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Saturday, April 3

Euthanasia


It was three years ago almost to the day that French public opinion was deeply divided over the trial of  Dr. Laurence Tramois, a 35 year-old physician, who with the assistance of Nurse Chantal Chanel gave a lethal injection to the 65-year-old Paulette Druais, a terminally ill cancer patient. Dr Tramois said that she decided to resort to a lethal injection after Druais had told her that she did not want to die "in filth” and after Druais's family had backed her decision. However hospital managers had taken the pair to court as euthanasia is illegal in France. More than 2,000 health professionals signed a petition to support the doctor and the nurse, while they also called for the legalization of euthanasia. The court found the doctor guilty but gave her only a one-year suspended jail term while the nurse was acquitted. The debate over euthanasia still rages in France. They point to Belgium and Netherlands that have legalized euthanasia. Supporters demand the right to a dignified death. Opponents point to the sanctity of life. Supporters retort back by pointing to the abuse of the medical technology to prolong death. Opponents point to the potential of abuse. Supporters emphasize the safeguards that both Belgium and Netherlands have adopted. The Dutch Euthanasia Act states that euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are not punishable if the informed patient request it, if the suffering is unbearable and hopeless, if the alternatives have been explained to the patient and if the doctor reports the request to a review committee. Opponents point to the rise in the number of cases, that reached 2,500 in 2009.


The fervor of the division is such that one would believe that euthanasia is a recent social ethical dilemma. Not so. In ancient Greece and Rome, before the coming of Christianity, attitudes toward infanticide,  euthanasia, and suicide were permissive. During the pre-medieval Christian era, medical ethics accepted euthanasia, while during the Middle Ages the Church tapered the practice off and treated any form of suicide or “self murder” as deeply sinful. In the 18th century, during Enlightenment, scholars attacked the church's authoritative teaching on all matters, including euthanasia and suicide, but the matter was treated with gross indifference. In the US, during the 19th century, when morphine was isolated, Samuel Williams, began to advocate the use of analgesics not only to alleviate terminal pain, but to intentionally terminate one’s life. In 1938, Charles Potter founded the National Society for the Legalization of Euthanasia and in the 1970s, the debate made it to the Senate floor, focusing on 'the brutal irony of medical miracles,' which prolonged the dying process only to diminish patient dignity and quality of life. In the 1990s, the US Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act, requiring hospitals that receive federal funds to tell patients that they have a right to demand or refuse treatment.

Fast forward to March 2010 and the debate resurfaces in the UK. Early in the year, Kay Gilderdale was cleared of attempted murder for helping her 31-year-old daughter, Lynn, to commit suicide following years of suffering from the chronic fatigue syndrome ME. At the same time Frances Inglis, who killed her 22-year-old son by heroin injection believing he was left in a "living hell" after severe brain damage in a road accident, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum of nine years in jail. The main difference between the two cases was that in the Gilderdale case the daughter’s wish was clearly demonstrated, while in the Inglis case, the son, being in a vegetative state, could not express any wish. Two months later, the famous author, Sir Terry Pratchett, called for the establishment of euthanasia tribunals to give sufferers from incurable diseases the right to medical help to end their lives. Sir Pratchett became an advocate after he was diagnosed with an early form of Alzheimer’s. "It is not nice and I do not wish to be there for the endgame… If granny walks up to the tribunal and bangs her walking stick on the table and says 'Look, I've really had enough, I hate this bloody disease, and I'd like to die thank you very much young man', I don't see why anyone should stand in her way… The tribunal would be acting for the good of society as well as that of the applicant – and ensure they are of sound and informed mind, firm in their purpose, suffering from a life-threatening and incurable disease and not under the influence of a third party.”

The newspapers smelled blood and ran their polls. In February 2010, of more than 1,000 people interviewed for BBC, 73% believed friends or relatives should be able to assist the suicide of a terminally ill loved one. A YouGov poll of 2,053 people for the Telegraph showed 80% saying that relatives should not be prosecuted, and 75% backing a change in the law.

Would you back such a measure?

89 comments:

jtannebe said...

The topic of euthanasia is undoubtedly a touchy and controversial one. However, in my opinion I think relative should be allowed to euthanize a loved one who is in a vegetative state. At the end of the day,that is no way for someone to live and it is somewhat selfish and cruel for a relative to keep someone "alive" who will never leave a normal life. Also, I would back a measure to euthanize a person who was dying and in extreme, insufferable, incureable pain. If it were my relative, I would want them to die peacefully and not suffer and would euthanize them if they signed documents stating that it was what they wanted. It would be difficult and agonizing to let a loved one go, but at the end of the day it may be the more humane option. So, yes I would bakc such a measure.

precious said...

I really don’t think anyone can truly know how they feel about this until that time comes. If you ask me if my mom or husband were terminally ill could I ask to have their lives terminated I would have to say no because I love them so much but at the same time I would want them to suffer. So I guess in a sense you would say I am selfish. That is one of the toughest decisions you would probably have to make in your life so don’t make it lightly. I really don’t think I could do it.

Mudbeaver said...

People should have the right to die if suffering from a fatal illness. I did watch a documentary on the discovery channel where a person woke up from a comma after 19yrs so im not 100% sure about how i feel about that because it was really emotional for the family, so were they being selfish for keeping him alive? I honestly don't know. What is the value of life? How much did it set the family back keeping him alive for 19yrs out of prayers that God will perform a Miracle. I would of pulled the plug after everyone had a chance to say goodby. Some people have more faith than others. Should the government have the final say? God, please let others be in peace and pull the plug in a fatal illness or lay in bed with a coma. If there be sorrow, take action and let it be!

Athena Smith said...

Being in a vegetative state does not satisfy the prerequisites established by the Dutch and the Belgian system. The patient has to request it if his illness is terminal and the suffering intolerable.
This is why the British lady mentioned in the story was sent to jail. She did not have her son's consent.
Man Trapped In 23-Year 'Coma' Was Conscious

hrayy09 said...

This topic is very emotional especially when it comes to love ones. This kind of reminded me of the Terry case except she was starved to death. If my loved one or parents were really ill and it was up to me to either end their lives or let them continue living, I would have no clue what I would do. Of course I would want them to live because that would give me comfort that they are still here, however, I wouldn't want them to be suffering while alive. If I chose to end their lives it would bring them peace and I guess I would have to live with it even though I would be sad. Being in the situation would be the hardest thing to do and I think nobody would know what to really do unless they were in it.

