Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mercy Killing/Right-to-Die

Inspired by http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_15844.aspx

Do we have the right to end our lives if the quality has be severely compromised?

Should someone else be held legally responsible if we've asked them to end or help end our life?

This is a subject that I tend to sit on the fence about really but I want to know how others feel about it.

Watching my father suffer with Lung Cancer for months and knowing that the treatments that they were giving him were not really helping, I had thought about this....especially after my cousins son, upon learning that is Great Uncle Bill was really sick and going to die relatively soon, asked her, "Mom, are they going to put Uncle Bill down?"

Such a heavy statement from an 8 year old. When she told him that we don't do that to other humans, just to animals, he was apalled. I can't remember the exact words he used but he said something along the lines of 'we won't let our animals suffer but we let each other suffer?'...and it made perfect sense to me!

Why is ok for us to not let our animals suffer any terminal illness or compromised quality of life due to old age, but not our loved ones??

Why is it so horrible to want them to rest in peace rather than suffer in life? Especially when they've expressed that they would rather not be alive anymore because they are in pain...why is it so surprising that they would feel this way?

I really feel that our own selfishness of not wanting to let a loved one go is the reason we can't imagine doing this to our loved ones.

What do you think? Should terminally ill and geratric patients with no quality of life left be able to make a decision like this? And if they are mentally incapacitated, should their immediate loved ones and sole caregivers be able to make this decision for them?

And if so, where do we draw the line?

6 comments:

Jane said...

I have a really hard time with this issue as well. I always find myself on both sides of the issue. Is it the libra in me that tries too hard to weigh in on both sides of the scale? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that a person has a right to decide what they want to do with themselves. If they are unable to do it themselves and can have a trusted friend/doctor family member assist them, why not? As long as the intention is clear and made with sound mind, I don't think anyone else has the right to deny such a request.

Just Jen said...

pretty heavy subject. I've never been in this particular situation, so I don't know what I would do. I know I told Hubby that if I was hooked up on life support and he was wondering on whether or not to pull the plug, to pull the plug.
Anyway, I was just stopping by to say thanks for the comment and I love the title to your blog! We all have a soap box, don't we! LOL

Sacred Suzie said...

I believe that we each have to figure out this for ourselves, it isn't something we can yes or no to for other people, at least I can't. Excellent question Ayre.

I answered your question on my blog btw! I hope it helps.

Sacred Suzie said...

Just got your comment, wow, you're an amazing woman! I had no idea that was your history (which makes for a more accurate reading). Knowing what I do now, it sounds like you need to leave it behind and prepare for something completely new which will require getting yourself organized. I hope it helped!

Bohemian Mom said...

hmmm...tough call.
Personally, I believe that terminally ill people should have the right to decide how and when they want their life to end.
I think what it comes down to is an ability to cope. What one person would consider unimaginable to deal with, someone else might be willing to "tough it out". The bottom line is that it should be each individual's decision.
This seems to be becoming an increasingly important issue. I don't know if terminal illnesses are on the rise or dignified health care is declining.
You make a super good point in that we put animals out of their suffering in a quick and painless way.
I've heard of dogs and cats having cancer, yet I've never heard of them having to endure the suffering of chemotherapy.
I heard of this recent murder-suicide in the news. My heart goes out to them.
(((Prayers for your dad)))....I believe 100% in the "better place."

Mich said...

My friends dog is going through chemo at the moment ... its heart breaking ...

... As for my thoughts on the subject ... I agree with everyone else, its too hard