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Euthanasia- Should it be Legal?


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#1    Lottie

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 12:38 PM

Should Euthanasia be Legal?

Looking for two participants, one who is in favor and one who is against.

Edited by AztecInca, 28 April 2006 - 01:12 AM.


#2    __Kratos__

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 11:14 PM

Hello all. original.gif

I would like to take place in this debate. I would like to be in favor for euthanasia. thumbsup.gif



"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." ~Philip K. Dick

#3    AztecInca

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 12:11 AM

Thank-you Kratos.

We are now looking for one participant to debate against euthanasia.


#4    Bone_Collector

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 04:48 AM

Count me in. I would like to debate against euthanasia. Thanks.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep... and miles to go before I sleep ~Robert Frost

#5    AztecInca

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 06:14 AM

All right then, lets get this debate started.

Kartos will be debating for making eauthanasia legal while Bone Collector will be debating against making euthanasia legal.

This will be a 1v1 formal debate.
An Introduction, 5 bodily posts and a conclusion from each participant. No Flaming, bad manners or profantities will be tolerated.

There is a point deduction for debaters who fail to make a post within the 7 day time frame. The deductions will be 2 points for every day the participant fails to post after the 7 days.

This is to ensure that debates continue in a timely fashion. If for any reason you cannot post within the 7 days, please ensure that you let myself or Lottie know to avoid having the points taken off your debate.

If, however the participant does not then attempt to make a post for up to 2 weeks after the 7 day rule has started an immediate disqualification will occur.

Good luck!

Aztec.

Edited by AztecInca, 03 February 2006 - 06:15 AM.


#6    Bone_Collector

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 09:42 AM

I'll begin by saying 'hello' to the debate organizers Lottie and AztecInca and all the debate judges. I would also like to wish my opponent Kratos, the best of luck! This is my first formal debate here on UM and I am eagerly looking forward to it.

I will be debating against Euthanasia.

Introduction

Euthanasia in Greek means "good death." It is also called as physician-assisted suicide, but in general terms, it's called "mercy killing." It is the practice of ending life, in a painless or at least a minimally painful way. It is done for merciful reasons, usually to end the patient's suffering.

Nazi's euthanized several physically, mentally, and emotionally challenged people back in 1939. The Nazi euthanasia program intially targeted German non-Jews but was later extended to Jews, however, this program was cancelled after a lot of public protest.

Read more about the Nazi euthanasia program...
Link

Euthanasia is a highly debated topic and it often touches political, emotional and moral strands of our society. In the US state of Oregon and in some countries like Belgium and Netherlands, euthanasia is legally acceptable and permissible, in most other countries removing or denying treatment to a patient is usually considered murder and I tend to agree with them to a certain extent.

Euthanasia may employ methods that are either indirect or direct. Direct euthanasia can either be voluntary, nonvoluntary or involuntary.

Indirect euthanasia involves a clinician for assistance. The clinician can be a physician, clinical nurse practitioner or even a pharmacist. The clinician writes a prescription for an overdose of medications enough to cause death when taken by the patient. That is, the clinician assists the patient in inducing his or her own death.

Direct euthanasia involves a clinician  who induces a patient’s death directly by administering a lethal drug by injections and such. At present, direct euthanasia is not  legal in the US, but direct and indirect euthanasia are legal in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Voluntary euthanasia occurs when an adult patient  in a sound state of mind submits a detailed and fully informed request to a physician to be euthanized. The request can also be submitted by the patient's surrogate.

Nonvoluntary euthanasia happens without the consent of the patient. This is done if the patient is not conscious or not in a sound state of mind.

Involuntary euthanasia happens in spite of the objection of a patient or their surrogate.

For detailed definitions of types of euthanasia, please see the below link.
wikipedia

I think euthanasia, either direct or indirect, voluntary, nonvoluntary or involuntary is wrong on several counts.

Advances in medical science in the recent past have been awe inspiring and the future too holds a lot of promise. Several innumerable medical conditions which were thought to be fatal earlier can now be cured, alas, the people who have already been euthanized can't. These advances in medical technology have made it possible, for for us to completely cure several types of otherwise fatal diseases like cancer, pneumonia, malaria etc; ailments such as cardiac arrest and kidney failure are no longer considered fatal- the list is almost endless. AIDS treatment too has improved considerably. Research is on for a cure to several other fatal diseases of today and the advancements made have been very encouraging. Just like the past, the diseases that we might think to be fatal today might be totally curable tomorrow, but by euthanizing people, we aren't giving them a chance to live, we are depriving them of a hope to recover.

Let people live as log as they can, may be there will be a cure for them in the future.

Let us consider the example of a person who thinks of committing suicide: now, a person may think of it because of various factors, a majority of them being psychological ones. He would be in a totally depressed and unstable state of mind- a state totally devoid of any optimism or hope -a state in which he cannot possibly get himself together to make a conscious and logical decision for his own benefit. In a moment of madness that person commits suicide which in most other people's opinion: would've been averted. Now, how different would be the case of a very ill person who considers euthanasia? Will he also not be in an extremely stressful physical and mental state in which he cannot possibly make a sound judgment? I'm not even talking about nonvoluntary or involuntary euthanasia here, both of which according to me are totally appalling. How can one remove somebody's life support system just like that, I guess I would never know.

Essentially speaking, euthanizing is no different from suicide or even assisting suicide so why do we need to have different standards for both?When suicide is illegal why not euthanasia? Legalizing such a thing will only encourage more people to give up their courage and will to fight it out. You will only see more people in critical 50-50 conditions taking this option.

Even with all the existing medicine and technology pertaining to several diseases, the doctors can only administer the medicine to a patient and hope for him to respond positively. A good part of the patient's response to a treatment depends on his will to survive. It is common understanding and a proven fact that a course of treatment that a doctor prescribes for a patient works much better if the patient believes that it will actually work for him. It is because of the involuntary self-suggestions that the patient gives himself that assist his internal recovery system's response to external aid. Certain chemicals are released in our brain and some signals are given out by it to our internal recovery system in response to the involuntary and indirect suggestions generated by certain feelings which are triggered by the patient's will to survive.

Keeping hope alive in a patient is very important. As it is, a person in extreme distress has very little hope, why kill it too by providing him with a hope destroying alternative? It is up to the people around to instill hope in him to fight it out. Let people live, give them hope-they have a right to it. Life is very important...every single life. Ban euthanasia.

Your turn Kratos.

Edited by Bone_Collector, 07 February 2006 - 11:41 AM.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep... and miles to go before I sleep ~Robert Frost

#7    __Kratos__

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 05:16 AM

Hello all. original.gif Thank you and good luck to you as well, Bone Collector.

Introduction

It is in my opinion that euthanasia should be legal. In this debate I will try and sway the minds of the masses to be in favor of euthanasia. Also to use different accounts and reasons why it is not right for others to make rules against this, and why it should be legal.

I will use already cases of past euthanasia to further on my case. Such as the laws in the state of Oregon, and the country of Holland. Perhaps more as the debate continues.

Even with medical advances, the fact still is there is pain an there is suffering at that time. In some cases, the said patient wouldn't live long enough to benefit from the new treatment. The question of *if* can't be applied to all patients. As they are so cancer ridden or so far gone, it would not matter to them. Still even with the question of *if*, it is still a huge chance to live on. There is nothing but hope to go on, while they suffer in horrible pain for days, weeks, months or possibly of years.

Involuntary euthanasia is a necessary and heart wrenching choice in some cases. In my life I have put to sleep 2 dogs. One was so old he could not do anything not even lift his own head. I actually had to help put him in the truck and carry him into the vet's office so he could be put to sleep because he was so weak. The other dog, was cancer ridden and in terrible pain. As sad and depressed I was over losing the both of them (years apart) I don't regret putting them to sleep. As in the case of putting down a loved one, you must think of what's best for them. Not for you, your personal beliefs or what society as a whole thinks.

Even with a "unsound judgment" call, in the cases a doctor bring up the facts to let the euthanasia go on. You cannot just walk into a hospital and demand an euthanasia.

Hope, is a great thing to have. It can be the very will go on against any enemy to live on. But hope can only go so far. Facts have to be taken in to consideration and be seen. Blind hope will do nothing for you, or the patient in question.

Main points:
- Mercy: when there is only going to be a life of pain and suffering ahead. (emotional suffering and physical suffering)

- Vegetable state: no hope for any sort of life to live. (As in person suffering, family, state or power of attorney)

- Aggression: when an animal becomes a threat.

The stage is yours Bone Collector.

Edited by __Kratos__, 04 February 2006 - 05:24 AM.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." ~Philip K. Dick

#8    Bone_Collector

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 09:04 AM

Body post 1

Kratos, in this post I will make an attempt to provide alternatives to some of the points you discussed in your last post.

Quote


Even with medical advances, the fact still is there is pain an there is suffering at that time. In some cases, the said patient wouldn't live long enough to benefit from the new treatment. The question of *if* can't be applied to all patients. As they are so cancer ridden or so far gone, it would not matter to them. Still even with the question of *if*, it is still a huge chance to live on. There is nothing but hope to go on, while they suffer in horrible pain for days, weeks, months or possibly of years.

I can quote several examples of people who have fought back from absolutely hopeless situations and are leading a normal and happy life today:

One of my friends was suffering from a very bad kidney ailment: the pain he was going through was so bad that he even tried to commit suicide by trying to jump from the hospital window to escape the pain. It looked absolutely hopeless for him but you know what, he survived the whole thing and is in very good health now and he is thankful to everyone who stood by him and saw him through that tough period in his life.

Same is the case with a friend of my mom; she had breast cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. The doctors almost gave up hope and she had to go through a lot of excruciating pain and suffering but she managed to fight it out and live to see today.

My uncle was a big alcoholic and had acute liver trouble. The doctors gave him 6 months max, but he fought real hard, gave up alcohol and lived further for 12 long years.

There are several such examples; had all these people taken the euthanasia option, you wouldn't have seen them alive today.

Sure, there will be a lot of pain and unfortunately that is the price people have to pay in order to recover. Science and medicine can go only to a certain extent in prescribing medication and treatment to a patient, a good deal depends on how a patient responds to it. While some patients don't respond to a certain course of treatment, some people do, it varies from person to person, so you cannot always say it's really over for them.

Sure, the question of *if* can't be applied to all patients, but at the same time, the same *if* cannot be ruled out in every case either.Even if we can save a few lives, it's pretty much worth any effort. There all several cases of people in coma who have recovered after several years. They are not in any pain either, just on life support. Still we see so many people's life support being removed believing they will never come back. I ask you, how can you ever be sure they won't? There are several who have.

