Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthanasia

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krogoth
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby krogoth » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:25 pm UTC

Maybe this is an issue of defining the issue.

Note: People aren't asking Heisen to, and aren't suggesting he should have to, assist in suicide.
Just that he/you to allow people who want to accept that people should be able to ask others(medically trained personal) to assist in their issue.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby PeteP » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:40 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
PeteP wrote:You can let someone treat you like a slave in all respects, you just always have the option to change your mind.
...Btw that you can't change your decision after your death isn't relevant, if you want to make that argument please include an argument why it matters.
Your counterargument to slavery hinges upon the fact that slavery would have to be impermanent in order to maintain someone's rights. Surrendering one's right to life is a permanent decision, so it follows that you would be opposed to it as you are opposed to permanent slavery.

I wrote this for a reason:
PeteP wrote:(Btw that you can't change your decision after your death isn't relevant, if you want to make that argument please include an argument why it matters.)


It is not relevant, provide a reason why it would be relevant. It is permanent in the sense that you can't travel back in time. If I somehow came back from the death they wouldn't have permission to kill me again, therefore I didn't surrender any rights. I allowed (or rather asked for) one thing, I can't travel back in time to change it after it happened, but I can't do that for anything.
If I let someone perform surgery on me there are plenty of things I can't take back that doesn't mean I surrendered the option to refuse surgeries, I just can't retroactively revert that surgery. And if I accidentally die during the surgery that doesn't change.
I can gift or sell my property to someone, I can't take it back because it's no theirs. It is permanent, they can give it back but that is entirely their decision. That doesn't mean I surrendered the right to protection of property.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby addams » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:45 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:The unalienable right to life necessarily implies that you have the right to choose when and how that life should be terminated.
''

Why would it imply that?


Simple. Your life is your own. It is, a sense, the only thing that is truly yours. To say that the state can force you to keep on living when you desire not to is to say that the state is claiming ownership of your life. It is actively forcing you do something directly against your expressed wishes with regard to the only thing that is actually yours.

[edit]The fact that you, or some disembodied "we" value my life is irrelevant. You don't own it. You have no say in the matter.

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:It is the height of cruelty to force someone to endure pointless suffering when they have no hope of ever alleviating it.


I agree. I would never force someone to endure pointless suffering.


Er, that's exactly what your position entails: that a person who is experiencing pointless suffering with no hope of improving their condition is forced, by the state, to endure that suffering until their natural death, however long that takes, regardless of their wishes in the matter.

Laser Guy?
Your post makes sense to me.

Does that make the Dutch Model the best there is?
There might be improvements that can be made.

The Dutch are Famous for not rushing into things.
Well..Intellectually.

They are the ones that found Zero.
I watched a documentary about the Quest for Cold.

The Dutch won the race.
Because, they were careful..

Do you think they have changed their ways?
Playing all Loosey-Goose with the lives of others?

(ho hum) What do you think?
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:47 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Second, "no one should kill anyone ever" is most DEFINITELY a contradiction. In a world with limited resources, every person born prevents someone else from using those resources. Sure, it's not the same as putting a gun to a head, but if there simply isn't enough food to go around, me eating kills someone else. Thank whatever gods ye have that you do NOT live in a time and place where we MUST choose who dies. My great great parents had choices similar to, and in one case worse than, Sophie's.

The question of resource management and secondary effects is one of responsibility. Does a Wall Street banker have a responsibility to feed hungry children in Somalia? I'm not sure, but I know he has a responsibility to not kill a person through direct action, at a minimum.

