Your opinion on Euthanasia--please, no flames!!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Tweetie_bird, May 21, 2002.

  1. Tweetie_bird

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    Just out of curiosity, I'd like to know others' opinions on Euthanasia. Would you do it? In what situation? Why not? If it got legalized, would your opinion change?
    I am especially interested in hearing WHY NOT...since I am pro-euthanasia. I actually had to write a thesis on it, and I had to think hard about this...so, let's share opinions. Please, no flames!!! This is just a rational debate.
     
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  3. Michelys

    Michelys Senior Member

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    Hey Tweetie_bird...I just wanted to post a book I read that can provide a few pretty good arguments for you...it's called "Let's Talk" and it's by two doctors, one a former surgeon general...I believe under former president Bush. I used it to help figure out my stance on this topic and others like universal healthcare and other ethical spiderwebs! Anyway...I personally believe as a physician my responsibility is to prolong and preserve life not be a direct means to an end. I support helping my patient 'meet their end' comfortably through medication, however. But if you'd like to read a pretty good debate between these two physicians...the book should be at your local library! It really helped for my interviews too :) . Take care.
     
  4. Vin Scully

    Vin Scully Member

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    Very interesting. I was having this very discussion a few weeks ago. I think I came to the conclusion managing end of life issues is one of the large challenges facing a physicians. I think I would do what the patient and his/her family wanted. I would present the options, but never attempt to change someone's mind regarding how they want to die. If they want their physician to attempt the herculean effort, I would, but if they wanted to manage the pain and attempt to end life comfortably, I would do that as well.
     
  5. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    I'd have a very hard time doing it. But I might be willing to do it, though I can't articulate a specific set of circumstances. Put me down for a tentative "no," with the right to change my mind later.
     
  6. RLMD

    RLMD blah

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    I think I would do it also, even though it would be extremely difficult to carry out. I hope I am never in the position to decide if someone lives or if someone dies. If a patient dies in my care, I want it to be out of my control. Life is precious, however, and I would have to be absolutely sure that is the best option before I help someone end their life.
     
  7. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    I couldn't do it... Although I'd support the patient in his decision. Maybe I could find another doctor to take over in that situation?
     
  8. Tweetie_bird

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    awesome awesome awesome..I like this debate already. Here's ONE reason I am pro-choice...(note that I can't type out my entire thesis there, but it's a general view so take it with a grain of salt)
    Anyway, we already know about few pateitns who may not want extend their life (DNR, no transfusions etc) and we award them their autonomy and right to refuse treatment. Is there not an implied the patient has to end his/her own life, by refusing treatment? so, if that implied right to end their life is exercised for DNR and "not consenting patients (to life saving medical therapy)" is it not hyporcitical to not award that same right to terminally ill patients who wish to end their suffering?
    I love this, keep em coming!
     
  9. TommyGunn04

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    Tweetie, what kind of euthanasia are we talking about here, active or passive? Some people would answer very differently depending on which you're asking about. My undergraduate major is "biomedical ethics," so I've studied this type of stuff a lot. Some will argue that there's no morally significant difference between actively euthanizing and passively doing so. However, this argument seems ot be in direct conflict with a good number of commonly held intuititions. It's a very interesting debate.
     
  10. Tweetie_bird

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by matthew0126:
    <strong>I couldn't do it... Although I'd support the patient in his decision. Maybe I could find another doctor to take over in that situation?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hey matthew, good reply, although just to spark it a bit--what if you lived in a very rural town where you were the primary care physician. Patient can't transport to go to another doctor in the city..and you're their only "hope." (This is a true case, except the patient was a 14 year old asking for a 2 or 3rd abortion from a rural practising physician) What would you do then? something to think about...
     
  11. Tweetie_bird

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by TommyGunn04:
    <strong>Tweetie, what kind of euthanasia are we talking about here, active or passive? Some people would answer very differently depending on which you're asking about. My undergraduate major is "biomedical ethics," so I've studied this type of stuff a lot. Some will argue that there's no morally significant difference between actively euthanizing and passively doing so. However, this argument seems ot be in direct conflict with a good number of commonly held intuititions. It's a very interesting debate.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Good question tommy, i forgot to mention that. I mean euthanasia in both the senses--active and passive. Active = getting lethal dose of injection (what Kevorkian does) and Passive = what's done in most hospitals under the table, ie. giving patients increasing doses of medication knowing they are going to die eventually and then claiming that death was not the intent. Most docs are more comfortable with the second, b/c there isnt'that label of "killing" the person as is with active euthanasia. I hold that they are both the same (TO THE PATIENT) because any patient that wants to end their lives would most likely want to do it in the fastest/easiest way possible (presumably, getting a lethal dose that puts them in a deep sleep and takes their life eventually).
    Thanks for the questions and the replies..I like this.
     
  12. TommyGunn04

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Tweetie_bird:
    <strong>Anyway, we already know about few pateitns who may not want extend their life (DNR, no transfusions etc) and we award them their autonomy and right to refuse treatment. Is there not an implied the patient has to end his/her own life, by refusing treatment? !</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Tweetie, your argument seems to assume there's no morally relevant difference between killing and letting die. That's an assumption a great deal of people aren't willing to make. How did you deal with this objection in your thesis?
     
  13. Toejam

    Toejam Terminal Student

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    "Physician do no harm".

