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Re: Right to Die
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Re: Right to Die:

 126 demarquis, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 8:20:47 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Well, I'm pretty sure that is what happens now- if a child asks to die while under professional care, I think standard protocol is for a psychologist to evaluate them and prescribe a course of therapy. The only piece missing is someone who would actually kill them. I'm expressing some skepticism that anyone knows what criteria to use to make that decision in the case of, say, an eight year old.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 127 Gabrael, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 8:24:31 PM Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
A Polar Bear Named Gabrael
The kid's parent's and medical team.

The difference is now, they don't let the kid die.

(Unless their parent's deny them a medical procedure based on religion.)

I personally don't understand that. You're allowed to let your child die because you don't believe in blood transfusions, but if your child wants to die instead of continuing to battle lymphoma it's a bad thing?
 128 De Marquis, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 9:04:39 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
The OP was specifically about assisted suicide, not just failure to resuscitate. Big difference. I could see letting a terminally ill child die without life support, but active euthanasia is what they are debating in the Netherlands.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 129 Gabrael, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 9:10:24 PM Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
A Polar Bear Named Gabrael
If my son were suffering and the doctor said I could keep him alive for a few agonizing years and let nature take it's course, or I could give my son the choice to go to sleep and avoid it, I would at least consider having that conversation.
 130 Polarstern, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 9:45:31 PM from United States
I had one paitent in the past who had attempted suicide so many times. It broke my heart to keep her from doing it because that meant either restraining her physically or medicating her to the point she might as well have been dead.

All because we are somehow socially obligated to keep people alive and damn the consequences. Even if the girl wasn't suicidal there was no way she would ever be allowed a life outside of a maximum security treatment facility. (And if anyone has ever been inside a hospital like that they know its not much of a life at all.)

It breaks my heart.

 131 De Marquis, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 9:59:24 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
If you dont mind my asking, how old are/were these individuals?
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 132 Gabrael, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 10:17:19 PM Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
A Polar Bear Named Gabrael
My son is 7.
 133 shimaspawn, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 10:46:59 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
I had a good friend growing up who had Cystic Fibrosis as well as a couple of other conditions. She died when she was 17, but she spent the last two years of her life bedbound in constant agonizing pain. She couldn't go to school. She couldn't go run or play. She couldn't think or talk. She basically had to be medicated almost into a comma to stop the constant agony. She couldn't even breath on her own.

But there was no way for her to end it. No cure. No hope for a brighter future. Her parents were blocked from taking her off life support because she was a minor.

It was terrible and no one should have to live through that.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 134 De Marquis, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 10:50:29 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Well, now see, my own son is 8. If he were suffering terribly, to whatever extent I might consider actively ending his pain, even if I were going to take that possibility seriously, I dont know that I would consult him in the matter, at least not directly. I just dont think he possesses the cognitive capacity to understand the question, esp. under those circumstances. Since I'm going to end up making the decision anyway, asking him wouldn't serve any purpose, except to confuse the issue. So that would mean considering killing him without his permission or possibly even his awareness, which is so horrific a possibility I just dont see myself making that choice under any but the most extreme circumstances, if then. The chance of making a mistake is just too great. If he suffers now, he can always make up his own mind when comes of that age, but if he dies now, that's irreversible. Nor do I have any idea what an "expert" could contribute, beyond telling me that they cant cure the condition or treat the pain.

On balance, I have to say no, I dont think I could go along with that.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 135 Best Of, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 11:21:52 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Letting a child suffer for years in a condition where there's very little chance of an improvement is horrible. The way I see it, the question is: "if you were in that situation, would you wish to die?"

If I wasn't willing to torture myself for years in exchange for a no-life, I have no right to torture anyone else. The more I cared about them, the less I'd want them to suffer.

Deciding what to do with a child who wants euthanasia is difficult, but I would say the patient should definitely be heard. The first priority is to minimise suffering. To that end, if a child asked for euthanasia and seemed sufficiently capable of understanding the situation, I would support their right to end their suffering.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 136 Gabrael, Sat, 22nd Feb '14 11:32:08 PM Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
A Polar Bear Named Gabrael
I love my child. I would exhaust all possibilities but should that be his best option for peace, so be it. I love him too much to see him know only pain.
 137 De Marquis, Sun, 23rd Feb '14 8:22:47 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Maybe, but I submit that there is no way a young child could know the answer to that question, and no way an adult could either. You would be acting on the basis of your own best guess, and that's a scenario fraught with the possibility of irreversible mistakes.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 138 shimaspawn, Sun, 23rd Feb '14 8:32:29 AM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
You really think that a kid in the same situation my friend was in, bed bound, drugged out of their mind and still in constant agony and unable to do anything but lie there connected to machines with no cure and no hope of remission should really be forced to suffer through that for years?

That's just monstrous.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 139 De Marquis, Sun, 23rd Feb '14 8:49:03 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Should they be forced to die? Remember, they cant give consent.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 140 shimaspawn, Sun, 23rd Feb '14 9:04:18 AM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Legally? No. Morally and ethically? Yes.

After watching a good friend of mine denied the right to die with dignity for two years and the effect it had on her and her family, I think it's monstrous to deny it.

It wouldn't be forcing her to die. It would have been a blessing.

edited 23rd Feb '14 9:04:46 AM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 141 De Marquis, Sun, 23rd Feb '14 9:06:41 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
No, I think psychologically an 8 year old cannot give consent. I do not believe that they possess the cognitive capacity to understand the implications of the decision.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 142 Best Of, Sun, 23rd Feb '14 9:25:59 AM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
If the only way to alleviate suffering is through euthanasia, and if there is no realistic hope of recovery, I think euthanasia is the best option if your goal is to minimise suffering. Yes, you do end up losing a life; that's just how it is sometimes.

I can see the point that a child can't give informed consent, but you can at least conclude that that's what the child would probably do if they were older, and that that's what they want now, and that the people in charge of the child's treatment also agree, I just can't see how there's any difference between actively torturing the child and letting them suffer. To me it's the same: you're allowing pain to happen when you could prevent it, even though the patient wants to die.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 143 De Marquis, Sun, 23rd Feb '14 10:58:09 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Because you really have no way of knowing what they would want if they lived a few more years. They could change their mind in any direction, and by killing them, you are taking that possibility away. How much pain is enough pain that you can be justified in taking away a child's future choices? Obviously a finger that never heals is not enough. A degenerative disease that can never be cured may clearly be enough, but even if it is, the line between the two seems very grey to me.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 144 Gabrael, Sun, 23rd Feb '14 11:14:41 AM Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
A Polar Bear Named Gabrael
I understand what you're saying De Marquis and I completely understand your hesitations and concerns.

But when it comes to my kid, in a way his ability to consent or not doesnt really matter. As parent I do all sorts of things without his consent that shape and change his life. I make decisions all the time that could either set him up for life or ruin it. Why should the decision to end it be any different?

My son has told me that he wanted to die before. After the death of my father he wanted to die so he could be with his Papa because he missed him. His logic was off but he was quite sincere. In this case, depression isnt a good reason but myself and his counselor helped him work through his grief and instead he says how he isnt afraid of death because he knows Papa will be there.

I think we don't give children enough credit sometimes on how much they may get even if they don't understand all the way.

Should my child have only three years of pain to live, he may choose to exist out every bloody second. But as a mom, I'm willing to shoulder the risk he may not agree right now and end his pain than dwell on what I can never know for certain. I do that everyday.

I actually already have a clause in my will for both of us that we cannot be revived and the only way we can be put on life support is if it is in prep for organ donation.
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Total posts: 144
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