To clarify when I say we should not kill, I'm of course exempting unintentional killing by using the word "should." And the actions I'm characterizing as killing are ones that directly and imminently end a person's life.
LaserGuy wrote:Let's start from first principles. Why do you believe this is true?
My conscience tells me that killing is wrong. Doesn't yours?
LaserGuy wrote:Why do you believe "no one should kill" should always take precedence over any other competing principle? Are you opposed to killing in self-defense? Just wars?
Yeah, I used to be a just war theorist, but I found it lacking an adequate justification for an exception to the prohibition on killing. Self-defense and just war are pretty much the same argument on different scales. Do you think you have a right to defend yourself from suffering? That is to say, if someone knowingly or unknowingly was causing you suffering, would you be justified in killing that person?
LaserGuy wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:Does your moral justification require consent from the killed person, suffering, a terminal condition, or some combination of these?
The first two are required. The third is I'd say is preferred, but I can imagine circumstances where the condition is not terminal, but the suffering is excruciating, and persistent (I'm thinking of the severe burn victim example noted above, for instance), that I would consider it morally defensible, yes.
I understand your consent requirement, as it follows from your belief that life can be "owned" and is in fact owned by the person living that life, but why is suffering so important in your moral framework? Do you think ending suffering is an acceptable justification for any action? Or is it limited? Do you think suffering is evil?

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Jave D » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:59 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:I think its pretty damn selfish to force someone to stay alive, who clearly very much doesn't want to any more.


Would that apply to any and all people who make suicide attempts? A suicide attempt seems to be clearly very much a statement about not wanting to stay alive.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:48 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:I think its pretty damn selfish to force someone to stay alive, who clearly very much doesn't want to any more.


Would that apply to any and all people who make suicide attempts?


I would say it depends on context. I can certainly think of situations were intervention may be beneficial. But once there has been an interference, and counselling and all the manner of things that are done in such situations and the person still doesn't want to live anymore, then let them go.

A suicide attempt seems to be clearly very much a statement about not wanting to stay alive.


Yet most suicide attempts fail. And not for a lack of skill. My understanding is that its much more a cry for help. I don't know enough about the details of suicide to really go down this path.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Cleverbeans » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:58 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Yet most suicide attempts fail. And not for a lack of skill. My understanding is that its much more a cry for help. I don't know enough about the details of suicide to really go down this path.

This is not true, and is one of the most common myths about depression. It's almost always a lack of skill. Most suicide attempts are genuine and but the means are often ineffective. For example a common attempt is slitting wrist or overdose but these has a very low mortality rate as the person attempting simply doesn't have the knowledge of which methods are effective. The most effective methods require research and although they can be found if you're diligent enough they are not always accessible to the general public. Some of highest mortality methods can and do go wrong with sever consequences. I don't want to list them here because I don't feel it's a good idea to post them in a public place but if you want more details send me a private message and I can give you more information.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:18 am UTC

It's important to recognize the distinction between suicides here. Suicides, especially those that fail, are frequently spur of the moment decisions. Assisted suicide isn't.

Lets not confuse the two, because that's rather dishonest. Coming to the decision to a medically assisted suicide is not a rash decision. There's a process, and it involves waiting periods and conferring with trained professionals.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:45 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Let's start from first principles. Why do you believe this is true?


My conscience tells me that killing is wrong. Doesn't yours?


My conscience tells me when killing is wrong and when it isn't. There may be circumstances where killing may be justified. Morality is invariably circumstantial. An action that is moral in one circumstance may be immoral in another. It is not the action itself that determines whether something is moral or not, but the consequences.

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Why do you believe "no one should kill" should always take precedence over any other competing principle? Are you opposed to killing in self-defense? Just wars?


Yeah, I used to be a just war theorist, but I found it lacking an adequate justification for an exception to the prohibition on killing. Self-defense and just war are pretty much the same argument on different scales. Do you think you have a right to defend yourself from suffering? That is to say, if someone knowingly or unknowingly was causing you suffering, would you be justified in killing that person?


Depends. If I could stop them in some other way or otherwise exit myself from the situation, then I would start with those sorts of options. Violence should only be used as a last resort, but it definitely morally justifiable if other options have been exhausted, yes.

Heisenberg wrote:I understand your consent requirement, as it follows from your belief that life can be "owned" and is in fact owned by the person living that life, but why is suffering so important in your moral framework? Do you think ending suffering is an acceptable justification for any action? Or is it limited? Do you think suffering is evil?


