General Question

luigirovatti's avatar

How do you view assisted suicide?

Asked by luigirovatti (966points) 1 month ago

Thought I’d bring up the discussion. If you can, give lenghty answers, so I understand better. I encourage lively debates, but CONSTRUCTIVE answers, not offensive. I don’t think anyway it’s allowed too much in this website. Anything you can think of, throw it in the midst, I’ll be happy to hear. If you have further things to clarify, I’ll answer them as soon as I can. That said, let’s proceed!

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65 Answers

rebbel's avatar

Are we talking about euthanasia?

luigirovatti's avatar

It’s for people who want to compare the two things.

luigirovatti's avatar

I told you, I encourage lively debates. That includes brainstorming.

rebbel's avatar

Well, technically I would call suicide and euthanasia the same thing, as they both have the same outcome for the person doing the act.

Someone very close to me took his own life, in a violent way.
He died, obviously, and all his direct and indirect family members, as well as friends and family others, in varying states, have been severely affected by this (from PTSD to depression, to other psychological problems).

An aunt, who was hit by a brain stroke, some 10 years ago, aged around sixty, after a few years of trying too continue life with her disabilities, decided she didn’t want to go on with it, and went the assisted euthanasia/suicide way.
She died, obviously, leaving her loved ones devastated, sad, and in mourning, but most, if not all, had peace with her decision.
It’s legal in the Netherlands (if followed all legal procedures).

luigirovatti's avatar

You have written twice the same answer. I’m sure 1 of them’s gonna be flagged.

rebbel's avatar

I have no idea what you are talking about.
(Where ate the two same answers?)
If you don’t like my answer, so be it, do with it what you want.
I fail to see, for instance, offense in my words.

luigirovatti's avatar

I didn’t mean to offend. If that’s not it, then it didn’t happen.

luigirovatti's avatar

What’s the term…yes, I remember, “overstating”. Coulda been my mistake.

zenvelo's avatar

There is a big difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide. The difference is agency over the deed.

I am all in favor of assisted suicide if one is debilitated beyond the point of suicide without help. An ALS patient, or severely paralyzed. But the patient must either ask for it at the time, or have so indicated it in advance.

I also support “no heroic measures” if my life is such that there is no hope of recovery to the point of being able to communicate.

Euthanasia, on the other hand, is someone else making the decision without my input.

stanleybmanly's avatar

As a concept I feel it can certainly be valid. This becomes obvious with the answer to the question “are there things worse than death?”

Darth_Algar's avatar

If a person has a right to life then they also have the right to end their life at a time, and in a manner of their choosing. So yes, I support assisted suicide.

To insist that someone must suffer through the drawn-out, painful, debilitating effects of disease, that they must endure the loss of autonomy, the loss of dignity, the loss of agency over themselves and their own lives, is cruelty.

yesitszen's avatar

I’m willing to assist.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@Darth_Algar, I do agree that right to life and right to death should be equally respected.

The difference between euthanasia and assisted death is, one allows a person to expire who would not live without life support. The other is helping someone end their life who might go on for weeks, or months, or years, who will never be out of pain, cannot be cured.

I feel there ought to be clinics where a person could have a VR experience of their choice, and after they have enjoyed themselves a while, sedatives are released into an IV, slowly increased until they expire.

kritiper's avatar

A good thing, provided the person in question is of sound mind and reasoning.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Most “assisted suicide,” is a lack of feeding,or breathing assistance. People simply ask to not be fed, or helped breathing . The result is death.

I believe that every person deserves to decide whether to live or not….

Patty_Melt's avatar

I won’t believe that without actual statistics and a source link.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

I believe it all comes down to the willingness of the person who wish to commit suicide. Nobody has any right to control how you use your life. If someone want to commit suicide then they’re free to do it, whether or not it’s assisted. That being said, I am not a believer of pets euthanasia since animals don’t give us their consent to kill them, it’s human who insist for such thing and justify themselves.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I do not think anyone would allow someone to slowly suffocate to death.

