Forums > Personal > Assisted suicide on TV - cheap voyeurism or useful for the public?

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YourValentine user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 11 Dec 08, 09:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081211/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_televised_suicide 

What do you think? Was this broadcast worse than horror movies, war footage or amateur films of Saddam Hussein's execution? Or can it be justified to show an actaul man actually dying in front of a camera in order to make people discuss this very sensitive issue?

I found it interesting that at the end of the article they say that 80% of the British people think the anti-suicide laws should be changed but strong groups like the churches fight against this. So much for democracy representing the majority...


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Posted: 11 Dec 08, 10:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



well,its got people discussing it which i suppose is a good thing.
didnt watch the programme personally,theres enough doom and gloom in the world without willingly watch a person die on tv in the name of entertainment.what happens behind closed doors should stay there perhaps?



whether or not i agree with euthanasia is a difficult question,if it was a pet we wouldnt want to see it suffer and give it a jab in the back of the neck without a second thought but a human being...
i must admit that i have a mixed opinion on this,theres always the argument that a person that ill is not of 'sound mind' and therefore incapable of thinking logically and making a judgement like that but on the other hand would i like to see them 'living' in a sufferable state..

theres too many 'ifs,buts and wherefores' for it to be passed in the UK as legal




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Posted: 11 Dec 08, 10:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I am right at this moment in a state far from my home, assisting my mom as she endures her fourth round of chemotherapy. For four months straight, one week each month, my daughter and I have flown across the country to help however we can. We are fortunate. My mom's cancer is weakening. She'll pull through this rough patch and be stronger for the experience.

Others are not so lucky. If my mom, myself or another member of my family were as ill as the man in this story, and all hope of improvement or recovery was lost, assisted suicide would be what we'd look to. For me there is no question. No ambivalence. I've witnessed terrible suffering before death and would do all in my limited power to prevent it for myself and those I love - even if it means flying to another country to end it all. Even if it means broadcasting the entire scene - and events/conditions leading up to it - on television for all to see.

The discussion has to be had - and not in whispers. Sometimes, it takes a controversial act to initiate dialogue. Hopefully, this man's sad story will do just that AND keep the dialogue going until fair changes are made and terminally ill individuals are given the right to die with dignity.


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Posted: 11 Dec 08, 13:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



 



YourValentine wrote:



http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081211/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_televised_suicide 

What do you think? Was this broadcast worse than horror movies, war footage or amateur films of Saddam Hussein's execution? Or can it be justified to show an actaul man actually dying in front of a camera in order to make people discuss this very sensitive issue?

I found it interesting that at the end of the article they say that 80% of the British people think the anti-suicide laws should be changed but strong groups like the churches fight against this. So much for democracy representing the majority...



I'm for assisted suicide with strict safeguards 'built in', such as waiting times, psychiatric evaluations etc. But the problem with letting 'the people' decide every issue is that they are often wrong. For example, in the UK, if given a chance, polls say most people would vote for the death penalty. Too much people power is a bad thing -- the tyranny of the majority, and all that (thanks De Tocqueville).







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Posted: 11 Dec 08, 14:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Holly2003 wrote:


I'm for assisted suicide with strict safeguards 'built in', such as waiting times, psychiatric evaluations etc.



I understand the desire for some built-in safeguards, and I'm sure there would be some - not enough for some people and too much for others. But, IMO a psychiatric evaluation would be just one more indignity the dying person would have to endure.





"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 11 Dec 08, 15:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Good point.


"With a population of 1.75 million, Northern Ireland should really be a footballing minnow. Instead, they could be better described as the piranhas of the international game" (FIFA.com)
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Posted: 11 Dec 08, 16:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wouldn't the programme be equally valid if it showed him taking a cocktail of sedatives, then turning off the life support machine, lying back, closing his eyes...  and then cuts?

Not sure what the actual moment adds to the debate.  It's perfectly possible to make emotive TV with this material without being sensationalist.

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Posted: 11 Dec 08, 22:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I read about this a few days ago. 

Personally, I'm all for euthanasia.  I watched my Grandfather slowly weaken during his one round of chemo, and then the cancer came back and he passed away before they could start round two (he was too weak to have survived it anyway).  Now he was determined to fight it to the end, but he remained as stubborn a man as he always was.  But seeing him that way certainly had an impact on my perspective.   I don't think suicide should be illegal either. 

