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Thread: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

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    Re: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

    I'm a staunch conservative that has no problem with this whatsoever.

    In its pure form.

    My only concern is the slippery slope that could go along with this. There must be an air-tight process for this, to make sure this isn't used in any sort of sinister way. "I was just carrying out his wishes because he couldn't afford to be legally put to death," could become a common defense in murder cases.

    This has to be carefully thought through. However, if a person wants to end their life because of a terminal and painful condition, who am I to stop them?

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    Re: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    Except that is all bull. People can kill themselves now.
    Actually, it's still against the law currently in most places to kill yourself.

    Anti-Freedom is forcing others to do it for you
    Whose suggesting anyone should be FORCED to do it for you.

    An individual is making a CHOICE about what to do with their own person and is employing the services of a private entity to do it.

    And YOU, in your big government, anti-freedom way, feels that the government should tell them "Nope, you're not allowed to do that."

    How very...lets use your terms..."Blue state" of you.

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    Re: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Viktyr Gehrig View Post
    Story at Russia Today: Vermont legalizes assisted suicide ? RT USA

    This is good news-- a step closer to the humane treatment of those with terminal conditions.
    Good on Vermont. That state has always been at or near the front of the line in enacting progressive policies.

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    Re: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by X Factor View Post
    So you think only terminally people should get to choose physician assisted suicide?
    I think it's an absolutely reasonable first step to then move the conversation forward. In a case such as a terminally ill person, the reality is that suicide or no there is an overwhelming chance that within a short period of time the person will die. So I think there's very little legitimate reasons to which one can object to such a thing and as such is a wonderful starting place for the law.

    Beyond that things get hazier and various arguments become a bit more sound in my mind. Having someone in my life who will experience constant chronic pain, often at the 8 or 10 level of the pain scale, for the rest of her life (she's 50 now) has greatly made me re-evaluate my thought process regarding this. She's not "terminal" by any means...but at the same time, I would not begrudge her if she eventually felt that a life of constant agony is not worth living any longer. And I would be okay, if not happier, with the notion of her going to someone who could end it in a safe, painless, clean way rather than her attempting to do it on her own.

    But I also recognize that the farther from the notion of terminally ill you get, the more questionable circumstances come up and the greater public issues that may be present with it. And similarly, the farther you get from that point then generally the less I'm bothered by peoples opposition to it.

    I do think a smart thing to have with any particular assisted suicide situation is a mental evaluation to confirm the individual is in a state of mind where they can reasonably make such a decision themselves. I'd say that some reasonable standards would need to be made though...IE, if a person is in such pain due to their illness that they live every day on pain medication, the fact that they're ON pain medication isn't a legitimate reason to suggest they can't make the decision themselves.

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    Re: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Erod View Post
    I'm a staunch conservative that has no problem with this whatsoever.

    In its pure form.

    My only concern is the slippery slope that could go along with this. There must be an air-tight process for this, to make sure this isn't used in any sort of sinister way. "I was just carrying out his wishes because he couldn't afford to be legally put to death," could become a common defense in murder cases.

    This has to be carefully thought through. However, if a person wants to end their life because of a terminal and painful condition, who am I to stop them?
    (bold mine)

    This isn't an entirely unreasonable concern, which is why a review board consisting of more than one person would seriously limit abuse. Just a thought.

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    Re: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by X Factor View Post
    Again, is this an option you think should only be available for someone who's terminally ill? What if it's someone who's in constant chronic pain but still expected to live a full life span? And how about someone who's in constant emotional pain?
    Again, despite your attempts to seemingly imply things must be "black or white", the majority of our legal system is cached in a fair bit of grey area. For me personally, I'd be more apt to see it expanded over time to incurable chronic pain than with emotional pain, because to my understanding there's no "emotional pain" that is not in some fashion "curable" in some fashion of treatment with the issue. Admittedly, not a doctor so can't speak fully on that, just going off my current knowledge.

    Many people want to pidgeon hole this as a all or nothing type of thing, or use the "slippery slope" argument like anti-gay marriage folks clinging to the notion that somehow that's going to bring about 8 year olds sleeping with horses. It's just not a reasonable argument.

