Sometimes, the humane thing is to let go

Mr Darius Lee's argument sounds very benevolent and compliant, but it lacks practical sense in today's stressful, harsh and tough environment ("Euthanasia, assisted suicide run counter to medical ethics"; Tuesday).

Sadly, for those who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses, these factors are multiplied tenfold.

The question many are confronting is this: Where is the caregiver and what is the cost to maintain a forlorn life?

With limited resources and unbearable suffering, many would pray for the end to come as soon as possible, once all medical hopes are dashed. And this is the crux of the issue. If a patient can never recover, it would be more compassionate to let go.

It is very chivalrous and simple to champion the cause against euthanasia, in defence of a human life. But the truth is that caring for a dying person can even result in drastic consequences for the healthy.

Euthanasia's purpose is twofold: To end one's suffering and to end the pain of those one loves.

It is time we confronted this issue bravely and bluntly, and bring relief to those who are only clinging on to life.

Douglas Chua Hock Lye

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2015, with the headline 'Sometimes, the humane thing is to let go'. Print Edition | Subscribe