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    Everyone's got an opinion on this issue and I think it would be interesting to hear everyone's views. Personally, I can't sympathise with anyone who opposes assisted suicide. If there's one thing I should have complete control over, then it's whether I live or die. I couldn't care less if people think that suicide is "sinful" or that living is a better option. If I don't want to live anymore, then that's my business and nobody else's. I also don't think that assisted suicide should be limited to the terminally ill. I've seen 3 of my grandparents crumble from Alzheimer's and it's a fate I wouldn't wish on anyone, not least myself. I would infinitely rather face an early death with dignity than have to suffer the extraordinarily degrading and undignified end that is Alzheimers (and similar disorders). Again, if people disagree with this then that's fine and they're very welcome not to use assisted suicide, but I don't understand how people feel that they should have the right to decide whether I live or die. It's none of their business and regardless of whether or not they think they've got good intentions, forbidding people to die when they want to is a form of tyranny.

    This was inspired by a recent debate at the Cambridge Union on the matter. In my opinion, the proposition was the obvious winner because the opposition really didn't bring forward any convincing arguments at all. The proposition "This House Would Legalise Assisted Dying" won in the vote, for those of you who don't want to watch the entire thing.

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    I think that if someone is terminally ill/in pain and wants to die, it should be their right. We don't let dogs suffer, so why do we let humans? Also it is very painful for families to watch a loved one suffer.

    Assisted suicide however is a sticky area. I don't think I'd personally want to help someone die, and if it was legalised it could potentially cause people to 'assist' someone who didn't want to die yet, for one reason or another.

    They should legalise it with a doctor being able to administer it after consent from the person who wants to die.
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    (Original post by *Dreaming*)
    I think that if someone is terminally ill/in pain and wants to die, it should be their right. We don't let dogs suffer, so why do we let humans? Also it is very painful for families to watch a loved one suffer.

    Assisted suicide however is a sticky area. I don't think I'd personally want to help someone die, and if it was legalised it could potentially cause people to 'assist' someone who didn't want to die yet, for one reason or another.

    They should legalise it with a doctor being able to administer it after consent from the person who wants to die.
    I think without question it should only be legalised for doctors (or other trained professionals) to carry out the suicide process. Obviously, we can't have a situation where literally anyone can carry out an assisted suicide because it would be incredibly easy to cover up murder using this method. But the fact that you wouldn't personally want to help someone die is irrelevant, because you're not the person who would be carrying it out.
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    Individuals should be able to opt completely out of society, and also of life. You are the most important person in your life, as I am in mine. We should all get the final say on what we do with ourselves.
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    If someone wants to die, let them. We have a duty to try to help them, but if they still wish to die despite that then that's their decision. I do not think anyone (most likely doctors should be compelled to help someone die though.

    I'd also make an exception for a convict. They should serve their sentence or have it quashed.
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    A huge amount of people who suffer from clinical depression probably seriously consider suicide, and if a pain free, assisted method of doing it was legally offered, many of these people would probably take up the opportunity. Is this honestly a scenario you want to see happen? Instead of treating depression, helping patients overcome mental illness through both medication and therapy, and generally aiming to restore people's well being (y'know, the entire point of the medical profession), we simply inject a lethal concoction of drugs into their veins and call it a day?
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    (Original post by bertstare)
    A huge amount of people who suffer from clinical depression probably seriously consider suicide, and if a pain free, assisted method of doing it was legally offered, many of these people would probably take up the opportunity. Is this honestly a scenario you want to see happen? Instead of treating depression, helping patients overcome mental illness through both medication and therapy, and generally aiming to restore people's well being (y'know, the entire point of the medical profession), we simply inject a lethal concoction of drugs into their veins and call it a day?
    So you're saying that just because there exists the possibility that some people might possibly misuse the system - which I stress would not happen if the system were designed properly, i.e. the procedure could only go ahead with compulsory consultations with professionals - that something that ought to be a basic human right should be banned for everyone?
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    It is, as a poster above me said, a very sticky issue. It should be someone's right to choose how and when to end their life - my father has a degenerative physical disability and is in a huge amount of pain all the time, and twenty years down the line the time may come where he chooses that route. As his daughter it's a very painful thing to think about, but it's very painful watching him in agony every day. I am hoping to become a doctor, so if it is legalized I may well end up with a part to play, as I think it will need to be independently agreed by several impartial doctors and other professionals if the patient chooses this route. Would I want to be the one to end someone's life? It depends. Someone who has been in terrible pain for a long time and clearly wants it over, and is at peace with that decision, maybe I could. I won't know unless I ever find myself in that situation.
    As for ever it will become legal, I doubt it; there are far too many potential pitfalls. Someone could be coerced for financial gain or otherwise, or they may feel like they are a burden and want to die because of that. A lot of the time, the people who express this wish before they become terminally ill or severely disabled are unable to give consent when in this situation, for example in cases of severe brain damage, coma, or locked-in syndrome.
    It's such a difficult [and interesting!] debate - but I don't think that we will ever truly settle it.
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    (Original post by bertstare)
    A huge amount of people who suffer from clinical depression probably seriously consider suicide, and if a pain free, assisted method of doing it was legally offered, many of these people would probably take up the opportunity. Is this honestly a scenario you want to see happen? Instead of treating depression, helping patients overcome mental illness through both medication and therapy, and generally aiming to restore people's well being (y'know, the entire point of the medical profession), we simply inject a lethal concoction of drugs into their veins and call it a day?
    You can have assisted suicide be legal as well as provide mental health care.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    So you're saying that just because there exists the possibility that some people might possibly misuse the system - which I stress would not happen if the system were designed properly, i.e. the procedure could only go ahead with compulsory consultations with professionals - that something that ought to be a basic human right should be banned for everyone?
    Misuse the system? That's an entirely different issue which I didn't even mention (family members pressuring loved-ones into assisted suicide to collect on inheritance, hospitals pressuring patients in order to free up resources etc). I'm talking purely about the fact that many people would, if given the option of a pain free, peaceful death carried out by another individual, take up the opportunity if they are suffering from mental illness or even if their life has just turned to **** as of recent.

