Woman wins euthanasia case.

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  • cubbymoore 30 Jul 2009 17:08:03 36,475 posts
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    Link.

    Not a legalisation of it though, just a clarification that if she goes to Switzerland to end her life her husband will not be prosecuted on his return to the UK. So, it's more a case of turning a blind eye than anything else.

    But this is interesting:

    "Ms Purdy also won on a second point - the Law Lords said she did have the right to choose how she died, under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights."

    I'm not familiar with the EU human rights bill, but surely this is paving the way for legalising euthanasia..? I mean if the whole of the EU, as a collective, decided that a person has a right to choose how they die, then why is it such a sticking point in Britain?
  • MetalDog 30 Jul 2009 17:09:45 23,697 posts
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    It's a sticking point because people could be pressured into ending their own lives so that they 'won't be a burden'.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • Jeepers 30 Jul 2009 17:11:06 13,173 posts
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    cubbymoore wrote:
    I'm not familiar with the EU human rights bill, but surely this is paving the way for legalising euthanasia..? I mean if the whole of the EU, as a collective, decided that a person has a right to choose how they die, then why is it such a sticking point in Britain?

    It's the precautionary principle as far as I know. Greedy adults convincing the doctors that their old Mum really, really does want to die. And leave them the house.

    It's an odd one, but the current system of turning a blind eye, but maintaining the ability to press charges seems the lesser of all evils to me. Altho' I can see the stress it places on relatives and friends.
  • kalel 30 Jul 2009 17:13:51 86,743 posts
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    I don't really understand how this is any different to going to Amsterdam and smokng weed.
  • Grunk 30 Jul 2009 17:14:00 4,718 posts
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    I don't see what right another person has to dictate that you should not have the right to die if so choose (being an adult etc.).

    I'm glad of this ruling, but it makes me sad to think of the last moments these two people will have together. However it does give science a bit longer to find an effective treatment for her.
  • cubbymoore 30 Jul 2009 17:14:28 36,475 posts
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    I imagine it's not as cool.
  • smoothpete 30 Jul 2009 17:18:00 31,450 posts
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    This case is quite interesting too
  • cubbymoore 30 Jul 2009 17:19:30 36,475 posts
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    I get your points MD and Jeepers, but I imagine it's not that difficult to draw up some stringent guidelines on what passes for good cause for euthanasia. Things like the person wanting to die being able to articulate good cause themselves, and perhaps limiting it to those suffering debilitating diseases or disabilities, so that old biddies and those unable to articulate for themselves will not get into the system.
  • kalel 30 Jul 2009 17:21:42 86,743 posts
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    I think while there surely will be cases where the right to be euthanised is abused, I really feel it's a sacrifice worth making for the principle of a general freedom in this case. I agree that we should have the right to end our own lives if we so wish.
  • Jeepers 30 Jul 2009 17:24:36 13,173 posts
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    cubbymoore wrote:
    I get your points MD and Jeepers, but I imagine it's not that difficult to draw up some stringent guidelines on what passes for good cause for euthanasia. Things like the person wanting to die being able to articulate good cause themselves, and perhaps limiting it to those suffering debilitating diseases or disabilities, so that old biddies and those unable to articulate for themselves will not get into the system.

    That makes some sense to me, but - as I understand it, and not saying I agree - there has been commentary from people with disabilities who say that this stigmatises those with debilitating illness or handicaps. Sort of "Your life is protected by law unless you're a cripple".

    Like I say, I'm not sure I agree, but I get the pattern of thinking.

    The other problem is the one at the root of most discussion like this - if we say that there are guidelines, who enforces them and how do we ensure that they're able to act as clearly, transparently and compassionately as possible? And if we say it's down to the Dr, the a Mr Shipman says "Hi" (and then kills yer Nan).
  • Jeepers 30 Jul 2009 17:26:16 13,173 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    I think while there surely will be cases where the right to be euthanised is abused, I really feel it's a sacrifice worth making for the principle of a general freedom in this case. I agree that we should have the right to end our own lives if we so wish.

    I agree, in principle. But - again, afaik, there haven't been any convictions for assisted suicide in the manner discussed. The threat of conviction - hopefully - is enough to curb abuses of the current position.

    But as I say, I agree on principle that I have the right to say when my life should end.
  • JoeBlade 30 Jul 2009 17:28:18 2,508 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    It's a sticking point because people could be pressured into ending their own lives so that they 'won't be a burden'.
    I don't see how the legality of euthanasia would affect that. It would simply be called suicide when euthanasia's illegal, but it would be just as possible.

    Also, a psychopath could incur a defect causing indefinite pain onto another person, knowing full well they have no choice but to live with it for the rest of their lives when euthanasia is prohibited.
    Any option is open to abuse; such (far-fetched) hypothetical scenarios shouldn't bear any weight in a debate.
  • Grunk 30 Jul 2009 17:30:53 4,718 posts
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    People who really want to commit suicide, will commit suicide.

    They can't be prosecuted for it afterward, as that would just be pointless. This case allows Ms Purdy the knowledge that if she chooses to end her own life, she can do so with the company and assistance of the man she loves, without fear that afterward he will be prosecuted.

    Before that it was an awful situation, where she would never know what would happen. It may even have pressured her into going early as she would have to make the trip unaccompanied, which will be increasingly difficult over time.

    Edit :- murder is still illegal be it physically killing someone or convincing them to take their own life against their will.
  • BabyJesus 30 Jul 2009 17:33:47 4,412 posts
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    This is a very dodgy issue all around. On the one hand if you legalise it, people who are in pain and are dying a slow death get to die with their 'dignity' if they feel that way. On the other hand it would open a can of worms with people abusing it in all sorts of sick ways.
  • Chopsen 30 Jul 2009 17:35:27 15,830 posts
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    Jeepers wrote:
    The other problem is the one at the root of most discussion like this - if we say that there are guidelines, who enforces them and how do we ensure that they're able to act as clearly, transparently and compassionately as possible? And if we say it's down to the Dr, the a Mr Shipman says "Hi" (and then kills yer Nan).

    That's a real problem. Who exactly is going to do this? And how are they going to be legally protected? Who assess competence to make the decision? What's the comeback if someone appeals against that decision? What if they're already dead by that point? Does that then make it manslaughter? I wouldn't want to be in a position to assess someone's mental capacity to make decisions about them wanting to die. Even in advanced cancer patients, there is evidence that the "desire to die" fluctuates with how well their symptoms are controlled on that particular day.

    On the other hand, I think we should be allowed the right to die if we are of sound mind and guinely believe it to be in our best interests. I just don't know how you establish those facts!
  • kalel 30 Jul 2009 17:37:36 86,743 posts
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    I think there are quite a few countries around where euthenasia is legal, and it seems to work ok.
  • MetalDog 30 Jul 2009 17:38:18 23,697 posts
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    I can see both sides of the argument - but I do worry that we'll fall into a culture where not offing yourself at the first sign of significant physical trouble will be considered 'selfish' towards your family and society at large because of the burden of care.

    Also, plenty of people who ended up wheelchair bound/blind/etc would have taken that route soon after the loss if they could have been offered a clinical, painless death - but who have since learned to live happily with their disabilities.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • kalel 30 Jul 2009 17:40:56 86,743 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    I can see both sides of the argument - but I do worry that we'll fall into a culture where not offing yourself at the first sign of significant physical trouble will be considered 'selfish' towards your family and society at large because of the burden of care.

    I don't know, I can't see what different legalising euthanasia would make in this regard. It's not like suicide isn't already an option, and I can't imagine anyone ever considering somebody not killing themself as selfish.

    Suicide isn't illegal in this country btw.
  • cubbymoore 30 Jul 2009 17:44:26 36,475 posts
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    Well with people living longer and retirement age being a topic of contention at the moment and ever more likely to be so in the future, maybe more and more people will just want to just switch off. Having ultimate control over your life. Maybe not but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens a few times in my lifetime.
  • BabyJesus 30 Jul 2009 17:47:21 4,412 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    MetalDog wrote:
    I can see both sides of the argument - but I do worry that we'll fall into a culture where not offing yourself at the first sign of significant physical trouble will be considered 'selfish' towards your family and society at large because of the burden of care.

    I don't know, I can't see what different legalising euthanasia would make in this regard. It's not like suicide isn't already an option, and I can't imagine anyone ever considering somebody not killing themself as selfish.

    Suicide isn't illegal in this country btw.

    Euthanasia is more for the people who are physically impaired that they are incapable of committing suicide, In my mind anyway. That woman who had MS a few years ago and took it through the courts is an example I'm thinking of, her name escapes me at the moment.

