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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Euthanasia: Is it a good death?

Unfortunately, there are more countries and states were the right-to-die movement is growing in strength and support. The argument brought forward by proponents of this dubious right has revolved around emotional bids to end the suffering of certain people by ending their miserable lives. It's always framed in terms of compassion and, ultimately, to do "what is vest for that person".

It's also a sad fact that among the people who have lobbied for euthanasia and its variant, assisted suicide, there were disabled people themselves and parents or next of kin. Again, our heartstrings are pulled as we hear how unbearable life has become - especially after the acquisition of a limiting medical condition.

True, any form of pain - whether physical or psychological - cam make you wish you were never born at all. Indeed, the thought of 'ending it all' passes through many of our minds whether we want to admit it or not. This may be a shock to some but there were times in my life when I considered to commit suicide

That act, however hushed, is often a symptom of another deeper problem. A failure, perhaps, of a society that has become unaware of its own faults. In my case, a silent majority, if they look at me on the streets, might assume that my Life is less than theirs just because I use a wheelchair and have a visual impairment. And thoughts like this that plague you when you're in excruciating pain. Or when you try to earn a living and go on with your daily business when you are told you have to make do with second best. Or that you have to go somewhere else as they only have stairs or, that they don't cater for people like me. It is this that blows the pain out of proportion and drains your will to live.

Thankfully, I found the support I needed from friends, family and professionals. Pain medication also helped. After all, I'm not implying that pain isn't real. What I'm saying that we often stop at looking at a person's life as if we empathize with his or her suffering. We may also sincerely believe that his or her life is not worth living. We may, in the name of a cruel mercy, assist in killing him or her. Rejecting under the pretense of love and compassion.

I know it sounds like a sermon - it's Sunday after all and assuming you're a Christian - but it's really a few thoughts I wished to share. Just ask yourself why some are expressing a desire to die or for their loved ones to die. Are our support services failing to meet the needs? Are our societies persisting in excluding us who are physically, sensorily, intellectually or psychologically diverse? Are we attaching human value to an unattainable ideal with a life that must be rid of pain and suffering that is unavoidable?

I fear what I would have done in those dark times when living appeared futile and without purpose. If I could ask an agency such as the Swiss Dignitas then, would have I insisted that I saw no point in it all. Would I be ... Typing this post here today?