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Suffering is not a justification for assisted suicide


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This title is the title of an article by Gerrit Van Dorland in The Post Millennial on the internet.

Part of an article:   Quote 

An upstream approach to medicine has always been to look at the root of the problem, address the source of suffering, and try to eliminate the suffering. If that fails, the next option is not to eliminate the sufferer, but rather, make the patient comfortable in their suffering, and help them find a purpose in it. As Victor Frankl famously penned in Man's Search for Meaning, "suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning."

But the burden lies not only on caregivers and legislators to assist those suffering in finding meaning, it lies on each one of us..............

 

  I believe that the individualistic nature of Western society is the primary factor driving the increasing demand for MAiD today. In an era of toilet paper hoarding, social isolation, and the abandonment of care homes, we have largely forgotten what it means to care for and love our neighbour. To be a good Samaritan is to put the needs of our neighbour before our own without expecting anything in return.

And so, while we must hold caregivers and legislators to a higher standard, we must each accept personal responsibility for failing to properly

love our neighbour as a brother. Frankl noted that "being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself... the more one forgets himself—by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love—the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself."

In other words, to share the burdens of those suffering is to be human. And If there's one takeaway from this bizarre year, it's that we could all stand to be a little more of it.   Unquote

Another point I would add to this is that the Supreme Court speaking on this subject included a requirement that there be some consideration in the MAID to take into consideration those people who oppose MAID.   But this was not done.  There were no stipulations to protect the freedom of conscience of those who believe they could not participate in MAID or support MAID in any way.  This refers to doctors, nurses and other staff who oppose MAID on religious or conscience grounds.  Their rights are being violated and no consideration was given to them in the MAID law even though this was part of the Supreme Court directive.

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The only valid justification for assisted suicide is that someone wants it.  If they are lucky enough to find a medical professional willing to assist, that should be the end of it.

I don't honestly see the point of a life of constant, unending pain without hope of relief. The real problem is a lot of our governments are so determined to prevent people from taking too many d

You have to be careful though.  Somebody going through bad depression might want assisted suicide.  Depression is generally a temporary thing.  Killing people for temporary reasons is not a good polic

The only valid justification for assisted suicide is that someone wants it. 

If they are lucky enough to find a medical professional willing to assist, that should be the end of it.

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I don't honestly see the point of a life of constant, unending pain without hope of relief.

The real problem is a lot of our governments are so determined to prevent people from taking too many drugs that they're willing to leave them in pain - which makes their lives not worth living any more.

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8 hours ago, bcsapper said:

The only valid justification for assisted suicide is that someone wants it. 

If they are lucky enough to find a medical professional willing to assist, that should be the end of it.

"someone wanting it" is an enormously oversimplification of the issue but it is the common argument for those in favour of it.  There are many aspects to this subject.  Many people have a difficult time in life for a variety of reasons.  Some of these people will, without giving much thought to it, think that an assisted death is the solution, just as many youth in some native reserves also think suicide is the solution to their problems.  Or they will be pressured into seeking assisted death by various other people such as those in the medical system for other reasons.  Many handicapped and people suffering various forms of illness recognize that assisted death is easier to access for $400 in some cases than appropriate disability supports to live.  One man with a disability in a care facility was repeatedly told he would be better off to get an assisted death than to carry on in his situation.  This is not care under any definition.  We live in a society where proper care with all the necessary supports is becoming harder to obtain and more expensive than a quick assisted death.  Society is more and more turning it's back on those who  need help and proper care.  The central purpose of medicine has always been to provide good care for those in need and reduce their suffering or pain or eliminate it entirely while letting them still live.  This concept of compassion and love for life is being discarded or shoved aside.  Whatever happened to the higher principle we have known for thousands of years of love thy neighbour as thyself?   That is fast disappearing.  Once the flood gates are opened, where will it end?  Will the ever increasng costs of providing the medical system mean people of a certain age or condition be encouraged to seek an assisted death and leave more space and resources for those younger or in better shape?  This present direction of devaluing life and the meaning of life cannot be the correct path.  We know it costs government or society more and requires a lot of resources to provide proper palliative care for people in difficult circumstances, but it is the humane thing to do if we are to love our neighbour. 

