Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Right to Die

There is a case in the UK right now about the case for the Right to Die which caught my attention.  I like reading the comments associated with the story, and this story has generated almost 400 comments.  I only read a few, but most are talking about the sanctity of life and that if someone helps this person, suffering with Locked-In Syndrome, it will be murder.  The poor man is paralyzed and only has movement in his eyes.  He communicates with an electronic board, and cannot speak, move, or take care of himself.  He is asking to have someone help him when the time comes and he is unable to take it any longer.
I recognize that life is a gift from God and that ending someone’s life is murder, but I think there are extenuating circumstances.  We murder criminals who have committed murder, and that practice is accepted in many cultures.  However, if someone wants to die because they have some horrible disease and are either suffering terribly or are going to suffer a ghastly death, we make them continue to life their life that way because the argument is made that life is precious.  Forcing someone to experience that kind of torment is a crime, in my eyes.
I remember when my mother-in-law was in a nursing home.  We had a DNR order on her and when she went into respiratory distress at the end, they pushed us to take her to a hospital to be placed on a ventilator.  She had suffered a stroke, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  She was aphasic, incontinent, had to be fed mush, and was practically a vegetable.  Yet still they determined that her life should go on.  We were made to feel so guilty for “allowing her to die” and upholding the terms of the DNR.   How can that kind of life be precious?  To me the release to heaven from suffering is a blessing, and yet we give this to someone who has committee horrible crimes against humanity and let good people endure a life wrought with pain.  It doesn’t make any sense to me. 

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