Erin Walsh said...

Euthanasia continues to have a number of factors revolving around it that keep controversy going strong. It seems that the foundation of the dispute is created by supporters striving for dignified death, an end to abuse through medical technology that essentially prolongs death, and fulfillment of suffering patients' requests given that they have been notified of the following events. Those opposed argue that sanctity of life must be maintained, potential of abuse remains, that this option is essentially assisted suicide, and consent remains in a gray area. Personally, I believe that any change in laws in various parts of the world should be based upon the fact that euthanasia ends unneeded suffering and allows life to run its natural course given consent to do so.
The main crutch that those opposed seem to be leaning on is that without consent there is no sure way to tell if a suffering patient is content with a decision made by loved ones. Given this dilemma, I believe much of this would end if contracts regarding this were gone over with loved ones at some point in life during good health the way funeral arrangements are made before it may be too late. If consent is given going either way, the situation comes down to a patient's decision, and laws should recognize this. I believe that either way a patient may go with a decision, they should have the right to do so.
Patients who consent to euthanasia have a reason for doing so, and this is usually to avoid painful, prolonged death. In a situation such as this, a patient may consent simply because in that sort of health they'd wish for nothing more than to evade pain alongside loved ones.
In such illness, assisted suicide almost seems to be an incorrect term. Given consent, all that would be done is the removal of machines living for a patient, allowing death to come in a natural course. When the issue of consent and the incorrect label of assisted suicide are abolished, there seems to no longer be resistance in allowing a patient to make their own life decisions.

LaurenW said...

I would back a change in this particular law. If someone suffering from a terminal disease has reached the point where they cannot take it anymore it would be inhuman to medically do everything possible to keep them in that pain. Religiously I understand how this can be considered suicide, but I believe God knows people’s hearts and while I also believe He doesn’t give people more than they can handle, who are we to determine what is right for someone else? In cases with people in vegetative states, it’s not only an emotionally exhausting experience for the family but more than likely a financial one too. A lot of resources are being used to preserve these people that have all but “checked out” that could be better used somewhere else. True there is always a hope that they will come out of it, but when years have passed and the body is all but deteriorated it seems more like a cruel science project than a preservation of life.

Julia said...

I feel like the more we advance as a society, the more twisted we become as a people. I think that our discoveries in the world of medicine are incredible and brilliant, but I do not think that there's much to be said for the preservation of life to the point of the vegetative state. We all HAVE to die, so why do everything humanly possible to "postpone" death?

That being said, I would not ever support euthanasia. Suicide is one thing, but supporting a person's decision to take their life and then assisting them in doing it is pretty sick in my opinion. While I would never want someone to suffer any longer than necessary, I can't help but think that euthanasia would cause dramatic ethical complications in the long run. The example I always come back to is when an older person realizes that they're becoming a financial/emotional burden to their family and they see that euthanasia is an option, they may then feel a burden to end their lives, not for themselves but for whoever it is that cares for them. Who wants to bare that responsibility??

Every step forward we make in the advancement of medicine I have to wonder where it gets us in the long run. We can't prevent death forever, and when we try to, we run into issues like euthanasia. Each forward often only takes us (in the long run) two steps backwards.

lost said...

Euthanasia such a conntroversial topic. It is my feelings that a love one is in a vegetative state then yes, the next of kin should be allowed to do something to either end there suffering or make them more comfable. Why keep someone around when there in so much pain because you feel that you dont know how to make it without them. I think its wrong to charge the family members with crimial charger, when; in other countries some not all their are clubs that help those who want to kill them selfs so whats the difference in a family member trying to give a love one some relif?

Lucretia said...

No one has a 'right to die'
If it is your time,
Then you will go.
If not, there must be a reason.
Why would we even be put on this earth? It would be moot for us to be here, if we were just going to cut out the moment things got thick. Cause that's what would happen if it were legalized.

Moonbeam said...

It is my opinion that every living person should be able to live their lives to the fullest. If they are terminally ill, or suffering from another sort of major impairment, then I believe they have a right to choose euthanasia to end their life.
As far as backing a change in the law in the UK, so that friends or relatives can assist in the suicide, I am not quite sure about that. If there is a living will of some sort, then yes, I think it would be fine, because that would be the person's wish.
However, if there was not any permission from the terminally ill person, then I would question it.
That is a very difficult situation, and honestly, I am not sure how exactly I feel about it.

Nga Nguyen said...

In my opinion, I am having mixed feelings because I honestly believe that both sides should have a say in the decision. I haven't been in this situation yet, so I wouldn't be able to explain how each side of the spectrum would feel, but if i was to be out in this this situation, I would say that most likely the terminally ill loved one wants to end their life because of the thought of being a burden to the people that you love is just a horrible feeling and that ill loved one wouldn't want to put anyone through that. Then if you're looking at it on the other end, the family members should have a say in the decision because if you ask me to end a life of my mother or anyone that I loved to death, I wouldn't be able to let them go just like that. In the end, I don't know if I would back up this measure, but for me I am kind of in the middle.

Torie said...

I back euthanasia. My family recently had to make the agonizing decision to let my three year old niece go after being in a vegetable state for quite some time. We knew she wasn't coming back. She would lie in a hospital bed hooked up to unsightly wires until she would reach the cap of her medical insurance lifetime maximum wherein they would send her home to die anyway. We knew Zaria deserved better than that. To force someone, conscious or not, to wallow and suffer in a state of pain and suffering is inhumane. If someone is terminally ill I feel that ALL possible options should be explored to save a life, but if it is overwhelming obvious that a humane life can not be saved or preserved, that person should have the right to choose die in a dignified fashion. In the case of a vegetable, if the chances of that love one's recovery or revival is next to nothing then the decision should be left up to the family. I can't exactly call a family selfish for not letting their loved one go, but all I can say is that our family has piece of mind knowing that my niece is not suffering.

Athena Smith said...

Sorry for your loss Torie :(

moneyhoney said...

Life and death who can make such a decision. I personally can't judge not having been in a position like that in my life. If this happened to someone I loved I don't know if I would have the courage to pull the plug on them. Maybe if their suffering was unbearable and they wanted to be out of their misery I would still have a hard time, living with something like that on your conscious is not an easy thing to do. Euthanasia isn't something I think should be used casually maybe if a person decided that they wanted it due to severe circumstances I think it should be their decision. I definitely don't agree with someone doing it without consent like if someone still wanted to live it would be murder to euthanize them.

moneyhoney said...

