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

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    The argument for assisted suicide is as broad as the general subject. Many people are lucky and are able to live their entire lives without even the slightest impact of mental illness in their lives. They never meet anyone suffering from this disorder, which leads to a gap of understanding unto the lack of physical control that people suffering from this disorder have. There are many disorders that may cause a lack of desire to live among many people. For some people, they grew up with this mental disorder, their parents, unable to comprehend the significance of mental illness, send their child to doctors, schools, etc, in an attempt to get their child to act ‘normal’. Many of these children end up growing up and begin to unleash their lifelong frustrations onto the world. When I was in middle school, I knew this one kid that everyone dismissed as a complete idiot and therefor, made fun of her, doing little if anything to try and become her friend. One day, my friends and I were sitting on a bench outside during recess, when we saw another student run past us and into the school. I looked down and saw a trail of blood trailing behind this person. It was only later that we discovered that the girl with mental illness had finally had enough, she apparently sucker punch the person who was bullying her. I guess that she had finally had enough and since most of the kids did not come to help, she decided to take matters into her own hands, literally. The principal of the school ended up giving the girl a weeks detention for injuring another student. To the surprise of the principal, the girl claimed that she did not mean to hurt the other student, however, for a brief second she had temporally lost control. Many people suffering mental illness have practically no control over their actions and often, despite their own wishes, in stressful situations they can unwillingly snap and cause damage to other around them. Though this incident is an example of people who were born with mental illness, other people might acquire some type of mental illness later in their life. In an article titled “My right to die”, Kevin Drum states “Now he was. Finally, on the evening of January 29, he stumbled and fell during the night, and decided his time had come: He was afraid if he delayed any longer he'd become physically unable to remain in control of his own destiny.”(Drum). In this case, the patient suffering from this disease felt that they would be unable to be in control of their life should they have to live with this disease any longer, which, as a response, the patient asked if the doctors could end his life. At the end of the day, the old sang ‘the punishment fits the crime’ is the best way to judge whether a person should die because of a crime that they commit or a crime that they might commit. If someone goes out and kills a person out of their own free will and not under any mental illness, than that person should be put to death. However, if a person commits that same crime and has a mental disorder, than that person might have been mentally in control when the incident happened. As a result, the person with a mental illness should be placed into a mental hospital for life. Though I feel that every person has the right to live or to die, others, such as Ryan T. Anderson argue “ Physicians are always to care, never to kill” (Anderson). By this, anderson implies that though a person does have the right to determine whether they live or die, physicians do not have the right to put their patients to death. Despite the opinion of Anderson, according to Andrew Bair of ‘Life News’, “The D.C. Council has voted to advance legislation to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide in the nation’s capital.”(Bair). Despite many peoples opinion, I feel that this is a positive step toward giving people the right to control their lives. As long as the person is of sound mind, that person has the right to determine whether they wish to take their life. What do you all think?

    Drum, Kevin. “My Right to Die” Mother Jones, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...nia-kevin-drum

    Anderson, Kevin. “ DC City Council Votes to Allow Physician-Assisted Suicide. That’ll Change Us All, for the Worse” The Daily Signal, http://dailysignal.com/2016/11/01/dc...for-the-worse/ Bair,

    Andrew. “ Washington DC Passes Dangerous Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide” Life News, http://www.lifenews.com/2016/11/01/w...isted-suicide/
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    I believe myself to be a proprietor of the right to die. It is a fundamental freedom to provide those who are suffering unimaginable pain an alternative. I however disagree with the mentality of allowing a perfectly physically healthy person to take their life. The practice of active, voluntary euthanasia should be reserved to those who are terminally ill and no longer wish to suffer incurable physical pain. I have no intention to undermine emotional pain, but emotional depression is a curable disease. Although considered enlightened in the countries in which it is legal, voluntary euthanasia is a fundamentally unethical practice. It is not that human life is sacred above all else; it is that those who practice voluntary euthanasia are mentally ill. Even with approval from physicians, the gravity of the decision to end their life is often not understood by the individual. While I stand with Durkheim on his claim of life as a "moral obligation", I know there to be circumstances where death is more peaceful than life. When someone experiences a depression so great and indefinite, it is hard to believe that the cloud will clear. It feels as if there is no end, as if depression is all you will ever have. It is those who seek to end their lives rather than hope who practice euthanasia. Is it not logical to mandate a treatment method to those who consider euthanasia? Furthermore, one must consider the impact they have on those close to them. There is an interdependence among the members of our society, and to end one’s life is an inconsiderate, selfish act. Although the person acting to kill themselves believes it to an altruistic action, this motivation does not change the fact this person is ill. Perhaps altruistic euthanasia is enlightened, but it is not a moral decision if it originates in the mind of a person plagued with depression. Peter Singer claims "Voluntary euthanasia occurs only when... a person is suffering from an incurable and painful or extremely distressing condition." An ethics professor and author, Singer supports exactly what I have claimed: euthanasia should be reserved for those suffering from the incurable. If legalized, euthanasia could be easily abused. It would be turned to even in cases where the mental illness could easily be cured. In this case, it must be highly regulated. Alternative treatments should be mandated in those who are physically healthy, and the process should not consist of simply finding a handful of doctors who agree with your decision of suicide. In short, many people should be grantedaa right to die, but not those who are healthy and able to be cured. A human can do tremendous things, and it is theft from society to take your own life.
    -Ian Chamberlain
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    Guys...c'mon, paragraphs!!
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Totally and completely against it, the clue's in the name. Mental illness. People with depression aren't thinking rationally or straight and just want the pain to end. We should not be taking their lives for them, they need treatment and love, not death. We wouldn't kill a cancer patient who wanted an end so why do it for someone with a mental illness?

