Do you support euthanasia?

Do you support euthanasia

  • Yes

    Votes: 455 93.8%
  • No

    Votes: 18 3.7%
  • Other (make a comment)

    Votes: 12 2.5%

  • Total voters
    485
Oct 27, 2017
6,129
#55
As a doctor ii hope this isn't ever passed. I'd hate to have to kill someone because they want to give up on their life. Is there any way we can ever be sure that the person really wanted to die?

  • pain can be controlled with medications
  • mental diseases is being better and better controlled with new approaches in psychiatric
  • Cancer's complications are getting better treatment thanks to new radiotherapy and prosthesis
  • Strokes can be more managed by physios and neurosurgeons
From my experience, all i see from allowing euthanasia is families killing people that are a burden (children with genetic diseases, old people,etc.).

Maybe i'm jaded but i really can't see this being used for good; instead all i see is a legal means to kill someone. I don't want this on my conscience!
Not sure where you live or how young you are but this is absolute nonsense. There are rules and regulations.
I can fully understand that you don't want too be there when people do this though.
 
Mar 13, 2019
38
#60
The Louis Theroux documentary about this, in the Altered States series, was about as good a wrap-up of the subject as you can get. It was the rare documentary that actually challenged me to re-think my position on something.

Before I watched that, I'd have argued uniformly for access to euthanasia, with almost no qualifiers. After watching it, it becomes very apparent that an individual's definition of unbearable pain or unsustainable quality of life can vary quite dramatically from the easily accepted scenario - one where someone has a terminal illness or has come out of an accident with injuries from which they'll never recover.

In those situations, where the cause is physiological, I'd still argue for access to euthanasia in every case. But there are also more troublesome instances where the catalyst for a person seeking to end their life is psychological or emotional, or at least manifests itself that way - in the form of clinical depression, bereavement etc. No doubt those cases also have an underlying physiological component in the sense of depression being cause by brain chemistry, but nevertheless, there may be nothing bodily wrong with a person, but they still do not want to live any longer.

This is a difficult area to consider because it's very easy to accept that remedial avenues have been exhausted when it comes to physical ailments or diseases; we accept when someone has tried "everything" because a surgeon or a specialist has signed them off and said it's time to move onto palliative care. There's nothing else that can be done. It's harder to accept that same for something an outside observer can't see. Maybe if person X spent longer in bereavement counselling, they'd turn a corner? Perhaps if person Y tried an alternative SSRI they'd feel differently about ending their life?

I brought up the Louis Theroux documentary because there's a very particular case in it that hits those beats. I won't spoil it for anyone who intends to watch it (it's probably on iPlayer and YouTube) because a lot of its power comes from discovery, but it's not going too far to say that one person seeking the help of an assisted dying organisation is not doing so because she's terminally ill. And it was that case that prompted me to remove the "with almost no qualifiers" part of my previously carte blanche argument for euthanasia.
 
Oct 27, 2017
603
#61
As a doctor ii hope this isn't ever passed. I'd hate to have to kill someone because they want to give up on their life. Is there any way we can ever be sure that the person really wanted to die?

  • pain can be controlled with medications
  • mental diseases is being better and better controlled with new approaches in psychiatric
  • Cancer's complications are getting better treatment thanks to new radiotherapy and prosthesis
  • Strokes can be more managed by physios and neurosurgeons
From my experience, all i see from allowing euthanasia is families killing people that are a burden (children with genetic diseases, old people,etc.).

Maybe i'm jaded but i really can't see this being used for good; instead all i see is a legal means to kill someone. I don't want this on my conscience!
In Canada (where it is legal now) you need to have a disease that is terminal, have your quality of life be degraded (pain, etc), and also be in a rational state of mind (reviewed by a panel of doctors). And I believe a doctor is allowed to refuse, but has to then refer the patient to a doctor they know is not morally opposed.
 
