Dear Christopher Cat
The quality of life of my cousin’s 24-year-old cat had deteriorated, so she decided to have him put to sleep. Her immediate family thinks euthanasia is immoral and called her a cat killer. How do you feel about this?
I’m saddened to hear that someone grieving the loss of her beloved pet wasn’t supported by her family. Please relay my sympathy to your cousin.
End-of-life decisions are difficult to make, and reasonable people sometimes come to different conclusions.
That’s in part why the people of three U.S. states legalized physician-assisted suicide: They wanted to exert control over the ends of their own lives. The thought of enduring a prolonged death when one is suffering fills most people with fear.
I feel the same way, and if I get so ill or infirm that the bad times outweigh the good, I will make it clear to my family that I don’t wish to continue living.
I published a quality of life scale (www.askthevetspets.com/c2008-41.asp) to help people decide whether their elderly or sick pet is suffering. If so, the family must unite in determining the most humane course of action.