    Who says we wouldn’t kill a cancer patient who wanted an end? According to this video assisted suicide is already legal in Belgium. It’s also legal in Switzerland, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, and other countries. When someone is terminally ill and already dying I think the most humane thing to do is give them the opportunity to die of their own free will. Being terminally ill and having a mental illness is two different things. I agree that it shouldn’t be allowed for mentally ill patients, especially if there are ways of managing the condition. There have been bills, such as the Assisted Dying Bill in the UK that have been introduced in the past couple years. This specific bill would allow, “a person over the age of 18 who is terminally ill and has six months or less to live to seek and lawfully be provided with assistance to end their own life” (Downie,106). I don’t see anything wrong with allowing someone who is informed, free from coercion, and has the capacity to make this decision to die when they feel is right.
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    live and let live or die
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    (Original post by GrahamCH)
    Who says we wouldn’t kill a cancer patient who wanted an end? According to this video assisted suicide is already legal in Belgium. It’s also legal in Switzerland, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, and other countries. When someone is terminally ill and already dying I think the most humane thing to do is give them the opportunity to die of their own free will. Being terminally ill and having a mental illness is two different things. I agree that it shouldn’t be allowed for mentally ill patients, especially if there are ways of managing the condition. There have been bills, such as the Assisted Dying Bill in the UK that have been introduced in the past couple years. This specific bill would allow, “a person over the age of 18 who is terminally ill and has six months or less to live to seek and lawfully be provided with assistance to end their own life” (Downie,106). I don’t see anything wrong with allowing someone who is informed, free from coercion, and has the capacity to make this decision to die when they feel is right.
    Okay but the question was for mental illness, not physical illness. I don't want to talk about this right now because something has recently happened in my personal life too much like what you're talking about here
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    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.


    I couldn't agree more! People are already killing themselves with or without aid from a doctor. If assisted suicide was legal everywhere I believe it would save more lives. Like it said in the video, knowing that there is an out if it all becomes too much can actually make life more bearable. Suicide can cause undue burden on a family and leave them questioning. If done through assisted suicide the family would be prepared and the individual would have time to rethink their decision. Doctors could evaluate the person's mental state and potentially help; considering more than half of the people with mental illnesses go either undiagnosed or untreated. I don’t completely agree with assisted suicide when it pertains to the mentally ill, but if legalizing it could make life easier/better for all parties involved I would support it
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    I dont see how it would help. An out has always existed...a legalised version of this (even though suicide is not illegal) would change nothing. Misdiagnosing wouldnt change because its not an exact science in the first place. Many criteria overlap on many conditions. And as for getting help faster, you can be actively suicidal and still turned away from services because they are so overstretched they cant accept you until you make a "serious" attempt. So in terms of prevention of suicide it really adds nothing at all. Real prevention is pumping money into the support you to live services. When you can ring a crisis line because you feel suicidal and they dont have to prioritise your crisis in terms of whether you could hurt others, are children in danger? Basically you being suicidal is enough to warrant crisis visit and the teams are large enough to handle demand.

    There is enough therapy to go around. Not just cookie cutter therapy but real holistic approaches where you have a care plan, a care co-ordinator and everybody knows your preferences, your medication history, your trauma history. Youre not labelled as "treatment-resistant" because you need more than 12 weeks to trust and open up. Options arent closed to you because you dont want them right then. You are supported back into a social and working life so you feel like an equal human to the non-mentally ill population. Youre not made to feel like a burden or an attention seeker or like youre taking up space for other patients.

    Suicide naturally becomes less of an option when people feel heard and valued and in control of their lives
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    (Original post by Fenice)
    I don't think euthanasia should ever be legal because in Europe and certain states in the US the safeguards that proponents usually claim will guard against overuse and even abuse have consistently let slip. There have been stories in the US of people suffering from non-terminal forms of cancer being offered funding for euthanasia but not for treatment. My view is that the medical profession has a duty to do all it can to keep someone alive and to offer palliative care when needed but assisted dying should never be part of its mission.

