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Are we kinder to animals than people when they are terminally ill?

by VerityG (follow)
A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
Personal (177)      Ethics (86)      Medical (52)      Euthanasia (1)     

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If an animal is terminally ill, rather than leave them to suffer, they are put to sleep. People on the other hand are offered palliative care which can often fail, leaving them to die by inches in a long-drawn out way, with pain and real loss of dignity. Are we kinder to animals than people?

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I am most grateful that people are not treated with the same principle, as we do with animals.
I have known many people in the "caring" field that cannot bear to have their family pets in pain but can certainly go about their business and ignore elderly human beings in pain.
by fran.
I hear you.
But we are talking Human Beings.
I know that pain management is available to a great deal of patients,
who suffer.
There are people who are dying, that need to make peace.
Some people take far longer than others, and it is my fear that is robbed from them.....because of the family seeing they are in pain....Please forgive me saying that often to want that life of the loved one to end, is because the family (can't stand to see the suffering).
It really is up to the person who is dying, when to go.Their soul will know the time.
by jonaja
Years ago I took my old dog who was in pain ( that could no longer be controlled by medication) to the vet to be 'put down'. I stroked him and talked to him as the vet gave him an injection. My dog did not seem to be frightened. His legs gave way and the vet checked his heart and told me he had died. Although it is a hard decision to have a loyal pet 'put down' I think it was the right decision. At the time I thought if I ever got to a point where I was in serious pain that couldn't be controlled or had lost all my dignity I would rather pass away like that than suffer and have my friends and family suffering too.
This is a brilliant question!

I think that we are definitely kinder to animals. I remember when my mum was dying of cancer she was desperate to know that there would be a way out for her if it got too bad. Not everyone feels like that, but mum did, and she should have been comforted in the knowledge that the choice was legally hers. As it turns out, liver failure killed her when the cancer spread there, but it would have been a comfort to her knowing there was an escape route.
This is a very raw issue for my family at the moment, as my father-in-law has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, tumours all over, and death is imminent. He is in a lot of pain, has lost mobility from the waist down and is distressed and confused. He is in a hospice, getting "the best possible care" but all I can think is that we wouldn't leave an animal to suffer like that and it seems inhumane for him to spend his last days in such terrible circumstances. There is no doubt that he will die, and soon, but I just can't see why these last days have to be dragged out like this. No-one wants him dead but it will be better than "living" like this.
I know this is a loaded topic, but there is nothing dignified about killing a loved one or yourself. People who are ill and/or dying need our care and compassion.

To be treated with dignity means to be treated with honour and respect. To do this we need to love. Loving and killing are diametrically opposed.

I do not kill because I love. I give my life because I love; I give my time and my effort to show love and to treat others with honour and respect.
by Vee
well said Vee....Bravo!
by jonaja
Thanks jonaj, ditto to your response. It's a tough topic, but when lives are at stake, we really must stand up.
by Vee
I think that individuals should be able to choose what they would like to happen when they reach the end of their lives. If you do not wish to have your "life" dragged out with drugs that don't even help the pain that should be your choice. I think it is far kinder to allow a person this choice.
I really do not think you can compare the two.

An animal has to rely on the guessing skills of a vet.
They cannot speak for themselves, and therefore cannot tell anyone what is wrong.

It is up to us humans to decide when they are in pain or their life is too difficult for THEM.

So it is a totally different situation to euthenasia in people.

Generally the person has already expressed a wish not to be resuscitated so you know their wishes.

With an anbimal, they cannot tell you this and therefore HAVE to rely on their owner's judgement, so I therefore do not think we treat them better.

We treat them DIFFERENTLY
by Finy
I think we're definitely kinder to animals than we are to people. Many people will do a lot more for their pets than they would for someone. Even going as car adding pets namea to will ect.
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