Dying with a little dignity

Cambodia is hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The Hindustan Times reports:

“Websites advocating ‘euthanasia tourism’ allegedly posted by a US national from a sleepy Cambodian town have sparked outrage and confusion as businesses and the government debate what action to take.

“The family and friends of a British national have already alleged that the twin sites were directly linked to a 47-year-old woman’s suicide in September in Kampot, about 180 km from the capital, following the break-up of a relationship.”

The New Scotsman provides further details.

Euthanasia is not illegal in Cambodia and therefore provides a perfect opportunity for Westerners to die with dignity. Many other issues remain, however.

I support euthanasia but worry about the lack of regulation. The New Scotsman reports:

“A spokesman for the Voluntary Euthanasia Society said they supported the right to a ‘good death’ but that proper regulation was needed to prevent vulnerable people taking ‘bad’ decisions.

“‘We should regulate our own laws so that people wouldn’t look overseas to places without regulation,’ he said.”

The possibility of further exploiting Asia should cause concern. HIV/AIDS is on the rise across Asia, child prostitution continues unabated and sex tourism is a plague across many countries. While Western countries refuse to maturely engage with the ethical dilemmas surrounding euthanasia, desperation may lead to unpalatable decisions.