Apr 18, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon

The Decision to End One's Own Life is a Fundamental Human Right

 Every human being has a fundamental right to make decisions involving their own body…including the right to decide that they no longer wish to endure the pain and suffering of a terminal illness.   These are people who are going to die in a limited amount of time, who are suffering greatly either physically, mentally or both, and who are being kept alive not by choice, but because of advanced medical technology.   Life isn’t just about breathing; it’s about living.   It’s not only a quantitative measurement, but also a qualitative one.

If there are any fundamental rights, they certainly must include the decision of when and if a person has decided the quality of their life is no longer worth continuing and wishes to end their own human experience. Liberty , the freedom from government interference in your life, should extend to the decision about whether and when to end your life.

While anti-aid in dying advocates make numerous social, economic, and ethical arguments against the practice (all or which can be refuted), underlying their reasoning is a basic discomfort with the idea of a person willingly ending their life. No human being should be required to remain alive, against their wishes, especially when dying of a terminal illness, simply to make others feel safer or more secure with their own insecurities about life and death. 

Remember this: the opponents of physician assisted dying are not those seeking to end their own lives, nor those who are suffering from a catastrophic terminal illness. They are not the interested parties, but outsiders who seek to impose their own religious and moral beliefs on others.   They have a right to their opinions, but not to determine for another the most fundamental choice…to live or to die.