Hobbling Around the Issues: Assisted Suicide

There are some things in life that are difficult for me to understand. This issue is one of them.

I can’t understand why it is ok to put our dog out of its misery when it is old and can hardly eat, but when it comes to our grandfather…well, that’s just inhuman. We explain to our kids how “the right thing to do” is to put our cat down after being hit by a car, but when our loved one can only speak long enough to beg us to help them go quickly…we are appalled by the thought of “murdering” them.

We (as a society) say that it is okay to have an abortion, but when our own grandmother, who has lived a long, full, dignified life is now unable to control her bowels and bladder, not to mention her mind…it is best to just clean her up and pretend that she wants to exist as long as possible in a hospital room that she is frightened of each morning.

On movies and in reality, we often hear people say “at least he/she died doing what he or she loved.” Meanwhile, the father who gave 30 years of his life in service to our country is in so much pain that he can’t even see or hear his kids because his head is thrown back in screams of horror…it would have been okay if he died in the war, but we are going to make his life as long as possible here on our soil.

It is one thing when our loved one wants to fight, wants to live, tries to deal with the pain since it means they can still see their family and friends, etc.

When people are in horrible pain; when they are scared of each new day and in brief moments of sanity, beg us to kill them; when days or weeks of helpless humiliation are all they have left before they pass away…how can we ignore the real issue and only focus on serving our own purposes. Are we really that selfish? If you think the quality of life is not important…well, I don’t understand that.

Maybe you can help…

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13 thoughts on “Hobbling Around the Issues: Assisted Suicide

  1. our society says a lot of things are OK, and even legal. But I beleive morally we need to go back to our creator, what does God say? human life is sacred, however should we artifically keep a person alive just because we have the technology to do so?? tough question.

    our society says, abortion is ok, but if a pregnant woman is killed by a drunk driver he gets two murder charges. obviously society is not a good indicator of what is right and true or what is wrong or humane.
    my 2 cents

    • Very true…I think that many of the people who arrive at the point where they would like someone to help them die; are there only because of the life extending things that were done prior to them being ready to die. I think that there are many people who want to fight to the very end, but if they don’t, what would be the difference of stopping life support, and giving them some medicine to just let them go ahead and die…other than a few thousand dollars and plenty of pain.

    • Thanks…this subject, assisted suicide, is something I feel pretty strongly about. I think if most people really felt what it is like to live in constant pain, or what it is like to know that you are losing your mind, this would not be even a question.

  2. Something I failed to mention earlier, is the death penalty aspect. I think it pretty crazy that prisoners on death roll also have an easier death than many people whose days are stretched unbearably long in a hospital.

  3. I think no exclusions (except for minors or people otherwise deemed unable to make these decisions). It’s ridiculous that we force people to live when they have absolutely no joy in life.

    • Especially when people are in horrible pain. We can create living wills about life support, but we are forced into paying thousands of dollars and suffering needlessly when we could just get a shot and let go on easier terms. I think it would be helpful for family members too because everyone could say goodby before their loved one forgets who they are.

  4. I voted yes, no exclusions. Parents legally are responsible for their children and have the ultimate decision unless it goes to court. I may be wrong, but I didn’t consider any of those situations when I voted. 🙂 I don’t know what a living will has to do with anything- expect for being kept alive artificially, which is not the same as assisted suicide.

    Death row is a whole other deal.

    One thing that is particularly interesting to me is the lack of understanding for chronic pain. People who are in serious chronic pain and need narcotics don’t get high- they get normal- if the drugs work. If not, it just takes the edge off the pain. And yet, we see such prescription abuse by those without real pain that those who DO have real pain can’t get the narcotics they actually NEED to function at normal levels. THAT could make me rant a good while.

    Quality of life is everything. Otherwise, there is just existence, which is not living, imo. Seeing as not everyone is religious, I think the individual should have the right to choose how to live (or end) his or her life. God will judge in the end- it’s not my place.

    • Well said. I mentioned a living will because at this point, living with a disability, I would gladly write into the will that if I was incapable to make or unable to communicate my desire to pass away quickly if I was in a situation needing life support, I would like to. Sometimes people who have “do not give live support” in their living will, suffer needlessly for days or weeks just waiting to die when it could just be over. I hope that makes sense.

      You are so right about pain killers. People who need them just to be normal, hate taking them also. I have been on heavy pain killers for the past 8 months, and I hate the side effects, but I need the benefits. Abusers of the drugs don’t understand the reality if what they are doing to their bodies for absolutely no reason.

      • Oh, ITA that folks need a living will. I (personally) don’t think it’s quite the same as assisted suicide, although living artificially (for me) would be a prolonged hell. If assisted suicide was legal, though, I would imagine those conditions/circumstances would be quite handy to have included in a living will.

        I used to work in nursing homes, and it was hard to see people in a condition where we were basically forced to feed them (and some had feeding tubes) and you could tell how angry they were with it all. I absolutely would not want life support if I had no brain activity and had no way to have quality of life.

        • My mom works in a nursing home, and she has a person that begs her to just kill him. She though is in the “it’s morally wrong” category…not to mention that she doesn’t want to get charged with murder. That is why it should be legal in my opinion. If the person is begging to just die, we can give them pain killers, we can read them books, we can try just about anything except what they actually want.

  5. Went with “Yes – no exclusions”.
    Though I don’t think this is something the State should be involved in at all, I do think there should be some kind of qualifier or standard level to be met before assisted suicide is undertaken.
    No idea what that would be though…

    • That is a good point, we have too much government involvement already. The only problem with it being a personal choice, I think, would be when family members argue over the issue of some loved one who can not make that decision. That is why I think it would help if you could write it into a living will. I would definitely choose no life support and give me something so I can go quickly instead of waiting out the final moments in pain or confusion.

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