Ahh… Euthanasia. This is one of the topics that is still being debated throughout the world as it can play a role in “literal freedom” and release from agonizing “torture.” This is an extremely sensitive topic as the majority wishes to preserve life no matter what and the minority is pleading for “assisted suicide.”
Before we get into the topic at hand, I would like to state some pros and cons about euthanasia. Most people who are for euthanasia have the reason that it is “humane” and it will free patients from pain and suffering after palliative care is no longer sufficient. On the other hand, the people who are against euthanasia think the opposite. In their minds, they think it is inhumane and it is extremely tough to pass euthanasia as a law in any country.
The majority who are against euthanasia are probably religious individuals who believe their lives are strictly determined by a higher entity and beliefs. As I have read in other posts in the past weeks, I also wonder how can religion be above all when it comes to these matters of life and death. For example, if a rare situation such as the patient in the article “I have a fear of living like this when I am old and frail” occurs, I feel that it is entirely the persons choice and religion has no part in his decision. As mentioned before, some religious groups have used this “higher entity” to justify deeds that are obviously inhumane and wrong.
Should assisted suicide be a legal option for those patients who choose it, regardless of their medical condition?
This question is extremely hard to answer because there is no “real concrete” answer. Once again, the only answer I can conjure up is the idea of “balance.” In my “ideal” opinion I think assisted suicide should be passed as law and free for individuals in extreme cases such as “locked-in syndrome” to use. However, there must be strict guidelines and procedures before permitting the request. For example, if upon complete mental and physical and spiritual evaluation, the patient is fine then it is by law their decision. In other words, if all other options are exhausted such as counselling, then it is okay to request assisted suicide. Whether or not it is permitted will depend on a team of specialists working with the patient. The key is try to “empathize” with the patient because they are the ones who are suffering unimaginably. But the most important thing is “education” and a true mind-set. What I mean is, ideally we have to balance our minds and make informed decisions because we absolutely cannot abuse the the new law.
Now, in reality… euthanasia will be tough to control. If indeed, we were free to exercise assisted suicide then as the article stated it could bring upon “legitimate murder.” Therefore, other people may become more vulnerable. This may also sway the entire justice system as people may find loop holes and cause inconsistency.
We often talk about being “optimistic” no matter how dire your situation becomes. I sincerely agree and promote this view. However, I understand that there must be a line drawn somewhere. The words, “true, hope, wish, etc” are all good for mental perseverance and motivation but sadly we must understand that there comes a time when those are nothing but “words.”
Because we will “never” truly understand and empathize with somebody who legitimately requests for assisted suicide, the bottom line is that assisted suicide is “necessary” and it should be allowed for severe and extreme cases but it must never be abused by patient or physician.
“To suffer without anybody realizing is like trying to remember someone you have never met.”