Monday, August 23, 2010


Was talking about euthanasia with a friend the other day.

I raised the question about preventing a dignified painless death vs the "humanity" to try to save a life that is nearing the end of its journey.

Do you fear death? Most people fear death not because death in itself is horrible but rather, we fear what we cannot control, the way we die at the end. Whether it will be prolong suffering, whether it is agonising, whether we lose control of all our motor functions and suffer the indignity of being toss around, unwanted. Alive but dead in mind and in spirit.

Not everyone is born the same, so not everyone has the same courage and strength to suffer through the last leg of their life should they contract some terminal disease.So I never quite understand the rationale of voting against Euthanasia for someone in the final stages suffering from incurable illness, and instead choose to pump the person with tons of morphine to ease the pain, which by the way, only dull the edge and never really strip the whole pain away as I was told.

My friend argued that Euthanasia might be abused. People choosing the easy way out as suicide, or worse people using euthanasia as a form of murder, and that it is an ethical moral ground for doctors..

As we delved deeper, I shared with my friends while her concerns are valid, yet I fail to see how does a 20/80 notion has to tip the scale. I am not in a medical profession, but isnt there obvious incurable terminal dieases with incapacitated patients that in the final stages suffering from intense and immense pain and suffering? Couldnt we define specific incurable stages which will look into allowing a choice of euthanasia. How is it that we live a life being told we have full control of our life, yet being deprive of the most ultimate decision in life, in the moment we want to leave with dignity?

As for ethical moral ground, doctors face death almost in every stage of their career. They are trained to be clinical about death. Many times in operating rooms they have to make a choice or ask for directions whose lives they have to save if only one could be saved. Plus, how can abortion of babies, a life full of potential makes any more sense than ending a life that has reach the end of its journey? A life that has seen its better days? No, so dont get me started  on ethical ground on doctors and they shouldnt shoulder the responsibilities of administering death. Why should terminating a life in the tummy ok for doctors but not when facing a full grown person? Because there wouldnt be possible repurcussion of a lawsuit? Or that the doctor didnt have to face the patient and explain to let them know they are sending them on their way. Plus, for anyone to argue that a 3 month fetus is not a life is even more incredulous isnt it? Tell that to a potential mother who has lost their baby. A life ultimately is a life regardless its shape and form, it doesnt matter if the life is within a body or out of a body. The line came to my head.

"When I couldnt speak but wants to speak, I couldnt be heard. When I can speak and want to speak, I wouldnt be heard." ~ A dying fetus vs a dying patient. Their only similarity? Both their choices are taken away from them.

As for murdering someone with incurable disease for money or family heirloom etc, I dunno. I asked my friend, are most of us that rich to care about people taking what is left from us? Most of us are comfortable no doubt, but that rich to have our next of kins or partners murdering us for that pitiful sum? Firstly as I explain to my friend, most of us doesnt have that miserable millions to go round the kins, and secondly if I am truly already dying, why should I still care who in the living gets what? Let them fight it out. I honestly wont give a shit anymore as to who rob me of my worldly possessions. If the person is dying, the person shouldnt really fret oneself to further depression. Let the living deal with it. It's their fight now. Plus, go make a will if you are that rich. So to deprive the 80% population who have no one to murder for wealth just to avoid some kind of lopsided conspiracy theory sound a little absurd to me. Plus has the human race really fallen so far that we must assume everyone out there is killing a dying person for money? Have we watch too much drama?

Sometimes I wonder, if the choice of prolonging a dying person;s life is more the selfish desire of the living, than the true desire of the dying. People who are alive prob find it harder to grapple with the fact that their love ones are dying before them. Humans are hopeful creature, we will grasp for anything in the air if it promises some hope. Otherwise, we think some miracles will happen. or some people just want to extend the last moments to spend time together,. Nothing wrong with all that wanting. However if the dying person is suffering in pain and there wasnt anyway to alleviate that livin torture, I find it really selfish of the living to impose their will on the dying if a choice of euthanasia was made available.

Everytime when I console someone whose close ones have died in hospital from some cancer, the most commonly heard was "At least he/she is gone now and no longer has to suffer in pain. It was heartbreaking to see them suffer.." So to tell me euthanasia devaluing life sounds like bullshit to me. Depriving one of the choice seems more like a route to devalue everything you have live for, some form of senseless depravity.

I dunno. If you ask me, would I choose to die peacefully by my own volition, if I have that option, I will most certainly take it. If you are afraid of legalising euthanasia taking a slippery road down to extend it to other form of non-incurable diseases, then go make yourself a living will that you are against euthanasia in all circumstances. Let no one rob you of that right to live, but please do not rob someone else the right to die a dignified death.

As to why my friend and I started on this topic? Honestly I have no idea. It just popped into my head and we started talking. Maybe we have reached an age where we have to start bracing ourselves emotionally for the eventuality of people we love are getting older. Or maybe like my partner often squint his eyes and say to me "You are one warp person my dear."

No comments: