Having spent most of my developing years taking care of sick family members, I feel very strongly about people having a choice in their death. There is nothing more humbling than watching those you love, once vital, productive members of society, deteriorate before your eyes. Those with a terminal illness, who have tried everything and have lost any possibility of maintaining their quality of life, ought to have a right to end their suffering. If we can have compassion for suffering animals and put them out of their misery, why can’t a human being who has lived their life through choice, have that option available to them?
“A French woman, Chantal Sebire with a disfiguring and painful terminal illness recently failed in her appeal for medical assistance to help her to die. Before her death Chantal Sebire was quoted as saying ‘We wouldn’t let an animal go through what I have had to endure’. Euthanasia for animals is commonplace, and is widely accepted as a morally acceptable response to animals whose suffering is unable to be relieved. But, with the exception of a few places such as the Netherlands, Belgium and the US state of Oregon, euthanasia for humans is legally prohibited.
But is it speciesist to make a distinction between animal and human euthanasia? In the case of terminally ill humans who request medical assistance in dying we may have more reasons to permit euthanasia than in the case of animals. If the arguments against euthanasia are so forceful that it should not be permitted even in tragic cases like that of Chantal Sebire should animal euthanasia be prohibited?”
(via Practical Ethics)