Image by Jennifer 真泥佛 via FlickrI am in so much pain that I want to die. Can you help me?
If I wasn't in so much pain then maybe I wouldn't want to die...but then I would probably be so much under the influence of morphine that life would be nothing more than a haze, a blur a waking moment possibly between endless hours of unconsciousness.
Is it wrong to want to die? Why is euthanasia such a complex issue?
Who are we protecting with the laws that forbid euthanasia?
I'm glad I've never been in the position to have to make such a difficult decision but assisted suicide is a very real and aweful dilemma that people face everyday. Those who are lucky enough might have a doctor who prescribes medicine that will painlessly and effortlessly end a life that has no further meaning, and spare the family and loved ones with having to make such a difficult decision. But this isn't always the case and many doctors are afraid of litigation so they take the safe option and do nothing.Leaving it up to the close relative to care for the patient, to weigh up the pros and cons of assisted suicide and face the consequences of legal action against them. Civilized society aren't we?
We don't blink when it comes to euthanasia for animals because we consider ourselves humane and wouldn't dare contemplate an animal living a life in pain or artificial life support systems. A racehorse breaks a leg and we put a bullet to it's head. No problem. A cat or dog is caught and living in a pound, it's life prospects limited because it can't find a new owner, no problem, put it down.
It seems strange that in the name of humanity we treat animals and humans entirely differently.