Voluntary Euthanasia

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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manas
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by manas » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:32 am

My main concern, is that old people who are very ill and close to dying, but not in pain nor wishing to end their lives before the natural term, might feel pressured into doing it, to ease the financial and other burdens on their families. That kind of pressure would be no doubt be legislated against, but in practice, I'll bet it will be exerted (or perceived) nonetheless, in some cases.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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kmath
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by kmath » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:01 am

dagon wrote:
Most of the patients that I have worked with when they have got closer to death have said that they want to die. I have NEVER been told by any of my patients that “I don’t want to die”.

Ethically, as members of societies we need to accept that if we have a legislative frame work that denies the individual the right to end their own life then we have an ethical obligation to ensure that those suffering have the legal, financial and practical access to services that minimize the suffering. The services that can help in this regard extend far beyond that provided in medical models.

In the last 8 weeks I have said the finally goodbye to 6 friends who I had looked after on a daily basis for between 1 and 3 years. Two in particular had become very close and dear friends. In all cases I was happy for them when they died.

Metta
paul
Wow, thanks for sharing that. :anjali:

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robertk
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by robertk » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:48 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Hi Robert,

I know, but see Bhikkhu Bodhi's comments in my post above. Bhikkhu Bodhi disagrees and suggests that he was an arahant before cutting.
Ok we must have a different definition of "noble level"

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robertk
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by robertk » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:52 am

The pain experience d in the human realm is mild compared to that in lower realms
And few after death will be reborn as human according to the pali

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tiltbillings
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:59 am

robertk wrote:The pain experience d in the human realm is mild compared to that in lower realms
And few after death will be reborn as human according to the pali
That is assuming that such realms really exist and that the hell realms business is not the typical scare the begeesus out people tactic to ensure good behavior.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Sanjay PS
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by Sanjay PS » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote:The pain experience d in the human realm is mild compared to that in lower realms
And few after death will be reborn as human according to the pali
That is assuming that such realms really exist and that the hell realms business is not the typical scare the begeesus out people tactic to ensure good behavior.
Its never a good advice to use the heaven and hell , carrot and chilly , gifts . A person is bound to go wrong sooner or later when bound or freed by such notions , its but a matter of time .

The Buddhas teaching went beyond; during the time of the Buddha , there were others contemporary to the Buddha who strictly adhered to moral conduct and jhannas. Here , heaven and hell were always considered to be outside . The Buddha exhorted us to delve deeper ,and understand for ourselves , that heaven , hell and the interim are within us and completely mind made . They exist because such and such thoughts and actions give rise to such and such states ; if we keep on being with the truth of change , moment to moment , skillfully avoiding any clinging , it becomes that much more clearer that these are just mirages of our own making , just as we ourselves are the same .

When studying in college and before coming in touch with the profound teachings of the Buddhas , i used to write at the back of my note pads " do what you feel , but feel what you do " . The more we let go , that much more happier we become in life . Letting go superficially is so easy , the letting go from the heart is that what makes all the difference.It is a very long journey , where the traveller comes to learn that the traveller is the journey, and the journey , the traveller itself . There are no full stops.

Its nice to learn bit by bit , i am so grateful .

sanjay
The Path of Dhamma

The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

U S.N. Goenka


Sanjay PS
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by Sanjay PS » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:56 pm



Hello Robert ,

This does not contradict the fact stated by the Venerable Monk , all worlds exist of our own making .

In this world there are laws of various countries ,most of them having a common law that if one does wrong, harming others , depending upon the degree of offense, one has to undergo a consequence of being punished . Yet in spite , crime remains unabated , and people commit follies over and over again.

Say for a moment , if all of us were to get a divine eye , and see for ourselves the various consequences that one undergoes in the lower worlds , and the various benefits that is enjoyed in the upper worlds, still things would not change as much . After this sighting , yet many of us will continue to do acts which would land ourselves in trouble . Although as the adage goes , "seeing is believing" , yet for us to change our habit patterns, more than seeing , it is a clear feeling of experiencing the hell fire of agitation within us , by doing unwholesome actions , and feeling the peace , goodwill , content of doing wholesome actions that slowly makes us to understand this unbiased conditionality of living, that cuts across caste , creed , religion , country , the poor or the high and mighty .

