To the editor:

There is much controversy pertaining to the use of euthanasia. Currently euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, is illegal. Whether or not suicide is moral or immoral is not the same argument, and I will not be discussing that. Nevertheless, this is not something the government should control and people deserve the right to make their own decisions.

The majority of people always have the option to live or end their lives. Technically it is illegal to kill oneself, but if the person is already dead, the government is unable to punish them after the fact. But people who are incapacitated do not have this option and have to live with their condition until they pass away. For many of these people, it is living death without dignity. They need daily help from their family or even people they do not know in order to perform simple everyday actions that many of us take for granted. The disparity between a life of dependence to life prior to their accident or onset of their condition creates an unsatisfactory existence. For others, the terminal suffering controls their life and they cannot escape their pain. Even animals that are suffering near the end of their life receive the gift of euthanasia to end their life painlessly and calmly.

Another consideration is that if someone has the desire to kill him or herself they can find a way, despite the illegality of their actions. As a result, the compassionate person that wanted to help them is the one who often suffers legal consequences. Additionally, they may have to resort to using more painful methods to end their life, such as starvation or with drugs such as cyanide.

With a law permitting the use of euthanasia, the government would be able to regulate the institutions that provide this service. If these patients have tried to find a solution to relieve their suffering or rediscover value in their life and still wish to end it after having contemplated their options for a sufficient time, they should have the choice. It is not the decision of any person other than the patient.

The majority of us have not experienced living without options and suffering each and every day. Therefore, who are we to determine the destiny of others when we are unable to empathize?


Abbie Kaser