Those who are left often see this as an example of a doctor helping someone to die. This leads to the commonly expressed view that there is no need for euthanasia legislation. People say ‘I can’t see what all the fuss is about with assisted suicide – it goes on all the time – doctors are always helping people to die.’
It is as well to remember that ‘what goes on all the time’ is the grim process of suspending a sick person by a thread between life and death for an arbitrary time, until the thread breaks.
That is slow euthanasia!
In Exit’s internal polling of over 1000 of our supporters, less than one percent (0.3%) of members said that they would prefer slow euthanasia compared to a Peaceful Pill (89%). Slow euthanasia is, therefore, one of the least-preferred methods of dying, and one that is usually avoided when other options exist.
Given a choice, people prefer to have control of the dying process. This is not the case with slow euthanasia. It is relatively rare to find someone who wants to spend their last days in a drug-induced coma. When people decide that their suffering is so great that death is preferable, they want their passing to be quick.
This is why slow euthanasia is almost always an option of last resort. It is the method accepted when nothing else is on offer, and the only alternative is relentless and ongoing suffering.
Another unfortunate consequence of slow euthanasia is the common belief that morphine is the best drug to end life. This reputation is undeserved and comes from the almost-universal use of morphine (or other opioids) in slow euthanasia, where doctors have little choice.