Should the terminally ill have the legal right to end their life?

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TSR George
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Last edited by RK; 1 year ago
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ISawBum
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Of course they should. Many already have.

Do you mean, should the terminally ill and physically in-able have that right? Absolutely.

Personally, I believe that this is going to be one of those changes in the law that will be on par with the abolition of slavery, the decriminalization of homosexuality and the right to gay marriage.
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Angry cucumber
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Yes it should be their right.

Having been extremely ill and on a very quick downward spiral when I was in my late teens, had my treatment been unsuccessful I would have wanted the right to end my life rather than suffer unnecessarily. To rot in hospital unneeded is cruel should you want to die.

I can't think of one secular argument for why you should be unable to end your life if you're terminally ill.
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Atheism
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Don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to kill yourself, regardless of whether you're ill. I can get on board with a 'right to life,' but I'm not sure when the 'responsibility to life' was introduced.
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Handles
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The only problem I can see with this is how 'terminally ill' would be assessed. Ideally, it would be a matter for both the doctors and the patient to agree upon, instead of a company such as ATOS...

But yes, I believe the terminally ill should have the legal right to end their life.
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tengentoppa
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Yes. It's your life, and the state should not have a say.
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hslt
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(Original post by Dumachi)
I mean what's the point in living if all it is suffering, they should be allowed to end their own lives.
They are allowed to end their own lives - suicide was decriminalized in the suicide act, 69.
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Le Nombre
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By your own hand you are. Should others be allowed to do it for you? I think that throws up significant issues, and on balance they probably shouldn't, the risk of abuse is too high.
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tysonmaniac
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Surely somebody in enough pain to want to die is generally not in a fit state of mind to make that decision?

I think that in principle assisted suicide for the terminally (as in definitely going to suffer and soon die) makes sense, I just do not know when they would make that decision. It would have to be before suffering begins (otherwise the issue pointed out above comes into play), but then we are ending the life of somebody who has a none 0 probability of dying soon/painfully.

But yes, there are definitely scenarios where it should be allowed, but caution must be exercised.

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Green Marble
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(Original post by tysonmaniac)
Surely somebody in enough pain to want to die is generally not in a fit state of mind to make that decision?

I think that in principle assisted suicide for the terminally (as in definitely going to suffer and soon die) makes sense, I just do not know when they would make that decision. It would have to be before suffering begins (otherwise the issue pointed out above comes into play), but then we are ending the life of somebody who has a none 0 probability of dying soon/painfully.

But yes, there are definitely scenarios where it should be allowed, but caution must be exercised.

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i think ink someone paralysed from the neck down is more than capable of making the decision to end their horrendous suffering
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tysonmaniac
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(Original post by Green Marble)
i think ink someone paralysed from the neck down is more than capable of making the decision to end their horrendous suffering
Well, maybe, but pain inhibits rational decision making. I am not saying that the decision to die would be wrong, just that people suffering enough to end their lives are in general suffering enough to have their judgement impaired.

Note: If somebody was just paralysed from the neck down, and had no other suffering or long term condition, I would not support their right to die. If they were in physical pain that would be different.

I can think of few cases where a) you are suffering enough that death is a favourable option and b) you are suffering little enough that you are able to reason clearly, which makes it hard for there to be a time when a person chooses to die and that choice matters.
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Angry cucumber
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(Original post by tysonmaniac)
Well, maybe, but pain inhibits rational decision making. I am not saying that the decision to die would be wrong, just that people suffering enough to end their lives are in general suffering enough to have their judgement impaired.

Note: If somebody was just paralysed from the neck down, and had no other suffering or long term condition, I would not support their right to die. If they were in physical pain that would be different.

I can think of few cases where a) you are suffering enough that death is a favourable option and b) you are suffering little enough that you are able to reason clearly, which makes it hard for there to be a time when a person chooses to die and that choice matters.
Why would you not support the right for someone paralysed from the neck downwards? Personally I'd see that as tremendous suffering.
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Ripper-Roo
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Yes, if they consent to ending their life. It's so cruel to make someone live when they don't want to. But my issue would be if it was forced upon them by family members.
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bertstare
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(Original post by Handles)
The only problem I can see with this is how 'terminally ill' would be assessed. Ideally, it would be a matter for both the doctors and the patient to agree upon, instead of a company such as ATOS....
This is what I also find difficult regarding this argument

Say someone with Alzheimers or Huntingtons disease for eg., who may have a life expectancy in the decades, but whose quality of life is absolutely dire - should this person be legally entitled to euthanasia?
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User1214833
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(Original post by tysonmaniac)
Well, maybe, but pain inhibits rational decision making. I am not saying that the decision to die would be wrong, just that people suffering enough to end their lives are in general suffering enough to have their judgement impaired.