    For me personally, as with almost all laws, I look at it as a balance of a number of factors. Here, balancing individual freedom with what's beneficial for soceity and with the governments responsability to protect an individuals rights.

    I see a higher standard needed for instances of assisted suicide than non-assisted, based on that balance. I see a different standard in terms of an underage person and someone whose a legal adult. I see a MASSIVE difference between an individual choosing it nad the state choosing it. I see a different standard as well in terms of the rationale behind it, or what actions would need to be taken first, etc.

    Like most issues, it's too complex to boil down into a black and white....however, like most political issues, those who are firmly entrenched in either the black or white areas refuse to present it as anything beyond that because their argument survives ONLY through the use of emotion as a cudgel to beat their point into people.

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    Re: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

    Good on Vermont.

    Oregon passed the Death With Dignity Act in 1997.

    http://public.health.oregon.gov/Dise...11/ohd6006.pdf

    That is the most recent summary report. More people request the prescription than use it. It's a comfort to them to have the option. We have seen no slippery slope here in the 15 years since enactment. From the linked OP:

    Chen’s estimate comes from figures in Oregon, where 673 patients died from ingesting lethal barbiturates prescribed between 1997 to 2012. The most ever prescribed in a year was 77, which occurred in 2012.
    Frequently Asked Questions

    EDIT: An anecdote. The wife of a man I worked with here in Oregon, took her life in secret while he was at work. This was before the law was passed. She was dying of MS and feared that soon she would be physically unable to do it on her own. (She left a note with this explanation.) She would have had more time with her family and the ability to say her farewells to her husband, children and grandchildren and they to her, had the law been in effect then. It was very sad to them that she died in secret and in great stress, rather than in the loving comfort of her decision with her family.
    Last edited by Gina; 05-22-13 at 12:52 PM.
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    Re: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

    I always believed that if people are willing to commit themselves to nonexistence, then they deserve the right to.

    Good on Vermont.
    "Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough."
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    Re: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Again, despite your attempts to seemingly imply things must be "black or white", the majority of our legal system is cached in a fair bit of grey area. For me personally, I'd be more apt to see it expanded over time to incurable chronic pain than with emotional pain, because to my understanding there's no "emotional pain" that is not in some fashion "curable" in some fashion of treatment with the issue. Admittedly, not a doctor so can't speak fully on that, just going off my current knowledge.

    Many people want to pidgeon hole this as a all or nothing type of thing, or use the "slippery slope" argument like anti-gay marriage folks clinging to the notion that somehow that's going to bring about 8 year olds sleeping with horses. It's just not a reasonable argument.

    For me personally, as with almost all laws, I look at it as a balance of a number of factors. Here, balancing individual freedom with what's beneficial for soceity and with the governments responsability to protect an individuals rights.

    I see a higher standard needed for instances of assisted suicide than non-assisted, based on that balance. I see a different standard in terms of an underage person and someone whose a legal adult. I see a MASSIVE difference between an individual choosing it nad the state choosing it. I see a different standard as well in terms of the rationale behind it, or what actions would need to be taken first, etc.

    Like most issues, it's too complex to boil down into a black and white....however, like most political issues, those who are firmly entrenched in either the black or white areas refuse to present it as anything beyond that because their argument survives ONLY through the use of emotion as a cudgel to beat their point into people.
    Right because emotion is never used in pro euthanasia arguments. If anything, those of us who have some hesitancy on this issue are accused of not having enough emotion.

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    Re: Vermont Legalizes Assisted Suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by X Factor View Post
    Right because emotion is never used in pro euthanasia arguments. If anything, those of us who have some hesitancy on this issue are accused of not having enough emotion.
    Emotional is absolutely used by individuals on all sides of it. Notice I stated those firmly entrenched in EITHER black or white, indicating specifically people on either end of the extreme ("Never allow it!" OR "Always allow it!"). No one is free from potentially using that as the primary point of their argument, but personally it seems those on the "black or white" ends of the situation are most apt to use it as their most primary basis.

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