Sunday, 24 May 2009


Who would have thought that I would find myself writing about Euthanasia for my Blog on Holistic Healing Choices! However, the reason I am writing about this controversial subject is because yesterday someone asked me if I 'believed' in euthanasia.

I know that I have thought about
this interesting topic in the past... albeit fairly superficially...but when someone actually asked me my opinion... I realised I wanted to investigate my thoughts and feelings on the matter.

Initially, for me, it's not about believing in it or not believing in it...although maybe by the time I finish exploring my thoughts as I write to you, I will have a more solid viewpoint.
The first thing that comes to mind is that life is a cycle; we are born...we have a life... we die. What happens (if anything) between dying and possibly being 're-born' is another matter!

So the way I see it, is, that in an ideal world every infant would be born naturally...without any medical intervention...
and both the mother and child would be well...after all, childbirth is a perfectly natural event that's been taking place since man appeared on the planet, and even earlier in the animal world. The mother would go into labor after having had a glorious 9 months of pregnancy, and after a few hours she would deliver a healthy and vibrant baby.

Hmmm, I'm not sure how many of you reading this have given birth...and if you have...was it just like the ideal situation described above?
I have given birth once...and it was certainly not like that!

Interestingly, I was (and still am) a very healthy woman...I was 25 when I gave birth and I was fortunate to have a good pregnancy with no sickness. When contractions started, I was admitted into hospital...and after 9 hours of was obvious that 'things' were not going to plan. Even I got suspicious when a nurse put tape around my wedding ring!
Yes, you've guessed, I was being sent to theatre for surgery.

Apparently, my baby had moved down and was lying at an angle with the head tilted to the side
'bypassing' the birth canal....and going nowhere!
The baby was in distress and I was exhausted.
Now, had this happened a few decades earlier we could both have died - but with the knowledge, skill and modern medical equipment, I had a healthy baby girl and I recovered from the operation.

So where is this train of thought taking me?

Well I suppose I am trying to get into the mindset of those who are against Euthanasia, so I think I will play 'devil's advocate' for a moment... in that, if they are against any form of medical assistance to leave this world...then perhaps they ought to be equally against any medical assistance in coming into this world?
Yes, they do believe in palliative care - which includes various forms of pain management...but if I had only been administered painkillers...I would eventually have died, and my baby along with me.

Well I am sure that the anti-euthanasia supporters might just be saying that my medical intervention was about saving my fact, saving two lives and that is what our medical doctors are striving to do; they are not striving to end our lives!

I was certainly very grateful for their expertise.

However, let me present that scenario in a different light. Let me say...that what the medical practitioners actually did, was to use their skills and equipment to assist me in completing what should have been a natural and inevitable outcome i.e. bringing forth a 'life' after the ideal incubation period in the womb. Fortunately, I did not have to be 'induced' - but many women are, and for all sorts of reasons - and this particular intervention 'speed's up' the whole procedure.

Maybe you can see where I am going with this.
Death, like birth, is inevitable.
One is the beginning of the cycle...the other is the end of the cycle.

Some people develop particularly painful, destructive and debilitating illnesses and the way they are going to die is mapped out before them. They have a known TERMINAL condition. The medics know that the patient's life cannot be saved or prolonged. They know that their patient will progressively deteriorate with various organs becoming dysfunctional, inevitable pain being controlled by drugs (which can seriously affect other organs) and many bodily functions becoming dependent on equipment. Dignity is also questionable.

Six week before my mum 'passed away'...she repeatedly said to me that she wanted 'to go'...that she wanted to not wake up in the morning. That she'd 'had enough'. This was very distressing for everyone...we all felt disempowered. We could only support her and comfort her. She died in a hospice at 2am - alone. Of course there would have been a couple of nursing staff - but none of her family was there at her final moment. That is sad.

Mum had been a musician and entertainer, and had she had a choice... she would have chosen to have her family and friends around her...player her she was 'induced' towards her final moment. She would have loved that...and we would have loved for her to have had a beautiful and loving end to her wonderful life.

I have actually found this piece of writing to be cathartic and emotionally I thank you for bearing with me through my reasoning.

So for me...Euthanasia is not about being right or's not about believing in it - or not... for me euthanasia is about choice. We have choices as to how we give birth...with as much or as little medical intervention as necessary...let's consider giving ourselves more choice in how we die.

Definition of "Euthanasia": the practice of having a medically-assisted death.

This process is illegal in most countries throughout the world. The real controversy is between the advocates, saying that this is a form of a "merciful death" and the opposers stating that it is a form of murder.

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