No, I don't think ending suffering is an acceptable justification for any action. In fact, I have been very careful to preface my statements in this regard in the context of the consent of the person being given. Do I generally believe that alleviating suffering is a laudable thing to do? Yes, but not at the cost of trampling the rights of others.

I think it's probably more accurate to say that evil is suffering--that is, we know what evil is by the suffering it causes. Alleviating human misery and improving human welfare are the cornerstones of morality.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby addams » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:12 am UTC

Alleviating human misery and improving human welfare are the cornerstones of morality.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:48 am UTC

Cleverbeans wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Yet most suicide attempts fail. And not for a lack of skill. My understanding is that its much more a cry for help. I don't know enough about the details of suicide to really go down this path.

This is not true, and is one of the most common myths about depression. It's almost always a lack of skill. Most suicide attempts are genuine and but the means are often ineffective. For example a common attempt is slitting wrist or overdose but these has a very low mortality rate as the person attempting simply doesn't have the knowledge of which methods are effective.


I am finding it a bit hard to believe that most people who try to commit suicide, cannot be bothered to go through the effort, to find the most effective and pain free methods for doing so.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:57 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Cleverbeans wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Yet most suicide attempts fail. And not for a lack of skill. My understanding is that its much more a cry for help. I don't know enough about the details of suicide to really go down this path.

This is not true, and is one of the most common myths about depression. It's almost always a lack of skill. Most suicide attempts are genuine and but the means are often ineffective. For example a common attempt is slitting wrist or overdose but these has a very low mortality rate as the person attempting simply doesn't have the knowledge of which methods are effective.


I am finding it a bit hard to believe that most people who try to commit suicide, cannot be bothered to go through the effort, to find the most effective and pain free methods for doing so.


Suicide attempts tend to be extremely impulsive. A minor delay or inconvenience (5 minutes or so), is often enough to make people give up on it. If the person has to do actual work on it, chances are, they aren't going to do it.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby addams » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:01 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:
Cleverbeans wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Yet most suicide attempts fail. And not for a lack of skill. My understanding is that its much more a cry for help. I don't know enough about the details of suicide to really go down this path.

This is not true, and is one of the most common myths about depression. It's almost always a lack of skill. Most suicide attempts are genuine and but the means are often ineffective. For example a common attempt is slitting wrist or overdose but these has a very low mortality rate as the person attempting simply doesn't have the knowledge of which methods are effective.


I am finding it a bit hard to believe that most people who try to commit suicide, cannot be bothered to go through the effort, to find the most effective and pain free methods for doing so.


Suicide attempts tend to be extremely impulsive. A minor delay or inconvenience (5 minutes or so), is often enough to make people give up on it. If the person has to do actual work on it, chances are, they aren't going to do it.

oh, Laser Guy;
That is not true.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Angua » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:29 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:
Cleverbeans wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Yet most suicide attempts fail. And not for a lack of skill. My understanding is that its much more a cry for help. I don't know enough about the details of suicide to really go down this path.

This is not true, and is one of the most common myths about depression. It's almost always a lack of skill. Most suicide attempts are genuine and but the means are often ineffective. For example a common attempt is slitting wrist or overdose but these has a very low mortality rate as the person attempting simply doesn't have the knowledge of which methods are effective.


I am finding it a bit hard to believe that most people who try to commit suicide, cannot be bothered to go through the effort, to find the most effective and pain free methods for doing so.


Suicide attempts tend to be extremely impulsive. A minor delay or inconvenience (5 minutes or so), is often enough to make people give up on it. If the person has to do actual work on it, chances are, they aren't going to do it.

