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Physician Assisted Suicides - A Moral Dilemma

Anja Merret

Visitors: 152

I'm going to tackle this thorny question. As soon as I have posted this, I am leaving the country. Physician assisted suicide. Ok, I'm ducking already. I was reading about Jack Kevorkian. This physician is being released from prison where he has been for 8 years. He was convicted of murder in 1999 after injecting a lethal dose, for the first time that he did this himself, into a patient suffering from a wasting disease. He allowed it to be filmed. Talk about inviting a show down and picking up a prison sentence in the process.

It occurred to me while reading this, that birth is often assisted. Surely if we were to be consistent, then we should not allow any assistance in birth. I can speak from experience here. I had a dramatic first child birth scenario with everything going wrong during the labour of my first born. An emergency caesarian was performed to save my baby's life. That was a fairly dramatic surgical interference, I would say. Without it my daughter would not have made it. In fact, without a caesarian section my second daughter wouldn't have had it easy either.

We are prepared to interfere surgically when births are in jeopardy. However, we do not allow the same assistance when death calls. It's not as if we going to be able to avoid death. That is a given. We are going to die. And as much as I am not looking forward to the event for myself or anybody else I can think of, I agree with the process. I would hate to be ancient, wrinkled, unable to look after myself, etc for decades or even centuries. Of course if we could stay lush 25 year olds for the rest of our lives that would be quite different.

If we are prepared to assist the entry into life, we must surely allow assistance, when necessary, to the after life. Especially Christians who are so vocal about heaven after death, should think that having assistance to pass on, would be a good event to celebrate. Heaven is supposed to be THE place to go to. But they seem to scream the loudest against this humane practice.

I saw my father die of cancer. It took eighteen months of agony before he finally passed on. In those eighteen months the surgeons got hold of him a few times. The last time they actually cut out everything to do with the bladder and left him with an external bag to have to mess with. Is that something you would want for yourself? It prolonged his life by a few months.

Nevertheless, I am not wanting to have rotten eggs thrown at me, or death threat messages sent via my blog. Weird that, death threats when they are against assisted death. It's like killing a doctor who performs abortions. Do these perpetrators actually ever see the contradiction here, I wonder. I don't want to rock anybody's belief system. I am just wandering at the insanity of our society.

Anja Merret lives in Brighton, UK. Her personal blog allows her to voice opinions on issues that interest her and observations she makes.

She has started a new blog that deals with observations on self development and personal power. Her recommendation for self help tools may be found on


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