Quote


As in the case of putting down a loved one, you must think of what's best for them. Not for you, your personal beliefs or what society as a whole thinks.

As a matter of fact, putting down a loved one, will be just as painful and heart rending to you. Of course it's not a matter of your personal beliefs or what the society as a whole thinks, but it's not even a matter where you let your emotions run high and take a decision which may deprive them of a chance to survive. I agree, it is tough to see your loved ones suffer and will be inclined to think that you're actually helping them get over their pain but the fact is, that by taking such a decision, you're totally negating all their chances of a recovery.

Quote


- Mercy: when there is only going to be a life of pain and suffering ahead. (emotional suffering and physical suffering)
- Vegetable state: no hope for any sort of life to live. (As in person suffering, family, state or power of attorney)

Kratos, you can never be absolutely sure that there is only going to be a life of pain and suffering ahead and lack of any hope for any sort of life to live -it is proven time and again by innumerable survivor cases. You can never risk wiping out a chance, however small it might be, especially when the chance risks life.

Quote


- Aggression: when an animal becomes a threat.

All this said and done, I do agree that in some exceptional cases that this option has to be taken, like in the case of a sick animal becoming a threat to people around them. As a matter of fact, I think if any form of life becomes a threat to life around them, then it has to be taken out. Sick or not sick.

These are some of the reasons why I think euthanasia shouldn't be made legal:

1) There always will be those who will try to bend the law and look to exploit ignorant patients. Consider this: a woman is suffering from depression and wants to commit suicide but needs help. One doctor sets up a practice to help such people. She and anyone who wants to die knows he will approve such requests at a price. He approves thousands of requests every year for say $200 each. How does the law protect people from such doctors? Will the legalization bill specify that a doctor can only approve(say) 50 requests a year? 100? 150? If you don't think there are such doctors, then look again. There are several recent stories of doctors and nurses who are charged with murder for killing scores of patients.

2) Generally people who attempt suicide or want to commit euthanasia are under a lot of physical and emotional stress. For example a patient receiving chemotherapy might want to end his life because of the physical and mental trauma but once he feels better, he might change his mind. Decisions in case of such patients often fluctuate.

3) Relatives of the patient can use the law to achieve their own interests.

4) There'll be more and more sick people considering this option and giving up their fight against their ailments. The patients might even consider it thinking of how much of trouble they are causing their family.

5) It will encourage a growing tendency of promoting  premature death as a solution to rising health costs.

It is almost next to impossible to eliminate foul play and make absolutely sure that all factors are aptly taken care of in every single case of euthanasia. In my opinion, legalizing euthanasia is not only immoral, but will also encourage a lot of misuse.

A patient's right to receive care and compassion has to be protected against a doctor's right to prescribe potentially lethal medications. It is a conflict between the humane, the ethical and the legal and it is inhuman to make something which is unethical: legal.

Take over Kratos.

Edited by Bone_Collector, 08 February 2006 - 04:13 AM.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep... and miles to go before I sleep ~Robert Frost

#9    __Kratos__

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 08:08 PM

Body Post One

Quote

I can quote several examples of people who have fought back from absolutely hopeless situations and are leading a normal and happy life today:

One of my friends was suffering from a very bad kidney ailment: the pain he was going through was so bad that he even tried to commit suicide by trying to jump from the hospital window to escape the pain. It looked absolutely hopeless for him but you know what, he survived the whole thing and is in very good health now and he is thankful to everyone who stood by him and saw him through that tough period in his life.

Same is the case with a friend of my mom; she had breast cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. The doctors almost gave up hope and she had to go through a lot of excruciating pain and suffering but she managed to fight it out and live to see today.

My uncle was a big alcoholic and had acute liver trouble. The doctors gave him 6 months max, but he fought real hard, gave up alcohol and lived further for 12 long years.

There are several such examples; had all these people taken the euthanasia option, you wouldn't have seen them alive today.  


With a little hope, there is always the ever dooming reality of pain, suffering and finally after that all ends a death.

My Grandma was diagnosed with a brain tumor roughly a year ago, was given less then a year even with radiation treatments. She thought for sure she would beat it, prayed quite a lot, did everything she was suppose to and then some (alterative medicine) and with all her fight through the pain, body breaking down the tumor overruled and she still died. Her last days were either pain or sleep, because her body just couldn’t function enough to stay awake.

My Grandpa, was diagnosed with cancer of the colon, fought with all his strength and will he had against it, nothing would work, and all hope was lost. His final days where on a morphine drip but still in pain and lots of sleep.

My other Grandpa, was an even slower and emotion wrecking death… Alzheimer’s disease. It took, I believe around 3 years after the diagnosis for the final stage to come into play, even with the all the treatments and pills at the time, nothing stopped it. Think of your own grandfather not being able to remember your name or even know you. Not know who he was, where he was or what he was doing at time. When talking to him, he’d sometimes drift back into his past and talk about events that took place decades ago. Of course there was good days, but those got cut down quite rapidity in the last months. Last days, in the hospital as his brain rotted away, not being able to do a thing for himself, even if he had known how to at the time. It was a blessing that pneumonia set in and took him.

They all fought and didn’t make it, only to die unpleasantly.

Quote

Sure, there will be a lot of pain and unfortunately that is the price people have to pay in order to recover. Science and medicine can go only to a certain extent in prescribing medication and treatment to a patient, a good deal depends on how a patient responds to it. While some patients don't respond to a certain course of treatment, some people do, it varies from person to person, so you cannot always say it's really over for them.

Sure, the question of *if* can't be applied to all patients, but at the same time, the same *if* cannot be ruled out in every case either. Even if we can save a few lives, it's pretty much worth any effort. There all several cases of people in coma who have recovered after several years. They are not in any pain either, just on life support. Still we see so many people's life support being removed believing they will never come back. I ask you, how can you ever be sure they won't? There are several who have.


Suffering and life come hand in hand with each other. It does indeed vary from person to person but really it’s up to them if they want to give up fighting, unless they are in a coma or such. Yes, there are reports of people waking up from comas years and years later, but there are also lots of people that never wake up and stuck in a vegetative state or coma.

I’m not saying the second someone goes into a coma or vegetative state, pump him or her full of morphine and ship them down to the morgue. There are different degrees in a coma/vegetative state.

CODE
The outcome of a patient can be associated with their best response in the first twenty-four hours after injury. Using the Glasgow Coma Scale (3 to 15, with 3 being a person in a coma with the lowest possible score, and 15 being a normal appearing person) research shows that if the best scale is 3 to 4 after twenty four hours, 87% of those individuals will either die or remain in a vegetative state and only 7% will had a moderate disability or good recovery. In patients with a scale from 5 to 7, 53% will die or remain in a vegetative state, while 34% will have a moderate disability and/or good recovery. In patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale of 8 to 10, 27% will die or remain in a coma, while 68% will have a moderate disability and/or good recovery. In patients who have a scale from 11 to 15, only 7% will be expected to die or remain in a coma, while 87% would expect to have at least a moderate disability and/or good recovery (remembering again that this is not an exact science).

Source
CODE
Studies show that patients remaining in a vegetative state for at least one year after injury are unlikely to gain consciousness, although they may live for many years.

Source

So, it really depends on the nature of the coma or VS to determine euthanasia. thumbsup.gif Healing time compared to living an entire life on machines.

Quote

As a matter of fact, putting down a loved one, will be just as painful and heart rending to you. Of course it's not a matter of your personal beliefs or what the society as a whole thinks, but it's not even a matter where you let your emotions run high and take a decision which may deprive them of a chance to survive. I agree, it is tough to see your loved ones suffer and will be inclined to think that you're actually helping them get over their pain but the fact is, that by taking such a decision, you're totally negating all their chances of a recovery.


I agree it is quite the emotional roller coaster and can be painful for the people around.

CODE
The possibility of recovery from vegetative state (VS) depends on how long the state lasts. Bricolo (1980) followed 34 patients with post traumatic VS who opened their eyes spontaneously within two weeks of injury and 74% of those eventually achieved a satisfactory outcome. Of those whose eyes opened between the second and fourth week, 32% improved while only 18% of patients who opened their eyes during the second month eventually recovered.

Source

And after all that the percent of surviving drops even lower and lower… hmm.gif

With staggering stats, chances and how serious the damage is, there is a time to let go, I believe. Reality is a harsh thing against hope.


Quote

Kratos, you can never be absolutely sure that there is only going to be a life of pain and suffering ahead and lack of any hope for any sort of life to live -it is proven time and again by innumerable survivor cases. You can never risk wiping out a chance, however small it might be, especially when the chance risks life.


There will always be a chance of some hope, there is also the chance of suffering and pain as well. Sometimes one is a better chance then the other. There has to be a time to let go though. There are remarkable awakenings and waking up, but to the entire whole population of people, it is a very small percent. To grasp at barely anything is not in the best interest of the person, in my opinion.

Quote

All this said and done, I do agree that in some exceptional cases that this option has to be taken, like in the case of a sick animal becoming a threat to people around them. As a matter of fact, I think if any form of life becomes a threat to life around them, then it has to be taken out. Sick or not sick.


I agree with that statement. thumbsup.gif

QUOTE
1) There always will be those who will try to bend the law and look to exploit ignorant patients. Consider this: a woman is suffering from depression and wants to commit suicide but needs help. One doctor sets up a practice to help such people. She and anyone who wants to die knows he will approve such requests at a price. He approves thousands of requests every year for say $200 each. How does the law protect people from such doctors? Will the legalization bill specify that a doctor can only approve(say) 50 requests a year? 100? 150? If you don't think there are such doctors, then look again. There are several recent stories of doctors and nurses who are charged with murder for killing scores of patients.


Indeed, there is always some about of scum on the face of the Earth, but as with any law or rule it can be abused.

Physician-assisted suicide, when made legal, would pave the way towards more laws and guildlines of doctors from the medical community and the government to help aid against such abuse. Granted they will not stop all abuse, but what law really does stop all abuse or crime?

Someone with depression, would not fit in my category for a candidate for  physician-assisted suicide.

People who should be able to benefict from legal physician-assisted suicide:

· Terminal cancer patients that have already fought, with more then one doctor’s diagnosis.

· Person in coma or VS that has past the timeline for such hope of return, with more then one doctor agreeing.

· Person in extreme pain, that will die anyways due to injuries substaned from whatever – but also, with a court order with the doctors agreement on the issue.

· Person that is old, and their bodies are failing them with not much time left to die with diginity, with more then one doctor approving.

QUOTE
2) Generally people who attempt suicide or want to commit euthanasia are under a lot of physical and emotional stress. For example a patient receiving chemotherapy might want to end his life because of the physical and mental trauma but once he feels better, he might change his mind. Decisions in case of such patients often fluctuate.


