In altruism, a person directs his or her activities towards the welfare of others. It is considered to be a selfless action, but if we examine it closely the self or the ego is always involved. This is because helping other people, whether it is benefiting the other person or not, always makes one feel good. You may not be aware of it, but please understand that this is a conditioned response in our subconscious mind when we are helping others.
Altruism is thus found in many professions, but one cannot deny the fact that doctors, nurses and religious missionaries must be regarded as front-runners. This is because people who enter these professions are genuinely out there to do some good in society and at the same time feel good about themselves. Hence we find the greatest collection of helpers and ego-trippers gathered under the sun in the medical profession. Undoubtedly doctors are mostly nice obliging fellows, always willing to help their patients. These chaps find it difficult to say no to their patients because they subconsciously feel bad if they said no.
This is why many of us are taken for a ride by our patients simply because it does not occur to us to say no.
However, there is one exception to this rule, and that is euthanasia. In this case most of us will say no because actively taking a human life, no matter what the circumstances makes us feel bad.
It is easier to keep a person alive and make oneself feel important rather than help a dying suffering patient go to sleep permanently. In this we use the law of the land as a good excuse to hide behind, as many of us do not want to feel bad.
A few years ago I visited a patient of mine in a palliative care unit of a local hospital where he was dying from throat cancer. He had intravenous tubes attached to him and had a nasal-gastric tube down his throat. One could see that he was dying and in pain and was wasting away from starvation. Sitting beside his bed I could see all the doctors and nurses looking very important and busy doing their jobs. He pleaded with me to ask the doctors to put him to sleep permanently. I said, “Do you know that if we obliged you, all these people would be out of a job”. He quietly understood and accepted the reality of the situation.
Hence it would be a wishful thinking for anyone to think that the medical profession would accept euthanasia as a means of peaceful exit from this world in the near future. The livelihood of a doctor depends on his patients. So I do not think that any doctor would be in a rush to cut down his living this way even though there is a moral obligation for him or her to do so.
Therefore, is legalizing euthanasia the answer? Please observe and think. Anything we legislate is always exploited by the ego. If we give an inch, the ego always wants to take a foot. That is the nature of the beast. Clearly, anything we legislate is open to abuse by unscrupulous individuals amongst us, no matter how well-meaning our intentions might be. If we legalize euthanasia we will be surely creating more problems than we will be solving.
In the olden days when doctors were practicing medicine in the traditional way, there was a direct bond established between a doctor and a patient, and euthanasia would not have been an issue. The doctor would have treated the patient in a humane and compassionate way. Now however, in this consumer society where there are consumer laws and litigation to deal with, our value system has changed. It has destroyed this true doctor-patient relationship. The laws have inculcated doctors into treating patients as consumers and as a consequence both the doctors and the patients have become the losers. The doctors cannot treat patients as they should be treated and the patients cannot be treated as they would want to be treated. They are kept alive under all circumstances no matter what quality of life may be waiting for them.
So what avenues would terminally ill and dying patients have to put themselves out of misery? Apart from depending on the medical profession to keep them comfortable or taking drugs that can relieve their suffering, there is not much one can do. Most of us if we were in that situation would be too weak to drag ourselves out into the snow.
However, all is not lost. As I see it, those in this terminal situation who possess some insight into their mind and have retained some capacity to think, can still use the power of their subconscious mind to exit this world peacefully. All they have to do is to understand the fact that death is a just a beautiful sleep from which one never wakes up. It is an eternal sleep.
In my book “The Enchanted Time Traveller – A Book of Self-Knowledge and the Subconscious Mind”, you will find a chapter on Insomnia where you train your subconscious mind to help you to go to sleep naturally. You should study it and learn how to go to sleep naturally. If you are terminally ill and wish to exit this world permanently, all you have to do is to change the instructions I have given at the end regarding waking up. You will be amazed and pleasantly surprised to find that once you understand how you can go to sleep naturally all your fears about death and sleep will ease and disappear.