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Hot Topic (7/15): Assisted Suicide

Posted by on Jul. 15, 2009 at 1:59 AM
  • 64 Replies

 

Poll

Question: Should people be allowed to choose their time and manner of death?

Options:

Yes, under all circumstances.

Yes, but only if they are terminally ill.

No, never.

Other. (Explain below)


Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 62

View Results

From BBC News:

The deaths of British conductor Sir Edward Downes and his wife, Joan, have reopened the assisted suicide debate.

Sir Edward, 85, who was losing his sight and hearing, died on Friday alongside his terminally ill wife, 74, at Swiss right-to-die centre, Dignitas.

In a statement, their family said the couple "died peacefully, and under circumstances of their own choosing".

The Metropolitan Police said it was investigating, as campaigners called for more safeguards to be put in place.

Last week, a proposal by Lord Falconer to allow people to help someone with a terminal illness travel to a country where assisted suicide is legal was thrown out by the Lords.

Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said: "This problem is clearly not going to go away; we are descending down a slippery slope towards unregulated assisted dying abroad, at a rapid pace."

She added that people should be able to make decisions about death for themselves but warned that without safeguards, the process was "dangerous and open to abuse".

Peter Saunders, from Care Not Killing, said the Downes' case was "sad but unusual".

He added that the current law was clear and right and the House of Lords was wise not to approve any change to it.

"With imminent health cuts, growing numbers of elderly people and increasing levels of elder abuse the very last thing we need is to put vulnerable people, many of whom already think they are a financial or emotional burden to relatives, carers and the state, under pressure to end their lives through a change in the law," he said.

'Happy together'

The Downes are not the first couple to die together at the Swiss centre.

In 2003, Dignitas doctors helped Robert and Jennifer Stokes, of Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, to die.

An inquest a year later heard they had both suffered with mental and physical illnesses over 30 years but neither were terminally ill.

The centre has been criticised in the past for accepting people who are not necessarily terminally ill.

Last year, the centre helped 23-year-old Daniel James commit suicide after he was paralysed playing rugby.

Dignitas has helped more than 115 people from the UK to commit suicide since it was founded in 1998.

They decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems
The Downes family

None of those cases involved criminal charges, but many were investigated by police.

Assisting a suicide is illegal in Britain under the Suicide Act and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment in England and Wales.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said the Downes' deaths were being investigated by Greenwich CID.

"It was reported to police on Monday, July 13, that a man and woman from SE3 had died in Switzerland," he added.

Their son and daughter, Caractacus and Boudicca, said in a statement: "After 54 happy years together, they decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems."

No funeral

Sir Edward, who had a 40-year relationship with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, was "almost blind and increasingly deaf", according to his family.

Joan Downes, a ballet dancer and later a choreographer and TV producer, was said to be terminally ill with cancer.

"They both lived life to the full and considered themselves to be extremely lucky to have lived such rewarding lives, both professionally and personally," their family said.

"Our parents had no religious beliefs and there will be no funeral," they added.

What do you think? Should people be allowed to die "under circumstances of their own choosing"?  Or only if they have a terminal illness?  Or never?

 





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by on Jul. 15, 2009 at 1:59 AM
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Replies (1-10):
scottyliammom
by Member on Jul. 15, 2009 at 2:25 AM

I think you should be able to decide.  If you want to choose to die naturally, then that is your choice.  I would rather take my own life while I still have the mind to make the choice.  I have insulin dependent diabetes, I have had cancer.  I have more issues and if it ever proves to be too much, I am the master of my destiny and I will choose to live or die.  I am not going to kill myself tomorrow or anything but I dont know what the future holds.  I think these people had every right to choose to die with dignity and grace and go the way they wanted to, not in a hospital bed, not being able to hear or see, hooked up to IV's and monitors.  I only hope if it comes to that, I have the same strength!

