No to ‘mercy killings’

2014-07-15 10:18

I will not support Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s call to adopt ‘mercy killings’. (Prolonging life at any cost. News24, July 15).

There is no need for assisted dying and no need for people to request to be legally given a lethal dose of medication.

I believe that killing (mercy killing) a person to reduce his pain or suffering from sickness should not be allowed.

If a patient is on the threshold of death’s door, that does not mean that that patient will not recover with proper treatment and care. Many such patients have fully recovered and are living a full life.

Human life is most sacred and should be protected. Under no circumstances should killing a terminally ill person be encouraged.

It is the duty of the health professionals and family members to take care of the sick person and to do their best to reduce the pain and suffering and to make the patient comfortable.

Where treatment is considered ineffective, alternative therapy like the religious or spiritual should be engaged to help the patient and family cope.

To induce death to a patient is inhuman. Every soul comes with its fixed term of life. We should promote this full-term life and not a “quick fix” end to it as a solution.

It is the huge cost of health care, the desire for an extravagant and carefree lifestyle, selfish desires and the accumulation of wealth that makes us lose our sense of humanity.

Dialogue and education should focus on improved health care and improving the quality of life and not on termination of life.

With prayers, quality and proper palliative health care, physiological counselling and strong family support the patient would overcome the most overwhelming challenges.

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