Yeah, one of the ways you can see this is by doing things like putting up fences at popular bridges for jumping, or making pills that people od on only available to buy in small quantities at a time. Sure, you can drive to a different bridge, or go to different stores in one night, but things like this actually cut the rate of suicides, rather than just changing the method of trying.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Paul in Saudi » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:17 am UTC

I find this creepy as hell.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:48 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:My conscience tells me when killing is wrong and when it isn't. There may be circumstances where killing may be justified. Morality is invariably circumstantial. An action that is moral in one circumstance may be immoral in another. It is not the action itself that determines whether something is moral or not, but the consequences.
Would you agree that intentions matter to morality as well? That the morality of hitting a cyclist with my car depends on whether or not I intentionally ran him off the road or accidentally hit him? This seems far more pertinent than the consequences. Certainly if I shot a gun at you you wouldn't consider that action moral if I missed and immoral if I hit.
LaserGuy wrote:Violence should only be used as a last resort, but it definitely morally justifiable if other options have been exhausted, yes.
I agree with this in general, but I don't think a justification for violence is equivalent to a justification for killing.
LaserGuy wrote:Do I generally believe that alleviating suffering is a laudable thing to do? Yes, but not at the cost of trampling the rights of others.
Me, too! It seems that the only thing we disagree on is whether you have a right to live or a right to die.
LaserGuy wrote:I think it's probably more accurate to say that evil is suffering--that is, we know what evil is by the suffering it causes. Alleviating human misery and improving human welfare are the cornerstones of morality.
With the person's consent, of course. So you believe we all have a positive moral duty to alleviate human suffering. I find this to be a noble goal, but I'm not sure I agree with it as a moral absolute. Should we be applying all of our resources to that end at all times? What if doing so causes suffering for me personally, or causes suffering for my family? Is there a balance to be struck or should we sacrifice our own suffering to alleviate the suffering of others?

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:59 pm UTC

Heisen,

While morality and ethics are contentious issues that philosophers never agree on, consequentialism doesn't go by actual consequences but expected consequences. If you smash someone's leg with the intent to harm, it's still bad whether or not the result is doctors catch a treatable cancer early as a result. The actual result was you saved a life, but the expected result was pain and suffering.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:40 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:My conscience tells me when killing is wrong and when it isn't. There may be circumstances where killing may be justified. Morality is invariably circumstantial. An action that is moral in one circumstance may be immoral in another. It is not the action itself that determines whether something is moral or not, but the consequences.


Would you agree that intentions matter to morality as well? That the morality of hitting a cyclist with my car depends on whether or not I intentionally ran him off the road or accidentally hit him? This seems far more pertinent than the consequences. Certainly if I shot a gun at you you wouldn't consider that action moral if I missed and immoral if I hit.


Yes, I agree that both intentions and consequences matter.

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Violence should only be used as a last resort, but it definitely morally justifiable if other options have been exhausted, yes.


I agree with this in general, but I don't think a justification for violence is equivalent to a justification for killing.


You are justified in using whatever force is necessary to subdue the threat, up to and including lethal violence.

LaserGuy wrote:Do I generally believe that alleviating suffering is a laudable thing to do? Yes, but not at the cost of trampling the rights of others.
Me, too! It seems that the only thing we disagree on is whether you have a right to live or a right to die.

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:I think it's probably more accurate to say that evil is suffering--that is, we know what evil is by the suffering it causes. Alleviating human misery and improving human welfare are the cornerstones of morality.


With the person's consent, of course. So you believe we all have a positive moral duty to alleviate human suffering. I find this to be a noble goal, but I'm not sure I agree with it as a moral absolute. Should we be applying all of our resources to that end at all times? What if doing so causes suffering for me personally, or causes suffering for my family? Is there a balance to be struck or should we sacrifice our own suffering to alleviate the suffering of others?


Moral decision-making is intimately linked to alleviating human misery and improving human welfare. If you want to know the answer to the question "Is this moral?", then you look at who it helps and who it harms, and, taking into account the human rights of those involved, see which of those courses of action leads to the best outcomes.

Are you required to do good? Of course not. Should you? Yes.

In the specific case of assisted suicide, you are proposing a course of action that aggravates human suffering, and no expense to yourself or anyone that you care about. You aren't being required to perform assisted suicides against your own beliefs or wishes, nor are you required to receive an assisted suicide yourself. Moreover, you are proposing preventing people acting against their own expressed wishes in the matter, and preventing people who consent to help them from being able to do so. Forgive me that I don't find "you shouldn't kill people" to be a particularly compelling counterargument in light of this.

Should we sacrifice our own suffering to alleviate the suffering of others?


