On The Right To Die

I’m joining an increasing number of people in the world who want the right to die. I want the right to decide when my life can end. In my case I don’t mean suicide, and I don’t mean avoiding the pains of living, I mean dying on my own terms with dignity to preserve the purpose of my life and to avoid being a burden to those around me.  In 1997  Switzerland  was the only country were assisted dying was legal. Now 11 countries and 10 US states allow it.   It has several names and no matter what name it is given, it is still very controversial. In the UK for example, where only 35% of Parliament favors such a law,  and of course  in socially conservatives US states,  such laws will not be enacted in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless much progress in this area has been made, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, the Netherlands, Columbia, Germany, Austria, Portugal, five Australian States have legalized it. What is very interesting to me is that countries which are largely Catholic like Ireland, Chile, Italy and Uruguay are in the middle of legislation that will legalize it. The impetus behind this movement is credited to the many people who have witnessed loved ones suffer because of chronic or incurable illnesses, and too the fear that this could happen to them. The state of Oregon became an example in 2015 when it passed the Death with Dignity Act, which has been copied  by several countries and several states.  Classical liberalism invokes  the right to self-ownership   and the sovereignty of the individual, that is not what motivates me, nor do I think what motivates most. Personally I do not want to live without a sense of purpose, if I can no longer do my work, then my life as I understand it is finished. Others want to be able to have a certain quality of life, be conscious, be able to greet others, still others want to be able to make their own decisions. Motives may vary, but the issue is the same, we want the right to have a say when and how we die. And that movement, I’m happy to say is gaining.

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