If a person cannot make the decision for themselves and there was no chance of recovery I definitely agree with the family stepping in and making that decision.

Antaysia :) said...

Euthanasia is a very sensitive subject. It's difficult to really say if it's right or wrong, or if someone should do it or not. I believe it's all based on the individuals involved; every case is different. As a person looking outside in I would not agree with taking someone's life. It seems like an excuse to shy away from a valley that life has. However, I imagine those on the hospital bed suffering from some disease that has been deemed to have "no cure" or those in a vegetative state, those on the inside looking out. What can we do to help these indiviuals? I don't know but I agree that if the individual is fully aware of what is happening and they choose and documents are proccessed to prove that this procedure was legitimate it's no longer in the doctor's hand. They now have to tend to the patient's request.

lexd said...

I honestly believe it's all up to the family and their beliefs. I personally wouldn't want any family member of mine to suffer through that, But, some people are selfish and sometimes can't let go of people. I mean sometimes people do come out of comas after being in them for a long time but the chances of that happening are slim to none. I mean if they have lived a full happy life, let them go there going to a better place where no one will ever hurt them. On top of that keeping someone on life support for an extended period of time is very costly. I think the best way for family to know what your wishes are if any thing should happen is to talk about it before the time comes, therefore your family will know your wishes and you will know theirs.

KP said...

i do not think anyone would know how they feel about euthanasia until they are in that kind of situation with a loved one. i personally cannot go with any side. every person is different, until you have a serious talk with your parents or spouses about having a bad disease that will put them in a vegatable state, its their decision whether or not they want to be in that kind of condition. i dont think i would ever be able to pull the plug on a loved one, then again, i wouldnt want to see them suffer or live a unhappy life. it depends on the time and their sitation with their health as well as how they feel about it.

itszmeweksos said...

I think that a person suffering from "Euthanasia" should most definitely be released from their suffering. Its bad enough that their families have to go through that and watch someone they love not being able to function as if were 'Alive'.

If I was in that stage and I was no longer "alive", I would want my family to pull the plug on me. Even if they were to heartbroken to do it. Atleast then I would be able to move on and live my life else where.

So yeah, I think I would go though with pulling the plug. I guess that makes me the one with the cold heart, but if there was no other way then you have to, even if it breaks your heart.

Latifah Aziz said...

This is a rough topic to talk about. For the most part I agree that a family member should have a say in determining if a fatally ill family memeber should be put to rest. But in order for that family memeber to be put to rest they must first sign a consent form which could be verbal; if able or a written form in front of the doctor, nurses,a lawyer, or even a witness.
If that family memeber is in a stage where they can't take or deal with the pain anymore why make them suffer.
But than again I think who am I to determine if that person should live or die. Would I be able to live with knowing, I help to kill that family member or even help to make them suffer the constant pain from their illness for the rest of their life.

Nadia said...

I would support measures to make medical euthanasia with consent of the patient legal. I think a person has the right to end their life if they choose. If a person is terminally ill or suffering a great deal and would rather die than lie in bed all day, I feel they have that choice. When someone is in a great deal of pain, he/she should be given the choice to not feel that pain. Also, if the person feels useless or feels like they are burdening others to live, they have the right to end their life. It is cruel to keep someone who is suffering alive when they don’t want to be. Being forced to live against ones will can even drive them clinically crazy. The patient can go literally insane. I think it is criminal to make people suffer when then don’t have to.

Garrett said...

I believe that euthanasia should be legalized. Many patients with incurable diseases suffer for prolonged terms when they would rather move on in life. People should have the choice to fight their diseases or choose death over anguish. We control almost every aspect of our lives and should be able to control when we want to pass on. For some, dying painlessly is a better way of going than being plagued by an illness. Patients may not want to put a burden on their families financially. Other individuals may believe in a philosophy where they want to pass on before their body becomes decrepit. Therefore, I believe euthanasia should be legalized with the consent of the patient.

JustaGirl said...

Euthanasia is a hard topic to comment on.I am christian and although someone else would be performing the act to end one's life I still think of it as suicide because of the consent given by the person;therfore I think its wrong. On the other hand I empathize with individuals in so much pain who feel like its there only option, I would not want anyone to suffer,but I just think its wrong.
Morally I dont think I could back such a measure, god forbid I'm put in that situation, if so I might feel differently but as of now I dont agree with it.

Kimberly said...

Though it would be very hard, I would have to say I support Euthanasia. However, I do think that both the patient and their family should have a say, not just the patients family. I have heard some cases about families having to do this, and this was such an awful choice for them to have to make, either keep their loved one alive, or not. But when it comes down to it, I think it’s the better choice, because why would you want to see your loved one suffer. No one would want that, so in the end, I would back Euthanasia, If I had to choose, but it would be very hard and emotional for me to make that choice.

monimar9302 said...

I do believe that individuals should have the right to choose whether or not they want to live or die. If they are suffering from a terrible terminal illness such as cancer, they should have the right to choose life or death. Although it would be an extremely tough decision for me, I would have to let that person decide. Even though we hate to see our loved ones go, we also hate to watch them suffer and live unfulfilling lives. I do not think we have the right to decide ones fate unless they sign an agreement stating they would rather pass away than suffer. In the end, I do believe it is god’s decision on whether or not to end someone’s life.

ycampos said...

Euthanasia has always been a very controversial topic. I believe in miracles as much as the next person, but if after an extended period of time and the person or family member is still in vegetative state non responsive I think it is time to think of alternatives. Who would want to live a live in such a form? I think everyone should think of such scenerios during one's own life. For such cases it is important to have a living will, because should such a case occur then family members as well as healthcare personel would already have the consent that the government so desperately needs. Ultimately, it is the patients wishes to live or die. If a person is suffering from a painful life-threating disease I believe they have the right to determine when they should go, rather than suffering for a very long time and not having any quality of life.

Bumble Bee87 said...

I completely support a change for this law. I have never been in such a situation that I have had to make a decision like this but I do feel I have some understanding and I know that I would rather have a family member be happy and at peace and knowing that there're not suffering from some terminal disease. But I do believe that is a decision to be made by the person that is suffering and their immediate family, it's their life and if they don't want to suffer anymore than why should they have to live a life in suffering.

hondasi2007 said...

