Here's the problem. If you have dementia, you are not mentally competent to ask to be terminated. You are doomed. You can have a "do not resusciate" document but not a "kill me" document. Too easy to create violations.
Way out: if you THINK you are headed downhill, do a Junior Seau and pre-empt the decline.
If someone wants to kill themselves - fine. Gun is easy. No gun? Take 40 sleepng pills. Just don't step in front of a car or train. Why give someone else guilt.
What if do not own a gun, or have arms and legs that function?
In your opinion is there any objective way to determine the threshold?
Also it's interesting to note that in the case cited there was no physical pain involved. Their quality of life was diminished to the point they wished to die due to the isolation they felt being deaf and blind. Could someone else (say an avid outdoorsman, hiker, hunter, etc) who is a paraplegic make the case that the restrictions they are now subject are enough they ought be allowed end their life?
No. Not unless we invent objective pain meters. This will inevitably be subjective, both on a personal and state level. That does not mean for me that it can't be done, but that there would have to be some sort of case by case determination with very strong requirements for a waiting period, supporting medical documentation, psychiatric evaluation, etc. And your point is accurate... this one was an odd case in that it did not involve physical pain. It was argued more from a psychological/social perspective. Re the paraplegic or quadraplegic, there should at least be the right to consideration. So much depends on the surrounding facts, not just the condition.
I think there is at least an interesting debate re the question of assisted suicide with the exception of someone who absolutely cannot perform an unassisted suicide. Is the issue one of practicality? i.e., that a pain-free process requires a doctor's order at minimum and is therefore "assisted" to that degree? Or the injection method, which has to be administered... can it be done by a family member rather than a professional? Or self administered? Control of ones life and death are about as personal as it gets, yet we all know that the vast majority of suicides/attempts are poor judgment, high impulse decisions in the midst of serious depression or substance use and don't necessarily reflect what the same person would want once they get past the impulse phase.
In my opinion, any society that doesn't see your body (and its disposition) as strictly belonging to you is not interested in respecting individual liberty.
Should there be legal mechanisms for intervention, e.g., objective/competent medical professionals believe you have diminished capacity for making a choice to end your life? Sure. But there should be a very high threshhold for the state to prove that.
You own yourself, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities accordingly belonging to you.
IN regards to having a family member perform the euthanasia.
My brother has said on several occasions as we witnessed family members slowly die from terminal conditions, please shoot me brough if I ever get that bad. My reply has been **** you, no way in hell am I going to physically kill you under any circumstance. I would pull the plug, or authorize euthanasia if it was in my power to do so as I respect your wishes.
I once had a great dog, got my first Vizsla when I was 20 years old, I loved that dog. I would take her every where I went, to work, hunting, fishing, on my first date with my now wife. It was a symbiotic relationship, I swear we both knew what the other was thinking/feeling. A fargin fantastic dog and friend.
She hated the Vet, and I swore when her time came I would put a bullet in her myself at place in woods where we both spent many a wonderful day hunting, rather then submit her to the distress of one last trip to the Vet and save the money.
Of course her time did come, she was in great pain, there was no hope. I knew she needed to be put down, it would be/was the decent thing to do.
I carried her to the back of the truck and laid her on her favorite blanket, went back inside and retrieved my Ruger 10/22 (with a standard 10 round mag now illegal to own in the state of NY) and placed it beside her. It was at this point that I knew despite all the rehtoric I had spewed for years, there was no way in hell I was going to shoot my Misty dog.
Called the Vet and said I was on my way, Dr Solderholm put her down on the tailgate of my truck, painless and peaceful. Drove her up to our favorite spot and buried as deep as I could in the rocky ground.
Sorry for the long personal remembrance of a good friend now long since past..... Point is, as so many things in life we truly do not know what we will do, or are capable of doing for sure till placed in the situation. And there are certain things we should never be asked to do.
Religious Right is against assisted suicide for same reasons they are against abortion and birth control. It violates "Thou Shalt Not Kill" in Mosaic Law from the Old Testament of the Bible.
Ironic considering the same group also suports the death penalty and pro-war policies.
The death penalty is supported because he/she committed murder. The abortion part is one has a say in what is about to happen the other living being has no say and that includes the father most of the time. War I could careless what the church says!