The Right to Die
I ALSO SUGGEST euthanasia. Just as we are putting limits on birth – birth control – let me give you another word: death control. But no nation is ready for death control. Even if, after a certain age, a person wants to die and has lived life fully and has no responsibility – rather he is a burden on himself – he is forced to live, because the law is against suicide.
I suggest, if you accept seventy as the average age to die, or eighty or ninety as the average, a man should be free to ask the medical board: "I want to be freed from my body." He has every right to do that, if he does not want to live any more because he has lived enough. He has done everything that he wanted to do, and now he wants not to die of cancer, or tuberculosis; he simply wants a relaxed death.
Every hospital should have a special place for people, with a special staff, where people can come, get relaxed and be helped to die beautifully, without any disease, supported by the medical profession.
If the medical board feels that the person is valuable, if the medical board feels that the person is of immense importance, then he can be asked to live a little longer. Only a few people should be asked to be here a little longer, because they can be of so much help to humanity, so much help to others. But if even those people don't want to live, that is their birthright. You can ask, request, and if they accept it, good; but if they say: "No, we are not interested any more," then certainly they have every right to die.
One can understand trying to save a child, but why are you saving old people who have lived, lived enough, suffered, enjoyed, done all kinds of things, good and bad? Now it is time – let them go.
But the doctors cannot let them go because it is illegal.
They cannot take them off oxygen and other life-support systems, so you go on saving the dying or almost-dead people.
No pope issues a commandment that these people should be allowed freedom from their bodies. And what is left of their bodies? Somebody's legs are missing; somebody's hands are missing; somebody's heart is not working so a battery is working instead of a heart; somebody's kidneys are not working so machines are doing the work of the kidneys. But what is the purpose of these people? What will they do even if you continue to keep them going this way?
Yes, at the most they keep a few people employed; that's all. But what kind of a creative life are they going to have? And what joy can they have in all that is being done to them? Continual injections are being given to them. They cannot sleep, then sleeping pills are given to them. They cannot wake up, then activators are forced into their blood so they have to wake up. But for what reason – the Hippocratic oath? Let Hippocrates go to hell! He had no idea what his oath was going to bring about.
Instead of medicines, a meditator should be there to teach the dying man how to meditate, because now medicine is not needed, meditation is needed – how to relax and peacefully disappear from the body.
Every hospital needs meditators – they are essential – just as it needs doctors.
Up to now meditators were not needed because there was only one function: to save life. Now the function is doubled: to help people die. Every university should have a department where meditation is taught so that people themselves are ready. When the time comes to die, they are fully ready to die – with joy, with celebration.
But suicide is a crime. This will be considered suicide, and I will be considered to be teaching people illegal things.
My concern is with truth, not with law.
The truth is that you have unbalanced life, nature. Please give back its balance.
I suggest a movement so that when people have lived enough and they desire to be freed from their bodies, then hospitals should provide a convenient, pleasant death. It is absolutely sane that every hospital should have a special ward with all facilities so that death becomes a pleasant experience, enjoyable.