Motion for debate: Assisted suicide should be legalized

Motion presented by J. Félix Fenández

Would you help a relative to do an assisted suicide?

“Daniel James a 23  year old who played rugby for England as a teenager has committed suicide in a Swiss euthanasia clinic after having become paralysed from the chest down  in a training accident. Police are investigating”  (The guardian/october 18,  2008).

It is one of  some cases that occur every year all over the world, such as the case as the Canadian woman who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or as  the Spanish Ramón Sampedro and recently the Italian girl Eluana Englano.

First of all  we have to distinguish the  three first cases related as an assisted suicide from the last case, that of the Italian girl case where after she had lived for 17 years in a vegetative state the doctors removed life-suppport equipment.  Assisted suicide is to aid or procure the suicide of another who wants or begs to die, such as a someone   suffering from an incurable illness or chronic intense pain, who intentionally kills himself with the help of another individual.

The only jurisdictions where assisted suicide is not illegal are Switzerland, the Netherland, Belgium, Luxemburg and the State of Oregon in the USA. However, anyone who accompanies a relative to a clinic that provides facilities for terminally ill people to commit suicide, risks prosecution on their return to their country, where, under different laws, they may be charged with  murder, manslaughter and other offences.

So would you or wouldn’t you………? and should we legalize assisted suicide for the terminally ill people?

16 thoughts on “Motion for debate: Assisted suicide should be legalized

  1. Hello.
    It is a serious subject if it happens to you -or anyone you know and love- that you are in a situation which won’t change for better. Regarding to illneses, there are many which are painful and won’t get better with time.
    So why not?
    The point here, in my opinion, is to articulate Law accurately providing a thorough description of when and how to administrate euthanasia, thus averting undesired murdering of defenceless people who might be the subjects for those methods.

  2. I agree with Felix’s statement in some aspects, overall in the case where a terminally-ill person decides by him/herself to die, as Ramon San Pedro did, because everyone should be able to make such a decision concerning their own lives. That’s why I think that the law should be modified for assisted suicide to be accepted so that mediators are neither persecuted nor charged with manslaughter or murder.
    However, it is a totally different matter to have the courage to ask a doctor to put an end to the life of a close family member. Much will depend in that case on the patient’s quality of life and the family’s convictions.
    By the way, you probably know that in Oviedo there is an office located in “La ERIA” where everybody can go to fill in a form called “Vital Will” so that in case of terminal illness assisted suicide can be implemented without risks for those who assist you. In any case, I believe this is an extremely important matter which must be deeply considered and decided upon by each person.

  3. I strongly agree with quaver1969, if you or any of your relatives is suffering from an awful illness why not finish with that daily-fight against pain?

    I couldn’t help to feel furious when i watch on TV that Silvio Berlusconi was trying to avoid Eluana rest in peace.

  4. Of course I would help a relative to do an assisted suicide so I’m in favour of legalizing assisted suicide.
    The debate about euthanasia is widespread nowadays and I’m my opinion our bodies are our own, and we should be allowed to do what we want with them. So it’s wrong to make anyone live longer than they want.
    In fact making people go on living when they don’t want to, violates their personal freedom and human rights.

  5. If it happened to me, I would want to die. However, things are different if it happened to anyone who I love, as quaver1969 and Selma say. I think I could not take the responsabilty to say: “I want that he/she die”, even though he/she had a terminal disease.
    In my opinion, assisted suicide should not be legalized. There are many ways to avoid the pain. Moreover, in many cases, the person who is ill can not decide, so it is a decision that a relative has to take.
    Clausaymara I do not agree with you. Do you think people should let die a person who suffers from depression, for example? Or if someone decides to die because he has financial problems,do you support him? I don not think we should be allowed to do what we want with our bodies, we have to put limits. There are many irresponsable people in the world.

  6. Hello.
    Yes. There are many irresponsable people in the world, but that’s not the point.
    The point is that unfortunatelly, our bodies may get to the limit in which anesthesics, analgesics and drugs don’t kill the pain because of tolerance.
    That is to say, there is a maximum dose of drugs our bodies can stand without being killed by them, but the more drugs you are administrated the more tolerance you have to those drugs, so eventually painkillers won’t work any more, and the pain your loved fellow is going through can be very strong.
    So what would you do in that case?
    Let them hurt to death?

  7. In my opinion, assisted suicide (I don’t really like this word, beacuse I think that you commite suicide when you are in a normal situation and these cases are extraordinary ones) should be legalized, because you feel alive when you can do most things by yourself, not depending on everyone. If you are psycologically in good conditions you can decide if you want to live or not, and if you are in a vegetative state with no possibility of recovering, why should you continue living?
    How many people who can live a longer and excellent life die because of wars and a lot of stupid human actions? Why people don’t fight for these people’s rights instead of insisting on “defending” the vital rights of a person who has no more opportunities?
    If this is not enough convincing, just try to imagine yourself in those situations, without moving any part of your body and sentenced to live in a bed for the rest of your life with a lot of machines helping you to breathe and to eat. Would you like that “life”?

  8. In my oppinion we are responsible for our life but also for our own death. If anyone does not enjoy living anymore I don’t know why we should stop that person from having a quick, painless death if that’s what he really seeks :$

    Of course this would be the last option in any case, and only people over 18 should have the right to decide something like this 😉

  9. quaver1969, a person who is under treatment can’t feel pain. There are medical instruments and medicines that make it possible.

  10. Everybody should decide about one’ s own life. We can remember dramatic cases in films, like “Mar adentro” or “Million dollar baby” and I bet all we wanted that these people achieve to die. It is painful and worrying thinking about the death, about your death; but, when you have no hope, you don´t feel like living… why does it must continue?
    The vital will, already commented, can be a great help for not making relatives take this difficult decision.

  11. In answer to pink, I think that quaver1969 doesn’t refear to physical pain only. When someone’s in that kind of situation, even he doesn’t feel physical pain, something hurts inside of his body. (quaver1969 if I’m misinterpreting please tell me)

  12. Hello.

    Pink, you are wrong. I already explained, so I’ll give you a link to wikipedia:

    Believe me, unfortunately it’s true.

    Mr Wolf, you are wrong.
    I said regarding to illnesses, which means physical pain -though there are psychiatric illnesses too.

    I’m not a supporter for suicide or murder.
    Euthanasia is a different matter: it is the concept of well dying in a situation in which you are going to die anyway, but it prevents you from a long painful – physical- agony.

  13. quaver1969: ” larger doses are required to achieve the same effect”, so it works. Moreover, when you have a terminal illness, the treatment does not consist on taking painkillers, there are strong medicines…

  14. It isn’t only a question about pain. There are other kinds of suffering that you can’t avoid with drugs.
    There are many people suffering from horrible diseases, like E.L.A., for example. Maybe you can give them drugs to avoid pain, that isn’t enough.
    Many people have a healthy brain and an ill body.
    It has to be very difficult to know that you can’t control your body and think that you’ll spend the rest of your life in bed. Maybe you don’t feel pain, but what about your mind, your emotions of your feelings?
    Obviously, you can avoid this sedating the patient, but… that differs from death?

    Apart of this, I’m the only owner of my body, and I would like to have the right to choose.

  15. Hello.
    Pink, you cannot increase drug doses to the infinite, there is another concept called overdose -check it in wikipedia- , so there is a point where painkillers won’t work.
    See you.

  16. quaver1969 let doctors do their job. I am not a doctor, so I don’t know how treatments are. The only thing I can say is that I couldn’t decide about my relatives’s life.

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