kyla.rocafort wrote: pdregalario wrote:
A topic I've always found intriguing is an article I once read regarding assisted suicide.
Here in the Philippines, suicide is such a sensitive issue and is generally looked down upon. And I suppose in other countries it is the same. It came as a surprise to me when I read about the term "assisted suicide" being legalized in Canada. Here's the link for anyone curious: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36566214
. With Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (a man I truly respected) being one of the bannermen for assisted suicide, I was a little alarmed as to what exactly assisted suicide meant.
Based on what I've researched, the law that was passed in Canada allowed terminally ill patients to "choose to die with dignity." It granted the choice of death as a constitutional right of a person: the right not to suffer. Apparently, when a person is deemed to be terminally ill and is still of stable mental health to be able to make rational decisions, he/she can choose to end one's life and ask a physician to help in doing so. Physicians aren't required to help out in the assisted suicide, they are, however, required to refer the patient to a physician that will. (At least that's how I understood it. Please do correct me if I'm wrong.)
As OTs, I suppose we have the culture of not giving up on patients. A culture of finding ways to make ends meet no matter how unlikely or how difficult things can get. I suppose, then, that the idea of assisted suicide should be despicable and unthinkable to us. But in my opinion, after getting over my initial distaste for the term "assisted suicide" (because let's be honest it looks and sounds horrible especially in most societies where suicide is a huge taboo), there is an empowering aspect to the idea. I'm not saying that suicide is the answer to all our problems! NO! OF COURSE NOT! What I'm trying to say is that giving people the power to do what they want with what little left they can control in life can be empowering. Imagine being a healthy human being (physically, mentally and emotionally) one moment only to be hit by a terminal illness the next. Imagine doing everything right in your life only to find out that despite all the "healthy living", you still managed to acquire a terminal illness like cancer. Wouldn't that situation push anyone over the edge and make anyone feel that their entire life is spiraling out of control? Giving them the choice to keep on fighting or to die without succumbing to treatments that might as well kill them, shouldn't be seen as such a negative thing in my opinion.
What's your take on it? Do enlighten us. 🙂
Hello, Paulyn! This is such an interesting topic. I remembered one of our topics in Christian Living (Religion) back in high school. May I just ask, is assisted suicide equivalent to euthanasia? Euthanasia was the first thing that came into my mind when I read your post. I browsed the internet to make sure I'm on the right track. As a student from a Catholic school, euthanasia is illegal. However, I found out that medical practitioners here in the Philippines are unconsciously (or maybe even consciously) performing euthanasia. I remembered back when I was a child where my great grandmother (101 years old if I remember correctly) was in the hospital bed. I think I heard my relatives talking about stopping the machines that help her live because they thought that it just increases and prolongs the suffering of my grandmother. I clearly remember the doctor giving out the consent form (for my aunt to sign) for the termination of medications.
Because of the predominance of the Catholic sector, euthanasia is illegal in the Philippines and is therefore punishable by law. It comes in different forms that's why people might be unconsciously performing it. It may be active euthanasia where a person will inject doses of sedatives or passive euthanasia where the person will just withhold the medicines. With that issue, I think it is important for us Filipinos to discuss and debate on this matter because I think it can lessen the harm and negative consequences. Being illegal, euthanasia makes people do more illegal acts (illegally purchasing terminating drugs, violating hospital rules, etc). If majority of the citizens opt to perform euthanasia (or assisted suicide), why not be open and considerate on this matter? (Feel free to enlighten me more and correct my misconceptions 🙂 )
And yes, like you I love how OTs make ways to achieve personal goals no matter how hard it seems. We see each life as important as ours that's why OTs do everything they can to promote life and well-being.
I'm really hoping to discuss more about the topic on assisted suicide with you! 🙂
Assisted suicide and euthanasia aren't entirely equivalent in the sense that not all forms of euthanasia can be considered assisted suicide. In assisted suicide, the choice of the patient is emphasized whereas in euthanasia, the choice and/or consent of the patient in question may or may not be considered. Again, I must emphasize that the rational and informed choice of the patient is the keystone for assisted suicide.
I do not claim to be a law expert but I was able to research a few articles regarding laws that concern euthanasia. The CHR or the Commission on Human Rights has already maintained a position against euthanasia. According to their website, in history, the proposed Magna Carta for Patient's Rights and Responsibilities used to have a provision that entitled a patient the right to refuse treatment. A later bill that focused on euthanasia was then proposed but was not passed. Again, I'm no expert so I am not sure what exactly are the implications of a bill focusing on euthanasia not being passed, nor do I know if the mentioned provision that entitled a patient to refuse treatment is still part of the Magna Carta for Patient's Rights and Responsibilities. As such, I cannot tell you if what you termed "passive euthanasia" is illegal as I am not entirely sure if the right to refuse treatment is actually still a thing. I do, however, recognise that euthanasia is generally unacceptable to our society and culture and, by extension, deemed illegal in our supposed conservative nation.
Euthanasia is certainly abhorrent and unacceptable to a supposed religious country (the very same religious country that condones extrajudicial killings and the burial of a dictator who ordered the torture and slaughter of thousands of lives in a place of high honor and regard *woops shots fired*). But as I have repeatedly mentioned before in previous posts, there are merits to assisted suicide. I do not want to sound like a droning parrot speaking in an endless loop but I cannot emphasize it enough. And although euthanasia is considered evil in all forms, euthanasia isn't entirely synonymous to assisted suicide.
I would also like to point out that Christianity hasn't always frowned upon suicide. In fact, it wasn't until St. Augustine formally condemned suicide as a sin in his book City of God that suicide was considered as such. Before that, suicide actually became quite the fad for Christians with the mentality that bringing death to oneself was preferable to eternal damnation because the idea of possible sin one may commit in the future was too horrendous. Kill yourself while you're still considered nice and acceptable enough for heaven. That was the motto before St. Augustine said otherwise. What I'm trying to say is that even the religious saw merits to suicide at one point in history. There are also other cultures that find suicide acceptable. I will not delve deeper into that topic but I'm just saying... Definitions and ideas are constantly being defined and redefined.
Although there have been attempts in discussing euthanasia in the Philippines, and although such discussions were cut short because of the overwhelming rejection of the religious and the like, I agree with you, Kyla, that discussions about it must continue. No matter how morbid the topic is.
Thank you for sharing your piece with me. I hope we can discuss this further. Feel free to correct me about anything. I'm more than happy to learn from my mistakes. 🙂