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Joined: December 1st, 2009, 9:40 pm
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Hello
My question is:
Can you please express your views on Euthanasia
We are currently studying this in RMPS and I would like a few different HUMANIST views on the subject.
The school has failed to detect this forum and so I will be able to access it on Tuesday 8th december the day
when we are in the computing suite.

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December 3rd, 2009, 6:17 pm
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Hi there B2W! Welcome to the forum! If you have a poke around, you will see lots of comments. Also have a look at the British Humanist Association's site, which I think also has some info on this. All I will say at this point is this: you must distinguish between euthanasia, and voluntary euthanasia!

Apart from that, I'm not about to do your work for you. :wink: But let us know what you think, and I'm sure posters on this forum will comment.... :)


December 3rd, 2009, 6:54 pm
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Well... on assisted suicide, this is more or less my view.

I am the master of my own life and body. Noone else can control my life. That is the basis of much of human rights law. If, therefore, I decide to kill myself, I should be allowed to do so provided I am of sound mind. The law agrees with me up until here. Now say that I am physically unable to take my own life, should that mean that I should not be allowed to end it? Of course not! Having assisted suicide illegal creates one law for severely disabled people and another for everyone else, even though I imagine severely disabled people may want it more than your average guy on the street.

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December 3rd, 2009, 7:48 pm
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Nick wrote:
Hi there B2W! Welcome to the forum! If you have a poke around, you will see lots of comments. Also have a look at the British Humanist Association's site, which I think also has some info on this. All I will say at this point is this: you must distinguish between euthanasia, and voluntary euthanasia!

Apart from that, I'm not about to do your work for you. :wink: But let us know what you think, and I'm sure posters on this forum will comment.... :)


Dear Nick I certainly would not have you do my work for me because your response IS MY work.
That may be a little confusing so let me explain.
My task is to find out the different views among humanists and present then in an essay and then give reasons to support and oppose the response,then write why it is important that there is no definite moral code and that every one has the right to an opinion then do my conclusion.

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December 3rd, 2009, 9:12 pm
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:welcome: B2W.

This is a very interesting subject. We have discussed elements of this here and here and there are good links, particularly from Alan H, who is always good at finding useful reading.

Can i suggest that you look at these and then come back to us with your thoughts or clarifications?


December 3rd, 2009, 9:25 pm
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Fia wrote:
:welcome: B2W.

This is a very interesting subject. We have discussed elements of this here and here and there are good links, particularly from Alan H, who is always good at finding useful reading.

Can i suggest that you look at these and then come back to us with your thoughts or clarifications?


My thoughts are always centred on the individual and humanity as a whole so........
Euthanasia is the most important final decision a person who wants to dies will ever make.
I think in the case where a terminally ill person is in intense pain and understands that he/she will not make a
recovery euthanasia should be allowed if 5 doctors can agree (This makes the diagnosis much more reliable than 2 doctors)
and the family are informed in advance so they can attempt to prepare for the grief that losting the relative will cause.
In addition unvoluntary Euthanasia is a complex situation so.............
After 2 years and 8 months in a Persistant Vegatative State the family 9 people (Nearest and dearest) and five doctors should sit around the table and discuss the future of the relative and his/her situation.They should vote on whether the relative should be kept alive or not,Those who oppose the decision should be consoled on why that decision was made and that it is for the greater good of the person .
If the family vote for keeping the person alive and the medics agree then the situation continues,
If the family vote for keeping the person alive and the medics disagree the family should cover
the costs of keeping the person on support.
If the family vote for removing the support and the medics agree then the support should be withdrawn.
In the extremely unlikely event If the family vote for removing the support and the medics disagree then case should go to court and decided by the judge and jury.
My conclusion may seem bad because it makes people decide about anothers fate and the stress it would put on the family is
extreme however it is the only way in which an agreement can be made that allows the members family to make a decision
and have their opinions on what their relative in the PVS would want heard.

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December 3rd, 2009, 10:33 pm
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Some interesting thinking on the practical checks and balances part there, b2w :) But not on the ethical side. As your essay is for RMPS, and you are looking for a Humanist standpoint (if there is such a thing :) ) I reckon they are looking for some work on the moral, philosphical and ethical side. You can well have your suggestions at the end, but the issues here are far bigger than the practicalities of its possible practice.