By any chance are you Christian?

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:49 pm UTC

Given some of hez stances in the ethics thread, is say ze is religious of some form. And given that he's writing in English on an American site, it's safe to assume that ze's Christain. Just don't bet the farm, you never know.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:27 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Moral decision-making is intimately linked to alleviating human misery and improving human welfare. If you want to know the answer to the question "Is this moral?", then you look at who it helps and who it harms, and, taking into account the human rights of those involved, see which of those courses of action leads to the best outcomes.
If rights exist and are meaningful, then we shouldn't violate them regardless of what the net harm will be. If rights are meaningless, then sure, go ahead and balance the scales however you want based on happiness or suffering or whatever.
LaserGuy wrote:In the specific case of assisted suicide, you are proposing a course of action that aggravates human suffering,
I'm really not. The suffering is extant. Inaction on my part will neither aggravate nor alleviate that suffering.
LaserGuy wrote:and no expense to yourself or anyone that you care about.
Assuming that noone I care about will ever want to die. Certainly you'd agree that people I care about killing themselves would affect me?
LaserGuy wrote:Moreover, you are proposing preventing people acting against their own expressed wishes in the matter, and preventing people who consent to help them from being able to do so. Forgive me that I don't find "you shouldn't kill people" to be a particularly compelling counterargument in light of this.
I didn't actually propose any sort of government action to prevent this. I called the actions of the suicide assistants repulsive and I have argued that no one should do what they are doing.
LaserGuy wrote:
Should we sacrifice our own suffering to alleviate the suffering of others?

By any chance are you Christian?
Most days, I am. Why?

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:34 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:I'm really not. The suffering is extant. Inaction on my part will neither aggravate nor alleviate that suffering.
Respectfully, this is a cop out. Inaction on your part is continuing the suffering.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:09 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Moral decision-making is intimately linked to alleviating human misery and improving human welfare. If you want to know the answer to the question "Is this moral?", then you look at who it helps and who it harms, and, taking into account the human rights of those involved, see which of those courses of action leads to the best outcomes.


If rights exist and are meaningful, then we shouldn't violate them regardless of what the net harm will be. If rights are meaningless, then sure, go ahead and balance the scales however you want based on happiness or suffering or whatever.


I take it then you don't believe in prisons, because they violate people's right to free movement and association (among other things)? Rights are meaningful, but they are not absolute--at least, not if you want to live in the company of other people. Much of law is based around the balancing of various competing rights.

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:In the specific case of assisted suicide, you are proposing a course of action that aggravates human suffering,


I'm really not. The suffering is extant. Inaction on my part will neither aggravate nor alleviate that suffering.


So you're saying that if the Netherlands had a referendum on whether or not to continue its policy of assisted suicide, you wouldn't participate (assuming you were Dutch)?

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:and no expense to yourself or anyone that you care about.


Assuming that noone I care about will ever want to die. Certainly you'd agree that people I care about killing themselves would affect me?


It seems pretty selfish to wish the continued suffering of others on the hypothetical chance that someone you care about may someday contemplate assisted suicide.

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Moreover, you are proposing preventing people acting against their own expressed wishes in the matter, and preventing people who consent to help them from being able to do so. Forgive me that I don't find "you shouldn't kill people" to be a particularly compelling counterargument in light of this.


I didn't actually propose any sort of government action to prevent this. I called the actions of the suicide assistants repulsive and I have argued that no one should do what they are doing.


And you're welcome to feel that way. That's the beauty of a free society. I know people who feel the same way about eating meat. But I would be quite concerned if they attempted to enshrine their disgust of eating meat into law.

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
Should we sacrifice our own suffering to alleviate the suffering of others?


By any chance are you Christian?


Most days, I am. Why?


Well, in the Christian context, the answer to the quoted question is pretty obvious. It's kind of a foundational principle of the religion.

[edit]Wrote Danish instead of Dutch.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:16 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:So you're saying that if the Netherlands had a referendum on whether or not to continue its policy of assisted suicide, you wouldn't participate (assuming you were Dutch)?
Sure? Voting is stupid. I don't see how this is relevant.
LaserGuy wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:and no expense to yourself or anyone that you care about.