I am a pro-choice, formula feeding, vaxing, pro-gay rights, stem cell research supporting, pro-gun, pro-death penalty, loving wife and proud mom to a CRS child.  Thanks and have a nice day.



partygal19dani
by Bronze Member on Jul. 15, 2009 at 9:09 AM

What I don't understand is this twisted concept..........why is it okay or even good to put a suffering animal to sleep forever, but not us humans?  Choosing when an animal will die regardless of their pain and suffering is still playing God, isn't it?  But that's okay, because it's only an animal right?  LOL  Well I don't think so!!!  In my agnostic eyes, there may or may not be a God.  And if there is, I would like to think that God would be extremely understanding, forgiving, and compassionate!!!!  So why then wouldn't that God then know how you are feeling and your reasons for wanting to end your life on this planet?  I think alot more people would be okay with taking their own lives if they felt they wouldn't be punished by God forever and banished to hell.  Because I am not fearful of this so called mysterious and powerful divine deity, I would not have a problem with taking my own life if I felt it was unbearable to be here anymore!!!!  There are times when I have feared life more than death!!!!  It takes guts to live and it takes even more guts to end your life when you see fit.

Danielle (Partygal19dani)

butterfly

 

CandiGram
by Member on Jul. 15, 2009 at 10:06 AM


Quoting partygal19dani:

What I don't understand is this twisted concept..........why is it okay or even good to put a suffering animal to sleep forever, but not us humans?  Choosing when an animal will die regardless of their pain and suffering is still playing God, isn't it?  But that's okay, because it's only an animal right?  LOL   


way to go

sappharie
by Member on Jul. 15, 2009 at 11:12 AM


Quoting CandiGram:

 

Quoting partygal19dani:

What I don't understand is this twisted concept..........why is it okay or even good to put a suffering animal to sleep forever, but not us humans?  Choosing when an animal will die regardless of their pain and suffering is still playing God, isn't it?  But that's okay, because it's only an animal right?  LOL   


way to go


margroc
by on Jul. 15, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Having had some experience in a hospice environment, I belive assisted suicide is being done every day.  Doctors will compassionately prescribe and adminster doses of morphine which slows the respiratory system down and allows the person to pass peacefully.  Kudos to those docs!!

Friday
by HRH of MJ on Jul. 15, 2009 at 11:39 AM

 My body, my life, my choice.

 


Thank God......it's Friday!!!

EireLass
by Ruby Member on Jul. 15, 2009 at 1:10 PM

I agree with assisted suicide. It's done all the time in hospitals...it's just not talked about.

MrsRStewart
by Bronze Member on Jul. 15, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Assisted suicide is murder.  As for the argument that we can put animals to sleep, humans are not animals.  Man is made in the image of God.  Animals are not.  Life and death belong in the hands of God. 


a wedding website

MemawBrie
by on Jul. 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM


Quoting MrsRStewart:

Assisted suicide is murder.  As for the argument that we can put animals to sleep, humans are not animals.  Man is made in the image of God.  Animals are not.  Life and death belong in the hands of God. 

I AGREE!!!

 




 




I may not know what my future holds, but, I do know
                               the One who holds my future ♥
JESUS

MattisMommy08
by Bronze Member on Jul. 15, 2009 at 2:01 PM

I agree.  Just went through this last month.  Rus was in hospice care for 6 days before passing.  He could not eat and was taken off IV nutrition.  Isn't that assisted suicide.  There is NO question what will happen with absolutely no nutrition, it's simply a question of when.  He suffered with pancreatic cancer for 6 months and went through surgery after surgery.  There was nothing they could do, so he and his wife decided to move him to hospice - KNOWING that it meant he only had days left... but that he would live them out coherent and with as little pain as possible.

I believe you have to consider each case separately and there is no blanket answer.  You have to consider the QUALITY of life versus the QUANTITY of life.
And I think it is also important to consider any dependants who might suffer.. i.e. I might think that a mother of 3 kids under 10 should live it out a little longer for the sake of her kids - in some situations...

 

By the way, not saying whether I agree or not.. but the arguement for putting animals down and not people, is usually the belief that humans have souls and animals do not.

Quoting margroc:

Having had some experience in a hospice environment, I belive assisted suicide is being done every day.  Doctors will compassionately prescribe and adminster doses of morphine which slows the respiratory system down and allows the person to pass peacefully.  Kudos to those docs!!



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