The other day there was a Facebook post that advocated euthanasia… saying there would be less sufferring if people could end their life when they wanted. My gut reaction (formed from many years in a catholic school) was that we should always try to preserve life and do not have the right to end it before our numbered moments have elapsed. To do so is suicide – a sin – and an insult to the people who love us and are left behind.
Then I wondered “is that really what I think?” Or is it a “belief” I have just regurgitated from others. Maybe it is kinder to let people kill themselves?
Then from deeper within my gut I sensed anger. What is so wrong with suffering? What does give us the right to try and avoid it? Isn’t pain soul forming? But again was this just something regurgitated from all those catholic lessons about “sharing in Christ’s pain” to “grow” and so on?
Maybe in part but there is another problem. Pain. So much I’ve read about pain tells me that perception of pain is tied up with the brain as much as it is with any damage in the body. In fact some of the worst pain happens after the body is healed and the brain is still trying to process a problem. People can be taught to overcome pain. The nerves that generate pain signals can be reset with the right therapy and stop the triggers that the brain receives. Perhaps what people need is good therapy and more pain researchers who understand and teach us how to overcome pain. It made me angry that – at least for now – people are being encouraged to end their life instead of someone taking leadership on pain research.
But what if the suffering was more emotional/mental – if you loose the ability to walk or see -. The loss and pain of loosing function might be justification to allow someone to kill themselves, rather than as a society try to help them. Or is that a cop out too? All they need is someone to help them, care for them, love them and for that to be the ‘norm’ in society so that they don’t feel their dignity is lost by receiving help. Occupational therapists try to help people all the time; redefine goals and adjust expectations according to ability. Again it seems all sick people need is the right help.
Maybe one day when I’m older and in great pain and want to end it then I will know and understand the view point that euthanasia is the answer. But I like to think I’ll fight to the end and never loose my will to live.. no matter how hard life is. I like to think I’ll embrace pain and suffering and work through it.. who knows if I will manage it?
I just hope that when the time comes that there are people around me who are willing to give me another way and another chance and the hope that I need when I can no longer see clearly to hope myself. I really really hope they don’t all opt out and say “let her kill herself”. I hope they find another way and help make my life worth living again. It’s when I loose the plot that I need society to be strongest, do the right research, instill the right social systems and preserve life and its quality, not opt out.
Posted by mom176887, 23rd February 2017