Euthanasia/physician assisted suicide

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Euthanasia/assisted suicide. Is it right to legalilze it?

Yes, euthanasia/assisted suicide should be legalized
5
56%
No, euthanasia/assisted suicide is bad and should remain illegal.
4
44%
 
Total votes : 9

Postby parnassus » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:51 pm

I don't think there is anything dignified in making an exit. I think dignity lies in hanging on, just as it says in Rudyard Kipling's celebrated poem If:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

I know I am not terminally ill, but I have known people who were (they are now dead). I suppose I will never be qualified to judge on the power of dignity, unless - God forbid - I end up in their situation. I like to think that even if I do, I will keep something of the 'bulldog spirit'. What does it say about me if I think my life is worth something only when it's easy? More to the point, what does it say about the society I live in if society promotes that attitude?

Vicky (the grim limpet).
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby pinkparrot » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:53 pm

Yes! I know that one! I have it at home on a wall somewhere. It's a really good poem, and I have glanced at it many a troubled time. I haven't seen any others though...
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Postby parnassus » Mon Nov 07, 2005 12:10 am

Any other what? Kipling poems?

He is my FAVOURITE poet and I will enthusiastically point you in the direction of his entire canon if you want. You have only to say the word!
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Postby pinkparrot » Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:08 am

Yes, I mean Kipling poems. I am seriously interested. Where could I find any more works of Kipling? :D :D "the word"
Last edited by pinkparrot on Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hermionefan5 » Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:41 am

parnassus wrote:I don't think there is anything dignified in making an exit. I think dignity lies in hanging on, just as it says in Rudyard Kipling's celebrated poem If:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

I know I am not terminally ill, but I have known people who were (they are now dead). I suppose I will never be qualified to judge on the power of dignity, unless - God forbid - I end up in their situation. I like to think that even if I do, I will keep something of the 'bulldog spirit'. What does it say about me if I think my life is worth something only when it's easy? More to the point, what does it say about the society I live in if society promotes that attitude?

Vicky (the grim limpet).


I agree. I would like to make another point. Sometimes things we think are "terminal illnesses" really get cured. For instance, when Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996, his doctors said he had a 50 percent chance of survival, but really they were thinking it was 20 percent. "My percentage was shrinking daily. Dr. Reeves told me 50 percent, 'but really I was thinking 20.' If he was perfectly honest, he would have told me that he nearly wept when he examined me, because he thought he was looking at a terminally ill 25-year-old, and he couldn't help but think of his own son, who was my age. If Bart Knaggs ahd been totally candid, he would have told me that when his prospective father-in-law, who was a doctor, had heard that cancer had moved into my lungs, he said to Bart, 'Your friend's as good as dead.'" -From It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins. He is still alive today due to medical treatment. 8) After surviving cancer he claims he has become a better person:

"The truth is that cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me. I don't know why I got the illness, but it did wonders ofr me, and I wouldn't want to walk away from it. Why would I want to change even for a day, the most important and shaping event in my life? People die. That truth is so disheartening that at times I can't bear to articulate it. Why should we go on, you might ask? Why don't we all just stop and lie down where we are? But there is another truth, too. People live. It's an equal and opposing truth. When I was sick, I saw more beauty and triumph and truth in a single day than I ever did in a bike race-but they were human moments, not miraculous ones. I met a guy in a fraying sweatsuit who turned out to be a brilliant surgeon. I became friends with a harrassed and overschedules nurse named LaTrice, who gave me such care that it could only be the resulto of the deepest sympathetic affinity. I saw children with no eyelashes or eyebrows, their hair burned away by chemo, who fought with the hearts of Indurians. I still don't completely understand it, all I can tell you is what happened." -From It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins

Lance is a perfect reason why euthanasia should not be legalized. If every cancer patient that doctors deemed incurable was to take a lethal injection then they wouldn't know how many people could actually survive the disease. They wouldn't know who, like Lance, was made a better person because of it. They wouldn't know what good they had done for this person's life or their family's life. Lance went on to win the Tour de France 7 times in a row and he started a cancer foundation to raise money and awareness for the disease. He was able to be married (for a time) and he has three kids. He is engaged to music superstar Sheryl Crow. Without surviving cancer, he could not have done those things. 8)
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Postby C » Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:27 pm

parnassus wrote:
I respect and admire dying people who do not choose euthanasia but surely if someone is dying they have the right to end their life with dignity, while they are strong, before it's too late for them?


Too late for what? Is there no dignity to be found in suffering?


