Euthanasia

The age old topic is in my head….again Euthanasia. Is it morally wrong for a person to kill himself? Is it a crime against humans as a whole? Is it a crime for a person to support (and sometime even assist) a person to commit suicide?

I don’t even know where to begin. One part of me says that I am flat out FOR a person to end his life. A decision to end one’s life is a very personal one and it is no ones business to butt in. Having said that, I also believe that a deranged or a depressed person needs to be counselled against committing suicide. I know this idea tramples on quite a few people’s sensibilities and religious convictions but the truth of the matter is that no one can tell me how to live and how to die. And I assume that it holds true for most of the people around the world. To die is to release yourself from the objectivity of life and enter the realm of unknown. This form of unknown could be hell, heaven, nirvana or re-birth. It’s the end of one journey and the beginning of another.

But what about the case when one’s mind and health is failing and the person does not want to continue with his life? Does that not fall under deranged/depressed category? The answer is NO. When a person’s health and mind begins to fail and the person knows that this is a road to nowhere, the person is within his “human” rights to end his life. But what if he cannot end his life himself? What then? Do we just let the person suffer? This is where we all have different opinions. I for one am FOR a person to request assistance in dying if he cannot do so. Is it more morally wrong to let the person suffer to death or morally wrong to help that person attain peace? I choose peace.

But my other half says that the life of a human being is the utmost expression of the self and this idea should be protected at all cost. This is exactly where the controversy lies. Should we protect human life at all cost or should be allow people to decide when they want to die? The moral problem here is that if you help in a suicide are you assisting a suicide or are you in fact killing? The answer to this question has so many ifs, buts, whys and whens that it’s not worth answering.

I can understand why no government would touch this issue because once you make a law, it is going to be a very slippery slide. The only government to have dabbled in euthanasia is Netherlands. But even there, the issue was passed to the courts where a patient requests to die repeatedly and family doctor, in consultation with other physicians, can administer a lethal drug dosage to the patient. And after a few years of implementation of this court decision, a statistical study pointed out that even though on the whole the decision was a successful decision there were over 400 cases in which (after a thorough review), euthanasia was not required.

So where does that leave us. Believe it or not I think it should be kept in limbo. We are not yet mature enough to decide to be in favour of euthanasia or against it. It clearly depends on a case by case basis and even then there are so many instances where moral objections can and will be raised. I know one thing for sure that if a loved one was going through pain and was suffering and requested me to help him/her die. I would. I mean I think I would. I mean maybe. I mean perhaps not. I mean definitely not. I mean……know what I mean?

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