Letters: Little dignity found in euthanasia

 

Dear Editor,

I am disturbed that so many people, young and old, feel it acceptable to end their lives with the help of a professional, and call it dying with dignity.

Twenty years ago a column in a major newspaper bore the headline, “If seniors had their way, euthanasia would be law.”

If I live to an advanced age (family history suggests I might), will I one day catch my loved ones in an unguarded moment, with a look of weariness or impatience in their eyes? 

If the law says I have the legal right to end my life, will I feel I have to do it for their sake?

My mother lived into her 96th year. Her mind was clear to the end, but she was bedridden during the last few weeks of her life. Did she see (oh God, I pray not) the fatigue and weariness on my face at times? 

As stressed as I was, I could not live with myself if I thought she had ever contemplated taking her own life for my sake. As many times as I had to turn away to hide my tears, I still considered it a privilege to have been given the opportunity to care for an aged parent.

I do not agree with prolonging life by artificial means, but there is a vast difference between withholding life support and promoting assisted suicide.

We do not have the right to end a life, not even our own. Everyone is here for a purpose, and perhaps, in some cases, that purpose is not fulfilled until the last breath is drawn.

To this senior, dying with dignity means dying with the grace to accept the circumstances and the time that a higher power than myself has decreed that I will.

Doris Riedweg, Langley

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