The assisted dying conversation is only half the coin and though it is the controversial topic getting most of the attention we need to talk also about the unnecessary prolonging of life that seems to be acceptable to most people, the medical folks and their patients particularly.
You see at the core of this coin is the taboo topic of death and its companion discomfort coupled with our collective unwillingness to face them both head on and have those important yet difficult conversations. For me keeping a loved one alive with machines, and medication when the outcome is clear – avoiding the natural process of dying – is as offensive and amoral as some think doctor assisted dying is.
And yes, you can argue that miracles do happen, I witnessed one the other day on our Death Matters Live Radio Show. However, they are the rarity not the norm and we ought not hang our hat on these occasional ‘miracles’ to justify doctor assisted prolonging of life either. I have often seen the agony, suffering, and emotional pain families endure when a loved one on life support is kept alive at all costs with no chance of any quality of life as an outcome.
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