FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Why is euthanasia acceptable for animals, but not humans?





ocalhoun
I often hear from someone involved in a situation where an animal 'had to be put down', that euthanasia is the responsible thing to do, that it would be wrong to prolong the animal's suffering. That it would be doing the animal a favor. That not using euthanasia would be irrisponsible, bad for the animal, and possibly selfish, depending on the motives.

What I don't understand, is why it is the responsible thing to do for animals, but is illigal and generaly considered immoral to practice euthanasia on humans...
All the arguments for using euthanasia on animals that I mentioned in the first paragraph there would also apply to humans.

What is the distinction? Why is prolonging the suffering of an animal wrong, while prolonging the suffering of a human accepted, and even required by law?
pampoon
It's because people generally see humans as completely different from animals, even though they are our closest "relatives". Humans think that we are the superiority of Earth and that animals are below us. So something, such as euthanasia, would be an act given "to the dogs"...or really any animal.

The religious reasoning:

God gave humans power over the animals in Genesis by allowing Adam to name all the animals (much like naming you own child). So euthanasia preformed on animals is killing, but it's not murder (biblically) because we were given authority over them (we decide their fate).
Genesis 2:18-19 King James Version wrote:
And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

God bless Wink,
Pampoon
ocalhoun
^But we don't euthanize animals because they're inferior, we do so because 'it's the right thing to do' or because we think it's a kindness.

Why is it the right thing to do to an animal, but the wrong thing to do to a human? Even if humans are superior, wouldn't it be even worse then, to make a human continue suffering?
Insanity
I'm not sure that euthanasia is actually considered illegal. I know there was a big controversy here in the States with the whole Terri case. Also, I believe there was/is a law in Oregon that allows for the euthanizing of humans, given certain circumstances.
Studio Madcrow
It's wrong, in my opinion, always. You don't kill a living creature simply because it's convenient to do so. That goes whether that living entity is a human or an animal.
jwellsy
It is done to humans.
It's called the death penalty.
Also the Terry Sheivo case is another example.

Assisted suicide is a different story.
I believe that it should be a viable option.
It has to be the affected persons decision.

I wonder what Steven Hawkings thinks about assisted suicide.

Two words for you "Living Will".
dz9c
Animals lets face it, are lesser beings. We are the almighty and we do things our way because we can and we are not going to let that go or let that change
glmagalhaes
Camon, we just do euthanasia on animals because is cheaper than take care of the animal, we see a horse with a break leg we say o this horse will never get good again, so kill it, in human they just don't do that because most of the people have some kind of religion or moral that say "it's wrong", and one thing, I stay with the ones that think it's wrong.
ocalhoun
glmagalhaes wrote:
Camon, we just do euthanasia on animals because is cheaper than take care of the animal,


There's the truth I suppose.
SyncM
when we talk on killing a animal insted of see it suffer is the animal often very sick. And the medicin to keep the animal in life is sometime not evolved. If a fish swim around and and seem sick almost no doctor will do a complete analys of the animal and give it the right medicin often we dont even have the medicin. So insted that the fish will suffer in two days more we kill it.
karysky
Mmm I never thought about that comparison before.

Personnally, I think I'm against both. In my opinion, we're not almighty enough to decide who's to live, and who's to die. That's God's job (or any entity you believe in). I believe it is nature's job to take such decisions.

But, on the other hand, when someone really suffers and wants to die, then why not? Assisted suicide seems to be the key.

What's different with animals though is that they can't tell you if they want to die or not, you completely take that decision for them... that's what I don't like about euthanasia. But if they really, really suffer....

I guess it always depends on the situations.
roboguyspacedude
That is a very good point. I assume it is because humans fear death to much and they think all humans should fear it too, but since dogs aren't human, they don't matter.
HoboPelican
ocalhoun wrote:
glmagalhaes wrote:
Camon, we just do euthanasia on animals because is cheaper than take care of the animal,


There's the truth I suppose.


Sounds like a good reason to allow euthanasia in people also. Health care costs for a human can bankrupt a family.

The Terry Schiavo case is a bit different, I think. Stopping medical support and "letting" a body live or die naturally is not the same as actively ending a life.