    I think we have struck a healthy balance in the UK by setting the precedent of setting lenient / suspended sentences for people who effectively euthanise their suffering family members.
    Though I do agree with you in the sense that medical profession does " have the duty to keep someone alive", I disagree with you in the sense that euthanasia should be legal in general. I my opinion, people have to right to decide whether they live or die. If someone is in so much pain that they can not live their day to day life without even the possibility of recovering, then they should have the right the end there suffering. Does anyone really have the right to say whether you live or die? I feel that man may influence a person and their decision on killing themselves, however, no man has the right to say definitively who may live or die.
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    (Original post by GrahamCH)
    I couldn't agree more! People are already killing themselves with or without aid from a doctor. If assisted suicide was legal everywhere I believe it would save more lives. Like it said in the video, knowing that there is an out if it all becomes too much can actually make life more bearable. Suicide can cause undue burden on a family and leave them questioning. If done through assisted suicide the family would be prepared and the individual would have time to rethink their decision. Doctors could evaluate the person's mental state and potentially help; considering more than half of the people with mental illnesses go either undiagnosed or untreated. I don’t completely agree with assisted suicide when it pertains to the mentally ill, but if legalizing it could make life easier/better for all parties involved I would support it
    For the most part, I agree with you when you say that if assisted suicide were legal everywhere, there would be more lives saved. Though I do agree with you in the sense that legal suicide would be helpful, there still should be some regulation unto what conditions merit assisted suicide. For example, say that I were a professional football player and all I knew was football. One day I get hurt and am told that I may never play football again. I go into 'temporary' depression and then consider assisted suicide. Since there is no one to tell me that my condition is temporary and that I do not qualify for assisted suicide, I end my life. I simply propose adding some regulation to sort out the people who are currently not in the right frame of mind from the people who are really out of options.

    -Einstein is cool
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    #4

    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Okay but the question was for mental illness, not physical illness. I don't want to talk about this right now because something has recently happened in my personal life too much like what you're talking about here
    :console: Just wanted to give you a virtual hug (/headrub I guess) and say I hope you're doing okay.
    • #6
    #6

    Reminds me of a Law and Order episode I just watched. This woman who was deaf and had an illness wanted to assist people in commiting suicide. She was in pain and had wanted to die when she discovered helping other people who were suicidal. She claimed to try to stop them. But she also told people how to do it. After one of the peoples attempts she was asked to help again. She gave the woman something (I will not state what but it was medical related) which killed the person.
    The doctor went on trial for it. Once she heard the verdict she decided to stop her treatment and starve herself to death. Then she was offered a kidney for her transplant.
    Anyways this is fiction, but there has probably been situations like this. I didn't agree with this person but I sort of understand. I feel that in some cases like if you have a terminal illness than its okay but helping someone who has a mental illness like depression is not okay.
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    The woman in the video seemed to have an okay life to me. Obviously there are things going on under the surface, but she has a family that love her, a home, friends and she can live and function independently - in short, she has a lot going for her. I don't mean to trivialise her suffering, I'm sure it is terrible, but there is treatment available. I'm not convinced her case is hopeless. If people like her can be approved for euthanasia then I'd rather it remained illegal.
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    live and let live or die
    I agree to an extent, but don't you think it should be regulated for those possessing a metal illness? I would argue that those who suffer from depression or a similar disorder are not fit to make this decision. I think those of us who are more mentally healthy should extend compassion to those who are considering euthanasia on the grounds of a mental illness. Also, I appreciate the Paul McCartney reference

    Respectfully, Ian
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    The woman in the video seemed to have an okay life to me. Obviously there are things going on under the surface, but she has a family that love her, a home, friends and she can live and function independently - in short, she has a lot going for her. I don't mean to trivialise her suffering, I'm sure it is terrible, but there is treatment available. I'm not convinced her case is hopeless. If people like her can be approved for euthanasia then I'd rather it remained illegal.
    While you stake a good argument, I disagree with your position on legality. I believe that a mentally healthy individual who is fully aware of the impact of their death should be granted permission of assisted suicide. A person who has lived a full life, outlived their friends and potentially their family, and is comfortable with the idea of death should have the right to do so. If (and this is where I agree) one considering euthanasia shows signs of emotional distress or illness, treatment should be practiced in lieu of ending life.

    -Ian
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    She's physically capable right? Capable enough to not need the approval of some doctor's committee before actually doing something???

    Don't get me wrong - she should not do anything and the fact that she hasn't tells us that there's actually more to her story than she says - its rarely as simple as 'I want to die lets do it'. But she could if she really wanted. Just saying.
    These are my thoughts.

    I study psychology and I completely support someone's right to die. If someone wants to kill themselves and they feel there's no other way around it then it's their prerogative. Mental health disorders can be treated, but sometimes they cannot. What I don't understand why she's seeking a declaration to do it, when she already has the opportunity, if she has always felt this way?
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    In my country euthanasia has in fact been legalized and I find it horrible. You don't know what the future holds, so why opt out already? My biggest problem is that errors can be made in the selection process. On top of that, when we're used to this in a few decades, what's next? Maybe euthanizing people with a chromosome missing? It's dangerous and legalizing this is a way to alter the morale of a people
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    Hi there. I'm closing this thread because it's old and bumping old threads tends to cause confusion. If anybody wants to discuss a similar issue though please feel free to make a new thread.
 
 
 
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