This week’s reflection will be short and sweet as I spent alot of time on my original blog post arguing both sides. I will therefore reflect of what I’ve learned and concluded from my fellow participants’ blog posts on this sensitive and controversial subject of assisted-dying.
I really identified with other participants, who felt uncomfortable and unsure about their opinions on assisted-dying. I had to challenge my own opinions and really try and see both sides of the argument for/against assisted-dying. Wendy said that “we should just to stick to the clear moral path that Killing is Wrong and we should always strive to save lives and to enhance the quality of life”. On the other hand, Jackie concluded that “because we will never truly understand and empathize with somebody who legitimately requests for assisted suicide, the bottom line is that assisted suicide is “necessary” and it should be allowed for severe and extreme cases but it must never be abused by patient or physician”. I don’t think that there will ever be a consensus on this topic, just as abortion has been legalised, although the majority believes this still to be wrong. I completely agreed with Kim’s opinion that we should respect and support the decisions of our patients without judgement.
What I have realised in life, is that when you are in a certain phase of your life, it is impossible to imagine how you would react or feel about a certain topic at another time in your life, when you are experiencing something you’ve never experienced and are faced with difficult decisions you’ve never had to consider. As I discussed in my original Week 5 blog post, I cannot make hard and fast decisions and form opinions about something I have never faced as currently my life has a different meaning than what it would if I have children, or if I have a terminal illness. I also cannot judge another human being for wanting to end his/her suffering. Who are we to judge? As discussed in my original blog post, the story of the South African Professor who assisted his mother to end her life and fulfill her last human right, made me think that, given the situation and how it impacts your life, I would do that for my mother. Seeing someone suffer and in constant physical or emotional pain, breaks your heart. I agree with Jarryd comparing human assisted-dying with euthanasia of our pets. We as humans choose to end the life by euthanasia of a beloved pet who is suffering when medical intervention will not be effective in curing or reducing the pain and disability. But as human beings, with all the Human Rights, we have no say about when and how we choose to die and that we should just suffer and keep fighting. Sometimes it’s braver to let go and be at peace with your life and to say that you have had enough. I will only know when I get there. Lisa also mentioned that perhaps assisted-dying can be understood and regulated under the law without having such dire consequences.
Theo made a very valid point: “What is worse… Letting that person suffer or offer to end their suffering so they can have peace?”. She continues saying that as health care professionals, many believe that we should promote and value human life… Cecil also touched on this but took it further by saying that our ability to make our own choices and take responsibility for our decisions is part of the human gift of autonomy and we should exercise this right in life, and death.
I still believe, “my life, my choice” and everyone deserves a dignified death.