Personally, I think euthanasia should be available to us humans, also. Like the man said, "you gotta know when to hold 'em and ya gotta know when to fold 'em".
PatTheGreat42
Because no animal has ever gone "Hey buddy, don't you think that euthanasia ain't such a good idea," though humans have.
Bannik
PatTheGreat42 wrote:
Because no animal has ever gone "Hey buddy, don't you think that euthanasia ain't such a good idea," though humans have.


nor have any person with serious mental problems or a firtborn child....what are you allowing the death of children and mentally handicapped?
miacps
I know what you mean, ocalhoun.

I'll never forget when my friend came to the conclusion that his dog, Max, who he had for 13 years ever since he was a boy, had to be "put down".

I asked him why and he said "Because hes old and he could be suffering". That dog seemed perfectly healthy to me, there was no signs that the dog was suffering at all. My friend was sad about what he "had to do" and to this day I think he was just being an idiot. If he really loved and respected his dog he wouldn't come to that conclusion on the basis of "Because hes old and he could be suffering".

A couple months later they got a puppy which in my eyes they've always sort of neglected. Started keeping it in a cage most of the time since they didn't go through the trouble of training it and it developed a wild and hyper personality from not being played with enough.

In my eyes euthanasia often goes hand in hand with irresponsibility. Theres really nothing that humane about "humanely killing it". The animal doesn't feel it.. so what? They'll also never lay another day in the sun.
jwellsy
How about the Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro?
Should he have been kept alive no matter what?

I'm sure that was a very hard decision to put him down.

Even if they had kept him alive in a sling
as a sperm machine
the animal rights people would of had a fit.

PETA even wanted the orphaned baby Polar Bear in the German zoo euthanized . They claimed it would be better than letting it grow up around humans.
ocalhoun
jwellsy wrote:
How about the Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro?
Should he have been kept alive no matter what?

I'm sure that was a very hard decision to put him down.

Even if they had kept him alive in a sling
as a sperm machine
the animal rights people would of had a fit.

PETA even wanted the orphaned baby Polar Bear in the German zoo euthanized . They claimed it would be better than letting it grow up around humans.

It would be interesting to know, are you for or against euthanasia for humans? If against, why?
HoboPelican
jwellsy wrote:
....
Even if they had kept him alive in a sling
as a sperm machine
the animal rights people would of had a fit.
...


I don't know much about horses and I know less about the temperament of racing horses, but I would think living in a sling would be a miserable life for a horse (just my feeling). I think in either animals or humans, the quality of life is what justifies euthanasia. Yeah, that is a tough call to make, but I think it is a call that has to be made at times.

When one of my cats developed a condition that was incurable and lethal in the short term, I had to make that decision. He was obviously in constant pain and while I hated doing it, I felt putting him down was the best for him. It sure as hell wasn't the best thing for me, as I stayed with my friend and held him until it was all over. And in the same situation, I would wish that someone who loved me would be allowed to make the same decision.

To me, the quality of life is more important than simply being alive.
jwellsy
I would have to say that as a general rule,
I am opposed to euthanasia for humans.
Extreme medical cases where there is no brain activity could be an exception.
Unplugging a feeding tube where death won't occur for a week or more seems barbaric to me. Thats why I support people having a living will.

Euthanasia,
to me implies a decision that is made by someone other than the subject.
If life or death is decided by others, where do you draw the line?
The final stages of a terminal illness?
The early or middle stages if they don't have much money or insurance?
How about if they are mentally or physically handicapped?
Or even non-arien?

Assisted suicide is a different story.
That decision is derived by the affected person.
I believe that assisted suicide should be legal.

The death penalty is also a viable option for the judicial system.
Is that another form of human euthanasia?

Human euthanasia is such a catch-all kind of phrase it is dangerous to support it, without rigidly and unanimously defining it.
friuser
I don't like how there seems to be some sort of controversey over euthanasia like there is supposely of global warming. The facts are that there are strong cases for euthanasia and whether your oppose that reality or not doesn't change the fact it occurs.

