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"The Right To Die"

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AB Editor | 12:47 Fri 17th Jun 2011 | Society & Culture
54 Answers

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Should "The Right To Die" be a universal human right?

  • Yes - 217 votes
  • 89%
  • No - 27 votes
  • 11%

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I think that if there was a regularised 'Tribunal' where an applicant could take their case, along with comprehensive medical records and opinion and state calmly and in a controlled manner quite why they would like to be granted the right to take the manner and time of their dying, into their own would help a great many people.
no, I got that china, and I agree with you about how selfish it is, just you mentioning that got the little cogs turning about that side of the topic. I tend to assume people who are at the stage of thinking like that are seeing it as a last resort, their only option. If an option to 'end it all' is this legal way, some may choose that route which would lead them to therapy rather than an end. I may be wrong though because I have very little experience of dealing with people in that situation.
Where I work, We have one or two residents that are really unhappy in life, though physical and mental problems, Im sure they would chose to die if give the chance, knowing these residents well I would assist if that was a legal option for the good of that person. We also have residents that are generally very happy but have very low points like we all do, they have said that they want to die, I would not agree with them because I know that generally they are happy people.

There would be some very difficult decisions to make but I think mostly in the case of most of my clients I really think I know them well enough to aid the decision making process.
<<<I really think I know them well enough to aid the decision making process>>>
Isn`t someone else aiding their decision the danger though?
just out of interest ratter (because my gf's a student nurse and has had to debate this issue), if you were asked to physically assist, do you think you could? Do you think you'd be bothered by after thoughs at all?
I agree with euthanasia, I absolutely believe we should have the choice, but I think you'd have to be strong minded to actually carry it out.
237sj Im only referring to those suffering from a mental issues but ultimately it would be on advice from the client and other sources, I said "aid" meaning I would also contribute to the information required to make a decision.
It needs to be impartial..........not unsympathetic, just impartial.
Convince the panel that you fulfill a strict criteria of circumstances........with possible periodical follow-up confirmatory assessments, etc.

I'm talking about physical infirmities rather than crippling mental conditions which, by definition, may impact on the decision-making processes of the sufferers.
There wouldn`t be any information required though because the decision would be the patient`s and the patient`s alone. If the person was mentally incapable of making that decision, nobody else would or should be in a position to make it for them
So, if someone is depressed we ought not allow them the decision to die because they may shake off the depression at a later date and change their mind. On the other hand then, should someone who is not depressed be allowed to carry on living, because they may become depressed in the future and change their mind? It's always good to plan ahead and avoid hassle.

IMO whilst every affordable help should be offered those contemplating this, in an effort to show life is not the burden they feel it is, and of course those considered not mentally competent to make a decision protected from themselves, ultimately it is the individual concerned, who will understand the possibility that things might improve, that has the right to decide whether they wish to hang on in that hope. You the individual has more right to make such a decision than the State ever has.
As the State will act in a Prosecutorial capacity against anyone 'assisting', it needs to be established beyond a shadow of doubt that 'no-one' will be held culpable in certain circumstances.
One of the primary reasons so many of us here in the U.S. are fighting strongly against the full implementation (or any, for that matter) of "Obama Care" which is a European,style government run health care system is that "right to die" soon becomes "duty to die", especially when health care is rationed. That aspect has already raised it's ugly head here when the Governor of the State of Colorado stated a few years ago "Old people have a duty to die."
A recent news release from the State of Oregon, (which has implemented a "right to die" law but only affecting that State) included this true scenario:

A woman with lung cancer required chemotherapy to hopefully subdue the advance of the condition. She got this reply from the medical review board of Oregon:
" ... the cost of chemotherapy is deemed an unjustified expense for the limited extra time {of life expectancy} it would provide. However, the government is not without compassion and you are also informed that whenever you are ready, it will gladly pay for your assisted suicide." Frightening, no?

