Thứ Tư, Tháng Sáu 12, 2024
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The right to die

[Reading level: C1 – Advanced]

Our species is conditioned for survival — and our societies are organized to govern how we live. Our medical system, our vaccines and the global response to the pandemic are built around the same instinct: to protect and prolong individual lives.

 

So, it can feel jarring, and counterintuitive, to ask: What obligation does the government have in ensuring an individual’s right to die?

 

 

Around the world, people facing a loss of autonomy, dignity and quality of life have the opportunity to set the date of their own deaths through voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide. But this choice is only legally available in a few countries, including Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada and Colombia.

 

Additionally, only a handful of American states allow doctors to help patients who meet well-defined criteria and are on the threshold of dying choose when and how to end their lives. The laws are modeled after the first Death With Dignity Act, passed in Oregon in 1997.

 

Catholic organizations, anti-abortion advocates and some disability groups continue to oppose aid in dying. The California Catholic Conference, the church’s public policy organization, for example, argued in June that liberalizing the state’s law “puts patients at risk of abuse and the early and unwilful termination of life.”

 

But polls regularly show broad public support for euthanasia. In 2020, Gallup found that 74 percent of respondents agreed that doctors should be allowed to end patients’ lives “by some painless means” if they and their families request it.

 

This week, we told the story of Marieke Vervoort, a Paralympic medalist from Belgium who chose when and how she would die. In doing so, we hoped to reveal the personal implications of a highly political debate. Below, we share a note from Lynsey Addario, the photographer who spent almost three years reporting on Vervoort.

 

I have been a conflict and humanitarian photographer for 20 years, which means I have met people at their most vulnerable moments. Somehow, I have to photograph them in ways that are compelling to viewers, but sensitive to the subjects.

 

The moments I capture exist forever as photographs, and the publication of this trauma has an effect on the subjects and on their loved ones and their feelings about me, the photographer. I don’t often spend more than a few hours, days or weeks with someone I am shooting, and I rarely get the opportunity to see the person again once the assignment is complete.

 

But with Marieke, an initial three-day assignment turned into a three-year friendship, one in which I continuously struggled with my role as “an objective observer,” especially as I grew to love and admire a friend who was choosing to die according to her own timeline.

 

Marieke had this unique ability to love the people in her life as passionately as she pined for her death whenever her pain seemed to take over her life. She believed that the public needed to see and feel her pain in order to understand the importance of one’s right to euthanasia — to choose exactly when and how she would end her life. Marieke was uniquely articulate and honest about the complexities of how and why she believed in her right to die on her own terms, and she wanted me to tell that story. In the process, she asked and allowed me to photograph moments that made her loved ones uncomfortable.

 

I will always be conflicted about whether I should have deferred to her wishes or her parents’ wishes in her final moments and in her death. I got to know her parents over the years, and as a mother of two children, I couldn’t fathom how they had the strength, generosity and courage to let their daughter go.

 

What I will remember about Marieke are the details I couldn’t capture with images alone. So much about Marieke was in her laughter and her tears, her jokes and her pain — things that are difficult to convey in a still image. A lot of our time together was spent joking around, until she would disappear into fits of pain so powerful she had seizures, and she would fall into unconsciousness for hours — sometimes days.

 

I wanted to share our audio interviews and voice messages to tell a more complete, more nuanced version of Marieke’s journey in a way still photographs simply cannot.

 

This podcast is unusual in a number of ways — it aired more than two years after her death, and unlike most Times stories, it isn’t pegged to a specific news event. But I believe Marieke’s unflinching honesty offers incredible insight into the process of euthanasia — something she trusted me to convey. She wanted this to be published and I wanted to do right by her wishes. I also hoped it would provide insight into how photojournalists work, what we have to do in order to properly convey the intimate human stories we have the privilege to witness.

 

 

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/28/podcasts/the-daily-newsletter-euthanasia-athlete.html

WORD BANK:

govern /ˈɡʌv.ɚn/ [B2] (v): chi phối

instinct /ˈɪn.stɪŋkt/ [C2] (n): bản năng

prolong /prəˈlɑːŋ/ [C1] (v): kéo dài

jarring /ˈdʒɑːr.ɪŋ/ (adj): chói tai

counterintuitive /ˌkaʊn.t̬ɚ.ɪnˈtuː.ɪ.t̬ɪv/ (adj): phản trực giác

obligation /ˌɑː.bləˈɡeɪ.ʃən/ [B2] (n): nghĩa vụ

autonomy /ɑːˈtɑː.nə.mi/ (n): khả năng tự chủ

dignity /ˈdɪɡ.ə.t̬i/ [C2] (n): nhân phẩm

set the date (v): ấn định ngày

euthanasia /ˌjuː.θəˈneɪ.ʒə/ (n): an tử

assisted suicide /əˌsɪstɪd ˈsuː.ɪ.saɪd/ (n): trợ tử

a handful of /ˈhænd.fʊl/ (quant): một số

well-defined /ˌwel dɪˈfaɪnd/ (adj): xác định rõ ràng

criterion /kraɪˈtɪr.i.ən/ (n):  tiêu chí

threshold /ˈθreʃ.hoʊld/ (n): ngưỡng

model sth after sth /ˈmɑː.dəl/ (v): mô phỏng cái gì theo cái gì

act /ækt/ (n): luật

Catholic /ˈkæθ.əl.ɪk/ (adj): thuộc về Công giáo

abortion /əˈbɔr·ʃən/ (n): phá thai

advocate /ˈæd.və.keɪt/ (n):  người ủng hộ

liberalize sth /ˈlɪb.ər.əl.aɪz/ (v): tự do hóa

unwillful /ʌnˈwɪl.fəl/ (adj): ngoài ý muốn

termination /ˌtɜr·məˈneɪ·ʃən/ (n): sự chấm dứt

poll /poʊl/ (n): cuộc thăm dò

painless /ˈpeɪn.ləs/ (adj): không gây đau đớn

medalist /ˈmed.əl.ɪst/ (n): vận động viên đoạt huy chương

humanitarian /hjuːˌmæn.ɪˈter.i.ən/ [C2] (adj): nhân đạo

vulnerable /ˈvʌl.nɚ.ə.bəl/ [C2] (adj): dễ bị tổn thương

compelling to sb /kəmˈpel.ɪŋ/ (adj): hấp dẫn với ai

sensitive /ˈsen.sə.t̬ɪv/ [B2] (adj): nhạy cảm

trauma /ˈtrɑː.mə/ [C2] (n): nỗi đau, cú sốc

initial /ɪˈnɪʃ.əl/ [B2] (adj): ban đầu

pine for sth /paɪn/ (v): khao khát điều gì

take over sth [C2] (v): chiếm lấy cái gì

articulate /ɑːrˈtɪk.jə.lət/ (adj): (nói/thể hiện quan điểm) rõ ràng

on one’s own terms (adv): theo ý mình

defer to sth/sb /dɪˈfɝː/ (v): làm theo cái gì/ai

fathom /ˈfæð.əm/ (v): hiểu

courage /ˈkɝː.ɪdʒ/ [B2] (n): sự can đảm

capture /ˈkæp.tʃɚ/ (v): ghi lại (khoảnh khắc)

convey /kənˈveɪ/ [C1] (v): truyền tải (thông tin, thông điệp)

still /stɪl/ [B2] (adj): tĩnh

a fit of pain (n): cơn đau

seizure /ˈsiː.ʒɚ/ (n): cơn co giật

unconsciousness /ʌnˈkɑːn.ʃəs.nəs/ (n): bất tỉnh

nuanced /ˈnuː.ɑːnst/ (adj): mang tính sắc thái

air /er/ (v): được phát sóng

unflinching /ʌnˈflɪn.tʃɪŋ/ (adj): không hề nao núng

offer insight into sth (v): mang tới cái nhìn (sâu sắc) về điều gì

intimate /ˈɪn.tə.mət/ [C2] (adj): thân mật


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