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Death with dignity


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#1 Emily

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 01:28 PM

Brittany Maynard, 29-year-old a death with dignity advocate with terminal brain cancer, ended her life in her Oregon home on November 1st. Oregon is one of five states in the U.S. where death with dignity is authorized. Her choice has been controversial - mainly by those who oppose assisted suicide but also by those with religious reasons. 

 

On October 27, 1997 Oregon enacted the Death with Dignity Act which allows terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose

My right to death with dignity at 29.
 

Maynard's mourners grieve on social media; assisted suicide critics muted.

 

The reason I'm posting this is because when I was talking to my roommate about it last night, she completely disagreed with Brittany Maynard's choice. I thought it would spark up an interesting debate on here.

 

I think that she had every right to go the way she did. She chose the way that she wanted to die and not the way that the doctors told her the cancer would take her. I think that everyone deserves the right to choose how they would like to die when they are faced with something like this.  I commend the people who fight until the very end, but I don't think that everyone has that in them. 

 

How do you feel about death with dignity/assisted suicide?



#2 Kat

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 01:33 PM

It's not suicide, she was already dying. 

As long as someone has the cognitive capacity to make that decision for themselves I have no issue with it. I also think that it not our place to decide if this woman lives or dies, that's her choice.



#3 Rocket

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 01:43 PM

I think she had every right to end her life on her terms and go out peacefully, rather than drag it out where she will be miserable and unable to take care of herself and will die in agony because of her cancer.

 

I'm very proud of my state for having this option. It should be noted that she chose to move here earlier in the year or late last year so she could have doctor assisted suicide instead of suffering until the end.



#4 redlion

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 01:47 PM

In a sense, everyone is dying of old age. Aging is a disease. Don't we all classify as "already dying" under such a definition?

I know why Socrates took hemlock, and it's the same reason that assisted suicide should be legal. Everyone should be able to choose the manner of their death.

#5 talbs

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 01:51 PM

I don't personally agree with it morally, but I've never been in her position. I couldn't do it, regardless of the fact that I am against it. I don't have the cajones.



#6 Pilot

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 02:04 PM

Her body, her life. Good for her.



#7 Prisca

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 02:07 PM

If she were in my family i would encourage her not to kill herself before her time, especially if she was not suffering greatly. I have not been following this story because i cant change it and it isn't terribly uplifting, so i don't know much about her situation. People in this world do what they want to anyways, i am just sad for her family, loss is loss.



#8 Jess

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 02:53 PM

I have no issue with this at all, I wish it were available everywhere. I don't see much difference between this and choosing whether someone should be on life support tbh. I honestly don't know if I could personally do it, but I'd like to have the option, especially if it's cheaper than keeping me alive.



#9 Eagles

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 03:03 PM

I guess it would have to depend on what situation the person is dealing with. If he or she is certainly going to die, then i guess it would be alright. If he or she is not going to die, but still wants to end his or her life for various reasons, then no. Even though i don't agree with either, thats how it should be



#10 Norava

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 03:28 PM

I'm with most people here, she has the right to end her own life.

 

I don't think this should be abused by suicidal people who don't have any life threatening illnesses. However, if something is terminal and you can't get rid of it, then I think it is acceptable.

 

Fuck doing chemo if it will ruin your quality of life and you still won't survive. 



#11 ortin

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 03:32 PM

Pretty much everyone on this thread agrees that this is ok. I'm curious, what did your friend have to say about this?

#12 Emily

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 03:34 PM

Pretty much everyone on this thread agrees that this is ok. I'm curious, what did your friend have to say about this?

 

She's very religious and sees it as suicide and just doesn't agree. I just told her I understood where she was coming from, but I didn't agree. That's where it ended because we don't argue :p 



#13 Pilot

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:06 PM

She's very religious and sees it as suicide and just doesn't agree. I just told her I understood where she was coming from, but I didn't agree. That's where it ended because we don't argue :p

 

Maybe God shouldn't have gave her cancer eheu



#14 SheOfTheEnderworld

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:09 PM

I agree with anyone having the choice to make such a decision...and could very well see myself making the same decision were I in her situation...but where things get murky for me in the debate lies in the realm of freedom of choice either way (to live or to die) being compromised in any fashion. For example, the situation years ago regarding Barbara Wagner, in which case her insurance would cover suicide drugs for the relapsed cancer patient but not the life-extending chemotherapeutic that she wished to pursue instead.

 

Admittedly it's a very complex issue, and I don't have any answers; I just thought that I'd throw this in as food for thought.



#15 Swar

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:13 PM

Even though she didn't want to wait until she dies, I think this decision shows that she's very strong. I know I couldn't do such a thing, she was really brave in my opinion. I hope she's in a better place now.



#16 SheOfTheEnderworld

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:18 PM

Even though she didn't want to wait until she dies, I think this decision shows that she's very strong. I know I couldn't do such a thing, she was really brave in my opinion. I hope she's in a better place now.

 

Very well stated, Swarley. 



#17 Wynd

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:43 PM

Personally, I find it just fine that she's done that. She was dying of brain cancer (I believe), and had a due date. She was headed that way none-the-less, and I think what she did was very brave. I think that everybody should have this kind of choice, because with that kind of illness-- you're in a lot of pain and you'll be in that pain until your due date arrives. I believe "Dying with Dignity" is a controversial, but well-needed thing in our country. If you find it morally wrong, that's just fine! But some just don't like to live with that kind of pain, and I think they have the right to choose when they've ended their lives. It's not gruesome, it's not disgusting, it's just an easier way of saying goodbye.  :unsure:



#18 SheOfTheEnderworld

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:50 PM

Personally, I find it just fine that she's done that. She was dying of brain cancer (I believe), and had a due date. She was headed that way none-the-less, and I think what she did was very brave. I think that everybody should have this kind of choice, because with that kind of illness-- you're in a lot of pain and you'll be in that pain until your due date arrives. I believe "Dying with Dignity" is a controversial, but well-needed thing in our country. If you find it morally wrong, that's just fine! But some just don't like to live with that kind of pain, and I think they have the right to choose when they've ended their lives. It's not gruesome, it's not disgusting, it's just an easier way of saying goodbye.  :unsure:

 

I don't find it morally wrong, as stated in my post above; what bothers me is the situation that some could find themselves in if decisions to either die or to live are not equally respected.



#19 DonValentino

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:04 PM

I wouldn't say that she was brave for doing this, nothing brave about killing yourself in my opinion, but I think she has a right to end things on her terms. The family can have a final goodbye party, say what they want and then she can end her life in peace, even if that is a bit macabre. Better than slowly decaying and the possibility of not being able to say goodbye.



#20 Hawk

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:06 PM

This is a good topic with plenty of gray area.  I like it.

 

There are a ton of factors that influence my opinion of the matter, but the two basic ones:

  • Cause:
    • Those suffering from a terminal illness should not be denied the right to die.
      • Note the suffering bit.  The individual's quality of life must be impacted in a significant way by the terminal illness.
    • Individuals in a vegetative state with slim-to-no chance of making a worthwhile recovery should have the right to die.
    • Individuals who can no longer be functional on their own.  Not quite vegetative, but let's say completely bedridden with zero chance of changing that.
    • I am undecided on a life-altering injury where an individual loses limbs or is paralyzed in some extremities.
  • The individual who pursues death with dignity must be of sound mind:
    • Those with a known history of mental issues cannot be considered of sound mind.  
    • In the case of an incapacitated individual, a living will, if written when the individual was of sound mind takes precedence.  
    • If there is no living will, it is up to the spouse, family, and if there is no family, the state, to determine the proper course of action.


#21 redlion

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 06:57 PM

This is a good topic with plenty of gray area.  I like it.
 
There are a ton of factors that influence my opinion of the matter, but the two basic ones:

  • Cause:
    • Those suffering from a terminal illness should not be denied the right to die.
      • Note the suffering bit.  The individual's quality of life must be impacted in a significant way by the terminal illness.
    • Individuals in a vegetative state with slim-to-no chance of making a worthwhile recovery should have the right to die.
    • Individuals who can no longer be functional on their own.  Not quite vegetative, but let's say completely bedridden with zero chance of changing that.
    • I am undecided on a life-altering injury where an individual loses limbs or is paralyzed in some extremities.
  • The individual who pursues death with dignity must be of sound mind:
    • Those with a known history of mental issues cannot be considered of sound mind.  
    • In the case of an incapacitated individual, a living will, if written when the individual was of sound mind takes precedence.  
    • If there is no living will, it is up to the spouse, family, and if there is no family, the state, to determine the proper course of action.
So essentially what you're saying, and correct me if I'm reading you wrong here, is that only people with terminal illnesses, vegetative states, bedridden and the like have the right to die. The rest of us, well, we're the state's property. Yes?

#22 Frizzle

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 08:20 PM

The state has a duty to protect its most vunlerable people. Whether you classify people suffering from severe mental illnesses as being in the category of having the right to die is another matter.

#23 Padme

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 09:46 PM

I think it's peoples right to do this but personally, I'm very selfish and I want to spend as much time with my loved ones no matter how much pain I'm in and you never know what is going to happen. 

In her case she was in a lot of pain and had a lot of serious complications, so as I said, it is without a doubt her right, but I don't think it's a path I would personally take and I would struggle a lot if my partner/loved ones chose to take it. 



#24 masxed

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 10:21 PM

I think anybody should have this choice! Personally if I were faced with this I would use a simple assessment: Does the medical condition threaten my ultimate life goal? For example, say my ultimate life goal or purpose was to be a positive influence in the world. (service to others, love, understanding, etc) If the condition forced me to live in a negative manner with no way out I'd want to do the same thing she did.

 

 Death sure is something many people are afraid of but when it is put into consideration that everybody dies and that people, animals, plants etc are dying even as I type (oh god I better stop typing) it seems silly that any of us worry. The law of conservation of energy leads me to believe that there is no real loss in death other than the illusory, and humans are far too populated to worry about extinction lol.

  



#25 w0nderwall

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 01:55 AM

This was all over my Facebook when it happened and I was pretty astounded at the people calling her a coward and a cop out. "She gave up on life instead of praying for a miracle", etc.

 

I'm not sure they would be singing the same tune if a brain tumor was slowly consuming their body and dragging them in to an incredibly pain, slow, and agonizing death. No amount of "praying" is just going to miraculously cure a terminal illness. I understand if you personally want to try and hang on for that astronomically slim chance, or battle until the end to maximize your time with loved ones.

 

But if you're suffering and by all means going to die, I fully support your choice to go quietly and on your terms if that's what you wish.




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