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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Euthanasia Debate

High Court Clashes Over Assisted Suicide

I'm ambivalent on this. On the one hand the idealistic side of me thinks that people should have the choice to "hasten their demise", yet I don't feel that a doctor should be forced to assist a patient if he feels the act violates his Hippocratic oath.

the realistic side of me says that if you wish to "hasten your demise" (isn't that the general idea behind suicide?), then just do it, death doesn't require a doctor to preside over it. However, I'm sure there are legal ramifications in doing so concerning insurance and possible prosecution for the involved parties.

Philosophically, while some try to draw a line between "suicide" and "physician-assisted suicide", by claiming that the latter only hastens the inevitable for the terminally ill. This argument seems fundamentally silly to me since every living thing on this planet is terminally ill from the bodily process known as aging, and all suicide hastens the inevitable in all cases, which of course is the point.

My opinion? Let people who are terminally ill decide their own fates. However, if a physician feels it is morally wrong for him to do so, then he should be able to defer to another.

BTW, whatever happened to the Hemlock Society?