    You're really suggesting that all these people should just be given assisted suicide, without attempting to first treat their underlying disorder causing their suicidal tendencies? If not, where exactly do you draw the line and deem it acceptable to assist in the suicide of a person?
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    (Original post by emilyjc17)
    This topic is one of the few topics that can really make me angry.
    It astonishes me that despite living in a supposedly enlightened era, there is still a law against assisted suicide in this country. A life is one's own to live, and one's own to take. These are my arms, my legs, this is my brain and my face and my feet and my hands - to do with what I wish. If I want to die - I should have the complete right to die. This is *MY* body. It IS a human right - and in my mind it's one of the biggest human rights there are. The government, professionals and the queen herself does not have *any* right to dictate whether someone should have the "right" to die. It is nobody else's choice to make - it is nobody else's body.
    And this is especially true with illness - as someone else has said - you would not let an animal suffer, so why then a human being?
    I watched my nan die of terminal bowel cancer - let me tell you, if that wasn't a case to support euthanasia I truly don't know what is. She WANTED to die. But instead she had her death dragged out for months, all her dignity was lost in the end and all she did was lie in bed numbed by morphine .. waiting to die. The way she looked in the end will probably haunt me for the rest of my life. I think it's sick that anyone could oppose the right to die. I truly, truly do.
    Exactly. It all comes down to the fact that some bigoted people think they know what's best for others better than they know themselves. You can say all you want about "but the system could be exploited" or "there are better alternatives": I don't care. It's my life, nobody else's. Nobody has the right to force me to live, just as nobody should have the right to force me to die.
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    (Original post by Hopple)
    You can have assisted suicide be legal as well as provide mental health care.
    And how do you decide which of the two is given precedence in a particular case?
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    I believe everybody has the right to die, but the one who is "assisting" the suicide will live on with the fact that they actively contributed to ending another person's life. Technically if they have the consent of the one who wants suicide then they should be able to live on guilt-free, but unfortunately that's not the case. There is a huge taboo on death- social norms are that it's generally considered "wrong" to end another person's life, for whatever reason.

    So until we can somehow change the way society thinks about death, euthanasia and assisted suicide will always have a huge number of people that are totally against it.
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    everybody has the right to do whatever they want with their bodies so long as they do not negate the liberty of other individuals. so yes, if an individual is wanting to die and is requesting aid for him to do so by a consenting party, then the transaction should not be lawfully or unlawfully negated. if there is guilt or sorrow, that is a part of existing in this world where you can't always get what you want; I would experience sadness if a girl refused to date me - do I have a right to tell her that her refusal should be prohibited for my personal benefit? of course not, that requires tyranny.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    I think without question it should only be legalised for doctors (or other trained professionals) to carry out the suicide process. Obviously, we can't have a situation where literally anyone can carry out an assisted suicide because it would be incredibly easy to cover up murder using this method. But the fact that you wouldn't personally want to help someone die is irrelevant, because you're not the person who would be carrying it out.
    Doctors could abuse the right like everyone else. What if someone has Alzheimer's and you know they wouldn't want to live like that, but they haven't explicitly stated it? I agree with you in principle, but there are a lot of problems with it. I think most people have sympathy with the idea in principle to be honest.
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    (Original post by qwertyking)
    Doctors could abuse the right like everyone else. What if someone has Alzheimer's and you know they wouldn't want to live like that, but they haven't explicitly stated it? I agree with you in principle, but there are a lot of problems with it. I think most people have sympathy with the idea in principle to be honest.
    what if the requirement is that the person requesting the euthanasia appears before a court along with the person whom is going to perform the act to end the life (e.g. the doctor, although it doesn't need to be limited to only doctors in my opinion, seeing as they shouldn't determine whether somebody actually has the right to do it or not)?
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    (Original post by bertstare)
    Misuse the system? That's an entirely different issue which I didn't even mention (family members pressuring loved-ones into assisted suicide to collect on inheritance, hospitals pressuring patients in order to free up resources etc). I'm talking purely about the fact that many people would, if given the option of a pain free, peaceful death carried out by another individual, take up the opportunity if they are suffering from mental illness or even if their life has just turned to **** as of recent.

