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The continuing euthanasia debate Watch

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    This week saw another high-profile euthanasia case, with Sir Edward Downes and his wife travelling to Switzerland for an assisted suicide. Given that there is no end in sight for the practice of people travelling to Switzerland for assisted suicide, should we accept that the process is happening and is desired by people, and so make it available in Britain? Or should we continue to permit those with the money to have the service in Switzerland while preventing everyone else - including those unable to make the trip - from having it here? Or is there another solution?

    It continues to happen, and the same debate happens every time there is a high-profile case, but can we expect it debated seriously in parliament any time soon? Is this halfway situation that we currently have really preferable?
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    I think the current system discriminates against those without the money to fly to Switzerland to end their lives there. I take it as a given that people own themselves and thus should be able to choose to end their own lives if so desired.

    I am however concerned about the impact of euthanasia on the provision of palliative care for those not wishing to undergo the procedure. I can see euthanasia predominating due to cost issues, not to mention the fact that it may reduce the incentives to research cures for some illnesses.
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    Euthanasia is a victimless event (i refuse to call it a crime), and as such, the notion of 'protective legislation' or prosecution in such cases is ridiculous.

    As for Gordon Brown, I can't see why he's against it, when it will most probably be something he'll be interested in when the penny drops and he realises just how ***** he is.
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    Physician-assisted suicide should really be ratified here. If patients are of sound mind and are autonomous in their decision then I don't see why not. Calling the ending of life in such a manner inhumane is myopic; surely it is also inhumane to not consider the (probably excrutiating) condition said patient is in to make them want to end their life in the first instance.

    That said, it was his wife, not Sir Edward Downes himself, that was of this disposition - though to be fair I think his eyesight had severely deteriorated. The line perhaps becomes more blurred here, though I still respect freedom of choice.

    I also agree that should such a parliamentary decision be taken, palliative care should not be left in it's budding state
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    We have a somewhat unjustifiable position at the moment. We allow, with no repercussions, for people to travel to Switzerland and end their lives, yet do not allow the same to happen in our own country.
    Imo, such as system is not really acceptable as we both condone and condemn the system and give support for neither view.
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    Yes, we should just allow it here. It obviously works in other countries, so I don't see what the problems is in introducing that here.
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    There is absolutely no moral, political or social problem with euthanasia. The main issue which arises, however, is the legal possibility to kill. People might get bullied or hypnotized into it, etc. These are just case scenarios which might put people off euthanasia, but, well, you have to deal with the opposition. I stress, though, that it is very unlikely for it to be banned (kept banned) because there are a number of people who believe that life is not wonderful in its own right sometimes and suffering is better when it is stopped.

    What concerns me is the possibility of people with (treatable) clinical depression to get the euthanasia without realizing that maybe in reality they would like to live. But surely the professionals who would work in those clinics are properly qualified to make the distinction between these people and their reasons for dying.
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    (Original post by Flying Cookie)
    There is absolutely no moral, political or social problem with euthanasia. The main issue which arises, however, is the legal possibility to kill. People might get bullied or hypnotized into it, etc. These are just case scenarios which might put people off euthanasia, but, well, you have to deal with the opposition. I stress, though, that it is very unlikely for it to be banned (kept banned) because there are a number of people who believe that life is not wonderful in its own right sometimes and suffering is better when it is stopped.

    What concerns me is the possibility of people with (treatable) clinical depression to get the euthanasia without realizing that maybe in reality they would like to live. But surely the professionals who would work in those clinics are properly qualified to make the distinction between these people and their reasons for dying.
    There is also the issue of people feeling pressurised to end their lives due to feeling like they are a burden. I think this may particularly apply to the elderly who feel they are an inconvenience to their families/carer/country.

    We would have to be careful to bring in proper support; something which is undoubtedly easier said than done, if we want a truly successful implementation.
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    Surely having at least two doctors provide permission would solve the afore mentioned problems of elderly people being pressurised by family members or feeling as if they are an encumbrance to their family and turning to euthanasia.
    As long as the appropiate safe-guards are put in place, euthanasia should be workable within the UK. The current situation with euthanasia is too ambiguous; if you accept people have a right to euthanasia you must provide for it, instead of penalising the financially less well-off who cannot afford to travel to Switzerland.
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    (Original post by Olivia_Lightbulb)
    Surely having at least two doctors provide permission would solve the afore mentioned problems of elderly people being pressurised by family members or feeling as if they are an encumbrance to their family and turning to euthanasia.
    As long as the appropiate safe-guards are put in place, euthanasia should be workable within the UK. The current situation with euthanasia is too ambiguous; if you accept people have a right to euthanasia you must provide for it, instead of penalising the financially less well-off who cannot afford to travel to Switzerland.
    I'm not arguing against it, only highlighting the need for the proper safeguards.

