Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthanasia

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aoeu
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby aoeu » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:43 pm UTC

There are very few (any?) conditions that make your life intolerable even if you have access to all the pills in the hospital. Certainly (going by the OP's article) these psychiatric patients chose to shuffle out of life on some (one might say very sheepish) philosophical grounds. People should demand better treatment instead of death. Actually, it is understandable if you refuse treatment that you dislike and doesn't extend your life that much, but you don't need euthanasia for that. Just forbid the doctors from doing that particular thing to you.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby PeteP » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:58 pm UTC

aoeu wrote:There are very few (any?) conditions that make your life intolerable even if you have access to all the pills in the hospital. Certainly (going by the OP's article) these psychiatric patients chose to shuffle out of life on some (one might say very sheepish) philosophical grounds. People should demand better treatment instead of death. Actually, it is understandable if you refuse treatment that you dislike and doesn't extend your life that much, but you don't need euthanasia for that. Just forbid the doctors from doing that particular thing to you.

Since you said you were going by the OP article, mind elaborating what kind of treatment the two described should have refused?
Last edited by PeteP on Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:10 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:01 pm UTC

In order to make some conditions tolerable, you need to be permanently sedated. Sometimes the drug cocktails for things like HIV are a fate worse than death; in the early days, the drugs would literally rot your flesh off, now you'll be lucky if you only spend an hour every day vomiting. The hope was that the drugs would extend the lives of HIV victims just long enough for a proper treatment/cure could be found.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby zmic » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:47 am UTC

Greyarcher wrote:
zmic wrote:So next time somebody makes a thread on this forum about being chronically depressed and having suicidal thoughts, it would be ok to reply "Yeah it may actually be the case that suicide is the best solution for you".

Because if you're ok with those cases in the Netherlands, that would actually be your opinion.

I'm sorry if this sounds blunt , but I see no other way to parse this.
Not too blunt; concise. Possibly glossing over or omitting important details thus making the reply sound more inappropriate. But no worries. However, I'm not sure I entirely agree.

The ones to decide whether suicide is the best solution wouldn't really be us. It is the people who wish to kill themselves, and the hypothetical people responsible for evaluating the person's stated position, situation, treatment options, etc. If there were such hypothetical people were around and I thought the process was decent, I think I would safely agree with you and say, "Yeah, sure, it may be right for you. Check with those hypothetical guys, see what they have to say."


Yes, of course we will weasel out, saying "in principle I agree, but it is not up to me to make such a decision, because I'm not a qualified <whatever>".

So you go to college for 5 years and get your degree in medicine/psychology, maybe get a few years of experience counseling people, and then all of a sudden you have acquired the wisdom and judgement to make the decision to off somebody? I think this is madness. It is madness because it takes exactly a fool to believe such a thing. As a result, that so-called "board of qualified people" is guaranteed to consist of fools. It consists of fools BY DESIGN. No sane person would ever consider herself God.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Zamfir » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:33 am UTC

zmic, the boards do not deal with people who are requesting euthanasia.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby morriswalters » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:11 am UTC

Why keep people alive who don't wish to be? However can you grant their wish while at the same time preventing some part of society from making judgements based on their desires rather than those who may truly need release?

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:14 pm UTC

Does the Netherlands have different criteria for declaring someone incompetent? 'Round these parts, if you attempt to kill yourself, you would be declared a danger to yourself, and put on the suicide watch in a hospital. It seems bizarre to me that if the method you choose is 'go to the doctor' rather than anything else, they would assist you rather than putting on suicide watch. It would be like saying you will be confined to suicide watch if you try to kill yourself, unless you jump off the bridge on King Street. If you use that bridge, it's totally cool.

Thirty-one wrote:Having considered suicide for a long period of my life, this is how I feel.
I decided not to, in the end, or rather, I couldn't find an appropriately considerate and dignified way to do it, so I kept living until further progress on that could be made. Eventually my life got better, but that was never a given. Besides, other people could have far worse depressions than mine. That's for them to judge.
This seems to be the </thread> reason why we should not be creating more considerate and dignified ways for people with depression to kill themselves.
@31: If it isn't too sensitive to talk about, do you think you would be alive for your life to have gotten better if you had had access to assisted suicide like in the Netherlands? Do you think you would have been able to convince a doctor that suicide really was something you wanted to do?

The debate about euthanasia used to be about people who could no longer perform the act. It was about people whose pain, suffering, and agony was so great that they would get rid of themselves even if it was in an inconsiderate undignified fashion. The only thing is, they were generally in too much pain and agony to be physically capable of performing the deed.

If you could go walk up a dozen flights of stairs and off yourself right now, but instead decide to wait a couple of weeks or months to go through the proper paperwork, because you are waiting for a considerate and dignified way to do it, you aren't suffering badly enough that you should be eligible for assisted suicide.

Regardless of level of suffering, hell, even without any suffering, I can understand assisting someone who can't kill themselves. I don't understand assisting someone who can.

On a separate note, I wonder if the doctors gave them non-traditional treatments before deciding that there were no other options? I would prescribe euphoriants like cocaine, meth, LSD, ecstasy, or -- better yet -- ibogaine before I prescribed a boatload of barbiturates.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby PeteP » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:42 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Does the Netherlands have different criteria for declaring someone incompetent? 'Round these parts, if you attempt to kill yourself, you would be declared a danger to yourself, and put on the suicide watch in a hospital. It seems bizarre to me that if the method you choose is 'go to the doctor' rather than anything else, they would assist you rather than putting on suicide watch. It would be like saying you will be confined to suicide watch if you try to kill yourself, unless you jump off the bridge on King Street. If you use that bridge, it's totally cool.

Wouldn't having a system for assisted suicide (which implies they recognize that suicide can be a valid decision and are willing to assist in certain cases) and (at the same time) declaring anyone who applies to the system as not fit to make the decision be a tiny bit silly?
Also, viewing decisions which were planned and discussed with other over a longer time span differently than spontaneous decisions isn't particularly unusual so I wouldn't view what you describe as particularly bizarre. (Though I have no idea what the situation in their system is.)

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Zamfir » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:35 pm UTC

A reminder: the euthanasia law and system were not set up for these cases. The requests based on psychiatric problems as described in the OP are controversial and rare edge cases of the system. The euthanasia law was in effect for a decade before the first such case occurred.

As a rule of thumb, assume that the local psychiatry deals with suicidal people just as if this law did not exist. It's not part of the normal way of working, at all. That might conceivably change if there is enough support, but that would be a gradual and deeply debated process yet to come. The outcome of that process would presumably look different from the current setup, which was not intended for these cases.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Greyarcher » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:03 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Thirty-one wrote:Having considered suicide for a long period of my life, this is how I feel.
I decided not to, in the end, or rather, I couldn't find an appropriately considerate and dignified way to do it, so I kept living until further progress on that could be made. Eventually my life got better, but that was never a given. Besides, other people could have far worse depressions than mine. That's for them to judge.
This seems to be the </thread> reason why we should not be creating more considerate and dignified ways for people with depression to kill themselves.
On the contrary, let me provide a counterpoint. I'm not particularly attached or addicted to life; negative stressors tends to trigger a desire for death, since I guess my brain weighs positives and negatives separately. Its an on-and-off thing; has been for...oh, ten years or so. I've been mostly unstressed and not desiring death for the past couple years, though it'll tag me slightly every now and then. It was more persistent in earlier times.
Part of the reason I didn't kill myself was because of high standards--I was picky about my manner of death. Would I have killed myself if I had an ideal method? No way of knowing.

I was a philosophy major with an interest in ethics. I naturally thought through many arguments on this subject. I could write for pages detailing them. And one of the resolutions I made along the way was that, regardless of whether things improved for me or not, I would never look back and say, "It was good that I didn't kill myself." The reasons are many, but part of it was that I never wanted people using me as some example that, "Things can get better. Therefore, you should never kill yourself."

I will explain further.

As Thirty-one says, it was never a given. Things might get better, but they might not. What mattered--whether the option was valid and the decision proper--was whether it had undergone proper thought. It's a serious and irreversible decision, so it should be given proper thought--I think that now, and I thought it then. And I so I properly thought things through. Not merely all the ethical arguments, but also the status of my life. Having fulfilled my requirements for thinking it through, and also concluding it to be ethically permissible, only the desire and motivation to die were remaining variables.

Desire and motivation to die can go up and down. They fluctuate for various reasons, some of which maybe you can control, some of which maybe you can't. But that's something you can take into consideration when considering whether it's proper to kill yourself. For instance, you can think, "My desire and motivation may go permanently down, and I may end up loving life." If you take that into consideration too and still grant it as permissible to kill yourself then, logically, even if you never have enough desire or motivation to kill yourself, even if you end up loving life in the future, your decision to kill yourself back then would have been undergone serious and proper thought. Proper procedure, you might say.

And so, I have promised myself that I would never say "It's good that I didn't kill myself back then" no matter how much I might ever love life. Because that would mislead, and make people think that the decision to kill myself would have been "wrong" or somesuch. That people shouldn't kill themselves, because of some sort of "hey, look at me, things can get better!" But that viewpoint is confused. The decision would have been thought through properly, would have taken into account this possibility, so it would have been right and permissible.


