Friday, January 18, 2013

Yeah, I think I'll stick to the merry go round ...

I know some of my posts in the past have leaned a little towards the macabre ... and continuing in that vein I've chosen a topic that I'm sure you'll all find appropriately appalling.  So lets all pull up a seat, grab a cup of coffee, and discuss the pros and cons of euthanasia.

Hey, I did warn you.

Euthanasia's been a hot topic in the media this week, what with the Belgian twins who were euthanized about a month ago.  The twins, who were deaf, requested permission when they found out that they were going to go blind.  Apparently they couldn't handle the idea of never seeing each other again and a court agreed that they fulfilled the requirements of unreasonable suffering.

I'm very much a "make your own decisions" kind of person, but I'm not sure if I agree that they truly fit that category.  Like most people, I find it hard to wrap my head around the idea of assisted suicide.  It's such a grey area with so many chances for mistakes and abuses.

Were they going to suffer unmentionable physical pain that they'd never find relief from?  No.  Would they still be able to live productive and fulfilling lives if they so chose?  Probably.  But then again, am I really qualified to speak to the level of emotional pain and suffering they'd go through?  Absolutely not.

I do feel sorry for their family though.  It must have been awful, knowing what they were trying to do, then watching as they were granted permission.  I'm not sure how I'd deal in a situation like that ... but I'd guess with a lot of yelling, arguing, crying, and emotional blackmail.

Regardless, I expect we'll be hearing about changes to the law in Belgium real soon given the moral dilemma it's brought up.

But here's something incredibly macabre ... and probably a little inappropriate given the subject of this entry, but have any of you heard of the rollercoaster specifically designed to help you shuffle off the mortal coil with a bit of a thrill?  What sort of twisted mind comes up with something like a deadly roller coaster?  Who sits down one day and says "Hmm, I think I'll design a roller coaster that's guaranteed to kill you.  That'll be popular!".

And how exactly would one go about getting a zoning permit for something like that?

One thing's for certain, I'll be sticking to the ferris wheel from now on. 

36 comments:

  1. Macabre? you outdid yourself. I can be a bit out-there, but the roller-coaster was over the top for me.

    The euthanasia thing is touchy. I think deaf and blind should not be cause...not at least until the conditiona=was given a chance. Tough call...we put down are pets when they are in extreme pain and there quality of life is zip, can we not at least be as humane with people...instead we take extrodinary measures to extend the pain.

    I am now off to try and find an upbeat post this early morning.

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    1. It does make you wonder how he came up with such a thing, doesn't it. I may be macabre for being interested, but he's super duper h'extra strength macabre for dreaming it up!

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  2. wrote about something similar a long while ago, and it's all a bit of a slippery slope. Where would you draw the line if being blind and deaf is a means for non-existence. How about those that are unable to look after their own persona care needs and have to burden others? How about the frail elderly? The disabled? How about those that suffer deep depression, then recover later? I guess it would be too late for them..... I could go on and on but I think you get the gist. Euthanasia is a great big can of worms and needs lots and lots of discussions. I haven't yet read the info about the Belgian twins fearing that it was simply a case of not being able to see one another! Maybe later today.

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    1. It's so hard to make a judgement on it. Obviously the euthanasee's opinion should be most important, but how do you judge if they're capable of making the decision?

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  3. Kellie, I didn't find it macabre as much as enlightening. I had seen the headlines about the twins but hadn't taken the time to read the article so I didn't know the reasons. I, like you, question if that really is a reasonable qualification for euthanasia.

    As for the roller coaster....I think ole Julijonas is demented sicko. He says his coaster would provide a euphoric, elegant way to meet your maker. I call bullsh**! Has he ever ridden a regular coaster? There is nothing elegant about screaming like a little girl and/or peeing your pants. Would you really want your last words to be said hanging upside down in a loopty-loop saying "Oh SSSHHHHIIITTTT!