Yes I would back this. I see no reason that if you have been diagnosed with a terminally I'll disease that you can't say that I'm done fighting and done hurting myself with no chance of any good coming from it that you should be allowed to end your life that way. Like it was stated I do think there needs to be a board that will watch over all of this and make sure that the people are informed of all of the options and that they know exactly what they are agreeing to but except for that I do believe that this should be allowed.

dawn drake said...

Euthanasia has been and still is a controversial topic. If a patient is terminal they should have the right to be able to determine the terms of their death. Families have the right to pull the plug when family members are in a vegetable state with no chance of waking up. Why should this be any different? If someone is in pain and terminal who are we to be able to tell someone how they should be able to die? People have living wills, do not resuscitate clauses, and wills stating how they want to be treated after death, they should have that right while they are still living. If I was diagnosed with a terminal illness and was in pain I would want the ability to end my life, whether my family or friends help me with my passing, or my doctor. I do not want a politician to have the right to tell me what I can or cannot do with my body, or my life.

Kali winters said...

I think that People should have the right to choose whether they want to continue living if they have a terminal illness. If I had a terminal illness and I was in pain 24/7 or was losing my mind or motor functions I would definitely consider euthanasia. I would want to have that right because it must be so frustrating to loose yourself in your mind little by little or to be in pain all the time and know that nothing can help. My uncle was a quadriplegic and was on a lethal dose of pain medication because of the pain of his nerves and still the pain killers didn't help all the time. He ended up taking his own life by purposely overdosing on his medication. As much as it hurt his wife and the whole family we all knew that he was better off because of how much he was suffering. He had asked my aunt several times to kill him and if she had done that I would have supported her all the way. Everyone in that much pain should have a legal choice to do that and if they want their family members too do it it should be allowed, no one should have to suffer like that. That's how I feel about it and I hope this story helps if someone's going through the same thing or even if you want an inside perspective on euthanasia.

Mariana said...

I think that although this subject is a touchy one, it doesn't always have to be as complicated as we make it. In many cases, when we are leaving it to the family to decide because the patient is unresponsive, we should investigate the motives. Just as we would make sure the the conscious patient was of sound mind before taking their request seriously, we should check on why the family member is requesting to end their loved one's life. Is it for the right intentions or are their selfish reasonings backing it? I believe we can prevent abuse in that form.

Thaer said...

I believe that a person has the right to stay alive no matter how ill they are. It would be the patient choice to handle the suffering of the pain or not. Nobody should make the decision unless it's the patient. If I was a position of having someone terminanted or for them to suffer and hope there's a chance, it would be hard but if we believe there's a chance why not take it and hope that it's not their time to go yet. I would even hate to be put in that position, so I would have the ill patient make it and wish them the best whatever the outcome is.

Athena Smith said...

Kali
That must have been heartbreaking :(

AMRI said...

Wow! This is a rough topic. I feel that an individual with a terminally ill disease, who can no longer bare the pain and sufffering, should be able to be euthanized. The article talked about a "dignified death". If THAT individual makes that call then why would anyone want to stop them? Why, because it is a family member that YOU want to stay alive, regardless of what they have to go through everyday of their lives? Isn't that selfish? Put yourselves in their shoes. These days we have what are called DNR'S (Do Not Resuscitate). This is a legal document that states that if an individual who holds this type of document has a medical emergency, it is there wish to not be resuscitated. To me, this is a form of euthanization. I love my family very much and whatever they wish to happen with their lives, I would accept. As hard as it would be, I would never be selfish. I back euthanization and believe it should be legalized here in the United States.

dream1990 said...

Such matter has never come up in my family, well at least since i been alive. But for the most part its a very delicate subject to talk about and in reality i wouldn't know how to handle it. I do believe that the family members should be the ones to choose if their illed family member should be put to rest. I think when people do that is because they rather see them go rather then having them there suffering every day of their lives. Not only does the one ill suffer but the whole family suffers too. I don't think its aanyone elses choice or even matter but the family's.

PaviElleS said...

To face mortality is never an easy thing and more often than not it’s something that we tend to stray away from thinking about. We would all like to think that we’ll die peacefully of old age, but what the next day brings is always a mystery. Unless you’re a masochist, I do not believe someone would like to live in a vegetative state or in pain for the rest of the “life”. Euthanasia is something that could help relieve everyone of their discomfort. However, I believe that the person who makes the idea of euthanasia should be by a physician, someone who really knows the quality of life and if there is anything that can be done for it. Although the hope of someone being cured of a terminal illness or coming out of a vegetative state keeps people fighting, that person will continue to fight a never ending battle with whatever ailment it is that would wear them out emotionally, physically, and financially. Not everyone accepts death, especially when they believe it has come too soon, but it’s something that sleeps right underneath our feet.

Max Watson said...

I would back such a measure. I feel it's the personal choice of the patient, and with the doctors approval I see no problem. Many of the supporters of legalization of euthanasia are doctors themselves, and see the immense pain and suffering in patients everyday. If the doctor didn't feel comfortable doing such a procedure, than he shouldn't have to. In the end, if you don't want to live any longer, you always have a choice. Euthanasia seems appropriate for some people in that situation.

Alex Logsdon said...

Yes I believe euthanasia should be legal. I watched a documentary on PBS about a man with ALS who was slowly and painfully dying. He had to have all of his daily task done for him and eventually he would not have been able to even swallow. If a man or woman makes their own conscious decision to die they should be able to, it is their life. The man eventually flew to Sweden with his wife and performed assisted suicide. People that argue that there is some sort of religious argument here are hypocritical saying God should decide when some one lives and dies. Take a premature baby for example if it were not for doctors, nurses and modern technology premature babies would not make it according to "God". Doctors and nurses play life and death everyday, surgeries, medications and treatments. Yes we should legalize this, I mean really why not? Make the rules clear and simple that consent must come from the patient, it should be their choice.

Athena Smith said...

Quite a few patients with ALS have sought to end it. I copy from the site of RELIGIOUS TLERANCE:

In 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada heard a case brought before it by Sue Rodriguez. Suffering from ALS, and expecting her health to continue to degenerate, she filed a lawsuit seeking the legal right to obtain assistance in committing suicide. In 1993-MAY, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which guarantees the security of the person does not include the right to obtain assisted suicide. The vote was narrow: 5 to 4, and resembled the very common vote of the U.S. Supreme Court on moral and ethical matters. The judges who dissented, found that Rodriguez was discriminated against on grounds of disability, in violation of the charter, because the option of attempting suicide, legally available to anyone, was not available to her because she was physically unable to commit suicide. The majority (of 5 judges) felt that even if she was discriminated against, the discrimination was deemed to be within the reasonable limits that could be imposed in a free and democratic society."

