharina
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quote:
People with disabilities deserve the same suicide prevention as everybody else. Assisted suicide, giving people a shove when they look into the abyss, takes no time, money or effort at all and its the final abandonment, the ultimate discrimination.
Exactly, sndrake - this is why I'm so opposed to assisted suicide.

It is also terribly open to abuse, to family members choosing what would be easiest for them instead of thinking about the person who needs help.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
Actually, killing yourself is harder than it sounds. And I don't just mean the mechanics of it (though making sure you don't fail is tough too. Failure can mean extreme physical damage and an inability to try again. Or worse, Group therapy sessions.) The will power to actually off yourself has been bred out of humanity over time. That doesn't mean people can't do it (because, obviously, they do) just that you can't just pick up a gun, point it at your head and casually pull the trigger. Your lizard brain won't let you. Anyone who COULD do that suicided themselves out of the gene pool long before you were born.

For an able bodied person seeking to end their life, of their own free will, someone there to hold their hand, and help with the mechanics would be an enormous comfort in their last moments.

But this is exactly why assisting an able-bodied person is *not* a good idea. Unless the pain has gotten so strong that you can overcome instincts and pull the trigger, then you're probably not ready to die....there's probably still hope.
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The Pixiest
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Christine: On the other hand, if someone is there holding your hand, maybe you'll decide you want to live. And there's someone there to *ask* if you really want to do this.

Despair is most consuming when you're completely alone.

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sarcasticmuppet
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Indeed (to Christine's comment), I see absolutely no reason to make suicide easy. If you really want to kill yourself, and no amount of convincing will sway you, you have the choice to do any number of things to end your own life without dragging anyone else into it.

I will say though, anecdotally, that I had a friend who attempted suicide (before I met her), who was fortunate enough that another friend intervened to save her life. She is now living very happily in a completely different and better situation. It pains me to think of how close she came to missing all of those new and better experiences, because of something that, while awful for her to go through, was temporary.

I do not support assisted suicide. I support safety nets under bridges and intervention by friends and family who actually care about the individual. I ascribe to the idea that anyone who attempts suicide is (at least temporarily) not in their right mind, and needs help.

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