    Plus, Euthanasia to me anyway would be an easier option than suicide as I would imagine it being harder to kill yourself than essentially being put to sleep.

    As I said it's a dodgy issue, there isn't any really clear right answer to it.
  • MetalDog 30 Jul 2009 17:48:10 23,697 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    I don't know, I can't see what different legalising euthanasia would make in this regard. It's not like suicide isn't already an option, and I can't imagine anyone ever considering somebody not killing themself as selfish.

    Suicide isn't illegal in this country btw.

    All well and good if you completely ignore the second part of my post! There a significant difference between offing yourself in a DIY fashion and having it done by professionals, wouldn't you say?

    As for the 'selfish' argument - couldn't you imagine society ever viewing it that way?
    "Why do you want to live now anyway? You're a paraplegic. Why do you want to rob your husband/wife/mother of their life so that they can look after you? What about the medical cost to the NHS/your family?"

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • Xerx3s 30 Jul 2009 17:48:25 23,944 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    It's a sticking point because people could be pressured into ending their own lives so that they 'won't be a burden'.

    On the other hand, people could be forced to live in a hell with no reason to go on only to satisfy the misguided moral feelings from people that they have never even met.
  • MetalDog 30 Jul 2009 17:50:58 23,697 posts
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    That is the other side of it, Xerx3s, but there's no shortage of people arguing for that side - since I'm torn somewhat down the middle on it, I thought I'd take the less supported side of the argument. Unless you just want a thread full of people agreeing with each other =)

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • BabyJesus 30 Jul 2009 17:51:14 4,412 posts
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    Xerx3s wrote:
    MetalDog wrote:
    It's a sticking point because people could be pressured into ending their own lives so that they 'won't be a burden'.

    On the other hand, people could be forced to live in a hell with no reason to go on only to satisfy the misguided moral feelings from people that they have never even met.

    Thats why there is no right answer, but someone is going to have to make a clear stance on it sooner rather than later as it keeps cropping up.
  • jonsaan 30 Jul 2009 17:51:43 25,333 posts
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    Euthanasia is rubbish. I find her a bit scary. First single was alright I suppose.

    FCUTA!

  • Jeepers 30 Jul 2009 17:53:09 13,173 posts
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    Xerx3s wrote:
    MetalDog wrote:
    It's a sticking point because people could be pressured into ending their own lives so that they 'won't be a burden'.

    On the other hand, people could be forced to live in a hell with no reason to go on only to satisfy the misguided moral feelings from people that they have never even met.

    Ooh, that's a little harsh, innit? We're all bound by the moral feelings (of) people we've never met, shirley?

    I mean, I can't see any problem with killing George Lamb, but for some crazy reason, the law seems to think I'm "wrong" and a "criminal".
  • MetalDog 30 Jul 2009 17:53:11 23,697 posts
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    It also depends what clinic you go to, I think. Some of them have gotten into trouble for being decidedly gung-ho with the killing. No proper cool off periods, etc.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • ronuds 30 Jul 2009 17:54:38 21,788 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    It's a sticking point because people could be pressured into ending their own lives so that they 'won't be a burden'.

    I can think of a few people who I'd make this suggestion to.
  • LetsGo 30 Jul 2009 17:54:42 5,183 posts
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    While I *think* I agree with some cases about the right to die, did anyone watch the BBC doc-u-drama a few months ago?

    True story about someone (which was high profile at the time) who went to Switzerland and used Dignitas.

    The actual point where they kill themselves looked absolutely horrible and not very dignified at all, I was shocked.
  • Xerx3s 30 Jul 2009 17:56:14 23,944 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    I can see both sides of the argument - but I do worry that we'll fall into a culture where not offing yourself at the first sign of significant physical trouble will be considered 'selfish' towards your family and society at large because of the burden of care.

    Seriously? wtf. I highly doubt that people who are in great pains without sign of relief didn't sleep over it or think about anything else but ending their suffering.

    Also, plenty of people who ended up wheelchair bound/blind/etc would have taken that route soon after the loss if they could have been offered a clinical, painless death - but who have since learned to live happily with their disabilities.

    And you would know about these "plenty of people"? Or is that just random hearsay? It's also a self-defeating argument considering that you admit that it happens anyway (if it happens at all).

    Like abortion, nobody else has the right to decide what one does with his body. If somebody chooses to die then the rest of the world can merrily fuck off.
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