This post has gone on too long, so I'll leave a parting consideration for people. Manual empathy, as I call it. Imagine what it would take for you to want to kill yourself. There are things people consider precious, and things people hate. How much of the former would you have to lose, and how much of the latter would you need to suffer? Would you need to lose the hope for things changing for the better as well? Consider it. And then imagine at what point it would take for you to actually be willing to kill yourself via some unpleasant method, and at what point you would merely have an earnest and persistent desire to die but not enough motivation to kill yourself so messily and unpleasantly.

It may not alter your thoughts on assisted suicide by itself, but it may be useful for understanding.


Edit-----------Also, reading back, whoa! Too somber and gloomy a note to end on. Unawesome. Allow me to casual things up a bit. :D ....okay, yeah, I don't have a cheery aside to add here. Anyways, carry on!
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby addams » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:39 am UTC

Nice post.
I think I understood it and agree.

I have spent some time thinking through the subject, too.
I have spoken to other 3D people about the subject.

We will never get through to some people.
That is OK! We have both a right and a responsibility to support the individual.

No matter what stupid thing the individual wants to do.
Support the individual and Refer, Refer, Refer.

To prevent death is impossible.
To ease suffering is very possible.

To force people to live experiences against their will is Wrong.
A Dutch person that is supported and understood during the process is a fortunate person.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby johnny_7713 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:17 am UTC

zmic wrote:
Greyarcher wrote:
zmic wrote:So next time somebody makes a thread on this forum about being chronically depressed and having suicidal thoughts, it would be ok to reply "Yeah it may actually be the case that suicide is the best solution for you".

Because if you're ok with those cases in the Netherlands, that would actually be your opinion.

I'm sorry if this sounds blunt , but I see no other way to parse this.
Not too blunt; concise. Possibly glossing over or omitting important details thus making the reply sound more inappropriate. But no worries. However, I'm not sure I entirely agree.

The ones to decide whether suicide is the best solution wouldn't really be us. It is the people who wish to kill themselves, and the hypothetical people responsible for evaluating the person's stated position, situation, treatment options, etc. If there were such hypothetical people were around and I thought the process was decent, I think I would safely agree with you and say, "Yeah, sure, it may be right for you. Check with those hypothetical guys, see what they have to say."


Yes, of course we will weasel out, saying "in principle I agree, but it is not up to me to make such a decision, because I'm not a qualified <whatever>".

So you go to college for 5 years and get your degree in medicine/psychology, maybe get a few years of experience counseling people, and then all of a sudden you have acquired the wisdom and judgement to make the decision to off somebody? I think this is madness. It is madness because it takes exactly a fool to believe such a thing. As a result, that so-called "board of qualified people" is guaranteed to consist of fools. It consists of fools BY DESIGN. No sane person would ever consider herself God.


No, but you have the wisdom and judgement to know whether or not there are treatment options left and what the likely outcomes and side-effects of those treatment options are. If your education and experience tell you that there are no viable treatment options left, and that the suffering will continue, what are you supposed to say? 'There is nothing I or anyone else can do to alleviate your suffering, but your desire for death is totes wrong anyway' ?

Also in general I would like to remark that many people in this thread seem to be focussing on depression, which is understandable since it is often linked to suicidal thoughts, but there are many other mental illnesses. At least one of the people in the OP wasn't suffering from depression. The other one I don't know, as I'm not a trained psychiatrist.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:25 pm UTC

Greyarcher wrote:Your position is interesting insofar as it's confusing, Heisenberg. I can't quite pin down a coherent map of the related principles and values. From what I can see, you've notably mentioned:
1. Your conscience tells you killing is wrong.
2. People's death causing suffering to others.
3. People do not have some special "ownership" of their own lives.
4. "Suicide is murder."

Correct? But, perhaps due to the topic and perhaps not, you haven't made placed much focus on the person who dies. So, a question. What would be required to make someone's death not, for lack of a better term, a bad thing? Are there notable necessary and sufficient conditions?

Humans are irreplaceable. Death is bad. Killing a human is wrong. What's confusing?
Greyarcher wrote:As Thirty-one says, it was never a given. Things might get better, but they might not. What mattered--whether the option was valid and the decision proper--was whether it had undergone proper thought. It's a serious and irreversible decision, so it should be given proper thought--I think that now, and I thought it then. And I so I properly thought things through. Not merely all the ethical arguments, but also the status of my life. Having fulfilled my requirements for thinking it through, and also concluding it to be ethically permissible, only the desire and motivation to die were remaining variables.

If you had an illness which impaired your ability to think things through properly, how would that affect your decision? For example, in this case, a man wasn't capable of envisioning a future in which he could be happily retired. It was "impossible for him to go on." Ostensibly this was due to his depression, as he was otherwise healthy. Did that man meet your condition?

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Zamfir » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:56 pm UTC

I couldn't make such judgement based on a few lines in a news paper. It seems entirely possible that someone could be both suicidally depressed, and still capable to have a very considered view of the situation. But there is no way for me to judge if this was the case for this particular person, based on this information alone.

