If a dog is terminally ill we do the kindest thing and we have our dear friend put to sleep, the same goes for cats, guinea pigs, rats or even gerbils. We cannot bear to see them in pain and so we say our goodbyes and allow them to leave in peace.
Why then do we have such a moral dilemma when it comes to our human loved ones? If a person is suffering so greatly that they no longer want to be here, shouldn’t it completely be their choice whether or not they live?
This has always been a topic of heated debate, as it should be, it’s a very delicate issue. Cases where euthanasia has been granted have usually been for people who are suffering with a terminal illness or physical in-capabilities which are debilitating without hope of a cure.
However, what if someone with a mental illness decided that they wanted to choose this way out? Now, already due to their mental health being an incapacity of the mind, the argument could well be made that they are not capable of making this decision, but is that a reason to continue to make them live?
Suffering with a mental illness is by far the biggest cause of suicide. There may well be reasons that lead to poor mental health, or the illness could have been there from early on. Either way, if you choose to end your life, commit suicide, you have reached a point where you have no other option, you can’t see another way to go.
People don’t kill themselves because of a bad day at work, or an argument with their spouse or because they’re poor. These may well be the things that tip them over the edge but it’s been building up long before that.
I know people, close friends and family, who are suffering every day of their lives due to depression, anxiety, PTSD and they have lived this way for years, maybe a lifetime. They have tried every which way to get better, self medicating, prescriptions, meditation, therapy.
At some point it will just get too much.
Why shouldn’t these people get to choose a dignified way out? Wouldn’t it make the process that much easier if it could be openly discussed? A chance to understand why they don’t want to be here anymore without feeling like someone is going to tell them they need help or tell them they should try this or that?
Insanity as described by Albert Einstein,
“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
If someone has spent 20+ years in a world where all they see is darkness and pain why shouldn’t they be granted the wish of ending their life in a way that is peaceful and calm and not leave their loved ones with hundreds of unanswered questions?
It’s a difficult situation and an obviously macabre issue but it is something I believe should be considered.
I like to promote a healthy mindset and positive thinking as often as I possibly can and I have used methods which have helped me through anxiety and PTSD and I am a happier, brighter, more positive person. We live in such a complex world though and one thing that works for me might not make the slightest bit of difference to others.
In an ideal world I would fix every single person with positive thoughts and a healthy vibe, I know only too well that that is not going to be the case. Mental health does not have a quick fix and when someone has gone in so deep they can’t always find their way back. We can help only so much, ultimately we are all in control of our own destiny and these decisions are our own. We should respect them and offer guidance and comfort in any way we can.
I know there will be mixed emotions on this subject and your opinions and thoughts are always welcome, please be mindful of others if you want to contribute to a discussion.
8 thoughts on “Mental illness and euthanasia – My thoughts”
This is a heavy topic. You managed it beautifully. Whew, well, yea, I am all for assisted suicide. I am also for lifting the stigma of mental illness, making mental healthcare widely available, and education education education. People feel all too alone in something that we all share. Again, gorgeous job.
Thank you so much, from reading your blog your words here really do mean so much. It’s something that has been brought to my attention recently and I’d not given it much thought before. As you say, education really is key here x
I believe those of us whose mental ilnesses have never responded to treatment should be allowed euthsnasia. It is the humane thing to do. Some of us don’t have deoendents and are burdens to society. Otherwise people will continue to resort to violent methods to end their lives. Just don’t go calling these people ‘selfish” for resorting to such methods. Not everyone can recover.
I do not class people with mental health issues as a burden, ever, however I do believe they should be allowed to die with dignity. And that choice is never selfish 🌷
Thank you. I’m very afraid to discuss this topic or mention my own suicidal ideation for fear of being attacked by people who cling to the “it will get better” notion. I’m glad you posted this.
Unfortunately we have a long way to go when it comes to mental health. And sadly everyone will experience it either personally or through friends and family. I really do hope that you find some peace xx
So do I. I just wish the Pollyannas would stay out of my way