This is the literal definition of euthanasia. It is a tool available to veterinarians, but not to medicos. I view it as another way to alleviate suffering. We cannot “do no harm” if we do not use all means at our disposal to relieve suffering. It is a great pity that, apart from a few enlightened countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg euthanasia is not an option to end human suffering. While my mother was dying of cancer there was a giraffe in a zoo that was in considerable pain because of chronic arthritis. Ironically the giraffe was euthanased and died peacefully and gracefully while my mother was given “palliative” care as she slowly wasted away and eventually died anything but peacefully or gracefully. Had I treated the giraffe as my mother was treated I would likely, and rightly, have been brought before the Veterinary Board for prolonging the giraffe’s suffering. It seems incongruous to me that this ability to end life with dignity should be available to all but our own species. What possible purpose can there be to senselessly prolong a life that is full of nothing but suffering with no prospect of recovery? I am lucky enough to work in a profession that allows me this choice rather than the option of sitting back and doing nothing apart from mumbling meaningless platitudes to obviously distressed family members.
Dr. F. Bunny
For more information on euthanasia visit http://www.euthanasia.com/