Member Rara Avis
I mentioned the cows cause people said it's wrong to assist in suicide cause that's killing, and killing is wrong, but I say it ain't always wrong, and I know you agree cause you seem to be fond of bringing up people going off to war.
You must be thinking of someone else, badboypoet. I don't bring up war to either justify or denounce suicide. If I did, it would just be a meaningless distraction because they are in no way related.
Maybe, maybe not, I reckon yer right if ya stict to a strict definition, yer either dead or yer alive, but there is such a thing as being closer to death or it's just about yer time to die and stuff like that.
Your time to die? At the risk of another distraction, that sounds dangerously close to a religious tenent?
If humans come with an expiration date, no one has found where it's stamped yet. So, no, any concept of one person being closer to the death than another is only viable in hindsight, when looking into the past, not when looking into the future. We don't know.
I ain't claim to be a doctor and so maybe an individual, with an individual circumstance, should be look at in an individual manner to decide if that individual should get his way. One boot don't fit everyone all the time.
No, but we're not talking about boots. We're talking about laws. If you want someone to be an exception to the law, that's absolutely fine. But you have to spell it out. "I'll know it when I see it" isn't necessarily the best way to govern society.
And here's what I was talking about you getting yer word heels stuck in the mud. Dying maybe dying in the dictionary, but try going up to a terminal patient and say, "hey pal, don't worry, sure you got cancer but we's all dying. Look at that 17 year old with the broken heart, he's dying, sure he got 70 years to live, but he's in the same boat as you." I done think ya know which context I was using it in. But if it makes it easier for y'all to swallow we can change "DYING" or dying or "dying" to something else so we can get past all that mud.
I'm guessing you never tried to console a seventeen-year-old with a broken heart? To him, his pain is pretty darn real. But then that, too, is another distraction.
You can, of course, change the word dying if you want to. You're the one who used it in your argument, so please, feel free to change it. But don't expect me to do it for you. If not dying, what criteria do you want to use for killing someone?
And I know what y'all say next, then we should not do it cause it involves human life. I'll come back and say, but we done go to war and innocent people die who shouldn't but we still do it anyhow.
I think we just figured out who keeps bringing up war. I'll make you deal. I'll stop advocating war if you stop advocating assisted suicide?
Birth also leads to death, but I don't think it has much in common with assisted suicide beyond that. Your analogy is flawed. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways we kill each other, either quickly or slowly, intentionally or accidentally, and none of them have anything at all to do with your desire to kill someone just because they ask you to.
Yeah if by rampant you done mean when them history books and such right about rare exceptions. They don't write many history books focusing on the 99.9% who die as expected cause that there story ain't as interesting as the ones who make it. And it ain't all guesswork for all cases.
Sure it is. Actuary tables can result in some incredibly good guesswork, but it's still guesswork. Besides, we're not talking about tables, we're talking about people. You're the one who keeps saying we should treat these people as individuals. Please don't try to use statistics now?
Even were I to accept your statistic (which we both know you pulled out of thin air), I wouldn't be satisfied with simply knowing that 99.9 percent of your death predictions are true. I need to know which 99.9 percent. And I need to know before, not after, you snuff out the .1 percent.
But y'all act like if its a second more or less that the doctor shouldn't do it. That every little thing in yer formula has to be exact or it's wrong to do.
It doesn't necessarily have to be a second. That's up to you. You still haven't given us any numbers, though. Do you want accuracy within days? Months? Years? Decades?
And, yes, given that you want to take a person's life based on when you think they'll die, I don't think accuracy is too much to expect.
Mr. Ron, if you can't tell the difference between a heartbroken 17 year old, and a ninety year old me with a inoperable football tumor choking me to death, I can't say yer decision making should be trusted.
I can tell the difference, badboypoet. The argument you keep putting forth, however, clearly can't. And, yea, that's precisely why it shouldn't be trusted.
It's more a matter of knowing you are pretty much dead cept for the paperwork, and asking not to be in pain anymore cause ya'd rather not drag out the torture of it all.
See what I mean? That one sentence can, indeed, be used to describe a person slowly choking to death. OR it can be used to describe Romeo and Juliet. YOU don't differentiate.
