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Talk:Euthanasia

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I oppose euthanasia, although I am an atheist myself and don't buy into those slippery slope arguments. This is because a doctor's job is to do their best to heal and comfort the sick or injured, not kill them to handle. Now, if you would rather die than be treated, then you can simply refuse treatment and let the disease run its course or commit suicide with your own resources. But I feel that euthanasia goes against the purpose of the doctor: healing, not killing.

To quote the Hippocratic Oath that doctors are required to agree to:

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required...but it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.

There have been cases where people requested euthanasia, got it, when it turned out that the disease was actually treatable. For those peoples' hypochondria and impatience, they paid with their lives. This should be prevented. If you would rather die than be treated, then that's your choice: you can choose to refuse treatment and die of your disease or commit suicide. But it is not the job of the doctor to kill you if you don't want zem helping you. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 14:56, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Doctors aren't required to agree to the Hippocratic Oath, not nowadays anyway. Beyond that your argument doesn't really say anything, it's just a blank assertion. Why isn't it the job of the doctor? Isn't the job of the doctor whatever we make it out to be? --Lord Shang (talk) 15:00, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
(EC)Unrelated to the above, but: I suppose you want the male pronouns you're using to refer to the doctor to be repackaged as gender-neutral, now? Do you see how this matters for a sexist society, when the male assumes the prime position even in the language itself? Uke Blue 15:04, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

My point is, modern medicine was founded on the principle of the doctor's job being to do everything in hir power to treat hir patients. It's not the doctor's job to kill you if you don't want to live. If you want to die, you can just refuse treatment or kill yourself. Why should the doctor have to kill you if that's not hir job? (And with the whole "isn't the job what we make it out to be", that's just a word game. A doctor is one who is qualified and practices medicine. That's what the doctor's job is. Nothing in there says hir job is to kill the patient if ze (the patient) doesn't like hir condition. (Oh, and thanks for the whole pronoun thing. Fixed it up, am now using gender-neutral pronouns.) The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 15:17, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

So what's your point? Jobs aren't immutable categories that are handed down to us from the beginning of time, so why can't that be changed? --Lord Shang (talk) 15:18, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Or you can say a doctor's job is to alleviate suffering. The point is that they'd know how to do that very well - for instance, I'm not stupid, so would probably be able to kill myself quickly and painlessly if I wanted, but I have access to equipment and materials that can do that, not every does, however. Most people who try hanging fuck up and regret it about ten seconds into it when they realise choking to death is pretty painful. Drug overdoses just fuck your body and cause you to die quite slowly. Meanwhile euthanasia promotes quick and painless death, something that "kill yourself" more often than not doesn't involve. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:23, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
(I originally mistook Armondikov's comment above for one by Heidelberg, which naturally caused me some confusion, so I've replaced my original comment :P) -- This argument against euthanasia is basically an example of the naturalistic fallacy similar to the Thomist argument that "the telos of doctors is to heal, anything extraneous to this telos is contrary to its functioning, anything contrary to a telos is contrary to the overall telos of the universe and is hence evil". --Lord Shang (talk) 15:31, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

The last part of the argument is where I draw the line. A doctor's job is to heal and comfort the sick/injured. Anything else is not something the doctor is obligated to do, and isn't part of hir job description. Now, people can do things outside of their job, but expecting you to ask the doctor at hir job to do something outside of that job is ridiculous. An analogy: A singer's job is to sing at the performance according to predetermined criteria (i.e., which song to sing). Anything else is not an obligation of the singer's to do. If I were to ask the singer to dance whilst singing, that would be ridiculous as it isn't the singer's job to do so. You can dance if you want, but expecting the singer to do something outside hir job is absurd. Not necessarily evil, but absurd. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 15:36, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

