Would you support the legalisation of euthanasia? Watch

Poll: Would you legalise euthanasia?
Yes- I am in support of legalising euthanasia (88)
76.52%
No- I would not support legalising euthanasia (14)
12.17%
I am undecided (13)
11.3%
Queen Cersei
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#1
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#1
I recently filmed an interview with Norman Lamb for TSR and one of the topics discussed was the Right to Die bill presented by Lord Falconer.

Personally, I am behind the bill being passed on the basis that it will ease suffering and that the decision to live is a choice that should be determined by individuals rather than the state.

A recent YouGov poll (pdf) found 73% of adults in England and Wales support the proposals in the Right to Die Bill.

What's your opinion on euthanasia? Are you for/against?
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DiddyDec
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#2
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#2
We offer the courtesy to animals, so why not humans? Should we have to suffer for being human?
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Aph
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#3
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I wouldn't want people to be forced to do it, but at the same time if you were able bodied you could just take your own life, we put animals down all the time to reduce suffering. So long and they have a year from start to end unless it's a chronic rapidly deteriorating thing then I see no reason why not. That said. I know loads of people who likely wouldn't be around today if this existed and they are really lovely people who have made my life richer so I wouldn't want them dead.
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Puddles the Monkey
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#4
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#4
I support the idea. I haven't read the bill though. My only fear with this kind of thing is that vulnerable people might be bullied/coerced/pressured into taking an action they wouldn't otherwise have done. Which does sound quite extreme, but I feel it's possible; people can be unpleasant, especially if there's money or something like that involved.
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Everglow
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#5
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I would abosolutely support it. That question to Norman Lamb about the Right to Die bill was my own in fact.

I believe that with the right safeguarding procedures in place, there is no reason to deny people the right to die. It's like telling a woman she has to have an abortion; it's a ridiculous infringement on the individual's right to autonomy.

I know palliative care is often cited as the best reason not to allow people the right to die on their own terms, but the principal remains the same as above. The individual's autonomy is being restricted in a way it shouldn't be. Yes palliative care might have come a long way and might be of excellent quality, but if someone doesn't want it, why should they be forced into having it? Far too often it only prolongs painful and debilitating illnesses with no chance of recovery.

Indeed there are concerns to be considered, like the issue of the elderly feeling they are a burden to their family or the issue of people convincing the elderly to die early for their money or assets. But this is why I maintain that with the right, rigorous safeguarding, these issues will be minimal at best. It wouldn't be a quick tick in the box from a doctor to authorise the euthanasia - it would be quite a lengthy process to ensure that the decision was the right one, and wasn't impulsively made when things were particularly bad. Further to that, at least two doctors would have to authorise an individual's right to die, thus offering greater accountabilty and protection for the vulnerable. Essentially, anyone who was authorised to die under such a bill as Lord Falconer's would have had to have gone through multiple stages over a relatively long period to ensure their decision was sound, legitimate and not the result of any kind of coercion or exploitation.
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Puddles the Monkey
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Reluire)
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Arbolus
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#7
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#7
Nobody should have the right to choose whether an thinking person, innocent of any crime, lives or dies except for the person themselves. It's certainly no business of the state's.

I accept that it's possible that some weak-willed people might be pressured into taking a decision that they wouldn't normally, but nevertheless it's still their decision to take. To deny them the opportunity of taking it altogether is not only a gross injustice, it's an insult to their dignity as a human being.
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randdom
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#8
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#8
I strongly feel that legalising euthanasia is not a good idea. I think that we only need to look at the countries that have gone before us to see the potential dangers of legalising it. There have been cases in recent years of people who have mental health issues, non-terminal illness and children all undergoing euthanasia in European countries. While these things tend to start being strictly enforced as only adults with full capacity and significant life limiting conditions precedent in many European countries suggests that it doesn't stay that way. I think to protect the vulnerable (the elderly, those with mental health issues etc) I could not support a change in the law.

