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Whys it legal to let someone "pull the plug", but they can't commit suicide?

#1bsballa09Posted 3/13/2013 5:22:16 PM
Wouldn't letting someone pull the plug be considered assisted suicide?
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#2kmick2Posted 3/13/2013 5:25:31 PM
I think it has to be done with a doctor's and families consultation or something, I dunno.

Well, a doctor besides Kevorkian...
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#3kozlo100Posted 3/13/2013 5:26:45 PM
Philosophically, there's a little bit of a distinction between ceasing to render aid and actively doing harm, but practically they are the same to my mind.
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#4Slayer1217Posted 3/13/2013 5:27:19 PM
From: bsballa09 | #001
Wouldn't letting someone pull the plug be considered assisted suicide?


There is a difference between refusing treatment and dying and actively treating in order to induce death.

That's not to say they shouldn't both be legal, but I definitely see a difference.
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#5OraclefoxPosted 3/13/2013 5:27:23 PM
No one has a right to tell someone they must artificially be kept alive would be the argument I'd guess you would hear for why the former is okay. For the latter, I'm guessing societies realized long ago that life is hard, and civilization doesn't work so well when people decide to take the easy way out excessively. People who are being kept alive on a machine don't make the best workers.
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#6Bob_BobensteinPosted 3/13/2013 6:14:14 PM(edited)
Slayer1217 posted...
From: bsballa09 | #001
Wouldn't letting someone pull the plug be considered assisted suicide?


There is a difference between refusing treatment and dying and actively treating in order to induce death.

That's not to say they shouldn't both be legal, but I definitely see a difference.


Yeah, the difference is that killing is usually more merciful and that the paradigm of "letting die" causes the decision of ending the life to be made on the morally irrelevant grounds of whether the patient's condition makes it easy to "pull a plug" or not. So one person who is on a respirator and in terrible pain from a terminal illness can be "allowed to die" (slowly and in agony) but someone with an equally bad condition who can survive for some time independently cannot be killed. Totally illogical.

Intrinsically, they are morally equivalent.
#7BudWisenheimerPosted 3/13/2013 6:15:12 PM
I didn't know it WAS legal. Hallelujah! Now let's hope it stays that way at least until I'm old and gray.
#8Flaming_Fire619Posted 3/13/2013 6:22:29 PM
The way I see it, some people who are not normally suicidal put a DNR or to call it because they don't want that sort of prolonged care. My grandpa if he had been expecting to die as suddenly as he did probably would have, because he said multiple times that he would never wanted to be hooked up to machines and held on through mechanical means. But he was in no way depressed. That's totally different to committing suicide.
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#9BudWisenheimerPosted 3/13/2013 6:36:48 PM
Flaming_Fire619 posted...
The way I see it, some people who are not normally suicidal put a DNR or to call it because they don't want that sort of prolonged care.



Oh wait a minute ... I was momentarily confusing pulling-the-plug with assisted-suicide because of the topic title.

Yeah f DNR. That's not a good way to die. I hope they legalize assisted-suicide ASAP. We're not getting any younger.

#10FunWithAFryPanPosted 3/13/2013 8:36:11 PM
It has to do with what doctors consider "alive" and "dead." These distinctions have changed over time because our understanding of the human body has changed throughout history. For much of history you were considered to be alive when your heart was pumping blood, and if your heart stopped you were declared dead. Later, doctors realized that the human body can survive for short periods of time without the heart pumping blood because "life" was in the brain's processes. Death came with brain death.

Recent medical breakthroughs are challenging that designation now as well.
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