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[I found this on a conservative Canadian Discussion Board]

Better for Old People to Kill Themselves Than Be A Nuisance, Lawmaker Says

CNSNews.com
By Patrick Goodenough
December 14, 2004

Excerpt:

A prominent British lawmaker has triggered an outcry by implying that elderly and very ill people should not only have the right, but the obligation to kill themselves rather than become a nuisance. The furor erupted as British lawmakers prepared to vote on a bill that critics worry could be used to sanction the killing of patients in a vegetative state.

"I couldn't bear hanging on and being such a burden on people," said Baroness Mary Warnock, an 80-year-old medical ethicist, philosopher and member of the upper House of Lords, in a weekend newspaper interview.

"In other contexts, sacrificing oneself for one's family would be considered good," she told the Sunday Times. "I don't see what is so horrible about the motive of not wanting to be an increasing nuisance."

"If I went into a nursing home, it would be a terrible waste of money that my family could use far better," Warnock added.

Later in the interview she said: "I am not ashamed to say some lives are more worth living than others," before conceding that "if someone else decides your life is not worth living, that is very dangerous."

Warnock was speaking ahead of a House of Commons vote Tuesday on legislation that would give legal status to "living wills" and allow third parties to tell doctors to withdraw treatment -- or even food and water -- from terminally-ill patients.

"Living wills" are documents that set out how ill people want to be treated if they are no longer able to communicate their wishes directly to medical staff.

The Mental Capacity Bill is highly contentious, with some members of the ruling Labor Party opposing it and calling for the right to vote according to conscience.

'Drain on resources'

Warnock's comments stunned many, not only because of what she said, but also because of her own background. Considered one of Britain's most eminent philosophers, she once sat on a House of Lords committee that rejected a move to legalize euthanasia.

In 1995, her husband died of a debilitating lung disease called fibrosing alveolitis.

Her Sunday Times interview drew strong reactions: Age Concern, a charity working with the elderly, called her remarks "outrageous."

"The current system of care [for the elderly] is chronically under-funded and we should be looking at ways of improving the system rather than blaming older people," a spokesman said.

Euthanasia advocates welcomed Warnock's intervention, noting her change in stance over the past 10 years and saying that it reflected a wider shift in public opinion.

Warnock's remarks went beyond "end of life" decisions. She also suggested that if doctors felt premature babies could not be treated, the children's parents should pay for them to remain on life-support systems.

"Maybe it has to come down to saying: 'Okay, they can stay alive but the family will have to pay for it,' " she said. "Otherwise it will be an awful drain on public resources."

Warnock is the second member of the House of Lords to have made explosive comments about ethical issues in the past 10 days.

On December 5, Baroness Shreela Flather suggested in a newspaper interview that parents from deprived areas should be dissuaded from having large families.

"People should be thinking more about how much they can offer five children compared to how much they can offer two or three," she said.

"If you want the best for your child, you have to think about how many children you can look after. If you had two or three children, maybe you could have higher aspirations for them."

The India-born Flather is a former president of the Family Planning Association and currently sits on the board of Marie Stopes International (MSI), a UK-based organization that carries out some 35,000 abortions a year, and works in 30 mostly developing countries worldwide.

An MSI spokeswoman was quoted afterwards as saying Flather was speaking independently of the organization, although MSI is reportedly considering publishing leaflets cautioning of the financial costs of bringing up children.

'Eugenics'

A spokeswoman for the British pro-life charity Life told CNSNews.com that Flather's comments were "particularly worrying given the fact that the world is facing a population implosion whereby the fertility level for the world as a whole is predicted to drop below replacement level before 2050."
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200412/CUL20041214a.html
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Ironic that those who coined the phrase "don't trust anyone over 30" in the 1960's may be among the recipients of that cynicism.
 

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I'm OK with euthenasia with one exceptionally-important stipulation: That the person making the decision be the person who is going to die.

I've got no problem with what Baroness Warnock has to say. If she chooses to take her own life rather than be a burden on others as her health fails in old age, I think that is her right.

It's when someone else decides that a person should die instead of becoming a burden on others as their health fails that I oppose (unless the person has given that other person durable power of attorney to make that decision for them in the event of their becoming incapacitated).

When it's someone else making the decision, we have the Nazi version of euthenasia in which the disabled and mentally ill were exterminated as untermench.

Conversely, when we have the government meddling in a person's rational decision to die - as we have with Federal attempts to subvert Oregon's right-to-die law - we just have a different side of the same coin of government oppression of the citizenry.

I fully expect to die by suicide, although I'm in no hurry to do it. But when the pain of life outweighs the joys of life and it's only going to get worse, I hope to extend to myself the same dignified exit that I have extended to my dogs as they get old.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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The tough question is what is to be done when the person is not capable of making the decision.
 

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Custer said:
The tough question is what is to be done when the person is not capable of making the decision.
Agreed. If the person has given someone else durable power of attorney to make the decision for them in that event, then I think it's not a problem. But if they haven't, I think it's best to error on the side of caution and not kill the person even if it may seem obvious that what they would want.

There's a case in Florida in which this is currently going on: Woman has been in a persistant vegetative state for years, had signed no durable power of attorney, and husband wants her taken off of IV's and tubes, while her parents want her to remain on IV's and tubes. The IV's and tubes are just for feeding and water, she's not on life support - by disconnecting them she would die of hunger and/or thirst. The conservatives got through a law that will prevent her from being disconnected - and I actually agree with them.

Now, if I were in a persistant vegetative state, I'd want to be disconnected. Actually, I'd want to be given a heroin overdose or shot in the head. But, anyway, I'd want to die. But I wouldn't want anyone else to make the decision, unless I had explicitly given them authority to do so in the event of my being incapacitated.

