Fandango‘s got a whopper on the line this week! Provocative Questions # 11:
Do you believe that terminally ill people should be allowed or encouraged to end their lives via physician-assisted suicide? If so, under any circumstances or should there be restrictions? If not, why not?
Holy theological debate Batman! Let’s leave the whole, “suicide is a sin” or “suicide is murder” for another debate. Once again my octagon of a brain (I tend to see things from about 8 different points of view) is in a quandary. So I will speak strictly from my own beliefs. As always it is not my intention to offend.
First of all, I think it’s time to de-criminalize suicide. When I was a young woman I lost a friend to suicide. It was totally unexpected, I have an idea of what plunged her into that dark abyss but that is not my story to tell. I remember my shock and raging indignation at the “legal” community. A suicide was (at that time) classified as a murder and therefore an autopsy was mandatory, her wishes disregarded. An already tortured soul was subjected to yet more indignity. That’s what I mean by de-criminalize it. Stop the dog and pony show.
Humans have a tendency to believe that we know what’s best. For our children, our neighbors, our siblings, our parents, our governments, etc. etc. Maybe we do, maybe not.
As for medical terminations of life, do people have the right to make that choice for themselves? Yes. No matter your religious or ethical beliefs, it is their life and their soul and; therefore, their decision. Nobody else should be allowed to make that choice. That said, I believe with all my heart that where there is life, there is hope. So I do not believe it is a choice I would ever make for myself or encourage someone else to make. I’ve seen too many miracles. I also freely admit that I have no real idea how I would ultimately react to a diagnosis that filled my final days with pain and struggle. But I know this, I would want that final decision to be my own, not some stranger’s (i.e., doctor, lawyer).
As for restrictions, no. Like I said, it’s their body, their life, and their soul. Who am I to tell them what to do with it? I lost a cousin to brain cancer, he fought as long as he could and then when he could bear no more, he declined the “experimental” procedures and treatments told his family that it was time to “let me go” and put himself on the D.N.R. list. Within two weeks he was gone. He could have been spared that last two weeks of pain if doctor assisted suicide had been an option. Personally, I don’t think he would have taken it. He was a man of faith and believed to the end that there was a reason for everything.
To sum up my octagon rational 😉 Do people have the right to end their lives on their own terms? Yes. Should they exercise that right? No. Let me leave you with words far wiser than mine to ponder.
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Til next time ~Peace ~JPP