This is an issue which is very close to my heart. I am in no way insensitive to the suffering that people are going through. My mother passed away six and a half years ago having had an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis (some of the legal test cases have involved the exact condition that she had). In the end she was unable to move her arms or her legs and if she had survived her final hospital admission she would have required feeding with a tube. I know that some of the things that people are facing are horrendous and I know that there were many times where my Mother would say to me that she wished she was dead. I also have to face that in the future I have a higher risk than the general population of developing this condition (though it is still a reasonably low risk). Through my work I have spent time with many people who are in the last weeks, days, hours and minutes of their lives and I have tried my best to support them and their families. So I realised that people are suffering and by no means am I trying to minimise that in any way.

However much of the suffering that they experience can be minimised with good palliative care and good social support (with regards to appropriate care packages as well as emotional support for the patient and their families) and in extreme cases there is always the option of terminal sedation. There are also issues which it would be hard to legally protect against like elderly or vulnerable people being pushed into making this decision (either intentionally or unintentionally) by family members and feeling like they are a burden (to give just one example). Things may start of rigourously with two long appointments with two doctors however one only has to look at the way that abortion is done now to see that things are shortened and corners are cut (many women don't even see two doctors any more the first doctors report is just approved by a second who doesn't meet the lady), this wouldn't have been the case initially but over the course of time things become more lax.

I think there are very few good secular arguments against a hypothetical system where an adult with a terminal condition with a short prognosis, who has full capacity and has been fully counselled chooses euthanasia. However in my mind it is a big step to go from that to actually legalising it. As from looking at the precedent set by other countries who have started down this path a lot of them have now gone further than I would personally feel comfortable with and I see no reason why we wouldn't also end up with the same situation a few years into the future.
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LaughingKitsune
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#9
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#9
I fully support this. I find it funny that it's 'humane' to put an animal to sleep when it's in pain, but it's 'inhumane' to let a person that wishes to die from a degrading, life-threatening or debilitating illness, pass on.

Of course, it would have to be regulated to make sure that it isn't misused. That's the only issue I have with legalising euthanasia.
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Birkenhead
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#10
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(Original post by Reluire)
I know palliative care is often cited as the best reason not to allow people the right to die on their own terms
This isn't the principal concern with euthanasia. The principal concern is that many people, whether out of their own sense of guilt or coercion by others, will sign up to die when their heart isn't really in it. Another concern is that the boundaries will be stretched (as they inevitably will) to the point that it becomes little more than a suicide booth for people who may be overwhelmed by treatable mental health problems, financial worries and other fixable and temporary problems.
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9910224
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#11
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#11
I think in certain circumstances, euthanising someone who requests it is the compassionate thing to do. However, I'd definitely say no to legalisation until everyone is absolutely convinced that there is a solid safeguarding system that can prevent undue deaths. There are also questions as to who should be allowed to administer euthanasia/drugs for assisted suicide and whether legalisation would undermine recent efforts to improve palliative and elderly care.
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Everglow
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#12
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(Original post by Birkenhead)
This isn't the principal concern with euthanasia. The principal concern is that many people, whether out of their own sense of guilt or coercion by others, will sign up to die when their heart isn't really in it. Another concern is that the boundaries will be stretched (as they inevitably will) to the point that it becomes little more than a suicide booth for people who may be overwhelmed by treatable mental health problems, financial worries and other fixable and temporary problems.
I think I addressed a solution to all those problems in my post with reference to rigorous safeguarding and multiple-stage applications that are spread over a relatively long time to ensure that a patient is of sound mind and to ensure that they are an appropriate candidate for euthanasia.
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Arkasia
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#13
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#13
I don't support it, for reasons Randdom has summarized perfectly.
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Birkenhead
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#14
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(Original post by Reluire)
I think I addressed a solution to all those problems in my post with reference to rigorous safeguarding and multiple-stage applications that are spread over a relatively long time to ensure that a patient is of sound mind and to ensure that they are an appropriate candidate for euthanasia.
...and I think I addresses the problems with this 'solution' in mine, which is quite simply that these safeguards will become more relaxed over time until they are almost non-existent. If you want evidence of this being likely, look at how euthanasia has evolved in other countries time and time again. Unless you are supporting a codified constitution that will include these safeguards and will require an enormous parliamentary majority to overturn, it is highly likely they will become much more relaxed over the years to the point that it will not be used solely by those with crippling illnesses but also by those with treatable and temporary problems and by those who are coerced by their own consciences or by others into kicking the bucket.
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Vickyc16xx
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#15
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#15
I feel like it should be allowed but before hand the person that wants to be euthanised should go to convulsing so they know it's exactly what they want and not just an impulse decision. I think that the person should also be above a certain age.