I agree it is a lot of physical and emotional stress, more then either one of us will ever know or experience hopefully. Why I believe to get the euthanasia treatment, there should be more then one agreeing doctor in saying it is over and the chances are small.

QUOTE
3) Relatives of the patient can use the law to achieve their own interests.


I agree there are scumbags that would love to abuse the system to get revenge and/or financial gain.

They can already affect the patient by overlooking their medical treatment that could lead to death.

Why the person in question should always have a written out document that states their wishes, on how they would like to live, be treated and who gets power of attorney to make the decisions. thumbsup.gif

Yes, still with that there is possible chance of abuse, but how can you punish all the people that don’t abuse the system that just want the best for the person they are in charge of, over the actions of a few?

QUOTE
4) There'll be more and more sick people considering this option and giving up their fight against their ailments. The patients might even consider it thinking of how much of trouble they are causing their family.


They already do think like that. Why there is cancer support groups and more programs to help keep up hope and fight in them. Making euthanasia legal, would give them an option of dieing with dignity and escaping a life of pain ahead of them before they die. Just because suicide is illegal, doesn’t mean it doesn’t simply happen and they don’t choose it by their own hands and/or having help doing so.

QUOTE
5) It will encourage a growing tendency of promoting premature death as a solution to rising health costs.


I’m sure some greedy people would take it like that and promote it like that. Such a case with the Texas Futile Care Law. I’m sorry they would have to die, but the tax payers shouldn’t be given that burden.

QUOTE
It is almost next to impossible to eliminate foul play and make absolutely sure that all factors are aptly taken care of in every single case of euthanasia. In my opinion, legalizing euthanasia is not only immoral, but will also encourage a lot of misuse.

A patient's right to receive care and compassion has to be protected against a doctor's right to prescribe potentially lethal medications. It is a conflict between the humane, the ethical and the legal and it is inhuman to make something which is unethical: legal.


As I said, anything can be abused by the one in power. There can be made laws and rules to help prevent against abuse but it can never be completely stopped. This is proven by the amount of doctors and/or nurses doing illegal euthanasia to patients still. You cannot punish the majority for the actions of the minority.

I believe the lethal dose of poison or medications is humane, because it is quicker then letting nature take course, and painless.

The stage is once again yours, Bone_Collector.


"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." ~Philip K. Dick

#10    Bone_Collector

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 08:36 AM

Body Post 2

In this post I will attempt to throw some light on pain killing technology of the present and the future, along with some statistical analysis of people who consider euthanasia. I will also be presenting new arguments suggesting why euthanasia shouldn't be made legal.

Quote


With a little hope, there is always the ever dooming reality of pain, suffering and finally after that all ends a death.

Pain killer research has come a very long way and the results have been very promising.
Let us look at some incredible breakthroughs...

A new pain killer has been obtained from the venom of a poisonous sea snail. It is the result of decades of basic research supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The new drug is called Prialt, or ziconotide and is believed to be 1000 times, yes, you read that right, '1000 times' more powerful than morphine and yet not addicitve.

Link

Parallel research in Australia on similar cone snails resulted in the discovery of a new compound called ACV1 which is now being commercialized.

ACV1

A painkiller called ABT-594 has been discovered from the poison of a South American frog. This pain killer blocks pain 200 times more when compared to morphine and yet without side effects like sedation, nausea, constipation and respiratory depression. It has been tested on animals and is curently being tested on humans.

Read more about ABT-594

Other non drug-involving procedures like the minimally-invasive radiofrequency lesioning are gaining popularity. In this treatment, a doctor injects a heated needle just under the patient's skin's surface to numb the nerve responsible for causing a patient's pain. This approach deals with the identification and numbing of the nerve which communicates signals to the brain which in-turn results in the patient's sense of pain.

Radiofrequency Lesioning

Reaserch in several other types of pain killing procedures and drugs is underway: holding immense promise for the future. In all probability, the pain factor will surely be reduced to a bare minimum in the very near future, totally negating the only argument for euthanasia.

Unfortunately, a good part of advanced medication, be it medicine for several fatal diseases or cutting edge technology, is still not available to people; the reasons range right from poiltical to downright commercial -considering the sheer size of the medical market and kind of money involved in it. A slow and gradual course of treatment would be far more advantageous to all the people employed in the medical field than a quick, efficient and a cheaper alternative: this sadly could be the actual reason why medicine whch can quicky cure chronic disesases never hit the market.

Instead of taking steps to make the most advanced technology and medicine available to people, we are promoting euthanasia and trying to pull away the little hope that patients desperately cling on to.

Quote


And after all that the percent of surviving drops even lower and lower…

When we speak of coma, we can never predict the patient's response accurately...we can never say for sure. When, the patients themselves are not even in any sort of pain, what possible justifiable reason do we have to remove their life support? When we have practically seen several people come out of years of coma and live, why do we want to negate the chance by euthanizing people? What good will ever come of it, except to save the tax payer's and the Insurance company's money.

Life of patient should never be decided on a commercial note, it is just not human and if it's not human then it shouldn't be allowed.

Now, let us move along and look into some Euthanasia statistics...

Euthanasia Statistics in Holland:

* In 1990, 1040 people die of involuntary, active euthanasia.

* 14% of these patients were competent.

* 72% had never indicated they wanted to die.

* 45% of these patients were euthanized without any input from their family members.

Also, a study conducted by Dutch researchers on people requesting euthanasia showed some staggering statistics:

*At least 50%of people who were killed under the dutch euthanasia program were suffering from depression.

*In addition to this,  44% of people suffering from cancer showed clinical signs of depression when they asked for euthanasia.

Source
If all these statistics are not suggestive, what else is?

It is very clear that more and more depressed people, not at the best of their mental and physical capabilities are considering this option.

Quote


Physician-assisted suicide, when made legal, would pave the way towards more laws and guildlines of doctors from the medical community and the government to help aid against such abuse.

And what exactly might these laws and guidlines be?

Quote


Granted they will not stop all abuse, but what law really does stop all abuse or crime?

No law is really abuse-proof but we wouldn't really want laws that encourage abuse, do we?

Quote


They can already affect the patient by overlooking their medical treatment that could lead to death.

They can, but until now it's illegal. If it is made legal, they can do it openly under the guise of law.

QUOTE

Why the person in question should always have a written out document that states their wishes, on how they would like to live, be treated and who gets power of attorney to make the decisions.

What about illiterates and people who are not in a conscious state to make a sound decision?

QUOTE

Someone with depression, would not fit in my category for a candidate for physician-assisted suicide.

People who should be able to benefict from legal physician-assisted suicide:

· Terminal cancer patients that have already fought, with more then one doctor’s diagnosis.

· Person in coma or VS that has past the timeline for such hope of return, with more then one doctor agreeing.

· Person in extreme pain, that will die anyways due to injuries substaned from whatever – but also, with a court order with the doctors agreement on the issue.

· Person that is old, and their bodies are failing them with not much time left to die with diginity, with more then one doctor approving.

As I said before, it is almost impossible to have common laws to decide accurately which people are in a state, sure enough to die -neither the patient himself
knows nor the physicians treating him can always accurately judge and surely, it's impossible to eliminate foul play. In short: the risk is just too huge.

QUOTE

just because suicide is illegal, doesn’t mean it doesn’t simply happen

Yeah, but far less than the number of cases we would see if suicide was legal. Similarly, by making euthanasia legal you will only see a rise in deaths by euthanasia when compared to natural deaths? We don't really want to encourage people to die, do we?

Surely, if we think euthanasia should be legal then we might just as well go ahead and make suicide legal too while we are about it. We wouldn't do that, would we?

It is not yet clear, nor is it universally accepted that a person has a moral right to end his/her own life. We often hear of suicide attempts in which the person's body attempts to throw the poison out by vomiting; clearly indicating that the patient's body overrules his/her mind. If there can be such an internal miscommunication between mind and body, then how can we possibly think of trusting the communication between a person and the physician ready to assist his/her suicide?

An absolute taboo against suicide and euthanasia existed earlier; it protected a patient's right to expect the care of his/her physician, family, and even the community. If we consider discarding that taboo, we would not only subtly alter these relationships but would also make each other more vulnerable; the social implications are just enormous. The unconditional respect for the precious gift of life is fast eroding; suicide rates have increased alarmingly at all levels of society, especially among teenagers. The acceptance of euthanasia will only make it even more acceptable for people to check out of all kinds of uncomfortable situations in their lives: physical, emotional and even psychological.
Think about it.

Your turn again Kratos.

Edited by Bone_Collector, 17 February 2006 - 09:26 AM.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep... and miles to go before I sleep ~Robert Frost

#11    __Kratos__

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 01:52 AM

Body Post 2

In this post, I will be looking into areas of Bone_Collector's claims and going more on why euthanasia should be legalized.

Pain killer research has come a very long way and the results have been very promising.
Let us look at some incredible breakthroughs...


I agree, medical knowledge of pain research has much advanced in recent years. original.gif

A new pain killer has been obtained from the venom of a poisonous sea snail. It is the result of decades of basic research supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The new drug is called Prialt, or ziconotide and is believed to be 1000 times, yes, you read that right, '1000 times' more powerful than morphine and yet not addicitve.

Link


Sounds like a pretty amazing new drug on the market for pain relief.

However here are some of the draw backs:

CODE
These patients have severe pain for longer than six months from a variety of sources (such as failed back surgery, injury, nervous system disorders and more) and are not helped by or cannot use systemic analgesics, adjunctive therapies, or IT morphine.

Source

Six whole months of chronic pain before it is allowed to be given to a patient. hmm.gif That's a very long time to someone with very limited time left on this planet.

CODE
Warning: Severe psychiatric symptoms and neurological impairment may occur during treatment with PRIALT. Patients with a pre-existing history of psychosis should not be treated with PRIALT®. All patients should be monitored frequently for evidence of cognitive impairment, hallucinations, or changes in mood or consciousness. PRIALT therapy can be interrupted or discontinued abruptly without evidence of withdrawal effects in the event of serious neurological or psychiatric signs or symptoms.

Additional Safety Information:

Patients should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous activity requiring complete mental alertness or motor coordination, and possible combined effects with other CNS-depressant drugs. Dosage adjustments may be necessary when PRIALT is co-administered with CNS-depressant drugs due to potential additive effects.

It is recommended that physicians monitor serum CK periodically.

The most frequently reported adverse events ( 25%) in clinical trials ( N=1,254) were dizziness, nausea, confusion, headache, somnolence, nystagmus, asthenia and pain.

Prialt Homepage - Click "Safety" Link for Pop-up Window

So even the makers of Prialt admit there could be "potential additive effects". Also, one of the actual side effects is pain.

