Friday, December 12, 2008

Don't go gently into the good night ...

Or something like that. Yeah, quote abuse abounds in this blog.

Anyway, to my point. Euthanasia is something that is hotly debated the world over. Some countries legislate it and allow people; commonly the terminally ill or massively disabled, to end their lives. Belgium allows assisted suicide, so does Switzerland and some states in the USA, notably Oregon.

Why do these group in the population request for assisted suicide? Well, primarily because they can't do it themselves. They are seriously ill with limited physical ability or was injured severely that they can no longer perform daily tasks such as feeding themselves, walking etc. Why do they want to die? Is their physical condition or deterioration reason enough to snuff out their life? Well, judge not lest ye be judged, is all I can say.

I do not want to judge people who opt for this decision. No one wants to live out the rest of their life infirm and dependent on others for their physical needs. The loss of dignity and being a burden is something that is feared by many, with good cause. To lose control over one's body, to not be able to care for oneself the way one has always done so, whether due to physical or mental deterioration, is something that no one wants to contemplate. But millions of people the world over have to live (and slowly die) with this reality.

It is easy to say, when you are whole and hearty, that you'd rather die than become paralysed. But if that is your reality, can you actually make a firm decision to choose to die? Or for someone whose physical condition slowly diminishes, taking away their dignity and quality of life, does it take more strength to die or to live? I think that no one who have to live with such reality, or have someone they love live with that reality, should make any kind of judgment.

Most religion forbids the taking of life, with suicide one of the greatest insult of all. If you are a person of faith, it is perhaps, not so difficult a decision to make. But for many without the comfort of faith and devotion to The Divine Being, the lines can be as blurred as the tidelines come monsoon.

But to broadcast this choice in the name of education, documentary, what-have-you, is that acceptable? I wonder if the station actually warns viewers of possible disturbing content that they may see from the film. But even if they do so, it is human nature to gawk at horrid circumstances.

Just ask any faithful rubberneckers at the highway accident.

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