Assisted death - right or wrong?

2016-10-25 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

PHOTO: supplied Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

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ARCHBISHOP Desmond Tutu recently celebrated his 85th birthday in Cape Town, however he looked ill and announced he was ready to die.

According to News24 Tutu was quoted saying “Today, I myself, am even closer to the departures hall than arrivals, so to speak, and my thoughts turn to how I would like to be treated when the time comes.

“For those suffering unbearably and coming to the end of their lives, merely knowing that an assisted death is open to them can provide immeasurable comfort.”

Tutu’s assisted death issue has caused a stir nationwide - some believe it’s his choice to do whatever he wants with his life while others say it is wrong.

Pinetown Fever spoke to people to find out their views about assisted death.

KwaDabeka resident Nombuso Zulu: “It sounds wrong and unlawful, but I think it’s a choice because we don’t know the pain and suffering he is going through.

“If he feels he is ready to kick the bucket by being assisted with some medication or injection, then we must respect his wishes.”
Andile Khumalo from Pinetown said: “I’m a traditional man so our culture does not allow such things. I believe that a person should wait for his time and it has to happen naturally. I believe that if a person dies he or she will be united with the ancestors and if one chooses to be assisted with their death then you will be a lost soul and won’t get a chance to be with your ancestors.”

Nosihle Ndlovu from Pinetown: “I wouldn’t do it, but at the same time the old man is suffering and he cannot bare the pain of being sick, so it’s his choice, we can’t judge him.”

Zola Madlala from KwaNdengezi: “I am a Christian and I believe that a person should wait for his time and Archbishop Tutu should know better as a religious leader. He is misleading people with this issue and I don’t think our law allows it. It’s like he is contradicting the Bible. We know he is suffering, but he is making all the wrong decisions. His family should support him until his day comes and make him realise that as much as he is sick, they still need him.”

Wikipedia defines assisted death as assisted suicide. “Assisted suicide is suicide committed with the aid of another person, sometimes a physician. Physician-assisted suicide is often confused with euthanasia [sometimes called mercy killing]. In case of euthanasia the physician administers the means of death, usually a lethal drug.”

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