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Friday, December 17, 2004

Tell me....

Someone very close to you is in pain, paralyzed, and will die within a month. He begs you to give him poison so that he can die. Would you? What if it were your father?


At Friday, December 17, 2004 9:21:00 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

I would never take someones life. My Grandma was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer when I was six months old, refused chemo or any treatment and was sent home to die within two weeks. She lived to see me graduate high school, and I never learned until after she died how much she suffered over the years.

I also believe that God can heal, no matter how impossible the odds are.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 9:27:00 AM, Blogger & said...

First...I'd have to read the will...LOL!

Seriously, assuming there is no hope and would be no legal ramifications, I would consider honoring their request. Because at that point...the only thing they are doing is suffering...and I wouldn't want that.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 9:32:00 AM, Blogger FireResQGuru said...

Interesting dilema. I have always found it interesting that as a people, we have no qualms whatsoever with putting down an animal, even the beloved family pet, but we will not help stop the suffering of those that we love.

Obviously, I am trained to save lives, and not take them. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don't. I chalk that up to fate, the cruel darwinian process, dumb luck, and to some degree - a higher power at work. Often times, EMS and all the best and most skilled doctors only prolong the inevitable.

If the quality of life that person has is zilch, and they are suffering, part of me does not see the sense in prolonging the agony. While I realize that that goes counter to all the training and morals I have ever had and believed in, I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be better to help them along and find peace at last. Would I ever do it, I really don't know. If I was going to, I would not use poison. I would just give them a bit more morphine than they should have, let them fall asleep and the morphine will arrest their respiratory drive. Again, I don't know if I could ever actually do it, though.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 9:49:00 AM, Blogger SemperSexualis said...

I'd have to propose a trip to a certain state I know where assisted suicide is legal. And go from there.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 10:24:00 AM, Blogger Brett Havekost said...

Yes. In the situation you describe, I would. They're an adult (as am I) and can make conscious decisions. However, my assistance comes at the price of a lengthy discussion as to their reasons, their outlook and the ramification of their/my actions. If they truly wanted to end their life, there are some pretty ugly and painful ways to go without assistance -- having had to seperate a car from an 18-wheeler when the car driver decided his pain was too much to handle any longer.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 11:03:00 AM, Blogger Buffalo said...

I would not hesitate any more than I would hesitate in ending the suffering of a pet. When life ceases to have quality it ceases to have purpose.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 11:57:00 AM, Blogger Ed said...

There is a lot of debate in the UK about this at the moment with the so-called living wills legislation which some people argue will effectively legalise euthanasia.

There have also been a number of cases where people have gone to Switzerland where assisted suicide is apparently legal.

Personally, I think it would depend on the precise circumstances at the time, but if it was legal and if I was sure that it was the best thing at the time then yes, I probably would.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 12:01:00 PM, Blogger Opaco said...

yes i would. if they asked me to and i knew they were going to die a slow painful death otherwise, i would.
especially if it were my father. he died slowly from cancer.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 12:06:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

My thoughts... God's timing is better than mine... No way.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 1:21:00 PM, Blogger Demon King said...

Yes, with overwhelming grief, and not likely the relief I would hope for, but at least the release requested.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 1:50:00 PM, Blogger Bent said...

As much as I would wish to see the suffering end, I couldn't see myself doing it. Instead, I think I would focus on making their remaining days as pleasant as possible.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 2:14:00 PM, Blogger eyerocker said...

yes...not a problem with doing that. I can just think of the relef that the loved one would have. It also could save the family the expense of additional hospital charges. I do have some personal experence with this issue. I made the final decision for a new little guy that had a very rough time of it in the few days he was around. With lots of agony and sole searching I made the final decision and there was no doubt the correct one. After consulting the church, lawyers and doctors, all agreed that further suffering must be ended. No regrets to this day.

At Friday, December 17, 2004 3:04:00 PM, Blogger amberance said...

My mother suffered with pain from cancer for 4 1/2 years. My parents were married for 23 years at the time and it broke my father's heart to make the decision to stop the chemo and let his beloved wife go. But he did it, because she was in pain and would always be in pain and she wanted an end to her suffering. And I know that if my stepmother was suffering and wanted out he would do it again, for her.

Having said that, this situation is a little different. We had no idea how long my mom would have continued to suffer - a month? a year? and also it is different to stop medication and wait as opposed to give something to hasten death. So, I'm thinking that my story is probably no help is it? :(

At Friday, December 17, 2004 4:41:00 PM, Blogger GoodKing Alan said...

I would have to. Nothing is worse than watching someone slowly lose control of their body, sliding slowly towards death.
My mother has been an RN for over 20 years, she works for a hospice, making the last few days/weeks as comfortable as possible. Sometimes she would come home sobbing for hours after a particularly painful death. I couldn't see that happen to a loved one..

At Friday, December 17, 2004 11:48:00 PM, Blogger Craz4acop7 said...

I am with Jeff and Greg. My religious beliefs and my total faith that God has a unique plan for everyone and everything that was mapped out long before I came into existance would not allow me to ever intentionally end someone's life including my own, or even a pet.

At Sunday, December 19, 2004 11:36:00 AM, Blogger Mr. RB said...

Just a note to say Merry Christmas. I gift to you is the taste of a good husband.

At Wednesday, December 22, 2004 7:45:00 PM, Blogger M said...

All this talk about G-d's time...

G-d gave us one of the best gifts of all: Free Will. I think that if someone is ready to leave this life, then the tools to do so should be available. I don't know if I could be the one to assist, because it is an awesome responsibility to have someone's life in your hands. However, every day we take other people's lives in our hands. We drive, get distracted, yap on the cell, and BAM! You could run over someone in the street because you weren't looking. Or, you're cooking dinner for your family & you serve them chicken that was sitting in your car for a few hours because you forgot to bring it in from the grocery store. You remember, run out & get it, sniff it, and decide that's OK to cook & serve. You poison your family with salmenella (did I spell that correctly?). Your free will was not used correctly.

I digress. I'm watching one of my grandmothers wait impatiently for her turn to pass on. She's 93 and is ready to go. Every morning she wakes up and says, "Huh. I'm still here."

Getting old sucks. Getting sick sucks. Dying before your time sucks. But which clock measures that time? The person that dies, or the people left behind?


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