Euthanasia debate requires cool heads

2015-05-26 06:00

I have noted with disturbing concern that people opposed to euthanasia are becoming histrionic in their approach to the debate and refer to people supporting euthanasia as killers and murderers.

This type of attitude does not make for healthy debate.

The department of health, which is also opposed to the right to end one’s life when afflicted with a terminal illness, is guilty of double standards. It freely advocates abortion, where the decision does not rest with the unborn foetus but the mother. The doctors carrying out the procedure are not referred to as killers and the procedure is not called “physician-assisted foeticide” but, rightly so, termination of pregnancy.

People who are in favour of this right come from a range of educational backgrounds and are quite clear that they do not wish to be subjected to the pain of dying from the complications of terminal illness. This should not be classed as the same as an able-bodied person committing suicide due to depression; this is a different set of circumstances.

Doctors willing to assist patients with this request are not cold-blooded killers but are very compassionate and accept that medical science has its limitations. Yes, palliative care does have a huge role to play but not everyone is keen to go through the process of dying slowly and in severe agony.

To end one’s life, when there is no hope, has been deemed unethical and immoral. Who makes such a decision on what is ethical and what is moral in the face of enormous human suffering? Is it some wise philosopher, judge or religious leader?

Ethics and morality mean very little to someone who is severely afflicted by incurable pain and suffering. They are the only ones who fully understand what it is to live in agony, patiently waiting for death, not some wise philosopher or professor in his/her cosy study, full of books that make him/her look erudite and knowledgeable about everything

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.