And I don't think you can either. You can certainly decide that suicide is wrong, no matter how well considered the wish for it. But that's a different point.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:59 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Humans are irreplaceable. Death is bad. Killing a human is wrong. What's confusing?
Because forcing other people to live through their suffering is wrong. I feel we have a responsibility as mature rational humans to recognize that prolonging someone's suffering is wrong. I don't understand how that's confusing to you.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:47 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:I couldn't make such judgement based on a few lines in a news paper. It seems entirely possible that someone could be both suicidally depressed, and still capable to have a very considered view of the situation. But there is no way for me to judge if this was the case for this particular person, based on this information alone.

And I don't think you can either. You can certainly decide that suicide is wrong, no matter how well considered the wish for it. But that's a different point.

I agree that the information in the article is lacking, but I'm not judging the individual, I'm judging the disease. Depression affects the brain, and can compromise judgement. So if GreyArcher requires good judgement, that could be an issue.
Izawwlgood wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:Humans are irreplaceable. Death is bad. Killing a human is wrong. What's confusing?
Because forcing other people to live through their suffering is wrong. I feel we have a responsibility as mature rational humans to recognize that prolonging someone's suffering is wrong. I don't understand how that's confusing to you.
What do you mean by "force other people to live?"

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:51 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:What do you mean by "force other people to live?"
By not supporting or facilitate their right to die.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:52 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Humans are irreplaceable. Death is bad. Killing a human is wrong. What's confusing?


Death isn't bad. It is a natural process that is essential for the overall health and function of the biosphere. The survival of many creatures, including humans, is predicated on the deaths of other creatures.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:54 pm UTC

Yeah, that's a good point; death is a natural part of existence, and it's unreasonable to not consider it part of the cycle of life. We have done great things with medicine to save the lives of those that wouldn't have lived otherwise. We should also endeavor to use that medicine to ease the dying of those that are ready to.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:08 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:What do you mean by "force other people to live?"
By not supporting or facilitate their right to die.
That's not really what "forcing" means. It wouldn't be fair to say you're forcing me to be hungry by not buying me a sandwich. Similarly, I'm not forcing you to stay alive by not killing you (or by not doing a bunch of work to help you kill yourself).
LaserGuy wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:Humans are irreplaceable. Death is bad. Killing a human is wrong. What's confusing?
Death isn't bad. It is a natural process that is essential for the overall health and function of the biosphere. The survival of many creatures, including humans, is predicated on the deaths of other creatures.
I thought my phrasing was clear enough, but ok. *Human* death is bad, as it represents an irreplaceable loss to society, among other things. Knowledge, ingenuity, diversity are all lost upon death, and death is the source of a great deal of suffering from other humans (which you guys think is bad for some reason). Humans of sound mind will go to great lengths to avoid death. You can say it's "natural" like the heat death of the universe is "natural" but that doesn't make it good.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:31 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:That's not really what "forcing" means. It wouldn't be fair to say you're forcing me to be hungry by not buying me a sandwich. Similarly, I'm not forcing you to stay alive by not killing you (or by not doing a bunch of work to help you kill yourself).
Curious point! If, for example, you were walking past someone who was starving to death, and were holding a sandwich and you yourself were not starving to death, would you say that you were not forcing the person to starve to death if you didn't give them a sandwich? Do you recognize that denying aid to someone is the same as harming them? Such as, say, a diabetic needs insulin, and there you are, standing with a syringe and some insulin, and you refuse to give it to them. Would you say that you have 'forced' them to die, in that situation?

I've watched you continually mince terms and responsibilities in this thread. Supporting euthanasia doesn't mean you, Heisenberg, are going to be handed a shotgun and forced to walk the hospitals gunning down anyone with a frown.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby speising » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:08 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:That's not really what "forcing" means. It wouldn't be fair to say you're forcing me to be hungry by not buying me a sandwich. Similarly, I'm not forcing you to stay alive by not killing you (or by not doing a bunch of work to help you kill yourself).
Curious point! If, for example, you were walking past someone who was starving to death, and were holding a sandwich and you yourself were not starving to death, would you say that you were not forcing the person to starve to death if you didn't give them a sandwich? Do you recognize that denying aid to someone is the same as harming them? Such as, say, a diabetic needs insulin, and there you are, standing with a syringe and some insulin, and you refuse to give it to them. Would you say that you have 'forced' them to die, in that situation?

