The not so sweet "good death"

Resultado de imagen de eutanasia

In the first world countries the so-called achievement in medicine of the good death now sees its dark side. With the Mirage to avoid unbearable suffering to terminally ill, countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium modified 15 years their health and legal structures to help the dying. But this form of assistance has proved to be a trap for many seniors, disabled and mentally ill of these prosperous countries. At that time, the Catholic faith warned about the effects to our individualistic world that ignores the other so easily.



What began as a hospital practice regulated, has been drifting, according to Theo Boer, Professor at Utrecht University, Member of the Committee on control Dutch for nine years, in a method that is seen as normal and is used to end the lives of people suffering from many other types of suffering that are not terminal, especially existential, social and psychiatric. Even it has already analyzed the possibility that children can access it as a right. He fears that this possibility will lead to apply euthanasia to people with profound disabilities and older with Alzheimer's who do not have the capacity to consent. (1)

This is already happening in Belgium, according to the Journal of Medical Ethics, where deaths of patients treated in these countries,  include some that did not express any consent to apply euthanasia. Half were older than 80 years and two-thirds were not suffering from a terminal illness. (2)

The most interesting part of the reflection and experience of Dr. Boer, is the discovery of the personal and cultural reasons on the annual increase to end life. He speaks of a Netherlands «in which the charity has disappeared», the centrality of the autonomy and independence in society has led to the solitude of the elderly who are poorly treated by their children and family. In contrast with the culture of immigrants where this problem is smaller because there is greater social cohesion. (3)

The motivation appears to be different from pain or physical suffering or deadly disease. A backdrop of unmet needs for attention, proximity, accompaniment and care can be seen in the mix for euthanasia. That's what, since 1995, the Church has recommended, in its letter to health workers, the imperative need of palliative care irreplaceable in health institutions and assistance:


"Requests for the very seriously ill, which sometimes invoke death, should not be understood as an expression of a true desire for euthanasia; those are actually almost always anguished demands for help and affection. In addition to the medical healing, the patient has need of love, human and supernatural  care; "this should be given by all those who are close to him, parents and children, doctors and nurses".


The patient who feels surrounded with the human and Christian, loving presence falls in depression and anxiety of those who, on the other hand, feels abandoned to their fate of suffering and death and cries out to end that State of life-ending. This is why that euthanasia is a defeat of who theorizes it, decides it, and practice. Contrary to be gesture of mercy towards the sick, euthanasia is Act of self-pity and leakage, individual and social, a situation proved as unsustainable." (4)


The experience of developed countries that already have travelled by this road in the search of solutions to the human suffering should illuminate the road for others Nations not to fall in the devastating sequence of abandonment and elimination of vulnerable people, cultivating inside the culture and the law the appreciation of human dignity, the importance of the family as network of support and the promotion of it solidarity.


Por Ana Elena Barroso       °mujer_catolica







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