This morning I read an article about a doctor who has been ending the lives of her patients to clear out beds. Absolutely outrageous of course, yet towards the end of the article the topic changes to euthanasia. They state “In the Netherlands 1 in every 5 is euthanized without consent or request.” To me, that’s a pretty bold statement to make.
When you look into the strict regulations concerning euthanasia, that statement quickly is proven wrong. First and most imporantly, there has to be a voluntarily (!) and well thought over request of the patient. That, in itself, simply crushes the statement they make in the article. Not to even mention the many, many rules and regulations that come after the initial request. There actually is a Dutch documentary about a young woman who wants to be euthanized due to her condition. It’ll confront you with life’s reality. We all should have the choice to end our lives gracefully, surrounded by our loved ones. I don’t believe in endless suffering when there is an answer.
Several clients that I work with, are inable to do anything. They can’t move, eat, go to the bathroom, communicate plus they have an advanced state of Alzheimer. They’re all 80/90+ years old. There simply is no quality of life. Yet, they can’t be euthanized. They can’t express that desire, if they even have it. They have to be in their right mind to be able to make that kind of decision, they aren’t. So they live on. I don’t even know if ‘living’ is the right word, they simply stay alive. And I’ll be there to talk to them, not knowing if they hear or understand me. To stroke their hands as I’m attempting to feed them. To make them feel at home and comfortable for however long their lives will continue.
It’s inhumane to let people suffer. It’s not inhumane to allow them to end their lives gracefully. It should be a human right, to be able to decide over your own life.