Voluntary euthanasia or is this subject taboo?

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Allow voluntary euthanasia for those who have are immobile or have to depend at all times on others to help them.
This means that their life has reached a stage where the quality of life is no more and they needed help 24/7 just to exist.
They need not be in great pain or be at the end stage of an incurable disease.

76 Comments

You mean assisted suicide, yes? Not taboo. Just an uncomfortable topic.

I believe many folks feel like vulnerable people may be rushed into or cajoled into agreeing to end their own lives.
Do you mean people of all ages or just the very elderly? Does a 25 year old quadriplegic have a lesser value of life than an abled bodied counterpart? Should a competent elderly person choose for themselves the type of quality of life they want? Brain damaged children? Coma patients? Who are we as a civilized society decide a human beings quality of life?
I think the main reason to avoid deciding the fate of another person's life outside of government responsibilities, if to avoid regrets you may develop as a result. ArmyRetired asks who are we to decide a human being's quality of life? It the continuity of life that is tricky. If life is sacred, that puts a dent in the arguments for war, the death penalty, and some medical procedures. If we as a civilized society make decisions about who shall live, then should we include people with severe disabilities, severe dementia, etc? We seem to sort of accept some situations when hastened death is acceptable. I sure hope that when my time comes, if I'm in great pain, that I go out on a carpet of morphine, versus huge suffering. I'm from a state that allows medically assisted suicide and it seems that some of the people are content to have the means available but decide to die a natural death instead. Hospice can be a big help, too from what I hear.
I think there is some validity in the "slippery slope" argument, as AR points out how can one person decide for another when their life has ceased to have value? I am also uncomfortable with the idea of those who do not have a terminal diagnosis being able to ask another to administer lethal medication without at least having had a full psychiatric work up. I believe in aiding those who have a life limiting illness though, as long as stringent safeguards are put in place.
Damocles, the problem is, how do you know what they want? Unless they made their wishes in writing a long time ago, in a specific manner, there is no way to carry out the unknown.
And even if they did make their wishes known, what if they've changed their mind?
Can't believe the HOSPICE KILLED MY MOM crowd is not here yet. This is a good question. There are also debates, more like screeds really, on 2 other threads about hospice currently on this forum. There are many folks who seem to feel that we should all be keep alive with feeding tubes, more chemo, dialysis, surgery, and by any and all heroic measures for as long as we can keep a heart beat, regardless of the expenditure of money and resources, but God forbid we give anyone morphine which might speed up the precession of dying. Never mind that the lions share of medical costs are expended in the last 6 months of life in the US.

I feel that each individual should be able to determine when they want to end their life, whether it's to to old age infirmities or a horrible debilitating illness at a young age. But the politics and policies of our time are driven by the fundamentalist beliefs that life begins at conception and only God should end a life, no matter how horrible and painful that life might be.

I wonder how many of the righteous who preach against hospice and assited suicide have ever had the family pet put to sleep humanely by a vet but 98 year old granny gets a feeding tube and no morphine.
Oh, gosh, windy. I hope you didn't open the floodgate for them to come in.

Assisted suicide is allowed in places such as Oregon. Maybe other states will allow it in the future. I personally find the idea distasteful for one reason -- it involves someone that will assist. I do wish that people had the means to end their own lives if they choose without involving another person. I know I couldn't assist anyone in killing themselves, so I wouldn't want to subject anyone else to that trauma.

I guess that is what Dr. Deaths are for. Kind of gives me the shivers thinking of doing that for a living, though.
Hemlock Society,
Compassion and Choices.. (I think)
you'd have to google them.
What if your parent asked you to assist? Happened to me, I understood, but how in the world could I possibly do that?

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