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Today I’ve been researching the controversial world of Bioethics for a project I am working on. The deeper I dig, the more questions I have.  

I don’t yet know how I feel about the goals of this medical and philosophical marriage of theories. I can see both positive and negative aspects to this, but I sort of feel that way about a lot of medical theories and practices anyway, so that’s really not anything new.

[Link Removed] is representative of a bioethicist's goals in regards to assisted suicide. In the case of the man in this article, he actually prefers to die rather than never regain the quality of life he once had (and he won the legal authorization to make that decision himself).  

But on the extreme side of the spectrum, some practitioners of bioethicism believe that even in cases where the patient does not choose to die (or is incapable of expressing any choices at all) that an administrative decision should be made to terminate the life. Even more extreme is the idea that depressives with suicidal ideations should be encouraged and counseled to commit suicide.

The rough logic here (with the key word being 'rough', since I'm simply regurgitating the information I've been introduced to and don't claim to fully understand it) is that the planet, and the human race as a whole, should be purged of those who are terminally ill, disabled and/or otherwise will never achieve a full quality of life in order to make room for those who can or already do experience that richer, fuller life.

I know, without needing to read further, that I do not in any way agree with the idea that if I am paralyzed in a car accident tomorrow, someone else working from a platform of a “purer population” should get to decide if I live or die.

But it’s the flipside of that coin that I can’t make a decision about:  

Should a terminally ill or grossly disabled individual be allowed a legal, assisted suicide if they choose one, and are proven to be of sound mind in their decision-making?

And, really even a more pressing question to me, can someone who is suicidal be considered of sound mind ?


Feathermaye, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Aug 25, 2009
    • Feather very contentious issue in the UK as we have just had a Law Lord ruling on this which was giving the okay for a woman to travel to Switzerland to die.
      Basically if you did this in the UK your partner could be prosecuted for murder as they aided you etc; so now the ruling states this will not happen.
      Now we had another case where the girl then changed her mind......
      To me it's a mental and legal mind field – if I was in a coma and just alive because of a machine then please flick the switch as I would hate to be a burden and also maybe my organs could be used for someone else before they deteriorated – but taking me to Switzerland to die ... no thanks.
      [Link Removed]

      I have a feeling in October when the courts reconvene there will be further judgements on this and more cases .......


      Ukgirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Aug 25, 2009
    • I actually read about Ms. Purdy’s case today, too. It seems as if Switzerland has no laws banning the practice of assisted suicide, but some sources say that they can actually get the patient (is that even the right word?) caught up in red tape for extended periods of time.

      I read a theory recently (but have not yet found an online source to back it up, since I’ve been so caught up in this particular piece today) about the spontaneous termination of a disabled but otherwise healthy individual so that their organs may be harvested to save the life of two other people. Kill one to save two; kill one million to save three million...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Aug 25, 2009
    • I think if the Swiss suspect you're not visiting the country to buy a cuckoo clock (wheelchair and life support machine might be a giveaway) and you're staying near the Dignatas clinic then they do either refuse entry or they hold you in a hospital.
      Switzerland is a funny country as they played neutral during the whole of the Second World War yet most of the Nazi money was stored there – you can basically launder money there and avoid tax laws if you know which palms to dine ...... but has this snow mountain, yodelling picture postcard clean appearance. Also very favourable tax laws as in you pay next to no tax at all – oh and for a neutral country every house has to have a nuclear bunker with supplies and it's inspected yearly.
      Yes we Brits are suspicious of them and it doesn't surprise me about them having assisted suicide. The latter part of your comment also doesn't surprise me either – as the country is also known for strange rejuvenation clinics where people have dubious injections....
      George Hamilton aka Mr. Perma Tan is a frequent visitor as he supposedly has sheep foetus injected into his face to turn back the ravages of time..... But I have also heard that some people will pay for human foetus fluid as it's supposed to regenerate skin cells very quickly.
      Listen Switzerland is a country which has draconian secrecy laws and if you have the money anything can be obtained "legally"......and there will always be someone who has a need and the money – so therefore you have a market & body organs and parts are huge business – so no doubt there is a black market ....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Aug 25, 2009
    • Feather you might want to read this article  

      Murky truth behind Swiss suicide 'clinic' Dignitas

      [Link Removed]
      The Times newspaper is an excellent and very well respected and every article like this will have been well researched ....


      Ukgirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Aug 25, 2009
    • Well, the theory that I read (if it is indeed still just a theory, and not a current bioethics practice) about harvesting organs from the living wasn’t specific to Switzerland, just the field in general.

      I guess I’m naive about a lot of things... I can’t imagine a world wherein we would kill someone deemed less valuable or invaluable in order to save someone decided to be more worthy of life. Unfortunately, that truly seems to be the world we live in.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Aug 25, 2009
    • Well the Nazi regime was built on the Master Race and they perfected the technique of eliminating anyone – weak , feeble, gay, gypsy , Jewish, Jehovah's Witness , black , deaf , handicapped – this wasn't born out of one man's head Hitler it was practised in other countries and I'm sure still is now.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindylouwho1966 wrote Aug 25, 2009
    • Sounds very much like the Nazi mindset. Very frightening.



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