Back in February, I wrote a piece concerning a woman, Eluana Englaro, who was living her life in a coma — or a vegetative state, if you will. And her story became, almost instantly, internationally recognized as her “right-to-die” was being acted and debated upon. Well;
“Canadian law makers are gearing up [this fall] for a debate on the issue of euthanasia…”1
For the record, I am, both, compassionately empathetic and extremely wary about the issue of euthanasia. However, being presented with a “choice” in the first place, seems to me, to be somewhat problematic…
On the one hand, I’m fully aware of the mindset an individual who faces an unimaginable set of circumstances, where the outcome of a life everything but known, let alone guaranteed. Just trust me. Even death — although I wasn’t ever presented that particular premise — was always, at least initially, a likely plausibility, in my mind, in my particular circumstance. So I’ll never attempt to minimize the argument “a way out” is tempting. No-one understands the particulars better than I.
That said, on the other hand, something about being given the choice, and the “freedom” to make that choice, is very unsettling. And — though I have yet to see the piece of legislation itself — I know this isn’t “freedom” in any literal sense of the word, nor will it be a “free choice.” I understand that. But at the same time, no third party is in any position to grant that permission either.
Let’s say, I wanted to die, and was in a position where my death was inevitable — I know, everyone’s death will one day happen, I’m talking an immanent death, you dick — but was told I wasn’t “allowed” to die. Yet others have been granted to do just that? Who the fuck are they to judge the merits of what rights I do and don’t possess? How can anyone grant rights to a person, then not allow another, in a similar situation, that exact same treatment? That’s what fascists do.
With a very high risk of repeating myself and my position on euthanasia — if you’re curious, please check out “A Right To Die.” –Â rather I’ll take this opportunity to direct you to Wednesday, July 22nd’s broadcast, part 2, of CBC’s The Current (on a side note: in the interest of “accessibility,” does anyone know if the CBC offers transcripts of their programs, and where I’d go to score ’em? Thanks), where they spoke to Dr. Balfour Mount, who;
“[B]uilt a career around offering humane alternatives to euthanasia. He’s considered the father of palliative care in Canada, and, in fact, coined the phrase “palliative care” more than 30 years ago. He’s the founding director of the Royal Victoria Hospital Palliative Care Service in Montreal. He’s an Officer of the Order of Canada. And he’s not only a doctor, but he’s also a patient. Dr. Mount has cancer of the esophagus…”2
Check out the interview and a very sound argument against euthanasia. Say what you might, but this, like many other things, is not so black and white…