*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
However, euthanasia, or what is known as "mercy killing," is illegal in all 50 states.
Curious to hear from strangers online about the controversial topic, Redditor ConcentrateNo1426 asked:
"What is your stance on human euthanasia?"
Many people had strong thoughts in favor of euthanasia, especially those who've watched their parents pass away.
A Mother's Final Words
"My mom died this way. She was suffering terribly from ALS. She was able to die being held by those who loved her. Right after we gave her the fatal dose she said to me 'This is what I wanted. I’ll miss you.' In the face of a fatal disease, I believe everyone should have the right to decide how they want their ending to look instead of being forced to suffer a painful death."
Death With Dignity
"Also here to say watching someone die from ALS will convince you that Death with Dignity should absolutely be legal. It was horrific watching someone go through it, and in the end being trapped in their useless body. There is no cure, and your only outlook is a slow, painful death."
She Was An Animal Lover
"My mother was a huge animal person. We had dogs, cats, horses, cows...all manner of beasties. And she lavished the best possible care on all of them, but when their quality of life dropped off at the end, when there was nothing left for them but a life filled with pain and sickness, she'd have them put down. She'd hold them in her arms, tell them they'd been the best (whatever), and say goodbye."
"That's how I was taught to deal with pets, and that's how I've always done it."
"When my mother got brain cancer (a GBM, which is effectively incurable), and after treatment options had been exhausted, I got to watch her starve to death on a morphine drip for close to a month. And all I could think during that period, is how enraged she would have been if someone had done that to an animal."
"So yea. Euthanasia, 100%. F'k this barbaric, 'Gotta wait for you to suffer to death' nonsense. What is the point?"
A Grandfather Gets To "Go Home"
"My grandfather was just put to rest today. He had an appointment. Monday at 11 o'clock. The nurse and doctor came to his home and helped him be comfortable and anxiety free, and then the doctor brought the cocktail and injected into his iv. The program deals with body removal and my grandmother arranged for a cremation."
"He lives--lived in Canada and did it through MAID He had terminal cancer and was suffering essentially lying in bed for weeks on drugs to abate the pain, not a way to live, he decided."
"He had to have his main doctor (oncologist) okay it and sign off and then met with another doctor who reviewed his case to verify that he was a candidate, and then was signed off for it by a psychologist who decided he was in his right mind to make this decision for himself."
"It's hard, but it was his decision and I support him. My grandmother got to handle things pragmatically and prepare and he gets to "go home" as he said. He just kept saying, 'I'm going home today!'"
A Final Act Of Love
"My mother 'committed' assisted suicide two weeks ago after battling colon cancer for 6 years."
"First and foremost, I recognize that this was the best course of action for her. She had exhausted all treatment options and was in a mind-boggling amount of pain. She couldn’t tolerate most forms of pain mitigation, so she was simply suffering. Once she decided to stop all treatment, this seemed like the natural and obvious choice for her, and it was one my sister and I respected."
"It is, however, important to note how deeply and truly traumatizing it was to watch my mom, I cannot escape the image of how her skin turned gray and how I watched her heart sputter and stop. Every time I close my eyes, I see her neck as I watched her pulse slow. I am well and truly struggling to deal with the process, and I think it needs to be said that it is a deeply disturbing part of the reality."
"That being said, it is a distinct luxury and privilege to know when, where, and how your loved one will pass. I got to talk to her about how she was feeling in the days leading up to it, and I got to hug and kiss her and say goodbye. A lot of people do not get to do that, and the absolute beauty of that is not lost on me. I am deeply grateful to have sat next to her and held her hand while she drifted to sleep."
"Despite the tragedy and trauma of it all, I genuinely see her 'euthanasia' as her final act of love. I support assisted suicide and believe, without hesitation, that it is the most humane and compassionate option we can offer to those who are suffering."
How The Aunt Would Feel About Not Being Allowed To Die
"My dog is very sick right now, no hope of recovery. Tomorrow I'm taking her in to be euthanized. I'm a wreck. Three days ago I returned from a trip home to say goodbye to my dear aunt, she is on hospice, wearing a diaper and doesn't even know she is a part of the world anymore. She would not have wanted that, she would HATE that she hasn't been allowed to pass with dignity."
People share their thoughts on why they feel euthanasia is a humane way to end a life.
The Woman Who Had No Peaceful Alternative
"When I was a little girl I used to go to a very old church with mostly older folks. There was an older woman (prob in her sixties) who I really adored for some reason. She was sweet, I sat beside her and probably chatted her ears off in that annoying way children do. One Sunday she didn't show and she didn't show for the rest of the Sundays after that. She went home after a service, wrote a note for everyone and apologized before she killed herself. Because she was suffering the late stages of cancer and it was so painful that this God fearing woman who never missed a service felt that the only option was to kill herself. Think of how differently that would have went for her surviving family who found her and the rest of us if euthanasia was positively received. She could have said goodbye on better terms. I don't think she would have been so desperate."
He Called Himself A Coward
"My dad took his own life last year, around the same age as the woman from your church. He’d been struggling with dementia that he’d kept hidden from the rest of the fam."
"As I work through all the trauma and the grief, the main thing I’m left with is the knowledge that he died feeling like a coward, desperate and alone with a gun in his hand. He deserved better than that. We all do."
"Edit: Since several people have commented on this - he said in a note he felt like a coward. It’s part of the reason I feel so strongly that he deserved to die with medical assistance, surrounded by family and knowing how loved he was."
A Strong Belief
"If a person is unable to have any quality of life I believe they should be free to have a choice to stop living."
Suffering through life is no way to live, especially if a person is experiencing ongoing pain and taking medicine to prolong their life without a cure for their illness.
But for those struggling with depression or other forms of mental illness, a permanent solution to a presumptive temporary problem should not be the answer.
There is help.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
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