Thursday, April 28, 2011

Should we help people end their suffering?

Death is always a sad process that affects the living, but if we can help people end their suffering, why shouldn’t we?

During the break I went to Sydney. This might not seem like very much to talk about, except I went to see one of my favorite authors, Terry Pratchett, live in conversation with Garth Nix at the Sydney opera House. I didn’t do any research into the subjects of the conversation beforehand, so I was surprised when the subject of euthanasia came up.

The basis of the issue was that there are laws in place to stop people having the choice to die and get help doing it. Only there is usually a good reason to make something illegal and there is no such reason as to why assisted suicide is illegal.

Sir Pratchett said that the only reason it isn’t legal is because the church thinks it goes against the bible’s teachings. I asked someone I know about it and they surprised me by agreeing with him and supporting his argument, it only surprised me because that person is my mum, her reasons were almost exactly the same as Sir Pratchett’s. If someone has a terminal illness that will slowly affect the way they live, if they aren’t physically capable of looking after themselves and they don’t want to be a burden to their family members, why shouldn’t they have the choice to be assisted in their death by a medical practitioner?

During the conversation at the Opera House he gave examples of people having committed suicide in disturbing ways. After that I now feel that people should have the right to have a peaceful death of their choosing, where they are guaranteed a swift and clean peaceful death, instead of hanging themselves in their garage, slowly being strangled by a rope.

(You can also look at one of Sir Pratchett's novels, I Shall Wear Midnight and this article for more information on the subject,
By Elizabeth Azzopardi

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