Euthanasia… Hmm….

Perspectives November 6th, 2008

Euthanasia is a topic that brings about much debate, and when our minister brought it up into the open, I knew that it was just a can of worms waiting to burst open and spilling it everywhere – including the ceiling with a ceiling fan that helps to increase the splatter width.

Now, even the Archbishop of the Catholic churches have came out to condemn euthanasia, citing that it’s suicide and hence immoral.

As a doctor-to-be in the not-too-near future, I am torn in between. Perhaps I had been struck by this topic when I was in secondary school education – that euthanasia may be a solution for suffering patients; and I sort of grew up with that thinking. The argument back then was that a doctor’s role was to alleviate pain from a patient, and if death does that, then it should not be ruled out as a viable option.

Then again, as an impressionable teenager, I believed everything that was told to me, and death didn’t seem like a bad thing back then; of course, until I witness the passing of my friends from road accidents.

Even then, putting someone, or something to sleep for good is a really tough choice. I had a critically ill kitten once and although I knew it was suffering, I begged the vet to try different medications on him. Eventually, I was told that my kitten will not be able to make it, but yet, I let it die a natural death. There was no euthanasia administered to it because… I didn’t know if it was prepared to die.

Of course, legalizing euthanasia will come with its own set of problem as well. There’s of course, fear that there will be misuse by the doctors and worst of all, some smart guy might think that euthanasia is a good way of controlling the ageing population! God forbids if that ever happens!

I thought it was a little strange that the minister were to bring this topic up in such times of financial crisis. However, if historical data were anything to go by, then it would seem that there’s a chance that euthanasia would be legalised viz-a-viz the legalization for the compensation to kidney donors.

So, will this soon be a quick solution to our ageing population? I am not sure, but I am not expecting anything to change drastically anytime soon.

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