It’s a balance, isn’t it? I was just thinking about all the political changes that are happening right now in Canada, and those who are arguing for and against the decision to abolish the law against doctor assisted suicide.
It’s been a topic for ages really… freedom, and how much of it is healthy, and how to keep in the balance between setting rules down for the better of the people and oppressing them.
Its the topic of countless novels, fictional and otherwise. We’ve seen how not to rule a peoples through the lovely examples placed there by fictional evil kings, and oppressive futuristic governors trying for a perfect society.
We have also seen what happens when people have no laws set out for them, and no governing force at all. In short, that ends in chaos.
But we have also seen those perfect rulers who everyone loves, who seem to get the balance between freedom and oppression just perfectly.
Of course, this isn’t realistic… but it is what every good ruler strives towards.
Now, how do we know when we are nudging too close to either side? Well… this is usually when the arguments spurt up, declaring that one political party is more correct than another, and so on. And that is what I want to avoid. I am just a teen after all, and not even legally aloud to vote yet. So I’ll just state my opinions as an observer.
From how I see it, the ruling and well being of this country doesn’t actually lie in the hands of the leaders, it lies with the people. Therefore, since we are influencing our own country, shouldn’t we stop arguing over who’s right and who’s wrong, and try to do something to make this a better place? Yes, I know that sounds cliche, but hey, there’s a reason these statements became cliche.
So, now that we’re all trying to do what’s best… how do we know exactly what that is? How do we know what we should allow, and what should be avoided?
That gets to the topic of right and wrong. This is such a tricky subject, especially since each person seems to have different views on right and wrong. Personally… if it hurts someone else… its wrong.
Let me give you an example. I don’t swear.
I don’t swear.
Now… this doesn’t mean I haven’t slipped up here and there, or found one of those words flying to my head when I stub a toe. What I mean by I don’t swear is that I make a personal challenge and goal not to swear.
Well… the reason is simple. I don’t know of anyone who would rather be sworn at than given a smile or a compliment. It doesn’t look good to Universities or future employers, and it just does’t seem to have any merit.
Candy… on the other hand… is very hard to resist.
But do you get what I’m saying? Personally, if it is something that hurts someone else in some way, then we classify this as bad, or wrong.
Based on this assumption, is it wrong to illegalize something like gay marriage? Well… I don’t agree with gay marriage, but that doesn’t automatically make me a hater! There is a big difference between indifference, being against something, and hating something with a passion. And that goes both ways. I know some very nice gay people. Does that mean I automatically promote or condone their choice of lifestyle? No.
That’s like saying because I don’t agree with someone eating doughnuts all day, as I do not think that is healthy, then I automatically hate all people who do so. Of course not! I just would not choose to live the life they are living.
So how does this relate to Doctor assisted suicide?
Going with the “hurting others is bad” definition of wrong, I am going to say that I am against doctor assisted suicide. And this is why.
I talked with Dad about it when the bill was passed, arguing things like, “but if I was in pain and going to die anyways… I’d want a quick death”. (My dad, Shawn Whatley, is a Doctor and has worked in the ER for fifteen years, and now runs a family practice).
Well. He had a response ready for me, and afterwards, I was shocked about how little I knew of this situation.
This was how he explained it:
Patients who are dying or have a fatal illness do not feel pain as one would expect. He explained that the drugs we have in this day and age are effective enough to keep the patients comfortable during their stay in the hospital. So that gets rid of the pain option.
At this point, it would not be a “merciful death” for someone in pain, as there are no people in pain. That leaves the issue of the patient not wanting to live like they are any longer. And to an extent, I can understand this. I sure wouldn’t want to live in a hospital. But is that a reason to die? Really?
But then there are other issues. Doctor assisted suicide means that the doctors can not kill the patients. They can give them the poison, but the patient has to push the plunger themselves. Now… sure this may lead to a smooth death, but it doesn’t always.
It happens that sometimes patients will not die completely, and that leaves the doctor trying to care for a severely sick patient, as after this, the patient is no longer well enough to kill themselves completely, and the doctor can not kill them either.
So in this case, their are two options. You end up caring for a very sick patient until they eventually die, or you legalize euthanasia, so that the doctors can kill the patients. And this – as anyone who knows about other countries who have legalized euthanasia in the past – causes many more problems.
But all we’ve talked about is the patient. What about the doctors? If you were a doctor, would it sit well with you when you were sitting at home with your family later that night, if all you could think about was that one or two people you had had to kill that day?
War, when killing has a reason, is still very scarring for those who come back. So what about the doctors who have to “assist a suicide” for a patient? Personally, I know this would be very scarring, and I would feel bad about passing the job off to another doctor, not to mention, the guilt would be there regardless.
So have we really thought about all the options in regards to legal decisions? Have we thought about all the people a decision will help, as well as all the people who may be hurt by it?
I suppose those are my two cents on this issue.
Thanks for listening to my rant, and I hope you stop and think.
Until next time,