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, who 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. 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.

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?

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

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