It’s a solemn topic for a Monday but the issues surrounding legalizing Euthanasia are hard to ignore; we tend to put these issues to the back of our thoughts, not wanting to face the reality of life and those tough decisions.
One of the main case studies that is surrounding this issue in the media is that of Tony Nicklinson, a man who has a condition called Locked In Syndrome; Nicklinson previously worked in Dubai as an engineer before his stroke led to him having an active mind locked inside a paralysed body. The story pulls on the heart-strings of anyone who can imagine how devastating it would be to be fully aware of how unimaginably helpless you are.
Nicklinson’s family are fighting for his right to die; the question remains, not just in this case but in most cases of severe health conditions, is it ethically right to allow medical staff to facilitate the death of a patient?
There are many factors to consider when trying to come to a conclusion, there is of course the suffering of the patient, whether their situation is terminal, religious views and whether the patient is able to make their own decisions and are whether they are in the right emotional state of mind to be able to cope with these type of decisions. With issues so delicate like these I try to put myself in the mindset of the people involved; for example a sports junkie who looses the use of his legs and is now unable to play the sport that he loves.
The example above could cause a debate, I myself feel that although the situation is dire the patients emotional state of mind would play a massive part into why the victim of illness may feel like giving up, but with time and support from friends, family and mental health specialists, perhaps the quality of life can be improved and the moments of weakness could be overcome?
Let me know what you think, would you like the option to end your own life if it came down to it? Or do you think that there are grey areas?
Written by Stephanie Birch