When it comes to discussions of ending a suffering animal’s life, there is no discussion on the morality of it. It’s always a “when” discussion.
One week ago our famous cat Boo had to be put down due to kidney failure. She and her “sister,” Tiger, were our first family pets 16 years ago, so Boo is the first family pet death we’ve gone through.
In college we spent a brief time studying euthanasia, and I can’t forget the stories we read about people begging to be allowed to just die. There was a story of one man in particular who was dying of cancer and was in such horrible pain, but every time his heart stopped they would rush in and save him, prolonging his “life” for no reason. The nurse in the story said she couldn’t bear any longer hearing him begging to be allowed to die, so when his alarm went off she waited a couple minutes before calling in the people to save him.
I don’t really think religious arguments are fit to be considered here because they are generally so hypocritical and irrational that you can’t take them seriously. It is certainly a complicated subject, but I think it comes down to us not being able to trust ourselves with such great responsibility. Looking at humanity’s past and all the unspeakable things we still do to each other when given power, it is scary to give people the right to assist the terminally ill in welcoming death.
I’ve also thought a lot about the fact that Boo had a better life than many Americans. She had excellent health and dental care, and she never suffered in the slightest. I always thought it was sad that an animal with no concept of what dental/health coverage is had lifelong coverage with no question of whether she would ever be denied or dropped.
I still can’t understand how some people think it’s acceptable for anyone to be denied health care and basic dental care when they wouldn’t dare treat their pets with such disregard.
Hopefully with the changes in our healthcare now and in the future people will no longer have to aspire to the coverage our pets receive.