    There is the issue of what is acceptable and what is not.
    I'd think we'd start with those in incurable pain as acceptable.
    Then perhaps those who are losing the ability to act independently, so as to preserve their dignity.
    However, where do we stop?
    If we also say those suffering from the significance degradation that comes with age are allowed, then the doctors don't really have much right to stop them (given we've classed it as an acceptable circumstance) - regardless of whether or not it is actually best for the individual in question.

    It's one of those situation where to be perfectly implemented we need an omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent being to decide on each case. Unfortunately, so is life, we don't have that luxury and will have to make do as we always do.
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    (Original post by aKarma)
    I'm not arguing against it, only highlighting the need for the proper safeguards.

    There is the issue of what is acceptable and what is not.
    I'd think we'd start with those in incurable pain as acceptable.
    Then perhaps those who are losing the ability to act independently, so as to preserve their dignity.
    However, where do we stop?
    If we also say those suffering from the significance degradation that comes with age are allowed, then the doctors don't really have much right to stop them (given we've classed it as an acceptable circumstance) - regardless of whether or not it is actually best for the individual in question.

    It's one of those situation where to be perfectly implemented we need an omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent being to decide on each case. Unfortunately, so is life, we don't have that luxury and will have to make do as we always do.
    I agree with you; the danger of euthanasia lies in its propensity to be exploited. If as suggested, the signature of two doctors needed to be obtained the risk of this would be reduced but not eradicated.
    Perhaps we should remember the role of the individual in the euthanasia debate; do we accept that we all have the right to personal autonomy and to choose our own method/time of death if possible? It's all a matter of balancing the needs of the individual against a wider context.
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    (Original post by Olivia_Lightbulb)
    Perhaps we should remember the role of the individual in the euthanasia debate; do we accept that we all have the right to personal autonomy and to choose our own method/time of death if possible? It's all a matter of balancing the needs of the individual against a wider context.
    Agreed
    It's sad if someone chooses to end their life and society has a duty to look at dealing with undesirable reasons behind it but, at the end of the day, people have as much right to chose death as life imo (even counting the physical & emotion investment in them)
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    (Original post by aKarma)
    Agreed
    It's sad if someone chooses to end their life and society has a duty to look at dealing with undesirable reasons behind it but, at the end of the day, people have as much right to chose death as life imo (even counting the physical & emotion investment in them)
    Yes. :yes:
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    The state telling you that you don't even have the right to kill yourself really is the final insult. Euthanasia is an issue to be dealt with by the individual involved and those close to them alone - it is nobody elses right to make that decision for them, definitely not the governments.
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    Euthanasia is murder. No one should help another to die.

    We are not pets to be put down.
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    So you'd rather a person bed-ridden and in chronic pain should just lie there in agony for the single purpose of extending their life, despite there being no hope of cure and the person wishing to end their life?

    Sanctity of life is all very well, but people's views on the matter differ and I don't see what gives one person the right to force another to live. Even if say Christian teaches it's wrong (not saying it does), the person in questions belief could be that it is a necessary step in reaching their next existence.

    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Euthanasia is murder. No one should help another to die.

    We are not pets to be put down.
    And suicide? Is that murder of the self also?
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Euthanasia is murder. No one should help another to die.

    We are not pets to be put down.
    I find your philosophy of ownership over other peoples lives to be more comparable to the concept of owning pets. You have no right to tell somebody else that they cannot choose to die. You may disapprove of it, and you may advise them against it, but you can't actually make that fundamental decision regarding their life for them, without impyling that you have a higher ownership of their life than they themselves do.
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    It should be allowed - but with strict supervision. I can see some people opting for euthanasia because they feel like they're a burden to others, or being forced into it somehow :no:
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    (Original post by CandyFlipper)
    I find your philosophy of ownership over other peoples lives to be more comparable to the concept of owning pets. You have no right to tell somebody else that they cannot choose to die. You may disapprove of it, and you may advise them against it, but you can't actually make that fundamental decision regarding their life for them, without impyling that you have a higher ownership of their life than they themselves do.
    Euthanasia isn't the same as suicide. It's assisted suicide.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Euthanasia isn't the same as suicide. It's assisted suicide.
    I understand that, and it isn't alright for me to walk upto you and punch you in the face. Not until you tell me you're a boxer and we agree to fight.

    Once you consent to being killed it's not murder, just like when you consent to a boxing match it's not assault.
 
 
 
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