PDA

View Full Version : suicide versus life support



tryptych
25-05-2006, 12:07 AM
I know Woebot had a thread a while back about euthanasia, but this is a bit different - I want people's personal view on it.

Motivated by two things:

1) Reading "Atomised" - specifically the discussions about how no one wants to get old and be trapped in a failing body, he refers to Deleuze and Debord both committing suicide from a desire to not watch their physical forms fail around them (as well as the books frequent suicides for various reasons).

2) Visiting my dad in hospital after having a heart valve replaced - he's doing fine, but it's the first time since I was very little that I've been into a hospital, never mind the cardio-vascular wing where there's a lot of old people and smokers clearly not long for this world, in this horrible environment, hooked up and barely functioning.

At the moment, although young, I have a very strong aversion to the eventual decay of my body, and I think I'd choose suicide while in relatively good health rather than a slow painful decline. But I suspect that as I grow older, my desire to hang on to life at any cost will grow... which seems somehow disappointing.

So, do you think you are the kind of person to take the swift route, or would you undergo a lot to stay alive?

Bacon Slicer
25-05-2006, 12:36 PM
So, do you think you are the kind of person to take the swift route, or would you undergo a lot to stay alive?


Given the current governments attacks on the sick, the disabled, the old, and those on long term benefit I am suprised they have not set up Soylent Green style euthanasia centres.

gek-opel
25-05-2006, 06:53 PM
Spack--- similar experience a year ago following a bout of insane somatising hypochondria (imagined heart attack- 8 hours in a ward filled with people literally dying around me...)

Personally- I'd like to think I will be taking a nice long walk into the sea age 60... however realistically I shall cling to life like a coward on a raft for as long as possible... tubes going into and out of every available orifice...

The problem with life support is whether it supports an existence which is good in any sense apart from the fact that we as individual animal-humans are addicted to life and terrified of death... we might want to live on, but is it best? Is it best for society as a whole and on an individual emotional level if human life can be artificially extended far beyond the body's capacity to enable an existence which is worthwhile... just cos of what- fear? We incur massively greater emotional and economic costs because of this, but the alternative seems, well inhuman and sci-fi dark. However, we must remain aware that the extensions to life we are experiencing are just as inhuman and sci-fi....

Troy
25-05-2006, 07:07 PM
I would hope that, when my time comes, I will have the opportunity to go out somewhat naturally and with my dignity and pocketbook (for my kids) intact.

What I fear is that I will be charged 10s of thousands of dollars in godawful medical procedures designed to prolong my life for a few more unglorious days. I think modern medical end-of-life policies, at least here in the USofA, could be a scam..

Freakaholic
26-05-2006, 03:43 PM
I might get a lot of flak for this....

But, Ive always thought that modern society has created, along with longer lives, a certain point in every person's life when they are no longer adding to society, and instead turn around, are only taking from society. I have to apologize whne i say, this is one of the reasons i dont like old people. that and theyre crabby, opinionated, and stubborn.

now, i say this fully knowing some day i will run into an old person that will change my life. but ive always hope dmy reckless living now will keep me from reaching that age, so suicide wont have to be my only option. and ive already ruled out a slow painful death from lung cancer.

i see some sort of blimp or dirigible related accident in my future.......

zhao
27-05-2006, 01:20 AM
I like Suicide. a LOT. what does Life Support sound like?

bruno
27-05-2006, 05:17 AM
I have to apologize whne i say, this is one of the reasons i dont like old people. that and theyre crabby, opinionated, and stubborn..
old people are excellent. i always prefer dealing with old people, if anything they are less opinionated and stubborn than youngers and on top of that they genuinely don't care. they do smell a bit funny, though.

as for suicide i have to say for me it isn't an option, i find it selfish. and i fear i will join the ranks of wandering spirits! but i suppose if you aren't troubled, and meticulously prepare it so that the impact on loved ones is minimal (because they are the ones who will have to deal with the whole thing), it might be an acceptable route. but the decay* excuse seems to me a bit vain. i used to champion beauty over all until i saw people using it as a pretext for cosmetic fascism, eliminating the ugly with a chilling indifference. i've learned to see the beauty in decay, even to cheer for degeneracy.

*when not in terminal phase

DJ PIMP
27-05-2006, 11:16 PM
Prelonging old age through elaborate medical procedures is a symptom of culture in denial of the nature of life itself - but I wouldn't actively end my life.

Passively, i.e. choosing not to be treated for a terminal illness... well thats different. While its something I've often considered I couldn't say what I'd choose to do in that situation.

polystyle desu
05-06-2006, 09:44 PM
My own experience doing the music for the TLC Cable TV show "Trauma:Life In The ER"
for a few years until 2000 and watched all these horrific accidents , gunplay aftermath and car crashes -
in which alot of the people actually survived because of their quick and often hi tech treatment
made me want to never be left on life support for long !
I mean , being on life support after a tractor has smushed your body just cannot be much fun,
but there they go patched up with artificial skin and an added this or that and out the door ...

And as mentioned , the expense here in US is so high and left for whom to pay .

Don't mind the idea of growing old though,
lot's to get busy on before decrepitude sets in ...

neupunk
19-06-2006, 03:49 AM
There's the question of differentiating between life support - which is a specific term for individuals who are kept alive by specific medical technology, like respirators - and medical maintenance of the body and mind to keep the individual functioning. There are a number of people that one-time procedures to clear the heart, remove cancers, and in other ways fix broken body function. There are regular maintenance activities like kidney dialysis that require machines to keep going. In the last case, things like respirators mentioned above.

I think that if my life were otherwise functional and rewarding I would not mind the occasional operation or even regular dependence on a machine. However, repeated operations to wear down my body or mind would definitely make me question my quality of life. It becomes an issue of how much effort you feel you're able to devote to your health before the effort itself becomes the purpose of your life. Suicide is, altogether, a completely different thing from being removed from life support or refusing treatment.

bassnation
19-06-2006, 04:50 PM
But, Ive always thought that modern society has created, along with longer lives, a certain point in every person's life when they are no longer adding to society, and instead turn around, are only taking from society. I have to apologize whne i say, this is one of the reasons i dont like old people. that and theyre crabby, opinionated, and stubborn.

as bruno says, old people are much better to deal with. they have a lifetime of experience which means you can avoid the ludicrous arrogance that you get with youngsters who haven't yet been battered by life in any meaningful sense.

besides, whos going to decide in your opinion when someone has stopped "contributing" to society? why should people work their entire life, bring up children / grand children, communicate ideas and all the rest, only to be pushed to the euthanasia chamber the moment they stop and put their feet up? they have earned their retirement. and maybe you've been watching far too much logans run :)


having said that, issues around pensions (particularly the recent UK relinking of pensions to the rate of inflation) are going to make this a bigger issue as time goes on - my generation will have to work til 70 before claiming a (state) pension which kind of sticks in the throat somewhat when the generation before us will be happily sunning themselves in their gardens 10 years earlier on our money, but thats the baby boomers for you.