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    1. LOL! Given how often the roller coasters at the theme parks around my neck of the woods break down, I don't even want to think about how it'd go! They'd probably get half way, only for it to break down in the middle of a loop!

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  4. wow Kellie, interesting stuff here. I didn't hear about these twins at all nor the deadly roller coaster. Thanks for bring them to my attention. I think I spend too much time blogging............

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    1. People are always saying I don't pay enough attention to current affairs, but I think I do, I just focus on the bizarre bits.

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  5. This blew my mind--there's nothing I can think of to say!!

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  6. I also read the article and think I may have a slightly different take on it: Having been in the position of not being able to attend to any of my own needs, being temporarily blind...although I didn't know it would be temporary at the time...and unable to speak. Yes, it is a desperate, horrible feeling and more dehumanising than you can possible imagine.

    It's difficult enough learning, say, Braille when you can hear instructions...at 45, deaf, with no understanding of Braille? There would be absolutely no way to communicate with anyone else, what would their lives be? No way to tell someone else what their needs were, no way to receive any other than the most gross physical messages from someone else....not able to contribute to the world around them in any meaningful fashion...to never see what was happening...to be absolutely helpless in an emergency and unlikely to even be able to KNOW that a situation was an emergency. What a horror, to be locked into oneself with no hope of communication and completely at the mercy of fate and of other people. Physical pain is FAR easier to deal with than a state of complete and utter helplessness devoid of any comfort or interaction.

    No, I think it's wrong to force someone else to live in that way if they are able to understand what it will mean for them...unless one is willing to live in the exact same way as long as the person sentenced to a living death has to.

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    1. That's a good point. It must be a daunting thing to realise that you're deaf, about to go blind, with limited time to learn other methods of communication and a very real chance you won't succeed.

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  7. I think the ultimate freedom is whether or not to end your own life. I can't speak for the twins in your example, but I can think of instances where I wouldn't want to live anymore. I think a psychiatric evaluation is needed to be sure the person isn't merely temporarily depressed or under the influence of anyone pushing them to make this decision, but I'm not against it.

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    1. I'm not against it either as a concept, but the idea of having the responsibility of deciding is just incredibly overwhelming.

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  8. I think I agree with Stephen and Jacqueline. It's hard to speak about someone else's situation but to be completely helpless and dependent on others forever in your 40s would be hard for me to take. I can't say I'd be suicidal but I can't say I wouldn't either. I know my grandparents all suffered immensely when they were no longer able to independently take care of themselves and I think my grandmother died prematurely after her legs were amputated. The US says no to assisted suicide so it's not anything anyone could argue more than likely. But it's hard to imagine not being able to see or hear the person closest to you for another 50 ish years.

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    1. That's true. It's hard to know what it would really feel like to face something like that.

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  9. Having a Mother who was unable to care for herself, communicate, scratch her nose, walk, go to the bathroom, or even change positions, I might have a different take on this topic. I do remember the doctor saying she has no quality of life. My response to him was, it's the only life she's got! I was honored to take care of her and miss her terribly, however, if she was offered the choice, although I don't think she would have taken it, I would have had to honor it and try to understand. If I had to go through what she had to endure, I don't think I could and if given a choice to end it, I'd have to say I would probably consider it.

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    1. It's such a hard area to find solid ground in. All I know is I would be crap at making the decision, either for someone else or for myself.

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  10. I think being able to comfortable end your own life whenever you think is right is great, in theory. Also creepy and literally, un-natural (what's more human than the desire to fight death?). And I feel for those twins. They weren't just getting severed from each other...they were going into a desperately deep darkness. And wow I suddenly have a lot to say about everything. YOU'RE fault for writing such a stimulating post.)

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  11. Fine line between euthanasia and suicide (much bigger line between suicide and youth-in-Asia...thank you, I'll be here all week). Didn't those twins know that with blindness comes enhanced other senses? Did they look at all those other poor, downtrodden blind people like Stevie Wonder and Claude Monet and Ray Charles and Andrea Bocelli and Helen Keller and so on who, whoa is them, couldn't make a life past sight impairment, and think they just had to end it all?
    The roller coaster of doom looks fun at least. Whether or not just a bunch of loop-de-loops will kill someone is yet to be proven. But then, like you said, who will let this sadistic jerk build it?

