IF YOU accept seventy as the average age to die, or eighty or ninety as the average, a man should be free to ask the medical board: “I want to be freed from my body.” He has every right to do that, if he does not want to live anymore because he has lived enough. He has done everything that he wanted to do, and now he does not want to die of cancer, or tuberculosis. He simply wants to die in peace.
Every hospital should have a special place for people, with a special staff, where people can come, relax and be helped to die beautifully, without any disease, supported by the medical profession.
If the medical board feels that the person is valuable, if the medical board feels that the person is of immense importance, then he can be asked to live a little longer. Only a few people should be asked to be here a little longer, because they can be of so much help to humanity, so much help to others. But if even those people don’t want to live, that is their birthright. You can ask and request, but if they say: “No, we are not interested anymore,” then certainly they have every right to die.
One can understand trying to save a child, but why are you saving old people who have lived, lived enough, suffered, enjoyed, done all kinds of things, good and bad?
But doctors cannot let them go because it is illegal. They cannot take them off oxygen and other life-support systems.
No pope says in a sermon that these people should be allowed freedom from their bodies. And what is left of their bodies? Somebody’s legs are missing; somebody’s hands are missing, somebody’s heart is not working and a battery is working instead of a heart, or somebody’s kidneys are not working and machines are doing the work of the kidneys. But what is the purpose of these people? What will they... [continues]
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