Today, the 10th of January, 2013, an Irish woman’s case to legalise assisted suicide failed in the Irish High Court.
A bit of background: Marie Fleming, an MS sufferer, wished to end her life because of the rapid deteriation of her health and mobility skills which would lead to her eventual death. Her husband and family want to help her (although saddened by the scenario) but they wanted the legal backing to do it first. Hence bringing this case to the High Court in Ireland.
Today, her case was rejected.
In my own humble opinion, it is a sad day. Not only to be Irish (here we had a chance to do something courageous and world leading, just like the actions of Mare Fleming have been) but to be human. In a world where wars are fought and countless innocent lives ended in the name of ‘democracy’ or ‘justice’ or even worse, in the name of God, the right to die with dignity and compassion in the comfort of your own home because your quality of life has been stripped from you by a cruel disease that might kill you by you choking on your own spit, it’s a disgrace. I can’t think of any other word. Inhumane might be another good one.
If an animal is injured to the point where it can’t live its life in comfort anymore we put the animal down because it is seen as the humane thing to do. Yet when it comes to another human being we are given all sorts of reasons as to why it shouldn’t be allowed.
I’m going to get into such reasons because that could open a floodgate of arguments that have nothing to do with the simple facts of this case, and many others like it.
When a human being, whose life is about to end because of a painful and debilitating, terminal illness, wants to end their life when they choose, because to go through such suffering will be unbearable to them and their families, should they be allowed to do so? Is it not humane to legally allow them to do so? I think they should be allowed. Unfortunately, the second highest court in Ireland says no. Perhaps on appeal to the Supreme Court the result might be difference. Although by then it might be too late for Marie Fleming.