Euthanasia for Alcoholics?

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Asthmatic Camel
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Euthanasia for Alcoholics?

Post by Asthmatic Camel » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:33 pm

Linky
A man in the Netherlands has been allowed to die because he could no longer carry on living as an alcoholic.

Mark Langedijk chose the day of his death and was telling jokes, drinking beer and eating ham sandwiches with his family hours before he passed away.

He was killed by lethal injection at his parents’ home on 14 July, according to an account of the ordeal written by his brother and published in the magazine Linda.

The Netherlands introduced a euthanasia law 16 years ago, which is available to people in “unbearable suffering” with no prospect of improvement.

Marcel Langedijk wrote his brother had a “happy childhood” and was loved by both his parents, and only found out he had an addiction eight years ago.

“I was particularly angry at Mark,” he said. “At first we did what most people do; help. My parents especially have done everything humanly possible to save Mark.”

His parents continued to believe in a “happy ending” despite eight years of help and 21 stints in rehab.

Eventually, Mr Langedijk told his family he wanted to die, but the family originally took the news with “a grain of salt”.

But his brother had no second thoughts. His application for euthanasia was approved by a doctor from the Support and Consultation on Euthanasia in the Netherlands.
Having experienced alcohol dependence, this story rather took me aback. What do you chaps and chapesses think? Was euthanasia appropriate in this case?

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bindeweede
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Re: Euthanasia for Alcoholics?

Post by bindeweede » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:45 pm

A further comment from his brother.
"It was in his head. It was his problem. What the problem was no-one could really ever find out," he added, revealing that his brother had undergone 21 rehab sessions over the last eight years and had had the support of his loving family.

"By the time Mark realised that he needed help, that he needed to talk to someone, it was already too late. By that time alcohol had him in his grip and was not about to let him go."
http://www.news24.com/World/News/dutch- ... e-20161201

I expect this issue will always be controversial with a wide range of views. My own would be that if, as it seems, Mark was determined to end his life, then this way is certainly more peaceful and less traumatic for his friends and family than suddenly walking out of the house and jumping in front of an express train, as someone I knew slightly did almost four years ago.

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chaggle
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Re: Euthanasia for Alcoholics?

Post by chaggle » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:31 am

bindeweede wrote:
I expect this issue will always be controversial with a wide range of views. My own would be that if, as it seems, Mark was determined to end his life, then this way is certainly more peaceful and less traumatic for his friends and family than suddenly walking out of the house and jumping in front of an express train, as someone I knew slightly did almost four years ago.
I agree. I can see the difficulties with this issue but surely with proper controls in place it's the way to go.
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Tony.Williams
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Re: Euthanasia for Alcoholics?

Post by Tony.Williams » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:41 am

It raises a number of issues, as far as I'm concerned.

The ethics of involving other people in your suicide is one of them.

Making suicide too easy is another; a lot of people pass through depressive stages at some points in their lives. If we all had a button built into us which we could press for an instant, painless death, how many of us might have pressed that at some point? A high proportion, I suspect. So if people really want to kill themselves (something I have no objection to in principle) then why not just provide the means for them to do so - perhaps a diving board from the top of a very tall building, with a concrete landing pad?

Then there is the cost to the NHS. There is a similar issue with the mental disorder which causes some people to believe that one of their body parts does not belong to them. I have read of people having perfectly healthy limbs cut off, paid for by the NHS. I have doubts about that...

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chaggle
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Re: Euthanasia for Alcoholics?

Post by chaggle » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:11 am

I'm sure everybody has doubts.

I agree about the involvement of others. A method of doing the deed oneself should not be difficult to devise (without the rather messy diving board business which someone would have to clear up).

Something involving gas or self injection should be feasible surely?

And I would support making it possible rather than making it easy.
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Re: Euthanasia for Alcoholics?

Post by Tony.Williams » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:22 am

chaggle wrote:
Something involving gas or self injection should be feasible surely?
How about a cylinder of carbon monoxide feeding into a face mask which you strap on? That should do the trick quite quickly and, as I understand it, is painless.
And I would support making it possible rather than making it easy.
Cylinders only to be supplied when ordered in advance, with a cooling-off period, and used only in a suitable place (a morgue? - saves on transport) to ensure it can't be misused.

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chaggle
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Re: Euthanasia for Alcoholics?

Post by chaggle » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:29 am

Something like that.

I envisage a special place were, following extensive counselling, a person could go, push a button, and drift away.
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