If the case were presented again to the Supreme Court, the 1993 ruling might well be overturned.

A single federal law to enable PAS could be created and would apply throughout the country. Private Members' bills have since been introduced into the Canadian Parliament to legalize PAS. They have all failed.

Erin Paull said...

I don't think euthanasia should be illegal. I think that if someone has a terminal disease and they want to end their own life they should be allowed to do what they want. In the end it is their life. However, when it comes to people on life support I think that's where it gets a little tricky. If it were my family I dont think I would be able to make that decision and I really do not think its fair to the person is on life support. I guess thats just something that would be dealt with when the time comes. so overall, yes I do support euthanasia and I believe that everyone has the right to do what they want with their life.

Jwarner said...

I believe that a person should have the choice and it is their life to do with as they please. I feel that people make the decisions through out their lives what is best for them at the time. I think life is such a precious gift and when thinking of suffering and selfishness as playing a huge role. Only the person in the situation can determine if it is worth living. As for the relatives why shouldnt they have a hand in deciding when a person is not mentally capable of making the decision. To euthanize a person is the one of the least sufferable ways to die, so of course I believe it is a alternatie well worth keeping.

Vivianle said...

I would definitely back up euthanasia. BUT, the decision should ultimately be up the patient if they are in a condition to make the decision. Also, if they can’t, the most important relative closest to them should make the decision of what would be the right thing to do. I haven’t been in that situation but I knew someone in a similar situation. In the end, she did euthanize her husband but she did it for the better because of her husband’s condition. If I was in that situation where the decision was mines, it would of course be very difficult, but I would not want to my see one of my family member lay in bed suffering. I rather have them die in peace then die suffering. So therefore, I would back up euthanasia.

ClickClack said...

I would back up the polls. Who knows the patient the family they should be there and/or assist if the terminally ill wish to die. To some extent i would be a little afraid that people could get to comfortable with euthanasia. For example if there was a person that is not terminally ill but instead just depressed could possible use the euthanasia concept to get friends or family members to aid the depression and help them commit suicide. I know it sounds crazy but to me i can see it happening.

yolkia said...

Euthanasia is a sensitive topic especially when it comes to love ones. I think that I would not like to see one of my kids suffering with a critical illness on pain, but at the same time I don’t think that I would like to live without one of my babies. But at the same time is not fair for that person to be suffering that much, I think that the court should intervene, oh I don’t know. I really think that is a very sensitive topic and that one have to be experiencing to make the right decision for what they think is the best not just for the patient but for the family members too.

Megan Biretz said...

I think physician assited suicide should be legal. Not relatives, not anyone else.

Personally, I feel NO assisted suicide should be allowed. But I realize some people have terminal sickness and whatnot, and I understand that sometimes people are going to be tired of tying to hold onto hope. (My mom died of cancer, so believe me, I understand it.) Therefore, I agree it should be in their reach, however, ONLY physician assisted.

spatel said...

I believe that a person should have the right to decide if they want to live or die.If a person is suffering from a illness, that person should have the right to decide what he/or she wants to do.It would be hard for their loved ones to see that person go.I believe that it would be better for a person tto go then that person suffering for days,months,or even years.We would hate to see that person suffering;breathing heavily,cannot move,cannot talk,etc.Lastly, I believe that it's up to God.God knows what's best for a person that is suffering from a illness,and is struggling to stay alive.

pricethepig2002 said...

Yes I believe euthanasia should be legal and would completely support a change for this law. If I ever had to make a decision like this for a family member, I would choose to end their pain and suffering. With this I think that there should be strict laws put into place, like the Dutch Euthanasia Act, to prevent abuse. In my opinion the family should only be allowed to make this decision if the patient is so ill that he can no longer make rational decisions. I also feel that the family, when making this decision, should take into account the sick person’s personality and wishes in addition to their own beliefs, emotions and opinions.

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The great misdirect said...

This is a touchy subject I think it comes down to what the family really considers dead. where life truly begins and where it truly ends isnt black and white its gray like most areas in life. When I was 13 our family had to make this choice for my mother. she was in the hospital for a week after she had a heart attack and while in the hospital waiting for a transplant she had another heart attack. After the second heart attack she was considered brain dead and we were given the choice to either keep her on life support or pull the plug. We decided to let her go because seeing her in a state like that was very unnatural and I really believe she wouldnt have wanted to live that way.

Anonymous said...

I believe the debate between should Euthanasia be allowed or not is a interesting subject. From what was said about the reason why it was illegal in some countries because of it being immoral seems like a valid point of view. However, I think that if someone is in enough pain then they should be allowed to have the injection. To use Euthanasia for cases where someone is in a state of being a vegetable or slowly dying doesn't appeal to me. My reasoning for this is because personally I would want to spend as much time as I could with someone before they die such as a good friend or family member that didn't have any function of his brain. The point i'm trying to make is that I believe that Euthanasia is very close to suicide if someone is slowly dying and trying to find a quick way out and should not be allowed. But in cases of someone in so much pain they can't stand it anymore I believe it would be inhumane to let them live through it.

SkipperJ said...

I believe the debate between should Euthanasia be allowed or not is a interesting subject. From what was said about the reason why it was illegal in some countries because of it being immoral seems like a valid point of view. However, I think that if someone is in enough pain then they should be allowed to have the injection. To use Euthanasia for cases where someone is in a state of being a vegetable or slowly dying doesn't appeal to me. My reasoning for this is because personally I would want to spend as much time as I could with someone before they die such as a good friend or family member that didn't have any function of his brain. The point i'm trying to make is that I believe that Euthanasia is very close to suicide if someone is slowly dying and trying to find a quick way out and should not be allowed. But in cases of someone in so much pain they can't stand it anymore I believe it would be inhumane to let them live through it.

Lindzy22 said...

I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this subject. I know that making a decision such as taking the life of a loved one who is in pain would be an extremely hard thing to do. Not to mention if they were unable to consent, when would you make that decision? I feel that if the person is in pain and they is no medical treatment and wish to die, then it is their choice. But if a person is in a vegetated state, can you be sure that it is the right thing to do? I can see how hard it would be to see someone in such pain but I personally don't feel that killing them is the right thing to do. I hope that I will never have to make a decision regarding this subject.

GoGreen said...