Assuming that noone I care about will ever want to die. Certainly you'd agree that people I care about killing themselves would affect me?

It seems pretty selfish to wish the continued suffering of others on the hypothetical chance that someone you care about may someday contemplate assisted suicide.

Alternatively, I could be arguing in support of the millions of people who suffer when their friends and family choose to kill themselves. Suicide hurts a lot of people. If you're really concerned about reducing suffering, shouldn't you also consider the suffering that legitimizing and accepting suicide will cause?
LaserGuy wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
Should we sacrifice our own suffering to alleviate the suffering of others?

By any chance are you Christian?

Most days, I am. Why?

Well, in the Christian context, the answer to the quoted question is pretty obvious. It's kind of a foundational principle of the religion.
[edit]Wrote Danish instead of Dutch.
So you agree that sometimes a person is morally obligated to continue suffering for the greater good? That's the foundational principle you're referring to, right? I assume you're not talking about the part where your body is a temple.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:48 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Alternatively, I could be arguing in support of the millions of people who suffer when their friends and family choose to kill themselves. Suicide hurts a lot of people. If you're really concerned about reducing suffering, shouldn't you also consider the suffering that legitimizing and accepting suicide will cause?
This is an astoundingly backwards argument. It's like seeing someone get hit by a car, roll across the pavement, shattering their limbs, and saying 'Geez, the suffering you're experiencing is hurting me! I deserve pain meds more than you do, after all, won't someone think of MY pain?'

The selfishness you are expressing here is not only stunning, but profoundly un-Christian.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Angua » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:51 pm UTC

I think it's unfair to compare euthanasia/assisted suicide to a suicide that due to a mental illness - it is more comparable to someone signing a DNR or going down a palliative care route. You don't have the problem of it happening out of the blue, when a lot of friends and family feel guilty because they didn't realise how the other person felt, or feel as though they didn't do enough to help - here we have a decision that is generally made with the awareness of close family and friends, with time to say goodbyes and try and tie up loose ends. It can even be less stressful, as people have a conversation about death, and are more able to accept it.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:47 pm UTC

Seems to me the actual pain of their loss is still quite present, but there's added guilt associated with wishing your loved one would still be present. If my brother told me "Hey man, I've decided I won't be at Christmas, but I expect you to come watch me poison myself on Tuesday," I'd call him an asshole. The family and friends face an impossible choice: Lie and tell the victim you won't be sad they're gone, or Be truthful and have your last conversation be filled with profanity and tears.

Even if this were slightly less painful, it's still going to legitimize and condone suicide, which will lead to more suicides, more broken families, and more suffering.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Angua » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:56 pm UTC

I feel like there is definitely a difference in loss when you know something is coming, and can prepare for it. Would you be equally annoyed with your brother if he said he wouldn't be coming to Christmas because he had cancer and had decided that the disadvantages of going through treatment for a couple of extra months wasn't worth it? There is also suffering in watching someone else suffer.

As for it legitimising suicide as a symptom of a mental illness, I'm still not convinced. I think it encourages conversations about the subject, which could even help people who are contemplating suicide the help that they need.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:14 pm UTC

The timeline might make losing a loved one less traumatic, but it doesn't change the fact that you've lost a loved one. As for the cancer issue, I'd be annoyed at whatever entity is killing my brother. If it's cancer, then fuck cancer. If it's my brother, then yes, he's being an asshole and needs to be informed of that fact. He doesn't need to go to some clinic where he's coddled and lied to.

What really upsets me is the attempted connection here between the sick and the dying. An untreatable illness is a horrible thing, but it's not equivalent to dying. Equating the two trivializes human life and encourages the suicidal to make a terrible, irreversible decision.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Angua » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:21 pm UTC

Well, that's your view. I was just offering up another one. Death is something that is unavoidable though, and is something that some people would prefer to be able to meet on their own terms (and I imagine that the people opting for assisted suicide would argue that dying is the better of the two options, not the equivalent).