#62
Being kept alive for the sake of it is inhumane if anything. I wouldn't ever want to keep suffering because I can be kept alive, even though all it does is prolong my pains. At that point of life there is nothing more to enjoy.

Less expenses for hospital, more resources to help those who actually need help and less suffering for relatives to keep waiting for me to die. I think it's win-win for everyone to let go as soon as possible.
 
Oct 27, 2017
933
#63
I support it provided there is extremely diligent oversight. My main concern is people killing older relatives, just to get them off their hands, and people with mental health conditions using it for suicide.
 
Mar 13, 2019
38
#66
Not sure where you live or how young you are but this is absolute nonsense. There are rules and regulations.
I can fully understand that you don't want too be there when people do this though.
The trouble is that if qualified and accredited and insured medical professionals don't oversee people's "exits" then less scrupulous and unregulated parties can, and have, stepped in. Things get a lot murkier from there.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,129
#69
The trouble is that if qualified and accredited and insured medical professionals don't oversee people's "exits" then less scrupulous and unregulated parties can, and have, stepped in. Things get a lot murkier from there.
Yes. But there are medical proffesionals who ARE willing to do that. And some aren't willing to do that. That's fine. But thank god we also have the people who are able to do this. This is already happening in some countries. For some time now.
I also think the medic can leave when all is explained to the people there.
 
Mar 13, 2019
38
#70
Yes. But there are medical proffesionals who ARE willing to do that. And some aren't willing to do that. That's fine. But thank god we also have the people who are able to do this. This is already happening in some countries. For some time now.
I also think the medic can leave when all is explained to the people there.
Absolutely. I can't think of a harder job than helping people to die, but hopefully the properly accredited people who are strong enough to do it recognise that they're providing a valuable service.

My comment about less scrupulous groups was specifically about people like Final Exit Network, which operate in a grey area I'm less than comfortable with.
 
#71
At the very least for terminal patients whom are suffering, absolutely. I'm currently watching my mother-in-law slowly die from cholangiocarcinoma (liver bile-duct cancer) and it's the most depressing shit I've ever experienced in my life. She's constantly in pain and discomfort, and no medication or palliative care we've tried thus far has really done all that much for her. She's quickly losing mobility. Her stomach is completely bloated from the tumor growth; I'd say she's more tumor than body at this point. She's only has the energy to be out of bed for maybe 2-3 hours each day. She can barely eat and when she does it just causes severe pain. She has coughing fits like every 5 minutes that sound so bad they make me pause and wonder if she's going to suddenly be unable to breathe at their conclusion. I think we're probably only a week or two, maybe even days, away from her not being able to go to the restroom or bathe by herself anymore.

I love her dearly, but I wish we could start to make moves to end her suffering. I know she wishes she could too. She's at the point where she's basically not even living anymore, she's just existing as best she can while she waits for her body to turn on her. It's miserable for everyone, and I think it would be a lot more dignified if we could share our goodbyes, cry and embrace one last time, and let her go in peace standing by her side. Instead our puritan society has dictated that there is some sanctity in her suffering and letting her and her family sit around and wonder when the end will be, and frankly, it's bullshit.
 
Oct 25, 2017
423
#74
As a doctor ii hope this isn't ever passed. I'd hate to have to kill someone because they want to give up on their life. Is there any way we can ever be sure that the person really wanted to die?

  • pain can be controlled with medications
  • mental diseases is being better and better controlled with new approaches in psychiatric
  • Cancer's complications are getting better treatment thanks to new radiotherapy and prosthesis
  • Strokes can be more managed by physios and neurosurgeons
From my experience, all i see from allowing euthanasia is families killing people that are a burden (children with genetic diseases, old people,etc.).

Maybe i'm jaded but i really can't see this being used for good; instead all i see is a legal means to kill someone. I don't want this on my conscience!
Hey, I totally support doctors being able to refer euthanasia cases to another doctor if they don't agree or don't want that on their conscience. But, if I'm using myself as an example on your cancer point...

