The ‘Right To Die’ Debate

The Right To Die

The question is: Should a person with no ‘quality of life’, due to disability or an incurable disease, have the right to end their own lives with or without the help of others? This problem has been bouncing around the legal system in many countries for decades, and currently we still have no satisfactory solution. Some nations like Switzerland, where euthanasia was made legal in 1942, take a more understanding view than others of the suffering that such people undergo. In America, Britain, and many other European nations, with the exception of Holland and Belgium,  governments stick to the letter of the law.

Swiss Assisted Suicide Rates 1998 to 2009

Swiss Assisted Suicide Rates 1998 to 2009

I can fully understand the stance of people who are completely paralyzed and can do nothing without help, along with those who must suffer excruciating pain every day wanting to end it all. In such circumstances many of us would feel the same, but sadly the law does not agree. Under British law, If a person in such a position were to be assisted in ending their suffering by a family member or friend, the law seldom takes action, but anyone with a medical background, be it a doctor, nurse or carer would immediately be charged with murder.  That just does not make sense!

I believe the law should recognise that it is better for someone to die in the controlled environment of a hospital where their passing can be made easy, than taking the desperate measure of being placed in a Muslim area with a placard insulting Allah around their necks. The latter would be effective, but I think I would certainly prefer a hospital bed.

Results Of A Pew Research Centre Poll In 2005

Results Of A Pew Research Centre Poll In 2005

The big problem as I see it, is that the law does not have a clue about the suffering that such people go through. You have to imagine being in a wheelchair for example, not being able to move a muscle and not being able to do a single thing for yourself like eat, drink, turn on the TV or go to the toilet. Every second of the day you are dependent on someone else for things that you took for granted before tragedy struck. Imagine being in excruciating pain every minute of every day without end. I am not sure I would have the fortitude to withstand such a thing, so I can fully understand the desperate need to have a dignified end to a life that is no longer worth living.

On top of your own pain and anguish is that of your loved ones who suffer with you. Imagine if you will what a loving wife or husband must go through, having to be there every minute of every day doing everything for you except breathing. Such a situation does not destroy one life, it has the same effect on those closest to the patient. I am seventy, and thank God in reasonable health, but I would hate to be such a burden to my wife.

Better To Fade Away With Medical Help

Better To Fade Away With Medical Help

Without doubt, it is time for the government and the Justice Ministry to take a look at this ‘crime against humanity’ and re-assess the laws guiding assisted suicide. I am sure that with reasonable consideration and debate, a satisfactory system can be worked out that allows such things in a controlled manner. I truly despair at the people who demonstrate against such legislation, and it would be poetic justice if at some time in the future they face this heart-rending situation themselves. After all, they shoot horses don’t they, so why should a human being suffer just because of some out-dated law.

Roy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: