The right to live is also the right to die with dignity


The question of whether assisted suicide should be legal is nothing new.

In fact, one of the key arguments in support of this sort of suicide — deliberate, planned and rational — dates back over 260 years. Scottish philosopher David Hume, a canonical figure in Western thought, wrote in 1750: “I believe no man ever threw away a life while it was worth keeping.”

Of course, Hume’s argument that our “natural horror of death” is so great that any suicide would have to be valid to be committed, is flawed. Many suicides are impulsive and unconsidered and lack the rationality Hume presumes.

But if the philosopher had only been talking about assisted suicide, he would have been right. In these cases, life is never discarded, but valued enough to be given a dignified end.

It should not have taken over two centuries for the good sense of Hume’s argument…

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