Are you able to cite a source, please, so that people may learn what they're being invited to comment upon ? Thanks
For the moment I'll work on the assumption that the bill to which you refer enables people to authorise medical personnel to euthanase them under
certain conditions ?
You mention that some religions regard suicide/assisted suicide as a 'sin', possibly punishable by 'hell' and yes, I've encountered people with
this belief .. I've even read posts here in ATS where people have stated it as fact.
Personally, I don't believe it, for a number of reasons which I won't bother to go into here.
But, what is 'suicide' anyway ?
The brave fireman who dashes into the burning building in order to rescue others, knowing there's a very high probability he himself will die ..
isn't that a form of suicide ?
Or the individual who for whatever reason cannot bear the pain of living and who isolates him/herself so that she/he is simply going through the
motions of being alive, who feels dead inside .. isn't that a form of suicide ?
The alcoholic, the addict .. slow suicide ?
Or the courageous soldier, airman, sailor whose actions in war result in their death (as they knew beforehand they would) .. suicide ?
Doctors, missionaries, peace-keepers who plunge into hazardous situations and locations, fully aware as they do so that they will very probably die ..
In the past I've worked with people who, as consequence of their circumstances (illness, old age, handicaps, etc.) have lived reluctantly. They did
not want to continue living for their lives were a burden to them, felt pointless and meaningless to them. They knew their circumstances would never
improve and that their quality of life would inevitably worsen. They wanted to be freed from the burden of living. But were unable to do so out of
sense of obligation to others, perhaps. Or simply because others were making damn sure they did not die .. did not escape.
Those who impose 'life' upon such people do so out of religious conviction quite often, or from fear that to assist others to die would result in
But there's another camp (the Authorities .. politicians, legislators, religious leaders, etc.) who seem sadistic quite often in their refusal to
allow others to escape what is often the intolerable burdern of life.
For example, an Australian documentary a few months ago featured a round-table discussion between a Minister for the Aged (and his supporters) versus
several dozen people who believed it their right to decide between life and death.
The Minister for the Aged was in his very early 30s and this was commented upon by his opposition, who were generally aged 50 and upwards.
Several of the middle-aged and elderly in the discussion had succeeded either in obtaining or creating formulations via which they might .. at a time
chosen by themselves .. end their lives.
Some had travelled from Australia to Mexico in order to obtain the substance. Others had formed groups and had produced the substance themselves on
rural properties owned by members of the group.
One woman related how her husband, a doctor, had contracted an agonising and terminal bone-cancer. Pain-alleviating medication, even the most potent,
provided him no relief. Finally, he and his wife had travelled to Switzerland (or might have been Austria) in order to attend a legal
assisted-suicide clinic. Her husband had been accepted by the clinic owing to the intolerable pain of his terminal condition. The woman related to
the documentary-team that her husband and she had been taken to a room and provided the fatal dose, which her husband had elected to put in a final
glass of whiskey. She said she'd asked her husband if he wanted to take the substance 'just yet' .. and he had replied, not without humour,
' Yes, now. Immediately please. I can't wait.'
The woman said he drank the mixture straight down, without a moment's hesitation. He was dead moments later. His agonising ordeal was over.
Ironically, the doctor had devoted his life to treating terminally ill cancer patients.
Also featured in the documentary was a middle-aged woman who'd survived several excruciatingly painful episodes of cancer. She was in remission when
the documentary was filmed. During remission, she'd flown to Mexico to obtain a substance which she intended to use when she next suffered a
relapse. She was furious with the Minister for the Aged and challenged him to justify his stubborn refusal to even consider legalising assisted
suicide in cases such as her own. ' How would someone as young as YOU know what it's like to be terminally ill, or sick and elderly ?' she asked.
' Where is the justice when someone as young as YOU is able to force people to go on living against their will and to offer them platitudes about
planned improvements in hospital and aged care ? '
The woman then wrenched open her blouse to reveal for the cameras a home-done tattoo she'd had imprinted on her upper chest. It said, 'DO NOT
RESUCITATE !! ' and was intended for any doctors who might be called upon to save her life. ' I do not WANT my life prolonged ! ' she said loudly
to the cameras and to the Minister for the Aged, ' I want to DIE ! And I WILL die, by my own hand, when my cancer becomes so bad there's no point
going on. I WILL die, because I used my savings to travel to Mexico to obtain a substance which will mercifully and painlessly RELEASE me from my
life .. which has been a hell for years.'
Those around the woman cheered her and nodded agreement. Many of them shared her circumstances. Like her, many had also travelled to Mexico, in
order to obtain life-ending substances for themselves or on behalf of others.
All were very angry with the Australian government, for upon return to Australia, they were searched. Those discovered to be in possession of the
substance were charged. Worse of course was the fact that they were deprived of a life-ending substance which was so important to them or to those on
whose behalf they'd made the lengthy and expensive trip to Mexico. This was the reason groups of determined and independently-minded people in their
50s, 60s, 70s and older had spent every weekend for months out on privately-owned rural properties, experimenting endlessly until they succeeded in
creating the same substance.
Amongst those who'd laboured to produce this substance were retired engineers, university professors and other educators, police officers and
numerous others who lifelong had toiled in the service of others and who had never 'been in trouble with the law' in their lives.
They came from many walks of life. As could be seen in the documentary, they were intelligent, humorous, very much involved in their communities and
families. But they shared a common belief .. that of wishing to chose for themselves when their life should end.
They cited many reasons, but foremost was the wish that they not become a burden on their families and society generally. They did not want to fill
up hospital beds. They did not want to drain valuable resources. They didn't want to become bodies-in-beds .. bodies-without-a-mind .. something
their families had to devote time and money on.
Most of all, they did not wish to be stripped (by age, disease or infirmity) of their dignity and independence. They did not want to be kept alive
against their will.
What they said, in the documentary and associated articles, was that in past eras, people died when they were terminally ill or aged. Death was
accepted then. It was natural. These days however (said those interviewed) medical science believed it had a duty to prolong lives, even when the
person being kept alive was oblivious, uncaring or actively wished to die. Therefore (said those interviewed) they'd ensured while they were still
able to do so, that this fate did not befall them. In short, they had created or obtained the means via which they would, at their discretion, end
their lives .. and/or assist their partners, spouses and friends to end theirs.
A short time after the tv-documentary was aired, that same group of independently-minded individuals were charged by the Authorities.
Absurd, isn't it ? We not only have phony Wars on Drugs, Wars on Invented Terrorists and a barrage of Phony Wars on Other Nations -- the Authorities
are now also waging War against the elderly and terminally ill who demand the right to die.
Personally, I regard the Authorities' attitudes and exercise of power to be more sadistic than 'compassionate'.
And it seems to have been the same throughout history -- the living become ENRAGED when others chose to opt out of life. It's as if they're
saying: ' Hey .. I have to be here --- therefor so do YOU ! I will stop you from escaping ! I don't have the guts to leave, but I DO have the
power to prevent you from leaving, so I'm going to make suicide a crime and I'm going to threaten you with hell or imprisonment/institutionalisation
if you try to get off this globe ! '
[edit on 1-11-2008 by Dock6]