I don't believe there is a moral issue except for those whose religion dictate their lives. It's a question of whether or not euthanasia is a personal choice or a decision imposed on them due to lack of planning (living will) or say the death penalty. It's like suicide, it's a very unfortunate thing and there should be a way to prevent all of them but do we criminalize those who have died to suicide? We don't and it's a sad day when we do.
jwellsy
Depending on your point of view,
even ethnic cleansing could be considered a form of euthanasia.
Many cultures have put together some very strong cases for that,
in their viewpoint.
tijn01
Yeah, I'm confused by this one too. The weirdest thing is that if it was legal to euthenase people they would be choosing it for themselves, where as with pets it is someone else choosing it... Also people will put their dog or pet done for reasons that would not be acceptable for humans: like they can't afford the vet bill to get them fixed up! I find this strange. I volunteered at an animal shelter for awhile and it was so heartbreaking to see how people treated their pets. To me a pet is part of the family and is treated that way through sickness or health.
At the same time I am not completely against euthenasia in humans, so I have put a pet dog down. Mind you we held on to him for as long as we could, in the end he couldn't stand or move and the end was so close. It felt cruel to let him suffer more. He had been in a lot of pain for a long time, but prior to us making the decision he had had a huge spirit on the day we put him down he had lost his spirit, or so it seemed. But I certainly didn't make the decision lightly and still wonder if it really was the right things to do....
Bru, stuffce
This is a timely coincidence. My cat Cameron just died. I had him put down as he was hit by a car and his pelvis smashed. He survived a night out in the cold lying at the side of the road in the rain and he survived the surgery and he survived the pneumonia that followed. He had FIV though, and he just never got better; instead his chest infection just got worse and it became obvious that he was going to die. It was three weeks from the accident to me telling the vet to euthanase him. By the time we did it, it even hurt him to purr.

I have no regrets about calling it time. It was the decent thing to do and I would be grateful if someone would do that for me if I need it.

I also, in the same sort of period, got a letter from an aged aunt of mine asking my advice on assisted death. She is old now and ill and in pain, and wants to prepare a lethal escape route for when she can no longer take it. I have ordered her 8gm of phenobarbitol. She will take it when she feels the need and, if she cannot, her husband will assist her; though that will remain our little secret.

Phenobarbitol is what the state of Oregon normally use in the execution of their "Death with Dignity" assisted suicides http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/pas/docs/year2.pdf . Guess what? I broke the law.

Euthanasia does not mean that the person on the receiving end is not asked. Most euthanasia is done at the request of the patient. As you can guess, I am in favour of it. Since my aunt's doctor is not allowed (for very good reasons) to prescribe the medicines she would need, I have had to do so.

I think it would be a lot better if a doctor were allowed to do it, but since they are not I am willing to help my family and my pets.

BTW: Patti Schiavo was already dead when she was allowed to 'die'. Her brain had a few autonomic functions running, but no thought, no consciousness, no "I". She was just a piece of warm meat and any attempt to keep her heart going was a waste of time and money.
Bru, stuffce
Another thing, in order to keep this topic at least a little focussed it might be good to know a definition of Euthanasia:
Quote:
Euthanasia (from Ancient Greek: ευθανασία, "good death") is the practice of ending the life of a terminally ill person in a painless or minimally painful way, for the purpose of limiting suffering.

It implies not the imposition of death upon an unwilling or non-consenting person, though that can happen, but it is usually agreed between the person wishing to die and someone helping them to do that.

This rules out acts such as ordinary murder, ethnic cleansing. American-sponsored invasions of another country 'for their own good' and all other brutal acts that cause death.
Rico
Although I’ve given this topic a lot of thought it’s one of those slippery fish that I just can’t get a grip on. I suppose there are too many different angles. If you’re a religious person your life is not yours to take. If you’re a non-believer there’s always the chance that you could have a spiritual awakening. But I suppose if you’re old and tired and have already made up your mind weather you want to live or die (physically and spiritually) I suppose you should have the choice. After all it’s all about the choice isn’t it.

On the other hand, there might be some people who’d probably like to choose for the elderly weather they want to be euthanized or not. Think of a defenseless old person without any family and no-one looking out for them stuck in some bureaucratically run institution. An old person like that probably incontinent and maybe getting a little senile who’s only pleasure in life is sitting in the morning sun. Let’s face it, someone like that is just a burden. So maybe when they get like that they should be euthanized.

See the can of worms that would open. Or think about the old person with a lot of money that’s suffered a stroke. Now she can’t really help herself and she’s lost her power of speech and all the kids want is the money. It would be easy to convince the powers that be that she doesn’t really want to be around anymore, because of the suffering. More worms.

