View euthanasia in a positive light

It is unfortunate that some people tend to see legalising euthanasia as opening a floodgate to a wave of abuses, exploitation and debasement (Too many variables to legalise euthanasia; Oct 29).

I would like to see euthanasia as a positive alternative to end-of-life treatment for those who yearn for a quick and peaceful ending.

It is a fact that for those who do not want to suffer and become a burden to their families, they may turn to a more grisly alternative - suicide. It is also a fact that elderly suicide cases are on the rise and we should look closely at how euthanasia can play a useful part for those suffering from terminal illnesses.

Instead of seeing euthanasia as a frivolous means to end life unnecessarily, I think we should view it as a highly selective medical alternative to a desired, peaceful ending when the choice of letting nature take its course becomes too painful or unbearable.

I watched terminal cancer reduce a close colleague to skin and bone. Medical intervention only prolonged the suffering before his eventual demise. Euthanasia should be legalised but restricted to end-of-life cases and those suffering from terminal illnesses, such as those who are given three to six months to live.

We should harness its usefulness in reducing unnecessary suffering for those who are dying.

Nobody wants to see their loved ones undergo any form of suffering during their last days if given a choice.

Seen in this light, I think euthanasia offers a humane and peaceful way out for the family as well as the patients themselves.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2018, with the headline 'View euthanasia in a positive light'. Print Edition | Subscribe