Although, as I think of it, registration in the Republican party could serve as a good roster of folks for whom it's OK for someone else to decide that they should die.
 

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Gunco Irregular
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I sure hate to think that someone could be made to feel guilty for living too long and that they are using up financial resources that could be used by the younger generation. I'm afraid that kind of emotional blackmail could sway many elderly people into making the choice to die.
 

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Grendeljaeger said:
I sure hate to think that someone could be made to feel guilty for living too long and that they are using up financial resources that could be used by the younger generation. I'm afraid that kind of emotional blackmail could sway many elderly people into making the choice to die.
I see it as just a true fact, nothing to feel guilty about. Social Security wouldn't be such a mess if people would just die earlier. Our healthcare crisis wouldn't exist if folks died instead of getting expensive treatments. When it gets closer to home guilt may kick in: I suspect that more than one elderly person has committed suicide rather than see his or her estate be devoured by medical expenses instead of passing on to his or her children as an inheritance.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Promoting good health mererly postpones medical costs until the last stage of life and raises pension costs.

I am considering a class action against all the do-gooders who have created this costly mess through their shortsighted attacks on burgers, beer and smokes.
 

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Then let the person that proposed it be the firslt to go or one of his family members. And make sure they drag him away kicking and screaming. Or maybe the Brits will have "special doctors" that will make house calls. Boy, there will be no more bitchin from Grandma that the house is too cold for her or Grandpa complaining that his back hurts.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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I'm for euthenasia for me, but only when I make that decision. The problem is that is only the start of would follow. Next will be the individual that is in a coma and cannot speak. Then, the senile people that surely cannot understand or enjoy life anyway..... and on down the line till it gets to anyone not in perfect health.

And, in some countries abortion has already turned into allowing badly deformed or severly handicapped children to be euthenized.

None of this is a good thing.
 

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I agree with Dze if one wants to end it then it's their decision and leave the undecided alone.

The problem is many people use the health care system and what of the burden by poor people who cannot pay? What about victims of accidents? Disease?

First we knock off the old people
Second we knock of the babies born with defects
Third we knock off the vegetables

Okay, now we have things under control......

Few year pass by and the health care cost are still skyrocketing..Hmm?

What should we do now?

Let's get rid of the poor because they cannot pay their bills.

Okay, now we have things under control.......

Few more years and costs are still bad, what to do?

Get rid of the people that have been in bad car accidents who will need major treatment, that will help the costs!

Few years goes by and.....


Do you get where I'm going?
 

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SangRun Hunter said:
I agree with Dze if one wants to end it then it's their decision and leave the undecided alone.

The problem is many people use the health care system and what of the burden by poor people who cannot pay? What about victims of accidents? Disease?

First we knock off the old people
Second we knock of the babies born with defects
Third we knock off the vegetables

Okay, now we have things under control......

Few year pass by and the health care cost are still skyrocketing..Hmm?

What should we do now?

Let's get rid of the poor because they cannot pay their bills.

Okay, now we have things under control.......

Few more years and costs are still bad, what to do?

Get rid of the people that have been in bad car accidents who will need major treatment, that will help the costs!

Few years goes by and.....


Do you get where I'm going?
Well said. I can see having the right to control your own mortal destiny, but where does this all stop? Let's kill all the bald people, and everyone with bad breath....etc....etc....etc:angry:
 

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Class 07 FFL/SOT
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Euthanasia?

Euthanize Dungers.

Start with this one.
 

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Well, upon re-reading the article, I don't see where she's proposing that anyone make the decision to die other than the person who dies - that she's saying that she doesn't intend to live to be a burden and that other folks ought to consider making the same decision she's made. I see nothing wrong with that.

SangRun speaks to a related issue - rationing of healthcare. As costs, population, and effective treatments each increase exponentially, healthcare increasingly becomes rationed - like it or not. Right now it's rationed economically, with the poor and uninsured being pretty much SOL. Social Darwinists tend to be OK with that.
 

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I can't believe we've gotten to the point of putting a price tag on human life. I guess the love of money is the root of all evil.
 

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You know, I often wonder if a millionaire were dying, how much would he pay for one more day? So I try not to waste them.
 

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Poof no eyebrows
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Touchy subject, i'm still not sure where i'm at on it. At the nursing home I work at, we have 8 people who can't talk, move or basically do anything. I get them up for meals, at least the ones without feeding tubes, and feed them. check and change thier diaper every 2 hours, the nurses administers med as needed.

The rest of the time these people lie in bed staring at the ceiling or the wall. When I work with them I try and keep the tv or radio on for them, but the other aids and nurses turn them off saying there is no point to keep them on.

This is the life they lead, if you could call it that lying in bed all day, messing yourself, having someone force feed you( basically) and all for 5 grand a month.

Not what I want when it comes my time.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Dzerzhinsky said:
SangRun speaks to a related issue - rationing of healthcare. As costs, population, and effective treatments each increase exponentially, healthcare increasingly becomes rationed - like it or not. Right now it's rationed economically, with the poor and uninsured being pretty much SOL. Social Darwinists tend to be OK with that.
I don't know how anyone can say that when Medicaid costs have exploded.

A lot of uninsured people are self employed or waive the coverage they are offered because they won't pay for it or habitually un employed or under employed. Some of that is by choice. Some by continued bad life decisions.
 

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Custer said:
I don't know how anyone can say that when Medicaid costs have exploded.

A lot of uninsured people are self employed or waive the coverage they are offered because they won't pay for it or habitually un employed or under employed. Some of that is by choice. Some by continued bad life decisions.
I know as a small business owner that health care costs are astronomical. Insurance coverage for myself would cost about $800 a month. That's whu I take it through my wife. Medical facilities usually offer insurance for less than anyone else.
 
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