TedTalk: Death With Dignity (Grace Pastine speech)

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Antiduopolist, Aug 16, 2020.

  1. Antiduopolist

    Antiduopolist Well-Known Member

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    Does any just society deny its citizens this right?

    What hurdles should be cleared before a just society not only permits, but aids in such an act?



    Why do so many societies stigmatize this choice?

    To what extent is the extraordinary wealth generated by NOT permitting people this right a factor in this right being denied?
     
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  2. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    My wife has survived 6 rounds of chemo and is in remission. The price of still being alive is a continuous level of pain that was not there before. This a level of pain that will never, not be there again, and will very likely present itself as a key component on the ledger of very personal and impossible questions associated with free will that probably more folks than not will be fortunately spared to ever have a need or opportunity to address.

    My wife's friend also has cancer and is on the edge of death and in severe pain. I'm talking a level of pain that you would relieve your best friend from if he or she were your dog. Your dog. Your bestie. The one that whirls and twirls for you when you get home at the end of the day. The 'person' that in many ways you love more than any people.

    I do not speak for her. I do not speak for my wife. I do not speak for anyone other than me when I offer my opinion that it is disgraceful that this woman does not even have the option to call it a day in her fight against this horrid disease.

    I saw a text she shared with my wife today, she texted, very simply and understandably, in my opinion, hoping she could just go to sleep and not wake up.

    I read the news today, oh boy - on a random link I chased upon the internet: "It is better to remain silent than to speak the truth ill-humoredly, and spoil an excellent dish by covering it with bad sauce."

    I have lots of posts here in which I mostly believe I speak the truth, with only rarely adding enough humor to make it digestible due to my saucey opinion: whether or not the basic dish would have been excellent or not to begin with.

    Not too long ago, David Goodall, the famous Aussie scientist of some re-known traveled to the Swiss Alps, to die where it was legal.

    Pardon me then please, for my lack of humor, on why we do not have at least a federal law that supports life ending procedures when life comes to the point that you or I or our neighbor would so clearly be grateful to leave it all behind.

    I find this phrase somewhat patronizing or maybe condescending, but "to be clear", I am only talking about a self, spouse, children, or family request for the same or similar safe authorized medical procedure as that provided by Switzerland.

    There are only 6 states that support any form of my dear wife's super bestie to say, hey, another 6 months with a diagnosis of of this continual increase in pain is not going to work for me. And then they offer an alternative.

    As of now here in Texas, she either continues to fight, or she dies however which way the cancer chooses.

    Folks, the law in the US allows us to free our pets from suffering that we cannot for our wives and husbands.
     
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  3. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
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  4. cirdellin

    cirdellin Banned

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    @Grey Matter
    I am so sorry to hear this!
    My very first real girlfriend died of cancer when she was very young and I watched her suffer for no good reason so I understand. Later I saw my dad, my aunt and my ex father in law go through the same needless suffering
    Euthanasia is practiced here and all I can say is that one’s choice of leaving this earth is the most intimate decision one can make and I can’t believe any government feels it has a right to be a party to this.
    That said I think there needs to be an extensive document trail proving this is a consenting decision with perhaps a requirement for some type of one time delay to give one time to reconsider.
    I hope you can deal with this.
    I didn’t deal with it very well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
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  5. joesnagg

    joesnagg Well-Known Member

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    This is a tough one. If a society permits abortion, the termination of a potential life (which has no say in the matter), how could that society rationally oppose a sentient individual from ending a pain filled hopeless condition? For my part I say it doesn't, if our life is the one thing we truly own then we have every right to terminate it as we have every right to fight tooth and nail to to keep it. But I see the other side too and they have a valid argument, at what point does "the right to die" morph into "the duty to die", to not become a "drain on society". But lets face it, money factors into EVERYTHING, politics runs distant second. Fortunes have been and continue to be made at the expense of human suffering. Excuse my cynicism here, if it looks like there's money to be made off the right to die then duty to die won't be far behind. Yes, this is a tough issue and I'm looking forward to seeing others thoughts on it.
     
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  6. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks cirdellin.
     
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  7. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    Reading your post, it seems to me that you may have mis-stated your opinion that this is a tough call.

    However, I may be missing something.

    In fact, I certainly am.

    Would you please elaborate a bit on what you mean by your distinction between the right to die versus the duty to die?
     
