Right - to - die. Have we the right to choose?

  csqwared 19:48 06 Jun 08
Locked

Why is it that in this country we have difficulty in allowing people to choose how they manage terminal illnesses? See click here

Once again we have an invidual who recognises her future, doesn't want to be a burden to her family or suffer the pain her illness will ultimately put her through and, whilst of 'sound mind', tries to organise her future only to be put through further grief and agony by the law. Surely every person must have the right to decide their ultimate fate when faced with these extreme circumstances.

  rdave13 20:04 06 Jun 08

I agree that we should have the right to die. Having seen members of my family dying through a painful death, even with morphine administrated, the slow and painful death need not have occurred.
Having said that it would be very difficult to police such a venture. How can one be sure that euthanasia is what the patient really wants when in such a state? Regardless of being thought of 'being of sound mind'.
A difficult topic.

  csqwared 20:17 06 Jun 08

I don't think it's really that difficult. It would appear that the legal profession is quite happy to draw up a will stating that the testator is ' of sound mind' but when it comes to the issue of euthanasia or assisted suicide they seem extremely hesitant to do so. The think I have great difficulty understanding is why it is against the law in the first place.

fourm member
"I'd like to try and understand the reasons for that change and see if those reasons still apply."

Me too.

  rdave13 20:36 06 Jun 08

There is also the fact that there are people, could even be family members, that would benefit through a death and through deviousness could engineer a way for euthanasia. Evil but it happens. Making euthanasia legal might make it easier for such deeds. As I said, difficult to police.

  Kemistri 20:48 06 Jun 08

This is something about which I have always felt quite strongly. I question why we do not have the right to decide in advance how we should die and what actions should be taken by medical professionals (or those close to us if necessary) in the event of certain pre-determined health situations such as terminal illness. Why can we not have a legal document that states what we want to happen in such an event? At the moment, we have the living will system which provides a way for people to decide in advance what sort of medical treatment they receive and even whether they wish to be treated at all, but that is not enough choice.

  csqwared 20:48 06 Jun 08

"There is also the fact that there are people, could even be family members, that would benefit through a death and through deviousness could engineer a way for euthanasia."

I entirely agree which is why I don't understand the readiness of the legal profession to state 'of sound mind'. I don't really know how a solicitor would go about justifying that statement, one supposes he has the advice of a doctor and, if that is the case, does that not eradicate the chance of 'foul play'. If that practice were made legal it shouldn't be too difficult to put safeguards of that nature in place.

  laurie53 20:48 06 Jun 08

I agree with rdave13.

The bottom line to all aspects of this debate is has any pressure or persuasion been used?

My wife is severely disabled and in constant pain.

She has, on occasion, talked suicide.

Do I say "No you mustn't." and persuade her to put up with yet more pain which I cannot even imagine, or do say "Go ahead" and remove what little quality of life she has remaining?

I simply stay silent and weep with her.

  mrwoowoo 21:26 06 Jun 08

I'd like to try and understand the reasons for that change and see if those reasons still apply."
Perhaps it's as simple as the reason that we won't bring back capital punishment.The powers that be like to think that we are a civilised country.Anything that challenges our status as such will be brushed under the carpet.
For some reason we hold ourselves up as an example to the rest of the world as how a civilised country should be.Unfortunately,we don't always get it right.

  rdave13 21:40 06 Jun 08

'The powers that be like to think that we are a civilised country.'
So do I. Whatever you think of this country I still think it's one of the best.
'Anything that challenges our status as such will be brushed under the carpet.'. Do you seriously believe that?
Deep down do you dislike living in a democracy that tries to look after it's own.
We all moan and groan about this that and the other but would you seriously emigrate or are you just putting on a bit of bravado?
Britain might not be Great anymore but still a great country to live in.

  mrwoowoo 21:51 06 Jun 08

Not at all.I'm very proud of my country and the fact that it's civilised and treats all citizens as such.I just think that sometimes we don,t see the wood for the trees.
Perhaps we dismiss things as uncivilised without really thinking the consequenses through.
How can denying a loved one, who suffers weeks or perhaps months and months of utter agony,the chance of salvation and an end to their suffering be regarded as a civilised answer.
We won't allow cats or dogs to suffer unneccessarily,so why humans?
Surely we deserve as much consideration as a household pet.

  ulrich 22:03 06 Jun 08

If I can't look after myself I do not want to be kept alive.

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