Euthanasia can be a very sensitive issue for some people and it generates a lot of strong opinions. Religion is another sensitive issue for some people and individuals can have very conflicting views in regards to the religions they choose. This blog has been giving people an opportunity to compare some aspects of religion (refusal of medical procedures) with passive euthanasia and initially we thought that some people may take it the wrong way. However, our faith...no pun intended...in people to make comments in a respectful manner has been reassured. All of the comments were very insightful and even if people were unsure of their stance on the topic, they still commented in a respectful and non-judgemental fashion.
As was mentioned in our last entry on religion & euthanasia, we do not feel that this particular debate will come to an end anytime soon. There are just too many variables in place and everyone has a different viewpoint. The Health Care Consent Act, the responsibility of the medical profession to protect human life, the personal right that an individual has to decide what happens to their body, varying religions with differing views on what is considered proper treatment and a host of other issues related to individual and societal morals all come into play when discussing religion and euthanasia.
Currently euthanasia, regardless of the method, is considered illegal in Canada and an individual who has a hand in it can be prosecuted. The legal system has already distinguished between passive euthanasia and refusal of medical treatment on religious grounds, basing the difference on intent. So technically....the legal system has already solved this dilemma and can focus their attention on other important issues. However, we still felt that there was a need for some open debate on the topic. After all, why is it considered ok to refusal potentially life-saving medical treatment due to religious beliefs and no ok to say “I have a terminal illness and know that I am going to die, so just kill me now”? Nobody has the right answer to this situation and it’s for a very clear reason...because there is no right answer. Our initial premise for this blog was not to be right or wrong or to take a stance and convince everyone who set their eyes on our blog that we are right and everybody else is crazy. We simply just wanted to provide a forum for people to discuss the issue and once again we thank you for your interest.