Thursday, 16 September 2010

Euthanasia – guess we need permission before we can debate…

There was a report earlier this week that a TV ad to be screened by Exit International was banned when the TV industry body, Free TV Australia, withdrew permission for the ad to screen. Now it seems that even billboard ads will not be able to be displayed due to legal concerns.

Here's the ad:

I am of the view that euthanasia is not the same as what is usually reported as suicide. The definition of suicide that I have is one where someone is unable to cope with sudden, immense stress or finds no way to solve some ongoing, traumatic problem. Anyone who finds themselves in situations like these should seek the assistance of mental health experts (Australia has several organisations that help people who are in depression such as beyondblue and Lifeline).

Euthanasia by someone who is physically ill, mentally sound and has no prospect of a medical resolution should be a topic that we should debate. I acknowledge that should euthanasia be legalised, it opens the possibility to horror scenarios where someone may be persuaded to end their lives – that is exactly why we should have a debate and decide what checks and balances, if any, are suitable to prevent such abuses. Perhaps we shall find none and thus the debate can be ended.

I have not had direct experience of a loved one suffering through a debilitating physical illness but there are many out there who have – shouldn't we hear what they have to say?

Are we too reluctant to debate euthanasia because it would force us to take a closer, deeper look at the causes and impact of suicide on our society?

For reference
- Here's the Free TV Australia media release on this issue.
- Suicide is the biggest cause of death in Australia for people aged under 44 (estimated at 2,000 deaths per year), surpassing car accidents, cancer or heart disease!!
- Japan fares much worse, with over 30,000 people taking their lives every year, for the past 12 years!! Sphere: Related Content

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