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 25, 2017
6,402
Yes, not for suicide purposes, but for cases where the individual is going through so much physical pain or physical disability that them still living is only bringing more suffering. Regarding mental conditions, that'd have to be on a case by case basis, as, for example, I don't think depression (as terrible as it can be) should be grounds for someone being able to access to euthanasia.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,167
Boston, MA
It's simply immoral to force someone to live and suffer when there's nothing else that can be done to ease their pain.

There are many cultural traditions that prevent people from accepting the obvious truth of this. Often these traditions make people believe they are valuing life - but a more sophisticated understanding of the situation reveals that making a person suffer against their will is not accomplishing that goal.

And in some cases I think, people are against it because it scares them. Human beings don't like to confront the reality of death. By arguing that all people should struggle against death to the final moment, regardless of circumstances, one may imagine death has less power over human beings. It is reduced and distant.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,590
Absolutely. It’s incredibly absurd you are allowed to put down animals as you please but can’t even decide over your own life when you are terminally ill. I know it’s an incredibly fine line to walk but it seems like it works reasonably well in countries that somewhat allow it (Switzerland ie). I’m furious national politics don’t move a single inch in that direction. Well, gotta keep god (lol) and big Pharma happy!
 
Oct 27, 2017
633
100%

If I ever get a degenerative disease that would ruin my QoL and put a huge burden on my family I'd rather have the option of going with some dignity and not becoming a burden ton them.

Apparently that's not my choice to make though
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,922
Yes, emphatically.

If we recognized that people have the agency to choose to continue living, and that they are entitled to a doctor's care and advice in terms of understanding that choice, I believe the rate of suicide would be reduced across the board, without a corresponding rise in euthanasia. In other words, if people could talk openly about the subject, more people would choose to live.
 
So, a story...
Back in December, my grandfather started having a bit of cough. It got worse and worse until we took him to the doctor, who diagnosed him as having pneumonia, gave him some prescriptions, and sent him on his way. The medicine seemed to stagger the cough a bit, but not entirely. Then the doctors thought that he had slight heart failure. At this point, he was sitting on the couch at night instead of being in bed. He told us that he was afraid that he was going to stop breathing. We figured he was having anxiety related to his conditions and was working himself up, but that proved not to be true.

We eventually took him to get a scan and see what was going on. Turns out that he had honeycomb-shaped masses in his lungs, as well as other masses in his kidney and stomach. Years of working in machine shops and garages had finally manifested in the form of mesothelioma. Within two weeks, we had to call hospice, and three days later, he was dead. Those three days were the most I've ever personally seen a human being suffer. Even with morphine, his face contorted with pain with each breath and his screams when he moved or was moved haunt me.

During those days, he went from saying "I don't want to live this way" to "I want to die" very quickly. And the more it went on, the more I wished I could help him out. This was one of the strongest men I'd known in my life and he was reduced to the misery of constant pain and begging somebody.... anybody.... to grant him an end. I wouldn't wish what he went through on my worst enemy or the most evil person in the world.

Back to the original point, when I was younger, I had seen the news stories of Dr. Jack Kevorkian with those crazy eyes and the assisted deaths of his patients and thought "that guy is a killer" - even though I agreed mostly on somebody's right to die. But it took watching my grandpa dying in front of me to realize that what he did was one of the most compassionate and beautiful things that anybody could do for someone in their care. To help somebody go out of this world with a nice dream instead of wasted away from battling torment is as divine as we humans can aspire to be.

The sad thing is that the law still bans assisted suicide in many states - notably here in Florida with our large elderly population. I understand that suicide may be against people's religions and that killing somebody else, even for mercy, it's illegal, but compassion must be taken into account and the law must be amended to help those who will go through something as bad as or even worse than what my grandpa went through.

So yes, I support euthanasia - now, more than ever.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,129
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.
Thanx, will watch.

Edit: Oh wait, my girlfriend watched this and told me about it.
But i think people should be master over their own death. It just has to be well taken care off.
I don't see much reason to stop people from doing this, to be honest. But it has to be done right without leaving a mess for loved ones and other people.
As long as all the other options are discussed. Meds, help, etc.
 
