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Euthanasie Stop > In assisted dying, remember this: We all are fragile

In assisted dying, remember this: We all are fragile

Ingediend op 09/03/2016 om 15.55 uur  Categorie Mening van de burger

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With this right – the right to die – we must take care not to obscure or forget the innate dignity of those who are vulnerable or reinforce an ideal that only an independent life has purpose and value. We are all fragile, and the vulnerability that comes with the passage from birth to death is one which we must each find a way to accept.

Living in a society that values independence over interdependence, we fear becoming a burden or losing the capacities that we think make us valuable or loved. Instead, we must be independent and strong, rather than vulnerable and weak. We dare not ask others to care for us. We feel shame when we imagine ourselves needing others – even when we think of needing our family and kin.

This fear is not a healthy state of mind. It is a symptom of how we view vulnerability and our responsibilities to one another. In a society where we show compassion and afford dignity to everyone, we do not need to fear the transition from one phase of life to the next. It is part of our humanity that we provide care to one another, and also that we receive care from one another.

In this way, we should all be able to meet death with dignity – no matter our condition or our needs.

This is why we have a special obligation to ensure that the care available to each of us throughout our lives, but especially in our final stages of life, affirms both our dignity and humanity. Otherwise, we diminish our range of experience to include only our independence. We diminish the love we can share, and the vulnerability we can show to one another.

Such a spartan culture ultimately devalues life. In its place we must recommit to honouring and accepting ourselves and others by finding ways to accept our frailties, and the full course of life.

Humans are not solitary creatures; each of us has both personal and communal rights. Modern societies have tended to privilege personal rights, while providing only very minimally to support the communal rights that are no less important.

Jean Vanier's letter on fragility coincides with the release of the Vulnerable Persons Standard – a series of important safeguards that will help to ensure that Canadians requesting assistance from physicians to end their life can do so without jeopardizing the lives of vulnerable persons who may be subject to coercion and abuse. The Standard will be released in Ottawa Tuesday. www.vps-npv.ca

Full article:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/in-assisted-dying-remember-this-we-all-are-fragile/article28964162/


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