Voluntary Euthanasia

With a high profile recent case of a 100 yo Professor, choosing to end his life in an overseas clinic, the question arises: Is voluntary euthanasia an ethical or religious matter for you?

It would be interesting to see how some of we Greypathers think

Most of our editorials seem to be of little interest, if we go by the comments, so maybe thisĀ  time it might be different.

12 thoughts on “Voluntary Euthanasia

  1. A very serious topic, and one that bears profound thought. My religious background technically forbids euthanasia. However, I think there’s a whiff of change in the air.
    I think that man was brave to make his own decision in his obviously quite capable frame of mind.
    I wonder about those who may not be capable of expressing their wishes. There are some conditions where the mind is still ok, but physically unable to speak….maybe rare, but who knows.
    For myself, I think I’d like to be able to make the decision for myself.
    I feel for doctors though, who have sworn to protect life.
    On the whole it’s a topic that deserves much discussion.

  2. I think it is true that all persons have an inalienable right to control their own lives.
    There may come a time when ceasing to live might become a highly desirable option for some.
    This might be because they are in constant extreme pain for example.
    Or extremely disabled?
    In such cases, I can well understand a few might decide to end life to relieve their misery.
    They might need help to achieve this goal.
    But friends or family must not be involved.
    A suitably qualified and totally disinterested third party, without an axe to grind, might be needed?
    However unpalatable it might be for some, the subject of self-suicide is one we really need to face and embrace.
    As long as there are extreme and compelling reasons, a rational person has the right to end his own life without interference.
    That is what I think.
    I also think that ending life, just because you are bored, is not on!
    Boredom is a sign of depression?
    You cannot make rational decisions when in that mental state.
    At such times, the community can and should interfere with any plan for suicide.
    I once knew a healthy person who decided to end her life because she was just bored.
    Each day for her was a monumental effort to keep going.
    She succeeded in taking her own life.
    Such a pity. So much potential gone to waste.
    How can life be boring with so much going on around us?
    Each day brings new interests and challenges.
    Each day is a new adventure, and will sometimes throw up surprises that surprise? *_*
    There is always something to do, something to plan, if you look for it.
    If each day is dull and unrewarding for someone, that person is looking at life the wrong way.
    Probably, they have been living life according to another person’s ideas instead of learning to think and plan for themselves.
    When they are older, and most likely more isolated from those around them, their mental processes cannot cope with facing a new day without help?
    Whatever the reason, a bit of truth thrown in to the mix might get life in to focus?
    Self-suicide should be an extreme last resort, undertaken only when life is not viable.
    And this would be a rare event indeed!
    But it can and does happen, and we need to accept this.
    We need to look forward and plan for such eventualities.

  3. A few more thoughts.
    For those contemplating suicide…
    At least put it off until after the STARGAZING LIVE programme on Television.
    That is something you won’t want to miss I am sure.
    And you won’t want to miss further exciting revelations in the book of life either.
    So keep on reading!
    The next page is waiting to be turned.
    So turn it, and all subsequent pages, and find out…
    Keep in mind that you cannot read with your eyes closed.

  4. I have often commented on this topic in various forums over the years.
    I firmly believe in an individual’s Right to Die. Why should a person be compelled to live on just because of the views of ‘religious’ people and the inability of politicians to carry out the wishes of the majority.
    Nowadays people live much longer but in many cases their lives no longer have meaning particularly when they suffer from dementia to the stage when they do not know who they are or who were once part of their lives.
    The unimaginable pain and suffering of others make me ashamed to be human.
    It is so wrong that people have to seek primitive ways to end their suffering.
    If dying with dignity is possible in some countries and working well why not in Australia???

    • Reading Vintage Shute at present where after the war (WW2) a Radio active cloud begins to sweep south poisoning everyone in it’s path, all will die, the Gov., hands out free pills at the end, when the horrible symptoms begin to appear, so death arrives quickly. If this happened in real life, this also would be a form of Euthanasia. How would we deal with having to give your tiny baby a pill to kill the babe, rather than have your babe die in agony or would this be murder?!
      There have been instances in my life, where I have felt so ill or in pain I wished to die, then on recovery ,be pleased to be alive. For myself I could not consider Euthanasia but understand why for others it is not a problem & not my place to judge them. However the 104 years old man ,getting on a plane to fly to Switzerland, surely that must have been so uncomfortable for one so old, at that age he surely wouldn’t have had much longer to live in any case?!