Last edited:
Jan 16, 2019
597
Absolutely. People shouldn't be forced to suffer an agonising death that can be avoided because of the ignorant whims of the religious and moral purists. My family already have strict instructions to end me under certain circumstances e.g being a vegetable.

As a doctor

Maybe i'm jaded

A jaded Doctor.....That sounds like a healthy arrangement.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,802
Yes, if someone has had the time to fully think and understand what they're doing, and are cognitively lucid enough to make the decision, then they should have every right to cease their existence. Their life is theirs.
 
Oct 26, 2017
79
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 hear where you are coming from, but it seems like your thoughts are on "family deciding," in my mind, it's "me deciding." I don't think it should be a crime for me be like, "you know what? i'm good, lets cut things off here."
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,093
Dallas, TX
For cases involving terminal illnesses, yeah. You’d need some pretty stringent regulations on it to prevent abuses like people just killing off burdensome elderly or children, eg never for minors, required multiple requests over lengthy time frame coupled with psych exams, can’t grant power of attorney to anyone else to make the decision for you, but with all that in place, yeah, it should be an option.
 
I think euthanasia is definitely the wrong word. Doesn't that open up possibilities for people making end-of-life decisions for others based on their perceptions of their suffering? Canada has assisted suicide laws now and I do agree that those should exist. Some requirements make it tricky but that should be necessary to avoid people temporarily suffering from jumping straight to the most extreme solution.
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,252
Pennsylvania
Sure, it is up to the individual if they don't want to ride the ship anymore, or in some cases find they have an incurable/damaging disease that will slowly kill them/cause them a life of pain.

Some people just want to go for their own reason
I have so many patients where I work that are miserable and just want to go, they should be able to make that choice if they wish after a proper evaluation.
 
Oct 27, 2017
641
Portugal
Long post, sorry for the delay answering. I appreciate this discussion, thank you for everyone that commented on my post, hopefully we can keep going. It is a bit hard on me because English is not my first language, hopefully my comments don't come across wrong. If they do I appreciate you telling me.

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.
You could have clicked on my profile to know where i am from. I'll save you the click, i'm from Portugal.
You might think it is nonsense but i'll translate this law right here that is absolute bunkers and breaks my heart whenever someone has to apply it.
diário da república Portuguesa said:
Subsidy for 3rd person by social security​
stage 1
you are allowed for a 3rd person subsidy if you comply for the following
  • Can't do any basic daily activity (washing yourself, eating by yourself, able to dress yourself,etc.)
  • Beneficiary must be receiving a pension from social security
Stage 2

  • Everything before + beneficiary is permanently in bed or has severe dementia
My problems with it:
  • an old person with a small pension can't receive a subsidy to hire someone cleaning their home and buying their groceries just because they can eat their meal by themselves. IMO these old people need help and this subsidy would give some quality of life to them, instead they are abandoned by the society they helped to create.
  • You can only get stage 2 if either the person you are supporting is very close to dying OR you don't give a fuck about your beneficiary and leave him always on the bed. Even if the beneficiary is incapable of leaving the bed by himself IF there is someone that helps him move from bed to a chair they legally lose the right to get a stage 2 subsidy.
Personally speaking if an euthanazia law is made I think it will be full of "holes" like that that can and will be exploited.

Don't even get me started on to give a pension by invalidity! the person has to have "permanent inability to earn 50% of their salary in the next 3 years".

I'd like you to explain those 2 laws to me. Explain:
  1. How is Stage 1 subsidy fair?
  2. How is stage 2 subsisidy not rewarding people that treat the beneficiary badly?
  3. What does "earn 50% of their salary" mean? (can't work 50% of their hours? they do their work 50% slower?)
I apologize that my concerns are nonsense and i hope you enlighten me the above so i can sleep better the rest of my life.

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.
Do you have the law? i'd love to read it.

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.
Good point. It breaks my hearts reading this. I wish i could help you.

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?
But isn't what you already say "done" already? we doctors when we have a situation where it leads to not a humane life we just let the person die as natural as possible, including letting them die at home if possible. We use medical procedures to ease suffering (for example prosthesis to increase the lumen of the intestine so there isn't occlusion)

Euthanasia is for people that are currently "well" but have a reserved prognosis. I just don't have the belief someone can make strict enough rules for this not be abused.

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?

Withdrawing a treatment that will result in death is usual done if we doctors see that there is no QOL. Here in Portugal that is "usually" done, specially if we have some sort of guarantee that the person has very little chance of recovery any semblance of humanity.
I think i speak for most doctors that euthanasia is literally killing someone because of their disease.

My main concern is the "stringent laws in place " which i don't see being made as well as they should.

I hear where you are coming from, but it seems like your thoughts are on "family deciding," in my mind, it's "me deciding." I don't think it should be a crime for me be like, "you know what? i'm good, lets cut things off here."
If it is like you and laoni say then yeah that would be acceptable to me.
My experience however is much "darker" where families would pressure their sick members to die. Without euthanazia i still hear far too many times phrases such as " we can't keep this for X reason" where X reason is absolutely something that could be handled with some effort from the family. obviously i'm generalizing a lot and if it is possible to have euthanasia where the person is indeed protected from such influences then yeah i understand euthanazia. It just, at the moment, feels something out of utopia; I can't see a law made in a way that wouldn't have someway for someone to gain through the death of others.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,341
MN
If I’m dying and it’s a sure bet, I’d rather go on my own terms before I suffer.

PS I got diagnosed with a rare liver disease called psc and I have a 10-15 year life expectancy without a liver transplant.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,129
Long post, sorry for the delay answering. I appreciate this discussion, thank you for everyone that commented on my post, hopefully we can keep going. It is a bit hard on me because English is not my first language, hopefully my comments don't come across wrong. If they do I appreciate you telling me.


You could have clicked on my profile to know where i am from. I'll save you the click, i'm from Portugal.
You might think it is nonsense but i'll translate this law right here that is absolute bunkers and breaks my heart whenever someone has to apply it.


My problems with it:
  • an old person with a small pension can't receive a subsidy to hire someone cleaning their home and buying their groceries just because they can eat their meal by themselves. IMO these old people need help and this subsidy would give some quality of life to them, instead they are abandoned by the society they helped to create.
  • You can only get stage 2 if either the person you are supporting is very close to dying OR you don't give a fuck about your beneficiary and leave him always on the bed. Even if the beneficiary is incapable of leaving the bed by himself IF there is someone that helps him move from bed to a chair they legally lose the right to get a stage 2 subsidy.
Personally speaking if an euthanazia law is made I think it will be full of "holes" like that that can and will be exploited.

Don't even get me started on to give a pension by invalidity! the person has to have "permanent inability to earn 50% of their salary in the next 3 years".

I'd like you to explain those 2 laws to me. Explain:
  1. How is Stage 1 subsidy fair?
  2. How is stage 2 subsisidy not rewarding people that treat the beneficiary badly?
  3. What does "earn 50% of their salary" mean? (can't work 50% of their hours? they do their work 50% slower?)
I apologize that my concerns are nonsense and i hope you enlighten me the above so i can sleep better the rest of my life.


Do you have the law? i'd love to read it.
Is that a portugese law? I'm not sure i fully understand.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,220
Anyone should have the right to die under their own terms, provided they aren't hurting anyone else in the process. And I don't mean emotional hurt of losing a friend or family member. I mean doing so with explicit intent to harm someone else.
 
