I can't speak for other atheists, but I am 100% in favor of euthanasia when death is a certainty and pain is intractable.
I completely support euthanasia on a case by case basis. To say that euthanasia involving a child is not something you would support is very much a blanket ideal. It is a very personal decision and one that I would exercise should the circumstances arise. I was very disappointed that my state of Massachusetts voted NO to allowed Dr Assisted Suicide by a small margin. :( Like many repeat, we treat our animals better than we treat our dying...
I am against euthanasia and i'll tell you why. I am disabled, I have primary progressive MS, I also suffered a head injury resulting in some brain damage from childhood abuse. I know suffering and live with pain and lack of treatment options every day, my health is deteriorating and there is nothing I can do. That being said I have faced discrimination even from doctors, I have had to fight for my life because doctors felt my life was less "worthy" and that death would be more "merciful" than helping me live with severe disability. Many disabled people are routinely subjected to DNR orders they never requested or consented to which is sick but a sad reality for far too many. I have also dealt with guilt that comes with being dependent on others, there have been times I felt I was such a burden my loved ones would be better off without me. I have had to grieve to for the loss of "who I was" and accept who I now am and it was hard, it is hard. It is hard to hear every day from people how they could never live like that, how those in wheelchairs are vegetables with a functional mind, how some things are worse than death, they are talking about ME about MY life! I can tell you it hurts and has driven me to thoughts of suicide. Legalizing assisted suicide or euthanasia in theory is great in practice I see disaster. How could abuse be prevented and the rights of those with disabilities be upheld if the very law is saying our lives are worse than death? They can't. I think improvements to palliative care are desperately needed but legalizing doctor assisted death puts my life and the lives of thousands of others at risk.
You are a very courageous woman, Lily. I hear you on that wheelchair thing.
I used to date a woman who used a wheelchair. We went to the Party in the Park in London several years ago, where there were large crowds of people in front of Buckingham Palace to attend a concert put on by the then young princes. As we were leaving in the crowds, a woman in her twenties stumbled against my partners wheelchair, and turned and announced quite stridently, and to no-one in particular, "They should give them lights, or bells or something".
I was so shocked and disgusted - and ashamed she had a British accent. My partner was apparently more used to that sort of behaviour than I.
I do believe in voluntary euthanasia, but I also feel that a great deal of ancillary process should be involved to ensure that the right to life takes priority.
I don't believe assisted suicide (or even suicide) should be prevented or should be a crime.
If you don't own yourself and your life, what greater property can the government confiscate?
Here's a quick, brutal, answer: better to die humanely in a hospital than splattered across the road or train line. My reasoning is as follows:
The only downside I can see to euthenasia is if it is inflicted upon unwilling patients as a means of legal murder.
My main problem with suicide is the aftermath. I wish more suicides would think about the problems they leave behind as well as, as you mentioned, the cleanup following certain ways of offing oneself.
I think if I were to do it I'd use the old many pills + a lot of Wild Turkey approach. I'd send a delayed message meant to arrive a few hours after my death. I wouldn't want to inflict any foul odors on those who come to see if I meant it.
I always thought that'd be potentially very painful. I figured I'd do it Hemingway style, but I guess that is inconsiderate. I know some people who have hung themselves, and that seems to work out pretty well, but again that seems like there could be potentially painful complications-- like what if it didn't work, and I just lost certain functions or something? Short of gaining access to an updated version of Kevorkian's thanatron, I still think messy gunshot is the way to go.
These people (aside from Kevorkian) were the first I heard were doing it.
- Good info toward the bottom
No, it's like dying of a morphine overdose. You pass out and at some point you stop breathing. Where would the pain come in?
For some reason I instinctively imagine stomach pain. What are the specifics? Pill-wise.