Stuff co.nz 1 December 2014
I know first-hand how painful it is to watch a loved one deteriorate and die.
However, I feel frustrated by the emphasis the current assisted suicide debate puts on the terminally ill.
Rhetoric about how the terminally ill need assisted dying is only a way to manipulate our emotions and soften up society for the real agenda: legal assisted suicide for everyone. The pro-euthanasia lobby wants suicide to be regarded as normal, acceptable and rational. Their only objection is that “suicide is violent” – not that it’s to be prevented and discouraged in principle. In fact, it should be facilitated for anyone who “wants to die”.
Recently euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke appealed his medical deregistration in response to his involvement in the suicide of a 45-year old depressed but healthy man. Nitschke’s lawyer said in his opening address, the case was about “the dangerous idea [of] whether a person who is contemplating rational suicide ought to be required by a medical doctor not to do so”.
He implied that if a person had a good reason to want to die, a doctor should not intervene.
Since suffering is subjective and universal, any suicidal person would have a rationale for wanting to die. Terminal illness is only one of many possibilities.