My Mom had dementia. After a few years she had a stroke. She could barely talk. Then she had another, and she wound up bedridden for months, apparently unable to open her eyes or to talk. Totally unable to communicate…until one morning they went to spoon feed her breakfast and she clamped her teeth down so hard they couldn’t pry her mouth open.
The hospice person called me (2000 miles away) and said she felt it would be wrong to force feed mom nutrients through a tube, and it seemed to be her wish to die this way.
I concurred.
It took about a week.

Demosthenes's avatar

I don’t believe in telling people they don’t have a right to take their own life. The issue becomes whether they are truly choosing that and how much say they have in the matter. It becomes most controversial with people who are brain-dead or otherwise unable to communicate and cannot give full consent to having their life ended. But for people who are lucid and desire to do it, I have no business stopping them. It’s a tragic situation all around. Forcing them to stay around is not going to make it any better.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would not have called my mom lucid. It really has to go on a person by person basis.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Unofficial_Member

Animals also don’t give their consent to be pets, so there’s that…

Dutchess_III's avatar

We had Dakota put to sleep last Saturday. Her life was just becoming intolerable for her. I told the vet that it seems like we treat our dogs better than we treat our humans.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@Darth_Algar Are you trying to justify that just because we have animals as pets we can do whatever we want with their lives? Well, technically we can, many farmers raise animals just to kill them at later time, however, for a creature that we love and respect we should care about their consent regarding their own lives.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Unofficial_Member

I’m saying consent has nothing to do with it. You forcibly remove the animal’s agency over its own life when you choose to take it as your pet.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@Darth_Algar Then shouldn’t it be the same as “You forcibly remove a child’s agency over his/her own life when you choose to have him/her as your child?” We aren’t supposed to toy with life just because we have the legal right to do it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think helping an animal out of her misery is “toying” with their life.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@Dutchess_III But the question here is does she wants to do that? Why eliminate the plausible possibility of your pet telling/implying to you that “I know my condition is not good anymore but please don’t kill me. I still want to be alive and by your side as long as I can”. Animals will do their best for their own survival, they want to survive, it’s even their instinct. I haven’t heard an animal that want to/will happily commit suicide. I don’t think it will be right to insist that whatever we decide for them is the best for them without caring about their own desire/willingness.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Unofficial_Member

You also haven’t heard an animal that wants to be confined indoors, or that wants to eat a diet of nothing but dry nuggets of kibble. You’ve not heard of an animal that wants to be vaccinated, or that wants to be shampooed and bathed.

You can stand on your soapbox and wag your finger, and talk about consent all you want, but at the end of the day keeping an animal as a pet is nothing more than the imposition of your own will over another creature. Justify it however you want, but that’s all it is.

Now, having said that this is the last post I’ll make about that here, as the question is very clearly intended for people, not pets and I have no desire to further off-track this. If you wish to talk about ani mal euthanasia then I suggest you start your own Q about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, yes @Unofficial_Member. We should have kept her alive another day so she could hemorrhage out at the house instead of at the vet’s office. (No, we didn’t know ahead of time it was going to happen, but it did.) I’m sure she would have been much happier, dying, in pain, in a puddle of her own blood and urine and feces, because that is the point she was at. But keep her alive, by all means, because it’s what she would have wanted (you think.)

All animals, including humans, have the same survival instinct.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

I’m sorry to hear that, @Dutchess_III . You have a right to do that, of course. I am not stopping you from exercising your right, what I want is for people to care about their pets’ consent, even it’s only a little bit, they deserve it.

I am a believer is that Mother Nature gives life so she’s also the one that has to takes life, however if her creation want to end their lives they are free to do it too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, and then there was Dutchess, who was in perfect health except for that throat cancer that eventually started suffocating her as it grew. I am sure she would have been much happier dying in terror, slowly suffocating unable to comprehend what is happening, because that is what “Mother Nature” had planned for her.