I mean, IMHO it's cruel to force people to live in a state of unimaginable pain, just because their family or the church or the government want them to die naturally.  Most people wouldn't wish that kind of pain on a criminal that they don't even know, but they'll force their family to endure it, just so they can put off the inevitable.  We wouldn't cause that kind of pain on another individual for punishment...that's torture (well...past US government policies notwithstanding).  And the church?  How exactly can they prove that if I were to kill myself, that wasn't the way that God planned for me to die?  I mean, I understand that people don't want loved ones to die; but how selfish is it to tell them that they have to keep living in immeasurable pain because you aren't ready for them to leave yet? 

I know if I get some horrible, debilitating disease that is going to kill me, but be slow about doing it, and my death is certain from this disease, I want the freedom to pull the plug.  What good does it do me to lie around in constant pain?  And what good would it do my family, to have their last memory of me being a memory of my suffering?  I could also bring up the money this would save the US medical system, but most people see that as harsh. 

In the end, I'm not sure about this guy's decision to broadcast the moment of his death though.  Like PG said, they can make it clear that he's dead, without showing the moment of death.  I guess I just feel like that should be a private thing, between the person dying and their family.  But if it takes something like this to get the convo going, then I guess that's what it takes.   



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Posted: 12 Dec 08, 01:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



AspiringPhilosophe wrote:

     I don't think suicide should be illegal either.  I'm curious AP if you believe that suicide should be legal does that mean that if a police officer is driving in his patrol vehicle across a bridge and he happens to see someone about to jump of the bridge to their death he should make no attempt to stop them.

 

 









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Posted: 12 Dec 08, 03:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Penetration_Guru wrote:

Wouldn't the programme be equally valid if it showed him taking a cocktail of sedatives, then turning off the life support machine, lying back, closing his eyes...  and then cuts?

Not sure what the actual moment adds to the debate.  It's perfectly possible to make emotive TV with this material without being sensationalist.


Yes, that is the problem, While I would spare myself to watch (I have watched people die in real life) I think this programme might help to make the issue more clear for many people who discuss it from a theoretical point of view. I am unsure if that was the right method but there are things on TV which actually offend me much more in so-called "reality shows". Why is real death so tabooed on TV when it's okay to show horrible and cruel films with people being killed in the most terrible way? Why don't we see pictures from the war like it used to be during the Vietnam War - is it to protect the diginity of the victims who are torn to pieces or ist it to prevent the public from watching what is done in their names?

I totally agree with magicalfreddie. The right of self determination cannot stop at the point when people want to put an end to their own senseless suffering. It's cruel and selfish to deny the suffering person this right. It's cruel and mean to make people take their dying relatives to another country where they have to die in a room rented by Dignitas because our own country does not allow us to decide for ourselves.

I think the real reason that politicians and churches were so outraged about the TV programme is not that they had the dignity of the dying man in mind - they usually do not give a toss about low IQ people being paraded and humiliated in "reality shows" - the real reason is that people just do not want to be confronted with that very sensitive issue from sheer fear. Therefore the families have to face it each by their own and often doctors and family members are forced to cross the legal line to help their loved ones.

Of course, abuse has to be prevented and we cannot get to a point where old people want to die because they think they are a burden to their families. Dignitas has been accused to have helped people who are not really that ill in the past for profit reasons. But the answer must be to stop this monopoly situation and change our own laws.




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Posted: 12 Dec 08, 03:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Holly2003 wrote:

But the problem with letting 'the people' decide every issue is that they are often wrong. For example, in the UK, if given a chance, polls say most people would vote for the death penalty.






Yes, that's true. You cannot have a majority vote on basic human rights. But in this case the legislator would not act against "vox populi", most people would welcome a law to allow assisted suicide. So, the fear of risking votes in the next election is not an "excuse" for doing nothing.





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Posted: 12 Dec 08, 20:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Charlie Brown wrote:







AspiringPhilosophe wrote:



     I don't think suicide should be illegal either.  I'm curious AP if you believe that suicide should be legal does that mean that if a police officer is driving in his patrol vehicle across a bridge and he happens to see someone about to jump of the bridge to their death he should make no attempt to stop them.



 



 




















That has nothing to do with whether suicide is illegal or not.  I'd like to think most people would try to stop someone doing that (but then again I'm a bit of a cynic).  What exactly is your point?






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Posted: 13 Dec 08, 00:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



AspiringPhilosophe wrote:







Charlie Brown wrote:



















AspiringPhilosophe wrote:







     I don't think suicide should be illegal either.  I'm curious AP if you believe that suicide should be legal does that mean that if a police officer is driving in his patrol vehicle across a bridge and he happens to see someone about to jump of the bridge to their death he should make no attempt to stop them.