Out of the group, 11% of people on Prialt had pain. Product Info (Source)

There is also no data at all for children patients on this product as it was never tested.

Parallel research in Australia on similar cone snails resulted in the discovery of a new compound called ACV1 which is now being commercialized.

ACV1


No data for trials with humans, so all that we know really now is that it works on animal models.

Article with mention of animal testing

Company site with lastest news on human trials

A painkiller called ABT-594 has been discovered from the poison of a South American frog. This pain killer blocks pain 200 times more when compared to morphine and yet without side effects like sedation, nausea, constipation and respiratory depression. It has been tested on animals and is curently being tested on humans.

Read more about ABT-594


Looks promising, hopefully it can help with pain. Looks more promising then the future of the frogs though, dropping numbers and such almost didn't make this discovery. Maybe we should be focusing more on the frog's future then pain. hmm.gifSource

Other non drug-involving procedures like the minimally-invasive radiofrequency lesioning are gaining popularity. In this treatment, a doctor injects a heated needle just under the patient's skin's surface to numb the nerve responsible for causing a patient's pain. This approach deals with the identification and numbing of the nerve which communicates signals to the brain which in-turn results in the patient's sense of pain.

Radiofrequency Lesioning


Looked around, that is pretty amazing stuff. I'm actually going to tell some of my family about this.

Reaserch in several other types of pain killing procedures and drugs is underway: holding immense promise for the future. In all probability, the pain factor will surely be reduced to a bare minimum in the very near future, totally negating the only argument for euthanasia.

Unfortunately, a good part of advanced medication, be it medicine for several fatal diseases or cutting edge technology, is still not available to people; the reasons range right from poiltical to downright commercial -considering the sheer size of the medical market and kind of money involved in it. A slow and gradual course of treatment would be far more advantageous to all the people employed in the medical field than a quick, efficient and a cheaper alternative: this sadly could be the actual reason why medicine whch can quicky cure chronic disesases never hit the market.

Instead of taking steps to make the most advanced technology and medicine available to people, we are promoting euthanasia and trying to pull away the little hope that patients desperately cling on to.


As much as I agree with the advancement in pain killers, pain is not the only reason for euthanasia. There is also the dignity about taking care of yourself and not being able to do the things you can do because your body is basically breaking down, even if you don't feel it. Also, even with these new "miracle" drugs they are not for everybody. They all have their limits on who they can help and what they can help stop/dull. Also, it should be their right to say they don't want to go on suffering. Pain and suffering are a little different. Pain can cause suffering, but not be the source of it, as in mental suffering as well knowing what your body is going through and what is happening to you.

So far the legal euthanasia is indeed in the more medically advanced countries such as Holland, and the US. It's not like they are just ignoring all new medical research that is funded most times by the government just so they can give people the choice of euthanasia. If that was the case, why even both with new and important research?

When we speak of coma, we can never predict the patient's response accurately...we can never say for sure. When, the patients themselves are not even in any sort of pain, what possible justifiable reason do we have to remove their life support? When we have practically seen several people come out of years of coma and live, why do we want to negate the chance by euthanizing people? What good will ever come of it, except to save the tax payer's and the Insurance company's money.

Life of patient should never be decided on a commercial note, it is just not human and if it's not human then it shouldn't be allowed.


That is a thing with comas, each case is different in it's own way. As I showed before, the chances of such an awakening drop horribly low as time goes by. To justify euthanasia for these cases is the fact they don't want to be kept alive by machines (I being one of those people). There is reality to consider over hope, as in brain damage, the very small chance they would ever wake up and with that said, the family moving on and accepting the loss.

Why should the tax payers have to foot the bill for a person with a very far off chance of ever waking up? Pay for a room, food (through IV), and everything else for the hospital stay... you don't see that happening for a homeless guy on the street.

Insurance companies would be glad to see this come, as it saves them tons of money each year, but it's not like they can order a euthanasia on someone they are paying for.


Now, let us move along and look into some Euthanasia statistics...

Euthanasia Statistics in Holland:

* In 1990, 1040 people die of involuntary, active euthanasia.

* 14% of these patients were competent.

* 72% had never indicated they wanted to die.

* 45% of these patients were euthanized without any input from their family members.

Also, a study conducted by Dutch researchers on people requesting euthanasia showed some staggering statistics:

*At least 50%of people who were killed under the dutch euthanasia program were suffering from depression.

*In addition to this,  44% of people suffering from cancer showed clinical signs of depression when they asked for euthanasia.

Source
If all these statistics are not suggestive, what else is?

It is very clear that more and more depressed people, not at the best of their mental and physical capabilities are considering this option.


1990? This is why a catholic site would use such old stats:
CODE
[b]Before[/b] 1991 it was difficult to obtain facts about the incidence of euthanasia in Holland, because the KNMG had chosen a very narrow definition of the word. The Dutch officially define euthanasia as the ending of the life of one person by another at the first person's request. If life is ended without request, as it often is, it is not considered to be euthanasia and therefore official statistics have always been lower than actual numbers.

Source

Depression is a part of death actually, according to Kubler-Ross.

CODE
Kubler-Ross worked extensively with terminally-ill patients (largely from cancer) and found that they went through a process to reach acceptance of their impending death.

[list]
[*]Denial
[*]Anger
[*]Bargaining
[*][b]Depression[/b]
[*]Acceptance
[/list]

Source

Going from depression to accepting you are going to die is a natural state of dying. These people are in fact dying from some other illness. That really is the mental state of dying.

If they never said they wanted to die, doesn't mean they had some legal papers saying they didn't. Why you should let your wishes be known, as I said before.

And what exactly might these laws and guidlines be?

Laws and guidelines to help prevent abuse of legal euthanasia, as what would happen once euthanasia is made legal. Just can't say the word "Euthanasia" and the patient is dead.

No law is really abuse-proof but we wouldn't really want laws that encourage abuse, do we?

Yes, no law is abuse proof. Just like the law against euthanasia, people abuse that as well. thumbsup.gif

They can, but until now it's illegal. If it is made legal, they can do it openly under the guise of law.

No, it wouldn't be illegal to take away certain treatments and/or call questionable calls on what the patient can take and such. Just sign the paperwork so the hospital won't get in trouble.

As doing it more opening under the "guise of law" there are always scum bags that would do such things. Keep your wishes known, and legally and make sure you know who will be in charge of you.

What about illiterates and people who are not in a conscious state to make a sound decision?

Someone can read it to them to explain it, like a lawyer. As for people that cannot make a sound choice, they should have made their wishes clear and legally before hand. Now if it is someone in the care of a guardian because they cannot handle themselves, that person would be in charge of their medical treatment. For children, it would be their legal guardian or parent that would be making the choice as they are not an adult yet.

As I said before, it is almost impossible to have common laws to decide accurately which people are in a state, sure enough to die -neither the patient himself
knows nor the physicians treating him can always accurately judge and surely, it's impossible to eliminate foul play. In short: the risk is just too huge.


Can get psychologists to interview the patient if they are awake. It's already done in many cases with writing a will, parole, child custody and more.

Foul play can happen by abusing any law. It's happening everyday with people taking their own life and people assisting them already. This isn't going to simply go away.

Yeah, but far less than the number of cases we would see if suicide was legal. Similarly, by making euthanasia legal you will only see a rise in deaths by euthanasia when compared to natural deaths? We don't really want to encourage people to die, do we?

Yes, of course there would be a rise, because doctors would documenting it and it would be counted as "euthanasia". Right now it is not. It should be their right to die with dignity. If they don't want to lay around for months on a bed, having other take care of their most basic functions while they rot... What gives you the right to say they should have to?

Surely, if we think euthanasia should be legal then we might just as well go ahead and make suicide legal too while we are about it. We wouldn't do that, would we?

Suicide isn't the debate though. I am very pro-choice though, even knowing people that have indeed killed themselves.

Euthanasia: The self-inflicted or assisted act of helping someone to die painlessly, often occurring among people with terminal diseases. The source of many controversial debates, euthanasia remains illegal in many countries. Source

Suicide: a person who kills himself intentionallySource


It is not yet clear, nor is it universally accepted that a person has a moral right to end his/her own life. We often hear of suicide attempts in which the person's body attempts to throw the poison out by vomiting; clearly indicating that the patient's body overrules his/her mind. If there can be such an internal miscommunication between mind and body, then how can we possibly think of trusting the communication between a person and the physician ready to assist his/her suicide?

It is acceptable to some people still. The body is for one thing, surviving long enough to pass one genetic material to the next generation. So of course it is going to reject poison. Why do you think our body's fight infections, viruses and sicknesses? When you are asleep, it's your body that breaths on and keeps up things. The mind and body communications vs. patient and doctors is a different story entirely. The mind and body don't always speak the same language, while the patient and doctor will be able to know what each other is saying. If the patient can't talk, then their legal guardian will.

An absolute taboo against suicide and euthanasia existed earlier; it protected a patient's right to expect the care of his/her physician, family, and even the community. If we consider discarding that taboo, we would not only subtly alter these relationships but would also make each other more vulnerable; the social implications are just enormous. The unconditional respect for the precious gift of life is fast eroding; suicide rates have increased alarmingly at all levels of society, especially among teenagers. The acceptance of euthanasia will only make it even more acceptable for people to check out of all kinds of uncomfortable situations in their lives: physical, emotional and even psychological.
Think about it.


The acceptance is just another option to have in their deck of cards that is being burned one card at a time by life it's self. If someone is allowed to end their life it would change a lot of things, yes. Who is to say it would be bad though? Why is it so bad for someone to die with dignity compared to rotting away on a hospital bed, not being able to do anything for themselves? Granted there are people that won't have that choice to make on their own, but it is still that persons choice if they had wishes laid out and it could be the state/guardian working in on the interests of life.

Suicide rates among teenagers have little, if anything to do with this debate on, euthanasia. As they are two different things, and not the same.

I find it disturbing in this day and age, even with every other aspect of our culture(s) growing we still have problems grasping suffering, dignity and reality of situations. Life isn't fair by any means. To allow someone to die how they want rather then rotting away is right to me.

The spotlight is now yours, Bone_Collector.

Edited by __Kratos__, 24 February 2006 - 02:02 AM.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." ~Philip K. Dick

#12    Bone_Collector

Bone_Collector

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 11:47 AM

Body Post 3

Kratos, in this post I will present a closer view of a patient's approach towards pain and add a few more reasons to explain why euthanasia shouldn't be made legal. I will also attempt to answer your questions and provide alternatives to the arguments in your earlier post.

Please note: I've quoted you in red.


However here are some of the draw backs:
These patients have severe pain for longer than six months from a variety of sources (such as failed back surgery, injury, nervous system disorders and more) and are not  
helped by or cannot use systemic analgesics, adjunctive therapies, or IT morphine.

Please go through the article once again Kratos; these are not drawbacks. The article suggests what kind of patients are generally prescribed Ziconotide nowadays. Currently the authorized Ziconotide injection deals with chronic pain related to spinal cord injury. Generic ziconotide intrathecal injection is not available yet; when elaborate analysis and testing is done, it will be available to provide pain relief concerning most ailments. More advanced doses of Ziconotide hold great potential and promise; it will be a while before they hit the market but make no mistake, they surely will.


Six whole months of chronic pain before it is allowed to be given to a patient.  

6 months of chronic pain for lifetime pain relief sounds pretty sensible to me. It's pretty much worth it. You are not suggesting that a patient who is guaranteed (say)20 years of pain free life through a pain reducing remedy at he cost of 6 months pain, should be put down, are you?

Patients will be in observation initially after a (say) back surgery and their response will be monitored continuously for a period of time to establish that they have chronic pain; the doctors also need this time to determine the best course of treatment based on the tests and analysis conducted on them. Doctors, medicine or any treatment cannot work miracles overnight; patience and perseverance are needed for pain and relief come hand-in-hand.


That's a very long time to someone with very limited time left on this planet.

^That statement contradicts itself. If a person has very little time left then don't you think that person should be giving his/her best shot for survival and take every chance posssible?


Out of the group, 11% of people on Prialt had pain.

Don't you think 89% of people becoming pain free due to Ziconotide is a very significant figure?


There is also no data at all for children patients on this product as it was never tested.

This drug is still in its initial phase of implementation; it will get better and will be more widely applicable.


ACV1
No data for trials with humans, so all that we know really now is that it works on animal models.

ACV1 Neuropathic Pain Drug -Phase 1 Clinical Trial started on 23 June 2005; results are awaited.
Link


Looks promising, hopefully it can help with pain. Looks more promising then the future of the frogs though, dropping numbers and such almost didn't make this discovery.  
Maybe we should be focusing more on the frog's future then pain. Source

The depletion in numbers in this particular species of frog has nothing to do with the discovery of ABT-594 -the reasons are primarily fungal disease and climatic changes. The article stressed on the conservation of biodiversity which will help us make many more astonishing discoveries like ABT-594.

When the drug is commercially developed, it will be made sure that the frog numbers don't deplete. Considering the rate of reproduction and the size of this species, it will be fairly easy to maintain their numbers and prevent extinction.

Every form of life on the face of this planet depends directly or indirectly on another form of life, which may even involve killing some of the other species -like it or not, that's a fact; survival is the primary motive of every species. Many animals hunt down others for food and survival basically, so when it becomes a question of need and survival, even killing some creatures of another species is justified. We are not killing these frogs for some fancy Chinese soup, are we? No, we are killing them for a discovery which could help save millions of human lives.


So far the legal euthanasia is indeed in the more medically advanced countries such as Holland, and the US. It's not like they are just ignoring all new medical research  
that is funded most times by the government just so they can give people the choice of euthanasia. If that was the case, why even both with new and important research?

It will surely impact research if euthanasia is made legal. Please look down further in my post where I elaborated on it.


Why should the tax payers have to foot the bill for a person with a very far off chance of ever waking up? Pay for a room, food (through IV), and everything else for the  
hospital stay... you don't see that happening for a homeless guy on the street.

Do you know what part of the tax each individual pays goes towards this? It's a very little amount, it adds up when accumulated from everybody.

Enjoying the benefits of the government is not the only part, playing a part in sharing social responsibility is also a part. A homeless guy on the street is also assisted by the  
Government and other social organizations, probably a little lesser because he can live and help himself unlike some chronic patients who can hardly help themselves.


Insurance companies would be glad to see this come, as it saves them tons of money each year,

Aww Kratos, you are not telling me Insurance companies don't have enough to pay, are you?

A majority of Insurance companies profit billions of dollars each year. The risk that the insurance companies take is a very calculated one, ensuring that they always profit. They earn vast amounts of interest on the money invested by people. The cases in which you see insurance companies paying out is a very very small fraction of the total number of people who take insurance. So rest easy, they can pretty much afford it.  


1990? This is why a catholic site would use such old stats:
CODE

[b]Before[/b] 1991 it was difficult to obtain facts about the incidence of euthanasia in Holland, because the KNMG had chosen a very narrow definition of the word. The Dutch officially define euthanasia as the ending of the life of one person by another at the first person's request. If life is ended without request, as it often is, it is not considered to be euthanasia and therefore official statistics have always been lower than actual numbers.


Kratos, I don't think you actually understood that correctly; what you quoted only strengthens my argument. It suggests that euthanasia numbers are far more than what the statistics indicate, because these statistics do not include the vast majority of cases in which a patient's life is ended without his/her consent.


Going from depression to accepting you are going to die is a natural state of dying. These people are in fact dying from some other illness. That really is the mental state  
of dying.

If they never said they wanted to die, doesn't mean they had some legal papers saying they didn't. Why you should let your wishes be known, as I said before.


Depression occurs from the *thought* of dying -the same *thought* can be incorrect.


Just like the law against euthanasia, people abuse that as well.

Please explain how?


Suicide: a person who kills himself intentionally

And...euthanasia: a person who kills himself unintentionally?


The source of many controversial debates, euthanasia remains illegal in many countries.

That probably answers quite a few questions all by itself: a vast majority of the world still believes euthanasia is unethical and inhuman.


It is acceptable to some people still. The body is for one thing, surviving long enough to pass one genetic material to the next generation. So of course it is going to reject  
poison. Why do you think our body's fight infections, viruses and sicknesses? When you are asleep, it's your body that breaths on and keeps up things. The mind and body  
communications vs. patient and doctors is a different story entirely. The mind and body don't always speak the same language, while the patient and doctor will be able to  
know what each other is saying. If the patient can't talk, then their legal guardian will.

The *some* that you refer to, is a very small number Kratos. The human body attempts to keep up its struggle up against all ailments and gives 100% all the time. It is common understanding and a known fact that our bodies know more about themselves than what our brains can possibly perceive about it. When your body's time is up, it will shut down by itself, but until then it will fight relentlessly against all external damaging forces. We don't need to shut it down overruling its inherent capabilities with the abject limitations of our mind's understanding. Our minds do not completely understand our body's capabilities- our mind might think that our body cannot cope but you know what, it might just be able to; hence making the judgment by our brains: incorrect. When a patient himself can make an incorrect judgment about himself, where does the question arise of trusting the communication between a doctor and a patient? Making somebody else talk on behalf of the patient is even more ridiculous- how can a guardian possibly know something which the patient himself doesn't?  I'm not even talking about foul play here.


If someone is allowed to end their life it would change a lot of things, yes. Who is to say it would be bad though?

A majority of the world thinks so, that's probably why suicide is still illegal everywhere in the world.


Why is it so bad for someone to die with dignity compared to rotting away on a hospital bed, not being able to do anything for themselves? Granted there are people that  
won't have that choice to make on their own, but it is still that persons choice if they had wishes laid out and it could be the state/guardian working in on the interests of  
life.


Yes, of course there would be a rise, because doctors would documenting it and it would be counted as "euthanasia". Right now it is not. It should be their right to die with  
dignity. If they don't want to lay around for months on a bed, having other take care of their most basic functions while they rot... What gives you the right to say they  
should have to?

Trust me kratos, nobody wants to die, it's just the extreme physical and mental conditions which make people consider such things- often people consider this when they are not in a balanced state of mind. Patient's decisions often fluctuate; we cannot possibly consider such decisions for they are not taken with a stable mind. They will not even have a chance to regret their decision later for their is no second chance. How many cases should I present wherein people have explicitly expressed their wish to die only to consider themselves stupid for considering it when they recovered?

Pain messes with our minds and it is important for us to understand its implications.
Now, let us take a closer look at pain itself...

A good percentage of people suffering from chronic ailments like cancer and such do not actually endure physical pain. For example, only 20 to 30 percent of Cancer patients get severe pain; the rest of them don't. Along with some of the new drugs that I have mentioned in my earlier post, there are several others which cover almost every kind of pain, including neurosurgical procedures. One of the primary concerns is that doctors are not taught how to use narcotics in their medical schools and are also hesitant to prescribe potent painkillers frequently enough. Steps should be taken to include all pain killing procedures and their administration in medical school curriculum -it would help greatly.

All the talk that some patients may become addicted to pain killers is frankly ludicrous when you consider the fact that they are battling for their life. Patients may like to take a pain relieving drug because they feel more comfortable and relieved when they do; this is not addiction. It is a very rare for a completely recovered one-time chronic patient to remain addicted of drugs taken while he/she had the ailment. Patients should not be overly concerned about addiction. More often than not, a small dose of a pain killer given as a precautionary measure before the actual pain itself, can avoid having to take a much larger dose to reduce the actual pain later. The addiction talk is totally baseless and completely blown out of proportion.

Life in extreme circumstances will not seem worthwhile and it is not only physical pain but also emotional and mental pain that a patient has to reckon with: agreed, but it is very important to acknowledge the fact that while the drugs that a patient is using are making him/her sick, weak and numb, but at the same time the drugs are combating to giving the patient a chance to live. It is also important to realize that stress and tension play a major role in the feeling of pain. Side effects and prolonged treatments can be particularly severe on patients, one of the reasons could be that the patient feels out of control and is resisting the treatment. The key is to get back feeling in control by participating with your doctor in deciding your course of treatment and actually believing that the treatment will work out for you. Practice of visualization often diminishes side effects. A patient can endure much more pain if he/she believes that the results of the treatment will be worthwhile and it is up to the doctor, the friends and family of the patient to instill that hope.

General awareness towards pain relief should be increased. Patients should not only explore the technological side of their treatment but also look into some strong psychological procedures in their attempt to combat disease and  pain itself. There are several recognized ways to approach and treat pain; psychological therapy, biofeedback, hypnosis, physical therapy and massage are some of them. It is not a must to concentrate all hopes on one specific method. In fact, it would be more beneficial to practice several psychological methods simultaneously.  

Some patients found that watching funny movies had a very positive effect on them and helped them forget their pain -they don't kid when they say laughter is the best medicine. Several hospitals now have laughing rooms where funny movies are often shown for the benefit of patients. These things might not effect everybody, since we all are not the same, but for many of us, it can have a very beneficial effect.  