You do know there is no real entity called “Mother Nature.” It’s just a euphemism for life, and life can really suck. Life doesn’t care if you suffer. Life doesn’t care if you’re in pain. Life doesn’t even care if you want to die or not.

Mother Nature created the Parasitoid wasp. It lays its eggs in a host, when the larva hatch they eat the host from the inside, slowly killing it.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

^^ I don’t necessarily think of Mother Nature as an entity, but more of a type of automatic system that control the cycle of life and its process in nature. Computer is also not alive but can function to manage many different things. Mother Nature doesn’t need to be personified as a living being to actually exist and function in nature.

I’m not saying that you can’t kill your own pets but how do you know an animal will be scared of something of their own condition? Many animals in the wild could’ve experienced it but are they scared of their own condition? They probably have already known/accepted the condition without any sadness, knowing that as part of their lives, even so they will still try their best to survive instead of commiting suicide or purposely throwing themselves to predators. It’s humans’ wishful thinking to believe that animals they’ve killed would feel better/be in a better place without factoring the consent of said animal first. Just because we feel ‘A’ doesn’t mean the animal feel ‘A’ too.

Regardless, I will try to believe that it’s wise to kill our own pets when they’re not healthy anymore. I will try my best to ignore the fact that it’s possible for my pets to want to remain alive despite their condition, or the possibility that I have ignored their consent.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Animals are not capable of consent. It is a human construct.

Euthanasia is usually an act of love, not malice, or even giving up. It’s often the lesser of two evils.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Your ego and presumption will cost your pets dearly in the end @Unofficial_Member.

While we’re at it, why do you bother feeding them? Let them forage outside, like Nature intended.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@MrGrimm888 That doesn’t change the fact that you have taken life that doesn’t ‘belong’ to you and the willingness to remain alive.

@Dutchess_III My pets are as happy as they can be. I intend for them to live as natural as they can be. I won’t be cruel to deny their right to remain alive, I’m not saying others who killed their pets are cruel, I’m just speaking for myself.

In the nature it’s natural for members of wolves pack to share food, it’s natural for mother cat (well, I’m the parent here) to feed her kitten. I am mimicking what nature would have done to them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But once the cat has grown to full size the mother does not feed them.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

^^ Yes, they’re free to forage. I have a bad habit of wasting food by putting it in a bowl and put it on the floor. It’s not my fault they decide to forage in to the bowl.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I think somebody fell asleep at the switch.
Somehow the train got derailed.
Wasn’t OP about humans?

luigirovatti's avatar

I suppose one could debate whether there is the possibility that animals can take assisted suicide. Also, if @Darth_Algar & @Unofficial_Member are interested, I’ll personally post the question for them, if they agree.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Oh you’re so sweet, @luigirovatti . I don’t want to make you feel obligated to do that just because of my arguments with them here. Do what you feel like, I will appreciate it whatever you decide.

luigirovatti's avatar

I want also to comment about @Unofficial_Member‘s answer: I think that, ultimately, we don’t understand animals. Animals even of the same species, could, not understand each other. I mean to imply that individuals themselves, are the ultimate decision makers. Anyway, it remains to be seen, what’s indended for individualized self, whether individualized self is for anyone (and I mean ANYone). It could be that the community of animals make 1 living organisms (it’s not that crazy, think of the ecosystem). Or that atoms inside the animals are sentient too. What I suppose cares is the losing of the sense of self. Personally, I think that, even if anyone makes decisions thinking (s)he does it him/herself, in reality there are an infinite number of life (or lives) interacting with an even bigger life/lives. (If it’s too much, just think of the infinitely small and infinitely big. :-) ) Any questions?