  8. cirdellin

    cirdellin Banned

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    My feelings pivot on the totally unambiguous desire to die attested by strict documentation by that individual alone. That should be the line in the sand that will prevent the duty to die. Any entity that intervenes in that one person’s personal decision to speed up the process should be charged with first degree murder
     
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  9. cirdellin

    cirdellin Banned

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    I’m around if you want to talk. So many years later I still mourn the loss of Dana. I understand way too well. Neither you nor I should have to understand this because it’s just too cruel!
     
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  10. joesnagg

    joesnagg Well-Known Member

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    Lets' say you live in a society where the right to die is now the norm, physician assisted euthanasia is as unremarkable as a yearly checkup. You develop a incurable disease, treatment is hugely expensive and provides little but a few extra months of survival. In that society if you can't pay out of pocket for treatment then the argument could easily be "why should we waste money that could be better spent providing you with a few extra months of life when we can terminate your suffering when it becomes unbearable?". In that scenario you indeed have a duty to die for the financial good of society. Far fetched? I grant you that, but humanity has shown it's capable of about anything, particularly when moneys involved.
     
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  11. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    Ok, Interesting choice of phrases. I think I've got it though. You are suggesting that, you, or I, or anyone else has been diagnosed with say six months to live, in a world where euthanasia is as common as taking a vitamin. Neither of us, or the other person, has the funds or the insurance to pay the, lets say $1 million dollars, for a treatment that may or may not provide us with possibly another 5 years of life, or 6 months, or result in one of our deaths even sooner than if we'd foregone the treatment. And so then the assertion is that whichever one of us is in that position, desires to have the treatment that none of us can afford, then in such a scenario, we find that the other side of the euthanasia coin is that whichever one of us is in this situation is provided with a duty to die?

    I fail to see the link, since here in the US you do not have the option for treatment if you have neither the funds or the insurance. It is actually a bit more complicated of course. There are provisions for folks that live in poverty to receive medical care, as well as those over 65. However, for a lot of folks struggling in other demographics, who may not have access to a decent company insurance plan, that actually die every year of easily treatable conditions.

    As an example, Here in the US diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death.

    https://www.diabetes.org/resources/statistics/statistics-about-diabetes

    And apparently three companies have a price fixing scheme on insulin:

    A trio of of pharmaceutical makers, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, control the market and raise prices at roughly the same time.

    That's a 7500% markup.

    So, I guess as of now anyway, I don't see that the duty to die flip side isn't already de facto in effect. But then there is the issue I'll address in my next post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
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  12. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terri_Schiavo_case

    https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/why-didnt-michael-schiavo-seek-a-divorce

    There are cases where, in my opinion, a compassionate medically assisted departure ought to be an essential and uncontested medical procedure.

    I mean, taking into account fictional exceptions like the main character in Kill Bill Vols 1 & 2.

    The Terri Schiavo case: she could not have attested to her desire to die on her own.

    The wikipedia page shows her brain had a liquid center ffs....

    The inane amount of money collected by the "health care industry" in the last months of folks lives here in the US is criminal.

    In the case of Terri Schiavo it went on for 15y, and became a hot button political issue championed by Jeb and George Bush and the Republicans to keep her "alive"!?



    Schiavo_catscan.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
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  13. cirdellin

    cirdellin Banned

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    You make good points.
    I guess at some point the decision has to be a family one.
    Maybe all of us need to express our wishes while we are able to.
     
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  14. joesnagg

    joesnagg Well-Known Member

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    First, let me express my sincerest best wishes to your wife and yourself as you navigate the most agonizing times a loving couple may be called upon to endure, there are no easy words. My own beloved wife died under my hands as I gave her CPR, she had an incurable lung disease (not cancer) and desired to live as long as she possibly could, I honored her wishes. Again. there are no easy words. Sometimes I'm less than clear because I'm not experienced at putting my thoughts in writing, so lets leave my hypothetical "duty to die" society in the nebulous "but what if" category. As I stated before, I believe our life is the only thing we truly own and as such we have every right to end it if it becomes unendurable just as we have every right to scratch and claw to keep it until the bitter end. I suppose my "duty to die" is better expressed as a concern for the incapacitated, those in a vegetative state either through disease, injury or age who have no written Advance Directive (something EVERYONE should have!). We've seen this play out in several highly publicized instances, the spouse who claims the afflicted desired not to live in such a state and the family who claims otherwise, with the public taking up torch and pitchfork in support of both sides. It ends up being decided by a court, a crap shoot in the best of circumstances. In short I fear human greed. As to the lack of health and DENTAL care for the poor and the cost of drugs, don't even get me started, I'll be on my roof with a bullhorn making a speech. Just how do drugs we pay an arm and leg for here cost pennies on the dollar once we cross our borders? Yeah Mr. Pharmaceutical Company, square that circle for me. A bit of human greed maybe? I look forward to your next post on these subjects.
     
