Comments on the story "Is euthanasia an acceptable choice for the terminally ill?" published on NO.15 April 12, 2007
My answer is absolutely yes. I witnessed my grandfather's death from lung cancer. His suffering caused the family great anguish. In his last days, he suffered a lot of pain. If euthanasia was allowed at that time, it would have been the best solution by giving him a peaceful and serene death. So, from the patient's interest, euthanasia is an acceptable choice for the terminally ill.
Today's topic focuses on a special group of people--the terminally ill. So, the reason falls into two aspects. At first, morally, euthanasia gives patient an equal choice as healthy people to choose a painless life and it reduces the pain caused by illness.
Someone opposed this viewpoint argued that euthanasia would deprive the patient of the right to life. However, if we don't respect their life's quality, it is meaningless to prolong the length of life. If euthanasia is allowed, patient which suffers terminal illness would face illness more bravely and comfortably.
Second, someone defended that euthanasia helps persons who don't cherish their life, and it is only an excuse for the person to commit suicide. But in fact euthanasia is different from assisted suicide by virtue of who does the final act. The choice of euthanasia by terminally ill patient is made by themselves. No one else can make this decision. It has no connection with assisting suicide.
The right of existence should be respected. But the right of choice "to be or not to be" should also be regarded as a sacred right.
April 29, 2007