As for pets and animals, unfortunately man does have dominion over them. We can only hope that he becomes more merciful towards them than he’s been in the past.
LeatherRose
ocalhoun wrote:
I often hear from someone involved in a situation where an animal 'had to be put down', that euthanasia is the responsible thing to do, that it would be wrong to prolong the animal's suffering. That it would be doing the animal a favor. That not using euthanasia would be irrisponsible, bad for the animal, and possibly selfish, depending on the motives.

What I don't understand, is why it is the responsible thing to do for animals, but is illigal and generaly considered immoral to practice euthanasia on humans...
All the arguments for using euthanasia on animals that I mentioned in the first paragraph there would also apply to humans.

What is the distinction? Why is prolonging the suffering of an animal wrong, while prolonging the suffering of a human accepted, and even required by law?


I don't know if this is correct but it says on here humans too I guess...
Quote:
eu•tha•na•sia /ˌyuθəˈneɪʒə, -ʒiə, -ziə/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[yoo-thuh-ney-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. Also called mercy killing. the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, esp. a painful, disease or condition.
Source From:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/euthanasia

Anyways... I get what you are saying though.
In a lot of medical procedures that humans can get. Aren’t available for animals...
I think this is purely because animals don't have the same exact features, body response, and healing that we do. So if an animal gets an operation that may have been 99.9% risk free on a human it could be a 10% chance of living on an animal. And most vets not only want to take that risk of being sued if they animal doesn’t make it. Not only that but animals don't function the same as humans. if for example you(or whoever) took there dog for a car ride and god forbid something happened and the window fell down and the dog jumped out broke its hips and all four legs. Can you really expect that dog to understand after being in so much pain, that it is no longer allowed to move and be in constant pain for the rest of its life? and it wouldn't be as easy (and not to mention cheap) to bolt together all of the bones in the dogs body... and then still the poor puppy would not move right after this tramatic experiance... animals don't have the same way of thinking as humans do and they aren't going to understand what it really going on with them and why their owners let them get hurt that bad and then immobalize them.
Another reason is because some people just don't have the money to pay to have surgery for there animals.
There are even some people who can't afford to get them or their loved ones surgery either. But in most cases they can go on access or ask "uncle Sam" for help.
This stuff makes me really sad too, and I also wish there is another way. But right now there isn't until somebody finds one. And if you care about it so deeply I suggest you go into vet school, get a degree so you can do research into helping animals out more.
quex
Well. Hmm.

I am a firm believer that death is not a bad thing. It's only the dying process that humankind seems to fear for themselves, out of the basic dislike for pain and the fear that the unknown evokes. The death of other persons means their absence, and we therefore learn to hate death for selfish reasons -- people and animals that we love become irreversibly separated from us. Our own deaths, however, being inevitable and leaving behind no remnant of our consciousness (you've got to be a rational person to accept this argument, I will admit), should have no reason to disconcert us.

For example, let's say I get shot in the head by a rooftop sniper. I had no idea he was there, and I die instantaneously. I would have no problem with that situation, because I would never have even been aware of it. This is the very basic, non-threatening "death" to which I refer when I say it has no negative factor.

Dying, however, can be painful and terrifying, and we are therefore justified in calling it "bad." In this example, let's say I have an inoperable brain tumor. I have a year to live, but it will be a year filled with constant pain, psychosis, and the fear of the approaching unknown.

In this secondary situation, if the individual bearing the illness requested euthanasia, I can see no reason that any other person should have the right to deny it. A family member's objection could only be made for selfish reasons, either of love or dependence.

I continue to question the act of suicide, and wonder whether or not the mitigating factors of health or disease effect the argument... if an otherwise healthy person opts to "self-euthanize" to end some emotional anguish, is he justified? Emotions would otherwise not be fatal, but emotional pain can be excruciating beyond the limits of physical suffering.

So, in closing.... "hmm" again, I suppose. The question is a lasting one.
bconnect
It's wrong, in my opinion, always. You don't kill a living creature simply because it's convenient to do so. That goes whether that living entity is a human or an animal.
tidruG
Quote:
But, on the other hand, when someone really suffers and wants to die, then why not? Assisted suicide seems to be the key.

What's different with animals though is that they can't tell you if they want to die or not, you completely take that decision for them... that's what I don't like about euthanasia.
A solid point! I quite agree with it.

