It's been a while since we had a debate on a difficult topic so I thought I'd bring up what is probably an emotional question about suicide and euthanasia.
Some of you may think it odd to group these two together, but I think they are definitely two aspects of the same question, i.e. should we as individuals have the right to determine our time and method of dying?
Of course, suicide is no longer illegal. However, aiding and abetting a suicide is. So if your elderly grandmother, dying anyway and in great pain, asks you to in any way assist her in suicide, you can be charged with murder.
Although from grandmother's point of view, this seems unreasonable, it's hard to see that it could be any other way, as to do otherwise would open the doors for murder in the true sense.
Voluntary euthanasia: when the Northern Territory passed a law to make this possible it seemed to work very well, requiring, I think, the opinions of three doctors including a psychiatrist to attest to the fact that the person was entirely aware of what they were doing and that their life presently was of unbearable quality. (or qualifications to that effect). Then the Canberra right to lifers stepped in and overturned the laws.
So what do you think? There are the obvious arguments against voluntary euthanasia (thin edge of the wedge, a step away from legalised murder etc and similar cliches), but, having watched people die in much pain and with complete loss of dignity, I just don't see why they could not have had an assisted death if such a wish had been made clear by them.
I'm sure we can have this discussion without getting into personal vilification where we disagree.