Too late for them to experience life without suffering every day. It is easy for us to sit here and say we do or do not agree with ending it all. But none of us have ever been in that situation; where we know that-sooner or later-we are going to die and we are going to suffer and die. I don't think it is cowardly or undignified to make the choice to end it; it is probably the descision I would make if I was terminally ill while I was still well enough to make a descision. Not because I think my life is 'worth something only if it is easy', because there is a difference to having a hard day once in a while to suffering every day of your life and knowing, that at the end of it, death will come. It's like walking up a long, uncomfortable way home when you could take a shortcut and get there more easily and with less pain.
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Postby pinkparrot » Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:31 pm

I'd hold on. It would be terrible to die when others down on Earth think there was that chance you could have made it, and you didn't take it. It could even cause them to blame themselves for the fact you left the world, because you were so close to them.
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Postby parnassus » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:36 pm

But none of us have ever been in that situation; where we know that-sooner or later-we are going to die and we are going to suffer and die. I don't think it is cowardly or undignified to make the choice to end it; it is probably the descision I would make if I was terminally ill while I was still well enough to make a descision. Not because I think my life is 'worth something only if it is easy', because there is a difference to having a hard day once in a while to suffering every day of your life and knowing, that at the end of it, death will come. It's like walking up a long, uncomfortable way home when you could take a shortcut and get there more easily and with less pain.


When I posted my case against euthanasia, I drew on wholly secular arguments. This is where the religious part of my mind kicks in. I believe in a man who deliberately chose to suffer for the sake of His creation. And it was unbearable suffering - psychological, physical, spiritual. Firstly, His friends couldn't even be bothered to stay awake with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, when all He wanted was some company. Secondly, the skin of His back was ripped to bloody shreds, His side torn open by the point of a sword, the bones of His hands and feet crushed and splintered by the nails. Finally, the torment got so much that He believed God the Father had abandoned Him. Yet the message of the gospels is fundamentally one of hope and dignity. Sometimes suffering is only a viable life choice, but a necessary one.

I am not an evangelical; I would never argue for euthanasia on Christian principles alone, because not every terminally ill person believes in those principles. But Christianity has taught me that there is something precious in every stage of life, so I am remain opposed to closing the book when the story has not even ended.
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Postby parnassus » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:41 pm

I should add that I sat in the hospital room of my grandmother as she crept towards death. She was in so much pain that she would whimper toothlessly, "I just want to die, Vicky. I've had enough." She used to be indomitable; it shook me very badly when she entered the last eighteen months of her life and her courage seemed to dissipate. I held her hand on the morning of her death and watched her go. Despite her pain, I knew that this was her assigned day of departure - and judging by the expression on her face as she left this place, so did she. It sounds corny, but it's true.
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Postby Hermionefan5 » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:21 am

This is random, but I was going off the thing Vicky said about our last days. In Patch Adams, Robin Williams is doing his medical school residency and he meets this patient who is very ornery and won't obey anybody. He is the only one who wants to help this guy because he feels obligated to help everyone. 8) THe first day, the guy treats him really mean like he does everyone else. But Patch (Robin Williams) comes back every day and the guy gradually cheers up. One day, he finds the man looking out the window at the sky, which is a clear blue. The man comments on how beautiful it is and Patch agrees. The man thanks Patch for taking care of him. The next day, the man dies. Patch realizes that he has helped the man come to grips with his inevitable death and he realizes that the man became happier because he had a friend who was beside him as he began his journey to a better place. :)
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Postby C » Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:26 pm

parnassus wrote:I should add that I sat in the hospital room of my grandmother as she crept towards death. She was in so much pain that she would whimper toothlessly, "I just want to die, Vicky. I've had enough." She used to be indomitable; it shook me very badly when she entered the last eighteen months of her life and her courage seemed to dissipate. I held her hand on the morning of her death and watched her go. Despite her pain, I knew that this was her assigned day of departure - and judging by the expression on her face as she left this place, so did she. It sounds corny, but it's true.


That doesn't sound corny at all, Vicky. That really moved me and I'm sorry to hear about what happened to her
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Postby Hermionefan5 » Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:22 am

C wrote:
parnassus wrote:I should add that I sat in the hospital room of my grandmother as she crept towards death. She was in so much pain that she would whimper toothlessly, "I just want to die, Vicky. I've had enough." She used to be indomitable; it shook me very badly when she entered the last eighteen months of her life and her courage seemed to dissipate. I held her hand on the morning of her death and watched her go. Despite her pain, I knew that this was her assigned day of departure - and judging by the expression on her face as she left this place, so did she. It sounds corny, but it's true.


That doesn't sound corny at all, Vicky. That really moved me and I'm sorry to hear about what happened to her


It moved me too. I thought the same thing about my puppy when she died because a few days before she died I thought maybe it was the last time I'd see her and it was. I believe she was glad to go and she knew it was her day. That is definitely not a corny thing to say, Vicky.
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Postby parnassus » Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:53 am

To the well-organized mind, death is just the next great adventure.
- Professor Dumbledore.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby pinkparrot » Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:53 pm

Death has never really been the problem. It's just how you get there and who you leave behind.
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Postby Hermionefan5 » Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:03 pm

parnassus wrote:
To the well-organized mind, death is just the next great adventure.
- Professor Dumbledore.


Agreed. A quote from Peter Pan "To die will be a great adventure."

Hook quote:

Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith) (to Peter): All your adventures are over.

Peter (Robin Williams): No, to live. To live will be an awefully big adventure. :D
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