I've watched you continually mince terms and responsibilities in this thread. Supporting euthanasia doesn't mean you, Heisenberg, are going to be handed a shotgun and forced to walk the hospitals gunning down anyone with a frown.


not preventing an otherwise unavoidable change of state is very different from facilitating a change of state. withholding insulin is not on the same level as helping someone to die. i'd say the first can be called force to die, but the latter is not forcing to live.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:32 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Do you recognize that denying aid to someone is the same as harming them?
Of course those two things are different. I mean, if not aiding people halfway around the world from you is the same harming them, then reading this post is equivalent to killing a kid in Somalia. I really don't think you deserve that guilt!
Izawwlgood wrote:I've watched you continually mince terms and responsibilities in this thread. Supporting euthanasia doesn't mean you, Heisenberg, are going to be handed a shotgun and forced to walk the hospitals gunning down anyone with a frown.
I'm not mincing, I'm agreeing with you. Forcing someone to suffer is bad. I wouldn't force anyone to suffer. I also wouldn't kill anyone, even if that means allowing suffering to continue.

Suffering is just as "natural" as death is. If you consider death to be neutral or good, then why do you consider suffering to be bad?

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:36 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Of course those two things are different. I mean, if not aiding people halfway around the world from you is the same harming them, then reading this post is equivalent to killing a kid in Somalia. I really don't think you deserve that guilt!
This is a straw man though. We're not discussing hypotheticals about how your actions are making a butterfly fart somewhere, we're talking about how medically trained professionals working in hospitals with dying, suffering people, are being prevented from alleviating their suffering because somewhere out there, people like you got upset that suffering people might be given a way out of their misery.

Heisenberg wrote:Forcing someone to suffer is bad. I wouldn't force anyone to suffer. I also wouldn't kill anyone, even if that means allowing suffering to continue.
Again, no one is asking YOU to kill anyone, we're asking you to recognize that medically trained professionals should be allowed to kill someone who could benefit from it. If I missed you agreeing with that, then my apologies, but you still seem to be arguing against Euthanasia as a thing, as opposed to saying "I personally would not be able to do it, but I respect and acknowledge it's utility'.

Heisenberg wrote:Suffering is just as "natural" as death is. If you consider death to be neutral or good, then why do you consider suffering to be bad?
Because suffering is preventable, while death, ultimately, is not.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:19 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:Of course those two things are different. I mean, if not aiding people halfway around the world from you is the same harming them, then reading this post is equivalent to killing a kid in Somalia. I really don't think you deserve that guilt!
This is a straw man though. We're not discussing hypotheticals about how your actions are making a butterfly fart somewhere, we're talking about how medically trained professionals working in hospitals with dying, suffering people, are being prevented from alleviating their suffering because somewhere out there, people like you got upset that suffering people might be given a way out of their misery.
The thread is not about dying, suffering people. It's about a depressed retiree and a compulsive cleaner, neither of which had a terminal illness. These people may have had many good years ahead of them before their lives were cut short by a doctor who justified their killing due to an illness. You're correct that these people are no longer suffering, they're also no longer happy, they're no longer joyful, they're no longer feeling loved. Even if they're ready to quit on themselves, I'm not ready to quit on them.
Izawwlgood wrote:Again, no one is asking YOU to kill anyone, we're asking you to recognize that medically trained professionals should be allowed to kill someone who could benefit from it. If I missed you agreeing with that, then my apologies, but you still seem to be arguing against Euthanasia as a thing, as opposed to saying "I personally would not be able to do it, but I respect and acknowledge it's utility'.
No, I am not a hypocrite. If I believe a thing needs to be done, I will do it myself. And if I feel that my aversion to killing would prevent me from killing a human being, I would not then hire someone to kill for me.
Izawwlgood wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:Suffering is just as "natural" as death is. If you consider death to be neutral or good, then why do you consider suffering to be bad?
Because suffering is preventable, while death, ultimately, is not.
You can't eliminate suffering, and killing suffering people doesn't reduce suffering in the world, it only increases death. More importantly, killing is wrong. Please stop.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:28 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:The thread is not about dying, suffering people. It's about a depressed retiree and a compulsive cleaner, neither of which had a terminal illness. These people may have had many good years ahead of them before their lives were cut short by a doctor who justified their killing due to an illness. You're correct that these people are no longer suffering, they're also no longer happy, they're no longer joyful, they're no longer feeling loved. Even if they're ready to quit on themselves, I'm not ready to quit on them.
And again, it isn't your call, it's theirs. It doesn't matter if YOU haven't given up on them (which is a horribly narcissistic thing to say in the first place, since they are the equivalent of starving children in Somalia to you), THEY have decided on medically assisted suicide as the solution to their suffering.

Heisenberg wrote:No, I am not a hypocrite. If I believe a thing needs to be done, I will do it myself. And if I feel that my aversion to killing would prevent me from killing a human being, I would not then hire someone to kill for me.
Oh ok; so, if you need a transplant, I trust you'd do it yourself instead of hiring someone else to? Or are you suggesting that because YOU can't/won't end someone's life, no one should?

