Man with ALS wants to die by donating organs

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by angelmom, Jul 28, 2010.

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Should terminally ill patients be allowed to die by donating organs?

  1. NO. It's a slippery slope and completely unethical.

    21 vote(s)
    31.8%
  2. YES. It's their life, and they should have complete control over it.

    30 vote(s)
    45.5%
  3. DON'T KNOW: This is too complicated to decide.

    16 vote(s)
    24.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    http://www.ajc.com/news/cherokee/cherokee-man-with-als-578828.html?cxtype=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 what’s the difference?” Garry Phebus said. “I had doctors and nurses telling me it’s unethical. But I don’t 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.


    “I’ve thought about this for a long time,” Garry Phebus, sitting in front of a blank wall, says to the camera. “I’m not suicidal. I just. It’s 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.
     
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  3. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  4. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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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).
     
  5. Thundar

    Thundar New Member

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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.
     
  6. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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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.
     
  7. rossva

    rossva George Zimmerman: Innocent until proven guilty.

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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.
     
  8. octobermoon

    octobermoon Active Member

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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.
     
  9. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    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?
     
  10. heartfortruth

    heartfortruth New Member

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    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".
     
  11. OneLostGrl

    OneLostGrl I'm going against the grain- I'm going sane

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    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
     
  13. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    So sorry October. Sending loving thoughts your way.

    Hugs,

    Mel
     
  14. OneLostGrl

    OneLostGrl I'm going against the grain- I'm going sane

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    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.
     
  15. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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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.
     
  16. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    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:eek: or hasten his death, even though he has a horrible disease!!!:snooty:
     
  17. tiredofthis

    tiredofthis New Member

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    My father died from ALS when I was a teenager and it is a horrible way to go.
     
  18. Gozgals

    Gozgals New Member

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    Sorry for your loss tiredofthis and everyones losses.

    I take no issue with a terminally ill person taking their own life when they are ready. I do feel this mans organs are diseased and won't be able to be given to another person so it serves no purpose for him to even think about donating. I feel it is wrong and should not even be taken into consideration, Donating Before Death. It is total abuse and would get out of control quickly and Drs. would decide who would live or die.

    Goz
     
  19. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    You said so eloquently the points I was trying to make!:clap::clap::clap:
     
  20. LiveLaughLuv

    LiveLaughLuv New Member

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    ITA, Thundar. How can a terminally ill person donate organs without infecting the donor??? NO...I wouldn't want to be responsible for passing that disease on to a healthy person...JMHO

    I also feel, if one is terminally ill, there is no cure, one should be able to end their life with dignity. I think Dr. Kevorkian who had this idea, jailed for helping someone commit murder, was wrong IMO...

    I saw my mom die a horrible death from osterocarcinoma....her last days took her independance, her dignity, she was no longer a vibrant woman, she was in diapers, had to be fed, bathed...just so debilitating...JMHO
     
  21. mom2six

    mom2six New Member

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    The difference is known as "double effect". No one wills the conjoined twin to die, but it is a potential, foreseeable, unpreventable side effect of the only know treatment to save the life of a child. It is not morally similar to suicide by organ donation.

    This man has no right to turn a doctor into a murderer because he wills it. Also, as others have stated, he is an unsuitable donor because of his diagnosis.

    It is sad, but in life sometimes we have to respect others dignity by caring for them when they can no longer do so for themselves. Dignity is inherent in the human condition, a product of mind and soul. It is not a manifestation of bodily function or dysfunction.
     

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