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5 hours ago, Argus said:

I don't honestly see the point of a life of constant, unending pain without hope of relief.

The real problem is a lot of our governments are so determined to prevent people from taking too many drugs that they're willing to leave them in pain - which makes their lives not worth living any more.

The purpose of good palliative care has always been to reduce pain as much as possible and provide whatever pychological or spiritual counseling and supports needed.  We should never accept the concept that "life is not worth living any more".  That is a negative outlook and should always be rejected.  There is always a reason for living whether we understand it fully or not.  We would not even be here if there was no reason.  The reason may be a spiritual one and may not be understood by everyone but there is still a reason.  The fact that we exist is clear proof there is a reason for our being.  We need to find the compassion and resources to provide care for everyone in society who is suffering and enable them to live in as humane and dignified way as possible and reject the culture of death which is being foisted on society by the misguided individuals who do not understand life.

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1 hour ago, blackbird said:

The purpose of good palliative care has always been to reduce pain as much as possible and provide whatever pychological or spiritual counseling and supports needed.  We should never accept the concept that "life is not worth living any more". 

And yet there would clearly be circumstances where it isn't worth living. And we don't provide good palliative care either. Which is why so many people are living in pain and misery every day of their lives. And mostly alone.

 

 

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1 hour ago, blackbird said:

"someone wanting it" is an enormously oversimplification of the issue but it is the common argument for those in favour of it.  There are many aspects to this subject.  Many people have a difficult time in life for a variety of reasons.  Some of these people will, without giving much thought to it, think that an assisted death is the solution, just as many youth in some native reserves also think suicide is the solution to their problems.  Or they will be pressured into seeking assisted death by various other people such as those in the medical system for other reasons.  Many handicapped and people suffering various forms of illness recognize that assisted death is easier to access for $400 in some cases than appropriate disability supports to live.  One man with a disability in a care facility was repeatedly told he would be better off to get an assisted death than to carry on in his situation.  This is not care under any definition.  We live in a society where proper care with all the necessary supports is becoming harder to obtain and more expensive than a quick assisted death.  Society is more and more turning it's back on those who  need help and proper care.  The central purpose of medicine has always been to provide good care for those in need and reduce their suffering or pain or eliminate it entirely while letting them still live.  This concept of compassion and love for life is being discarded or shoved aside.  Whatever happened to the higher principle we have known for thousands of years of love thy neighbour as thyself?   That is fast disappearing.  Once the flood gates are opened, where will it end?  Will the ever increasng costs of providing the medical system mean people of a certain age or condition be encouraged to seek an assisted death and leave more space and resources for those younger or in better shape?  This present direction of devaluing life and the meaning of life cannot be the correct path.  We know it costs government or society more and requires a lot of resources to provide proper palliative care for people in difficult circumstances, but it is the humane thing to do if we are to love our neighbour. 

Sure, I'm all in favour of people knowing all that.  Once they do, they should be allowed to make the choice.  And those that want it, should get it.

It's their life.  Not yours.  You do as you please, and let them do the same.

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1 minute ago, Aristides said:

I don't want to get into an abortion debate but when does ones control over their own body end, should it end and if so, why?

Certainly, abortion is a different issue.  I'm very much pro-choice, but I understand the argument pro lifers make, even if I disagree with it.

There is no such argument with assisted suicide.  No other life, however much it is only potential, is being stopped.

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9 hours ago, Argus said:

I don't honestly see the point of a life of constant, unending pain without hope of relief.

The real problem is a lot of our governments are so determined to prevent people from taking too many drugs that they're willing to leave them in pain - which makes their lives not worth living any more.

 

2 hours ago, Argus said:

And yet there would clearly be circumstances where it isn't worth living. And we don't provide good palliative care either. Which is why so many people are living in pain and misery every day of their lives. And mostly alone.