I do not know for sure if i agree with letting a patient's family and close relatives deciding whether he or she should die because they think he or she is dying. On one hand, if the patient were in a vegetation state, family members would not know how they feel and what he or she wants to do with his or her life. It doesn't give the family and relatives the right to put someone down because they think that living will be worst. How would they know if that is what a patient wants? How can you just let someone die because you cant stand to see them in a bad state? If you don't have the person's consent to let them die then it is like a crime. On the other hand, when given consent by the patient to be dead, then the family will have to support his or her wish. I guess this particular matter can be supported by both sides. One may say that letting them die will be the best because they wouldn't have to suffer. The other side can say that letting someone die is a crime because you don't have their consent. In a case where a person wants to die, it is solely their decision and the family has to respect that. To me, a person should be able to live until its time for them to go. If you love that person enough, you would want to see them as much as you can even when they are in a vegetation state before they leave this earth.

Goodfella said...

This is a very difficult topic to emphasize on. I think this is an issue that a person would really have to decide on if they were actually going through it. From my point of view, it should be up to the victim who is suffering the pain. The family of the person should also get their decision acknowledged, because they care for the person and would make the best decision for them. It would be difficult to just see someone you love living in pain. This would have to be an extreme decision that you would have to do first hand, because it would be extremely difficult to take a life away especially one that you care about so much, but then again you wouldn't want that person to suffer for the remainder of their life.

scrappy doo said...

This is a difficult situation, I believe if a person is suffering from a terminal illness they should be able to determine if they want to continue their life on this earth. Everyone has a purpose in life but if they have fulfilled their purpose why should anyone including the law stand in their way. I understand we should die a natural death, but when you’re in the hospital it is like you are already dying. Life is precious, but if a person makes this decision they are wanted their family to continue to live their lives without worrying about them.

yaya07 said...

Euthanasia has been widely discussed and I’ve noticed there are many opposing opinions on this topic. In my opinion I side with the 73% believed friends or relatives should be able to assist the suicide of a terminally ill loved one. My reason for this is because your friends and relatives are the ones who know you best. They are more likely able to decide what you would choose when you are being hospitalized and barely even “living” anymore. I feel that the phrase “assisting suicide” is used wrong in this situation because they are only deciding what is best for you. Also taking in consideration the pain that your loved ones are going through by watching you live in the hospital and not having you awake for any of the visits. So, I think it is only fair that ones friends or relatives should be able to determine a persons time on earth because the ill loved one has no voice.

beautiful unique said...

To me I would have to say that unless me and this relative had prior conversations about what to do in a situation like this I wouldnt do it. I just believe that whatever is meant to happen will happen so if they are stuck in this type of vegetative state maybe this was their fate and who on earth is to control that? I would also not want them to suffer as well which will bring on other problems with my innerself so this decision is a very very hard topic for me because I wouldnt want that decision to be made by me or be left to dwell on my brain or heart

Marguerita said...

i support euthanasia because no one should be left in a vegetable state or deal with extreme pain with no hope of recovery. this not only effects the patients but the family members of the patients, they should not have to go through seeing a loved one in such a conditions, i think it is just easier for everyone to end it soon if there is no hope instead of waiting for them to die.This may sound harsh but that's life and if someone needs to be in a hospital with a machine helping their heart beat that is not living its just stalling death and its cruel to the patient and the family. therefore the family should have the right to decide if they feel euthanasia is necessary.if it were me i would not want my family to go through that and have to worry about me for years and years instead of moving on with their lives. If they let me go, they would know i am in a better place and that i am fine. also i would not want my family's last memories of me being in a vegetative state for so long, i would want them to remember me as a strong person living my life.

Yeiria said...

If I were put in this situation it would undoubtedly be very difficult and something that would haunt me for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t want all that frustration and guilt on my shoulders after all is said and done. It would probably take a long time for me to recover and understand that I didn’t ‘kill’ my family member but I liberated them from extreme and unnecessary pain. If a family has the decency to let another well-loved family member out of their pain and misery then I respect that. Just like some people are resuscitated when their body stops functioning, we should have the right to do the opposite. Someone can say that by euthanasia it was not someone’s time to go and we took fate in our own hands, but if someone is dying we would be taking fate into our own hands by resuscitating them. But just like the guy that was diagnosed with a coma for 23 years and was actually paralyzed, people do come back to normal and the body does heal itself sometimes miraculously that even doctors can not explain it. People who are not in a vegetative stage and can decide their fate on their own, but are told they cannot get assistance, can take matters into their own hands and it would be so much more tragic for the family. If the family does assist and everyone is in agreement, there’s no reason for them to keep on suffering with threats from the justice system. It would just be more of a traumatic memory for them. I don’t think we should euthanize just anybody and everybody. If the topic comes up for some reason everyone should be in agreement and thorough investigations, inspections, and examinations should be done before making such a huge and life-altering decision. The patient should be in no way pressured or feel obligated to decide in ending their own life. I hope a lot of people don’t opt out for this choice before really trying every possible option and that it doesn’t become more and more common as we progress as a society. Just like abortions I do not think anyone should be able to tell anyone else what they can do to their own body. If I wanted to kill myself nobody can tell me that I can’t. If my family member decides justly about my fate then I put all power in their hands and the government should not get involved and they should not be prosecuted.

Gerald Dodd said...

I would back such a measure because if someone wants to end a long time of suffering that cannot be stopped should be allowed to. I think that the act of leaving someone to suffer with a horrible disease when they are sane enough to decide if they want to end their life is so evil that the person allowing them to live should be the one who goes to jail. Now in the other opinion, that if someone is not in their right mind and is suffering, they shouldn’t be allowed to say they want to die but if a loved one signs for them then they should. That’s all I have on the subject.

Ashley Alexander said...

I honestly do not know whether or not I support Euthanasia. I don’t think I would ever be able to make that decision for another person. If the person was in pain and was obviously not going to recover, then yes I could support it but living with the face that you let someone die is a horrible thought to me. I guess the counter to that would be putting the person and their family at peace and moving on with life. As far as allowing the family to do it and it being legalized, I think a doctor or nurse she do it, unless the patient asked for a family member.

Dijabou said...

Euthanasia is a very sensitive topic that is hard to deal with. I am sure no one wants to be in a state of constant pain and suffering but if you believe in God you might see it as though there's a reason for everything. I think that people who are faced with this decision should have a say in what happens to them, so they would need to have some kind of consent beforehand. I think that if the family and the patient agree to it, then they should have the right to choose, after exhausting all other options of course. Life is a precious gift, but no one can judge except the person who is in the state of pain and suffering. Medicine has yet again clashed with religion, and this time it's a close one.

