The Right to Die

Up here in Canada, just over a month ago, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that people with “grievous and irremediable” conditions should have the right to ask a doctor to help them die. There’s a lot of talk from all sides about how this will affect people, doctors, and even those who fear the potential changes.

The ruling Conservative government played it political, not agreeing or disagreeing, you know, the usual B.S. Doctors won’t be forced to adhere to any future ruling, leaving that up to each physician. Disabled and elderly people, afraid of how these changes may affect them were assured that those wishing to die must be go through many steps, including proving their competence.

Like the abortion issue, I’m sure there will be some holier-than-thou groups starting to pop up, shaming us into thinking we should be taking lives of those that aren’t ready to die, even if those people are begging to be released from their terminal suffering, and hardship brought upon their family.

Personally, this isn’t an issue of religion, government, or anyone else for that matter. This is a matter for one person, and one person alone. If they wish to die, then they should be allowed to die.

Having also battled depression and thoughts of suicide, there is a BIG difference between suicide and doctor-assisted suicide. The former is the weak, cowardly way out of life. I don’t care how depressed you are, and for whatever reasons; killing oneself because life is crappy, you have no job, your girl/boyfriend left you, or your favourite show got cancelled, is the stupidest thing someone can do.

If you are at a point in your life where you are considering doctor-assisted suicide, it is probably because you are very sick, in constant, unending pain, and whatever you have can’t be cured. You quality of life, as you define it, is terrible. You may have lost your autonomy, and freedom. All of this added up also makes you a burden on your family. Not only do you have to suffer through this, but your loved ones have to suffer seeing you become a shadow of who you once were.

If it were me, I would fight for as long as I could to have my old life back, or get as close as I could to what it once was. But there comes a time when you realize you may never get back to that point, that things will only get worse. If we didn’t have doctor-assisted suicide, how long would you have to suffer? How long would your loved ones have to suffer? Until a power-outage stopped the machines from doing all the things that your body once did for you.

How about thinking of it like this…

Lets say you dog becomes sick. You take it to the vet and learn you could save your dog, but it may take years. The outcome isn’t certain, the your dog will suffer greatly. People with tons of money will throw as much as needed to save their dog, regardless of how much suffering it will endure. But most people would put the dog down, so that it wouldn’t have to suffer, and so it wouldn’t be a burden on the family.

If we can do that for our pets, why in the flying f**k can’t we do that for our loved ones?! Don’t our loved ones deserve equal or better treatment that our pets?

As much as I agree with doctor-assisted suicide, I also agree that their must be guidelines and procedures to be followed. Just offing someone because they get a little sick, or are quite old, is murder. That is why there must be steps to be taken to ensure the person who wishes to end their life does so of their own free will, and understands the pros and cons of continued treatment for whatever they have.

This isn’t a subject to be taken lightly. It is a serious thing. But then again, so is living with a disease that is incurable, or condition that makes life unbearable to live through.

But as I said before, it comes down to one person. That one person should have the right to die, if they choose to. Just as others who may be seen as vulnerable must be protected. Just as those who wish to keep fighting should be given every chance to do so.

We should all have the choice, and no one should be condemned for their choice.





3 thoughts on “The Right to Die”

  1. Good article and got me thinking:

    “Like the abortion issue, I’m sure there will be some holier-than-thou groups starting to pop up, shaming us into thinking we should be taking lives” – I don’t think anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia groups have ever argued that “we should be taking lives”.

    “This is a matter for one person, and one person alone.” Suicide is already perfectly legal. The issue is assisted suicide involves TWO people sanctioned by the STATE (i.e. even more people).

    “The former is the weak, cowardly way out of life.” I think it takes courage to kill oneself, moreso even that getting someone else to kill you in a comfortable way, but having never committed suicide that’s just my guess.

    “All of this added up also makes you a burden on your family.” I don’t think that’s a good reason to kill people, but rather, that’s a social ill that needs repair.

    “If we didn’t have doctor-assisted suicide, how long would you have to suffer?” You could kill yourself without state assistance, which would be less cowardly imo. None of your suggestions on why someone would want to die mentions the main issue, those who cannot physically kill themselves.

    “wouldn’t be a burden on the family[?]” This is the worst argument ever, avoided by most if not all euthanasia advocates, yet you really want to stress it. How about treating children with Down syndrome etc. etc. etc. by killing them because they are a burden (assuming they may be, and ignoring the notion of love triumphing burden ala Stephen Hawking, just as you’ve done, just for the sake of argument)?

    “Don’t our loved ones deserve equal or better treatment that our pets?” Yes, our loved ones should not be killed without their consent, on that surely we agree?

    “Just offing someone because they get a little sick, or are quite old, is murder.” But what if they are a burden? You seem to think that is important. What is the line distinguishing a little sick, sick, and then a lot sick, and why should it matter?

    “But as I said before, it comes down to one person.” Do you not see how there would be NO issue if this all came down to one person? Do you even know what assisted suicide is, and how it differs from euthanasia, unassisted suicide, and the refusal of treatments? No offense meant, but like you said it is a serious issue, and I think you may be mixing up some of these notions (like mentioning that you’d have to wait for a power outage instead of just refusing treatment, which you have the right to do; the pulling the plug issue is when you can’t give consent, i.e. coma).

    1. Hi S Ryder. Thanks for reading. Let’s see if I can come up with some rebuttal or clarification…

      I brought up the anti abortionists because among that group, there always seems to be someone who knows the answers for everyone else, and are quite willing tell EVERYONE about it. And if you disagree, your are evil and wrong.

      The “one person, and one person alone” means that only ONE person can make this decision, the person who is thinking about doctor-assisted suicide. Regardless of the laws and what is legal, or what the doctor recommends, it is the patience’s choice, not the governments, or any religious institute.

      Since I HAVE thought of, and tried to commit, suicide over things that, looking back, were so very temporary and stupid, IMO, suicide is a cowardly way to deal with temporary things… at least that is the majority of the reasoning in the western world. In japan, it’s whole other kettle of sushi.

      Having seen my brother-in-law waste away and die, putting such a horrible toll on his family, which they, and I, were all too willing to be there for him until the end, if it were me, again, IMO, if I saw no way out, like many fighting for doctor-assisted suicide, I wouldn’t want to put my loved ones through lengthy procedures that might do nothing. A I suffer, so would they. I wouldn’t want that.

      Since I didn’t kill myself when I had the chance, suicide isn’t as easy as all that. Plus, there are people with insurance policies and other such things that, if they did off themselves, might be voided. I’m not sure how that be affected by the new doctor-assisted proposal in here in Canada. But, whether you can do it yourself, or have someone you trust do it for you, it isn’t an easy thing. If taking someone’s life were easy, all those movies where the main character struggles with his or someone else’s mortality, would be reeeally boring.

      Already explained the whole “burden” thing. Next.

      When my cat is laying on a vet’s table, oozing stuff, crying in pain, I’ll be sure to ask “Do you want to die?” Animals may not have a choice, all we can do is hopefully do what is best for them. Why can’t we have that choice? The fact we don’t is kinda stupid, don’t ya think? We prattle on about our freedoms and rights, but when we choose to die because of something that can’t be fixed, and we are suffering, people go “Whoa! Wait, that’s not right.” I call Bullshit!

      Sooo, my neighbour has these three kids that are a burden on my life because they play in my backyard, trample my garden, and so on and so forth. By your logic, I get to kill them? LOL, if you can’t determine someone who is a little sick, and someone whose life is seriously ruined, whose quality of life is harming them, then you got some issues.

      Yes, I do know the difference, and yes, it is serious topic. The gal of this, or any of my blogs, is to get a reaction, to make people think and starting asking questions about this subject. That is my only goal here. I am by no means a professional of anything. That’s why I prefer to call these “rants” not “studies” or “reports”. If you want something more substantial, clinical, or professional, this ISN’T the place.

      But I sincerely hope if you have actual questions, seek out quality info online, like the Mayo Clinic, or even ask your doctor, or look for pamphlets at your local walk-in clinic.

      Again, thanks for reading and the comment!

  2. Fair enough, but I still don’t see how you can’t see TWO figures in this sentence: “The ‘one person, and one person alone’ means that only ONE person can make this decision, the person who is thinking about doctor-assisted suicide.” Do you not see a patient AND a doctor? The doctor has a choice in the matter too, right? Or would you prefer that the doctor has no choice in the matter and is forced to assist?

    By my logic you wouldn’t kill your neighbors, it was your logic I was criticizing. It isn’t my job to “determine someone who is a little sick, and someone whose life is seriously ruined, whose quality of life is harming them,” but it does need to be defined legally, right? Or do you think everyone has the same moral compass as you on where the border is, and how to determine “harm”? Common sense is not always so common.

    I for one don’t see my friends and families as burdens, and if they were to get sick I’d like to think I wouldn’t make it about me and my burden, but about them, their comfort, and their end of life care (if they wanted to die I would be sure to ask if they were choosing so for them or to ease my burden; if for me then I think, unlike you, that that would be a bad reason).

    I wonder what the Mayo clinic’s policy is on killing off a burden because a burden’s life is deemed ruined without any process to define “ruined” and if they also feel, like you, that the patient gets to make the sole decision with the doctor having absolutely no choice in the matter. Those are your main points right? “Harm” and “ruined” are common sense so need no proper definition; only the patient makes the decision to have a doctor assist in his or her death; and that feeling like a burden on people is a suitable reason to be offed. I’ll keep on researching for that policy, although I have to tell you, I don’t think anyone besides you is advocating for that policy.

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