It is important that chronic patients consult a professional psychologist who specializes in pain and who knows the current 'state of the art' therapy of the top of his head. There are several procedures that such psychologists can prescribe which can effectively help patients combat pain. Pain is basically a combination of two primary factors: tension and physical hurt. If a patient could learn to relax and get rid of tension, the pain would seem much less severe. Many people have demonstrated unbelievable feats in extremely stressful situations completely defying pain, clearly proving that mind can shut off pain when if it really wants to; it is up to the patient to train it that way. It's all in the mind they say.

If something doesn't work the first time, it's important not to give up. If it is good and has worked for others, then keep on trying. We are all individuals, and everything will not work for each one of us, but there is probably a subtle variation that will help.  

Our bodies are structured in such a way that they send messages to the brain when things go wrong in our body and pain is such a message which helps in diagnosis. More often than not, by improving the quality of life, by having pleasure and forgetting our cares and problems and by doing things we enjoy, we can diminish pain. This does not mean imply that pain is imaginary; it only means that we have the power to replace it with something more positive.    

Moving ahead I present a few more arguments against euthanasia below:

1) Depletion in funding of research: there will undoubtedly be a decline in funding in several critical areas of research concerning some life saving remedies to several fatal diseases of today; why? It's because the 'There's euthanasia anyways, why bother?' kind of thinking will prevail if euthanasia is legally acceptable.

2) Fear of doctors and hospital will increase: patients always have a fear of illness and that in turn reflects in their fear of doctors, medicine and hospitals. This fear is probably why patients seek medical help in more advanced stages of their illness- most illnesses which might have been cured, had only the patients approached the doctors earlier. This very fear will only increase tremendously if euthanasia is made legal. Patients will fear approaching doctors even more resulting in late approaches and preventable deaths. They will also have this fear that they might be put down against their wishes when they are not conscious.

3) Tremendous pressure on the patient: making euthanasia legal will have an astronomical impact on the patients; it will always tell the already physically ill and mentally stressed patient again and again to take the so called 'honorable course' and not be a burden; it's like pushing them to take this option and more often than not, patients will take this option for not wanting to be a burden on anybody. Euthanasia creates situations wherein the patient is *asked* to die: this for me, is a MAJOR issue.

and

4) Psychlogical stress on the doctors: there will be huge psychological stress on the doctors as well for they will have to basically go against the aims of medicine; they are taught to save lives, not take them. When they have to take lives on a regular basis, it will psychologically reduce the effort and dedication they will put in, when they actually have to save a life. This dangerous mixture will affect these professionals severely -it will increase the already high rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, marital discord and even suicide among this group.

Isn't our advocating euthanasia suggesting that only the physically fit have the right to live and the weak and the suffering have no place in our world? If this is what we intend then we might as well go ahead with cloning humans, creating the fittest and the smartest race of humans; in that way there will no weaklings at all and no need for people to pay taxes for the suffering. We wouldn't let such a thing happen, would we? Euthanasia is just going to be a quicker and easier alternative for the society to get rid of the weak.

Consider a court trial concerning a murder case: if there isn't just enough evidence to prove that the accused has in fact murdered the victim, do we give the accused a death sentence or do we always give him the benefit of doubt? However likely it might seem that the accused might have actually committed the murder, we always give the accused the benefit of doubt if there is no solid evidence against him. We let the accused go, because there might be a slight chance that he might have been innocent. Why do we do this? It's because we can't take the risk of punishing an innocent person, even overruling the probability of letting a criminal go unpunished.

Even in games of the modern world, be it soccer, tennis, cricket and such: you will always see that the rules are made to give the benefit of doubt to a player in question; that is, when an umpire is not sure, he/she will always give the benefit of doubt to the player. The umpires never give a player out in dicey situations when they aren't sure at all. Of course, umpires do commit mistakes but the intention is always not to tax the unerring player.

It might even be considered all right to risk the probability of letting an erring player go scot free, when the umpire is not sure rather than risking injustice to an unerring player by handing out a harsh decision.

When we aren't sure, we as humans have always adopted a safe and responsible strategy in almost every walk of life -even in sports which is meant for sheer entertainment, but why do we wish to adopt a rash and irresponsible approach such as euthanasia- a topic concerning life. Why not give the benefit of doubt to the patient when we aren't really sure of his/her chances of death or recovery?

Give the patients a chance! After all they might just fight it out and recover. Make euthanasia illegal!

Over to you Kratos.

Edited by Bone_Collector, 28 February 2006 - 04:59 AM.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep... and miles to go before I sleep ~Robert Frost

#13    AztecInca

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 06:29 AM

Your reply please Kratos! thumbsup.gif


#14    __Kratos__

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 09:33 AM

Please go through the article once again Kratos; these are not drawbacks. The article suggests what kind of patients are generally prescribed Ziconotide nowadays. Currently the authorized Ziconotide injection deals with chronic pain related to spinal cord injury. Generic ziconotide intrathecal injection is not available yet; when elaborate analysis and testing is done, it will be available to provide pain relief concerning most ailments. More advanced doses of Ziconotide hold great potential and promise; it will be a while before they hit the market but make no mistake, they surely will.

I was more showing the negative side effects of the drug and showing it would take at least six months of agony before the drug would be allowed to be given to the said patient. I believe those would indeed be drawbacks to this drug.

6 months of chronic pain for lifetime pain relief sounds pretty sensible to me. It's pretty much worth it. You are not suggesting that a patient who is guaranteed (say) 20 years of pain free life through a pain reducing remedy at he cost of 6 months pain, should be put down, are you?

Patients will be in observation initially after a (say) back surgery and their response will be monitored continuously for a period of time to establish that they have chronic pain; the doctors also need this time to determine the best course of treatment based on the tests and analysis conducted on them. Doctors, medicine or any treatment cannot work miracles overnight; patience and perseverance are needed for pain and relief come hand-in-hand.


It would be acceptable for a person to be able to live that long, without that drug to benefit from a life they could live. However I stated before that:

Quote

People who should be able to benefit from legal physician-assisted suicide:

· Terminal cancer patients that have already fought, with more then one doctor’s diagnosis.

· Person in coma or VS that has past the timeline for such hope of return, with more then one doctor agreeing.

· Person in extreme pain, that will die anyways due to injuries substance from whatever – but also, with a court order with the doctors agreement on the issue.

· Person that is old, and their bodies are failing them with not much time left to die with dignity, with more then one doctor approving.


A person with only pain, and is not going to die within the next 6 to 12 months would not be a candidate for euthanasia, in my opinion.

Now you take that 6 months of agony for the said patient, that is nearly their entire time left or has cut down dramatically on the rest of the "pain-free" time, while they then lose bodily functions, ability to think and/or even move, losing all their dignity. It's cruel and barbaric to let someone decay like that. But yet, all over the world, right now there are thousands, if not millions of people in this condition.

^That statement contradicts itself. If a person has very little time left then don't you think that person should be giving his/her best shot for survival and take every chance posssible?

Referring to a back post on the requirements of euthanasia, in my opinion a person would have limited time if they are going to die within a year or less, and 6 months of agony to wait for this drug is a ridiculous amount of time for them. As for giving them a chance or hope, there is always reality and more chance of them not making it. Hope allows us to accept life and also death, because with that hope their is always despair. Life isn't fair. If someone wants to keep on fighting despite what they know, then let them. But if someone wants to accept their fate that is laid out in front of the, who are we to force them to suffer through the pain and decay of their body shredding down their dignity?

Don't you think 89% of people becoming pain free due to Ziconotide is a very significant figure?

Oh, it's a very nice number for the drug companies to become filthy rich off of. So if this "miracle" drug doesn't work on 11% of people, what happens to them then? Do they just get screwed and have to suffer till they die?

So, let's just say hypothetically speaking there are 1,000 people on this drug that are in such pain that morphine and other powerful drugs don't work.

1,000 people, with 89% of them taking the drug and it works plays out to 890 people having pain free days. While 11% would come out to 110 people still in agony with it not helping.

If you really think about it, 11% is a whole lot bigger then it seems when you look at all the figures. Even if there is a small percent of cancer patients with the horrible pain, they still exist. They simply just don't go away because they are still in pain.

This drug is still in its initial phase of implementation; it will get better and will be more widely applicable.

It will for sure for children then?

ACV1 Neuropathic Pain Drug -Phase 1 Clinical Trial started on 23 June 2005; results are awaited.

So, it's still not through trials, there is no way to know it will be good enough to get through there, then also it would have to be pushed through the FDA or a government committee (depending on country) before it will be allowed in the hospitals.

Also, your link doesn't work.

The depletion in numbers in this particular species of frog has nothing to do with the discovery of ABT-594 -the reasons are primarily fungal disease and climatic changes. The article stressed on the conservation of biodiversity which will help us make many more astonishing discoveries like ABT-594.

When the drug is commercially developed, it will be made sure that the frog numbers don't deplete. Considering the rate of reproduction and the size of this species, it will be fairly easy to maintain their numbers and prevent extinction.

Every form of life on the face of this planet depends directly or indirectly on another form of life, which may even involve killing some of the other species -like it or not, that's a fact; survival is the primary motive of every species. Many animals hunt down others for food and survival basically, so when it becomes a question of need and survival, even killing some creatures of another species is justified. We are not killing these frogs for some fancy Chinese soup, are we? No, we are killing them for a discovery which could help save millions of human lives.


I know that the drug would be commercially developed by man-made technology. Just was showing some sympathy to the frogs well being on this planet.

It is curious you can accept the death of an entire species, but not a single decaying human being. Are we not animals as well?

It will surely impact research if euthanasia is made legal. Please look down further in my post where I elaborated on it.

Just because euthanasia would be legal doesn't mean scientists are just going to toss in the rag and say screw it.

Do you know what part of the tax each individual pays goes towards this? It's a very little amount, it adds up when accumulated from everybody.

Enjoying the benefits of the government is not the only part, playing a part in sharing social responsibility is also a part. A homeless guy on the street is also assisted by the
Government and other social organizations, probably a little lesser because he can live and help himself unlike some chronic patients who can hardly help themselves.


Yeah, it's only a little bit from each person. That's why the government taxes everybody, so they get more money to spend to run the country.

So if you just take a little bit from the 295,734,134 people living in the US Source, lets say a dollar. That is 295,734,134 bucks right there. Just a little right?

I'm sorry that this person had an accident or their brain messed up on them somehow but the fact is their chances go down horribly low after just a couple months and most never wake up again. That money could be put in better use helping out a community, funding schools and/or more research. Wouldn't that be a great idea to, once euthanasia is legal, to take all that money saved and give it to more research to help prevent and even fix problems directly related to the reasons why you would want euthanasia? As you said before in this quote:

Quote

we are killing them for a discovery which could help save millions of human lives.
Though a human isn't a frog, they are still an animal. It is a great idea to sacrifice the few to save the many. thumbsup.gif

Aww Kratos, you are not telling me Insurance companies don't have enough to pay, are you?

