Sunday, December 18, 2005
The Right to Die - Switzerland Takes the Lead
--Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American author (1860-1935)
- A spokesman for the university hospital in Lausanne said the decision was taken after a long reflection.
- He added that the conditions for permitted an assisted suicide remained very strict.
- From the start of next year terminally ill patients in Lausanne's main hospital will be allowed to take their own lives on hospital premises, as long as they are of sound mind, are already too ill to return home, and have expressed a persistent wish to die.
- Senior doctors at Lausanne's hospital say the decision was taken after almost three years of consideration and reflects the position of the Swiss Medical Association and the National Committee on Ethics.
- Both bodies say that in order to respect the wishes and independence of patients assisted suicide should be permitted in exceptional cases, but that it should never become a routine procedure.
I recall someone I knew,terminally ill, in pain, anguish, begging to die. I recall being told all was being done to manage the pain, and that little could be done for the intense sadness... it felt cruel to me. She said that watching the pained faces of people at her pillow, hearing the voices of people talking in the house, it was too much to bear. I cannot judge those feelings or be critical of such emotions, terminally ill people often go through stages that include some intense emotional pain and grief. And the physical discomfort, the waiting to die... for what? If it is inevitable, why not give the final gift of dignity and choice?
I can't understand the arguments against. if abuse is what you fear, safeguard against that but don;t let people suffer because you cannot control the correct circumstantial application...