In theory this sounds great. Unless you are the one ending the life. I handle it much better than in the past but still have bad dreams and question whether I’ll burn in hell for taking lives. Legally I have the right to do so, morally I know I am doing the right thing but ultimately, will I have to explain my decisions to a higher power?
I don’t agree to euthanasia unless I feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel, no treatment that could restore an adequate quality of life. Many clients (and ex-clients) are upset by my staunch refusal to end a life that I feel is not ready to end. Am I wrong to ask a client to try one more thing, some different drug or treatment that may make the pet comfortable? I have to know in my heart we have done everything possible. After all, we cannot ask the patient their opinion on the matter. Sometimes it is very obvious that the pet does not want to go on but in other cases an individual has a horrendously debilitating disease and yet they still enjoy their lives and want to keep living. The same is true with humans. Some of us keep going no matter what while others pale at the thought of any pain or disability. We all live with pain at some point in our lives. And pain is not always a reason for death.
I realize living with someone with a disability is not always easy. But if we love them, a few extra minutes each day, trading our Dunkin’ budget for a new prescription, offering a helping hand at times is not really a lot to ask.
Please, before you ask me to end your pet’s life, ask them what they want. Do they still want to be part of you life, interacting, enjoying your presence? Call me, tell me what you are seeing, have your pet show me what is going on. Let’s see what we can do to help before we make a decision we all have to live with. And when the time does come to end this life, I promise I will try to make the transition as easy for all of you as possible. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be angry when I pray. Your friend will merely fall into an endless sleep in the arms of the person he loves most in the world. We can only hope to be so lucky in our own death.