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Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
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9 May 2016 150 Respondents
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By Amanda Lees
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POLL of the DAY (132):

POLL of the DAY (132): 'LIFE, THAT'S NOT FOR ME'

Belgian doctors are planning to kill a perfectly healthy 24-year-old woman by euthanasia because she is suffering from 'suicidal thoughts'. 

It is estimated that five people a day in Belgium die with the assistance of doctors, ranging from those with terminal illness to others with chronic, but not life threatening ailments.

Now, a woman, known only as the fictitious name Laura, has been told she qualifies for euthanasia, despite not having a terminal disease. 

The young woman spoke with Belgian newspaper De Morgen about her decision. She said she was convinced that she had to die since her childhood claiming 'life, that's not for me'. 

Laura told the newspaper that these are among her earliest thoughts as she had a troubled childhood. She admitted that her arrival was not planned by her parents and that her father drank too much. 

She eventually moved in with her grandparents, but this did not diminish her self-destructive thoughts. 

'Death feels to me not as a choice. If I had a choice, I would choose a bearable life, but I have done everything and that was unsuccessful. I played all my life with these thoughts of suicide.'

Read the article in full  here  

If euthanasis is legalised, should anyone be able to claim 'life, that's not for me'?

Should euthanasia be restricted to just those with a terminal illness?

Should those individuals with sustained suicidal thoughts be given the same legal recognition as others who wish to die?

Should the law support 'Laura' being helped to die?

To what extent does this proposal create and /or respect autonomy? Are other principles also relevant here?

Lots of questions...a controversial topic...what do you think?

Image via Pixabay:  thebluediamondgallery.com/e/euthanasia.html  

It is proposed that the notion of euthanasia should be extended from those with diagnosed terminal illnesses to include individuals who, like 'Laura', no longer wish to keep living