18 February 2015

Is Euthanasia Really So Necessary?

Speaking of end-of-life, assume doctor-assisted-suicide is legal by the time this city is built. I plan to make sure that happens in California on the next vote. Other states will follow. In this imagined future you can remove much of the unnecessary costs of the cruel final days of life that are the bulk of medical expenses.
The nominal defense of euthanasia is to reduce pain and suffering as life draws to its close.  While this can be a somewhat noble motivation (after all, who really wants to defend pain and suffering on their intrinsic merits?), it is a rather shallow way of solving the problem of end-of-life pain and suffering.*

To wit, a large chunk of age-related pain is self-inflicted.  For example, beingoverweight is generally linked to a plethora of health risks which require panoply of medication to “treat.”  While it is obviously better to not be overweight in the first place, many people choose instead to be overweight and thus bring upon themselves a wide variety of health complications that make their lives miserable, particularly as they get older. This thus makes dying more painful than it needs to be because it first made living more painful than it needs to be.

Furthermore, a lot of end-of-life suffering is brought on by the attempt to extend life artificially instead of letting nature run its course.  Euthanizing someone on life support, or extensive system support is that radical a solution, especially since the alternative is not intervening in the first place.  While letting nature take its course may be painful, it is arguably less painful than trying to intervene with machines and medicine.

Ultimately, the biggest issue with euthanasia is that its proponents and probable practitioners don’t really value life properly while alive.  If they did, they would be more inclined to take care of themselves while alive and not cling so tenaciously, yet futilely to life support as the end nears.  They are a soft people who see pain as an indignity yet lack the spine to triumph over indignity with stoicism.

Arguably, the ultimate failure of the euthanasia crowd is moral:  they are too weak-willed to take care of their bodies properly and too cowardly to face the consequences of their choices.  They wish to abuse their bodies and then escape the pain when it arrives.  No wonder life is cheap to them; they are not willing to make the sacrifices a good life—and death—require.

* Also, isn’t it curious to find people who support euthanasia but oppose the death penalty on the grounds that the drugs administered cause suffering?