Note: If somebody was just paralysed from the neck down, and had no other suffering or long term condition, I would not support their right to die. If they were in physical pain that would be different.

I can think of few cases where a) you are suffering enough that death is a favourable option and b) you are suffering little enough that you are able to reason clearly, which makes it hard for there to be a time when a person chooses to die and that choice matters.
Their quality of life would be poor, so why would you force them to live like that if they wanted to die? You would be happy to live like that? I certainly wouldn't.

If someone was suffering a tremendous amount of pain every day, then life wouldn't be worth living.
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Moosferatu
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(Original post by Handles)
The only problem I can see with this is how 'terminally ill' would be assessed. Ideally, it would be a matter for both the doctors and the patient to agree upon, instead of a company such as ATOS...

But yes, I believe the terminally ill should have the legal right to end their life.
It's coming. One day man. Wonder what kind of trumped up arguments whoever is in power will wheel out to kill off the disabled.

Hmm...

Illegaltobepoor, where are you?
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Green Marble
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(Original post by tysonmaniac)
Well, maybe, but pain inhibits rational decision making. I am not saying that the decision to die would be wrong, just that people suffering enough to end their lives are in general suffering enough to have their judgement impaired.

Note: If somebody was just paralysed from the neck down, and had no other suffering or long term condition, I would not support their right to die. If they were in physical pain that would be different.

I can think of few cases where a) you are suffering enough that death is a favourable option and b) you are suffering little enough that you are able to reason clearly, which makes it hard for there to be a time when a person chooses to die and that choice matters.

Who ho the hell are you to decide that ?????
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lucaf
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Absolutely, I find it ludicrous that we give our dogs greater dignity in death than each other.
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hslt
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(Original post by tysonmaniac)
Well, maybe, but pain inhibits rational decision making. I am not saying that the decision to die would be wrong, just that people suffering enough to end their lives are in general suffering enough to have their judgement impaired.

Note: If somebody was just paralysed from the neck down, and had no other suffering or long term condition, I would not support their right to die. If they were in physical pain that would be different.

I can think of few cases where a) you are suffering enough that death is a favourable option and b) you are suffering little enough that you are able to reason clearly, which makes it hard for there to be a time when a person chooses to die and that choice matters.
I think that this is a short sighted view. Pain is not necessarily a constant thing, nor is it necessarily the most troubling symptoms in palliative care - vomiting, complete loss of appetite, shortness of breath, immobility, loss of independence, recurrent infections, etcetc.

And people in chronic severe pain are not necessarily irrational, by any means, nor does pain limit competence to make decisions. However, much it might cloud their ability to make a decision, a sustained decision taken over the period of months to years, after trying everything else to alleviate their symptoms is bound to be a well thought out decision.

Enlighten us all as to your select set of reasons?
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limetang
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Here's my issue. I think that bodily autonomy entails the right to do to you body whatever you want, and so yes I do think the terminally ill should have the legal right to end their life if they wish. But that's not actually the question we're asking here, a person can throw themselves off a bridge, and ultimately the legality of that action fizzles into meaninglessness, we're asking should doctors have the right to assist in the suicide of a terminally ill patient. I still think the answer should be yes, but it becomes a yes with a great deal more conditions attached. Two things need to be ensured in my opinion. Firstly that all doctors have the right to refuse to assist in euthanasia, and secondly very strict guidelines need to be in place with respect to what ACTUALLY constitutes consent to the procedure. It is NOT something we should rush into.

You have incredible issues stemming from this. Let's say you have a patient with locked-in syndrome. Brain is active, but he has absolutely no means of communicating his wishes with you. It may be the case that he really wants his life to be ended, and it may be the case that your view as a medical professional is that this is the case, but you have no way of being sure of his wishes, and ultimately in deciding to end this patients life you COULD be acting completely against their wishes.
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