    You're really suggesting that all these people should just be given assisted suicide, without attempting to first treat their underlying disorder causing their suicidal tendencies? If not, where exactly do you draw the line and deem it acceptable to assist in the suicide of a person?
    You could make it compulsory for a person to try x amount of psychiatric drugs, see a psychiatrist and engage in y amount of months therapy. If they still want to die after they should have that right. Some mental illnesses can be absolute hell to live with and if treatment fails (as it does in some cases) and that person knows they're going to have symptoms for the rest of their life they should be allowed to opt for euthanasia.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    You could make it compulsory for a person to try x amount of psychiatric drugs, see a psychiatrist and engage in y amount of months therapy. If they still want to die after they should have that right. Some mental illnesses can be absolute hell to live with and if treatment fails (as it does in some cases) and that person knows they're going to have symptoms for the rest of their life they should be allowed to opt for euthanasia.
    Then comes the dilemma of deciding what x and y are. Many people recover after several years of crippling mental illness, and previous suicidal tendencies/attempts. You're going to see an unprecedented backlash from family members of sufferers, refusing to accept that the arbitrary figures of x and y are acceptable and that there is still hope of recovery with further treatments and/or new developments in psychiatric medicine.

    Aside from mental illness, there's also the question of deciding what "terminally ill" constitutes, ie. do we stick with the current definition (end stage patients w/ prognosis <6 months) or extend it further. And where does quality of life come in to it? A good example in the OP was Alzheimer's, where length of life may be normal but quality of life is severely impaired. How exactly would someone decide what quality of life is "bad enough" to warrant assisted suicide?

    The thing is, on a purely hypothetical basis I agree with euthanasia in extreme circumstances where patients really have no hope. The problem however lies in actually creating fair, justifiable laws on this which not only make euthanasia accessible to those who need it, but on the other side prevent overuse (in regards to patients who have legitimate hope of recovery) or downright misuse of the facility (families/doctors putting pressure on the terminally ill). Yet to see anyone come up with legitimate ideas in this regard; only vague statements about human rights which offer no practical insight into the problem - which is why it seems to remain illegal almost everywhere.
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    (Original post by bertstare)
    Then comes the dilemma of deciding what x and y are. Many people recover after several years of crippling mental illness, and previous suicidal tendencies/attempts. You're going to see an unprecedented backlash from family members of sufferers, refusing to accept that the arbitrary figures of x and y are acceptable and that there is still hope of recovery with further treatments and/or new developments in psychiatric medicine.

    Aside from mental illness, there's also the question of deciding what "terminally ill" constitutes, ie. do we stick with the current definition (end stage patients w/ prognosis <6 months) or extend it further. And where does quality of life come in to it? A good example in the OP was Alzheimer's, where length of life may be normal but quality of life is severely impaired. How exactly would someone decide what quality of life is "bad enough" to warrant assisted suicide?

    The thing is, on a purely hypothetical basis I agree with euthanasia in extreme circumstances where patients really have no hope. The problem however lies in actually creating fair, justifiable laws on this which not only make euthanasia accessible to those who need it, but on the other side prevent overuse (in regards to patients who have legitimate hope of recovery) or downright misuse of the facility (families/doctors putting pressure on the terminally ill). Yet to see anyone come up with legitimate ideas in this regard; only vague statements about human rights which offer no practical insight into the problem - which is why it seems to remain illegal almost everywhere.
    Well yeah, it would need some ironing out that's for sure but I don't understand why people always have this idea that somehow mental illness is less bad than physical illness. 1 in 3 people with schizophrenia either get worse or stay the same with time and another 3rd have periods of recovery but still suffer severe episodes. Frankly any family member that cares more about their own feelings than their relatives awful mental illness and what they're living with is a sadist.

    There aren't even that many antipsychotics that could be taken. Once you've tried a few they'll switch you to clozapine which works on some treatment resistant patients but if that doesn't work there's nowhere to go from there. You mention developments in drugs but that argument could just as easily be made about physical illnesses.
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    (Original post by bertstare)
    A huge amount of people who suffer from clinical depression probably seriously consider suicide, and if a pain free, assisted method of doing it was legally offered, many of these people would probably take up the opportunity. Is this honestly a scenario you want to see happen? Instead of treating depression, helping patients overcome mental illness through both medication and therapy, and generally aiming to restore people's well being (y'know, the entire point of the medical profession), we simply inject a lethal concoction of drugs into their veins and call it a day?
    yeeaaahh that's pretty dumb.

    Assisted suicide is widely understood to mean for those with a debilitating disease which would lead them unable to live their life properly, not any person who wishes to die.

    The only reason to oppose such instances would be religious, which shouldn't affect the lives of those who may not believe.
 
 
 
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