I know, I'm a parent, I'm boring. And I have my own (nearly 14yr olds') homework to help with. One more suggestion for now - look at the media reports on Dignitas, the Swiss clinic... the media are never backwards about coming forwards on these issues :laughter:


December 3rd, 2009, 10:50 pm
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Fia wrote:
Some interesting thinking on the practical checks and balances part there, b2w :) But not on the ethical side. As your essay is for RMPS, and you are looking for a Humanist standpoint (if there is such a thing :) ) I reckon they are looking for some work on the moral, philosphical and ethical side. You can well have your suggestions at the end, but the issues here are far bigger than the practicalities of its possible practice.

I know, I'm a parent, I'm boring. And I have my own (nearly 14yr olds') homework to help with. One more suggestion for now - look at the media reports on Dignitas, the Swiss clinic... the media are never backwards about coming forwards on these issues :laughter:


Indeed I agree however This is a imensely tricky question.I cannot prejudge a situation as it happens but could if all where the same ( I think I have just made a new quote so I will write that down.)
Each person and each situation is unique and so how can anybody define and catagorize these things.
In reality my conclusion was a logical approach however
in the real world I would think more on what the individual NEEDS and not what others
think he/she needs.

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December 3rd, 2009, 11:09 pm
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Quote:
in the real world I would think more on what the individual NEEDS and not what others
think he/she needs.
spot on, but I'd also add wants, as needs and wants go together. Yet they can be mutually exclusive. And what people want is partially dependent upon their life stance choices... and in pops the morality, philosophy etc...

I'm going to leave this for others now... but would like to say that I am impressed by your approach to this piece of work - keep it up :)


December 3rd, 2009, 11:21 pm
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Another website I run is Friends at the End. They give information about choices for end-of-life decisions. They have a good archive of news articles that I add to every few days. You might find some interesting stuff there.

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December 4th, 2009, 12:00 am
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http://www.dignityindying.org.uk/

... is another place you may like to look. By the way, it is worth differentiating between the various words for such matters.

E.G. passive euthanasia, (switching off life support etc)
active euthanasia, (easing/speeding up the pathway to death)
assisted suicide, (helping someone to take their own life)
suicide (self deliverance without any help)
and so on.............


December 4th, 2009, 10:12 am
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Thanks for your responses, B2W. I had indeed misunderstood your OP. You have clearly thought about the topic. I'll try to find the time to respond more fully later.


December 4th, 2009, 11:14 am
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born2wonder wrote:
If the family vote for keeping the person alive and the medics agree then the situation continues,
If the family vote for keeping the person alive and the medics disagree the family should cover
the costs of keeping the person on support.
If the family vote for removing the support and the medics agree then the support should be withdrawn.
In the extremely unlikely event If the family vote for removing the support and the medics disagree then case should go to court and decided by the judge and jury.


I have a problem here. If the medics and family disagree, the family has to cover the cost of keeping them on support. Does this not open the door to people agreeing for financial reasons, and similarly for doctors to disagree for financial reasons. I do not consider this ethical, people may make different decisions based on their economic situation.

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December 4th, 2009, 6:21 pm
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grammar king wrote:
born2wonder wrote:
If the family vote for keeping the person alive and the medics agree then the situation continues,
If the family vote for keeping the person alive and the medics disagree the family should cover
the costs of keeping the person on support.
If the family vote for removing the support and the medics agree then the support should be withdrawn.
In the extremely unlikely event If the family vote for removing the support and the medics disagree then case should go to court and decided by the judge and jury.


I have a problem here. If the medics and family disagree, the family has to cover the cost of keeping them on support. Does this not open the door to people agreeing for financial reasons, and similarly for doctors to disagree for financial reasons. I do not consider this ethical, people may make different decisions based on their economic situation.


Indeed as I have already said that if all situations are the same I could prejudge them I think because Euthanasia is different in every situation I cannot and could not expect others to make an informed decision about a situation they know nothing about,However My practical solution is very logical because it reasons additionally I am in agreement that it definitely is not ethical.
The doctors would not be affected by money as they are not paying for it the public is, in addition they have taken the vow to save life where they can.
The family would have to pay for the support because their is No Way the public should have pay for something medics have already agree upon : there is no evidence to support the fact that there is has been an improvement in the patient's condition.

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December 4th, 2009, 9:37 pm
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born2wonder wrote:
I think in the case where a terminally ill person is in intense pain and understands that he/she will not make a
recovery euthanasia should be allowed if 5 doctors can agree (This makes the diagnosis much more reliable than 2 doctors)
and the family are informed in advance so they can attempt to prepare for the grief that losting the relative will cause.

