Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pro-Deathers Never Saw a Tragedy They Wouldn't Exploit

The pro-death lobby in NZ has wasted no time in insisting that Margaret Page, who is refusing food and hydration in order to eventually die, is being abused because she is dying in such a difficult way. Hold on, I say: Margaret is not being deliberately deprived of food and water by others, as was the case with Terri Schiavo. She has invoked her right to refuse all medical treatment, including food and water. Of course, this isn't enough for the pro-deathers. They ague that dying of starvation and thirst is barbaric (um, where were they when this was exactly what happened to Schiavo??), so an easier way should be a "right," that is, quick, legal, painless assisted suicide or euthanasia. Trust me, they won't stop until euthanasia is a right for everyone everywhere at any time.
Lesley Martin: Time to engage with the issue of assisted death
Margaret Page's decision to end her life by refusing food and fluids once again raises the sensitive issue of assisted dying.
As a picture paints a thousand words, the image of Margaret obtained by the Dominion Post on the evening of Day 10 of this arduous process gives us an insight into the ordeal that she and her family now face.
Already thin and fragile from chronic disability, with face set solidly against any intervention, Margaret has chosen to invoke her right under the Bill of Rights 1990 to refuse or withdraw medical treatment and refuse food and fluids according to her wishes.
To deny Margaret this right amounts to assault. Margaret has been assessed psychiatrically as being of competent mind. She has endured years of disability and dependency. more

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