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Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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Alan H
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#81 Postby Alan H » July 25th, 2014, 12:52 am

Latest post of the previous page:

We can all make our treatment wishes known through an Advanced Decision. This covers how we want to be treated when we become unable to make our wishes now. Properly done, this is a legally binding document (but you don't need a lawyer), but it can't demand that your life be ended.

There is the option currently - if we meet the criteria, are able and can afford it - travel to Dignitas in Switzerland and end our life there. The Bill currently before the House of Lords, introduced by Lord Falconer, would allow something similar to happen here, with many safeguards. There is a similar - but far from identical - Bill in Scotland Assisted Suicide Bill (Scotland). There are safeguards in both Bills to ensure it is not abused.

Stosh wrote:I do not feel that Doctors should be burdened with this directive, nor do I think that family members should. Both of those groups are far too embroiled with the patient, nor should it go to a court decision which ensures delays and again is slave to the whims of the participants, rather than the rights of the individual in question.
I don't see doctors as being embroiled at all: they may know the patient, but the signature of a completely different doctor could be sought. You're right about family members though, but I don't think anyone is suggesting they would have a say in any decision.

I think both Bills require the agreement of two doctors at different times with appropriate safeguards, so a court isn't currently being considered. However, courts already make decisions about safeguarding children, making them wards of court, deciding custody, etc as well as sometimes making life or death treatment decisions where people or hospitals can't agree. So, even if courts were involved, I can't see that there would necessarily be any specific issues with them making a decision, but remember that under current proposals, the person requesting assistance with suicide has to have clearly made their wished known before hand.

You might be interested in Friends at the End, Dignity in Dying or Compassion in Dying.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#82 Postby Nick » July 25th, 2014, 3:09 pm

Stosh wrote:There would need to be a institutional guardian to protect the right of a person to die, make sure there are no nefarious reasons for the request, affirm the compassionate need for the discontinuance, and actually conclude the issue.

That would still be a court, Stosh. OK, it could be designated otherwise, and maybe follow a less adversarial approach, but it would still be a court.

I have much sympathy with your POV. Some people may make decisions we wouldn't. Who am I to tell you to suffer if you don't want to? It seems that the current proposal going through the Lords takes some appropriate steps, but the biggest problem I have is that I can imagine many elderly people thinking they are "worthless and a burden" and feeling the should do th decent thing. And familiies who are either greedy, or find the emotional strain of seeing an elderly family member suffer too much for them.

I don't as yet , see a solution.....

Stosh
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#83 Postby Stosh » July 25th, 2014, 5:25 pm

Alan H wrote ..I don't see doctors as being embroiled at all: they may know the patient, but the signature of a completely different doctor could be sought

When I was doing medical work , there were many patients I saw, who for all intents and purposes , were basically just waiting to die. Tests were run to protect the handling physicians standing which might be called monitoring the patient.. and similarly when I go to the doctor, they run tests ,the purpose of wich may only serve to protect the doctor against malpractice suits , which he feels is entirely justified in doing , as it is "Rendering the Medical art", (and he does indeed derive payment for doing ( notice that you dont get your money back if they are entirely wrong) , regardless of whether the patient is benefitted in any real terms.
Moreover Doctors are not exempt from carrying their religious perspectives or values into their practice. Merely jumping from one establishment trained physician to another , hardly corrects the issue, they still (I assume) are answerable to some association or other Like AMA - which I certainly didnt vote for.
( yes I know Yall have some differences in your med system)

Anyway , thats where Im looking at it from , I admit which doesnt negate your point. Which seems more addressed to a particular scenario than my own reverie is.