Dawn Shepperson said...

I would absolutely back a measure to legalize euthanasia. People deserve the right to be able to make the decision on how to spend their last days, and end their lives.
the one main point for me is, it is true that modern medicine prolongs life (death) in so many cases now, so more so than 100 or even 50 years ago. What might have once been a certain death, is no longer true in cases of many diseases. If people do not want to have their deaths prolonged, why should we force that on them? Why is it ok to let people refuse treatment, which can result in an inhumane death, but we won't allow them the ability to have a quick and relatively painless death instead?
If people can document, or have witnessed, their desire to end their lives, what right do any bystanders have to declare that they cannot choose they manner in which they die?

sean1391 said...

Yes, I would back a measure. I do not feel it should be anyone else's business if I choose to end a life of suffering from an illness. If measures were put in place and guidelines set forth then it should be ok. I think that people who are for it want it to be legal, because then it is not suicide and loved ones can get life insurance and end a long, painful, slow death. It is no different than someone saying they do not want to be resuscitated.

justfish247 said...

I would definitely back this measure with certain criteria. I agree that if a person has a life threatening incurable disease that they should be allowed to choose how and when they perish. This allows them to go out, get their affairs in order and go out on their own terms. By giving the ill the ability to choose when and where they perish allows them a feeling of control of something they no longer have control over. Again, many guidelines would have to be put in place and the task of meeting the criteria of these guidelines should be arduous in all but the clearest cases, so not to allow those persons with a possible slight illness and severe depression to slip through the cracks.

bluntness said...

I would support euthanasia depending on the circumstances. If someone was suffering from pain that could not be controlled with medication, with medication I mean not getting addicted to the pain medication, I see nothing wrong with being euthanized. In the cases that involves brain injury; it does not make any sense to be living on a machine that is breathing for you. Lying in bed getting bed sores because you cannot move. People should take into consideration the quality of life that these terminally ill patients suffer trying to prolong their life. Even though this a controversial issue, each person’s case should be handled differently.

Lauren Plunk said...

I am not sure if I would back such a drastic messure but I would sure agree that reliatives and family members sould not be prosicuted. It is someones right to say wether they want to continue life support or pul hte plug so it seems so unfair to prosicute someone for putting a terminal relative out of their misery sooner. I feel that it should also be the terminal persons decision wether they wnt to be injected. Sometimes the pain is too much to bare or handle for the remainng time and the patients want nothing more than to end the pain, and therefore families and hspitals should not be liable for those decisions. I would have to back the nurse in France if I would have attened the trial. Doctors can not be held liable for mistkes during surgrey or other types of accendents and it seems unfair to make them liable for helping a pateient out when they are in desperate need.

GatorBoy said...

This topic had always been very controversial and will probably always be. I would back up euthanasia only if it is for the right reason. If my loved one or parents were in the situation of being terminally ill, I think they should have the right if they want to live or not. In the case of being in a vegetative state they can’t speak and, therefore, I would make that decision based on the circumstances of them suffering or not returning back to consciousness. I know that where most of us stand now on this subject, probably can change when we are actually put into this situation. I hope that none of us will have to deal with it.

missjai23 said...

This subject is indeed very touchy, however in my opinion I think that if a person want to terminate their life from pain and suffering of a serious illness, it should be done. I understand that some of the religions are against it and don't believe that the length of life isn't up to the individual but it is determined by the higher source. Religious or not a person's decision should be respected and carried out as said.

Engineer09 said...

If I were to say we legalize euthanasia, what would result from it? To claim that it is a person’s right to die, would open the door to other problems and where the line between want to die and forced to die is blurred. People have their own form of pain and different difficulties throughout life. If people started to claim that their life was too hard, that they were too poor, sick, or anything else that would bring about thoughts for euthanasia, would you be happy to support such a cause? The problem with the idea of letting a person be injected with a drug to kill them is that if people deem themselves unnecessary then it becomes far easier to commit euthanasia or to kill others. This also provides an out from solving one’s problems and stepping up to the plate to their own actions. Therefore, this does not solve anything! All this idea does is make people think that they are doing the best thing for the person who is sick. What if a cure was later made within the lifetime of the person that was just euthanized? There is no going back after the person is dead. People should not play with the lives of others. Euthanasia is a justification for those that are tired of living and cannot solve their problems

Atro said...

I would definitely back the measure of euthanasia. It is a persons right to whether they want live or not. If someone is terminally ill or is in untreatable pain they shouldn't have to suffer just to be alive. There is one case that would be questionable to call is if they were in a vegetable state of mind and couldn't make the decision for themselves. It is like the Terrry Schaivo case some years back. Who has the right to pull the plug? It is split between the parents and the husband simply because she cannot make the decision for herself. Mostly the decision rests on morals and terms of the situation.

Paul Ackbar said...

Euthanasia is a very touchy subject. It is just like abortion. Most people would like to ban abortion, but never consider themselves in that position. Same thing with Euthanasia, what if you were in a position of excruciating pain and wanted to pass away painless? One's self is responsible for their own life, but I believe that the greatest sin one can commit is committing suicide. By doing that, you are destroying God's creation. On the other hand, if the patient cannot make out a decision to be euthanize and is in a vegetative state, the closest family member should be able to make the decision for them. How can you say that a patient laying in bed that cannot move, speak, or think properly be called "living"? I would back this measure to euthanize.

Nhamilton said...

This is a very emotional topic. People can say what they would do but they can never be sure until they are in that situation. If I were in that situation I think that it would hurt me more to see a loved one suffer than to selfishly keep them alive.

Nhamilton said...

It would hurt me more to see a loved one suffer and selfishly keep them alive than to pull the plug. However, I'm not sure if I would be able to make that decision if put in that position.

Jesse said...

I believe if a person has an uncureable disease that can take his or her life, they should have the right to end their lives once they are well informed about their situation and know all the facts that the doctor has told them. The reason why I believe this is because many of these diseases leave people very undignified the longer they live with that disease and many people don't want their loved ones to see them in their darkest hours when they can't even use the bathroom by themselves. Another thing is that some of these diseases make people have these unbareable pains that feels like it's tearing them apart. So in all I believe that is ok to euthanizing people with uncureable disease including people who are in a veggitated state if the family gives their consent.

