A look at the arguments against voluntary euthanasia

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A look at the arguments against voluntary euthanasia

However, there is a wide range of indirect suicidal behaviors in which death results gradually rather than immediately, and in which the degree of intentionality is less obvious than in an overt suicide attempt.


Defining Indirect Suicidal Behavior Robert Kastenbaum and Brian Mishara, in their discussion of the concept of premature death and its relationship to self-injurious behavior, suggested that behaviors that shorten life are varied in form and widespread. They recognized that in one sense all human behavior affects a person's life expectancy.

Some obvious examples of potentially life-shortening behavior include smoking cigarettes, taking risks when driving, and ignoring doctors' orders. On the other hand, life span can be prolonged by exercising regularly, eating well, using care when crossing the street, and driving an automobile in good condition equipped with air bags while always wearing a seat belt.

Indirect suicidal behavior is thus a matter of probabilities rather than certainties. Not taking one's heart medication or crossing the street carelessly will certainly increase the probability of a premature death.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide: What are they and what do they mean?

However, the timing of the occurrence of a subsequent heart attack is unknown; some people cross recklessly and live a long life, while others are hit by a car and die the first time they are not careful.

Similarly, smoking cigarettes is clearly associated with a reduction in life expectancy, and most people know this, including smokers. However, as many smokers will point out, there is usually a case of a person someone knows who has smoked for decades and lived to old age.

Suicides are often deemed indirect where there is no immediate and clearly identifiable intentionality. The pioneer suicidologist Edwin Shneidman spoke of "subintentioned death" and "indirect suicide"p.

He felt that orientations toward death, or "toward cessation," fall into four categories, which include intentioned, subintentioned, unintentioned, and contraintentioned.

Suicide is by definition generally considered to be intentioned. Accidental deaths are unintentioned, and his category of "contraintention" includes people who feign death and threaten death.

He specifies four groups of persons who have subintentional orientations. First, there is the "death-chancer" who gambles with death by doing things that leave death "up to chance.

The "death-hasteners" are individuals who unconsciously aggravate a physiological disequilibrium to hasten death.

Death-hasteners may engage in a dangerous lifestyle, such as abusing the body, using alcohol or drugs, exposing themselves to the elements, or not eating a proper diet.

The "death-capitulators," by virtue of some strong emotion, play a psychological role in hastening their own demise.

The Case Against Voluntary Euthanasia | The World Federation of Right to Die Societies

These people give in to death or "scare themselves to death. Shneidman's fourth and final category is the "death-experimenter," who does not wish consciously to end his or her life but who appears to wish for a chronically altered or "befogged" state of existence.

This includes alcoholics and barbiturate addicts. Interpretations by Freud and His Followers Although Freud did not discuss indirect suicide, he developed the concept of the death instinct later in his life.

It was his student Karl Menninger who elaborated on the concept of a death instinct, Thanatos, which he viewed as being in constant conflict with the opposing force of the life instinct, or Eros.

According to Menninger, there is an inherent tendency toward self-destruction that may, when not sufficiently counterbalanced by the life instincts, result in both direct and indirect self-destructive behavior.

Norman Farberow expanded upon Menninger's theory and developed a classification system for what he called "indirect self-destructive behavior. The impact of indirect self-destructive behaviors is most often long-term and frequently permanent, so that only the results are clearly apparent.

Unlike direct suicidal behavior, indirect self-destructive behavior is not linked to a specific precipitating stress; hence this behavior is not sudden or impulsive. Unlike completed suicides and suicide attempts, indirect self-destructive behavior does not entail a threat to end one's own life; nor does it involve clear messages that indicate a death wish.Euthanasia is illegal in Australia, though a law to allow voluntary assisted dying in the Australian state of Victoria will come into effect in mid Although rare, charges have been laid for 'aiding and abetting' the suicide of others.

It was once legal in the Northern Territory, by the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act In , the Australian Federal Government overrode the Northern.

Euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is when action is taken to end the life of a person who is experiencing long-term illness.

A look at the arguments against voluntary euthanasia

Euthanasia is against the law in many countries, and in the U.S. Commendatory Abbots. A commendatory abbot is someone who holds an abbey in commendam, that is, who draws its revenues and may have some jurisdiction, but in theory does not exercise any authority over its inner monastic discipline.

Originally only vacant abbeys were given in commendam. Winner of the Distinguished Book Award, Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association However we seek to achieve it, in the end what we most hope for is a good death.

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“There are so much blasphemy, adultery, lust, pride, vanity, immodest clothing, idol-making of mortal human beings, greed, gluttony and sinful deeds and speech among countless other sins in today’s media, that it is a real abomination and sickening to behold!

If we are to effectively understand the debate about the right to die in the United States, it is imperative that a few basic terms be understood. The first and most important term is euthanasia.

Gates of Vienna