Nov 3, 2017
1,893
Ive been a nurse for 26 years and have mixed feelings about it. In theory I support it but I guarantee it would be abused. Ever hear of a dnr order - do not resusitate? That order means if you stop breathing, you do not resusitate. However, I can tell you Ive sent residents with dnr orders from my facillity to the emergencey room and had EMTs, Nurses, MDs question why we were sending out a patient out who has a dnr order ( as though they had an order to not treat ). Add to that the reallity that many long term patients are not properly medicated for chronic pain anymore due well intentioned but over zealous regulations put on MDs to curb overprescription of narcotics, I worry people would choose euthanasia who might have quality of life if they were free of pain.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,717
Yes, I do. Ultimately, in the end, I see this in a similar way to how I see topics such as abortion. What abortion comes down is how women should have the ultimate say over their own bodies in the end and nobody should tell them otherwise or be able to override them, if that's indeed their choice. I see euthanasia similarly in how if one is of sound mind and that's their choice, it's ultimately their body and their life and if that is what would grant them the most peace, they should be able to make that choice and should not be able to be overridden. And again, also like abortion, euthanasia being illegal just makes certain people who are desperate for an escape from chronic pain, or desperate to avoid the horrors of stuff like Alzheimer take matters into their own hands and potentially put not only themselves but others at severe risk by pursuing non-supervised forms of suicide, such as the use of firearms or jumping into traffic/in front of a train or other forms of suicide that can easily put others at risk. Of course, not having any legal options will indeed deter many, but others it won't depending on just how determined they are and how great their suffering, and that can lead to even greater tragedies where they only end up putting themselves and/or others in even greater pain than they were in before do to lacking better options (due to say botching an attempted death by firearm and either hurting someone else on accidental or gravely injuring but not actually killing themselves, or by trying to OD on some form of medication and not dying but doing considerable damage to their liver or other parts of their body, etc). The point being though, what does one have control over if not one's body and ultimately, mental illness aside, who knows better than the individual in question?

Of course, the "of sound mind" is a huge caveat with this and one has to be very, very careful that mental illness such as depression is not a factor and is the only thing causing someone to seek out the option, but as long as it's very securely verified that mental illness such as that has nothing to do with the situation, the decision should then definitely be the patient's own and that should be respected as each and every one of us should have the ultimate say over our own bodies and no one else.

Now where it really gets messy is those situations where the individual cannot make decisions for themselves and the decision rests with whoever has power of attorney/is responsible for making medical decisions, such as in the case of a patient who is comatose or otherwise rendered unable to communicate or is rendered incoherent by any number of conditions. Those situations I have no easy answer for, because indeed, there are nefarious actors out there who would try and abuse that for their own gain and to try and benefit from wills and stuff, and that's definitely not good and I don't know how to counteract that and how those situations should best be handled.

But at the same time, the debate definitely shouldn't be entirely defined by that either, far from it, and the fact that there would be bad-faith actors is no reason to hold the whole thing back and prevent people who are legitimately suffering from being able to make that choice. I don't know what to do in those situations where abuse is a factor, but that's no reason to hold the whole thing back and prevent people who can completely coherently make the decision from being able to do so, if that's their choice.
 
Oct 25, 2017
506
Twilight Zone
I've struggled with this before. I do now believe that it should be available as long as the person has the cognitive functions to agree to it.
This type of thinking is tricky. what happens when they begin to be a vegetative state? how do we test their cognitive functions? Euthanasia is the same as a DNR as it needs to be discussed prior to the event or else we leave it up to the legal guardian.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,844
In general yes I support it.

But it’s a super tricky issue and I feel it should be handled via the courts on a case by case basis.

There is a lot of room for horrible error or abuse if it is not strictly regulated.
 
Aug 1, 2018
1,065
This type of thinking is tricky. what happens when they begin to be a vegetative state? how do we test their cognitive functions? Euthanasia is the same as a DNR as it needs to be discussed prior to the event or else we leave it up to the legal guardian.
I understand that. To me, if they have their cognitive functions beforehand then I'm okay with it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
506
Twilight Zone
Ive been a nurse for 26 years and have mixed feelings about it. In theory I support it but I guarantee it would be abused. Ever hear of a dnr order - do not resusitate? That order means if you stop breathing, you do not resusitate. However, I can tell you Ive sent residents with dnr orders from my facillity to the emergencey room and had EMTs, Nurses, MDs question why we were sending out a patient out who has a dnr order ( as though they had an order to not treat ). Add to that the reallity that many long term patients are not properly medicated for chronic pain anymore due well intentioned but over zealous regulations put on MDs to curb overprescription of narcotics, I worry people would choose euthanasia who might have quality of life if they were free of pain.
As someone mentioned earlier in the thread, there are too many regulations put in place for it to be blantanly abused on a healthy person. You should also know that DNR are not every bodies first choice. I don’t think i’ve seen a DNR on any pt that wasn’t terminal or already on their way out. It’s be inhumane to continue supporting a vessel that is in constant pain. What good is doing pain management on a 86 y/o male with a humerus fracture who constantly repeats “i wish they’d just shoot me.” It’s their choice.