When a stray cat is sick, vets always say the humane thing to do is to put it down. The same thing often goes for if you have an elderly dog or cat. Put her down. End her suffering. It's the humane thing to do.
These animals don't get a choice. They don't get to decide that they want to live a few extra months or years, even if it is in pain. The vet says its the humane thing to do, they get put down.
So why is it inhumane, immoral, and so wrong to engage in assisted suicide? These people are sick, at the end of their lives, have no chance of getting better, and are choosing to let go. They are making the choice that an animal doesn't get, and yet we take that from them.
I think one of the issues is that animal lives aren't valued. Even a sick animal that could be cured is often put down under the guise of being humane when it's just convenient.
Also, humane lives are valued entirely too much, to the point that if we can keep an empty shell of a humane alive for 10 years by attaching it to a machine, we will do so. Is this humane?
So what is humane?
Its a tough one. I think euthanasia should be an option for people who want to die with dignity and I think they should be allowed to end their suffering but its an emotive issue that others strongly believe should not be accepted in any situation. There was a High Court case here in Ireland recently about a woman who was in the final stages of Multiple Sclerosis and she wanted to be able to die with dignity she said. The Court said while they sympathized hugely with her they could not let her win the case because it would open the floodgates and what may seem moral in one case might not be in another. She died only recently of natural causes from her illness but it was tough she could not choose her own time.
Its a hugely religious issue too i.e. we are told animals don't have souls but humans do and only God should be allowed to choose when a human's life will end. Still that's not helpful to you if you want your suffering to end and you are not a believer of God. You are being governed by people who are mistaken as far as you are concerned and yet there is nothing you can do about it.
I think an individuals right to choose is the humane choice, but we are a long way away from widespread agreement on that one unfortunately.
Most people do not consider assisted suicide based on rational and informed choice to be inhumane. They either feel it is too difficult to reliably get rational and informed choice, or that suicide is forbidden by God.
Interesting. I can see the religious implications, but in countries which supposedly have freedom of religion, I don't see why it should be an issue.
As a side note, I just realized that I spelled "human" as "humane" every time in my original post. Sorry, I was tired.
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