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    1. Wow, you're the first to make the "Youth In Asia" joke! I'm impressed!

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  12. Very thought provoking. Where is that fine line between where society says, "OK, you can self-euthanize considering your circumstances, but YOU can't"? Who knows what's in someone's mind....how much suffering they can withstand. I don't think it's a constant. VERY touchy.

    The roller coaster....I've never heard of such a thing. Really? I think I'd pass.

    S

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    1. And this would be the reason why I'll never be in charge of making those decisions. I know my limits, and deciding something like that is definitely one of them.

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  13. Is it weird that I wanna try the roller coaster?! I bet I could make it.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. LOL! I would expect nothing less of you, sweetie! Do you think they'd give you a T-shirt afterwards with "I Survived The Killer Coaster" on it?

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  14. Creepy.. I mean really, with all of the ups and downs of a roller coaster, how would you know if you're going "up" or "down???" Never heard of this but I've often thought it when I've gotten on them.

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    1. It won't matter to me, it's going to be a very long time before I'll be setting foot on another roller coaster, let me tell you!

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  15. Lmao, a deadly roller coaster.

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    1. I know! Seriously, who comes up with something like that?

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  16. I love macabre stuff, I just can't get enough of it. I hadn't heard about those twins. That is completely fascinating. 45 is so young, though! And I find it interesting that it took a couple of years for the process of having it approved, but in that time they didn't go blind. What was the rush, then? I just can't imagine when it comes to the day of actually going through with it. What a bizarre thing, to say goodbye to your family, because you are about to have yourself be euthanized.

    Hey, are you going to join us ladies over at Dude Write for ladies week? It would be so fun to have you!!

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    1. I've never entered anything like Dude Write, although I'm tempted.

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  17. LOL! How DO you get a zoning permit for something like that?! This post and the linked article were bursting with gems of irony, thank you!

    That 'John Allen, the former president of the famous ride maker, Philadelphia Toboggan Company once said: ‘The ultimate roller coaster is built when you send out twenty-four people and they all come back dead’ is somewhat hilarious! So THAT is the overall vision for roller-coaster engineers!? This explains a lot - and totally legitimizes my fear of them :) (The coasters and now possibly the engineers :)

    I appreciated the comment by Dr Peter Saunders from Care Not Killing: ‘Whilst appreciating the artist’s sense of humour and light-heartedness, we also need to remember that the life a human being cannot ever be taken ‘humanely with elegance and euphoria’ and with this method the last sensation would more probably be one of overwhelming vertigo and fright'. How true. (This reminds me of a line from a movie review from years ago: 'the rape scene was tastefully done'!)

    On the question of euthanasia, I suppose in terms of ethics it comes down to who you believe has the right to make that decision: you, God, or the people who love you. Although I can understand a person's desire to leave pain behind, my religious beliefs rule out euthanasia as acceptable. However, religious beliefs or otherwise aside, I agree with your comment that assisted suicide is: 'such a grey area with so many chances for mistakes and abuses'. Opening the door to euthanasia could possibly be more like opening a trap door.

    The last line in the article hit my funny bone again: '‘Let’s hope that this imaginative method never becomes legal.’ Understatement, anybody? (Or, somewhat chillingly, a look into the future?)

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    1. I just read the article about the brothers. Very sad.

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    2. It is, isn't it. It's another one of those "I'm not sure what my opinion is" issues.

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  18. Animals are allowed to be put down because it's "humane" and yet humans are not allowed to have their pain ended because it's barbaric and unethical. Who's kidding who here. Animals get treated better and have more operations than humans do. WE are the ones suffering and yet animals get treated better. I'm all for people dying how they want, they try it with suicide, so what's the difference.

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