A majority of Insurance companies profit billions of dollars each year. The risk that the insurance companies take is a very calculated one, ensuring that they always profit. They earn vast amounts of interest on the money invested by people. The cases in which you see insurance companies paying out is a very very small fraction of the total number of people who take insurance. So rest easy, they can pretty much afford it.


I just said they would be glad to see this, because it would save them money. However, in losing these people to euthanasia, the cost of such insurance would come down for the common family. Everybody isn't a millionaire you know. original.gif

Kratos, I don't think you actually understood that correctly; what you quoted only strengthens my argument. It suggests that euthanasia numbers are far more than what the statistics indicate, because these statistics do not include the vast majority of cases in which a patient's life is ended without his/her consent.

Not in Holland it doesn't because the Dutch officially define euthanasia to what it is. The Christian site you posted, uses out of date facts because they are higher, therefore giving them an upper hand in using it against pro-euthanasia people. Maybe instead of using old facts, that Christian site should update according to country and not what they "think" is a right number or at least give proven estimates to help their cause. thumbsup.gif

Depression occurs from the *thought* of dying -the same *thought* can be incorrect.

The mind is a powerful thing, that I cannot deny. It could be possible, but it could be possible that they are right.

Please explain how?

A family member can fight to keep them alive using anti-euthanasia laws to keep SS checks coming in, pensions, government programs and more while they lay and decay.

Suicide is against the law, so for each person that could have fit within the parameters of euthanasia that committed suicide is abuse those laws as well.

And...euthanasia: a person who kills himself unintentionally?

I gave you a definition of euthanasia for this sole purpose, please this time don't ignore it.

Euthanasia: The self-inflicted or assisted act of helping someone to die painlessly, often occurring among people with terminal diseases. The source of many controversial debates, euthanasia remains illegal in many countries. Source

That probably answers quite a few questions all by itself: a vast majority of the world still believes euthanasia is unethical and inhuman.

A vast majority of the world is against gays and gay marriage, but there are still laws for them. Should we really allow a minority of people suffer till they die because some people of the majority says it is alright?

If the majority said it was alright to burn a witch at the stake 400 years ago, does it mean they are still right? Do we still burn witches at the stake today in the modern world? No, of course we don't, that's considered barbaric and cruel. Just shows you how times change. thumbsup.gif

The *some* that you refer to, is a very small number Kratos. The human body attempts to keep up its struggle up against all ailments and gives 100% all the time. It is common understanding and a known fact that our bodies know more about themselves than what our brains can possibly perceive about it. When your body's time is up, it will shut down by itself, but until then it will fight relentlessly against all external damaging forces. We don't need to shut it down overruling its inherent capabilities with the abject limitations of our mind's understanding. Our minds do not completely understand our body's capabilities- our mind might think that our body cannot cope but you know what, it might just be able to; hence making the judgment by our brains: incorrect. When a patient himself can make an incorrect judgment about himself, where does the question arise of trusting the communication between a doctor and a patient? Making somebody else talk on behalf of the patient is even more ridiculous- how can a guardian possibly know something which the patient himself doesn't? I'm not even talking about foul play here.

So if you are a minority, you get screwed right away? The body doesn't control the mind, the mind controls the body. Our body is merely a tool for our minds to work with. Our thoughts are what make us different.

If a judgment by the patient seems unfit, that would then be up to a psychologist to decide. Then the legal guardian of that patient will be the state, country or a person (s) chosen through a living will or other legal proceeding.

Making someone talk for you is the only communication you will have if you are deemed unfit or are not conscious. Why they should always have a living will and/or legal documents stating their wishes and letting their wishes be known.

If they do not have legal documents they that will fall onto the legal guardians shoulders on who makes the calls to the best of their knowledge. It can't be helped. Even today without euthanasia people are in comas and mentally unfit that need a legal guardian that talks for them and makes all their choices for them in life. It's nothing new that a patient has a legal guardian talking for them that can make or break them.

A majority of the world thinks so, that's probably why suicide is still illegal everywhere in the world.


Suicide and euthanasia are two different things. Look back in history of all the happenings by the majority that are now considered to be wrong today slavery, beating women and children, having sex with any age, discrimination for race or religion and much more. Times do change. We've come a long way in the last couple thousand years. There will be legal euthanasia in the future, I believe. thumbsup.gif

Mainly because of these charts:

Attitudes toward euthanasia by age and year
user posted image

Attitudes toward euthanasia by education and religiosity
user posted image

Attitudes toward euthanasia by political orientation over time
user posted image

Source
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As it looks, the more education you have the more likely you will be in favor of euthanasia. Also, the younger you are and seeing if you are in favor of euthanasia or not, the charts show that a large amount of young adults are in favor. These young adults will be the next leaders in this society, the next voters and the very next people at risk for health problems.
------

Let's begin by examining longitudinal trends in Americans' responses to the following three questions (recognizing the sensitivity of responses to question wording):
  • Do you think it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion if the woman wants it for any reason?
  • When a person has a disease that cannot be cured, do you think doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient's life by some painless means if the patient and his family request it?
  • Do you think a person has the right to end his or her own life if this person has an incurable disease?

Combining responses from the NORC General Social Surveys between the years 1977 and 1998 (n=19,000+), we find Americans are more likely to approve of euthanasia (68%) than suicide (53%) or abortion on demand (40%). Click here to see Annual rates of approval of euthanasia, suicide and abortion. As can be seen in this figure, the moral issue with the greatest change in approval was suicide of the terminally ill, which Americans were nearly two-thirds more likely to approve of in 1998 (64%) than in 1977 (38%).

user posted image

The number of Americans approving all three of these ways of ending life increased from 26% in 1977 to 38% in 1998, while the number disapproving of all declined from 33% to 26%. Click here to see Annual rates of number of approvals of euthanasia, suicide and abortion.

user posted image

Since the greatest change was in approval of the moral right of the terminally ill to commit suicide, let's examine the relationship between attitudes toward euthanasia and abortion among those who do and do not approve of suicide and how this has changed over time. Click here to see The relationship between attitudes toward euthanasia and abortion by approval/disapproval of suicide. Several trends are worth noting:
  • Among those approving of the right to commit suicide, the percentage approving of both abortion and euthanasia increased from 52 to 55 percent.
  • Among those disapproving of the right to commit suicide, the percentage disapproving of both abortion and euthanasia increased from 45 to 62 percent.
  • While in the 1977-78 period those approving of suicide were four times more likely to approve of both euthanasia and abortion than those disapproving of suicide, by 1998 there was nearly a five-fold difference.

user posted image
  • Among those approving of abortion, the percentage of Americans approving of both suicide and euthanasia increased from 53 to 75 percent.
  • Among those disapproving of abortion, the percent approving of both euthanasia and suicide increased 21 to 37 percent. Of these folks, the percent disapproving of both euthanasia and suicide remained virtually constant.
  • For both those approving and disapproving of abortion, the percent of those approving only of either euthanasia or suicide but not both declined significantly.
Source
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Now if you look and read, the support for euthanasia is clearly rising. thumbsup.gif

-----
Majorities support doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally ill, but responses can vary depending on how the question is worded
user posted image

Right Chart:
Sample: 525 adults
Methodology: Telephone interview conducted May 2-4, 2004
Margin of error: +/- 5 %
Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent because of rounding

Left Chart:
Sample: 885 adults
Methodology: Telephone interview conducted Nov. 18-21, 2004
Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent because of rounding
-----
-----
Support for doctor-assisted suicide decreases if the question mentions "suicide"
user posted image

Right Chart:
Sample: 2,002 adults [Asked of half sample]
Methodology: Telephone interview conducted June 24-July 8, 2003
Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent because of rounding

Left Chart:
Sample: 2,002 adults [Asked of half sample]
Methodology: Telephone interview conducted June 24-July 8, 2003
Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent because of rounding
-----
-----
Support for doctor-assisted suicide increases when the question mentions safeguards
user posted image

Right Chart:
Sample: 1,011 adults
Methodology: Telephone interview conducted Dec. 14-19, 2001
Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent because of rounding

Left Chart:
Sample: 1,010 adults
Methodology: Telephone interview conducted March 22-24, 2005
Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent because of rounding
-----

Quite a lot of support for euthanasia, in all forms of questioning. original.gif

-----
More than one-third of Americans say they have a living will and of those who don't nearly seven in 10 say the Terri Schiavo case made them think about drafting one
user posted image

Right Chart:
Sample: 568 adults who said they do not have a living will
Methodology: Telephone interview conducted March 22-24, 2005
Margin of error: +/- 4 %
Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent because of rounding

Left Chart:
Sample: 1,010 adults
Methodology: Telephone interview conducted March 22-24, 2005
Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent because of rounding

Source
-----

Here is the part about a living will, I believe there should be more awareness to people of what it actually means and why they should have one. thumbsup.gif

Trust me kratos, nobody wants to die, it's just the extreme physical and mental conditions which make people consider such things- often people consider this when they are not in a balanced state of mind. Patient's decisions often fluctuate; we cannot possibly consider such decisions for they are not taken with a stable mind. They will not even have a chance to regret their decision later for their is no second chance. How many cases should I present wherein people have explicitly expressed their wish to die only to consider themselves stupid for considering it when they recovered?

You're telling me that not one person on the planet, 6 plus billion people, not one wants to die outside extreme physical and mental conditions? There are a lot of religions and philosophies out there.

Cases of recovering are remarkable. The difference is that a person that is terminally ill or is beyond the chances of hope will die. The question then remains, do you want them to decay & rot away on a bed, or give them a good death while they still have dignity?

Pain messes with our minds and it is important for us to understand its implications.
Now, let us take a closer look at pain itself...

A good percentage of people suffering from chronic ailments like cancer and such do not actually endure physical pain. For example, only 20 to 30 percent of Cancer patients get severe pain; the rest of them don't. Along with some of the new drugs that I have mentioned in my earlier post, there are several others which cover almost every kind of pain, including neurosurgical procedures. One of the primary concerns is that doctors are not taught how to use narcotics in their medical schools and are also hesitant to prescribe potent painkillers frequently enough. Steps should be taken to include all pain killing procedures and their administration in medical school curriculum -it would help greatly.


Even with the other part of the people that are suffering from chronic ailments, they still deserve the dignity to die before they decay and can't even do much if anything.

I agree, as much as I am for euthanasia, there is still a time period that patient can have with little or no pain before they start to feel, see and know the effects of the decay. There should be more to promote pain treatment.

