Do atheists generally believe euthanasia is a good idea? Is it a religious concept to let God decide who lives or dies, while making the healthcare system do everything possible to keep someone alive- astounding hypocrisy in my view...
When and where do you think it's a good thing to do? Eg. Could we open beds in nursing homes once patients have gone catatonic? My mother, a baby boomer, feels this is an inevitability with our rapidly aging population. I'm not so sure, seeing the give it your all methods used even in palliative care sometimes.

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Same way with my father who died a bit over a month ago. He wanted to die naturally with heroic measures. We took him to my sister's house and were all there at his side when he drew his last breath. We kept him for a day so that local friends and family could come to see him at peace. My ex and daughter flew in from the West Coast. It was a dignified death.

I am impressed with where this discussion has gone, and agree with what most of you have said. As a commercial business you open up great questions whose answers should have a lot to do with how the specific laws are written regarding its permissibility. If those laws are written like any others it will be anything but clear.

To answer what I assume to be the point of the question, of course, yes. The day I can't wipe my own ass, and in high likelihood will never be able to do so again allow me to check out without having to jump through hoops to do it.

To the person who said that suicide laws are unenforceable, I offer a mild correction. They are quite enforceable for those who are unsuccessful at it.

If suicide is illegal, wouldn't attempting suicide be (at best) attempting to break the law. It's like trying to rob a bank.... you don't succeed, but it's still illegal.

A personal hero of mine:

"After a two day trial, the Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree homicide. Judge Jessica Cooper sentenced Kevorkian to serve 10–25 years in prison"-Wiki.

I have a right to I guess have to shoot myself someday. In fact, tens of thousands of gun assisted suicides occur every year..maybe this is why us Americans really love our guns.

Our callousness towards human dignity has reached biblical proportions.

I admire Dr. Kevorkian as well, on all saints day I suggested that Mother Teresa be stripped of her sainthood and the crown or whatever they get be given to Dr. K. I don't think the Catholics will go for it somehow, they regard pain as a virtue, where I think easing suffering, not contributing to it is more admirable.

the crown or whatever they get

Halo? or is that just angels... pretty sure they get a nice stained glass window in a church somewhere too.

I guess I was including the evaluation and possibility of being placed into a mental hospital against my will as being similar as the state is acting under its authority to keep me confined.

Come to think of it I'd rather be arrested, charged, convicted, and incarcerated for a determined time period as opposed to the open-endedness of someone's opinion of my mental health. Heck, I don't even believe in god so there is something wrong with me to begin with. If I truly wanted be dead, it might not matter much either way.

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...

no upper limit, will develop tolerance if dose is titrated slowly.

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.


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