Hey, B2W, welcome to the forum. I'm going to handle each part separately.
What if the issue is not intense pain but QofL? (quality of life) I think this makes things less clear-cut although ultimately, the decision belongs to the individual in question.
5 doctors?! That certainly might cut down on unreliability but drag out a difficult situation if it makes the individual wait for a decision. How long do we give the doctors to decide? What if 4 agreed and 1 didn't? Should we go with a vote?
Recovery is such a sticky thing in reality; some people have been given months to live and yet, here they are, 5 years later.


born2wonder wrote:
In addition unvoluntary Euthanasia is a complex situation so.............
After 2 years and 8 months in a Persistant Vegatative State the family 9 people (Nearest and dearest) and five doctors should sit around the table and discuss the future of the relative and his/her situation.They should vote on whether the relative should be kept alive or not,Those who oppose the decision should be consoled on why that decision was made and that it is for the greater good of the person .

How did you come up with the arbitrary time frame of 2 years 8 months? What if someone doesn't have 9 family members for whatever reason? Who decides on which family members attend? Is there a 'nearest and dearest' test?
I could picture the round table just now. The majority vote (would this be a tyranny of the majority?) has been cast. The vote is: death. The twin sister as well as the mother voted against because they didn't agree with the 2 year time-table based on evidence that some people have been known to come out of PVS after 3 years(this is all hypothetical). The mother and sister are inconsolable. What are you going to say? 'Gee, I'm sorry but we've voted. Get over it. Or 'it's better this way. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one? Have you seen that Star Trek episode?' :laughter: Funny but not funny at the same time because I could see this kind of thing happening. Rationality is key but you can't run roughshod over people's feelings either.


born2wonder wrote:
If the family vote for keeping the person alive and the medics disagree the family should cover
the costs of keeping the person on support.

Wow! Are we not catering to the wealthy here? What if the family cannot afford it, are they cast aside because of their economic position in society?

born2wonder wrote:
...it is the only way in which an agreement can be made that allows the members family to make a decision and have their opinions on what their relative in the PVS would want heard.

That kind of stress can break families apart but it certainly would be more democratic. I am not trying to make things complicated unnecessarily but the issue is not simple.

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December 5th, 2009, 3:17 pm
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Yes as I have stated twice before this that is ONLY a PRATICAL solution not an ethical one. The figures stand at 50% of adults and 60% of children wake up WITHIN 6 months if a person has had two years and eight months any rational person would say the chances of recovery are slim.

We as humans are generally optimistic so just because we want something to happen or think something will happen it will not actually make it happen.

Question : What would you say was a reasonable amount of time ?

Maybe 50 years of no provement ten of thousands of pounds wasted on helping a seemly hopeless cause
I would find that unethical , especially when there are people in tremendous amount of pain and suffering .
Resources are limited we must use them wisely.

You are not exactly going to flip a coin on life and death are you so what other way could a FAMILY and not and individual
make such a decision.

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December 5th, 2009, 6:20 pm
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born2wonder wrote:
Yes as I have stated twice before this that is ONLY a PRATICAL solution not an ethical one.

Not exactly sure why you are yelling (caps indicate yelling on-line) but I'm just trying to give my feedback. Perhaps my directness is causing an issue. At any rate, you indicated this is a practical solution so I was just trying to point out where you might want to sharpen things up. This is not a personal criticism but a more complete look at your solution.
I bring up the points about the 9 people because the reality is that if I were to be in a position of being PVS tomorrow and your plan were in effect, I'd have maybe 4 people who could stand in. This is not an under-estimate or a mere detail. This is a practical issue. My questions were honest and open, not sarcasm.

born2wonder wrote:
The figures stand at 50% of adults and 60% of children wake up WITHIN 6 months if a person has had two years and eight months any rational person would say the chances of recovery are slim.
What I am trying to get at is that you can't ignore the personal/feeling side of the equation. People are more than just mathematical equations. I realize that statement does not conform with rationalism but you can't ignore that most people don't operate all that rationally.

born2wonder wrote:
We as humans are generally optimistic so just because we want something to happen or think something will happen it will not actually make it happen.

I don't know if I can agree that humans are generally optimistic; a lot depends on circumstances, ability to deny reality, personality. I am the least optimistic person I know. I picked my avatar for a reason. :)
I agree that wishing things to happen doesn't make it so.

born2wonder wrote:
Question : What would you say was a reasonable amount of time ?