Nick said...I don't as yet , see a solution.....
On that I agree entirely Nick ,

( not one Id expect to actually happen anyway - am I really supposed to be able to solve all the worlds ills with a prerfunctory consideration delivered in a forum :) all by myself ? )

But ignoring that , to me - the issue really isnt whether folks wish to be compassionate , but how to actually DO that as a compassionate society. Religious persons may be disparaged for being summarily predisposed to some particular course of action regarding the ummm..very unfortunate, and that may be for views which I dont hold to about afterlives and gods and so forth,, but at least trying to promote the respect of human life, being alive , etc isnt muddied - mitigated- abandoned.

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Alan H
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#84 Postby Alan H » March 12th, 2015, 3:25 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#85 Postby Dave B » March 12th, 2015, 4:11 pm

"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Compassionist
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#86 Postby Compassionist » March 12th, 2015, 4:18 pm

I am so sad he died. I love his books and have read most of them. As for Euthanasia - I think that's a good thing as long as it is not abused.

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Fia
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#87 Postby Fia » March 12th, 2015, 5:54 pm

A sad loss to his family & friends, his millions of readers, the charities he supported like the BHA, and indeed the world.

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Alan H
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#88 Postby Alan H » March 12th, 2015, 5:59 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#89 Postby Alan H » March 12th, 2015, 9:22 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Fia
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#90 Postby Fia » March 12th, 2015, 9:48 pm

Lovely link thank you Alan. Signed and sharing.

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Dave B
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#91 Postby Dave B » March 13th, 2015, 9:35 am

Yes, Alan, signed.

Good stuff on Today 2hrs 19min in.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Tetenterre
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#92 Postby Tetenterre » March 13th, 2015, 11:26 am

Signed with "...but only if you return him having removed his Alzheimers; otherwise I'm sure he'd prefer to remain where he is."

Also this morning R5Live reprised Nicky Campbell's superb interview wiht TP from a couple of years back.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

thundril
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#93 Postby thundril » March 13th, 2015, 11:51 am

Signed. Almost didn't bother, but noticed it was worded as if responding to the adjacent 'reinstate Jeremy Clarkson' petition. Clarkson's petition's got nearly a million signatories.
Who would have thought there were so many twats on the one planet? Maybe Death could do us a deal?

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animist
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#94 Postby animist » March 13th, 2015, 2:01 pm

Tetenterre wrote:Signed with "...but only if you return him having removed his Alzheimers; otherwise I'm sure he'd prefer to remain where he is."

yes, it does seem odd to be asking death to return someone who campaigned against compulsory living!

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Alan H
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#95 Postby Alan H » March 14th, 2015, 9:53 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#96 Postby Dave B » March 14th, 2015, 10:34 pm

Good piece, that. Thanks for the link, Alan.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#97 Postby Alan H » May 27th, 2015, 6:48 pm

Assisted dying legislation defeated at Scottish Parliament
The British Humanist Association (BHA) has expressed its regret that the Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) have rejected the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill, which aimed to create a legal right to a physician-assisted death for the terminally ill. 82 MSPs voted to reject the Bill, while 36 voted in favour.

The BHA has long campaigned for the right to die for both terminally ill and incurably suffering people who have made a rational and uncoerced decision to end their life. In April, the BHA supported the My Life, My Death, My Choice campaign in organising an open letter from 40 public figures pressing for a compassionate assisted dying law in Scotland. It also supported Lord Falconer’s Bill which was separately moving through the UK Parliament.

Commenting on the news, BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘Today’s result will come as a huge blow for campaigners, as well as for sick and suffering people in Scotland who have sought an assisted death, and it’s a shame that a majority of parliamentarians have ignored their pleas.

‘However, this campaign has been a hugely positive one and as in England and Wales, has clearly connected with a general public. Polls consistently show that four in five individuals in the UK support the right to an assisted death. Individuals who are terminally ill or incurably suffering and have a clear and settled wish to end their life should be able to have that wish fulfilled. We will continue to work hard to make that the reality.’

Notes

For further information, please contact Campaigns Manager Richy Thompson on 020 7324 3072.

Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on Assisted Dying: http://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/public ... ted-dying/

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#98 Postby Nick » May 27th, 2015, 11:31 pm

From The Times:

From all the available evidence, Jeffrey Spector was a proud and successful man with a beautiful and loving family. He had everything, in other words, to live for. Instead he chose to die, haunted by the prospect of becoming paralysed because of an inoperable tumour. It was, he insisted beforehand, “a settled decision by a sound mind”.

After years of careful thought, Mr Spector, a 54- year-old advertising executive from Blackpool, took a fatal dose of sodium pentobarbital last week in an apartment rented by the Swiss charity Dignitas. He demanded the right to end his life on his own terms. On balance it is a good thing that he was able to, albeit in Zurich rather than at home. His decision will undoubtedly reopen the debate on whether he should have been able to resort legally to assisted suicide in Britain. It would be wrong, however, if this case led to a change in British law.

Mr Spector was still in command of his faculties. He could talk and drive. Paralysis was a threat because of the tumour growing on his neck, but it was not yet a reality. The risk of legalising assisted suicide is that it plants suicide as an option in the minds of more vulnerable people where it might not otherwise have existed. Still more troubling is the possibility that such an option might come to be seen by some as a duty. Mr Spector was decisive, determined and courageous. Many gravely and terminally ill people find extraordinary courage, but few choose to express it by hastening death. Most, in the end, would prefer to be cared for. No change in the law that carried even a slight risk of increasing their distress or confusion could be considered welcome.

Under current law anyone convicted of encouraging or assisting suicide faces up to 14 years in jail. Prosecutions are in practice unlikely, but the threat has tormented some determined to end their own lives. Heartrending cases such as that of Tony Nicklinson, a sufferer of “locked-in syndrome” who starved himself to death rather than expose his family to the risk of prosecution, led to the drafting of Lord Falconer of Thoroton’s bill on assisted dying in the last parliament. The bill would have legalised assisted suicide for terminally ill patients able to make a “voluntary, clear, settled and informed” decision. It passed a reading in the House of Lords and won widespread public support but was never debated in the House of Commons.

If there were a guarantee that the Falconer bill could not be misapplied, even inadvertently, it might deserve to be revived. But there is no such guarantee. There is sometimes a fine line between physical suffering and the mental anguish of feeling oneself to be a burden on others. The line between feeling oneself to be a burden and being made to feel one can be even finer. For the severely disabled, a law that made it easier to end a difficult life could compound unimaginable distress even if that were no part of its intention. And for Alzheimer’s sufferers the impact of such a law is almost impossible to gauge. In the early stages of the disease a patient might express a voluntary and rational preference for assisted death, but who is to know if that remains the patient’s preference in the confusion of full-blown dementia?

“I am jumping the gun,” Mr Spector admitted in a final interview. His wife and three daughters had begged him not to go through with it but were with him at the end. The now familiar one-way trip to Switzerland taken by some 300 Britons is both intensely poignant and unavoidably macabre. It is part of an unsatisfactory status quo, but preferable to an alternative in which suicide becomes legally equivalent to treatment and care. The existing legal framework for assisted suicide in Britain is not perfect but it takes account of such agonies as those endured by Mr Spector’s family. It is an imperfect fudge, but a humane one, and the threshold for tampering with it should be high.


It doesn't seem right that one can choose to die only if, a) you can get to Switzerland, and b) you go sooner than you would ideally like, but.....

It's a mess, But I don't see a solution.

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jaywhat
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#99 Postby jaywhat » May 28th, 2015, 8:38 am

I would like to propose Terry Pratchett for a place on a bank note but have not worked out where to sent my suggestion.

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jaywhat
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#100 Postby jaywhat » May 29th, 2015, 7:03 am

can anyone tell me?

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Nick
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Re: Euthanasia - On Terry Pratchett's 'Choosing to Die'

#101 Postby Nick » May 29th, 2015, 9:19 am

Have a look here, Jaywhat:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknote ... wenty.aspx


Hope that helps :)


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