DGA wrote: ↑Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:46 pm
I'm trying to figure out what to do with the euthanasia discussion in this thread. Is euthanasia suicide? If so, is it the same as other forms of suicide? If not, where is the distinction between euthanasia and suicide as such, e.g., are some cases of suicide better understood as what my middle-school guidance counselor would have grudgingly called "self-care"?
This is a simplistic approach, but may be helpful to ground further discussion. A quick search yielded the following definitions:
suicide: the action of killing oneself intentionally.
euthanasia: the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.
It would seem that some suicides may also be euthanasia if they meet the definition of euthanasia. Seems the agent undertaking the action that results in ending a life is not determined in euthanasia.
Earlier, Mantrik brought up some alternatives:
Mantrik wrote: ↑Sat May 27, 2017 7:41 pm
I don't see a clear line defining suicide.
There are people who take physical action to kill themselves.
There are people who take deliberate decisions not to act (eat, for example).
There are those who seem able to decide to die and can choose the time to simple depart.
There are those who lose the will to live and stop trying, for example when a their loved one dies.
The first two would probably be regarded as suicide in law, but I'm not sure I would classify the other two as 'suicide''.
Not quite on the point of your question, but raises some further interesting angles from which to consider a given act.
Euthanasia is often thought of as a palliative means to care for someone who is suffering terribly and won't be long for this world regardless. Suicide is thought of as symptomatic of illness, or as an illness in itself. Different categories.
From the Buddhist perspective, though, where one's spiritual advancement is the determining factor of whether its "ok", the line seem pretty hard and fast at the distinction of arhat/not-arhat.
Because the agent who takes life can be someone other than the suffering person in the case of Euthanasia, the analysis is a little different.
I remember when I was in Dharamsala, a woman, I can't remember where she was from, but she was White and Western, she was venting at dinner one evening about some nuns she was staying with not letting her put down a dog that was deeply suffering. The dog, the nuns said, had to bear its karma. If the dog was euthanized, it would lose this opportunity to expiate its karma. I presume, the person doing the euthanizing would in turn incur the karma of killing.
I digressed a little off your question, but its interesting how the Buddhist and Western Secular considerations pivot on different standards.