From the US? Considering an abortion? Go to, a database of abortion malpractice information in the USA.

"When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." Elizabeth Cady Stanton



Monday, 14 November 2011

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

There's a court case going on in Canada right now, and CBC has a poll here on the issue (feel free to vote!). I was reading through some of the comments and they were making me both very sad and very angry. The two most common arguments for assisted suicide are summed up quite well by TerryWeins, quoted as follows:

"We show more compassion for our sick pets than we do for our fatality ill family members. As a long time disability rights advocate who is actually disabled and not being paid to represent some lobby group I fully support and individuals right to a dignified means to end ones life when the quality has expired."

First off, I am not quite sure that I agree that it is compassionate to euthanize a sick pet. I have always thought that it is an incredibly cowardly act to decide for yourself the fate of another creature (unless of course you're going to eat it, which is a perfectly natural thing to do). If this animal lived in the wild do you think it would have a "humane" and "peaceful" ending? No. If it even survived to old age, it would live as long as it was able and then it would die. Probably its death would be quite painful. It would be a struggle. That is, after all, what life is. It's not neat or pretty or peaceful or dignified - it is a struggle and and that's that.

Secondly, a human being is not a pet. A human being displaying the wish to die is someone that is deeply troubled and in need of help, love, and compassion. Saying, "well, we agree, your life sucks. Lets get you killed!" is not the compassionate response. Period. It is certainly the easy reaction to suffering - it absolutely eliminates a million hard questions such as how do we care for this person, how do we alleviate their pain, how do we keep them involved in society, how to we mitigate the effects of their disability, how do we show them that they are still valued and loved, how to we make sure their last days aren't miserable, how do we ..... but assisted death is not the answer to these questions, and the multitude of other questions that accompany end of life issues.

Finally, I want to address the idea that individuals have a right to decide when they will die with dignity. First off, no one is arguing that people do not have the ability to decide when they will die. Ever heard of suicide? The information is readily available, and anyone and everyone has the means to commit suicide, refuse treatment, or hasten their death. If someone's future is really so bleak that they believe death is better than life, then such a person absolutely has the ability to end their own life. In fact, they should be the only person who ends their own life. That way it is absolutely certain that the final choice was their own. What we are arguing against is the idea that other people can legally help someone accomplish that goal. Why? Because people can be pressured, can be tricked, and can be taken advantage of. The weak, troubled, sick, and handicapped have very small and easily ignored voices in this world. The healthy, powerful, and well-off have loud voices and commonly believe that they know what is best for those who are in their care. This law can easily be abused. In fact, even with the illegality of assisted suicide I have no doubt that such abuses still occur - but at least they are not sanctioned by the state. Finding and prosecuting such abuse is and will be almost impossible to do - after all, the only true witnesses to this abuse would be dead.

End rant. Hope this made sense. I haven't done as much reading on assisted suicide or euthanasia as I have with abortion, but I still believe that every second of every life is worth living. I have known and lived through the deterioration and death of loved ones, and even unto their last days they were beautiful, loved, valued, and they believed their lives were worth living. This is probably because they were not alone, and were surrounded by loved ones who would miss them and who wanted to spend every moment they could with them until they finally left. If only every person could be shown such love. To be ill, dying, and alone must be the hardest thing to face. I can certainly understand why people would seek out euthanasia in both fear and loneliness. And so we should work towards being a more loving and compassionate society, and we must make sure that no one ever feels alone or worthless in this world. <3 RIP

No comments:

Post a Comment