'Condemned to a life of torture'

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: 'Condemned to a life of torture'

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:42 pm

corrine wrote:I have never understood why it is okay to artificially extend life even though the quality of that life might be gruesome, but it is not okay to help a suffering individual to end his/her existence if that is what they wish.
Your argument is based on several false premises:
  1. “No one who has not died knows if heaven or hell exist.” According to the Buddhist teaching, all of us have died before, many times, but we cannot remember our previous lives. You can only maintain that you do not know if heaven or hell exist, but you cannot possibly know that no one else knows. The Buddha (and some of his disciples) claimed that he did know. Knowing as he did, he prohibited his monks from practising euthanasia with the highest possible penalty — expulsion from the community. Even providing the means for a sick person to commit suicide or speaking in praise of suicide is the unwholesome kamma of aiding and abetting the killing of a human being, which is an offence of defeat for a monk.
  2. “Why is it a bad thing to help end that suffering?” This assumes that assisting suicide ends suffering. According to the Buddha's teaching, the only way to end suffering is to remove the causes — which are craving and ignorance. A precious human rebirth is a very rare opportunity to encounter the Buddha's teaching and put an end to the causes of suffering — or at least to reduce them and reduce suffering.
Its not our wish to impose our religious views on others. The choice always likes with the individual. We can only say what the Buddha taught — that to remove suffering we must remove the causes of suffering. Buddhists can and should advise people to avoid harmful behaviour, but what others do is always up to them. They alone must inherit the results of their kamma, and that applies also to those who assist in a suicide.

In the UK, the laws are made by parliament, and they should be applied equally to all. The costs of care for the terminally ill are to some extent borne by the state, but those who don't wish to terminate their life must also pay for their care costs, so the cost shouldn't be part of the argument when it comes to deciding what is legal and ethical.

Legalising euthanasia opens a whole can of worms. Anyone who doesn't wish to bear the financial and personal costs of caring for an elderly relative can claim that their relative wishes to end their life, or persuade them that they do wish to end their life because they are a heavy burden on their family. They can at least make sure that they never hear anything that might make them change their mind.
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Re: 'Condemned to a life of torture'

Post by Jason » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

I realise the official position of Theravada Buddhism is that euthanasia is never OK, but the following makes me sad...

Condemned to a life of torture': UK denies right-to-die legal challenge
http://www.theage.com.au/world/condemne ... 24bya.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I wonder whether those who determined this official stance had considered the likes of folks like Tony Nicklinson who would, back then in the days of the anicents, probably already have died well before their situation and way of life became so dire.

As the poll on the aforementioned link presently stands, 95% of respondents feel he should be able to determine his own fate. When you take out the fraction of the 5% who said "No" automatically for dogmatic religious grounds (e.g. "sactity of life", "an affront to God"), those who, after giving forth due consideration would condemn him to continuing this hellish experience are very few and far between.

Retro. :)
I agree. Here's something I wrote about the issue of euthanasia in general if you're interested.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: 'Condemned to a life of torture'

Post by manas » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:02 pm

Hello all,

just wanted to inform, that the man in question has just passed away, it has been reported:

http://www.theage.com.au/world/goodbye- ... 24n6f.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

(SN 22.97)

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Re: 'Condemned to a life of torture'

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:41 pm

manas wrote:Hello all,

just wanted to inform, that the man in question has just passed away, it has been reported:

http://www.theage.com.au/world/goodbye- ... 24n6f.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

May he fare Well
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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