When our animal companions come to a point in their
lives where living ceases to be a joyful thing and minutes become hours due to uncontrolled pain, euthanasia is, many times, the last greatest gift we can give our beloveds. Though never an easy decision, when done at the animal’s request and with consideration given only to their welfare it can be a kind, gentle and peaceful transition to their next Spiritual plane. I, along with countless others, have had to grant that request more times than seems fair to place upon a person. But like grief, it is the price we pay for love.
So why are we not allowed to grant this same request to the humans we love? What makes it different?
For a minute, set aside the legal implications…and Irealize this is a controversial topic…but why can we not show our human family the same kindness and allow them the dignity we bestow on other members of our family? (I’m going to be disillusioned if the only answer that can be found is, ‘because they are Human Beings.’) And it has to be considered with the same qualifications that we used above; with the only consideration being the person you love and their suffering.
I have never been in this position when it applies to a human, so it is admittedly an abstract thought. But I have not refused to do what was asked when a non-human member of my family has asked for help in releasing their body, so I wonder if I would view it in the same light if a human member asked. Would I be less inclined, or more inclined?
It is even called by a different name when dealing with humans. ‘Assisted suicide’ and euthanasia is the same thing but somebody somewhere thought it should have a different title, as if to describe a more negative action within the human circle. One is more socially acceptable than the other even though they are one thing.
Many animals I have spoken with who have been assisted in transitioning have only gratitude toward their guardians for helping them with dignity, love and freedom from their painful bodies. I do not believe it would be different if I spoke to a human in the same circumstance, though I have not had that opportunity.
The issue can get complicated by religious and legal grounds but everything can be complicated.
But it is truly simple. If I see someone suffering and they ask me for help and I do nothing, then who am I?
Assisting in a transition is not an easy task, nor should it be. It is the end of one thing and the beginning of another gentler, loving existence. When done with the sweetest, purest of intentions it is the last measure of love we can show and that should be available to all who ask, no matter what name it is given.