Euthanasia - should it be legal or illegal? (v2.0)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Darth Mischievous, Mar 18, 2005.

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  1. Darth_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    This is what throws me. I would think that all those Christian followers would welcome her release to the next plain of existence; release from the physical bond that had imprisoned her for so long in a state that prevented her from experiencing anything about life.

    What you describe sounds more like Platonic rather than Christian thought. Christianity is an incarnate religion. The soul is not "imprisioned" in the body which is "released" upon death. Personhood includes both soul and body. Besides, a Christian would tell you that the separation of body and soul is only temporary.

    I think it's a mistake to base personhood on a certain level of brain activity. A person has a brain but a person is not a brain. Terri died in 2005. That is the official year of death, and any other interpretation is a grave presumption as to what it means to be alive.

    I feel like I'm rambling, but that's because I don't know how to adequitely explain beyond giving my thesis, which is: The reason people approve of the outcome of the Schiavo case and other forms of euthanasia is due to a fundamental misunderstanding of human personhood.
  2. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    A person has a brain but a person is not a brain.

    Your brain is you and you are your brain. If you had no brain you'd cease to be anything.
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Forgive me for sounding callous; can we talk about euthanasia in theory and stop obsessing over the past? Cheers; the issue is a forest and you're all standing around the stump of one tree arguing over it.

    Seriously, I am pro-euthanasia but not being American, am not hung up on this case. My bad, I know, I know...

    E_S
  4. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Overlord, let me ask again:

    What would have changed that would have made it okay for her to pass away later?after five, ten or twenty more years in that same bed with that same brain?but not now?

    And Christians, of all people, shouldn't fear or hate death; what's there to fear about the eternal bliss of paradise?

    Religious or not, the natural first response when a loved one is dying is "You can't leave me." But there comes a point where that has to give way to "It's okay for you to go."
  5. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    A person has a brain but a person is not a brain.

    a brain is to a physical book (pages and ink) as a person is to the linguistic content of a novel. they're different aspects of the same thing. however, one of those aspects is entirely dependent on the other - if you bleach all the ink off its pages, the story is lost with it. if your neurons stop firing in the pattern that makes you "you", then "you" are dead.

    in this case, she died a long time ago, and the weird obsession certain parties had with keeping her mindless body functioning was abhorrent, to the point of bordering on necrophilia. playing with dead bodies and trying to pretend they're alive is, frankly, grotesque.
  6. Darth_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    What would have changed that would have made it okay for her to pass away later?after five, ten or twenty more years in that same bed with that same brain?but not now?

    Terri had no terminal illness. If she did, she would have eventually died of the illness. The only form of assistance she had was the feeding tube. Providing food and water is basic care to all patients, terminal or not. Even someone who eats three square meals a day will die of something someday. Terri would have been no different.

    And Christians, of all people, shouldn't fear or hate death; what's there to fear about the eternal bliss of paradise?
    But by your logic, Christians shouldn't fear or hate suicide or murder either. If they're going to the eternal bliss of paradise, isn't that helping them on their way? My point was that there is not this notion that life is better off getting over with as soon as possible so we can skip to the paradise part. They are both parts of the journey. People die when they die, not when we would like them to.

    And to those who seem to think a person is the same as a person's brain, what is so special about these electrons moving between neurons that we give so much reverence to them in the first place? Why then bother with bans on euthanasia, abortion, suicide, and murder in the first place? What kind of philosophy can say some of these things are wrong but not others and still remain logically consistant?
  7. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    So I guess we're just going to get hung up on this one case. Excellent, there's nothing like taking an important issue and devaluing it!

    [face_plain]

    E_S
  8. Loopster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2000
    star 4
    Can I just ask a dumb question?

    Indeed, sir. I excel at that.

    What do the people who think she should have been kept alive under the circumstances believe should have been done with her if she developed an operable disease like lung cancer or something?

    What if she needed a lung transplant? Would you give it to her or let her die?
  9. Darth_Overlord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Sorry Ender, I know you want to talk about other issues besides the whole Schiavo thing. But I was specifically asked a question, was I not supposed to respond? I've been trying to discuss my philosophy behind it rather than the issue of the case itself, and I don't think my argument would change very much when discussing euthanasia at large.
  10. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    How does your philosophy, Overlord, manifest itself in a way that believes people do not have the right to govern their own bodies (speaking of Euthenasia in general now)? Were I to be in a state of ill health, where every breath I take is a spasm of debilitating pain, and my survival meant a daily burden on my family just to care for me, why do I not have the basic human right here in the United States (sorry E_S) to end my life?

  11. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    What would have changed that would have made it okay for her to pass away later?after five, ten or twenty more years in that same bed with that same brain?but not now?

    Terri had no terminal illness. If she did, she would have eventually died of the illness. The only form of assistance she had was the feeding tube.


