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Old 08-16-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
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How can you deny euthanasia?

I couldn't find a general euthanasia thread, so I've made this one because this article and pictures nearly brought me to tears.

How could any person possibly deny euthanasia in a case like this?

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Britain's High Court has rejected an attempt by a man who has locked-in syndrome to overturn the country's euthanasia law by refusing to legally allow doctors to end his life.

Tony Nicklinson had a stroke in 2005 that left him unable to speak or move below his neck. He requires constant care and communicates mostly by blinking, although his mind has remained unaffected and his condition is not terminal.

Locked-in syndrome is a rare neurological disorder where patients are completely paralysed, and only able to blink. Patients are conscious and don't have any intellectual problems, but they are unable to speak or move.

The judges wrote that they were both "tragic cases", but said to allow euthanasia as a possible defence to murder "would usurp the proper role of parliament".


There's a poll running on the page, Should Tony Nicklinson be allowed to decide his own fate? Of the 11,691 votes, 95% said yes.

Has anyone got a good reason?

'Condemned to a life of torture': UK denies right-to-die legal challenge
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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for the sake of argument, one aspect to consider is the effect of it on doctors -- how do you ask someone to take your life for you? how do you prepare a doctor for that?
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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Gosh, I really feel for that man. Thank God I don't know him personally or know anyone in my life with his condition.

I do think he should be given euthanasia so he could be free from the prison that is his body - but I also hesitate. Having this kind of debate or having the government get involved really does open a can of worms, and even hysteria among people, usually those who strongly oppose euthanasia. I can't help but wonder if euthanasia becomes a common practice, some people will be put to sleep who shouldn't be - like those with mental and physical disabilities. I admit that I could be looking too far ahead and maybe have not thought this out very much. But I do think it is a tricky situation, albeit one that needs to be discussed because of this poor man.

One thing I could say that this really gives more reason for stem cell research and other advances in science so Nicklinson might be cured or be able to function better. I think its a shame we have not yet come that far to stop people being stricken with such illnesses. If we did have cures, we wouldn't be considering euthanasia.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
for the sake of argument, one aspect to consider is the effect of it on doctors -- how do you ask someone to take your life for you? how do you prepare a doctor for that?
I think that there would be a few doctors more than willing to do it, so it wouldn't be something you're forcing on those who think it is against their Oath.

Anyone see Diving Bell and the Butterfly? Great movie.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
One thing I could say that this really gives more reason for stem cell research and other advances in science so Nicklinson might be cured or be able to function better. I think its a shame we have not yet come that far to stop people being stricken with such illnesses. If we did have cures, we wouldn't be considering euthanasia.
YES. This. Thank you.

I fully understand some of the gray areas around euthnasia-making sure the person is fully consenting to such a thing (living wills, people), and this may be part of a doctor's job, sure, but it's still likely got to be a tough situation nonetheless. And I can understand government intervention concerns, too. We can all look to the Terri Schaivo case for an example of that part of it all gone horribly wrong.

That being said, however, I definitely support the basic concept of euthanasia. If someone is in that much pain, and they want to pull the plug on themselves and get a doctor to help them, I don't see why they shouldn't have the right to make such a decision. It's their body and their choice, let them do it if that's what they want.

I feel horrible for that poor man. I hope there's a resolution of some kind to his story and he can finally be at peace somehow.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:36 AM   #6
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Euthanasia is a very complex issue, and one good example of something that if it is put in place should be very strictly regulated.

It is curious that we are all in favour of allowing our pets a dignified death when they are suffering beyond comprehension and without any chance for improvement, but when it comes to humans, many of us totally lose all rationality with respect to this debate.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by anitram
It is curious that we are all in favour of allowing our pets a dignified death when they are suffering beyond comprehension and without any chance for improvement, but when it comes to humans, many of us totally lose all rationality with respect to this debate.
I was going to post something along these lines as well. I also find it interesting that our pets have no say in the matter yet there seems to be no moral question there.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:48 AM   #8
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I don't really know where I stand on this (I do support euth but have no advice on how that should be implemented) but I also find it odd that we can euth our pets for any reason, even just not wanting them anymore, and we can have DNRs for ourselves. Is it really that much different? When my grandma died she had been suffering for decades; I never knew her without pain and suffering. She got ill and....I don't even know how to describe this...we just let her go. We her nurse give her morphine and keep her calm and comfortable but I don't think she was even seen by a doctor and no one considered calling an ambulance or taking her to the hospital. I don't know what she died of and neither does my mom. My grandpa did not have an autopsy done. So we are allowed to do this (which I feel was 100% right) and let people have DNRs but not even consider euthanasia? I'd dare bet that people have "died" from DNRs over conditions not as dire as this poor man's.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:08 PM   #9
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^I suppose it is the difference between passive and active.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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I don't get it....
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:24 PM   #11
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Passive, you do not act or provide palliative care only. You let them die.

In active euthanasia, someone would have to introduce the killing agent.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonosSaint View Post
Passive, you do not act or provide palliative care only. You let them die.

In active euthanasia, someone would have to introduce the killing agent.


exactly. and this is where many doctors find the line. it's one thing to let grandma's pneumonia go untreated while making her as comfortable as possible. it's quite another to administer a paralytic that stops her heart.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
exactly. and this is where many doctors find the line. it's one thing to let grandma's pneumonia go untreated while making her as comfortable as possible. it's quite another to administer a paralytic that stops her heart.
That is true.

But if you have a subset of doctors who are willing to administer, say, potassium chloride, then the ones who are not willing to or who have ethical issues are not involved.

It's a bit akin to a doctor now choosing not to provide abortions - you can't force one to do it, but there are other ob/gyns who do provide the service. Just because some find it offensive doesn't mean that we don't offer it as a medical service.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anitram View Post
I think that there would be a few doctors more than willing to do it, so it wouldn't be something you're forcing on those who think it is against their Oath.

Anyone see Diving Bell and the Butterfly? Great movie.
one of my all-time fave books/films! i remember when it was first published here in France, and rushed out and bought it - absolutely heart-rending!

i've been following this case on the news, and am really torn...

having lost loved ones of my own, i just think when they're gone they're gone for a very very long time, and, perhaps selfishly, i would do all i can to have them with me a little longer, just to care for them and be with them if we were dealing with this situation (i.e. physically stable, not terminal, not in pain etc.)... but maybe that's me being selfish, i don't know... i know if it were me locked-in, i would hate to be a burden on my family, but would want to stay with my family as long as i could, watch them grow up and be with them... tough call...

poor guy though, it's heartbreaking...

i guess it would be nice to have a choice at least...
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonosSaint View Post
Passive, you do not act or provide palliative care only. You let them die.

In active euthanasia, someone would have to introduce the killing agent.

I suppose you could just not care for a locked in patient, it would just take a lot longer for him to die.
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