Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Culture Modern Living

Assisted suicide should not be an answer

Some days I am grateful for advances in technology that have improved our lives. Other days, I curse them. Not because they impose hindrances in my life particularly, but I see how it changes the world’s viewpoints and expectations and it frustrates me. Sometimes I’m very pessimistic, but for the most part, I think I’m optimistic. I tend to find the good things in life, look for the bright side. You can’t continue to live in this world and move on with your life if you don’t.

Unfortunately, it seems many people only look at the dark side. They can’t see how things can improve. They see life as being a half-empty glass. Perhaps, they suffer from clinical depression or perhaps, they have very little will-power. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion and can live their own lives the way they want as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s rights. But, oh, sometimes, I wish I can shake some sense into these people.

The question of assisted suicides can be a very sensitive issue. I really am totally against assisted suicides, as I am against any suicide. I know some countries out there approve of it and it makes me think they have no sense of moral obligation. I hope that not every citizen of those countries believe in assisted suicides.

The most recently publicized assisted suicide was that of a young English rugby player who went to Switzerland for his suicide. He was a quadriplegic after an injury and required 24 hour care. He was described as a vibrant, determined guy, yet he chose to end his life because “he did not want to lead a second rate life”. I find that very sad. Yes, his life completely changed and he could not live it the way he had foreseen it. Neither was his family prepared for such an event. Who could have been?

After careful consideration, he probably felt it better to remove himself from this world. Was he depressed? I am unable to answer that, but surely, after such a devastating injury, there must have been some depression. If he was depressed, was he treated? Can we say that he was completely of sound mind? He was so young. It’s such a shame that he could not see a future. With the way medical technology is advancing, who knows what could have been done to get this young man to a little more independence.

I know that others will feel differently, especially his own family. But this young man could have been a role model for those who are battling disabilities. Look at Christopher Reeves after his riding injury. I know of others who refuse to give up just because they are disabled. Their families are fully supportive, sacrificing their own lives to care for these individuals. I know some who were injured as teenagers and still went on to finish school and get a job. I know some who were born with severe disabilities and still led useful lives. Their view of life is not for gratification but of a chance to make a difference. And even as they struggled, they kept a cheerful outlook.

Others will argue the other side. What about the cost of keeping this man alive? His family would have to sacrifice their time, the government would have to pick up the cost of his health care. It goes on and on. There is no satisfactory answer to all of this, but suicide should not be an answer. Sooner or later, we all have to face death, but it should not be at our own hands. Death will come – why can’t it be naturally?

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