    Which, as I'm sure you're familiar with, was a rather significant form of assistance, as it was the only thing keeping her alive.

    Providing food and water is basic care to all patients, terminal or not. Even someone who eats three square meals a day will die of something someday. Terri would have been no different.

    That doesn't answer the question, though: What would have made it okay for her to die later, but not now? If you're talking about natural causes, she'd have died years and years ago if not for the decidedly unnatural assistance involved.

    And Christians, of all people, shouldn't fear or hate death; what's there to fear about the eternal bliss of paradise?

    But by your logic, Christians shouldn't fear or hate suicide or murder either.


    Suicide and murder are only two of death's many, many forms, most of them completely natural. Death has been around for as long as there's been life; it's as much a part of the natural order as anything can be. Everyone dies. No one can avoid it; for a while, sure, but not forever, and with some lives?by no means all, but in some extreme cases?there comes a time to question what the point of sticking around is.

    Both my grandmothers passed away in the same year. One was active, social, happy and heatlhy (well, healthy as anyone over 70 can be) right up until the end. She had ample reasons to live; she woke up to them every day. When her time came?poof. Like a light switch. All of us missed her, of course, and still do?but we can look back and celebrate that life, and give thanks for having been a part of it.

    My other grandmother shut herself in, and spent the last ten years of her life almost completely alone. She'd had a stroke some years prior, could barely walk or speak, and did nothing all day but wander the dilapidated husk of her house. Year after year it went on, and when she finally gave up the ghost... All I can say is that her release from that shadow of a life was the best thing to happen to her in all the time I'd known her.

    You don't have to be physically dead for your life to be over. And I don't mean "over" in the overwrought "Oh, she left me, it's all over," sense; I mean cases where a person's entire journey is over and done with, where they have neither the will nor the capacity to carry on, and nothing left to accomplish. Schiavo's story was such a case?perhaps the most extreme case. She had no brain, and without a brain, she had no future.

    Letting her go, bringing her journey to its full and proper closure, was the kindest act anyone could have done for her, and I can only hope that, should I ever end up in her state, my loved ones have the kindness to do the same for me.

    EDIT:

    And before anyone points out my sig, remember: Schiavo was well beyond any chance for any sort of raging. Passion, fire, purpose; those are as natural as death, life and all things in between, and should be embraced every second of every day?but she would never experience any of those things again. Her light wasn't dying; it was dead, and had been for years. Her body just hadn't caught up yet.
  12. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    She had no brain, and without a brain, she had no future.

    Tell that to Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Falwell.
  13. Danrizzy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2005
    star 1
    I still think it is wrong
  14. ClonedEmperor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 4
    A Christian would tell you (and i would ask catholics out there not to blast me or other Protestants for this belief on this thread) that the likeliness of the situation is that Terri was not saved, accepted Christ as her personal saviour, and therefor if there was the tiniest chance she could get better, than it should be taken.
  15. Special_Fred Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    Could you clarify what you mean by that?
  16. Guinastasia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2002
    star 6
    Considering that Terri was a practicing Catholic, if you're insinuating she wasn't Christian, why should people not blast you?
  17. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Considering that Terri was a practicing Catholic, if you're insinuating she wasn't Christian, why should people not blast you?

    No, I can actually see the source of this, given the context of history between the religions. Catholicism to many Evangelical Christians is viewed as a wayward group bare considered more to be a cult or business than an actual theological practice. I've heard endless accounts of Christians who outwardly condemn (in the name of their God, of course) Catholics for no other reason than their faith.

    I call it the "Holier than thou" complex. ;)

  18. Guinastasia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2002
    star 6
    True, but it's actually an extremely ignorant statement. People will state, "Catholics aren't Christians", which is ridiculous.
  19. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    True, but it's actually an extremely ignorant statement. People will state, "Catholics aren't Christians", which is ridiculous.

    Oh I agree. it is ridiculous.
  20. Jedi_Solaad Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2005
    I don't know if this has been touched on, but if the Schaivo case is precedent now, then I want Dr. Kervorkien(I don't know if I spelled it right) to be released. At least he had documented proof that these people did not want to live and he did it with an overdose of sedatives rather than starvation.
  21. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    I'd have to agree with that. IMHO, if after some serious counselling, someone decides that they want to die, then let them!
  22. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    I don't know if this has been touched on, but if the Schaivo case is precedent now, then I want Dr. Kervorkien(I don't know if I spelled it right) to be released. At least he had documented proof that these people did not want to live and he did it with an overdose of sedatives rather than starvation.

    While I personally agree, legally they are two very different cases. Kevorkian's are cases of actively assisting suicide. Schiavo was a case of discontinuing medical treatment so as to allow the body to die on its own.

    Again, I feel strongly that Kevorkian should never have been jailed, especially when even the families of the patients were in favor of Kevorkian's actions. Unfortunately, though, the Schiavo case would not affect his outcome one way or the other, legally speaking.

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