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View Poll Results: Should terminally ill patients be allowed to die by donating organs?

Voters
66. You may not vote on this poll
  • NO. It's a slippery slope and completely unethical.

    21 31.82%
  • YES. It's their life, and they should have complete control over it.

    30 45.45%
  • DON'T KNOW: This is too complicated to decide.

    16 24.24%
Multiple Choice Poll.

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  1. #1
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    Man with ALS wants to die by donating organs

    http://www.ajc.com/news/cherokee/che...rss_news_81960

    What do you think?

    Garry Phebus, 62, said he was diagnosed in 2008 with Lou Gehrig's disease -- ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.


    "I already have a death sentence, so whats the difference? Garry Phebus said. I had doctors and nurses telling me its unethical. But I dont have a life to live.

    The difference is taking organs from a living person is illegal and ethically wrong, said John Banja, an ethicist at the Center for Ethics at Emory University.

    "If we were to allow something like this to happen, even with the full consent of the patient,. we would be going down a slippery slope," Banja said.


    Assisted suicide is allowed in three states, but in Georgia it is illegal.


    Ive thought about this for a long time, Garry Phebus, sitting in front of a blank wall, says to the camera. Im not suicidal. I just. Its just a matter of time before I die. ... What better thing can I leave for other people?

    He said he has been tested and all of his organs are healthy and he repeats often that his blood is O positive, which means he can give to anyone regardless of their blood type.

  2. #2
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    My favorite uncle died when I was twelve of ALS. This disease causes a very dificult wasting protracted death. Shutting down the functions of your body one at a time, first with the use of your extremities (really hard for my uncle, he was a graphic artists), then moving throughout your body til you are paralysed, finally ending with shutting down your vital organs one by one.

    I am a big advocate of letting terminally ill patient's die on their own terms. How they choose to exit is very often the last thing in their world that is within their control.

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  3. #3
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    I voted no, only from a horrifying personal experience (warning). My mum died 3 years ago from a terminal illness. My father - thinking he was being helpful, said he would donate her organs. I didn't find out until later that he also donated her skin to burn victims. While the thought was there, I was horrified by the thought that my mother was being skinned. Sorry.

    In any case, after my decease mother was mutilated in more ways than I care to imagine, all her organs and skin were refused. You would think they could do some sorta test beforehand.

    My mom had suffered from life long diabetes, died of pneumonia, and was a chronic smoker. So right there it tells ya, no one is going to use the lungs. She also had skin cancer -- so why did they remove her skin? Duh!

    I have since learned that many many people with a terminal illness who's relatives want to donate organ parts are often declined. You should be in pretty good health to donate a useable organ. This is why so many donors come from car accidents, etc. But not terminal illness like cancer and the like.

    While my mother had already passed, I still cringe at the thought of what happened to her in the morgue. I really doubt she would have wanted that (we never really talked about it though).

    So yes, my thoughts are pretty strong on this subject.

    MOO

    Mel

    ETA: sorry, I didn't really answer the question to the OP. I don't know how ALS effects the internal organs, other than the brain. I guess if it doesn't effect the liver, kidney, heart, spleen, he would be in good shape. But each individual is different, and he should certainly talk to his doctor before making such a huge decision. We all know diabets effects many organs in the body - which make candidates for organ donation highly unlikely (depending on the time you've had the disease).

  4. #4
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    Umm, no! Anyone that has a terminal illness should not donate organs. I believe there was a story not too long ago about someone who got a donated organ and died from whatever disease that the organ donor suffered from. Sure you get a new lease on life with the new organ but a few years later you develop ALS. Not really a good outcome.

    On the other hand someone with a terminal illness should be able to decide when they have personally had enough and end their own life with dignity.

  5. #5
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    From the article, it says that doctors are hesitant to use ALS patients organs in a donation because it is unknown what ALS does to the organs. (I further read into that they don't fully understand the disease and what the implications are of a patient receiving organs from a patient with ALS).

    Further reading also talks about the ethics involved in organ harvesting. Ethics if not honored could open the door for some heinous misdeeds IMHO. We will always have people that use and abuse and find loopholes in any situation. (Not talking about the patients giving or receiving donations).

    If I'm not mistaken this is a argument for assisted suicide.

    I'm not sure how I feel about that particular subject. I really don't. JMHO.

  6. #6
    rossva's Avatar
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    I would say "no" based on that doctors are hesitant to use ALS patients organs in a donation because it is unknown what ALS does to the organs. (I further read into that they don't fully understand the disease and what the implications are of a patient receiving organs from a patient with ALS).


    My father passed away from ALS, and he lived for almost 10 years after being diagnosed with it, which is a rarity. His quality of life did not deteriorate till the last two years.

    Again, based on there is so much that we do not know what causes ALS, I would vote "no" for organ transplants.

