Dr. assisted suicide and the right to die

Heather - posted on 04/23/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I was just sitting here watching Real Time with Bill Maher and one of his guests on the show was Dr. Jack Kevorkian (right to die activist) who was on to discuss the movie "You dont know Jack" depicting the life of Dr. Kevorkian among other things such as his stay in prison and his feelings about the right to die.



What are your feelings on Dr. assisted suicide and the right to die?

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Kristin - posted on 04/26/2010

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I support it. This is much too personal a decision for the state or church to inject themselves into. If a person's own beliefs, morals, or ethical code do not allow for it, that is fine. That is their choice. However, it is nothing short of hubris to assume that everyone does or even wants to live by that very same edict.

Everyone knows of or knows personally someone who has passed in pain. There is such a thing as death with dignity and no one has the right to take that decision from another.

Meghan - posted on 05/08/2010

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I support it aswell!!! I think that suidcide due to mental issues is one thing because there is help.

But someone who is dying and in pain every day? Who wants to live like that? Who wants to see someone live like that?? If you have a responsible doc who isn't just a weirdo (and I guess that would have to be an argument in the whole issue) who offers counciling, all the facts, councilling to the family memebers then I am for it.

[deleted account]

I think if a person has a terminal illness and is in alot of pain then they should have the right. A few people have died in my family over the past couple of years from terminal illnesses and to watch someone suffer like that is horrible. They had to drug my aunt to the point of basically keeping her in a drug induced coma. My cousin would sit and actually pray for it to be over. A person should have the right to go before it gets to that point. And what about people with MS whos bodies deteriorate but their mind is perfectly aware. Can you imagine being trapped in your own body and unable to control it? Heck I wouldn't want to live like that.

[deleted account]

I agree with assisted suicide in cases of extreme illness, in which the patient is in a lot of pain and will inevitabley die. However, how could they categorise who can and who can't have one. What about people who are in a vegetative state and aren't in pain - should they be allowed to die?

Krista - posted on 04/24/2010

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I don't believe in euthanasia as a decision made by other people. But if the individual in question is of sound mind, has a terminal illness and wants to die, then they should absolutely be allowed to do so. Why should the state have the right to tell us when we're allowed to die, for pete's sake?

My great-uncle had ALS, and it is a hellish, hellish disease. And I can tell you right now that if I ever got something like that, I would not want to be trapped in a dead body, living in a hospital bed day in and day out.

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Andriea - posted on 05/08/2010

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i feel that this is a sensative subject so gonna try and do this delicatly. i feel that it is crule to keep someone who is termally ill and wonting to die alive just for the sake of the familys feelings i understand losing someone close is horrible as i have lost both a father and step-father so realise it hurts i would rather they were at peace thow than stuck on a machine with wires coming out of everywhere being kept alive. the grieving process only starts when the person is at peace and then the family can recover fully. i hope i havent offended anyone as not my intention.

Heather - posted on 04/25/2010

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I think everyone should have a living will, that clearly states what you wish to have done if certain circumstances occur. I personally would not have a DNR order for myself at this time in my life, because if I were, say, having a heart attack, I would want everything and anything done to save my life, since you can recover from a heart attack. A DNR order does somewhat give you the right to die, but I am not talking about being on life support and unresponsive for years, I am talking about people who have been diagnosed with a terminal disease and requesting to die, before they are to the point of needing life support, or hospice...while they are still in their right mind. Most people are accepting of this and think it is very merciful for the dying...however some, mostly religious people have an issue with it, because it is suicide...I am happy to see that we all mostly agree that is should be allowed, and I dont understand why it is still illegal in alot of states...

Emma - posted on 04/25/2010

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Well My hubby and i have living wills, With our wishes clearly stated .
I Myself have watched loved ones die slow agonising deaths with 0% chance of recovery or any quality of life while slowly loosing all dignity.
I feel that the people who do not support living wills are selfish and objecting because of there religious beliefs.
I think it is discussing that we show more compassion towards animals than we do our fellow man in this regard.

Ashley - posted on 04/24/2010

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I'm all for it. I live in WA and it is legal here. You have to have six months to live from a terminal illness, and go through quite a few psychological tests before you are cleared for it. Personally if I were in pain all the time and were about to die anyways, I'd do it.

Jaime - posted on 04/24/2010

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I am all for Dr.-assisted suicide. I think it's foolish to keep a loved one on life support for years and years if there's no chance of recovery. I'm not dismissing the difficulty at having to let go of someone you care about, but to keep them on life support is only serving the needs of the able-bodied...not the body laying on the cot, hooked up to machines. I don't think anyone relishes the thought of losing a loved one but when it comes down to terminal illness or being on life support with little to no chance of brain-function recovery, then I say a quick death is the most humane action that can be taken on their behalf.

Keisha - posted on 04/24/2010

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I believe in this 100% I know for a fact that if if I was in a circumstance that would ultimately lead to my death I would not want to prolong it anymore than it has to be.

Suzette - posted on 04/24/2010

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I'm a bit on the fence on this one. I've watched both of my grandfathers lay in excruciating pain waiting for death. One died from cancer when I was 11 years old and didn't wait very long before he passed away, but the pain was awful, the moriphine and treatments were awful and the moriphine only took the edge away. I remember watching his fingers, toes, and ears turn black and then the day he passed away he was normal colored again that morning, able to feed himself. For an hour or so everyone thought he was getting better... he passed away that afternoon.

