My Life, My Choice.
Definition of Euthanasia:
noun: the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. The practice is illegal in most countries.
ORIGIN early 17th cent. (in the sense ‘easy death’): from Greek, from eu ‘well’ +thanatos ‘death.’
The one thing you need to remember while reading this blog is that it is an opinion blog. It is focusing on debilitating and progressive diseases that over time may change a persons quality of life significantly. It is my opinion only but I would love to hear from others so please comment below.
It has taken me a while to think about how I should begin this blog post. I know it will divide and scare some people who are either Pro-Euthanasia or completely against it and feel that a persons life should end when it ends, as nature intended and feel that Euthanasia is murder. It is, however, my belief that Euthanasia is an act of kindness to those who are suffering with little to no quality of life. To let a person die with dignity and with as little suffering as possible, to me, is the kindest act that any person can offer to do.
"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Living vs Existing
What is living? To me living is enjoying life, laughing, loving and to a degree being in control of what happens in your life. I love spending time with my family, laughing with them and sharing milestones in each of our lives. Getting up in the morning having a shower, making breakfast, brushing your teeth and driving to work. We all take these simple activities of daily living for granted, like nothing could possibly change this routine and we will do it all again tomorrow. It's not until something unexpected happens that can throw a spanner in the works and effect how you have to start living your life. In most cases, you can get back up and start living again, perhaps just a little differently but you still enjoy living your life and making decisions for yourself. But tell me this, what happens if you can't? If over years of living with a progressive disease and it took away your ability to walk, use your arms because of constant shaking, feed yourself, shower yourself and you ended up needing full time care, how would you feel? This wouldn't be living it would merely be existing as a shadow of your former self.
To be merely existing in a body that no longer obeys your commands but with a mind that is still sound, could only be a feeling of being trapped inside a body that was once your own. Would you be happy just existing because you have no other choice? Yes, you may have family, a husband or a wife there for you, to help you, to be your carer but do you want that life for them? Would they end up just existing as well and not living the life they should be? Of course they will want to help and to be there for you as they promised they would the day you said your vows:
"For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, til death do us part."
What if you had the choice to be able say when you wanted to die and to do so with dignity and be surrounded by your loved ones, wouldn't that be a choice you want want to be able to make? There are many people around the world who are using assisted Euthanasia illegally but have to still die alone because of the repercussions for the person who obtained the medications for the person wishing to die. There is no one in this world who wants to die alone when they could have their loved ones surrounding them when the time came.
Of course there should be processes to go through, such as counselling and other forms of therapy for all involved to make sure the decision is clear and made by a person who fully understands and can accept what it means and the repercussions for others. Death isn't something you can take back. You can take life but there is no undo button - once its done, its done. Death is a forever thing.
What I am really trying to say is that people deserve to have a choice, the choice of not just existing as a shell of a person until their heart stops beating but the choice of being able to end your life should the situation arise. It is not a decision to be made lightly and communication with those who will be effected by this decision is a must.
It's time to ask ourselves, isn't it time to legalise Euthanasia?