Sunday, March 02, 2008

Live and Let Die

The euthanasia debate just might start again in France, after the brave and difficult decision of a 52 years old woman to allow her case, her suffering to be used as a symbol, and a channel for the debate.

Upon hearing for the umpteenth time the argument used by those who refuse to allow euthanasia to be set into a law, with clear boundaries and a frame of reference for doctors and patients to work with, I find myself fighting down disgust and exasperation with quite a bit of difficulty. Because all these people have are words.

Just words.

Empty sounds, that resound in a room, resound in the places where the TV is turned on and set on the debate channel. The syllables drift through the air, rebound on the walls, and then, what? And then nothing. People spew out sophistry, grand principles, bits and pieces of philosophy, never ever having the honesty to come out with the real reason why they oppose it: religion. Religious dogma and beliefs, which have nothing to do, no right to interfere with the everyday, temporal life of the citizens living in a democratic country. And while those holier-than-thou figures argue against the right for a person to decide of how, why, where and when they should end their own life, people keep suffering. People keep being in pain.

And words, pale words, are just laughable.

What does it matter to you, if someone decides to rule their own life, and the manner of their own death? What business of yours is it? None.

Nobody will ever make anyone shorten their life or hasten their death if they don’t want to. Euthanasia is about the absolute right to self-determination, it’s about the right to do what you want with your life, the affirmation that it belongs to you. If you believe your life belongs to some god and that in accordance with your beliefs system you should suffer, agonize for years, months, you name it, you’re welcome to it! Please, by all means, do lead your life and your death the way you please! Just don’t meddle into the lives and deaths of others!

It’s all too easy to guess at why the opponents to euthanasia will never relent: most of them oppose it because they belong to a monotheistic religion which states that life belongs to a deity without a name or face and that, as such, you cannot decide what you do with it, since it’s not really yours.

And, of course, the problem with religions, is that they are inherently intolerant of other systems of ethics. And that they believe they have “The One Truth.” They believe that they’re entitled to dictate what everyone, whether they adhere to their beliefs system or not, should do, think, and how they should live and die. Religions must save everyone, against themselves. They must redeem the sinners who do not see the light, who do not understand the obvious.

I’m sick and tired of religions.

I’m sick and tired of hypocrites who argue against the right for someone to decide what to do with his/her life or his/her death, quoting the progress of medicine, how painkillers would help, how having a better, more adapted environment would oh so certainly change the person’s decision to die. The truth is, while those hypocrites who are too cowardly to admit their opinion is nothing but a religious dictate, the people they pass judgment upon, and whom they forbid the right to die keep on suffering. The truth is, that no “better environment” will happen. The truth is that no “revolution of palliative care” will take place.

The truth is, also, that religions cannot abide people accepting death and welcoming it on their own.

Without the fear of death and the promise of a heaven when you die, provided you have been an obedient follower of religious dogma and laws, religions would lose most, if not all their appeal on people.

When I take a look at what’s being said in the US, how candidates for the presidency are forced to spew out the words “god” or “jesus” at every turn if they want to have a chance of being elected, in what claims to be a secular country, when I look at what Sarkozy spews out in his speeches, I cannot help thinking it’s high time for a revolution.

It’s really, really high time for a repetition of 1789.

No comments: