By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
New Zealand is debating the legalization of euthanasia.
The major media, in New Zealand are publishing positive articles about euthanasia, which gives doctors the right in law to kill their patients.
Stuff published an article questioning euthanasia in January featuring Raymond Muk, a man who lives with Dushenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Raymond said that 10 years ago he attempted suicide, but today he is happy to be alive. The message that Muk is sharing is that if euthanasia or assisted suicide had been legal, he could be dead. Muk stated:
“Life expectancy is just an historical average, so I don’t let it confine my decisions. This year, I’m embarking on a counselling degree. I want to help others be happy.”
He does not feel that his life is worth less than that of another, more able-bodied person. He reveals that he tried to kill himself 10 years ago and that is something he regrets; other people, including a number of people with disabilities, were his inspiration to keep going.
Raymond Muk’s story recognizes that suicidal feelings will come and go, and for many people with disabilities, there is a time in their life when they may want to die, but suicidal ideation is not a good reason to give doctors the right in law to kill.
Typical of Stuff [a popular news site in New Zealand], the rest of the article promotes euthanasia.
Nonetheless, as Philip Matthews, the author of the article in Stuff, reminds us,
This is where Raymond Mok comes in. What does it mean to say that those with serious medical conditions can legally opt out of life with the help of the able-bodied? Does it imply that their lives are less precious, less valuable?
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.