 

 

I can not picture any situation where one could legitimately say someone's life isn't worth living.   Instead of the government allowing such a possibility to even exist, it should be treating the lack of good palliative care.  It is much like the situation of the high number of long term care residents who died because they were infected with Covid.  Many were found to be neglected in their day to day needs. They were really neglected as far as protecting them from Covid.  It is a similar situation when people in palliative care homes who are not given proper care to deal with every aspect of their needs, including pain management if needed.  But this care must be provided long before they get to the point of a hospice.  Proper care must be provided in all long term care homes.  If proper care were provided, there should be nobody living in unmanaged pain and misery every day.  There is no limit to the pain medications doctors can prescribe to treat patients.  Addiction is not even an issue in palliative care. That is the solution, not assisted dying as a medical procedure.  That is not care for people.  That is not a legitimate solution.  It is an easy escape for people and an economical solution for health care providers.  MAID lets the government off the hook because it reduces the cost of providing proper palliative care and lessens the overall provincial budget for long term care.  Just one less patient to care for each year saves the government tens of thousands of dollars.  Over 15,000 people have been given MAID since it was legalized across Canada in 2016.  This must have saved the provincial and federal governments hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe over a billion dollars.

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1 hour ago, bcsapper said:

Sure, I'm all in favour of people knowing all that.  Once they do, they should be allowed to make the choice.  And those that want it, should get it.

It's their life.  Not yours.  You do as you please, and let them do the same.

It is a major mistake to try to boil it down to whose life it is or it is my right to have assisted death if I wish.  It is wrong to use that to try to prove one has the right to end their life when they want.  That solves nothing and benefits nobody.

The problem is as I described that lack of proper palliative care for people.  Nobody should want to end their lives because of lack of proper care.  Society has a responsibility to take care of it's old, infirm, ill, and handicapped people with excellent care for every aspect of their needs.  That is the solution, not offering someone a quick death by an injection.  That just devalues human life and makes society nothing more than animals.  The answer is compassion and quality care for everyone.

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1 hour ago, bcsapper said:

Certainly, abortion is a different issue.  I'm very much pro-choice, but I understand the argument pro lifers make, even if I disagree with it.

There is no such argument with assisted suicide.  No other life, however much it is only potential, is being stopped.

My point with abortion was the pro choice stance is that individual women are the only ones who have control over their bodies. Hence my question, does that control end at some point and if so, why should it?

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17 minutes ago, blackbird said:

It is a major mistake to try to boil it down to whose life it is or it is my right to have assisted death if I wish.  It is wrong to use that to try to prove one has the right to end their life when they want.  That solves nothing and benefits nobody.

The problem is as I described that lack of proper palliative care for people.  Nobody should want to end their lives because of lack of proper care.  Society has a responsibility to take care of it's old, infirm, ill, and handicapped people with excellent care for every aspect of their needs.  That is the solution, not offering someone a quick death by an injection.  That just devalues human life and makes society nothing more than animals.  The answer is compassion and quality care for everyone.

It's not a mistake at all.  The mistake is made by those who believe they have the right to decide on such issues for people other than themselves.

By all means improve palliative care.  Take care of the old, ill and infirm.  Help them as much as you can.

Denying people such a basic choice when they want to make it is not showing them compassion though.  It's asserting control over them based on your beliefs.

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20 minutes ago, Aristides said:

My point with abortion was the pro choice stance is that individual women are the only ones who have control over their bodies. Hence my question, does that control end at some point and if so, why should it?

Only when it has a direct effect on another life.  That's what I meant about understanding the pro-life point of view.  I believe the women's right to autonomy over rules the foetus's right to a continued existence.

The effect of inducing sorrow or distress does not count.

Flying a passenger plane into a mountain would count.

That's why professional medical assistance when requested is so important. 

 

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8 minutes ago, bcsapper said:

It's not a mistake at all.  The mistake is made by those who believe they have the right to decide on such issues for people other than themselves.

By all means improve palliative care.  Take care of the old, ill and infirm.  Help them as much as you can.

Denying people such a basic choice when they want to make it is not showing them compassion though.  It's asserting control over them based on your beliefs.