MrGrimm888's avatar

Pets don’t consent to anything. By UM’s logic, you should just watch them die of curable disease instead of have them treated. You can’t just assume that it wants to not be sick. You shouldn’t feed it either. It may not like eating.

Most of us look after our loved ones, as best we can. Whether it’s grandma, or a dog, we do what we can. Euthanasia/suicide is a choice.

Assuming that something would prefer to suffer is foolish. Remember all those people who jumped from the World Trade Center? They were given a choice. Burn alive, or take the faster/less painful route. I propose that other animals are no different.

kritiper's avatar

@MrGrimm888 You assume that animals can reason it out. Humans made the choice to jump or not to jump because they knew what awaited them. Animals have no inkling, no concept of death.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@kritiper @MrGrimm888 is saying it’s up to us to reason for the animals.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

I actually think animals (the intelligent ones) understand the concept of death to a degree. I have seen documentaries about monkeys and elephants where the mothers will mourn for their infants when they’re dead/killed.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Elephants are crazy smart, too. So are chimps and gorillas. Smarter than dogs and cats.

kritiper's avatar

I agree that some animals have some notion of death, but only after the fact. A preconceived notion is beyond them.
@MrGrimm888 Say what? You meant that the humans have to reason for the animals??
“Assuming that something would prefer to suffer is foolish” (What something?? Not humans.) “Remember that all those people who jumped from the World Trade Center? They were given a choice. Burn alive, or take the faster/less painful route. -
I PROPOSE THAT OTHER ANIMALS ARE NO DIFFERENT.”
?????????
Was this the humans reasoning part???

MrGrimm888's avatar

When I was a kid, I chased a squirrel to the top of a tall tree. There were no other trees around. When I got to the top branch, where it was, it jumped. I think it understood that it would likely not survive the fall, but it did it. It chose to kill itself, rather than whatever it thought I would do to it. It was a good 60 foot drop. Unfortunately, it died slowly from it’s injuries. I wouldn’t have hurt it. So it made the wrong choice. But it understood the choice…

Your logic is extremely flawed. Many animals have a concept of death. All predators understand that they have to kill their prey. Others kill animals they are in competition with. Lions kill hyenas all the time. They don’t even usually eat them.

I think you’re selling hundreds of millions of years of evolution short…

Dutchess_III's avatar

@kritiper Animals may not be different, but how does an animal go about committing suicide?

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III They can’t because they can’t reason. I guess I didn’t make that clear. ?

Darth_Algar's avatar

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_suicide

And yes, all animals have an innate understanding of death. They may not intellectualize it the way humans do, but they understand what death is. Hence why the instinct for self-preservation tends to be so strong.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@Darth_Algar “Hence why the instinct for self-preservation tends to be so strong.”

Now you finally agree with me that animals instinctively want to remain alive regardless of their condition? No matter how one justify killing their own pets they’ve forcefully taken other creatures’ lives without their consent, and clearly against the animals’ willingness and desire. It’s not a problem, really. I understand if they’re farm animals. However, I just feel that it’s ridiculous for people to so willingly kill a creature that they claim to love and care about, and worse of all, calling it as happiness for both sides (we all know it’s only one-sided. Pets never agree to be killed, even by their own owners).

Dutchess_III's avatar

The instinct for self preservation is very strong in ALL animals, from the amoeba on up. It’s just as strong in humans.
But we can reach a point where death would actually be preferable, like my Mom did. I’m pretty sure that when Dakota’s abdomen was filling up with blood it had to have been painful. When she started hemorrhaging out at the vets she had to have been in pain. But, according to you, @Unofficial_Member, we should have just kept here here at home and let nature take it’s own cruel time.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Unofficial_Member

A: Not exactly what I said, but I’m sure you’re bright enough to realize that.

