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Old 09-10-2004, 03:50 AM   #16
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switching off a life support machine is essentially ending the life.
to put someone on the support initially is to prolong the inevitable in a lot of cases.
euthenasia is bringing forward and actioning another inevitable.

of course there are differences, but it is the similarity i am questioning. turning off a life support machine is as good as saying goodbye. we allow that.

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Old 09-11-2004, 01:48 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
I want to ask something which I've wondered about for such a long time now. Everyone is aware of it, yet no one seems to speak of it and that is how every day in hospitals all around the world, life support machines are turned off and patients are left to leave this life quickly. No one bats an eye. No one pickets or complains. There is no media frenzy. These doctors play God and we mourn quietly.

I actually think this is the main question

some people act when discussing euthanasia as if we're talking about psycho doctors killing anyone who in a state of high fever claim they don't want to live anymore or because the family who don't want to drive to the hospital anymore tell them it has been enough

the reality is that people whose only future is a couple of days of extreme pain will be spared of this (at least that's what it is over here in The Netherlands and we're well known liberal people killers) which hardly shows any difference to the decision to stop life support as mentioned in your post

my personal opinion is that I can't think of any situation I wanted my life to be ended while on the other hand I wouldn't want my loved ones suffering with me because of them seeing me in whatever state I would be
it's a difficult personal decision as far as I'm concerned

I think in the end we're already ending the life of kids (and definitely of babies) by not giving life support etc
the discussion should probably be whether we agree with this to begin with or at least discuss euthanasia on kids with this in mind


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Old 09-11-2004, 04:54 PM   #18
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Originally posted by kobayashi
It is an interesting question. I think there is a distinction between the two as, at least in my mind, termination of life support usually follows a sudden onset of illness.
That's actually a very inaccurate way to look at it, as I believe most cases of life support are terminally ill people whose organs begin to shut down one by one and chronically ill people who are kept alive in hopes they will make it, or because they have to get stronger for surgery or because they are trying to keep them alive long enough to get a transplant.
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Old 09-12-2004, 09:40 AM   #19
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Life support also comes into play when someone's brain has been deprived of oxygen for a long time--e.g. someone who has a heart attack alone in his or her house, and his/her spouse/child/whatever doesn't find him/her until long after the fact. Even if the heart can be started again, there's so much brain damage that the individual in question, if kept alive, would remain in a persistent vegetative state.

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