I already have a rare, but generally easy to cure cancer (Hodgkin's Lymphoma). But my type, no, it falls into the rare refractory group, where the standard treatments are ineffective. I've had my maximum allowed dose of radiotherapy in the region where it keeps recurring, I've had 5 different types of chemotherapy (and an anti-CD30 agent), and I'm on my second bone marrow transplant. I have paperwork in my bag for a clinical trial of what treatment options I have if I relapse again, which has only 10 patients. Things don't look good for me if this transplant fails, and the clinical trial can't get my disease back to remission.

There aren't really many advances in the field because, well, it's rare, and, in 90% of cases, simple to treat! But for us unlucky few, our options are limited, and, I'm running out of them. I can say, with all my heart, I do not want to be doped up to my eyeballs on pain medication, while my cancer strangles me from the inside out. I want my last days to be mine, to be how I choose them, to truly be able to live them, rather than merely exist on them.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,129
#75
Absolutely. I can't think of a harder job than helping people to die, but hopefully the properly accredited people who are strong enough to do it recognise that they're providing a valuable service.

My comment about less scrupulous groups was specifically about people like Final Exit Network, which operate in a grey area I'm less than comfortable with.
Ah okay. Not familiar with them.

Hey, I totally support doctors being able to refer euthanasia cases to another doctor if they don't agree or don't want that on their conscience. But, if I'm using myself as an example on your cancer point...

I already have a rare, but generally easy to cure cancer (Hodgkin's Lymphoma). But my type, no, it falls into the rare refractory group, where the standard treatments are ineffective. I've had my maximum allowed dose of radiotherapy in the region where it keeps recurring, I've had 5 different types of chemotherapy (and an anti-CD30 agent), and I'm on my second bone marrow transplant. I have paperwork in my bag for a clinical trial of what treatment options I have if I relapse again, which has only 10 patients. Things don't look good for me if this transplant fails, and the clinical trial can't get my disease back to remission.

There aren't really many advances in the field because, well, it's rare, and, in 90% of cases, simple to treat! But for us unlucky few, our options are limited, and, I'm running out of them. I can say, with all my heart, I do not want to be doped up to my eyeballs on pain medication, while my cancer strangles me from the inside out. I want my last days to be mine, to be how I choose them, to truly be able to live them, rather than merely exist on them.
Wow... this hits home hard. I also had Hodgkin and although all the chemo and radiation were pretty rough i can say they were effective in my case...
Absolutely soulcrushing to read you have a type that just doesn't seem to react normally to the treatment. I can fully understand your stance on this and i hope your country is humane enough to let you do this when the time comes. I do hope that time doesn't come though and that there is still a way for you to be cured.
I truly wish you the best of luck.
 
Last edited:
Mar 13, 2019
38
#80
Ah okay. Not familiar with them.
The whole documentary really drives home the need for incredibly stringent regulations, but this is a good snippet that explains the kind of blurred lines I was talking about:


For what it's worth, I still strongly support euthanasia in clear-cut cases like the ones people have bravely shared on this page. I have just recently found myself having to append more qualifiers to my previously total support for it, in any situation.
 
Oct 25, 2017
423
#81
Wow... this hits home hard. I also had Hodgkin and although all the chemo and radiation were pretty rough i can say they were effective in my case...
Absolutely soulcrushing to read you have a type that just doesn't seem to react normally to the treatment. I can fully understand your stance on this and i hope your country is humane enough to let you do this when the time comes. I do hope that time doesn't come though and that there is still a way for you to be cured.
I truly wish you the best of luck.
Don't worry, I'll keep fighting for as long as I have options :) My recovery from transplant 2 continues and my doctors so far are happy with my progress. I just had to have those hard conversations with myself and my family once the shit hit the fan, so to speak, so it's all very gone through and laid out in my mind
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,978
#82
As a doctor ii hope this isn't ever passed. I'd hate to have to kill someone because they want to give up on their life. Is there any way we can ever be sure that the person really wanted to die?

  • pain can be controlled with medications
  • mental diseases is being better and better controlled with new approaches in psychiatric
  • Cancer's complications are getting better treatment thanks to new radiotherapy and prosthesis
  • Strokes can be more managed by physios and neurosurgeons
From my experience, all i see from allowing euthanasia is families killing people that are a burden (children with genetic diseases, old people,etc.).

Maybe i'm jaded but i really can't see this being used for good; instead all i see is a legal means to kill someone. I don't want this on my conscience!
It's ok for you as a doctor to opt out from having to carry out euthanasia. But your weak justifications to force people to continue a painful, suffering filled and/or otherwise shitty not-worth-living-anymore existence doesn't mean people shouldn't have the option to go through euthanasia when the alternative is not a humane life to live anymore. We can train/educate people who are willing to carry out the euthanasia, we can make it so that no one is forced to do it to anyone.

Like, we euthanize animals on the regular when their health deteriorates to a point where we see it as there being no point to continue their suffering, why shouldn't humans themselves be able to decide when the pain, disability or whatever is too much and go on their own terms, rather than suffer through to the prolonged end?
 
Oct 27, 2017
553
#84
Was talking about this the other day. Most people don't realize Robin Williams was suffering from advanced Lewy body dementia before he passed. The way the story was covered was disgusting and made it about depression etc instead of death with dignity. He was rapidly losing his mental faculties....
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,062
#85
Like, we euthanize animals on the regular when their health deteriorates to a point where we see it as there being no point to continue their suffering, why shouldn't humans themselves be able to decide when the pain, disability or whatever is too much and go on their own terms
Basically this. People should be allowed the right to die with dignity.
 
Nov 2, 2017
1,892
#92
I think most people would agree that a person of sound mind and body should have the right to decide when their life should end.

Yes there are a lot of caveats around that and some extremely watertight laws/regulations but I'd rather people have a lawful option that can be monitored and administered by professionals than a package of mystery drugs being shoved through your letterbox.
 
Oct 28, 2017
430
USA
#93
Yes, and I would like the option to end my own life peacefully this way if I ever contract a deadly disease. I don't see why I can let my cat avoid the incredible pain of dying from cancer, but my grandma had to suffocate for weeks before she died.
 
Nov 2, 2017
1,892
#97
As a doctor ii hope this isn't ever passed. I'd hate to have to kill someone because they want to give up on their life. Is there any way we can ever be sure that the person really wanted to die?

  • pain can be controlled with medications
  • mental diseases is being better and better controlled with new approaches in psychiatric
  • Cancer's complications are getting better treatment thanks to new radiotherapy and prosthesis
  • Strokes can be more managed by physios and neurosurgeons
From my experience, all i see from allowing euthanasia is families killing people that are a burden (children with genetic diseases, old people,etc.).

Maybe i'm jaded but i really can't see this being used for good; instead all i see is a legal means to kill someone. I don't want this on my conscience!
I see your points but that's why there would need to be stringent laws in place around the process to ensure that it's not being done by someone not of sound mind. Also, if it ever did come to pass I don't think they'd let a 'standard' doctor or GP be responsible for authorising or administering the process/drugs. I think as with most medical fields it'd be people trained in that particular specialisation.

I am curious as to what your definition of euthanasia is? Is it actually taking a life or does it also include withdrawing treatment that you know will result in that persons death?
 
Oct 25, 2017
74
#98
I do fully support it with restrictions, and as a Canadian I hope they continue to refine the legislation around it. I would very much like to see it get a place where I could have my will state that I would like to go through assisted dying if I were ever to have Alzheimer's/Dementia to the degree that I no longer know who I am.

Also I would like to see something done for those on palliative care that could essentially reduce the suffering time. Having to watch my grandmother pass into a coma and slowly pass away for over a week is cruel and unnecessary. There was no chance she would get better, and was given pain meds to ensure she didnt feel anything as her body gave out. Imagine if we could have picked a day when the family was all around her, and she passed with all of us beside her.