All the talk that some patients may become addicted to pain killers is frankly ludicrous when you consider the fact that they are battling for their life. Patients may like to take a pain relieving drug because they feel more comfortable and relieved when they do; this is not addiction. It is a very rare for a completely recovered one-time chronic patient to remain addicted of drugs taken while he/she had the ailment. Patients should not be overly concerned about addiction. More often than not, a small dose of a pain killer given as a precautionary measure before the actual pain itself, can avoid having to take a much larger dose to reduce the actual pain later. The addiction talk is totally baseless and completely blown out of proportion.

If they do have a good chance of fighting what they have, then I think a little addict that they can get help with afterwards is more the acceptable. Between an addiction that can be overcome and death, I would hope most people would choose the addiction for a bit. Now if you are going to die soon anyways because of your illness, it wouldn't really matter much about the addiction. It's just there to keep the pain under control.

Life in extreme circumstances will not seem worthwhile and it is not only physical pain but also emotional and mental pain that a patient has to reckon with: agreed, but it is very important to acknowledge the fact that while the drugs that a patient is using are making him/her sick, weak and numb, but at the same time the drugs are combating to giving the patient a chance to live. It is also important to realize that stress and tension play a major role in the feeling of pain. Side effects and prolonged treatments can be particularly severe on patients, one of the reasons could be that the patient feels out of control and is resisting the treatment. The key is to get back feeling in control by participating with your doctor in deciding your course of treatment and actually believing that the treatment will work out for you. Practice of visualization often diminishes side effects. A patient can endure much more pain if he/she believes that the results of the treatment will be worthwhile and it is up to the doctor, the friends and family of the patient to instill that hope.

So the pain and drugs with side effects overrule a person that is going to die/very very small chance of surviving? If you can beat it, then by all means fight it. If you can't, doctors (plural doctors) say you can't then you should have the right to die before your body breaks down. Why would it be right to force someone to live out their last days, unable to do things for themselves and in pain? There is death; there is no question about it. We all will meet death at one point or another.

General awareness towards pain relief should be increased. Patients should not only explore the technological side of their treatment but also look into some strong psychological procedures in their attempt to combat disease and pain itself. There are several recognized ways to approach and treat pain; psychological therapy, biofeedback, hypnosis, physical therapy and massage are some of them. It is not a must to concentrate all hopes on one specific method. In fact, it would be more beneficial to practice several psychological methods simultaneously.  

I agree it should be. There are a lot of offers out there that can help pain. Trick is finding which one works best for the patient.

Some patients found that watching funny movies had a very positive effect on them and helped them forget their pain -they don't kid when they say laughter is the best medicine. Several hospitals now have laughing rooms where funny movies are often shown for the benefit of patients. These things might not effect everybody, since we all are not the same, but for many of us, it can have a very beneficial effect.  

I've heard of this as well. Even why visitors and people coming in to do a show are encouraged. It's a great thing for the patient’s mental state to be happy, well... At least happier.

It is important that chronic patients consult a professional psychologist who specializes in pain and who knows the current 'state of the art' therapy of the top of his head. There are several procedures that such psychologists can prescribe which can effectively help patients combat pain. Pain is basically a combination of two primary factors: tension and physical hurt. If a patient could learn to relax and get rid of tension, the pain would seem much less severe. Many people have demonstrated unbelievable feats in extremely stressful situations completely defying pain, clearly proving that mind can shut off pain when if it really wants to; it is up to the patient to train it that way. It's all in the mind they say.

As much as this sounds great, to "shut off" pain through the mind can take long training and sessions. Some people don't have that much time. It would be great though for people that are fighting an illness that can win. Some situations are hopeless.

Also, for this to even work the patient would have to believe in this therapy. Not everybody is open-minded.

If something doesn't work the first time, it's important not to give up. If it is good and has worked for others, then keep on trying. We are all individuals, and everything will not work for each one of us, but there is probably a subtle variation that will help.

Yes, you shouldn't try one thing and give up if it doesn't work. After tries though there has to be a time to throw in the towel because it's either too far along to matter anymore.

Medical knowledge is not perfect, not everybody can be healed through it. There is still a vast unknown with the human body. There are many things humans cannot heal or fix.

Our bodies are structured in such a way that they send messages to the brain when things go wrong in our body and pain is such a message which helps in diagnosis. More often than not, by improving the quality of life, by having pleasure and forgetting our cares and problems and by doing things we enjoy, we can diminish pain. This does not mean imply that pain is imaginary; it only means that we have the power to replace it with something more positive.  

Oh, there is "imaginary" pain out there: Study aims to find why missing leg still hurts. The mind is a very powerful thing.

Even if a patient doesn't have pain, there is still the part about dignity and the decay of the body.

1) Depletion in funding of research: there will undoubtedly be a decline in funding in several critical areas of research concerning some life saving remedies to several fatal diseases of today; why? It's because the 'There's euthanasia anyways, why bother?' kind of thinking will prevail if euthanasia is legally acceptable.

I highly doubt that scientists are just going to quit or not even bother with research because euthanasia would be legal. There is always research being taken place and has been for advancing medical knowledge. Even with the smallest illness, there is research by someone, somewhere.

2) Fear of doctors and hospital will increase: patients always have a fear of illness and that in turn reflects in their fear of doctors, medicine and hospitals. This fear is probably why patients seek medical help in more advanced stages of their illness- most illnesses which might have been cured, had only the patients approached the doctors earlier. This very fear will only increase tremendously if euthanasia is made legal. Patients will fear approaching doctors even more resulting in late approaches and preventable deaths. They will also have this fear that they might be put down against their wishes when they are not conscious.

To some degree some patients will have more fear. It's a phobia and paranoia. Just because I think the government is watching me, doesn't mean they really are. Same thing applies here. If they think it, it's not going to happen for sure.

Some people have the fear of the color yellow. Does that mean we should make it illegal?

3) Tremendous pressure on the patient: making euthanasia legal will have an astronomical impact on the patients; it will always tell the already physically ill and mentally stressed patient again and again to take the so called 'honorable course' and not be a burden; it's like pushing them to take this option and more often than not, patients will take this option for not wanting to be a burden on anybody. Euthanasia creates situations wherein the patient is *asked* to die: this for me, is a MAJOR issue.  

So, it would be wrong for them not to have the pride and dignity in them to die before they are helpless or can't do stuff for themselves? You'd rather have them live out their last days feeling guilty, depressed, ashamed, worthless and a burden? Is that not suffering? Family and friends are often guilted into having to help them and putting their own life’s on pause. Though, even with that, they always have the choice of saying no. So then the patient will live out their days in depression and being alone. If the patient is asked to die, they can say always say no. If they are not conscious, then they should have a living will and/or other legal documents stating their wishes.

4) Psychlogical stress on the doctors: there will be huge psychological stress on the doctors as well for they will have to basically go against the aims of medicine; they are taught to save lives, not take them. When they have to take lives on a regular basis, it will psychologically reduce the effort and dedication they will put in, when they actually have to save a life. This dangerous mixture will affect these professionals severely -it will increase the already high rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, marital discord and even suicide among this group.  

There seems to be doctors that have no problem with doing such things. Such as cases from doctors from Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Philip Nitschke, Dr. Jack Kevorkian and just to name a couple. Not that I agree with all their practices.

Just as there are doctors that specialized in one field, euthanasia would have it's own field.

There will be psychological stress for sure, but what about doctors that take people off life support, stop feeding tubes, have to call patients dead while on the table or field and more? Do those doctors go into that field blind of tough choices and such? No, of course not. They are trained to do their jobs.

Isn't our advocating euthanasia suggesting that only the physically fit have the right to live and the weak and the suffering have no place in our world? If this is what we intend then we might as well go ahead with cloning humans, creating the fittest and the smartest race of humans; in that way there will no weaklings at all and no need for people to pay taxes for the suffering. We wouldn't let such a thing happen, would we? Euthanasia is just going to be a quicker and easier alternative for the society to get rid of the weak.  

blink.gif No, it is not. Euthanasia is about mercy. Not some global plan to make a fitter, smarter, better human race.

Consider a court trial concerning a murder case: if there isn't just enough evidence to prove that the accused has in fact murdered the victim, do we give the accused a death sentence or do we always give him the benefit of doubt? However likely it might seem that the accused might have actually committed the murder, we always give the accused the benefit of doubt if there is no solid evidence against him. We let the accused go, because there might be a slight chance that he might have been innocent. Why do we do this? It's because we can't take the risk of punishing an innocent person, even overruling the probability of letting a criminal go unpunished.

The justice system way of presenting evidence and a trail is much different then a medical case of a person dying or in a coma with the "evidence" of research behind them saying that they will die soon or will probably never wake up again.

Even in games of the modern world, be it soccer, tennis, cricket and such: you will always see that the rules are made to give the benefit of doubt to a player in question; that is, when an umpire is not sure, he/she will always give the benefit of doubt to the player. The umpires never give a player out in dicey situations when they aren't sure at all. Of course, umpires do commit mistakes but the intention is always not to tax the unerring player.

It might even be considered all right to risk the probability of letting an erring player go scot free, when the umpire is not sure rather than risking injustice to an unerring player by handing out a harsh decision.


A game compared to a terminally ill patient with a very limited about of time is different. A game is chance and sport while dying is fact and reality is there. Now, if the patient is unconscious, for whatever reason, the choice should always be given to the "umpire" a.k.a. legal guardian, unless there are some legal documents saying something else. It is them that will decide who is out and who is safe.

To not be sure in a sports game is different to an unconscious or dying because unlike a game there is researched evidence to give a “playback” view of what is most likely going to happen by the numbers.

When we aren't sure, we as humans have always adopted a safe and responsible strategy in almost every walk of life -even in sports which is meant for sheer entertainment, but why do we wish to adopt a rash and irresponsible approach such as euthanasia- a topic concerning life. Why not give the benefit of doubt to the patient when we aren't really sure of his/her chances of death or recovery?

When in a bind, 4th quarter, the away team only needs a touchdown to win the game, they’re on the 15 yard line in their own territory on the field with 3 seconds left on the clock… What do you think the chances are of a Hail Mary pass being set up are to score that touchdown and win? I’d say a pretty good chance from all the American football games I’ve watched and played.

Same with a patient, there is a history and research in the chances of what will happen and what won’t all by chance. When a patient is in a coma, their chances dwindle. That is reality.

  Give the patients a chance! After all they might just fight it out and recover. Make euthanasia illegal!

See what cards the house has dealt the patient, then see the chances of what will happen and what won’t. Euthanasia is mercy!

The spotlight is yours, Bone_Collector.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." ~Philip K. Dick

#15    Lottie

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 10:46 AM

The BoneCollector has been granted extra time and will post around Tue 14th March.  thumbsup.gif





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