It is necessary to maintain attention and sensitivity towards people whose life is plagued by disease or disability. But the answer of a fully human society cannot be to authorize “death on request”.
It seems that the road taken at the end of life is a hasty and economical shortcut, more comfortable and practical compared to an investment in terms of human resources, assistance, relief from suffering, time dedicated to care and attention. There is a mysterious link between knowing and feeling loved and the desire for life; as well as between knowing and feeling despised and rejected and the desire for death. In between there is freedom, also a profoundly human mystery, very rich and dense, linked to truth and love. Claiming the “right to assisted suicide” and euthanasia “is the death of law, of the care relationship, of medicine. Precisely on the ground of fragility that would require greater care, sharing and solidarity there is the breaking of the most elementary and basic of bonds: the one that always recognizes the value of the other and safeguards their existence.
Thus interpersonal relationships are impoverished and a society of individuals placed side by side without solid reciprocal ties is shaped. Perhaps, instead of “self-determination”, we should speak of self-exclusion by heterodetermination. “Loving to the end” should be the lantern that illuminates the periphery of the “end of life”, because we are all responsible for each other, because human life is a value in itself, because death is accepted and not caused, because only in this way is coexistence truly civil.