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What is your view on assisted suicide (euthanasia) for mental illness?

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    (Original post by Nirvana1989-1994)
    So have I, and so have people in my family! Don't just presume things. Ask me what I meant instead of just being rude. I probably should have phrased it better, but being 'selfish' I was not.
    Sorry Nirvana, i wasn't refering to you as an individual when i said that. rather than us as a society!
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    (Original post by #ChaosKass)
    Absolutely not. You die when God means for you to die, you do not take matters into your own hands.
    Then why did God invent Euthanasia? And if God is all knowing and knows what the future holds, then he already knew that people who have died by euthanasia were destined to do so.
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    I do support euthanasia for those with terminal illnesses or those were they have such a poor quality of life which will not improve. However, I think it may be slightly more complex in mental health. But I would support euthanasia on the basis of mental health when a person requests it if:

    - It is extremely unlikely that their condition/illness will improve and they have been experiencing this quality of life for a significant amount of time with no improvement
    - They have capacity to make the decision (I wouldn't say that being suicidal means they do not have capacity to make a decision to die)
    - A number of independent professionals (NOT solely doctors - I would say a doctor to verify the medical diagnosis, and also a social worker to judge the social situation and someone experienced in mental capacity such as a Best Interest Assessor to judge their capacity) support the decision. It would most likely go to the Court of Protection.
    - They have not improved despite a number of treatments (medication, therapy, hospital, alternative treatments)

    It is a tricky area. I would be worried that people may make a snap judgment and that it may be abused by family members. But I don't think people should have to suffer because we aren't comfortable with the idea of death.
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    (Original post by TheonlyMrsHolmes)
    I just finished watching this, it is about 24 year old girl who was physically well but mentally ill with depression and wished for doctors to end her life.

    I honestly don't know how I feel. On one hand it is so disgustingly unfair to deny someone peace and make them suffer, on the other hand my heart says to rid someone of life is always somewhat evil and who knows what the future holds? Perhaps better drugs or different circumstances in life that make coping with the illness a little easier.

    Personally I feel very conflicted . What is your view?
    Almost every part of me wants to say that no it isn't okay, but there's this little part of me that thinks that maybe for some people it is an option.

    BUT I'd want to be damn sure that any other help for people with mh problems is improved beforehand. I would be terrified at the moment of people being given assisted suicide before therapy or ADs. I think that if it were to be legal you'd have to be damn sure that it is terminal for that person and that nothing else would help.

    Alot of people who have tried to commit suicide say that they regreted it part way through. You need to be sure those people aren't the ones getting it.

    I think that there's a lot of other things need to be done before something like that can be considered an option and frankly I don't think they would be. I think it could end up doing far more harm than good. That's why i'd be terrified to legalise it.
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    As someone who has suffered from depression, anxiety and anorexia for the last few years I can say that I am 100% in favor of euthanasia for long term mental health sufferers.

    No human being should have to think about planning their own death or take the risk of dying in excruciating pain.

    Like they mentioned towards the end- having that safety brake there just makes life so much more bearable.
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    (Original post by Salamandastron)
    as far as i can tell the word 'assisted' suicide came into the limelight for people who couldnt physically do it.
    so therefore having an 'assisted suicide' for someone who is physically able seems a bit counterintuitive tbh regardless of the ethic considerations.
    People who are desperate enough to want an assisted suicide and are physically able to probably wouldnt need an assisted one in the first place given the fact they could quite easily do it themselves and that these things are often done more on the spur of the moment and usually in secret.
    This is an interesting point, but I believe there would also be a question of legality, morality and possibly factors with insurance.
    Suicide has a big negative lable on it and rightly so- it's a horrible thing for everybody involved- but this means that families of those who have commited suicide can be treated negatively, life insurance policies will not pay out for suicide (i'm not sure how assisted suicide would affect this) and the usually unpanned and dramatic nature of it can be a big burden for surviving family and friends.
    Spur of the moment means no closure and poorly thought out (more potential for making the wrong decision) and secret means that some poor soul needs to find them, a paramedic needs to come to the scene and attempt recusitation, a doctor needs to pronounce them dead, a coronor needs to examine the body and determine cause, a family needs to be told out of the blue that they commitied suicide etc etc. There is a lot of calateral damage involved.
    Assisted suicide would also be a far more pleasent and effective way to go. Usual methods of suicide are often painful, not guarenteed and also mean somebody has to find you and that whole process gone through. Assisted suicide is all managed from a legal standpoint, is humane an painless and gives better opertunity for closure.

    Also, if you legalise assisted suicide it means those who are desperate are more likely to enter the medical system at some point. A lot of people who have survived suicide attempts say that they regretted it as soon as they'd taken that step. Those sorts of people could ask for asisted suicide but instead be refered to services that help them. It could be a good way to encourage desperate individuals to come forward and be known.

    My father saw somebody commit suicide and was emotionally scarred. I can see that if assisted suicide were available it would have saved my father and others that pain. I am not sure if it would have helped that individual too, but it could have. I am not sure where I stand on if it is right or wrong to aid somebody in taking their life, but the more I look at it the more positives I can find. I can certinally see that it is better than other alternatives.
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    given I've been mentally ill to the point I'd have happily agreed to euthanasia to end my life and am now very happy and glad I never managed to kill myself I 100% don't agree with euthanasia for mental health problems

    I only support euthanasia for terminal conditions which will destroy someone's quality of life, not ongoing conditions which can be managed and don't have to ruin someone's life (in which I'd include mental health and, for example, being in a wheelchair or something)
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    which can be managed and don't have to ruin someone's life
    What about mental illnesses that do ruin someone's life?
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    (Original post by #ChaosKass)
    Absolutely not. You die when God means for you to die, you do not take matters into your own hands.
    So God would rather someone live in immense pain every day of their life? What a lovely bloke.
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    Terminal illness only.
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    (Original post by TheonlyMrsHolmes)


    I just finished watching this, it is about 24 year old girl who was physically well but mentally ill with depression and wished for doctors to end her life.

    I honestly don't know how I feel. On one hand it is so disgustingly unfair to deny someone peace and make them suffer, on the other hand my heart says to rid someone of life is always somewhat evil and who knows what the future holds? Perhaps better drugs or different circumstances in life that make coping with the illness a little easier.

    Personally I feel very conflicted . What is your view?
    As a sufferer of depression myself, I'm gonna go with no: in cases like this, they shouldn't allow it.

    Suicidality is a symptom of depression, and so for doctors to euthanise depression patients would be immoral.
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    If someone wants to do something to their body (suicide ect..) that doesn't harm anyone else then leave them to it. If you want to talk about drugs however such as cocaine and **** maybe it is another story as the person can take these drugs with originally having a good life to go and get a *****y one. I do believe that you should be allowed to have assisted suicide for mental illness. It is the persons choice if they want it.

    (Original post by #ChaosKass)
    Absolutely not. You die when God means for you to die, you do not take matters into your own hands.
    So God technically should control your life that you deserve to have a free-will over? You have the free will to go and kill yourself but if you go and appreciate your free will God will not like you? What a nice person God is.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    What about mental illnesses that do ruin someone's life?
    examples?

    the majority of mental illness can be managed to an extent that a person is still able to live a fulfilling life... I'll give you that there are some people who experience severe treatment resistant illness but I would argue that the number of mentally ill people who genuinely cannot get to a stage where they can live a reasonable quality of life is small enough that it would overall not be for the greater good to allow anyone with mental health problems to end their lives - the biggest thing being where do you draw the line? do you say certain conditions qualify and others don't (I can't think of a single mental illness where I haven't heard of someone living happily with it)? do you say X number of years being ill qualifies you (plenty of people recover long after doctors have declared them hopeless)? and any line you draw is likely to become a 'slippery slope'
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    (Original post by TheonlyMrsHolmes)


    I just finished watching this, it is about 24 year old girl who was physically well but mentally ill with depression and wished for doctors to end her life.

    I honestly don't know how I feel. On one hand it is so disgustingly unfair to deny someone peace and make them suffer, on the other hand my heart says to rid someone of life is always somewhat evil and who knows what the future holds? Perhaps better drugs or different circumstances in life that make coping with the illness a little easier.

    Personally I feel very conflicted . What is your view?
    If the girl wishes to end her life because of her mental illness, the doctors should go along with her. Watch 'A short Stay in Switzerland', it's got a similar story.
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    examples?

    the majority of mental illness can be managed to an extent that a person is still able to live a fulfilling life... I'll give you that there are some people who experience severe treatment resistant illness but I would argue that the number of mentally ill people who genuinely cannot get to a stage where they can live a reasonable quality of life is small enough that it would overall not be for the greater good to allow anyone with mental health problems to end their lives - the biggest thing being where do you draw the line? do you say certain conditions qualify and others don't (I can't think of a single mental illness where I haven't heard of someone living happily with it)? do you say X number of years being ill qualifies you (plenty of people recover long after doctors have declared them hopeless)? and any line you draw is likely to become a 'slippery slope'
    What would you say qualifies as a reasonable quality of life? I mean, for me personally, that needs to come from the service user themselves.


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    (Original post by bullettheory)
    What would you say qualifies as a reasonable quality of life? I mean, for me personally, that needs to come from the service user themselves.


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    of course it does and people need to be happy with their own quality of life - some may be happy not being in hospital, others may feel they need a relationship, job and the ability to travel (for example) - I think part of having an illness is accepting some things will be different but obviously quality of life is pretty subjective

    for example for me, I wouldn't say that I think I will ever be 100% mentally well but I can work, maintain a relationship and deal with my mental health well enough to get through bad patches/do things that are important to me - life is definitely harder for me than it is for the majority but with a bit of acceptance I'm okay with that

    I would see it similarly to a physical illness, it takes a bit of acceptance that your life is going to be a bit tougher than someone else's and you may have to do things others don't need to.... but that you can still have a happy life if you learn to work with what you've got (I'm aware that what 'you've got' will be much less for some mentally ill people than my personal experience but like I said, I think the majority would be able to achieve a reasonable quality of life)
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    I think the majority would be able to achieve a reasonable quality of life)
    I don't think anyone is saying that the "majority" of mentally ill people should be killing themselves. That's precisely the point.
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    A woman in Holland was recently euthanised because of her incurable PTSD caused by severe childhood abuse.

    Clearly it was a release from a lifetime of suffering. No point judging people from our comparatively fortunate lives.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    I don't think anyone is saying that the "majority" of mentally ill people should be killing themselves. That's precisely the point.
    Yes but I believe that opening the door to mentally ill people euthanizing themselves would mean that every depressed person (and anyone else) who was overwhelmed by their difficulties would have the option of a guaranteed successful suicide - you can say safeguards will be put in place as to how long a person has to want euthanasia and proof that their condition is treatment resistant and destroying their quality of life to X level but how long before someone just under those criteria says it's not fair? and the bar gradually lowers
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    (Original post by stefano865)
    A woman in Holland was recently euthanised because of her incurable PTSD caused by severe childhood abuse.

    Clearly it was a release from a lifetime of suffering. No point judging people from our comparatively fortunate lives.
    What makes her PTSD incurable?

    Just because we can't imagine living through the horrors that humans inflict on each other doesn't mean we should sanction killing of the victims.

    I wouldn't say that my life is comparatively fortunate either. I experienced severe childhood abuse. I've actually only been abuse free for about 5 years. I have PTSD. I may always have it but I believe in recovery and healing. Not always. Some days the depression overwhelms and I feel of less worth than a grain of sand and that really no one would notice my disappearance anyway. The days when being better actually hurt more than the suicidal days...which is a horrible cruel irony. The days when I want to throw myself back into that world of abuse simply because not being hurt in some way is too strange and I feel a sick sort of homesickness for the abuse.

    I survived someone trying to kill me. Ironically because I wanted to die. I spent a long time believing that I shouldn't have survived and I tried to rectify that. I'm glad there was no assistance available. Yes there are *****y times and my mental health can't seem to stay stable for long but by surviving I found hope. I found love. I found out what it was like to live a life without abuse. I discovered a career I flipping love the bones off. Does that help me sleep through the nightmares and flashbacks? Nope. Does that help me feel safer? Not really no. But I experience positives as well as the fear
 
 
 
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Updated: December 12, 2016
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