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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

At what point does a person actually cease being a person and just flesh being kept alive?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26879points) November 10th, 2011

Based of this question, when does someone stop being a human and become an expensive lab experiment? Many who answered used words like viability, able to survive on its own, sentience, etc to allude that unless the life can survive on its own, apart from the mother, it is not really human yet, so termination of it is not tantamount to murder. If a person suffers an illness that leave them brain dead, if you put a pillow over their face and smothered the life out of them, since they can’t live apart from the machine, would that be murder or quickening the inevitable? What if the person was still conscious of the mind but because of the injuries they could no longer speak, move, swallow, or breath on their own, do they lose ”human points” because of that? If they can’t live on their own, what is the reason for doing so? If a family member sneaked into CCU and put a pillow over his/her face to keep the family from draining their livelihood just keeping flesh warm that never be able to function on its own again? Are people willing to keep a person hooked up, de facto alive, for an infinite period, or until the money runs out?

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1 Answer

Kandy's avatar

Some people would argue that a person in still a person even after they have died. Someone who is brain dead is still a person. Even if a person can’t speak, move, breathe, etc. on their own, they are still a human being. Of course, when they are hooked up to the machines, they are dependent on it for living. Some families don’t want to have to live with a family member who is brain dead, so they pull the plugs. For other families, they can’t stand the idea of losing a loved one, so they keep them hooked up for as long as possible, in hope that something good will happen. I believe a person is still a person even if they are dependent on a machine. Some people will argue otherwise, it is just a matter of opinion.

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