Seizing Flitting Thoughts

I find technology and how people communicate with it endlessly fascinating. This blog is where I express myself in more than 140 characters.
Oct 19 '12

On Euthanasia

Assisted death is a controversial topic that some people shy away from, others passionately oppose and debaters like myself like to discuss.

I haven’t formed any strong opinion on this topic, though the scale would probably tip on the supporting side of the idea for me. Though I do think the right to be euthanaised should be applied very carefully to avoid abuse.

The Economist published an excellent article that shortly summarizes both sides of the argument. Strongly recommend to read the full piece for anyone curious about the topic. Below are highlighted passages from the article:

A growing belief in people’s right to self-determination over their life and death, secularisation and media coverage of hard cases have combined to shift opinion in favour of assisted suicide.

Yet among some groups of people, resistance remains strong. Religious bodies tend to maintain that only God, who has given life, has the right to take it. Although plenty of doctors are in favour of liberalisation, their trade associations by and large oppose it, on the ground that it runs against their profession’s traditional oath to “do no harm”. And there is a broader concern that allowing assisted suicide in the case of terminal patients is a slippery slope that will lead to large-scale killing.

There are answers to these objections. The views of particular religious groups should not be allowed to constrain the freedoms of those who do not share their faith. The definition of “harm” is debatable; and anyway these days the Hippocratic oath is not universally taken. Humankind sets out on many slippery slopes—abortion, for instance—without descending all the way down them. Nor, where assisted suicide is allowed, has there been an epidemic: in Switzerland, where it has been permitted since 1942, it accounts for around 300 deaths each year, or around 0.5% of all deaths in the country.

For those near the end of their natural lives, knowing that they can cease upon the midnight with no pain is a great blessing.

1 note Tags: euthanasia assisted death economist opinion switzerland doctors terminally ill

  1. annasnova posted this