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article imageOp-Ed: Assisted suicide is a right we should support

By Ben Morris     Oct 18, 2014 in Politics
Ottawa - The Supreme Court of Canada has begun hearing the case to legalize assisted suicide. It is a continuation of a case decided by the Court decades ago where they made the wrong choice. Canada's sick and dying should be given the right to die peacefully.
Imagine your father, grandmother, or child wasting away in a hospital bed thanks to a disease that is ripping them apart from the inside. Their jovial, sunny personality and shining eyes have been replaced by bitterness, sadness and blistering pain. If that loved one had the option to die without pain, wouldn't that be better than seeing the person you love in pain all day everyday?
On CBC.ca Steve Swann tried to present a sympathetic rejection of overturning the ban on assisted suicide by typing, "- autonomy must be held in check by the fact that we live in a shared Canada." I'm Canadian, and so are more than 30 million more people. We share a country, and surely share a lot of similar interests and desires, but that means very little. I have absolutely no right to tell a person painfully dying that he or she should suffer until they die.
Swann argued that, "autonomy must be held in check." Who is going to hold that in check? The government?
In Irelend, Marie Fleming was a paralyzed sufferer of MS who wanted the help of her partner Tom Curran to relieve her suffering and allow her to part the world peacefully. The couple fought for the right for Marie to go out the way she wanted to, but Chief Justice Susan Denham claimed there is "no explicit right to commit suicide or to determine the time of one's own death," in Ireland`s constitution. A deviant Curran promised to assist Fleming`s death, but the court threatened Curran with 14 years in jail. The man was given the choice of losing his freedom, or watching the love of his life die a painful death.
The right to life, and the decisions you make with your life is no business of mine or especially the government.Stephen Harper is not at the bedside of a man dying of cancer, or a woman dying from MS, and he does not have a seat in their brains knowing what emotions the seek are feeling. The choice to die may be a tough decision that brings a crises of sort to doctors whose job it is to protect or save lives, and of course we should make the law bulletproof so we don`t have people being bullied or lied to so a doctor can murder them, but those arguments ignore the one precious rights in our society.
Autonomy is the right to make your own choices, and the decisions you make for your body and your life is cherished in most cases, except this one. We are given choices of who to date, what career to have, and where to live. Our society claims to value choice, yet those who believe euthanasia is wrong have perched themselves into the homes of the sick and dying to tell them they should be condemned to a miserable death.
There is no slippery slope when it comes to this issue. As Joseph Arvay told the Supreme Court on Wednesday, “The human condition is that no one wants to die if living is better.” The argument is backed up by a Dutch study that showed in cases of assisted suicide, like was shortened by a couple of weeks, or even hours. The decision to die is not taken lightly. Fleming and Sue Rodriguez didn't want assistance to end their lives minutes after they were diagnosed. They made the difficult decision after they realized they were never going to be who they were.
“At the end of the day, I want to be in power to make the best decisions for myself. I’m a disabled Canadian, I don’t want someone telling me what I can or cannot do,“ said Steven Fletcher on Power and Politics last year. The quadriplegic M.P from Winnipeg brilliantly added, “Life can be very tough. And when you can’t breathe, can’t speak and you can’t move, fully conscious – I’ve gone through that, for months. I knew I was going to get better, but if it was going to go the other way – yeah, I would ask for (assisted suicide.“
In 1994, in disobedience of the Court, Rodriguez`s death was assisted by an anonymous doctor, with then MP Svend Robinson at her side. She made the choice to exercise her freedom, and allowed herself to die on her own terms.
Assisted suicide comes down to whether you want someone to suffer before they die, and whether we actually do have full autonomy. The term suicide may have negative and scary connotations, but the right to die on your own terms is far different than ending your life because you can`t get escape your addictions. The decision is solely based on a desire to leave the world on your own terms.
We live in a world where we value life. We are sympathetic to lives that end far too soon, and that sympathy should extend to those who are physically or mentally unable to live the lives they once lived, and want to part the world in peace.
Condemning a stranger to a miserable death is not only cruel. it is simply not your right, or the right of the government.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Supreme court of canada, Assisted suicide, sue rodriguez, steven fletcher, marie fleming
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