Assisted dying: Unethical?

Should a person have the right to die on their terms whilst they still have dignity?

What is assisted dying?

Assisted dying (assisted suicide) is an ending of a terminally ill human being’s life, assisted by a doctor, or a medical professional. Some countries have accepted that it’s a human right to be allowed to die if a person is suffering. Once the case has been assessed, and the law deems that the person is qualified then usually an overdose of medicine is prescribed.

There are several countries that assisted suicide is acceptable under a certain criteria. Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia and the Netherlands are included in a slowly growing list. Usually the person has to have an incurable terminal disease, have repeatedly asked to die, they must be of a sound mind, and whenever possible, the patient must be able to take the medicine themselves. Under these laws, and in a controlled environment, the person who assisted is free from prosecution.

Should a person be allowed to choose?

This is another case, like abortion, where it’s pro-life against pro-choice, but unlike abortion the person is a fully conscious, sentient being with the ability to make decisions on their own.

Religious people claim that only God can create, so only God can kill. Many other people see it as someone’s right if they are suffering, or have no quality of life. I’ve heard some horrific stories about people who have suffered beyond comprehension in the latter parts of their life, and have died in absolute agony a fraction of their former selves, with absolutely no dignity.

If you have a pet that’s ill and their quality of life is beyond repair, then the most humane thing to do is go to a vet and have it euthanised, however difficult it is, as you must without question put their well-being before your feelings, beliefs or opinions.

So why hasn’t the rights of a human being got priority over old-fashioned religious indoctrination? You can’t be pro-life, and pro-suffering.

Is it ethical?

Ethical definition ”relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these.

This obviously boils down to the big morality question and this is where theists say that without God you can’t have a basis for morality.

Morality definition ”principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.

I’m of the firmest belief that to have moral values you must ultimately be compassionate and empathetic. You can’t claim to have moral standards if you’re prepared to let someone suffer because you believe that God is control of a person’s destiny.

In 2019 Humanists U.K. co-founded the Assisted dying coalition.

The Assisted Dying Coalition is the UK and Crown dependencies coalition of organisations working in favour of legal recognition of the right to die, for individuals who have a clear and settled wish to end their life and who are terminally ill or facing incurable suffering.

Should people be allowed to choose when it’s their time to die?

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