Chantal cannot be right. Ultimately not only does the

Chantal
Sebire, a 52-year-old former schoolteacher and mother of three, was refused the
right to die by a French court last week. Ms Sebire suffered from a disfiguring
and incurable facial tumour which caused her to lose the sense of smell, taste and finally her eyesight. Shortly after the court’s refusal, she committed
suicide. Before she passed away she explained that children in the street would
run away from her if they saw her coming. ‘One
would not allow an animal to go through what I have endured’, she said. How can we make someone like this suffer? Is
this really acceptable? And why should we make a person and their family and
friends suffer when there is a much easier alternative? It is also
important to note that those that argue to preserve life despite the patient
being terminally ill and in extreme pain are usually not the patients
themselves and therefore don’t know what the person is experiencing. The
current prohibitions in
Australia require a person with great physical and/or mental suffering to
continue to endure their suffering against their wishes, which certainly cannot
be right. Ultimately not only does the person suffer, everyone around them
suffers.

 Current laws target the innocent:

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Earlier
this year, a court in Ireland rejected Marie Fleming’s bid to commit
suicide, despite multiple sclerosis (sclerosis is a
disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves)
this reduced her life to “irreversible agony.” At the centre of this battle was
her husband Tom, who was told he could face up to 14 years in prison if he assisted
her in dying. In other words, Ireland’s highest court forced a woman to live in
unimaginable physical agony while her husband had to watch the person he loves
suffer daily. His only alternative was to help her relieve her pain and go to
prison. Any sane person would realise that this is unconventionally cruel and
inhumane, yet decisions like this happen all the time.

Furthermore,
take the case of paralysed UK resident Paul Lamb. Last month, a judge
ruled that any nurse or doctor who helps him take his own life will be
prosecuted, despite him describing his life as a “living hell.” Or the
case of Diane Pretty who in 2002 was told her husband would be prosecuted
if he tried to help her avoid the horrible death she eventually had. Simply
put, laws against assisted death cause suffering on an unprecedented scale, not
just for the terminally ill but for their families as well.

 

Euthanasia
is properly regulated:

Developed countries like the
Netherlands have legalized euthanasia and have had solely minor problems from
its legalization. Any law or system can be abused, however that law and system will
invariably be refined to prevent such abuse from happening. In the same
way, it is possible to properly and effectively regulate euthanasia as numerous
first world countries have done. More so because the process of euthanasia
itself as it is being argued here, needs competent consent from the patient. It
is vital to think about the protection of both the physicians as well as the
patients. The crucial component within the regulation of euthanasia will
be determining the line between what is considered to be euthanasia and what is
considered to be murder. Furthermore, around two-thirds of patients who apply to be
euthanized are refused.

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