It would depend on the situation in question. For example, as I understand it, a large part of Terri Schiavo's brain was 'mush'. There would be no recovery, so in that strict sense, it was likely the best decision.

born2wonder wrote:
Maybe 50 years of no provement ten of thousands of pounds wasted on helping a seemly hopeless cause I would find that unethical , especially when there are people in tremendous amount of pain and suffering. Resources are limited we must use them wisely.
I thought we were discussing the PVS. How would you know there was tremendous pain and suffering?
(If we are talking about a conscious, rational individual in pain, that's different and I addressed that already)
It wouldn't be thousands of pounds wasted on a hopeless cause, if there could be a recovery and cost/benefit analysis of someone's life is not to be approached lightly. Of course, the situation becomes much simpler if we merely look at the person in PVS not as human but as a drain on resources. By looking at the situation in practical terms, we can certainly avoid the other side of the coin and be utilitarian at the same time.

born2wonder wrote:
You are not exactly going to flip a coin on life and death are you so what other way could a FAMILY and not and individual make such a decision.

Sure, flipping a coin makes it more fair, doesn't it? I am not advocating this. I am being tongue-in-cheek.
I think a partial solution to this issue would be to encourage people to set up a living will that is legally binding which stipulates what would happen in the event of PVS. With all the potential money and resources saved, the state could possibly pay for the making of this will.
In terms of a family making a decision, you'd have to tread awfully carefully. Families have complex dynamics and there are many questions to be asked.
You asked about euthanasia. I hope you can extrapolate from what I have written that:
a) the issue is extremely complex and can't be broken down into merely a cost-benefit analysis
b) scientific/monetary approaches are crucial but ethics/emotions need to be considered for a full evaluation

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December 6th, 2009, 12:56 am
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1. I wasn't yelling (If you percieved that I was) I was stressing because I had already written
the same thing twice and would like to move the topic foward (Sorry for any offence caused)
Well because this cannot be used as a solution to Euthanasia because there is no way to merge ethics into rationality.
2. More than five billion people in the world believe that the son of a jewish woman (who probably had an affair that got out of hand) will come back from the dead and rule over the world or that allah (NO peace be upon him) will raise people from the dead and judge them and if men are could they will get 10 brown eyed virgins and women who are good will get nought but a place in paradise.
Are you going to deny that is optimistic ?
I probably like you am a realist and don't believe something the first time I am told it
Although that is us and we (I assume you) are humanists and an extremely small minority
according to wikipedia there is only 4-5 million of us (Which I believe is ridiculous however I can't prove other wise) so maybe we should look at others that aren't humanists because they are likely to view things in a different light (Not that all humanists are the same but we are more likely to think rationally because we don't have flawed statement in humanist books)

3.We are discussing PVS and euthanasia however I think I may have written this badly,
I meet by pain and suffering other medical patients i.e Terminally ill cancer patients or a patient with 4th degree burns.They would be put to the bottom of the financial and care ladder
of the hospital because they are using resources on a PVS patients who has been that way for a significant amount of time I hope you would agree that the patient that is in the most pain and suffering should be the first person the get the life support machine. I agree that if the patient wake up after 50 years that would be great however at the back of my mind would always be would much people could have been saved if that person was allowed to die after 2 years and eight months probably atleast 2 people that hospital has had to turn away or give a quick diagnosis to a person because of no space or staff available.

A and B are perfect I agree with them both
Thank you

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December 6th, 2009, 10:34 am
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born2wonder wrote:
1. I wasn't yelling (If you percieved that I was) I was stressing because I had already written
the same thing twice and would like to move the topic foward (Sorry for any offence caused)
Well because this cannot be used as a solution to Euthanasia because there is no way to merge ethics into rationality.



Wow, that's a big claim. Ethics can be rational and I would argue that they should be rational.

Secondly, you're on a humanist forum. We are obviously going to look for an ethical solution. Ethical and practical solutions are not mutually exclusive.

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December 6th, 2009, 12:45 pm
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grammar king wrote:
born2wonder wrote:
1. I wasn't yelling (If you percieved that I was) I was stressing because I had already written
the same thing twice and would like to move the topic foward (Sorry for any offence caused)
Well because this cannot be used as a solution to Euthanasia because there is no way to merge ethics into rationality.



Wow, that's a big claim. Ethics can be rational and I would argue that they should be rational.

Secondly, you're on a humanist forum. We are obviously going to look for an ethical solution. Ethical and practical solutions are not mutually exclusive.


You could be right however I don't understand so You would have to give me an example that prove that they can go together. I personally can't think of a situation in Unvolutary Uneutanasia where ethics and rationalism go together and don't effect a party in the situation for the worse in euthanasia.

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December 6th, 2009, 12:55 pm
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