 Everyone is entitled to their beliefs.  Your ideas are based on beliefs too, right?   I just happen to believe differently.  I believe that human life is sacred and man does not have the right to end someone else's life or even end his own life through suicide.  If you reject certain principles, then anything goes.  We don't have to look far in history to see how that worked when dictators were free to do what they wanted and end other people's lives.  The same thing could apply here if the government thought it was more practical to end people's lives when they reached a certain age or condition.  What is there to stop them?  The answer is not ending lives as I explained.  It is in providing good care and good quality of life for everyone in need of it.

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1 minute ago, blackbird said:

 Everyone is entitled to their beliefs.  You ideas are based on beliefs too, right?   I just happen to believe differently.  I believe that human life is sacred and man does not have the right to end someone else's life or even end his own life through suicide.  If you reject certain principles, then anything goes.  We don't have to look far in history to see how that worked when dictators were free to do what they wanted and end other people's lives.  The same thing could apply here if the government thought it was more practical to end people's lives when they reached a certain age or condition.  What is there to stop them?

Yes, but my beliefs would not force anyone to do anything they did not want to.  Yours would.  You have to see the difference there.  I want to give people choice.  You want to deny them choice. 

You want to to force someone to live when they do not want to.  That seems to me to be a dictatorial act.

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Just now, bcsapper said:

Yes, but my beliefs would not force anyone to do anything they did not want to.  Yours would.  You have to see the difference there.  I want to give people choice.  You want to deny them choice. 

You want to to force someone to live when they do not want to.  That seems to me to be a dictatorial act.

I don't look at it as "dictatorial" because life is sacred and nobody has a right to take another's life or his own.  We have laws for countless things that limits our freedom.  We cannot do what we please in a civilized society.  We can't take another person's life.  We can't take their property because we think they have too much or don't need it.  We can't justify taking someone else's life with MAID for the same reasons.  There is no moral reason to justify it.  The arguments in favour of MAID is a purely secular humanist reason.  Much like some other laws that were passed based purely on secular humanist or populist reasons.  It doesn't make it right.  Suicide as a crime was removed from the books years ago.  But that doesn't mean it is right for a teenager for example to take his or her own life because of stress or difficulties he or she may be experiencing.  

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3 minutes ago, blackbird said:

I don't look at it as "dictatorial" because life is sacred and nobody has a right to take another's life or his own.  We have laws for countless things that limits our freedom.  We cannot do what we please in a civilized society.  We can't take another person's life.  We can't take their property because we think they have too much or don't need it.  We can't justify taking someone else's life with MAID for the same reasons.  There is no moral reason to justify it.  The arguments in favour of MAID is a purely secular humanist reason.  Much like some other laws that were passed based purely on secular humanist or populist reasons.  It doesn't make it right.  Suicide as a crime was removed from the books years ago.  But that doesn't mean it is right for a teenager for example to take his or her own life because of stress or difficulties he or she may be experiencing.  

Ah, basic disagreement then.  I didn't have to read past your first sentence.  Life is an accident.  It is not sacred, and anyone should have the right to take their own life.  It's a most basic right.

All laws should be secular.  Religion has no place in the making of laws.

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11 minutes ago, bcsapper said:

Ah, basic disagreement then.  I didn't have to read past your first sentence.  Life is an accident.  It is not sacred, and anyone should have the right to take their own life.  It's a most basic right.

All laws should be secular.  Religion has no place in the making of laws.

Yes, we come from different points of view.  But that is what discussion is all about.  If there were no differences and we all thought the same way, there would be no point in discussing anything.  I believe life is no accident and human life is of infinite value.  You say religion has no place in making laws, but the fact is most laws and how society functions arose out of historic Judeo-Christian principles which came down through the centuries from thousands of years ago.  That is why western society recognizes fundamental human rights such as freedom of speech, association, etc.  It is part of recognizing the dignity of the individual.  That is not recognized in Communist systems because they try to be atheistic and their god is the state or Communist leaders.  Every member of Parliament and every lawmaker in every level of government has certain beliefs or ideology that governs his belief system.  You can say all you want that religion has no place in making laws, but the truth is everyone has beliefs of some sort and that will never change.  Even the leader of the political parties in government each have certain religious beliefs.  Your beliefs are based on secular humanism which is a belief system in and of itself.  You say you belief in the right of the individual to take his own life, but on what basis do you believe that.  Is it just a human ideology or is there some greater foundation for that belief.  Man-made ideologies change from time to time and depend on what's popular at any given time.  So they are not a strong basis for anything.