  5. anyone in sound mind should be able kill themselves if they are in unbearable pain, but I think that euthanasia can be so easily abused, a son or daughter in law could persuade an elderly person to take their own life

  6. I have been giving this concept some further thought.
    I am more than ever convinced that any stable person has the right to end his own life without interference from others.
    Ever has it been so.
    Where assisted suicide is contemplated, that is a different matter.
    That is what we are really all talking about!
    This is why there is so much concern and discussion.
    Would you like to assist someone to take his own life?
    That idea won’t sit right with a majority of people?
    Perhaps in extreme circumstances, where the suffering was intense and immediate, we might help.
    There are always these exceptions.
    The biggest problem is the possible misuse of any legally sanctioned system by unscrupulous persons trying to gain material advantage.
    We need to keep in mind that more than one percent of the population would have no qualms about doing so.
    As discussion takes place, public thought is being pulled this way and that.
    A realistic long term view is, that as any person has that inalienable right to end his own life, eventually there will be a lawful means of gaining assistance to do so.
    No doubt there would be many steps, in a legal process, to achieve this outcome.
    Many logical people would need to consider each application.
    The more independent steps there are, the less likely the system can be abused.
    So it is not if but when there will be a lawful way of ending life that will result from all this debate.
    I should note that the debate can become quite heated at times.
    My view is that any debate about so fundamental a matter should be calm and thoughtful.
    This is no time for rampant emotion to rule the day.
    So I enjoin people to view the prospect of legally assisted suicide with compassion: see it from ‘the other side’.
    Keep your personal views to yourself for a moment.

  7. Having watched the love of my life slowly die in agonising pain, I am still in two minds on this subject.
    Wishing the pain to stop, wanting him to stay with me. Both are selfish reasons from my point of view.
    The agony cancer inflicts has to be lived to understand that ending it is the only way to stop the unbearable pain.
    Not all end of life needs this solution,but terminal cancer patients who know that it is only a matter of time need their end of life to be dignified and pain free.
    Having watched our lovely dog with Parvo the vet was able to put him out of his misery with one injection. Yet my husband was forced to suffer agony for weeks.

  8. Sorry Ray,

    Forgot to say that I enjoy every one of your editorials. but find I do not need to comment on everything. I reserve that for the subjects that compel me to comment.
    One of my favourite topics over the years has been the study of Thanatology which is fascinating and perhaps a topic worthy of an editorial.

    • Thanks Charlee, Have had a look as I have never heard of it. Seems like a most useful area of training, as we all die sometime. will peg something along these lines for later editorial comment as I dont want to put too much end of life stuff up for we seniors.

  9. Life is a series of events.
    Being aware of them is being aware of life.
    But being aware doesn’t mean we should dwell unduly on any particular event.
    That would get our view of life out of perspective.
    There are wholesome and glorious events throughout life.
    They can make life in to a wondrous and enjoyable experience.

    All of life’s events deserve consideration proportionate to their relevance.
    Some event from the past, which has little or no effect on the present, is surely not worthy of much thought?
    Birth and death are two of life’s events.
    There is no good reason to dwell unduly on either of them.
    You almost certainly can’t recall the first, and I doubt you will remember the last.

    We all have the will to survive as our primary motivation in life.
    An impending threat to our survival stirs us up, physically and mentally.
    We are ready to fight something that might put continuation of life in jeopardy.
    When we realise ‘that’ something is insubstantial, cannot be fought, cannot be overcome, we can be in extreme dilemma.
    But as always, we cope.
    The mind can accept the inevitable.
    It just takes a little time to reach that acceptance.

    When that time is also a time of extreme physical pain and discomfort, a person might reasonably desire to end life before its natural conclusion.
    If they are physically unable to bring this about themselves, surely they deserve the right to be assisted?
    Are we so grossly inhumane that we can continue to refuse such a heartfelt request?
    Individually, not to assist is a normal human response I think.
    But collectively, as a community, can we deny a person that right?
    The right to die on their own terms?
    Can we not devise a way that will negate any evil intent by others?
    We are clever little fellows, so that should be possible.
    We just need to stop dodging the issue.

  10. Regarding the comment about misuse by relatives who would gain from a person’s demise.
    In countries where VE exists there are stringent rules that apply and several doctors would need to ensure a request is legitimate.
    I know if my nearest and dearest were to try that on I think I’d prefer to go anyway!!

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