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  15. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

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    This is a topic very close to my heart. I absolutely believe that a person should have the right to do with their life what they so choose. If other people would stop trying to force their will on others, the world would be a better place.

    I have never understood why it's perfectly acceptable to euthanize a pet when it's clear there is nothing more to be done to relieve their suffering and animals don't talk. Yet, a live human being is denied the right to SPEAK for their own life and decide when it's time to die. Of course, I get there is a slippery slope of some people wanting to get rid of sick and/or elderly relatives, but I'm talking about someone of sound mind choosing to end their own suffering. It's inhumane to lay guilt on someone for that.
     
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  16. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks joesnagg
     
  17. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    Your problem is that you are replacing it with a duty to live and to suffer more pain and indignity to avoid this hypothetical alternative reality your have created in your imagination. You cannot believe in choice and freedom and walk away from a right to die with dignity. The Oregon law is a good balance. It should be sitting in state legislative hoppers for write up and vote for referral to voters when the next state session comes. This a good call for the voters to make. We did it not once, but twice and by larger margins the second time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  18. joesnagg

    joesnagg Well-Known Member

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    Once again I plead my inexperience in putting my thoughts into writing. I do indeed believe in ones right to end a hopeless, pain racked situation. I'm not familiar with the particulars of Oregon's law and will have to educate myself. However, one part of your post bothers me, "We did it not once but twice and by larger margins the second time.". So, and correct me if I'm wrong, Oregon's "death with dignity" is subject to the whims of the electorate. It may have passed by "larger margins the second time" but that could turn on a dime with one highly publicized "botched" incident, hardly what I'd call a "right" as "rights" should not be subjected to the ever shifting sands of political popularity. Is it part of Oregon's Constitution? If not can it be made so?
     
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  19. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    I need to be clearer. It was passed via state wide initiative #16 in 1994 by 51% of the electorate but an injunction delayed implementation for several years. It was lifted in 1997. Opponents referred a repeal initiative #51 to Oregon voters which was more soundly defeated by Oregonians with a 60% no vote, insulted by the audacity of claiming Oregonians did not know what they wanted and got, when they passed it originally. Mind, #51 was not some amendment to measure 16 closing some loopholes, it was a total repeal.

    Nobody would have suggested sticking every detail of this truly revolutionary law into a state constitution back then including me. You don't want something nobody has ever tried to do, plopped into your constitution. Too many possible unintended consequences. But its working pretty well as it sits, so I would be delighted to put the basics into our constitution.

    As for how it is structured and works, here is the basics via Wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Oregon_Ballot_Measure_16.

    Here is link to measure 16 itself as adopted and to a variety of resources including some stats on how many people request and receive their dose, for what diagnosis and how many actually take their prescription and die. Feel free to ask any questions. While nothing wroks perfectly, I am definitely sold that this give a lot of terminal people comfort just knowing they have those pills, even if most never decide to take them and that adequate safeguards exist from largescale abuse or exploitation.
     
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  20. The Wyrd of Gawd

    The Wyrd of Gawd Well-Known Member

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    Very few people actually want to die but sometimes people live too long for their own good. The reality is that one day we may find ourselves looking into the void with no way out. We are too sick or injured to actually live but too healthy to quickly die. So we will linger in pain and suffering, maybe wishing to die but incapable of committing suicide. If we find ourselves in that situation, who knows how we will react?

    I have always been healthy but I have seen countless people die from a variety of medical causes. Believe me, you don't get a gold star for suffering. I know that one day I may find myself in that situation. I don't think that I am afraid to die, I just don't want it to take all day. One day I will wake up and it will be the last day of my life. I have no idea how it will be but I hope I will be able to face it like everyone else has been able to.
     
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  21. Antiduopolist

    Antiduopolist Well-Known Member

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    Really wonderful, thoughtful responses.

    Thanks to all.

    :)
     
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