Death on Demand: the Right to a Dignified End

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Every day, we see the world celebrating freedom. Symbolizing the beginning. As well as an end. Symbolizing change… instead of tradition. So why now as euthanasia is being introduced do, we think we have the right to choose what others can and can not do. Why is it treated like a brother of suicide? The dictionary defines death as the action or fact of dying or being killed; the end of the life of a person or organism. As a society, we strive to end suffering for animals, so why not humans? Last year, there were 17 million new cases of cancer diagnosed worldwide and 9.6 million deaths. Everyday people suffer, waiting, hour after hour, day after day, year after year for death to pay His untimely visit. Euthanasia provides a second chance for people given none.

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There’s no quality of life in death. But death can be a change of improvement in explicit circumstances. Have you ever “walked a mile in the shoes” of a person suffering? Someone who is truly suffering. I didn’t think so. Growing up, I lived next to a family of three. Their daughter, Lily was my best friend. We had known each other from birth, we went to the same school and every day after school we would go to the park and play for hours. When we were 8, she used to have to go home early and was always tired. She couldn’t play with me anymore. At the time I thought she didn’t like me.

A few months later, Lily, stopped coming to school. I barely saw her, and I wasn’t allowed to go see her. Her parents came over and had water coming from their eyes. They said Lily had moved far away and I wouldn’t see her again but that she loved me very much and would always watch over me. The next day, I went to a park with these stone hedges with names on them, I was wearing black and there was this box in front of me with her name on it. That was the last time I saw her or her parents. Today is Lily’s 18th birthday, she dreamed of becoming a doctor, traveling to help people who couldn’t help themselves. I am still haunted by the trauma of watching her suffer through agonizing pain in her final months.

In cases of unrelievable or incurable pain and illness, death can be a single defense. We all want a good death, but what truly is that? In a survey taken in 2017, 87% of participants said a dignified death, to die by natural causes at an old age surrounded by their loved ones. But for people like Lily, that just isn’t an option. Every day over 7813 patients are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Each one of them are forced to be weak and watch as their friends and family are hurt. Brittney Maynard once said in an interview, “Cancer is ending my life, I am choosing to end it a little sooner and in a lot less pain and suffering.” She was terminally ill with cancer and gave herself a goal of November 1st, 2014 to live by, later that month she has an assisted death. Legalizing euthanasia in states across the world would allow patients to die on their terms and not let the disease dictate their lives. Legislation has been introduced in certain US States, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland so why not here?

Let’s imagine there is someone who was so unbelievably evil and they deserved the worst punishment, would it be death? Or keeping them only alive enough to barely get through the day with unbearable pain? Torture is seen as inhumane and a horrible action but the pain the majority of terminally ill patients is so much worse. Why do you make the people you love suffer through a pain worse than torture?

Humans have the right to life. This right can’t be taken away or surrendered from the individual. This right is inalienable. Why not the right to death? Nobody should be forced to endure the ravages a terminal disease sentences them to. To die the way they want, when they want in peace and pain-free. What cruel person asks for one more day with their loved one in suffering than spend their last day with their loved one as they end their torment. You do not have the right to tell the world how to live or how to die. Despite, this you associate it with suicide. I know you have their reservations due to personal experience but legalized with fair guidelines would destroy the risks around euthanasia.

Do you support slavery? Murder? Rape? Physical or emotional abuse? Torture? Any act of cruelty? These occur every day in any part of the world, and all have laws to end them. Many people discover they do not have a desire to live when they cannot have such a luxury, but some people cannot rebuild their lives after their suffering. Giving people the choice between ending their life with little pain when they want or continuing with a probability of enduring months of excruciating, constant pain with a sudden end being certainly beneficial.

I hope people like Lily with terminal illnesses will soon have this opportunity legalized. Unlike her, they will have control over something that controls their lives daily. 85% of Australians want legalization of euthanasia. That right belongs to them. Will they have to live their lives in pain or die with reign, the choice is up to you.   

07 April 2022

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