Dear world, why won’t you let me die?
I reveled in the fact that a mainstream political party in North America has finally had the guts to voice in favor of euthanasia under its establishment. Following the Liberal Party of Canada’s convention, its delegates have voted to legalize assisted suicide.
I don’t necessarily subscribe to most of the Liberal Party’s convictions and centrist ideologies and considering the interesting timing of this vote whereby the French speaking province of Quebec is set to pass a law that if passed would make Quebec the first province in Canada to legalize euthanasia. The fact that the Liberals were utterly decimated in Quebec during the previous general elections only leads me to speculate that, a move of this magnitude is fueled for political gains and not out of moral compassion. However, the fact that this taboo-riddled issue of euthanasia has finally been brought back after a 20-year absence in the national spotlight signifies a progressive healthy democracy.
Euthanasia to me is a personal one; I like many others did not realize the gravity of the moral conundrum surrounding this issue until my uncle lost his battle with cancer in 2010. I can still remember the day like it was yesterday when I saw my once boisterous, exuberant, and flamboyant uncle powerless and in unbearable pain as he laid still, hooked on to various machines and medical paraphernalia. He had lost a lot of weight; he was losing his hair and could hardly speak. He communicated only through his eyes, and was depressed to see me in a state of shock. As tears rolled down his once puffy cheeks, I knew that he did not want anyone seeing him in that frail condition. He couldn’t stand the tormenting effects of his chemotherapy and the throbbing pain that followed; he wanted very much to be put of his misery and to die with dignity. He got the best treatment that money could buy, he was admitted into one of the best private hospitals in Singapore with state of the art facilities, and was being treated by a world-class team of oncologists with Ivy League credentials.
However, they could not alleviate his pain, nor fulfill his wishes, as the state of Singapore banned euthanasia. My uncle died a slow and painful death; he did not deserve it and I don’t think anyone should be subject to that kind of agony and suffering. I watched him die, and still to this day cannot fathom how letting a person die in intractable suffering is more humane than to alleviate the pain of a terminally ill patient.
I vehemently refuse to accept the moral religious argument that views euthanasia as a form of murder and as or a form of suicide that goes against the meanings of many religions. I do accept the fact that religion can provide excellent moral values, but it is subjective in nature and is open to interpretation. Religions vary and cannot be used to influence laws in a secular liberal democracy.
I believe in the freedom of choice, as we are given choices on how live our lives we should also be given the choice to die.