As an organization we are stunned at the recent notion to legalize euthanasia in South Africa. In fact, we want to pose the question, whether those bent on legalizing euthanasia, are aware that to do so would be to step onto a slippery path that has caused the destruction of thousands elsewhere. In so many countries, such as the Netherlands, euthanasia was the beginning of this slippery slope which led to the killing of the unwanted and forsaken of society. Should we as South Africans not rather take up our responsibility to care for the weak and frail, supporting them with proper care and love till the end? Contrary to this, legalizing euthanasia will imprint the image on our next generation, that the elderly and the weak are a burden to society. The "dear", "dignified" people fighting for legal euthanasia now, might in the years to come swallow the bitter pill of being euthanize themselves! It is indeed a cold and bitter pill to swallow.
It is our experience that weak and sick persons can get better and be a help to many others. For example, one of our founding members was critically ill during 2011. Bedridden and in hospital, unable to communicate, she could easily have been euthanised in order to open a bed for another (as following the trend in countries that did legalize euthanasia). However, as the euthanasia law had not been passed her life was spared. It was through her that CYPSA, an organization now helping more than 4 000 young people was born. These youth were searching for the meaning of life. It is important to exhort the next generation towards uplifting and defending the preciousness of life. Life is indeed precious.
We therefore strongly believe that it is the responsibility of us, society as a whole, to care for the sick and the weak. Euthanasia is not the way out. Euthanasia is cruel. It is heartless. It is ruthless. To suggest euthanasia to someone who is ill and weak is a cruel way to say, we don't want you any longer. These people are in fact the very people that need our care, respect and love. It is not our responsibility as the community to strengthen the morale of those who feel life is not worth living? We all know that care and love can carry many ill people through the darkest of valleys. It might happen that in caring for the sick, those who are weak now might recover, to later become the same person who helps your very own sons and daughters discover the value of life. Indeed, all of us have only one life. Life is precious.
We therefore urge lawmakers and communities to fend for those that might not be able to communicate. Let us not be people who are just sitting around, people that are decent, dignified and morally dead. Let's join hands and fight for the lives of those who cannot fight for themselves, they deserve it.
Where there is life, there is hope!