In the last few weeks, Canada announced something very important: they have made euthanasia legal. At a time when our country has ignored our own peoples’ pleas to die, is it time again to start talking about how we can follow in the North American country’s footsteps?
One country that isn’t looking likely to bow despite a very heartbreaking case is Chile. This week, Chilean girl Valentina Maureira called on her president, Michelle Bachelet to authorise the injection to put her asleep forever. She launched an emotional Facebook plea to ask for her government to give her the right to die, the 14-year-old is suffering from cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects breathing and usually results in a lung transplant and/or early death.
The Chilean president was very moved by Valentina’s story and spent some time with her this week, however has still said she cannot assist Valentina. If Valentina was in Canada, she would now be able to die if that was what she wanted.
In a unanimous decision, the Canadian Supreme Court created a new right in their constitution that allows anyone who has an irremediable medical condition to terminate their life. Interesting, the ruling does not only grant those with a terminal illness the right to right, but also adults with an illness, disease, or disability that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual…which also includes psychological pain.What would it be like if we implemented this in Australia?
So what is an irremediable condition? In the new radical social policy that Canada has approved, a treatable condition can actually qualify as irremediable if the patient does not want to pursue remedies that are available, i.e. the patient would rather die than receive care. This means someone with diabetes, HIV, heart disease, cancer and so on can decide not to take medication, qualifying them the right to be euthanised.
The only problem then is that while this can help so many people who are suffering, there are some doctors who did not agree with the ruling, however they may be forced to euthanise as part of their job, or pass it on to someone else who will. It’s a moral minefield…what do you think?
As the NSW election approaches at the end of the month, talk is now turning to who we will vote for and, according to an article by SMH, members of Dying with Dignity NSW have been writing to their local MPs, asking for their view on voluntary assisted dying. Should we vote based on what MPs think about this important issue? Given that public support for euthanasia in Australia is around 80 per cent, the answer might be yes.
What do you think? Why do you think that our governments don’t want to talk about euthanasia when our closest allies are? Tell us whether you support it below.