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barnetlad
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#16
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I am opposed.

I think it would be the slippery slope to some kind of Orwellian nightmare. It might start with people with terminal illnesses who had perhaps a few weeks to live, but then would grow to include others who would live for months if not years, I expect. The experience of the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland seems to bear this out.

I think there would be people who would be put under pressure to make the decision from money grabbing relatives, or just uncaring ones, or even because of their poor living conditions such as in a retirement/nursing home.
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Everglow
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#17
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(Original post by Birkenhead)
...and I think I addresses the problems with this 'solution' in mine, which is quite simply that these safeguards will become more relaxed over time until they are almost non-existent. If you want evidence of this being likely, look at how euthanasia has evolved in other countries time and time again. Unless you are supporting a codified constitution that will include these safeguards and will require an enormous parliamentary majority to overturn, it is highly likely they will become much more relaxed over the years to the point that it will not be used solely by those with crippling illnesses but also by those with treatable and temporary problems and by those who are coerced by their own consciences or by others into kicking the bucket.
It's fallacious to say that they will become more relaxed over time. Even if other countries have fallen into pitfalls of loosening the restrictions, that isn't to say the UK has to follow in the same way. Can doesn't mean will.

I do support having a codified constitution, but that's an entirely different issue. I recognise the issues that you're mentioning, but I still maintain they're fallacious in that they appeal to the slippery slope argument. If we want something to be rigorously maintained, it's our duty to make sure that it is. Reforms and amendments to such a bill would have to go through Parliament anyway, so the question becomes more centred on whether we can trust our MPs not to let the bill escalate into something dangerous. Personally, having spoken to my MP about this issue, I'm confident that this slippery slope argument is weak and if such legislation was to come into law, it would be very difficult to modify for the worse.

I don't like the comparison tha some make to abortion because again it's an entirely different ethical issue with entirely different implications. Furthermore, just because something is true, or seemingly true, with one issue, that doesn't mean it will correlate in the same way with another issue.
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Viva Emptiness
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#18
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(Original post by Vickyc16xx)
I feel like it should be allowed but before hand the person that wants to be euthanised should go to convulsing so they know it's exactly what they want and not just an impulse decision.



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What.
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Arbolus
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#19
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(Original post by LaughingKitsune)
I fully support this. I find it funny that it's 'humane' to put an animal to sleep when it's in pain, but it's 'inhumane' to let a person that wishes to die from a degrading, life-threatening or debilitating illness, pass on.

Of course, it would have to be regulated to make sure that it isn't misused. That's the only issue I have with legalising euthanasia.
Exactly. I remember not long ago there was the case of the man who preferred to care for his terminally ill beloved pet pig rather than put it down, and was fined for animal cruelty. If the law is going to make judgements about whether something is humane or inhumane, then it should apply to all sentient beings equally.
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User1443542
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#20
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#20
I personally support it, with how people have the right to allow them selves to die by turning off life support, but can't choose to die because they suffer a poor quality of life? I don't see how that's fair. If I was terminally ill, I would rather kill myself, and make it quick, than go through a long painful and slow death
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