However , to begin with, if we have a highly agitated mind , then although we may do an unwholesome action, we may not feel the heat being added . Its like putting another burning log into a pile of furnace . Similarly with such a nature of a mind should we do a wholesome action , we would not be sensitive to the slight abating of the fire , and would just shrug our shoulders , saying no difference or not much of a difference .Its only when the fire is sufficiently calmed , and we start leading a wholesome life for a good period , do we get to realize that every thought and action of ours are just but germinating seeds of change , we suffer here and now , and are bound to suffer more in the future . Similarly , doing a nice deed , impregnates the seed of well being now, which can be clearly felt , bound to become a tree in the future providing its shade of protection .

i think none of us can deny a tear rolling down our cheek , when we get to realize that however beatific or horrific be our experience while meditating , we remain unmoved , in just dispassionately letting it all go .

i am just learner in the kindergarten of knowledge , its a very long way ahead , but is most inspiring.........

sanjay
The Path of Dhamma

The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

U S.N. Goenka

dagon
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by dagon » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:49 pm

To focus back to the OP - does anyone believe that there is an ethical issue for Buddhist in the existing position in Australian jurisdiction?
(T)he Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) position statement on end-of-life care which explains that:
… if a medical practitioner acts in accordance with good medical practice, the following forms of management at the end of life do not constitute euthanasia or physician assisted suicide:
 not initiating life-prolonging measures
 not continuing life-prolonging measures
 the administration of treatment or other action intended to relieve symptoms which may have a secondary consequence of hastening death.
http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/__data/as ... smania.pdf at page 12

metta
paul

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DNS
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by DNS » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:11 pm

I think the way that is written sounds very reasonable and okay with Buddhist ethics. It is mostly about not using extra-ordinary measures, letting nature take its course. And then relieving the patient's pain is in line with the Buddha's approval of medicine.

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kmath
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by kmath » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:36 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I think the way that is written sounds very reasonable and okay with Buddhist ethics. It is mostly about not using extra-ordinary measures, letting nature take its course. And then relieving the patient's pain is in line with the Buddha's approval of medicine.

Agree :thumbsup:

nibbuti
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by nibbuti » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:38 pm

manas wrote:My main concern, is that old people who are very ill and close to dying, but not in pain nor wishing to end their lives before the natural term, might feel pressured into doing it, to ease the financial and other burdens on their families. That kind of pressure would be no doubt be legislated against, but in practice, I'll bet it will be exerted (or perceived) nonetheless, in some cases.
That can be expected, manas.

:anjali:

dagon
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by dagon » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:09 pm

nibbuti wrote:
manas wrote:My main concern, is that old people who are very ill and close to dying, but not in pain nor wishing to end their lives before the natural term, might feel pressured into doing it, to ease the financial and other burdens on their families. That kind of pressure would be no doubt be legislated against, but in practice, I'll bet it will be exerted (or perceived) nonetheless, in some cases.
That can be expected, manas.

:anjali:
There is also the opposite pressures where people extend their own suffering to reduce their suffering on their family. There is one case that i am thinking of where one of the people i was looking after was allergic to almost every painkiller. He stayed around for his wife, when she died he had his pacemaker switch off and got the release from his suffering in a couple of days.

I know in my wife's case she went through 9 series of chemotherapy, 4 operations, 4 series of radiotherapy, 6 different endocrine treatments and over 10 years of cancer effects just to be there for the kids until they grew up.

you can not legislate for human differences - unfortunatly

metta
paul

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Anagarika
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by Anagarika » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:59 am

[/quote]

I know in my wife's case she went through 9 series of chemotherapy, 4 operations, 4 series of radiotherapy, 6 different endocrine treatments and over 10 years of cancer effects just to be there for the kids until they grew up.

metta
paul[/quote]

Paul, what a strong and noble person she must be.

"Just as with her own life
A mother shields from hurt
Her only child,
Let all-embracing thoughts
For all beings be yours. "

Karaniya Metta Sutta

dagon
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Re: Voluntary Euthanasia

Post by dagon » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:06 am

Buddhasoup said
Paul, what a strong and noble person she must be
.

She was, I was very lucky to spend 20 years with her and i learnt a lot through the experience. The reality of life is that there is birth, sickness, old age and death - in her case she did not get the old age part. There are many unsung hero's in this world, some are sat back quietly reading this.

But the point of what i was trying to get through was that there are all sorts of pressures on people who are terminally ill their families and careers. The issues with provision of care are very complex and differ with each individual situation. We need to be mindful of the issues and skillful of the actions we undertake. If we lose sight of compassion then we lose sight of The Buddhas teachings no matter what we quote.

To illustrate some of the issues that people face when knowingly facing in these situations - not for any other reason.

When she was told that she was too sick for any more treatment (medication or surgery and she need both) she was sent to see a palliative care specialist. the question that she asked of the doctor was "will you help me end it when i decide the time is right"

The doctors response was "No, but i will ensure that you revive whatever treatment is need to ensure that you do not suffer while you are dying". Later my wife told me that this gave her the courage that she needed to face the situation - without that assurance she would have ended her life herself while she was still capable.

This is the reality of many people who do take their own lives, they are forced to act before they would want to act because they do not have the belief in getting the "help" when they need it. experiences that i have had since confirm my belief that where people know that they will get help they suffer less and are less likely to take their own lives. So access to palliative and terminal care is paramount in balancing compassion and "what is right".

metta
paul

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