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Both clearly are observable and describable actions, and both are the direct causes of the patient’s death.There are a number of reasons for the opposition to physician assisted suicide or voluntary active euthanasia.
Here a suffering and terminal patient is assisted by a physician to gain access to a lethal substance which the patient himself or herself takes or administers.
If incapable of doing so, the physician – on request of the patient – administers the lethal substance which terminates the patient’s life.
The right to commit suicide is, as far as I am concerned, simply one of the prices we have to be willing to pay as citizens of a democracy.
We do not have the right, and we play no discernible role, in coming into existence.
Desmond Tutu, emeritus archbishop of Cape Town, raised it again on his 85th birthday in an article in the Washington Post.
He wrote: I have prepared for my death and have made it clear that I do not wish to be kept alive at all costs.
The main victims of such possible abuse could well be the most vulnerable and indigent members of society: the poor, the disabled and the like.
Those who cannot pay for prolonged accommodation in expensive health care facilities and intensive care units.
The value bestowed on human life in all religious traditions and almost all cultures, such as the prohibition on murder is so pervasive that it is an element of common, and not statutory, law.
Objections from the medical profession to being seen or utilised as “killers” rather than saviours of human life, as well as the sometimes well-founded fear of the possible abuse of physician assisted suicide or voluntary active euthanasia, is a further reason.