My other grandfather died from diabetes and other problems just last year. He was in pain for over 2 years and I believe he hung on because of the family and not wanting to leave my grandmother alone. He dealt with the pain of dialysis and not being able to walk, bathe himself, or even move on his own in a chair or bed. I wanted his suffering to end so badly and at the same time, I didn't want him to leave us either. (Selfish, I know.) When he did pass, I was somewhat relieved that he wasn't in pain and at the same time, I was upset that he was gone... though I believe both are a part of grief. I wish I could have done something to help him much sooner, especially since he was in pain for all those years.



I need to have a DNR in place, so long as I won't be a vegetable, I want to be brought back. I don't want to be on machines to survive, that's no way for my family to see me or to have to take care of me. I don't want to put anyone through that kind of grief. On the other hand, I think that legalized euthanizing can call for a lot of trouble, especially when you have greedy family members. I think it's a great idea for the person to make the decision themselves, they have to be of sound mind when doing so. What happens when the illness has caught up to them so badly that they can't make that decision?

Lyndsay - posted on 04/24/2010

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I, personally, am a DNR. Do not recussitate. If I die, let me be. I don't want to be hooked up to all these machines, unable to do anything but lie on a bed. The way I see it is this. If my dog had cancer or something, we would put her down. We would allow her to go peacefully, without undue pain and suffering. I really don't think its too much to ask for the same courtesy to be shown to human beings.

Rosie - posted on 04/24/2010

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i really don't see how it's much different than signing a do not resucitate order. you're chooseing to die, and doctors are helping it along in that instance. as hard as it may be for some to accept that their loved one is dying and in pain and they want to die, it's completely inhumaine to not go with their wishes. our animals are good enough to euthanise, but our families, our most treasured loved ones aren't good enough? completely twisted way of thinking, IMO.

Heather - posted on 04/24/2010

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I have always liked Jack Kevorkian and I have always felt that he truly believes that people who are suffering should have the right to die peacefully if thats what they choose. I actually think it is very kind to allow someone to die with dignity. I worked for a while with hospice care, and I could only do it for a short time because it is very hard to watch people die, especially while suffering. Many times people jokingly (but not really) had asked me to just call Dr. Kevorkian including my own grandfather who had congestive heart failure and his lungs were so full of fluid that every breath was a struggle...if I could have helped him I would have done it in a second.

Lady - posted on 04/24/2010

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I'm really not judging anyone so I really hope no one takes it that way but I find it a bit sad that two people have already mentioned the financial side of a terminal patient. It would worry me on both sides that this was a factor in deciding whether or not to euthanize someone, I think if the patient felt they were a burden in that way then it might push them into doing it if they didn't really want to in order to save their family money, and some greedy relatives may be quicker to euthanize in order to make sure that their inheritance was still left in tact. It really is one of the huge disadvantages of having a health care system that you have to pay for in other ways rather than just through taxes, I really hope the UK never goes down that route, the last thing people should be worring about in the situation where they are going to lose a loved one is the cost of it all.

LaCi - posted on 04/24/2010

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There is no reason people who are ultimately just laying around in pain and misery should be forced to do so until they finally die.

Stephany - posted on 04/24/2010

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I live in a state where doctor-assisted suicide is legal. In fact, our state was the first to legalize it. There really aren't very many people who actually pursue these measures (here, at least). I seem to remember an article in the local paper a while back (a few years after the law passed) that showed that fewer than 20 or 30 had actually requested such help. I believe the patient has to have a terminal illness, have two separate medical opinions that both agree that said patient will die from the illness, and see a counselor (I believe), and then the doctor can write a prescription for pills that will allow the patient to die (at home, with family).
I agree with Gillian- I would hope I had the strength to help someone I'm close to die woth dignity and not make them suffer anymore than they already had. I guess some people with strong religious views are against it, and that's fine. Nobosy is being forced to take any pills- it's just an option for those who want to pursue it. The morphine thing is true, too- my mother-in-law is a nurse and when all of this was in the news she said that they had been taught in nursing school thta you could 'accidentally' give too much morphine to a dying patient if they requested it and the family was onboard. She said she's never done it, but she knows other nurses who have and she understands why they would. If I was responsible for making someone comfortable, I knew they wouldn't live to see next week, they were in excruciating pain, adding $5000 a day to the bill their family would have to pay, and they asked me to make it end now instead of making it last longer- I don't know that I could deny them that one last wish.

Belinda - posted on 04/24/2010

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It's a tough call. I have a living will that states I am not to be put on any life saving equipment unless a full recovery can be made. It's not the same thing as choosing to die, but it is the same idea. That an adult can make the choice on their own. IDK.....

Lady - posted on 04/24/2010

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If my mum or my sister or my husband were living a horrible life full of pain with no chance of recovery I hope I woukd be srtong enough to help them go with grace and dignity instead of suffering right to the end. It's not all that different to how we treat a lot of people now anyway. We give morphine to people - cancer patients ect. - knowing that it will supress their breathing and therefore shorten their life expectancy but still it's neccesary for them in order to handle the dreadful pain, giving them medication to help end the suffering altogether isn't all that much different.

[deleted account]

IDK? I could see how someone wouldn't want to go all out on life sustaining measures to continue a life that would be a horrible financial burden to their family just to lengthen the death process. So I could kinda see how someone might choose to end their life before it got gawd awful. I don't know how I would feel if I were in that boat, but looking at it from afar I could understand how someone could go there. The way I understand it to work there is a lot of steps involved in the process and someone really has to think about it!!! They gotta see counselors, make written requests multiple times...they really draw that crap out to hopefully weed out the riff raff. Its a hell of a lot more complicated then say buying a shot gun and taking care of business! Or leaving your car running in an enclosed garage! If someone wants to die they'll find a way! I'm more for if I can't breath for myself, take care of my own bodily functions and am a complete burden on society then let my body take care of itself kinda thinker, but IDK?

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