MIDWAY : Living or dying

An ailing man on his death bed is wishing for a peaceful departure. But the world around him can’t help him sink painlessly. On the other hand, there is this boy suffering from a hereditary disease which will slowly paralyse him. Genetics was never allowed to reach the mass, for a thousand ethical reasons. Now he has to wait death to evade the pain. If only we could allow these people the choice to live or die, life would not become a nightmare.

It is ironic that many constitutions allow capital punishment but are reluctant on euthanasia. The reasons include concerns over the “right to live” and moral ethics governing medical science. Firstly, choosing the right to live is voluntary, solely of the individual who possesses it. We are mistakenly viewing the right to live as a “duty to live”. Secondly, medical ethics should allow doctors their moral duty of lessening human sufferings.

The world does not only hold back those who should be allowed to die. It also bars the prospects of being able to live happily for those diseased or disabled ones.

Genetic engineering and biotechnology are finding it difficult to reach out to the people. There are a zillion ethical and religious issues that some cultists come up with. Moreover, it has been prophesised that bio-engineering will turn the privileged people into a race of cognitive and physical elites while others remain imperfect and diseased. This notion has made it difficult for suffering people to have the choice to live happily.

If only biotechnology could reach the larger mass, people could avoid hereditary diseases. Those who live with these ills can only wish they could live a life as good as the others. This faulty world might have stopped his cure from reaching him but it never stopped him from desiring what everybody else does, a beloved.

Imagine what he must have gone through when told that falling in love was not his piece of cake for he may not be here for long. For him it was “wrong to ask more from life”.

The reason lies in the fact that even the human society operates on the Darwinian principle of “survival of the fittest”. “Hail the medical ethics”, some may say. But I have reasons to detest it, especially since I am the boy mentioned above.