Heisenberg wrote:You can't eliminate suffering, and killing suffering people doesn't reduce suffering in the world, it only increases death. More importantly, killing is wrong. Please stop.
But you can reduce it. Killing people who want to die is actually factually reducing the suffering in the world.

LaserGuy already addressed by 'killing is wrong' is very myopic and useless. There's a reason our legal system, weird and convoluted as it is, recognizes 'murder in self defense' for example, as a thing. Please stop using useless broad strokes to make your point.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:29 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:I thought my phrasing was clear enough, but ok. *Human* death is bad, as it represents an irreplaceable loss to society, among other things. Knowledge, ingenuity, diversity are all lost upon death, and death is the source of a great deal of suffering from other humans (which you guys think is bad for some reason). Humans of sound mind will go to great lengths to avoid death. You can say it's "natural" like the heat death of the universe is "natural" but that doesn't make it good.


On the contrary, humans of sound mind will often hold certain values or beliefs above their own lives and will voluntarily risk or even sacrifice their own lives to advance their chosen cause. Indeed, this may even be a fairly hard-wired biological imperative (eg. parents will quite willingly sacrifice themselves to save their children). An outsized fear of death leaves you vulnerable to exploitation.

Heisenberg wrote:The thread is not about dying, suffering people. It's about a depressed retiree and a compulsive cleaner, neither of which had a terminal illness. These people may have had many good years ahead of them before their lives were cut short by a doctor who justified their killing due to an illness. You're correct that these people are no longer suffering, they're also no longer happy, they're no longer joyful, they're no longer feeling loved. Even if they're ready to quit on themselves, I'm not ready to quit on them.


Define "good years". By their own admission, these people felt that their remaining years would be intolerable to them. They aren't happy; they aren't joyful; they aren't feeling loved. That's kind of the point.

Heisenberg wrote:No, I am not a hypocrite. If I believe a thing needs to be done, I will do it myself. And if I feel that my aversion to killing would prevent me from killing a human being, I would not then hire someone to kill for me.


Pretty much every country in the world has groups of people hired to kill on behalf of their citizens. You may personally never be called upon to kill someone, but that's because you are sufficiently well-protected by a bunch of people with guns who allow you to make that choice, and you support those people with taxes that you pay.

Heisenberg wrote:You can't eliminate suffering, and killing suffering people doesn't reduce suffering in the world, it only increases death. More importantly, killing is wrong. Please stop.


You haven't yet demonstrated why you feel that killing is worse than continuous suffering. Even if killing is wrong, that does not necessarily mean that it is more wrong than many alternatives.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby speising » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:15 pm UTC

even if we accept euthanasia as acceptable in principle; i feel it should be restricted to people who can't do it themselves. why does a medical professional have to help a person which is of sound mind and body to commit suicide? that seems to be an unneccesary overhead and weight on the helpers conscience.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Greyarcher » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:32 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:If you had an illness which impaired your ability to think things through properly, how would that affect your decision? For example, in this case, a man wasn't capable of envisioning a future in which he could be happily retired. It was "impossible for him to go on." Ostensibly this was due to his depression, as he was otherwise healthy. Did that man meet your condition?
Regarding the last question, I have no way of knowing. There are all sorts of people in this world. I'm not qualified to say, "These things are what make life worthwhile for everyone. If you have them, you should be happy." The things that make life worthwhile are different for everyone.

Heck, if John Doesmith said that eating cheese each day was necessary for him to consider life worthwhile, I could accept that. If he were sincere and reasonable from all we could see....what's to say? I would consider it bizarre but, well, people have all sorts of sexual interests that I find odd too. There are all sorts of people in the world. I could accept it as true, even if I couldn't put myself in their shoes. After all, life doesn't come with "Satisfaction Guaranteed" branded on the side.

Regarding the first question.....that's very tricky. I think we would have to extrapolate from other laws. Would we consider the person reasonable enough to make contracts and such? I can't say I have a personal opinion on this.

I only try to strike a balance between:
1. Care and consideration for a person's views, desires, and happiness.
and
2. Not facilitating a serious and irreversible decision without seriously considering the situation we are presented with.

How exactly #2 should be properly achieved is a hard question. But, for the sake of #1, I don't want to simply throw #2 away as impossible.
Some people seem to throw away #1 or weigh it very lowly against other things, and I think we have disagreements because of that too.

--------
Heisenberg wrote:Humans are irreplaceable. Death is bad. Killing a human is wrong. What's confusing?
Altogether, your individual comments were unusual enough that I couldn't create a hypothetical "map" of what principles, values, and moral views you have. Maybe because you weigh #1 lowly against the utility a person's life has for society and other people, and I didn't expect that. That's why I asked about "necessary and sufficient conditions for someone's death not to be bad." Those conditions would tell me what you truly consider valuable about a person's life, by telling me what must be removed from a person's life to make their death "not bad." Like some of the things you listed in reply to Laserguy here:
Heisenberg wrote: *Human* death is bad, as it represents an irreplaceable loss to society, among other things. Knowledge, ingenuity, diversity are all lost upon death, and death is the source of a great deal of suffering from other humans (which you guys think is bad for some reason).
By the way, I think I can give you a rough summation about the last part.

