PostHeaderIcon TO END...OR NOT TO END...


I cannot quite understand it. Here is this woman, 86 years old, very capable, well educated and articulate, good company and in good health, but who is flying to Switzerland next week to have herself euthanised. No, I don ‘t quite get it.

Now, I know she says she has been quite worn down by her bully of a husband, and that talk of a divorce brought on this decision. He is going to drive her to the airport next week. It has been suggested that he is so glad to be rid of her that he is making sure she catches the plane.

Some friends have been trying to get her to change her mind on this matter, but to no avail. She is very calm, they say, and determined that this is the best way out of this situation.

Their home is worth a lot of money, enough for two smaller, good houses. She would be able to set herself up quite well. And the pension is liberal enough to afford a good living should she need it.

It has been suggested that she simply take an overdose here and save the trouble of going to a foreign country. But it is illegal here to commit suicide, while Switzerland, I am informed, is the only place where one can be euthanised if one is well and just wants to end it all.

As I said, it is beyond me. Here we are, trying to enjoy the rest of our sometimes sad and difficult lives, endeavouring to keep well, doing our utmost to stay alive and healthy so that we can make the world a better place, remaining cheerful against all odds so that we will be remembered as a happy person...and that those we leave behind feel better for having known us.

Am I right to feel this way? Some say that it is good because she feels at peace, and will exit on her own terms. Is it the coward’s way out? Surely not. I consider it is a very brave act...but a bit of a ‘cop out.’

I can understand this action if there was great suffering involved, but to surrender a perfectly healthy life is surely escaping the responsibility that we all owe to our loved ones to do our best for one another, to contribute as best we can during our lives.