We understand death for the first time when it lays a cold hand upon those who we love.
Euthanasia is defined as the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful illness or disease. Euthanasia is currently illegal in New Zealand. In June last year, ACT leader David Seymour introduced the End of Life Choice Bill that, if passed, would legalise voluntary euthanasia. But should we really be trusting David Seymore? This man is headlining for his horrific dance moves on a reality TV programme, instead of moving important and relevant issues through parliament. Almost every health professional and doctor will tell you that euthanasia demoralises the respect that society has built for death, and puts doctors in a difficult and emotionally challenging situation. There is no proper way of regulating euthanasia. Allowing this will simply discourage the search for new cures and treatments for the terminally ill. With suicide rates at a soaring high throughout the country, we shouldn’t allow kiwis to throw their hat in, without batting an eye.
Euthanasia demoralizes the respect and emotion that our society has built around the concept of death. Euthanasia is a grave violation of how we look at life. It is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person. Put yourself into a split society, where on one side, we have cancer patients and terminally ill people fighting and pleading for there lives, and on the other hand, we have people who go through a bit of strife and are willing to sign their life away. Euthanasia draws the emotion away from the idea of ending our lives. It effectively creates a sterile emotionless environment where people come and go, with no deep human connections, because you never know who is here today whom won’t be here tomorrow.
A report from UNICEF has revealed that New Zealand has the highest rate of youth suicide throughout developed countries. The provisional statistics found 606 Kiwis took their own life in the 2016-17 year. According to the Ministry of health website, New Zealand has a suicide prevention programme. This sits within the context of government-led mental health promotion and service development, and a wide range of initiatives that indirectly contribute to reducing risk factors for suicide at national and local levels. The government would be contradicting all of its efforts by letting the euthanasia bill pass. Now, imagine giving these people the key. We all wake up sometimes and have a hunch that it’s not going to be a good day. We all have a rain cloud that follows us around from time to time. What if we wake up and decide not to live anymore, and instead of seeking help or pushing through, we sign our life over and call it quits. What kind of a message is this going to send to the next generation of modern children? That, when the going gets tough, we should just take our own life- legally and without question. That is not the kind of society that I want to live in.
Now put yourselves in the shoes of the young doctor. Fresh out of up to 9 years of study, and ready to pursue a long and fulfilling career. These doctors dedicate their lives to their passion for helping others, completing medical practices that they have studied so hard to master, using medicines and offering palliative care. Asking them to take somebodies life pulls the rug from under them. You’re asking a highly skilled individual to kill someone. While going against everything that their training and experience has taught them. It goes against the medical oath. That is a compromising position for anybody. Criminals sit and rot in jail for years when they take lives, doctors can take lives all day and get a clean paycheck for it, in what world is that morally correct? I see it as ‘quitting, rather than curing’. Euthanasia would put a halt upon innovations in medicine and progressive studies for solutions in the medical world. Proper palliative care makes euthanasia unnecessary. Palliative care allows symptoms such as pain to be eliminated, allowing comfort and peace with loved ones before the patients time comes. It is not that the question of euthanasia is right or wrong, desirable or repugnant, practical or unworkable. It is just that it is irrelevant and completely unecessary.