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Why is it morally ok to euthanize a pet to spare its suffering, but not ok to do the same for people?

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 11:54 AM
  • 19 Replies

What do you think?

It seems and feels like all Republics turn to empires.

by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 11:54 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Woodbabe
by Woodie on Feb. 8, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I agree. I find it extremely selfish to insist a person hang on to life as long as possible, no matter how much pain and suffering they must suffer. This idea that 'suffering is good for the soul' goes beyond my comprehension. I think we'd have much less suffering if we'd let people GO when they were meant to leave us.

EireLass
by Ruby Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:07 PM

We euthanize people in my family :o)

Traci_Momof2
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:13 PM

I think it should be ok to euthanize people for the same reasons - especially if it was known that they didn't want to be kept alive by machines or if they are just suffering horrendously.  I wouldn't want to be kept alive under those conditions.  Let me go, mourn, and then move on with your life.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Hell we even kill our food humanely. I agree. People should be able to die before they agonize and suffer physically.

SWasson
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I don't know why it is illegal to help someone who is suffering by ending their life.

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:32 PM
2 moms liked this

Because it makes some people feel uncomfortable and forces them to think about realities they'd rather ignore.

 

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Actually, I've thought about this a lot lately... following an interesting argument with a self-described 'animal lover' who objected to hunting.

Hunting, she says, is torture for the animals who suffer too much, so it's just too cruel. My response was something like: wow, do you have any idea how animals die in the wild?

Apart from the 'becoming lame and struggling to get up' and 'insufficient food for the number of animals eating it' starving to death and all manner of untreated disease causes, there is the other killer of cute, furry animals: other predators.

Like cougars, who often eat their prey from the ass upwards, before it's actually dead. Yes, I certainly can see how being shot in the head and killed instantly would be so much worse than that.

Which got me thinking: we do rather overthink things on behalf of kittens and tables and solar systems and planets and whales... we ascribe human attributes to non-human things like plants and animals and planets. Just because we are averse to suffering and dying (in modern times, people did not used to be anywhere near this squeamish about it all, probably simply because they knew they had no hope of avoiding it, and it did tend to be all around them) doesn't mean anything else is.

It seems to me that when we read 'put me out of my misery' in an animal's behaviour or facial expressions, we're actually reading it off the insides of our own heads.

That is: I think people put down their pets because the pet owners can't cope with the suffering, not because the pets can't.

JoRana83
by Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM

My quick answer is that it is because people are not animals and animals are not people.  We are physically, mentally, morally and spiritually different beings. 

And I think it makes a difference if a person is being supported by machines or still living on thier own.  If a person is unable to survive without a machine and is suffering-pull the plug.  If they are just dying slowly on thier own then it gets a bit stickier. 

It is an intriguing question and my opinion on the matter is probably clear, but I dont' know that I can explain it adequately. 

I guess... look at it this way - If your dog got hit by a car and there was a 30% chance that he could survive through lots of surgeries and suffering and it would cost you $100,000 would you do it?  There are a few who would, I know.

But for the rest of us, imagine it was your child.  A 30% chance of survival and some surgeries, suffering and expense starts to seem worth it. 

Again, I don't guess it's something anyone can really explain.  I think it's a valid question, but a difficult one to explain logically (and i am normally a very logical person).

trulyblessed618
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM
I think that it is different with pets because most people don't have health insurance for there pets and to pay out the pocket for certain things such as MRI or catscan just simply is not in the budget of most so alot of people treat animals with there symptoms and can't afford when they get really sick to keep them going so being that an animal can't talk and express wxacly what there feeling and can't douch for themselves anymore people put down there pets....with people most of the time they can speak on there own behalf and can be administered slot if pain medication and the insurance is there to make them as comfortable as possible ..... I have never been on my death bed so I cannot have an opinion about euthanizing myself but it is against my religion and I hope I never have to feel that bad off.
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DivingDiva
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:58 PM


Quoting LindaClement:

Actually, I've thought about this a lot lately... following an interesting argument with a self-described 'animal lover' who objected to hunting.

Hunting, she says, is torture for the animals who suffer too much, so it's just too cruel. My response was something like: wow, do you have any idea how animals die in the wild?

Apart from the 'becoming lame and struggling to get up' and 'insufficient food for the number of animals eating it' starving to death and all manner of untreated disease causes, there is the other killer of cute, furry animals: other predators.

Like cougars, who often eat their prey from the ass upwards, before it's actually dead. Yes, I certainly can see how being shot in the head and killed instantly would be so much worse than that.

Which got me thinking: we do rather overthink things on behalf of kittens and tables and solar systems and planets and whales... we ascribe human attributes to non-human things like plants and animals and planets. Just because we are averse to suffering and dying (in modern times, people did not used to be anywhere near this squeamish about it all, probably simply because they knew they had no hope of avoiding it, and it did tend to be all around them) doesn't mean anything else is.

It seems to me that when we read 'put me out of my misery' in an animal's behaviour or facial expressions, we're actually reading it off the insides of our own heads.

That is: I think people put down their pets because the pet owners can't cope with the suffering, not because the pets can't.

There's some pretty good experimental evidence suggesting that even "lower" animals can experience suffering.  Temple Grandin has done some good experimental work in this area that indicates that many animal taxa show signs of pain guarding and will actively seek pain relieving medications.  I can't post a link right now but I will try to add one later on.  It's really interesting research.  Although pets and other animals are often more stoic than humans in terms of showing pain, they actively seek to reduce it if possible.  I do think that humans too often ascribe their own internal feeings and experiences to animals and even other people, but I also think it is incorrect to assume that animals lack internal feelings and experiences in the same way a planet does. 

Either way, I think it can be morally ok to euthanize a human to spare suffering.  


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