A Kiwi friend sent us this link a few days ago, from stuff.co.nz May 17 2016
A South Island pain specialist says euthanasia should be available for some people suffering from incurable pain.
Christchurch psychologist Dr Mark Ottley, who leads psychological pain management services at Southern Rehab, said the best medications, psychological help and palliative care did not always work for patients.
“Yes it might help a bit but not really to the extent that a patient really feels life is worth living… so in those cases and where we think the person is mentally competent and is able to weigh these decisions, their self determination should be respected, I think.”
There may be a temptation to dismiss the story as vulgar ‘click bait’, but before you do, consider this from news.com.au May 16 2016:
A sexual abuse victim in her 20s was allowed to go ahead with assisted suicide as she was suffering from “incurable” post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD), according to the Dutch Euthanasia Commission.
The girl had been abused between the age of five and 15. As a result of her abuse, she suffered severe anorexia, chronic depression, and hallucinations.
Doctors said her conditions were “incurable” despite some small improvements in her mental state after intensive therapy. Two years ago, they agreed to her wish to end her life.
The doctors judged her to be “totally competent” and that there was “no major depression or other mood disorder which affected her thinking”.
Discussions around euthanasia will always be ethically fraught, but the idea of euthanasia as a ‘cure’ for pain is highly disturbing to us.
We welcome your thoughts and comments below.