[ExI] Vegetative patient free of pain

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Mon Nov 19 14:16:47 UTC 2012

On 19 November 2012 00:05, Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I would err on the side of the message be right when it's of the "I want
> to live" type and possibly mistaken when it's the opposite. That seems the
> reasonable position to take, no?

Yes, I think it appears reasonable at least not to ignore possible "make me
live" messages, even though this may mean that a few vegetative patients
will be kept alive that are not actually conscious, do want to die, or
simply do not care.

>  > Having said that, I expect that the technology will become an argument
> > for pro-life partisans to the effect that people responding in any way
> should
> > not be allowed to die in any case ("hey, if they want to die they are
> > conscious, so this is euthanasia, bla-bla).
> Well, there's a different argument there. If someone believes suicide is
> not to be permitted, then, yeah, it doesn't matter what the patient wants.
> But I was talking about when one doesn't hold that view.

OK. I am just saying that those who are against assisted suicide will make
the request to die a proof that the vegetative patient is in fact "alive"
and conscious.

> Also, what do you mean by "euthanasia"? The term is often used to mean
> when the patient makes the request. In this case, of course, the problem is
> if the patient has made the request (the reliability). If it's someone else
> making it, then it's another kettle of fish.

Currently, life-death decisions are certainly not made by vegetative
patients, nor by newborns. Still, the relevant procedures are usually still
called euthanasia.

Same here, which is always surprises me that many if not most
> self-identified transhumanists seem to want to coerce other people, as in
> embracing various forms of statism.

My point is however subtler: let us say that we do not intend to "coerce"
nobody to live longer then he wish in a legal sense.

Do we consider persuading him to do so, or fostering a "live as long as you
can at any cost" culture, part of our mission?

Because if the answer is "no", we can spare ourselves all the stupid debate
about "are longer-living humans really happier, aren't they going to get
bored, isn't intensity better than duration, etc", because basically what
we want is simply having not just the option of dying, but also the option
of living.

Stefano Vaj
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