Young people give their opinions about mercy killing [Archives:2008/1161/Reportage]

May 5 2008

Although mercy killing is practiced in other countries – sometimes legally and sometimes illegally – the issue has yet to become prominent in Yemen.

“Mercy killing” is another term for euthanasia, the medical word for the intentional ending of a terminally ill person's life through an easy or painless death. Euthanasia is practiced when someone suffering from a painful or incurable disease expresses their wish to end their own life with the assistance of medical staff and loved ones.

This highly controversial practice splits families, friends and spouses all over the world straight down the middle, with strongly held beliefs on both sides of the argument.

The Yemen Times surveyed young people about their thoughts on mercy killing and what they would do if faced with that choice. Surveyed by Hatem Qubati

Hani Al-Qubati, 28, engineer

I'd do my best to restore him or her to health until the conclusive moment comes when they either live or die.

Abeer Al-Madwali, 22, university student

If I had a terminally ill loved one, I'd ask God to cure him or her. I wouldn't wish him or her to die because it's so difficult parting with a loved one. Seeing that person ill is better that not seeing him or her at all.

Mohammed Al-Makramani, 21,

university student

If I had an ill relative, I'd ask Allah to heal him or her; maybe a miracle would happen to keep him or her alive.

Mohammed Al-Sharabi, 22,

university student

If a person was so ill and there was no hope of reviving him or her, death actually would be the best solution so that he or she wouldn't wear down others.

Yasmeen Al-Shuaibi, 22,

university student

You can't imagine how difficult this situation is until you live it yourself. I experienced this situation with my father, who died five months ago, and it was the most difficult time in my life. Nobody would wish for his or her relative to die, even if that person was very ill, especially when dying would destroy all of their dreams, wishes and ambitions for the future.

Fahman Al-Qubati, 28, accountant

If he or she was very ill with a dangerous disease and couldn't be revived, then dying would be better than staying alive.

Nadheem Al-Yousfi, 22, university student

Even if he or she had a chronic disease, I couldn't wish for my sick relative to die because we must face our fate and accept it.

Bassam Al-Qubati, 19,

university student

I'd do everything – even the impossible – to restore him or her to health, but if couldn't, I'd entrust him or her to God to either live or die.

Abdulqader Hassan, 21, Sana'a university student

If I was sure that the ill one would die, then I'd say that death was the best thing for him or her.

Zainab Asserouri, 24,

university student

If I had an ill loved one, I'd ask Allah to heal him or her because there's no good reason for one to wish for his or her relative to die.

Yasir Garadi, 25, university student

If someone could confirm that the sick person actually was going to die – although no one can do this, not even doctors – then I think dying is better. However, no one but Allah can be sure that a sick person will die.

Um Ahmed Hadi, age withheld,

university student

I'd wish for him or her to stay alive because it says in Islam that if one's illness increases, his or her misdeeds will diminish.

Samir Sailan, 24, university student

I'd ask Allah to do the best for him or her – either to live or die – and then I'd accept His judgment. God does what He wants, so we should accept the results, whatever they are.

Arif Al-Ruqaimi, 23, university student

I couldn't wish for that person to die, even if dying was better for him or her than staying alive.

Wadhah Al-Athwari, 26, engineer

There's a difference if the ill person is young or old. Between ages 20 and 60, it's difficult to wish for him or her to die, but if the person is older than 80, dying is better, especially if there's no hope of them being revived.