But that is not a doctor's job. It is what YOU THINK a doctor's job is. My doctor has had long discussions with me about life threatening situations, cause she and I know each other out side of the office. I asked her to discuss life ending decision for my "living will", and she thinks it is her job to help me do what I most want, if it is at a point her conscious is fine with it. That is what SHE, the doctor thinks is her job. A woman performing abortions is in one sense, "causing harm", but in their mind, they are treating the patient before them. Doctors have to deal with their own morals, then present to teh world what those morals are, and how they will fit into the role of "doctor" based on those morals. A doctor who does not believe in euthansia would not do it; but it should not be illegal for one who does believe in euthanasia to assist a patient in her last days.Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 16:03, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Agree with fullheartedly with Godot. It should not be illegal for a doctor to perform euthanasia, nor should a doctor be forced to perform it. @HBK: You talked about being able to kill oneself instead of asking a doctor. This is normally not quite as easy for old people (who are usually the ones that ask to be euthanized), as it is for young people. If you have arthritis and sit in a wheelchair it is difficult to impossible to hang or shoot yourself; you ned help to do that (hopefully from someone who knows what he/she's doing, for instance a doctor and not some run of the mill amateur. Btw: You often referred to a doctors job description like it is written in stone. Where did you find that "job description"? I'm currently searching. Something with a short job description might suit me ;-) --Th. Bernhard (talk) 22:07, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

You could ask a friend to shoot you, or you could deny treatment for your illness. The "job description" is based off of the modern Hippocratic Oath, a modified form from the FOUNDER OF MEDICINE AS WE KNOW IT:

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability...I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required....
Got the modern oath here.

Yes, there have been changes from the classical version to the modern one, but these are just to update to modern scientific advances, such as the rising safety and benefits of surgery, the discovery that embryos are not sentient, et cetera. But the essence of it remains: doctors' jobs are to help the sick get better. Expecting them to do something else as their job is like expecting the singer to dance also.

Another worry of mine is, how do I tell a doctor I don't want to be euthanised no matter what happens? I don't want to die, no matter what! The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 00:42, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

what. TheShade (talk) 01:18, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
No. "for the benefit of the sick, all measures ..." doesn't say "make them not sick". Consider hospiceWikipedia's W.svg care. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 02:50, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
For someone claiming elsewhere to "be a genius", you have serious issues with basic comprehension. (though you seem to do really well in cell biology). Why would a doctor kill you if you didn't want to be killed? Euthanasia is fulfilling YOUR request. Otherwise it would be murder. People who want to be killed either make a request while they are awaiting treatment, or in the event an accident, hold living wills that state what to do. For example, my living will states you must wait 10 days, "brain dead or not". Not sure why, I just set it up like that. You can pretty much say anything in a living will. Are you really going to argue something that you are *this* uninformed about? Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 02:56, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

@HBK: "You could ask a friend to shoot you, or you could deny treatment for your illness." Hm, have you ever been to a retirement home? The elderly (as I said, the group most likely to ask to be euthanised) normaly don't have healthy young friends who could "shoot" them. They have either friends with similar problems, which make them unsuited for assisting in the euthanasia or they have family members left. I hope you can imagine why the police would no take too kindly if I shot my rich, old, sick aunt and inherited a big load of money afterwards... and to refuse treatment can put you up to a very long period of exteme suffering, why you would want that is beyond me. But hey, at least you don't have to be afraid, that the doctor will euthanise you ;-) As to the hypocratic oath, there is also this passage in the modern version:

Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
The same source you used.

It does not say: "I must not take a life" It says: "I must not play God", which means it is not a doctors job to decide who lives or dies. --Th. Bernhard (talk) 07:21, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Actually, it is a doctor's job, and they do it all the time. (though admistrators and insurance do it more, but I digress). Most often, it's a matter of resources - biological or medical. There is one heart to transplant, and 100 patients who need it. A Doctor or team of doctors decides who lives and dies. There is a major event like an explosion at a plant, earth quake, flood - the hospital is flooded with patients and you triage. most are "not serious enough to worry about right now". but some are "too serious to waste our limited resources". When not treating one soldier can save the lives of 100 more, you have to decide to make that call or not.
But the real point here is that in the case of Euthanasia, doctors are not DECIDIGN anything. they are acting on the patient or family's wish. Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 16:42, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that correction. Forgot how stressfull a doctors life can be and is. Funny though that the not playing God part is still in the oath when they as you showed obviously have to do just that...--Th. Bernhard (talk) 18:18, 20 June 2012 (UTC)