I done see my granddads die, both of em. One wanted to die at home so we took him out the hospital. He wasted away to nothing and hung on fer months, crying and wailing everyday. Took a terrible toll on the family cause most took turns taking care of him. Wiping his bottom, cleaning up his throw up, holding his hand as he cried. His last words to me was, "I'm so scared".
You have my sincere sympathy. And, I hope, at least a modicum of understanding. For me, it was my dad. Followed, just a short year later, by my mom. It seems like only yesterday. The pain and grief are still raw, the memories still so very vivid.
I don't think we should ignore our memories, but neither should we ignore that they ARE memories. We are looking into the past with the seeming clarity of hindsight. Do you remember the precise instant when you abandoned hope? I can't. There probably was no instant, at least not for me. It was a process, I think. A very long one. My dad, in particular, was a giant, burly man, and his thirty-some years on the railroad had left him strong of both heart and body. At 79, he could still hold the weight of his fourteen-year-old grandson on one extended arm, much as he had done with me fifty years earlier. The cancer had a mountain of flesh to devour before it could find and consume his core. My dad did not go softly into the night, but lingered long beyond anyone's hope of recovery, beyond even Mom's muttered prayers for a miracle. When Dad finally passed, we thought it a blessing.
I remain convinced, however, that the blessing had to come in its own time.
Many years before that, I also had to help bury my little seven-year-old brother-in-law. Donny was born very late in life, back in the early Seventies when there was much less understanding of Down's Syndrome than there is today. I introduced his father to his mother, so was there from the beginning. And my wife at the time was particularly close to her little, unexpected brother, though certainly no one who ever met Donny could ever fail to love the bubbling tyke immediately.
Down's Syndrome sometimes brings with it a host of related conditions, including congential heart defects. Donny had a hole in his heart. The doctors all agreed he would never see his first birthday. Later, they agreed he wouldn't make it to his second. That went on for seven years and countless operations, leaving scars of dead flesh branded the width and breadth of his chest, a too-white "T" that always marked Donny as different. I'm not sure if Donny ever knew a single moment of life without pain. I know his mother and sister didn't. I watched each of them, when they didn't know they were being watched, cry their silent tears. I think I cried a few of my own.
Yet through it all, just knowing Donny made the pain bearable. He was the happiest, most joyful soul I have ever known. When you walked into a room, Donny always greeted you with a bubbly smile and laugh, with eager eyes that at least momentarily made you feel like the most important person in the world. His arms would immediately extend for a hug and I never knew anyone who could deny him. Donny was love incarnate.
The hard questions have to be asked, badboypoet, if perhaps only rhetorically. When do you think Donny's pain should have been terminated? Think back to your own grandfather; would you have ended his life seven years earlier so he didn't have to suffer? A year earlier? Six months? I can guarantee you, if he was human, he knew pain. At what point do you think the cost of life should outweigh our desire to live? When does relief become more precious than life?
People, sometimes, can be smug. I've met a lot of young people (and, indeed, used to be one) who said they never wanted to grow old. I've met a lot of healthy people who said they would not want to live if it meant being blind, being deaf, being unable to walk. My own dad reminded us that he used to often say he never wanted to live long enough for someone to wipe his butt for him. We really don't know what we will tolerate, though, until it comes. And when you look at people like Helen Keller, or Steven Hawking, or Christopher Reeve, or tens of thousands like them, you really have to wonder if there is -- or ever should be -- any limitation on our tolerance for hardship and pain.
In my experience, old people don't want to die. Those who cannot see, hear, or walk aren't ready to give up the ghost. And even those who face a daily loss of their dignity generally want to give life another go. Pain is not a reason to give up living. Pain is just an excuse. The only people who ever want to die are the ones who have lost their hope.
And, yea, sustained pain and a dim prognosis can certainly result in a loss of hope. I'll give you that.
But a broken heart can lead to the same result. Teenage hormones can, too. Clinical depression is rife with hopelessness. Even drugs can do it. There's simply too many known instances where hopelessness is clearly unjustified. A complete loss of hope is probably the saddest thing in the world, but it CANNOT be a reliable indicator for when life should end.
Sorry, but I will not trust the person who tells me they want to die to be making rational decisions. And I sure as hell don't trust the person who thinks himself so infallible that he's willing to help them.
[This message has been edited by Ron (04-06-2008 03:24 PM).]