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Just now, blackbird said:

Yes, we come from different points of view.  But that is what discussion is all about.  If there were no differences and we all thought the same way, there would be no point in discussing anything.  I believe life is no accident and human life is of infinite value.  You say religion has no place in making laws, but the fact is most laws and how society functions arose out of historic Judeo-Christian principles which came own through the centuries from thousands of years ago.  Every member of Parliament and every lawmaker in every level of government has certain beliefs or ideology that governs his belief system.  You can say all you want that religion has no place in making laws, but the truth is everyone has beliefs of some sort and that will never change.  Even the leader of the political parties in government each have certain religious beliefs.  Your are based on secular humanism which is a belief system in and of itself.

I'm not arguing that religion does not influence politicians.  I'm arguing that it shouldn't.  I would wager you would agree with me were the religious influences not the same as yours.  There are entire countries with laws based on religious views where blasphemy and/or homosexuality is punishable by death.  That does kinda make a mockery of the whole "not allowing assisted suicide" idea.

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2 minutes ago, bcsapper said:

I'm not arguing that religion does not influence politicians.  I'm arguing that it shouldn't.  I would wager you would agree with me were the religious influences not the same as yours.  There are entire countries with laws based on religious views where blasphemy and/or homosexuality is punishable by death.  That does kinda make a mockery of the whole "not allowing assisted suicide" idea.

I agree there are entire countries with laws based on religious views that I would not agree with.  But those views are not the same religious views I am talking about.  Western society is largely based on Judeo-Christian principles which come from the Bible.  The ten commandments are a good example to show where our laws came from.  We don't believe in the same religious beliefs as Islamic countries or Hindu countries for example.  We don't think there is anything wrong with eating meat and don't consider animals such as cows sacred.  But human life in western society has always been considered sacred by many people and laws. But I will admit many people in western countries have departed from the historic Judeo-Christian beliefs.  Many are following secular humanist ideas, Socialism, Marxism, and Progressivism.

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4 minutes ago, blackbird said:

I agree there are entire countries with laws based on religious views that I would not agree with.  But those views are not the same religious views I am talking about.  Western society is largely based on Judeo-Christian principles which come from the Bible.  The ten commandments are a good example to show where our laws came from.  We don't believe in the same religious beliefs as Islamic countries or Hindu countries for example.  We don't think there is anything wrong with eating meat and don't consider animals such as cows sacred.  But human life in western society has always been considered sacred by many people and laws. But I will admit many people in western countries have departed from the historic Judeo-Christian beliefs.  Many are following secular humanist ideas, Socialism, Marxism, and Progressivism.

I think the ten commandments came from laws, not the other way around.  Everyone knew it was wrong to lie, kill and steal before they came up with them.  They wanted a bunch of rules that ensured devotion to their God so they could maintain control over everyone so they threw in a bunch of no brainers with the false idol and just one God stuff.

That said, you are entitled to live your life based on your beliefs.  You are not entitled to expect anyone else to do the same.

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It is absolutely no business of any damn government or person if I decide to end MY life. My life belong to me and only I decide what to do with it same argument for abortion (my body, my choice). Governments and conservatives and religious preachers mind your own damn business.

People have the right to end their suffering and pain and die painlessly and with integrity rather than living a painful life suffering for a few more months tortured by religious fanatics and conservative minded idiots who see their right to decide how other people should live their lives.

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1 hour ago, CITIZEN_2015 said:

It is absolutely no business of any damn government or person if I decide to end MY life.

My life belong to me and only I decide what to do with it . . .  

Governments and Conservatives and religious preachers mind your own damn business.

Pistol in hand . . . . you've made your decision.  Someone else will do the clean-up. 

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