May 5, 2009

Euthanasia Seminar

I have always thought one of the best gifts that veterinarians have that physicians don't have (legally) (yet) is the gift of euthanasia. Greek eu=good, thanatos=death. The needless and often lengthy suffering that is endured at the end of so many lives seems useless, wasteful, and sad. I think that suicide is often very selfish, or at least overly self-involved. Especially for otherwise healthy young/youngish people...their minds are so caught up in themselves that they can't see beyond or be patient enough for the suckiness to leave. One could argue that they are suffering as much as someone with long term illness--mentally instead of physically, but suffering nonetheless. Though, I find it sad that something like meditation that might quiet their minds might be all the person needs to have some perspective. Still, I do see suicide as a viable, sometimes reasonable option. I also wonder how many people opt for it for the sake of being one less human on the planet to take up resources. I definitely have trouble with this quandary--does the person have the potential to offer more than what resources are being used by that person? More importantly (because I believe most people have enormous potential), will that potential be realized?

Anyway, Dr. Philip Nitschke recently gave a seminar on euthanasia in England, and I do hope this sort of thing means that I will see the legalization of certain euthanasia for humans by the end of my life. Just as I believe some suicides are selfish, I also believe that the cause of not allowing for euthanasia in humans is selfish. The people left behind WANT the sick/dying person to be around longer, despite their suffering. How is that not selfish?

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