Nermin Mohamed said...

I would back a change in the law to allow euthanasia. It's not fair to let someone suffer from unbearable pain if it's incurable. I believe it's the patients' right to choose whether they want to end their life or not. However, they should only be allowed to end their life if they have a terminal disease and there is no hope of recovery. It's not fair to let them live as long as possible just waiting to die a long, painful death. I also believe that if the patient is in a vegetative state the closest family members should be the ones making the choice.

fullbluemoon said...

I believe that relatives should be able to help make the decision to euthanize a loved one under certain circumstances. The thing is I just don’t know if I would be able to do it. I feel this is something that most people would have no idea what to do until it happens to them. Most people would want to do the right thing for their family of course and it would defiantly be one of the hardest things for me to do. Some agree that it would be cruel to keep someone alive who is terminally ill and has to chance of getting better and the more I think about it the more I think about what I would want if I was in that situation.

Karly B. said...

This is a tough one. I do not really know how I would react to such a heart breaking and tough decision. Not quite sure if I could ever make this decision and I hope I never have to. If I were in that state I would not want to rely on a machine for everything.I would hope a loved one would let me go but I'm not sure if I'm strong enough to do it for them. Tough, Tough, Tough. I do not think there is a clear right or wrong. Maybe this should be like a organ donor type situation. As an adult we should have to sign some type of document. So that if something like this happens a loved one would not have to make the decision or tear a family apart trying to make one.

Sunny said...

Yes, I would back this. I would have like to been able to help my dad when he was in the hospital. He was dying and the doctors just could do enough to keep him alive. However he was suffering in unimaginable pain and i just wanted peace for him. This subject is definitely a sensitive subject but it is one that needs thought. One may question the actions and question ones morals but in reality if anyone has to experience it they will know what it feels like. Although I have felt the need to want this loosing the person is still hard but at the end of the day you would know that they were at peace.

Sunny said...

Yes, I would back this. I would have like to been able to help my dad when he was in the hospital. He was dying and the doctors just could do enough to keep him alive. However he was suffering in unimaginable pain and i just wanted peace for him. This subject is definitely a sensitive subject but it is one that needs thought. One may question the actions and question ones morals but in reality if anyone has to experience it they will know what it feels like. Although I have felt the need to want this loosing the person is still hard but at the end of the day you would know that they were at peace.

carpe diem said...

Induced euthanasia is always a hard topic to speak on. There are many who would say that euthanasia is in essence committing suicide. In this case it would be frowned upon by the general public. However, in some extreme situations where a person is suffering and in physical pain or torment, we have to be able to sympathize with their feelings and emotions. In certain scenarios such as terminal cancer, or a disease in which the person is in some type of unbearable pain, who are we to decide if ending their life is the right or wrong thing to do. It is easy to say that such things are taboo, but until we really walk in a patients shoes, we can never know what thoughts or emotions would run rampant in their mind. Ultimately, the decision is very circumstantial.

Yasmin C. said...

I strongly agree that this is a very touchy subject and unless put in that situation my feelings toward euthanasia are iffy. For the most past I do believe that a terminally ill patient have the right to decide to end their suffering. But to allow a relative the authority to decide, I'm not too sure off. Perfect example, I personally have experienced a "pull the plug" experiences and it so happened to be someone close to me and although clinically diagnosed brain dead and the clear choice to "pull the plug" was on everyone's minds, I had a hint of hope that a miracle might happen. Cases like Terri Schiavo's convince us that euthanasia and relative consent should be legal. But unless put in that situation you will never know.

Lindsey C said...

The only way I think people should be allowed to help someone commit suicide is if it's a doctor and there has been some sort of documented and signed agreement. I think that it should only be allowed if the person is sane and can understand that there is no other treatment to cure them or ease them from the pain they are suffering. I do not think that loved ones or friends should be able to do this, it's a very emotional event.

silk said...

i believe that just as everybody is entitle to there own opinion the same should be for choices.i dont believe in mercy killing or suicide. so to answer your question i probably would back the law but only if the person was in untreatable pain.

riverchild said...

I would support this measure. I don’t personally have an issue with euthanasia. If someone is terminally ill, at the end of their life, and in so much pain (that can’t be altered); death would be a release. I like the idea of a tribunal or review board. Euthanasia isn’t right in every situation, but for many, it’s the best and most humane option. It would be good to have medical professionals overseeing the review and process. Why should someone suffer needlessly at the end of their lives? Why prolong the inevitable, when the quality of life is no longer acceptable.

jimayyee said...

This topic is such a sensitive and touchy subject to touch up on. I honestly believe that people suffering from Euthanasia should be sent away from their pain. I believe that each person should live their life to the fullest, but if you're in a condition where you can't really function and living life isn't the same, then I believe it should be up to the family members. It's hard enough for that person to go through that situation. It's as hard for family members to watch that person go through it. I mean, if I was in that situation and I had euthanasia I would want my family members just to end my life right then and there. What's life if you can't do anything? Nothing. But I don't know what I would do if I was in a situation like that. I'm having mixed feelings. I honestly I don't know; this is too tough. I wouldn't know unless I was in it.

rrodriguez30 said...

I am not with that. I believe in the "God giveth and God will taketh" plan. I know we have the freedom to chose what we want to do with our body, but I feel that there are reasons why certain people have certain diseases. it could be a test of strength, endurance, and/or faith. God would not give you a problem that you could not overcome. I guess to me it's more of a spirital thing. I don't believe in taking someone's life. I would just relieve the pain, not kill the person. To me that's God's job. We are all build differently.

Nani2801 said...

I think Euthanasia is really a touchy subject over all. In my opinion, if I had such a severe illness to where I knew I was going to die from it anyway, why have to go through all the suffering? Why go through all the pain of taking medication and going through procedure after procedure, spending money on things to keep you alive knowing that you are in pain and will eventually end up dying. Why not just let the patient die if it's his/her request. Who are you to make them go through pain and suffering? Especially in a vegetable state where really, yes that person is there physically but its as if they weren't there because they cannot respond, they are just there. I would imagine that it makes the person life who takes care of them so difficult not just because you have to do everything for them but because you have to see them in that state. Do I believe in miracles? Absolutely but if the person doesn't respond within a month or so then maybe its time to let them go. I am a firm believer that if you do, they will be in a better place then here on earth going through suffering and pain. I wouldn't consider this murder at all and this choice should actually be offered to the family members of a terminally ill patient if the patient cannot respond for themself.