(By Liza) My previous post talked about the heartbreak of having a pet put to sleep or euthanized as is the term, not once did anyone question the rights and wrongs of this. Because it’s a legal act to help stop the suffering of the animal. So how come when we talk about euthanasia and assisted dying for people, it is a completely different matter? Well of course it is not legal in this country and there are many issues and ethical questions that make it an extremely difficult subject.
I recently visited someone who is very elderly, unhappy and disabled. I feel so sorry for her, she is in pain and literally waiting to die. The questions I asked myself were, is this a good enough quality of life? Should she be allowed to be relieved of her suffering and die with dignity? After all it is her own body, maybe she should be able to do as she pleases with it? Should she be allowed to have a choice without being judged? The lady in question didn’t ask me to help her die, she is just getting on with it, but I’m not sure how I would deal with it should she or anyone else ask, I don’t think I would be brave enough to assist them, however strongly I felt about it and whoever it was. I think assistance from a doctor may be acceptable, but involving a relative or friend is probably not a good idea for many reasons.
If I was that person who was suffering, living (if you can call it that) a bleak, painful existence, I don’t think I could ask someone else to help me end it, it would be too much of a responsibility to give them. The problem is the alternative only has one name- suicide.