B: I never argued that animals don’t instinctively want to remain alive. Trying to rebut an argument neither I, nor anyone else made is intellectually dishonest. I suspect you ignore the actual arguments because you cannot rebut them.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@Dutchess_III You need to accept the truth that no matter how difficult it is for an animal to remain alive it still wants to be alive and trying its best to remain alive. It’s not the animals here that is the problem, it’s their owners. The owner seem to prioritize his/her own feeling than his/her pets’ feeling and desire. If an owner get a heartache because he/she couldn’t see an animal dealing with naturally occuring life challenges (such as disease, etc) and decided to kill the animal so that he/she wouldn’t feel the pain of watching the animal’s condition anymore isn’t it selfish to think that his/her aversion to feel pain/sadness is more important than what the animal wants for itself? Nature is not cruel, that is simply how things work in the world. It’s the human themselves that try to force their own view to their pets. What is more important is the owner’s efforts to preserve the animal’s life while respecting what that animal desire for itself. If the animal itself wants to die then I will let it, if it wants to be alive then of course I’ll let it too. Live and let live, literally.

@Darth_Algar Certainly you’re bright enough to correlate the issue that animal’s consent is deeply connected to its desire to remain alive. Strong instinct to remain alive = no consent to be killed. You don’t think animal is capable of consent yet you agree that it has strong instinct for self-preservation. It’s not really that hard to see that animal that naturally want to remain alive will refuse to be killed, it never agrees to be killed in the first place, there’s no way that you could ignore what it wants while knowing exactly what it wants, unless you’re that cruel or purposely ignorant. Actually, if you can still remember we have had this argument already back in the past. I simply brought back the unfinished issue.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^There’s nothing unfinished. You are simply wrong…

Unofficial_Member's avatar

^^ No, I am not. I can also say that your thinking is wrong too. I have a feeling that people who killed their pets tried to justify themselves so that they won’t feel the guilt of killing their own animals. The idea that killing your own pets is the best solution for them/make them happy/your pets want it, etc are all just wishful thinking and a weak attempt to alleviate the guilt of having killed their own pets. One fact still remains no matter how anyone try to justify their action, it’s taking other creature (that you claim to love) life forcefully without caring about said animal’s willingness and desire. I don’t understand why nobody here seem to care about animal’s willingness and desire and keep on insisting that their own view for the animal is the right one.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Unofficial_Member

For the final time: by taking an animal as a pet you are removing any notion of their consent from the equation. You assume any and all responsibility for that animal, including responsibility for decisions about its health and life. To have a pet is to impose your will, not theirs. If you cannot handle this responsibility then you have no business having a pet.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Unofficial_Member so we should have just let Dakota painfully hemorrhage out at home so she could stay alive for another day? Could we at least have given her anything for the pain, or not, because she didn’t give her consent?

I can not believe you espouse leaving a helpless animal writhing in agony because it’s “natural.”

luigirovatti's avatar

Soon, we’ll be at record answer per thread of mine, exceeded only by a one of mine about the shutdown.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@Dutchess_III If she wants to remain alive, and has fought hard to remain alive then you should respect her wishes and efforts to remain alive. The tendency to preserve its life is natural for animal, therefore, your effort to support that will automatically gain the consent from said animal. An effort to support taking its life away, of course, won’t get you any consent from said animal. Be honest, if your dog can talk, and you ask her “can I end your life?”, do you really believe that she will say yes? Let the animals to have their own freedom to choose what they want for their own lives.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The will to survive is just as strong in humans, yet some opt for suicide. Can you explain that?

Let the animals to have their own freedom to choose what they want for their own lives. That is just a hypocritical statement on your part. Either way, you are choosing for them.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^UM can’t explain anything. They’ve just decided to stick on one point of the multiple decisions a responsible pet owner makes.
Decisions about diet, and healthcare cannot be made by the animal, but must be addressed. The only way to completely sever that, is to make it illegal to own any pet, at all. Diet, clean water, vaccines, heart worm prevention, and all healthcare needs must be made by the owner.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah, I’m not really following his logic, either. I’ll stop now.

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