I'm kind of confused at what exactly you think your brother would be being lied to about at this clinic though.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby zmic » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:26 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Lets not confuse the two, because that's rather dishonest. Coming to the decision to a medically assisted suicide is not a rash decision. There's a process, and it involves waiting periods and conferring with trained professionals.


What I'm worried about is that people tend to submit to authority. Once you start such a procedure, and put your fate into the hands of a panel of trained professionals, the whole thing may begin get a momentum of its own.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:39 pm UTC

zmic wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Lets not confuse the two, because that's rather dishonest. Coming to the decision to a medically assisted suicide is not a rash decision. There's a process, and it involves waiting periods and conferring with trained professionals.


What I'm worried about is that people tend to submit to authority. Once you start such a procedure, and put your fate into the hands of a panel of trained professionals, the whole thing may begin get a momentum of its own.

When you 'start such a procedure', what do you mean specifically? The process of grief counseling and talking to a trained professional about your desire to end your life? Or the process of assisted suicide, which is again, done by a trained professional?

Because it sounds like you're painting this scenario in which death panels are eagerly seeking out people to kill, and once someone says "You know, things are bad, I might prefer not being alive" they leap at the opportunity and start the process of stealing the patients rights and freedoms and slowly but surely murderize them with the power of legalese, or whatever.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:39 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:So you're saying that if the Netherlands had a referendum on whether or not to continue its policy of assisted suicide, you wouldn't participate (assuming you were Dutch)?


Sure? Voting is stupid. I don't see how this is relevant.


I'm trying to determine whether, in fact, your position is a passive one.

Heisenberg wrote:Alternatively, I could be arguing in support of the millions of people who suffer when their friends and family choose to kill themselves. Suicide hurts a lot of people. If you're really concerned about reducing suffering, shouldn't you also consider the suffering that legitimizing and accepting suicide will cause?


In the specific case of assisted suicide for patients with painful, untreatable illness, I think on balance there will be a considerable reduction in suffering. Both from the patients and from the families. I have a hard time imagining people who would rather see their loved ones in endless agony than see them dead. Does this mean that I believe suicide in general should be accepted and legitimized? No, of course not. But in the specific instance where the choice is excruciating pain followed by death, or a slightly premature death without the suffering part, I expect that families with the slightest iota of compassion will probably prefer the latter than the former.

Heisenberg wrote:So you agree that sometimes a person is morally obligated to continue suffering for the greater good? That's the foundational principle you're referring to, right? I assume you're not talking about the part where your body is a temple.


I was actually thinking more of "there is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for ones friends" (John 15:13).

Of course, one of the foundational principles in Christianity is that Jesus voluntarily sacrificed his life to alleviate the sins of mankind. Had Jesus gone on living then no salvation would have been attained. Indeed, if I might go further, I would say that Jesus' death should be considered a suicide--it was trivially in his power to save himself, and he voluntarily chose to die. It's like standing on a train track and waiting for the train to hit you. Death could be trivially averted simply by stepping off the tracks. At any point from the moment he was arrested to the moment he died, Jesus had complete power to save himself. At best, you could argue that Jesus' death was an instance of suicide-by-cop, but even that's a bit of a stretch, because the Romans had no power to hurt him beyond what he allowed.

Heisenberg wrote:What really upsets me is the attempted connection here between the sick and the dying. An untreatable illness is a horrible thing, but it's not equivalent to dying. Equating the two trivializes human life and encourages the suicidal to make a terrible, irreversible decision.


When you have a terminal illness, you are already dying. That's what the term means: You are dying, but you just haven't actually died yet. Whether you die now or die in a few weeks, or a few months, you're still going to die, and sooner rather than later. That decision has already been made for you. The only question as far as assisted suicide is concerned is whether you'd prefer to die when you want to, or when your illness kills you.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Zamfir » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:47 am UTC

Laserguy, the dutch euthanasia system is not tied to terminal medical conditions. The requirement is (amongst others) that the condition will last indefinitely, but not that it will kill you.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Greyarcher » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:57 pm UTC

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?
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby zmic » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:58 pm UTC

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.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Xeio » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:20 pm UTC

Angua wrote:As for it legitimising suicide as a symptom of a mental illness, I'm still not convinced. I think it encourages conversations about the subject, which could even help people who are contemplating suicide the help that they need.
Yea, it would seem like they aren't just allowing this on a whim. I'd rather have suicidal people try and reach out to a system that will give them options that keep the issue bottled up because society tries to ignore the problem.

