nice great job on this... . i think in the future we will see that change, you are 100% right
No I don't imagine we can open a Stop-Shop today, where you can go for an assisted death. The lawsuits in the USA would overpower such an enterprise instantly. The laws in many countries would do the same. I am simply pointing to the end result of a gradually changing mindset.
I think you put your finger on the subjective interpretations of euthanasia, when you called it "mercy killing" rather than "assisted suicide". (yes, I have an online dictionary, and no, I don't need a chunk of Websters from anyone).
Every major change in public thinking is brought about gradually. There will always be opposite thinkers, with alternate rationale. The introduction of this "mercy killing" idea is what I would consider to be a step, not an end result. But before I venture to post on a conceptual and contentious subject, I tend to think the idea through to its potential end result, and test it in my head first.
There has been a lot of coverage on this issue in the UK, not least because there are individual cases that are brought before the UK courts that test the boundaries of the revulsion inherent in people to even consider death and inflicting it, however much it is desired by an individual.
There is a particular case of a man with "locked-in syndrome" where he has lived utterly paralysed for years, and communicates somehow via twitches and computer interpretations of them. He has produced, via this technique, a really heartfelt argument that he should be assisted to die. He can't kill himself. He can't scratch his nose if it itches. He is totally dependent on others for his basic biological needs. He wants to die, and we (the UK) won't let him.
He is not, as far as I understand it, in pain, although I don't know how he copes with itches without going insane. I am so sad to say that I do not believe the courts will grant his plea; even though his wife supports his wishes, she cannot bring herself to kill him, nor would she be safe from prosecution if she did.
The biggest argument against his plea, can be summed up as "the thin edge of the wedge", that is to say once one of these cases is successful, the next case may not be so clear, and eventually all sorts of suicide applicants may be granted permission. Family may persuade the elderly to opt for death to gain access to their inheritance. Someone with temporary depression may opt for death, who would have otherwise regained a zest for life should they have had no choice but to try.
At present, for those who can afford it, there is Dignitas in Switzerland. I do urge you to have a look at the link I posted to the documentary on this matter in my previous post, if you find this subject of interest. Perhaps there are lessons to be learned from how they have become established without suffering from lawsuits and insurance claims. There is no health-test there, you do not have to have agony or physical impairment, but you do have counseling.
So the current position in the UK, is that if you have enough money and mobility, you can go to Switzerland and be assisted to die. If you do not have enough money, you can't. This seems so wrong, I can't begin to express my sadness. Means tested suicide. Pay or stay. And I think that gradually, this will change. I deeply hope that it will.
And I have examined the 'broad end of the wedge", and I consider it to be acceptable. I can't (much to the relief of anyone reading this) write a long thesis on exactly how the system could have adequate safeguards put in - perhaps Dignitas has already worked that out.
In my mind, the right to live also includes the right to not live. The right to choose to die. And it will take much, for us to change our mindsets. But eventually, and maybe very gradually, I believe we will. I hope we will. I feel we all should have the right to choose the time and place of our death without authoritative objection, and not have the choice made dependent on our financial status.
I dont think suicide is illegal but assisting suicide is ...
Actually, I'm pretty sure suicide is illegal. It causes a public disturbance. Same issue with attempted suicide.
I think it may have been Schopenhauer who mused "What is the purpose of laws against suicide. With what can you threaten someone who is already unafraid of death itself?"
I think it's inhumane idea it's give stronger right to act as God on earth, such as religions men !
Hey - I think that it is religion that primarily obfuscates the basic logic of this for most adherents, yes, if that is what you're asking/stating. Do atheists generally think its a good idea? I don't' know but I'd suspect they do because most of them are pretty darn smart.
When and where do you think it's a good thing to do?
As long as one makes the decision to end their own life while still bearing full legal capacity I have no issue with euthanasia.
My great grandmother did this by having a living will done long before she got sick. By the time the living will conditions legally kicked in it was obvious she was:
1.) Not coming back
Which was part of the conditions of the living will.
So, it worked as desired and she passed away peacefully with family and morphine. You can't do it how she did in the United States and she did this out of country. Here, I think you can only ask for this if something else is keeping you alive, like a machine of some kind. I think that is irrational and should not be a requirement.
However, do you mean to broach the topic of forced euthanasia?
I was not really thinking about forced euthanasia, and I think we are a way off from the suicide machines.
I wish we had better treatments for depression, or that we could find more balance in our lives. I'm sad that we haven't found a novel psychopharmacotherapy in thirty years.
Anyway, my concern is because I'm involved with the care of the elderly, and we have a rapidly aging population, with a dwindling younger one, that we are only at the tip of the iceberg and are already way over stressed in terms of the number of sick old people we can accommodate. Also, it really seems to me that a lot of these people do not have any quality of life.
But I don't feel qualified to make decisions about who lives and who dies. We would need to have consent of some form, or a process by which it wouldn't be easily corruptible. Sometimes I can't shut my mouth about religion even at work, this reminded me of this, we've got a relatively young guy with a progressive neurological disorder and he can't remember much. He's also JW, and they don't celebrate birthdays and shit, right? So anyway the recreation therapist said, they're,allowed to take him to parties to listen to music and have a piece of cake, because he doesn't really have anything left in the world, but they have to remind him each time that its against his religion. I didn't bite my tongue fast enough, i said "if his gods gonna hold that against him at this point in his life, maybe his gods not worth having!"
Anyway, no, I was just wondering if in general atheists believed that mercy killing was acceptable, but we got into suicide machines and forced euthanasia... You folks are gonna open my mind too much and my brain will fall out.
I'm not making the best use of the website because I'm using an iPad and there's some things I can't do. I would like to follow you on twitter if you're on it, I saw your name kir but then I couldn't link to it..
Oh, that might be because I changed the twitter name to match my blog. I'll go update that link. Here it is as well:
Can you message it to me or post it here? Anyone else who talks to me on these forums too, if you have a twitter name and I can follow you please share. I'm sure if I was on a pc it would be easy for me to find that info but this iPad is kind of like a big cell phone in some ways. Or I'm just not figuring it out yet. I'll get it eventually.
Regarding psychopharmacotherapy, medicine is very limited in what it can do for psychiatric illnesses. There is still so much to learn about how the brain works. One clear example is the link between diabetes and depression. My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 8 years old, and just last month was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and depression. The psychiatrist said that there is a huge population of diabetics with depression, these two seemingly unrelated diseases go hand in hand a good percentage of the time. There are insulin receptors in the brain which we don't really know what they do, maybe they are involved with feeling full during a meal, or giving you pleasure from food, (these are my own theories), but clearly they do something. Then you mess up the metabolism and add exogenous insulin to the system, and something else goes wrong. So much of medicine is sadly just affecting natural systems in a way that we don't clearly understand, leading to other problems that we understand even less.
Anyway, for psychopharmacology we have: antianxiety agents, antidepressants, mood stabilizers (basically lithium and antiepileptic drugs), and antipsychotics.
It may seem like a new antidepressant comes out every other day but sadly most of these are "me-too" drugs, they are variations (often very slight variations) on what already exists. (Bupropion is actually one exception, it is more different from the other antidepressants then any of them are to each other, because it affects dopamine where the others affect mostly serotonin and a bit of norepinephrine).
There is a lot of potential in the hallucinogens and some other drugs of abuse, but the potential for these is limited by the fact that people abuse them. This is another topic I have to post because I am very passionate about the fact that people abuse drugs because they are unhappy, not because they are bad.