Loosely: to desire the happiness of other people. I think that's a natural part of caring about other people. We may find happiness in the fact that people we care about find happiness, or escape some form of unhappiness.
Tying that to suffering from other humans: if caring could be called a selfless element of love, then attachment is a self-centered element. When attachment causes us to disregard the happiness of someone we supposedly love, it becomes a selfish element and cannot be called "caring" or "desiring the happiness of the other person" at all. And loving someone without caring about them is almost self-contradictory.

Attachment to someone we love is natural, and suffering because of the death of someone we are attached to is natural. But if--and this can be a big if--if, by death, someone is actually more fortunate and less unhappy than if they were to remain alive...then we should also find happiness insofar as we cared about them. But if we reject that outright--if we disregard their happiness in favor of our own attachment and suffering--then we are not expressing care. We are only expressing the selfishness of attachment. And there is nothing praiseworthy about selfishness itself.

That is why, in this context, talking about suffering over someone else's death is a poor point in the case of assisted suicide. It is saying we should respect someone's opinion about another person's life, when all that opinion expresses is selfish attachment and an absence of care. Basically.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby zmic » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:01 am UTC

johnny_7713 wrote:No, but you have the wisdom and judgement to know whether or not there are treatment options left and what the likely outcomes and side-effects of those treatment options are. If your education and experience tell you that there are no viable treatment options left, and that the suffering will continue, what are you supposed to say? 'There is nothing I or anyone else can do to alleviate your suffering, but your desire for death is totes wrong anyway' ?


You're supposed to say: "If you're want to commit suicide, you are on your own. There is no way I'm going to help you with that".

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby zmic » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:09 am UTC

johnny_7713 wrote:No, but you have the wisdom and judgement to know whether or not there are treatment options left and what the likely outcomes and side-effects of those treatment options are. If your education and experience tell you that there are no viable treatment options left


And what if next week somebody discovers that this person's type of depression is caused by some chemical X or Y in the brain, and is curable?

Then you're gonna say "ahh... about that guy... I'm afraid we killed him last week"

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:24 am UTC

speising wrote:even if we accept euthanasia as acceptable in principle; i feel it should be restricted to people who can't do it themselves. why does a medical professional have to help a person which is of sound mind and body to commit suicide? that seems to be an unneccesary overhead and weight on the helpers conscience.
Why? Why are you (EDIT: Sorry, not YOU YOU, just, you know, y'all) again deciding what other people can or can't do? If a medical practitioner wants to help people end their suffering painlessly, cleanly, and quickly, why should we tell the medical practitioner that it's too much of a burden to them to do so, and why should we tell the suffering patient that they need to go figure out a way of doing it themselves?

No one is forcing medical practitioners to do anything.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:39 am UTC

zmic wrote:
johnny_7713 wrote:No, but you have the wisdom and judgement to know whether or not there are treatment options left and what the likely outcomes and side-effects of those treatment options are. If your education and experience tell you that there are no viable treatment options left


And what if next week somebody discovers that this person's type of depression is caused by some chemical X or Y in the brain, and is curable?

Then you're gonna say "ahh... about that guy... I'm afraid we killed him last week"


That's not how medicine works in the real world, so it isn't really an issue.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby addams » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:00 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Yeah, that's a good point; death is a natural part of existence, and it's unreasonable to not consider it part of the cycle of life. We have done great things with medicine to save the lives of those that wouldn't have lived otherwise. We should also endeavor to use that medicine to ease the dying of those that are ready to.


Nice. Yes.
Of course.

Medicine. A team sport.
Don't ever forget; It's a team sport.

The Patient decides on The Plays.
We can only do our best.
And; Hope the hands we fall into are as good.

Greyarcher wrote:Attachment to someone we love is natural, and suffering because of the death of someone we are attached to is natural. But if--and this can be a big if--if, by death, someone is actually more fortunate and less unhappy than if they were to remain alive...then we should also find happiness insofar as we cared about them. But if we reject that outright--if we disregard their happiness in favor of our own attachment and suffering--then we are not expressing care. We are only expressing the selfishness of attachment. And there is nothing praiseworthy about selfishness itself.

That is why, in this context, talking about suffering over someone else's death is a poor point in the case of assisted suicide. It is saying we should respect someone's opinion about another person's life, when all that opinion expresses is selfish attachment and an absence of care. Basically.

You may have wandered off topic.
I appreciated reading it, anyway.

