Picture this: You are six years old and you have just found out that this sickness you have, well it’s going to end your life. You look to your parents and dear friends for some hope. Instead, they tell you about Euthanasia. ‘The doctors can put you to sleep and you’ll wake up in a better place’ they say to you, trying to smile but faltering. So that’s it. At the end of your short life your parents tell you to throw in the towel. You hadn’t realized you were such a burden to them. Disparity.You sign the papers. Darkness. You whisper farewell. Death.
Euthanasia is assisted suicide. No longer is this world protecting those most vulnerable to suicide, instead we are giving them a quick fix to get out of this life. Euthanasia should never be an option, it never should have been legalized.
Once euthanasia is legalized people will undoubtedly take advantage of this easily accessible death. Euthanasia is the easy way out of life. Everyone struggles. Everyone feels pain. Once you open the door to assisted suicide in the hospital, rest assured problems will arise. Why is this no longer murder? There are people pleading for others to take their life every day; that’s always treated as murder if it is followed through. It has been said that there are strict guidelines on euthanasia, this however, was apparently not the case with sixty-four year old Godeelieva De Troyer from Brussels. According to ‘Assisted Suicide-What could possibly go wrong?’ by Margaret Wente; Godelieva suffered from chronic depression. She “did not have an incurable disease, nor was she in chronic pain” (Wente, 1). She walked into the hospital, requested euthanasia, and her life was ‘legally’ ended. Her family found out about her death the next day. Clearly the laws are not concrete enough if a women can simply walk into a hospital and be killed without a second glance. “Death with dignity” (Wente, 1) is a beautiful idea for those days away from their death, in excruciating pain. However, “physicians are now killing people they have barely met. Some of these people have psychological and psychiatric disorders such as anorexia or depression” (Wente, 2). Mr. Mortier, son of Godelieva gives “a warning for Canadians: Beware the slippery slope” (Wente, 1). Once you open the window of opportunity there is no telling how far nor how fast, this world will spiral downhill out of control.
There are all kinds of pressure in this world. When someone becomes terminally ill there is financial and emotional pressure. The feeling that you are simply a burden to your family can be unbearable. “A child any age can be helped to die…The child must be able to request euthanasia themselves, and demonstrate they fully understand their decision” (McDonald, Gibson, Brussels). A child cannot possibly grasp the finality of such a decision. If this child is six, ten, or maybe even fifteen; this would be an option brought to their attention by someone older, wiser. Of course suicide would possibly cross the patients mind, but it is doubtful that they would have the knowledge themselves that euthanasia is an option. The amount of anxiety and stress that occurs in every adolescent, or adult, is enough to create suicidal thoughts or tendencies in the majority of the population. Add a sickness of some gravity to this mix and you now have an individual who needs more support than ever. Young and old, fast or slow, every life has great value. Though some may protest, it is true that everyone is cared for by someone. Allowing someone to be killed legally is just like saying those people aren’t worth hanging on to. On the other hand, there are people with less than honorable intentions that could attempt to sway the decision of an individual to die. Having euthanasia legalized makes it that much simpler to convince them to give up on life. What if the child wants to live but the parents wants them to die because it is too painful for them? Or vice versa. Neither situation is fair. The pressure is too high. It’s a dangerous door to open; to try and control an individuals’ life span. It is done all the time with medication, life support, everything; so when do we draw the line?
According to the World Health Organization; a life is lost to suicide around the globe every forty seconds. In the Netherlands a LifeSiteNews article, by Alex Schadenberg, states that the Lancet proves that euthanasia deaths are rising. In 2010 it was found to be around 3859 euthanasia deaths. Three thousand eight hundred fifty-nine assisted deaths. Does that number make you pause? If the first statistic didn’t that one should. Is it not already incredibly evident that this world is in turmoil and need of help? “A common fear among doctors is that providing a terminal prognosis will strip patients of hope. Indeed, it will dash hopes of long term survival” (Brody). We fear floods, we fear droughts, and we fear earthquakes, famine, obesity, life, and death itself. A terminal illness will send some to deep depression, some are bed ridden. There is such beauty in this world, such memories to be made. There are some who choose to spend, every minute that they are able, loving those around them. Yes sickness is awful. Pain is in every person, in a multitude of ways. Look at the world around you! Three thousand eight hundred fifty-nine assisted deaths in the Netherlands and increasing by 18% between 2010-2011. A suicide every forty seconds. By the time you finish reading this there will have been multiple suicides. We need to support people who are in need this way by giving them hope and giving them a reason to hold on. Legalizing euthanasia is “taking us into a world where the state involuntarily kills off the elderly, or the handicapped, or the expensive to care for” (The Globe and Mail, 2). It is not right to add to these tragic suicides that occur every day. The death toll is too high. Euthanasia is just another tool to justify murder. It is time to five hope, not to give up.
Euthanasia is something that should never have been created, never legalized. Death is already so frequent it is not necessary to speed up the process. Legalizing a way to kill someone is a bad decision in the long run. Putting the decision of dying in the hands of a child, a doctor, purposely choosing to die, is so wrong. Giving up on life won’t solve anything. It is final. Written in stone. Irreversible. There are too many gray areas in this new law. Too many “what ifs” and regrets. Once somebody dies you lose all opportunity to save them. It’s time to fight for life again.