Assisted Suicide/ euthanasia

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Re: Assisted Suicide/ euthanasia

Post by alavaka-yaksha » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:48 am

"Assisted suicide / euthanasia" is not suicide. It is someone killing someone else. "Prompted by whom, and by what motivation?" is surely an important question to assess the moral character of that act of killing. But there is no denying that it is ultimately an act of someone taking someone else's life. (And the burden placed on that person is also an important aspect to consider morally.)

If someone prompts you to kill them, and you do as they wish: Are you responsible or not?
To call a doctor-assisted (or probably nurse-assisted - they usually have to do the dirty work) "mercy killing" "assisted suicide" is a big distortion of reality.

Suicide, done by oneself, completely by oneself, decided by oneself, administered by oneself, is a whole different moral category IMO.

I would say that shutting off life-sustaining machinery to let nature take its course is yet another different category. A difficult one, making it not easy to clearly distinguish dark and bright on many occasions, I guess.

In my opinion the idea of a "right to die" is ultimately similarly nonsensical as a "right to be born". Karma is what drives the wheel of life and death. Our actions have brought us to the situations where we are.
Anguttara Nikaya 5.57 wrote:"'I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.'
Anguttara Nikaya 5.57 wrote:Subject to birth, subject to aging,
subject to death,
run-of-the-mill people are repelled by those who suffer
from that to which they are subject.
And if I were to be repelled
by beings subject to these things,
it would not be fitting for me,
living as they do.
Theragata 14.01 wrote:I don't delight in death,
don't delight in living.
I await my time
like a worker his wage.
I don't delight in death,
don't delight in living.
I await my time mindful, alert.
shaunc wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:26 pm
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:58 pm
TharpaChodron wrote: I've wondered how it's viewed from a Buddhist standpoint. I'm pretty sure it's a no-no...
Correct - as Buddha in the Sutta-Nipata put it:
Laying aside violence toward all living creatures, both the firm & unfirm in the world, one should not kill a living being, nor have it killed, nor condone killing by others.
It's good to hear from someone that would rather get their ethical advice from from Buddhist suttas than get caught up in the flavor of the month.
I agree with that.

The allowability of doctor-administered "mercy killing" shows to have some really bad side-effects, as illustrated in the quite on-topic video linked here earlier:
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:19 pm
Mother of four battles greed of insurance companies, expedient government and callous people.

phpBB [video]
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:22 pm
As far as doctors are concerned, I would hope they would always follow the First Do No Harm oath. Here is a group that still adheres to that oath: ... -killers-2
The hippocratic oath (which seems quite in line with Buddhist values to me, and quite on topic) that doctors used to take, but health insurance companies probably not, seems to be losing relevance, and with practices like the above, falling into complete disregard.

This is a truly sad state of affairs.
Last edited by Grigoris on Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed meta-discussion

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