  7. #7
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    My husband passed away in 2004 from ALS. he did not donate for the very reasons many here have stated. The disease has no know cause although sometimes runs in families. He said he would hate to "pass" on this hell to someone. So we abided by his wishes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcox View Post
    My favorite uncle died when I was twelve of ALS. This disease causes a very dificult wasting protracted death. Shutting down the functions of your body one at a time, first with the use of your extremities (really hard for my uncle, he was a graphic artists), then moving throughout your body til you are paralysed, finally ending with shutting down your vital organs one by one.

    I am a big advocate of letting terminally ill patient's die on their own terms. How they choose to exit is very often the last thing in their world that is within their control.
    I, too, know someone who died of ALS. It was horrible, because he'd made his wishes known very early on and when push came to shove, his family didn't honor his wishes.

    I know the ethics issue is slippery at best, but I do believe that terminally ill people should have some say over how they die.

    I have heard of co-joined twins being separated knowing one would die because she lacked the necessary organs to live. That baby didn't have a say in her death, the doctors and parents decided to go ahead with the separation in the hopes of saving the viable twin. If the medical community can make this decision for a baby, why can't a sentient adult make the same decision to save others through the ending of his life?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgeaux View Post
    I, too, know someone who died of ALS. It was horrible, because he'd made his wishes known very early on and when push came to shove, his family didn't honor his wishes.

    I know the ethics issue is slippery at best, but I do believe that terminally ill people should have some say over how they die.

    I have heard of co-joined twins being separated knowing one would die because she lacked the necessary organs to live. That baby didn't have a say in her death, the doctors and parents decided to go ahead with the separation in the hopes of saving the viable twin. If the medical community can make this decision for a baby, why can't a sentient adult make the same decision to save others through the ending of his life?
    That is a very good point and something to "chew on".
    I did not vote as I have always felt that my life was in God's Hands and however my "ticket" out of this earthly life is stamped it will still be the place to TRUST GOD , no matter what.
    Thanks for your post; I never thought of that situation with co-joined twins like that. Reminds me of the movie "Sophie's Choice".

  10. #10
    OneLostGrl's Avatar
    OneLostGrl is offline I'm going against the grain- I'm going sane
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    Quote Originally Posted by octobermoon View Post
    My husband passed away in 2004 from ALS. he did not donate for the very reasons many here have stated. The disease has no know cause although sometimes runs in families. He said he would hate to "pass" on this hell to someone. So we abided by his wishes.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgeaux View Post
    I, too, know someone who died of ALS. It was horrible, because he'd made his wishes known very early on and when push came to shove, his family didn't honor his wishes.

    I know the ethics issue is slippery at best, but I do believe that terminally ill people should have some say over how they die.

    I have heard of co-joined twins being separated knowing one would die because she lacked the necessary organs to live. That baby didn't have a say in her death, the doctors and parents decided to go ahead with the separation in the hopes of saving the viable twin. If the medical community can make this decision for a baby, why can't a sentient adult make the same decision to save others through the ending of his life?
    My mother said the same thing! She was very much for assisted suicide and her life was incredibly painful at the end. She said she wanted to be put down just like animals -- and why did they get more compassion than a human being.

    In short, if this gentleman wants to die, I don't think donating his organs is the way to go about it. It can't possibly be helpful to anyone else (the organs that is).

    This is a huge politcal debate for many, and I can only wish him the very best.

    MOO

    Mel

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by octobermoon View Post
    My husband passed away in 2004 from ALS. he did not donate for the very reasons many here have stated. The disease has no know cause although sometimes runs in families. He said he would hate to "pass" on this hell to someone. So we abided by his wishes.

    So sorry October. Sending loving thoughts your way.

    Hugs,

    Mel

  13. #13
    OneLostGrl's Avatar
    OneLostGrl is offline I'm going against the grain- I'm going sane
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgeaux View Post
    I, too, know someone who died of ALS. It was horrible, because he'd made his wishes known very early on and when push came to shove, his family didn't honor his wishes.

    I know the ethics issue is slippery at best, but I do believe that terminally ill people should have some say over how they die.

    I have heard of co-joined twins being separated knowing one would die because she lacked the necessary organs to live. That baby didn't have a say in her death, the doctors and parents decided to go ahead with the separation in the hopes of saving the viable twin. If the medical community can make this decision for a baby, why can't a sentient adult make the same decision to save others through the ending of his life?
    This is a crazy world.. ya know? Everyone would be running to go donate. I agree with assisted suicide, I just think it would be abused if it were allowed.

  14. #14
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    It's his life. He should be able to do what he wants with it and end it on his own terms. I have NO ethical issue with a person taking their own life.
    I do not intend to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death!

  15. #15
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    Thumbs down

    Absolutely not! Not only is it unethical and may lead to abuse ( which I believe happened in the Terri Schiavo case), but also he is not a healthy donor!!! He has ALS, maybe he is passing that on by transmission through his organ tissue. I wouldn't want to be his recipient or hasten his death, even though he has a horrible disease!!!
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