Right to die

My main concern is for those with a terminal condition and no hope of recovery, I want a mechanism that helps avoid the painful wait.

Re: two recent letters to the editor: “Assisted suicide would court a culture of death” and “Doctor assist leads to hell,” (The NEWS, Jan. 12).

I found both these letters a personal affront. It would appear that there are those who want to play both sides of the fence, one being the side that bans religion and the other where religion wants to ban atheists. Through history, some countries have had their day at banning religion with the world up in arms that this was wrong, saying humans should have the right to choose. Other societies have religious law and if you do not comply you are dealt with. Both extremes do not work well in the global society.

The issue of assisted suicide for terminal people is not new and yet brings such fervour it is hard to believe that it stems from an “opinion” or “belief.”

Firstly, I must say I am an atheist. I still believe passionately that individual humans must have the “right” to any opinion. What these individuals do with their opinion within a society is a different matter. Hundreds of years ago it was determined that the church and state would be separate, at least in this society. Some parts of the world elected to use a different society model. I am not saying one is better than the other, they are just different and I happen to live here and deal with this society.

As humans and all living beings, we are born, live and succumb to death. For those that have a religion and a “belief” in an afterlife, I respect your belief and wish you well. My main concern is for those with a terminal condition and no hope of recovery, I want to see a mechanism in Canada that allows the opportunity to avoid the lingering painful wait for the grim reaper. I do not want to have to catch a plane to Switzerland to end my life without putting another human being in jeopardy because of a final act of kindness. The fear mongering of yesterday is getting very old and as a society we must look at alternatives in humane ways.

Bob TritschlerParksville

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