It's not like suicide is unheard of outside of a clinical setting.

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.
As we know, treating suicidal thoughts as a stigmatized mental issue keeps people open and willing to talk about it. Or, just maybe we can have positions between the extremes...

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Greyarcher » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:29 am UTC

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."

Without those people around though...who knows? I'm not in a relevant field, and I'm not them, so I don't think I could really judge.
I don't have much criticism for a person wanting to die; ethically, I have minimal problem with it, with dependents being the only thing of particular concern. And even then, although I would have some reproach...I couldn't say much.

It's like...a game has rules, but I wouldn't demand that they keep playing, since they never chose to start playing. At the very least, I'll let them quit if they hate the game. It's practically required if I manually empathize.
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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby addams » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:15 am UTC

Nice.
Support the individual and refer.
That sounds right to me.

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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Thirty-one » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:08 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:I think its pretty damn selfish to force someone to stay alive, who clearly very much doesn't want to any more.


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.

LaserGuy wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:I've always considered suicide to be the most selfish act a person can take.


It is the height of cruelty to force someone to endure pointless suffering when they have no hope of ever alleviating it.


Yeah, I've always found "go on living a life in complete misery so you don't make the people around you unhappy by killing yourself to be both more selfish and also a bit hypocritical.

speising wrote:is euthanasia really appropriate merely for an "unbearable life"? if someone has a terminal illness, that person will die, in pain. euthanasia just shortens the process and spares the person the suffering for no reason.
if you are physically healthy, though, ie. you aren't about to die from your illness, that is a very different situation. a lot of people lead miserable lifes. should we put homeless people to sleep? the hungry in africa? (cf. slippery slope...)


PAstrychef wrote:Also, to deny people the right to choose that they want to die is to want to control them, so that you feel better. To say that we should never give up on treating people with depression is to discount their experience of depression. Meds not working? Therapy not helping? Try ECT, and when your memory fails in 10 years when you're only 45, you can live on in a semi-coherent fog.


Agreed with PAstrychef, even when depression is technically treatable, it's the person being treated for it who has to live with the consequences of the treatment, whatever they be. It should be up to them to weigh the pros and cons.

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.


I sometimes do think that when reading suicide threads. That still doesn't mean I post it as a reply. If they want to kill themselves, that's ok by me though. I'm not the one suffering, they are.

I still don't think it's the very same thing though. In one case, the decision has already been made, and the person wants help in making it happen. In the suicide thread cases, it is generally a person still weighing the options. I don't want them to choose suicide, or want to guide them towards choosing it, but if that's what they do and it looks like a reasonable decision given the circumstances, then that's their right, in my eyes.


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Re: Nine psychiatric patients in the Netherlands have euthan

Postby Cleverbeans » Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:55 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:I am finding it a bit hard to believe that most people who try to commit suicide, cannot be bothered to go through the effort, to find the most effective and pain free methods for doing so.

A little googling should clear up any misconceptions you have. The most common method I saw attempted when I was in the hospital was overdose on prescription or over the counter medications which has one of the lowest mortality rates. It was a running joke that there was always someone with a busted up arm from the trying slit their wrists which also has a very low mortality rate. People with depression will fantasize about suicide for a long time but the actual attempts are generally very impulsive and poorly planned. During my last episode my plan was to set myself in fire, not because it had a good mortality rate but because I could get all the materials I needed in a short amount of time. My first suicide attempt I went from happy to suicidal in about ten minutes and then chugged a bottle of Tylenol and about half an hour later I regretted the decision and got help. Some common methods do have high mortality rates but well planned suicide attempts are the exception.
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