Here’s an easy-peachy way to start your week: Consider why a disabled MP would abstain from voting on Bill C-384, Bloc MP Francine Lalonde’s private bill.
Yes, the bill would provide the terminally ill with more freedom to end their own lives with dignity,” writes Fletcher, 37, in an opinion piece appearing Monday in the National Post.
“But it may also worsen the plight of the severely injured and ill by relieving the pressure on Canadians to come to terms with the more important challenge of providing the level of support required to make living the first choice.”
“An easy thing to do would be to just say, ‘The bill is flawed and I’m going to vote against it.’ But in the larger context, I think what is being talked about is much more profound. It’s really about, what does it mean to be alive?” he said.
“At the end of the day, I think people should have the ability to choose. However, I also want to challenge Canadians to provide the resources so that people choose life over death.”
Mr. Fletcher’s opinion piece is here. It’s a challenging read, but I encourage you to give it a go. Here is where I think I stand: I don’t encourage suicide, but it’s not like you can stop it with carefully crafted legislation. Society can’t prevent it from happening, any more than it can prevent rape or murder. But contrary to rape or murder, you can’t prosecute and punish those who commit suicide. So to me, talk of bringing foward a “right to die” is just a silly false debate. We all have the “right to die”. Just stop breathing long enough and you’re there.
I oppose euthanasia because to me it suggests that the choice is made by another person than the one suffering. Yes, in some cases loved ones KNOW for sure that their relative would absolutely want to have their life ended. And yes, I realize how wrenching it is to watch someone you love in such a situation and not be able to do anything about it. But that’s life. Nobody said it was going to be easy.
Where I disagree with Mr. Fletcher is when he says:
In sum, what I believe is this: I support the right of an individual to choose to die with dignity. However, for that choice to be genuinely free, and for society to have confidence in that choice, we must know that we are giving the severely injured and ill the support needed to prevent them from losing hope– through the health-care system, social workers, therapy, spiritual counselling, proper insurance coverage (including automobile, and workers compensation) and the like.
I agree with the sentiment, but I cannot possibly understand how such a perfect solution can be achieved. This, in the end, is what makes me oppose euthanasia.by