Rant & Rave

By Sabrina Hall

Tuesday, April 13, 1999

Individuals can always
find a reason to live

When I think back to the last few years of my mother's life, I cherish every moment we spent together. My mother was so brave fighting her cancer up until the very end. She never showed how scared she was. She would comfort me when I cried, even though she was the one who felt all the pain. She was completely selfless.

Through all the times she suffered through chemotherapy, never once did she think to give up. My mother had a will to live.

It makes me sad to think that there are people who don't have a will to live, who would like to have someone help them commit suicide. We should not legalize assisted suicide. As my mother demonstrated for me every day, every minute of life is worth living.

If assisted suicide were legal, I wonder what kind of doctors would do the "assisting."

Don't doctors take an oath to "do no harm," to keep us alive? Doctors are here to protect and preserve life, not destroy it.

There is another question of how we would decide who is to live and who is to die.

Some might be saying that "we" aren't deciding, that it's the patient who is making the decision. Yet, if we agree to assisted suicide, we are allowing them to decide life isn't worth living and we are saying that we agree.

A doctor should not be saying, "Yeah, you're right. You are hopeless." A doctor should be bringing hope and healing.

Hawaii is a state which does not allow the death penalty. What would we be saying if we legalized assisted suicide? That criminals must live but good citizens can die? That doesn't make much sense.

Looking at our elders, what would we be saying if we allowed them to kill themselves? Would we be saying that they are burdens to our families and useless to society? Elders bring knowledge and wisdom to our families and society. Just because their bodies are tired doesn't mean that their minds and souls are similarly worn.

For those in pain, there are other options to suicide. There is such a thing called hospice. Through hospice, nurses come to your home to take care of you. They don't fix you up on fancy machines that force your body to live. They just make dying comfortable when your time comes. This is the option my mom took.

Now, some may be thinking there is no hope for the terminally ill. Well, what if there is hope? Don't miracles sometimes happen?

If my mother had decided to end her life, we never would have known whether a miracle awaited her, and we may have felt guilty long after her passing, over not knowing one way or the other. I'm happy to know that it was, in fact, her time to go and God's choice, not mine.

Speaking of God, people ask, "Do you go to Hell if you kill yourself?"

I don't think so. My God wouldn't be offended or hurt by someone doing this. The person who kills himself, does, however hurt himself and those who love him. If we allow someone to die this way, we are hurting ourselves as well and creating our own Hell on Earth.

God gave us free will and we all have choices. God does not give us more than we can handle and there is no pain too great that we cannot endure. There is no one among us who hasn't felt pain. How would a person know happiness without something to compare it to?

My mother had a reason to live. There is always a reason to live.

Sabrina Hall is a freshman at Kapiolani Community College.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
Speak up by fax at 523-8509; by answering machine at 525-8666;
snail mail at P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802;
or e-mail,

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin