No human dignity in killing or being killed

By August 20, 2018 Recent News

Stuff 17 August 2018
Family First Comment: Well said, Carolyn (who also writes for Mercatornet) “‘Finishing people off’ may suit our current individualistic, utilitarian, impatient culture, but it will degrade us all in the end.”

To ask ‘Should Kiwis have a right to die with dignity?’ demonstrates exactly what is wrong with the framing of this discussion by euthanasia activists, pollsters and the media.

Of course Kiwis should be able to die in circumstances consistent with their intrinsic human dignity.

The proper question is: Should Kiwis have the legal ‘right’ to be put to death when they are terminally ill – or for any other reason such as severe disability or hopelessness? Is this consistent with human dignity?

The answer is no. To kill oneself is not consistent with human dignity, and neither is it for someone else to kill you. There cannot be a ‘right’ in the proper sense of the term (something essential to human dignity) to have someone end your life, as official euthanasia regimes require.

To define euthanasia as a right is to put upon the state the duty to provide people to kill you. This is an abuse of state power.
And, as with abortion, there will be pressure on doctors who refuse to do this to at least refer people requesting euthanasia to a doctor who will give the lethal injection. There will be pressure on care homes and hospices to allow such terminations despite it going against their own ethos. Those who object will ultimately be forced out of their profession.

Nine years ago today my 78-year-old sister died peacefully after living for more than 50 years with Parkinson’s disease, and after 6 years in rest home/nursing home care. During the last three years she was visited every day and helped with her main meal. The last 8 months she was cared for at home by family members.

The answer to suffering, physical or mental, is affection and good care. This should come first and as far as possible from family and community, supported by institutions.

“Finishing people off” may suit our current individualistic, utilitarian, impatient culture, but it will degrade us all in the end.

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