Yep, just like population uprisings can be contagious ;)
Hope, loss of hope, they are both equally contagious IMO.
Canadian health services are spending massive amounts of money on suicide prevention campaigns. It is a public expenditure I disagree with. Stopping one's life is simply one's own decision I don't see any need for the state to consider it a within a social agenda. I had a relative who's suicide was prevented twice, he led a miserable life. Leading a miserable life is not an uncommon consequence of suicide prevention programs. Just like pro-lifers, I think individuals who act against individual suicides should enter in a lifetime contract to support the person they saved. Wouldn't it be interesting if we applied such a concept to pro-lifers? You want to save that life???? become responsible for it! If the "saving pusher" does not want the responsibility, then stay out of it.
My only concern with end of life legislations (assisted especially, but possibly unassisted too) is the opportunity for conflict of interest with organ donation and insurance benefits. What if a corrupt doctor (they do exist) misinforms a patient or patient's relative about the probability of a successful outcome, in order to access organs? What of the possibility of coercion even within/among family members? What if a corrupt spouse wants access to a profitable insurance policy?
I do agree with access to euthanasia on principal, but I think I would favour having only a select few certified euthanasia approved practitioners, keeping this ultimately irreversible action out of the hands of the many and in the hands of a select few, such as Kevorkian. This could manage medical corruption, but it still leaves the great potential for insurance pressures.
Maybe as part of our national identity cards, or driver's license, or upon first income tax report, all citizens should be under the obligation to sign a living will, safeguarded in a national registry. As it stands, living wills are not standardised and I also see potential problems arising from this. In addition, living wills should be upgraded every 10 years to take into consideration new technologies and survival statistics. Our aim as a society should be to reduce the necessity to decide on the spot, under pressure. It's a decision that should be made with a cool head.
Hows this for a question:
If we were capable of brain transplants, would you still allow euthanasia for the terminally ill when a donor body could be available? (If the operation was government funded...)