Further "A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine last year claimed that many doctors in Oregon write lethal prescriptions for patients who are not experiencing significant symptoms at the time the prescriptions are written. It concluded that assisted suicide practice has had little do with any inability to alleviate pain which was one of the main motivations for legalizing assisted suicide."

This will become even more common when health care is neccessarily rationed by the government.

To willingly delegate your life's outcome to the government is stupid and regretable, in my opinion...

Clanad - There is a huge leap between right to die.....and duty to die.
Most UK focus is on the prosecutions that the grieving family may leave themselves open to, if they assist, in any way.

I believe that we need to have a grown-up debate about how we could implement a frame-work that would help those who wish to control their own destiny and their families.
I don't see it as devolving *anything* to the government, I see it as challenging the State and the notion of 'life at all costs'...........
The problem is that if we always shied away from making an advance because of fear that it may be misused, then we'd still be living in caves and hunting with wooden clubs. Mankind has to have the courage to grasp an advancement, ensure safeguards are in place; and trust that eventually humans become capable of not wanting to abuse it. humans won't learn that if they are always shielded from the reality.
@Clanad - I was shocked to read the wording of that statement you say the Oregon State health board released. Do you have a link to it?

I am not going to comment specifically on the comments about the implementation of a european system of health care except to say if you think your existing system is superior to ours, you are plain wrong - unless of course you are a rich and white, in which case you might be right.
I voted no, I wanted to vote yes but I'm just afraid that it will be a green light to unscrupulous Legacyees, to get their elderly and frail relatives killed off legally. We all know that old people don't want to be a bother and are often not in sound mind to make those kind of decsions. I just think the law of common sense as it is now is fine. ie in the cases like Diane Pretty for example she could have just slipped away and no one would have batted and eyelid but she made such a song and dance that the authorities had no choice but to get involved.
How could it be denied? We're all doomed, I tell you. Doomed!
sick animal, the vet says "it would be kinder to let them go.. "

sick person, suffer on and on and on...
Here's but one link:

The history of "right to die" in countries is not encourageing:
"...A recent Dutch government investigation of euthanasia has come up with some disturbing findings. In 1990, 1,030 Dutch patients were killed WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. And of 22,500 deaths due to withdrawal of life support, 63% (14,175 patients) were denied medical treatment WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. Twelve per-cent (1,701 patients) were mentally competent but were NOT CONSULTED.

These findings were widely publicized before the November 1991 referendum in Washington State, and contributed to the defeat of the proposition to legalize lethal injections and assisted suicide.

The Dutch experience seems to demonstrate that the "right to die" can soon turn into an obligation. This concept is dangerous, and you could find yourself the victim if Euthanasia becomes legal in North America.

We have all heard and some of us have experienced, moving stories of elderly people in great pain, unable to perform even the most basic human functions, who have asked to die, or have perhaps brought about their own deaths.

What these stories overlook is that today, in almost all cases, it is possible to kill pain without killing the patient. When someone's pain is relieved that person usually wants to go on living. We need to reflect carefully on the consequences of legalizing active euthanasia. If we enshrine the absolute right to die, will it then become illegal to intervene to obstruct would-be suicide? Will pharmacists be obligated to sell a lethal dose of hemlock to anyone who is temporarily depressed? "

Source: 18:02 Fri 17th Jun 2011
i am against this, and have given the reasons why already.
But it was interesting to see some of newsnight after the programme aired fronted by Terry Pratchett, about assisted suicide. One was a representative i believe from Dignitas, another a clergyman, a severly disabled woman who fights for disabled peoples rights, and diane purdey. The disabled woman echoed my point, that if you allow this to go into law, then there will be little or no safeguards for the disabled, nor the mentally ill. so whats to stop an unscrupulous relative persuading an ageing relative suffering from dementia, to end it all, many old people already think they are a burden on their relatives, might well be persuaded that its best if they do the decent thing. You can make all the laws you like, but that doesn't mean people will stick to them

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