It becomes very personal.
Over and over this thread has said, "Death is unavoidable. Suffering can be eased."

Spoiler:
Hardley anyone dies a "Natural" death, anymore.
The poor do. No spoiling the poor. Not in the US.

To my eyes the Nanny State looks like what it is.
Something those people from wealthy nations have.

"Not US. No sir! We don't want no fuckin' Nanny.
Nannies are bad. They let people talk about death like it's a real thing."
Last edited by addams on Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:05 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby zmic » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:02 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
zmic wrote:
johnny_7713 wrote:No, but you have the wisdom and judgement to know whether or not there are treatment options left and what the likely outcomes and side-effects of those treatment options are. If your education and experience tell you that there are no viable treatment options left


And what if next week somebody discovers that this person's type of depression is caused by some chemical X or Y in the brain, and is curable?

Then you're gonna say "ahh... about that guy... I'm afraid we killed him last week"


That's not how medicine works in the real world, so it isn't really an issue.


Why I was under the impression that medicine makes progress all the time.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:07 am UTC

The time between someone possibly making a discovery, that discovery leading to a potential treatment, the treatment being tested and approved, and a treatment plan actually being available to the public is generally on the scale of years, not days.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby zmic » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:11 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:The time between someone possibly making a discovery, that discovery leading to a potential treatment, the treatment being tested and approved, and a treatment plan actually being available to the public is generally on the scale of years, not days.


Well yeah so next week a new treatment plan can come out that began development 5 years ago.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby addams » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:58 am UTC

zmic wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
zmic wrote:
johnny_7713 wrote:No, but you have the wisdom and judgement to know whether or not there are treatment options left and what the likely outcomes and side-effects of those treatment options are. If your education and experience tell you that there are no viable treatment options left


And what if next week somebody discovers that this person's type of depression is caused by some chemical X or Y in the brain, and is curable?

Then you're gonna say "ahh... about that guy... I'm afraid we killed him last week"


That's not how medicine works in the real world, so it isn't really an issue.


Why I was under the impression that medicine makes progress all the time.

Medicine makes more mistakes than progress.
Medicine is a very old set of professions.

We do good things.
We make mistakes.

That is Why the patient must be the final word,
when they can speak.

No! When a person walks in and says, "Shoot me, now."
Don't Do It! I don't care how tempting it is.

Drug them; Wash their face, hands and feet.
Put them to bed. Arrange a meeting.

They say, "Kill me."
You say, "Let's sleep on it."

See? Don't say, "No."
That's not nice.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Zamfir » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:40 am UTC

zmic, sure, that's why it makes sense to include medical experts in the process. They know whether such options are on the horizon.

There is another factor to include such experts. They have access to medication that is the most effective way to end a life. Access to such medication tends to be restricted, to create a barrier for people with temporary suicidal temptations.

At least in the Netherlands, some people want to make such medication easily available. Unlike the euthanasia laws, such proposals do not have wide support. In that sense, the doctors are gatekeepers, to filter out ill considered suicide attempts.

If you exclude doctors from the process at all, you won't necessarily reduce ill-considered suicide attempts. It might be better to attract suicidal people to the medical establishment, instead of pushing them away.

Just a note: doctors are allowed to refuse an euthanasia request, without giving a reason. There's some some debate about that as well, as rejected patients sometimes resort to horrible methods to end their life. There was a proposal to make doctors at least obliged to send the patient to another a doctor who is open for euthanasia requests.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Thirty-one » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:27 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:This seems to be the </thread> reason why we should not be creating more considerate and dignified ways for people with depression to kill themselves.
@31: If it isn't too sensitive to talk about, do you think you would be alive for your life to have gotten better if you had had access to assisted suicide like in the Netherlands? Do you think you would have been able to convince a doctor that suicide really was something you wanted to do?


I would probably have been alive still. My main problems with killing myself was managing to do it without worsening the lives of my remaining family members. That bit wouldn't have been solved by a doctor doing it, I'm sure.
I don't think I'd have a problem convincing a doctor that it was something I wanted to do though. It was a pretty persistent feeling, even if I didn't spend every day or even week actively thinking about it.

Of course, for the able bodied, there are many ways to do the job themselves. They seemed to me to end up making someone else's day worse though, which was never part of the plan. Either the bus driver whose bus you stepped in front of, the cleaner who had to mop up and cut you down, the people passing that tall building. Doing it relatively cleanly, with only the help of someone who was trained and clearly OK with it would have been much more appealing, at least to me.

As for the "what if it could be fixed by a drug" angle, it's hard to imagine a drug showing up which only took out the depression. Even without the side effects of drugs, I'd have struggled to know for sure that I was still "me", if I took a pill that changed my mind that radically.

*edit* - fixed broken tag
Last edited by Thirty-one on Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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