Anyway, my personal opinion is that:
  1. Assisted suicide should be allowed in almost all circumstances. However, suicidal tendencies caused due to depression or desperation should first be treated with counselling.
  2. The decision on euthanasia should only be taken by people other than the person who will be "put down" only if that person is not likely to regain consciousness, as stated clearly by at least 2-3 doctors conducting an independent diagnosis.
  3. Doctors should have the right to take patients off life-support system if they feel that this particular patient has no hope for recovery, and the life-support system could be better used on someone else who has a better chance of recovery.


I also think that most people differentiate euthanasia for humans and euthanasia for animals because nobody considers the lives of animals to be as important or significant as lives of humans. When you get a pet, you OWN it. Who owns a human life? (Note: This is not the way I think. I believe that when you get a pet, you are responsible for its life, and must take care of it, and that ultimately, if you feel that the animal is really suffering, you need to make that decision. As for human lives, I've already stated my opinion)
Drawingguy
I actually believe in euthanasia for both. I'm not a cold blooded killer, but I feel, perhaps wrongly, that if someone is truly suffering, they should be 'put down.' For example, take tay-sachs disease. I heard about this a while ago, and basically it's a disease where fat builds up in your brain, eventually leading to death within 4 years, with the absolute best of treatments.

Quote:
Infants with Tay-Sachs disease appear to develop normally for the first few months of life. Then, as nerve cells become distended with fatty material, a relentless deterioration of mental and physical abilities occurs. The child becomes blind, deaf, and unable to swallow. Muscles begin to atrophy and paralysis sets in.


http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/taysachs/taysachs.htm

Maybe it's just me, but if I were to go blind, deaf, unable to swallow, and paralyzed, I might wish for death. Maybe I'm wrong, because I've never experienced it, but I sure wouldn't like to try. If you had a child with this disease, what would you do? It's incurable, in a way, you resign your child to several years of torture.
GSIS
It's entirely wrong that humans, in most countries, are denied the freedom to choose a relatively peaceful, pain-free death in preference to whatever their condition has in store for them.

Even those with no medical or physical condition or illness should be allowed to choose euthenasia if that is what they want.

The current status of euthenasia is, I believe, a serious breach of the Human Rights Act as it denies everyone the right to choose what happens to their ultimate possession - there own life. This denial reduces human beings to the property of their respective governments.
dlseven777
Just some comments. In the case of a dog or an animal. Much is known about the circumstances of that creature. To the point where a safe decision could be made as to wether the animals life is living as intended. Being that it is an animal its very easy to determine an acceptable purpose of living for that creature. In most cases of euthanizing animals, they will no longer be able to carry out that purpose so they are "put down."

However, in the case of humans, trying to find that purpose of living is very difficult. Or maybe not difficult but hard to get an acceptable consesus of opinion from the public. One group of people will say humans purpose is this, while another group will say its this. Having the purpose of living so vaguely defined and not widely accepted, causes the ambiguity to follow into the decision of wether euthanasia is right/wrong for humans.

I do not think humans will ever figure out their purpose. At least not one that will be accepted by most. And hence, the topic of euthanasia will always be under dispute.
Drawingguy
Even though I'm for euthanasia, I disagree with that reasoning.

What do you mean, purpose? As in, a dog's purpose is to run around, a fish's purpose is to swim, a horse's purpose is to gallop? Animals are similar to people in that they don't have one set purpose (a dog isn't a running machine, or an eating machine, or a pooping machine- it's a combination of so many things that make it a dog, right?). So I find it very hard to believe that you can make an assumption about the animal's 'purpose' in life, but not the human's.
fbcompany
Religion.

and weirdo's

mix the two.

that is the reason euthanasia is not accepted.
teknotom
ocalhoun wrote:
^But we don't euthanize animals because they're inferior, we do so because 'it's the right thing to do' or because we think it's a kindness.

Why is it the right thing to do to an animal, but the wrong thing to do to a human? Even if humans are superior, wouldn't it be even worse then, to make a human continue suffering?


Good point. I say we lobby our respective Health Ministers!!

It is a very good point that makes the law seem religious, which is in fact against the code of law.
Related topics
mamal meat or fishy flesh?
I want to get married to my 8 yr old daughter....
Why trees live longer?
What evidence of God is there?
Why did God create humans?
Torturing animals
Why do They do What They do..?
To clone a Neanderthal?
Zoo Chimp "planned" rock attack on visitors ....
The significance of life
Hobbies AND Animals?
Is man..
Do we think too little of Personification?
Why don't we humans know everything about our body?
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Hobbies and Animals

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.