Hear from a Hospice Worker
I wish to voice my concern at the proposed bill by Hon. Maryan Street in favour of legalising euthanasia.
Having worked as a Social Worker in a Hospice for almost 9 years I can see no reason why any person should need to end their life, in the instance of terminal illness. In the course of such an illness, very occasionally people do have uncontrolled symptoms such as pain or nausea for a time; and yes, this does make them feel miserable. However, the Hospice movement does provide excellent care and our medical staff are very experienced at providing the right medication, in order to control symptoms of terminal illness and make people comfortable.
More often, people feel guilty at needing to be looked after by family members when they are terminally unwell. I strongly believe that if this Bill is successful, people will ask for euthanasia because of the pressure or stress that they feel the illness is putting on their loved ones, rather than their own desire to die. What they do not always realise is that stressful though it is, there can be major benefits to families struggling through difficulties together. Stresses can be negative, but they can also bring very positive results, too, in terms of strengthened family relationships and personal growth.
I feel also that it is unfair to expect our medical staff, whose focus is on life and the improvement of quality of life, to collude in hastening death. If someone is really determined to end their life or that of their family member or friend, they are free to do so... in their own way. Why involve a doctor and make them a party to it???
In conclusion, I feel very strongly that euthanasia is completely wrong and this Bill should not progress any further.
Let us have a culture of life, not of death.