Last week I was at a Lavington petrol station preparing to wash my car when I was approached by a young lady who offered to do it for me.
She said she was behind me at the cash register at the service station and had overheard me saying to the attendant that I had a little difficulty in operating the wash equipment.
I immediately thought she had mistaken me for someone else, but was also taken aback that a young person should show such kindness to an absolute stranger.
Not only did she wash my car but vacuumed it as well. I did question the fact that she may have other things to do but she insisted she did have the time to help me. We had a short conversation that revealed her name was Larissa and she was the mother of two children.
To Larissa, I would like to say that I found myself not only emotional but absolutely overwhelmed by your actions. I am 87 years old and being treated in such a caring manner by a young person has caused me to have an opinion of the up and coming generations that filled my heart with joy. Larissa, thank you.
Leon Dickinson, Thurgoona
Slippery slope is no myth
The acceptance of the principle that human life is expendable, for whatever purpose, is the 'slippery slope' from which there may be no return if euthanasia is legalised.
Voluntary euthanasia was legalised in The Netherlands many years ago. Successive Remmelink reports there show involuntary euthanasia has occurred, despite clear guidelines to the contrary in Dutch law.
Then there is greed. Remember the court case in Sydney in which a woman was accused of murdering her husband (an Alzheimer sufferer) with the drug Nembutal? The jury was told that she arranged for him to draw up a new will the week before he died, leaving her all but $200,000 of his $2.4 million estate.
The 'slippery slope' concern is no myth.
I attended two conferences on euthanasia – one at Melbourne University where the focus was on palliative care, concern and comfort and the other, at Monash University, focused on death.
We need to focus on options that support people – best-case options, not worst.
It is rare for people with good palliative care and a good support system in place, to request to 'end it all'. And, people do have the right to refuse medical treatment, under the Medical Treatment Act, 1984.
Do we really believe that the introduction of principles and practices applicable in the veterinary world, if introduced into the human sphere, would enhance the dignity and status of humanity?
Human life has a dignity of its own.
The ramifications of legalising euthanasia are many. If legalised it would be too hard to control and who would be safe?
As someone once said, “hard cases make bad laws”.
The killing of one person by another has to be dehumanising.
Compassion and dignity are key words in this debate.
We must decide where true compassion and dignity lie.
Karin McKenzie, Yarrawonga
Letter of the week
The winner of the letter of the week is Leon Dickinson, of Thurgoona. You can collect your prize from the offices of The Border Mail at 1 McKoy Street, Wodonga, or call for arrangements.