Euthanasia acceptable to solid majority of Americans: poll


#1

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Xinhua) – A solid majority, or 69 percent, of Americans believe euthanasia is acceptable, and more than half of them support doctor-assisted suicide, finds a newly-released Gallup poll.
Fifty-one percent of Americans say they would consider ending their own lives if diagnosed with terminal illness, according to the poll.
This is a reversal from the 1940s and 1950s when most Americans regarded such practice as illegal. In 1950, only 36 percent of Americans thought that a doctor can end a patient’s life by painless means if the patient requests it.

news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-06/26/c_135466190.htm


#2

My life expectancy just got shorter. Older Americans have less expectation that their relatives or their government will not kill them off prematurely.


#3

This shows how liberal the American people are. We are becoming like Europe.


#4

Or how foolish, perhaps.

There is little doubt in my mind that long ago doctors would give patients prescriptions for enough morphine to kill themselves with if they wanted to do it. Sometimes, of course, the self-euthanasia was unintended because the more debilitated one becomes, the less opioid it takes to kill one.

But that’s a different thing from overtly sanctioned euthanasia. I have never forgotten what one priest said about it…“Voluntary suicide will become mandatory suicide”. It’s not that the government will hand out death warrants. It’s that pressure will be brought to bear on old and sick people to kill themselves. I doubt we’re terribly far away from a time when self-killing and assisted suicide will be treated sympathetically in all the media. Possibly it already is. And it wouldn’t take much change in Medicare rules to hasten death.


#5

A convert from atheism told me that Christianity is the only worldview that makes sense out of pain, or even tries to tackle it. It’s given me a lot of food for thought given his background. Some atheists might argue that this is one of Christianity’s most insidious points, but for him it clicked.


#6

If this poll is true then I am truly ashamed of America and to be an American. :frowning:

If someone wants to end their life, then they should have the guts to do it themselves. Don’t make doctors do it for you cowards!!!


#7

I don’t think it would ever get that far.

But you’re probably not wrong that some pressure would be brought to bear by some people for certain older people in dire situations to terminate their lives. But, I don’t think we’ll ever see a time where that decision is forced on them without their consent however.

That said I also don’t judge people who believe euthanasia should be available. Having had a family member walk in those shoes, but due to the law at the time not being able to do anything about it, has always informed how I feel about this subject. My grandfather suffered from Parkinson’s Disease for almost 30 years, and as the end stages of his disease approached and his mind began to be impacted he indicated would have ended it in a dignified way had the option been available, this despite being raised a life long Catholic. Instead due to the option of a dignified end not being available, the once vital man continued suffer for several more years, physically wasting away while Parkinsonian dementia set in to his mind and by the end he was not even in there anymore. Seeing him in that state was one of the single most heartbreaking moments of my life. :imsorry:


#8

:thumbsup: Yes, I agree with him (although there might be similar ideas in some other religions, I guess).

That’s an Epicurean approach to life. Life makes sense while it brings pleasure. As soon as it starts to bring more pain than pleasure, there is no point in living.

The Stoics, like Seneca, objected to this philosophy, because it made pointless the sacrifices that the people make in social life on the battlefield, etc., when people accept the pain for the sake of the greater good.


#9

It was heartbreaking for you, and it might have possibly affected this family member of yours, who was ashamed of his condition and wanted to end his life not to trouble you and other relatives. :frowning:

Do not be a judge of the other person’s life and death on the basis of your sentimental feelings. We are supposed to show to our beloved people they we need them and want to help, in whatever condition they are.


#10

Even the original, pagan, pre-Christian, Hippocratic Oath forbade physicians from participating in euthanasia and abortion. Today, the pro-death movement is working to morally degrade the medical profession by involving them in killing.

I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art…


#11

Funny, I did not participate in this poll. Did any of y’all?


#12

[quote=from article]California, the most populous U.S. state, joined Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana and New Mexico as a small group of states to allow doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.
[/quote]

I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t realize that so many states have enacted assisted suicide laws. I thought it only extended to Oregon and Vermont.

This evil is rapidly spreading. :frowning:


#13

Unfortunately, the high support for assisted suicide is not a new trend (Gallop 2015), but at a stable rate from a year ago:

gallup.com/poll/183425/support-doctor-assisted-suicide.aspx

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nearly seven in 10 Americans (68%) say doctors should be legally allowed to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide, up 10 percentage points from last year. More broadly, support for euthanasia has risen nearly 20 points in the last two years and stands at the highest level in more than a decade.


#14

True, but the trouble occurs when they hit a point where they’re no longer able to recognize you as a beloved person or that you’re wanting to help. My grandfather hit that point years before he died, as I said, as the end approached, he truly wasn’t there anymore. He no longer recognized family, no longer recognized friends, no longer even recognized what help was or what life sustaining things like food were. It’s a crude term, but an accurate one, “the lights were on, but no one was home.” My grandfather was long gone years before his failing body finally gave out.

And before that had happened he knew that was going to be the end result, and he said would have avoided it if it was possible before it occurred. Not out of shame for the condition as he’d lived with it for decades, nor was it about worrying about being a burden on his family, he actually never was, it was about his not wanting to degrade into a state where he no longer had any dignity. Because I can confirm that there is little dignity in a years long, slow, and lingering death such as his body suffered absent his mind (and I’d argue soul).


#15

This is where Protestant leads. Without the belief in redemptive suffering, this is where we wind up. :frowning:


#16

Personal experiences such as what you describe concerning your grandfather do tend to soften one’s theoretical, sociopolitical, and even religious stance on matters such as this. Euthanasia is forbidden according to the teachings of both Catholicism and Judaism. But when it really hits home, decisions often become very personal and are not always in keeping with one’s own religious views, let alone someone else’s religious views.

On the sociopolitical front, are families, the government, and medical institutions going to abuse such laws? Probably there will be some abuse, and this must be scrutinized and remedied if possible; but, more likely, most families at least will have the legal recourse to do what they believe is morally and ethically right for their loved ones. Remember that this is the most personal and heartbreaking decision one can make in one’s own life and the lives of beloved family members. No one, whether governmental or religious institution, should impose their values on those of any given individual or family.

If one does not approve of the nanny state interfering in one’s choice to smoke, drink alcohol, or consume sugary soft drinks, how can one justify interference on the part of either government or religion in matters such as this?


#17

And that’s a bad thing?


#18

What kind of relatives do you have?


#19

I still believe many atheists believe in self-sacrifice for the greater good. But it seems so easy to argue that the greater good is to not burden the social system with “unnecessary” care and expenses. It isn’t economical, or green. It’s wasteful.

I think the best caution I’ve heard against the promotion of euthanasia, apart from theological ones, is that it might short-circuit true palliative care. (Similar to arguments I’ve heard where artificial contraception evaded true cures for women’s health-problems.)

I’m probably doomed to Alzheimer’s. Runs in the family, and it was difficult to watch.


#20

I am very sorry to hear about Your relative. My grandmother also was very senile after she suffered a stroke, dying within a year afterwards. Thanks God, she was able to recognize us. :frowning:

Yet, I don’t think it would have been “dignified” in any way if You have killed Your relative before he entered that condition. We people, Your relative included, are prone to misjudgments, always thinking some things that might happen to them are worse than death. It is an irrational fear, caused by our lack of trust with God. And I still believe there is a social element to it: a thing many people are afraid of deep inside their minds is to be unnecessary and helpless as regards the surrounding society.

I think, there was much more dignity in the way R. Reagan coped with approaching illness and in the way mother Angelica asked that her sufferings be not shortened.


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