Euthanasia of pain
In the European Union debates are being amplified on issues around human euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Two elements to consider:
- Belgium is about to follow Netherland’s example in adopting a law to allow children’s euthanasia. Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg are the countries where human euthanasia is legally permitted, at the request of adults with incurable diseases. Netherlands have extended the legislation to cover children, too, since 1998. Switzerland (non-EU country) legalized assisted suicide (for the definition of euthanasia and its “versions “and of the assisted suicide, click here)
- In the finals of the “LUX” award film contest of the European Union, one of the three qualified films was “Miele”, an Italian-French co-production pleading for euthanasia.
Are the Benelux countries foreshadowing the future? Liberals would definitely say “Yes!” Particularly in the context of the current global crisis and the decreasing of available resources, while life is becoming ever more expensive, when all long-term treatment of severe chronic diseases is becoming a luxury affordable by less and less, while healthcare budgets of poor countries cannot afford expensive treatments, or if affordable, lower the recovery chances of curable patients, we could assume that legalization of euthanasia could be a reasonable economic solution.
There might indeed come a (dramatic) moment when religious or ethical scruples become an unaffordable luxury.
However, for the time being, this is not the case. For the time being, euthanasia remains a subject that could and should be widely debated.
Apart from the many strong reasons favouring euthanasia, there are just as strong reasons against it. We will not detail such reasons here, but if you are interested you may consult the article in MedLive-Hotnwews. Furthermore, you may consult Provita as a source of information, even though rather single-sided (against euthanasia), offering an adapted version of a common report of doctors around the world.
The most quoted reason against human euthanasia is of religious nature. Killing a person or suicide are considered sins, regardless of the circumstances, in most religious faiths. This is the main reason why in countries with a majority of faithful population surveys indicate a trend against legalization of euthanasia.
– You have no strong religious beliefs;
– You love life but you don’t want hopeless suffering or to become a burden for the others…
… is there any other alternative?
In other words, is palliative care (click here for definition and detailed explanations) a real and realistic option for a lay person? This is the question that we decided to find an answer to, a convincing answer with real stories.
There are several palliative care centres in the country. Some provide free-of-charge services, others are businesses. Some are addressing cancer patients only, others don’t discriminate according to the disease, as long as the patient is incurable. Some focus on the spiritual aspects of care, along with the medical care; others merely concentrate on the physical fight with the disease.
I wrote these lines
a few days ago,* as a foreword to what I had imagined as a series of articles on reasons for fighting a slow death.
Meanwhile I came in touch with the people form Hospice Casa Sperantei and found out amazing things that touched me and somehow diverted me from the mission I had set myself to.
And this is how today I started a campaign to Euthanize Pain. See details here.
* This is a translation of the original article published some months ago in Romanian
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