 







 












































That has nothing to do with whether suicide is illegal or not.  I'd like to think most people would try to stop someone doing that (but then again I'm a bit of a cynic).  What exactly is your point?
No point really its just that the grandiose pseudo intellectual pretentions of some us is amusing and disturbing at the same time.











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Posted: 13 Dec 08, 04:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm all for assisted suicides if the patient concerned's life has deteriorated and there is nothing anyone can do to stop the patient from suffering like this man was.

Actually,i'm waiting on the tv companies to start making reality tv programmes on this like I'm In Great Pain,Get Me Outta Here or AS Idol or Big Bro's Assisted Suicide House


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Posted: 13 Dec 08, 05:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Can we get TM on the next episode?


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Posted: 13 Dec 08, 12:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Charlie Brown wrote:







AspiringPhilosophe wrote:



















Charlie Brown wrote:











































AspiringPhilosophe wrote:















     I don't think suicide should be illegal either.  I'm curious AP if you believe that suicide should be legal does that mean that if a police officer is driving in his patrol vehicle across a bridge and he happens to see someone about to jump of the bridge to their death he should make no attempt to stop them.















 















 































































































That has nothing to do with whether suicide is illegal or not.  I'd like to think most people would try to stop someone doing that (but then again I'm a bit of a cynic).  What exactly is your point?
No point really its just that the grandiose pseudo intellectual pretentions of some us is amusing and disturbing at the same time.

























Why don't you say what it is you are so "cutely" trying to avoid, Charlie Brown.  You've got a problem with my POV?  If so, spell out what it is and why and we can have a conversation about it.  But don't do the pretentious, cowardly "pseudo-insult" thing. 





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Posted: 13 Dec 08, 13:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If suicide were legal, perhaps the incidence of mental illness will decrease as the mental weaklings are culled from society.  The job of the cop should be encourage the guy to jump and make the world a better place.

Seriously, I think that assisted suicide should be legal, but only if there is rigorous psychological review (and a waiting period), to assure that that one's decision to end one's life is rationally thought out.


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Posted: 13 Dec 08, 14:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



 



 



 



===========
Panchgani wrote:




 



 



 



Seriously, I think that assisted suicide should be legal, but only if there is rigorous psychological review (and a waiting period), to assure that that one's decision to end one's life is rationally thought out.
===========

I'm afraid this debate will be as heated and never-ending as abortion and religion.

Why should there be a rigorous psychological review and waiting period? How can a person's psychological well-being be determined while that person is facing imminent - and horrible - death? If a person is dying - and suffering on the way to death - what kind of waiting period should there be? An hour? A week? Long enough for the patient to suffer more unimaginable pain and humiliation?

Few, if any of us, wants to face our mortality, but this is why it's so important to have your wishes clearly spelled out LONG before the onset of an illness. Like a will, personal wishes for care - or no care - should be written down officially and voiced for everyone involved to hear and understand while we're all healthy and of "sound mind".

If a disease were to ravage my body, I'd want death on my own terms. I wouldn't want to wait for some pre-determined and impersonal date to pass before I could escape, and I wouldn't want to be forced into voicing my fears and pain to some clinical stranger who didn't know me before I was ill.



 




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Posted: 13 Dec 08, 21:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What about the mentally ill?  A person with a chemical imbalance in their brain should be allowed to pull the plug on themselves, when their propensity for rational thought is limited ???? 

Oh my.  I am getting old.  I forget things sometimes.  I am obese.  I can't "perform" all night anymore.  I'm just a dentist, nobody loves me.  Worse yet, TCR is starting to sound good to me.  Please, Please, somebody shoot me, even though I am behaving irrationally.


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Posted: 13 Dec 08, 21:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Panchgani wrote:

What about the mentally ill?  A person with a chemical imbalance in their brain should be allowed to pull the plug on themselves, when their propensity for rational thought is limited ???? 

Oh my.  I am getting old.  I forget things sometimes.  I am obese.  I can't "perform" all night anymore.  I'm just a dentist, nobody loves me.  Worse yet, TCR is starting to sound good to me.  Please, Please, somebody shoot me, even though I am behaving irrationally.

You do realize we're talking about people who are terminally ill, don't you? And yet, while I mention people facing imminent and horrible deaths, you talk about being obese, impotent or aged. Hardly the same topic. 



"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury