Euthanasia – is life valued under all circumstances?

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My wife and I were casually getting out of bed this morning when the subject of euthanasia came up.  A neighbor and friend’s wife died several years ago of pancreatic cancer – a horrible disease.  She was healthy, was a yoga instructor and  vegetarian.  She suffered greatly and her family suffered before and for many years after she died.

What would each of us do for the other if we know we had such a disease with a terminal illness?  Is life to be sacred under all circumstances?  No.  The life  of a baby born without a brain – anencephaly is of no value to the family or the mother.  A tragedy yes.

I told my wife that if I was diagnosed with a terminal disease to start hoarding those drugs that would put me away when the time comes.  We talked about the suffering of our family and how it could be reduced if they know I took my own life, not to mention how the last few weeks of my life would be absolute hell (no pun intended) if I were to continue to survive.  I surely would be happier to know if the tables were turned, that my wife would be happier in her last days and our family would suffer less knowing her choice of when to take her own life.

Religion generally has the opinion that the value of live is absolute – that life, from the impregnated human cell to the cancer-stricen patient has to be spared because of what?  A supernatural belief that a soul should like under all circumstances, even in the midst  suffering.  Why does religion induce such pain and suffering in the world?  It’s because they have an absolutistic attitude toward the value of life.

Save the drugs honey!

Bruce Gleason

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