    Well, is it not harmful to prolong a life which is nothing but suffering and hopelessness?? And, who has the right to decide about another's life (excluding criminal matters)? Nobody. Though some people may disagree, I don't think that any of us knows what death brings and how it couldn't possibly be a better option than a life full of pain and tears.

    Physician assisted suicide is a relatively safe, dignified option for patients who are undergoing unimaginable suffering. Suicide is a private matter and who better than a physician to help these individuals end their lives peacefully?
     
  14. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    Hey tweetie,

    I don't think I'd ever be in that situation, because I plan on practicing in a big city. However, if for some reason I was magically transported to Stillwater, Okla., and I was in that situation, I'd have to evaluate it depending on the patient's condition.

    If the patient was writhing in pain and in no condition to be moved, and there was absolutely no hope left, I'd do it. I think I would feel pretty emotional afterwards tho.... I went into medicine not to take life but to save it.

    If the patient was fine but just had no will to live, I'd support him in his decision, but I'd arrange for him to be transported to the closest big city for arrangements.

    Also, I'd like to point out that I find it questionable to compare euthanasia and abortion. They are completely separate issues, as evidenced in my lukewarm support for euthanasia but my complete horror regarding abortion. In euthanasia, the patient is choosing to terminate his/her own life. In abortion, the parents/doctor/society is forcing it's will on the baby.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Tweetie_bird:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by matthew0126:
    <strong>I couldn't do it... Although I'd support the patient in his decision. Maybe I could find another doctor to take over in that situation?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hey matthew, good reply, although just to spark it a bit--what if you lived in a very rural town where you were the primary care physician. Patient can't transport to go to another doctor in the city..and you're their only "hope." (This is a true case, except the patient was a 14 year old asking for a 2 or 3rd abortion from a rural practising physician) What would you do then? something to think about...</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  15. Tweetie_bird

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by TommyGunn04:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Tweetie_bird:
    <strong>Anyway, we already know about few pateitns who may not want extend their life (DNR, no transfusions etc) and we award them their autonomy and right to refuse treatment. Is there not an implied the patient has to end his/her own life, by refusing treatment? !</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Tweetie, your argument seems to assume there's no morally relevant difference between killing and letting die. That's an assumption a great deal of people aren't willing to make. How did you deal with this objection in your thesis?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hi Tommy, I think by the time this thread is done, my whole thesis will be on display... :D
    Anyway, I did talk about killing versus letting die and I had to prove it very meticulously that really, there is not much difference (I am afraid if I start writing on it, I would have typed out 20 pages of philosophical ideas)...but let's just say, that to the patient who doesn't care about living any more, HOW his/her life is put to an end is not what's important, it's the fact of death itself that's most important. If (God forbid) you were on a death bed or in unimaginable pain, and wanted to be euthanized would you think it's necessary for you to debate in your own mind about HOW you would die--increasing doses versus lethal dose? Or would you care more about the quickest/fastest way to bring death onto yourself?

    Another issue--in MY opinion, killing versus letting die is NOT the same as giving lethal medication versus giving increasing doses. BOTH OF THOSE ARE KILILNG and i think it's time docs realized that. How can a doc keep giving increasing doses of medication knowing that the therapeutic index and lethal index is being reached and then claim that "death was not the intent?" Research has shown that most docs KNOW that this is going to cause the death of the patient.

    Letting the patient go home, without any pain relieving medication or life prolonging medication is letting the patient die. Letting a patient suffer in pain, until his/her death is "letting the patient die." Not giving the patient care, comfort and support in THEIR choice in time and manner of death, is letting the patient die. Doing NOTHING, is letting the terminally ill patient die.

    Giving a dose of medication (whether increasing or in one lethal dose) is an action that specifically causes the death of the patient, and how the medication was given is not of importance...it's the fact of death that is more important. I could go on and on about this, and I think I need to stop....any more takers?
     
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  17. Tweetie_bird

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by matthew0126:
    <strong>
    Also, I'd like to point out that I find it questionable to compare euthanasia and abortion. They are completely separate issues, as evidenced in my lukewarm support for euthanasia but my complete horror regarding abortion. In euthanasia, the patient is choosing to terminate his/her own life. In abortion, the parents/doctor/society is forcing it's will on the baby.
    qb]</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"></strong>[/QUOTE]

    good point, and acknowledged. It's true that one can't compaire abortion to euthanasia, but that was not my intention. I simply used a similar situation I have seen in an abortion case, and tried to adapt it to euthanasia--ie, what if just LIKE that ob/gyn in a rural town, you were a primary care provider in a rural town and somebody came to you and you were the only hope. The intent was not to compare the two issues. My apologies.
     
  18. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by matthew0126:
    <strong>Also, I'd like to point out that I find it questionable to compare euthanasia and abortion. They are completely separate issues, as evidenced in my lukewarm support for euthanasia but my complete horror regarding abortion. In euthanasia, the patient is choosing to terminate his/her own life. In abortion, the parents/doctor/society is forcing it's will on the baby.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Matthew bro, I'd just like to say that it scares me how much we think alike. First Jennifer Aniston, now this! I wonder what's next? :D
     
  19. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    I'm down with your spin on the dating game too :D

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Papa Smurf:
    <strong>Matthew bro, I'd just like to say that it scares me how much we think alike. First Jennifer Aniston, now this! I wonder what's next? :D </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     

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