Renowned Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming (朱銘) last month died of apparent suicide at the age of 85 after a prolonged illness. It came after former sports commentator Fu Da-jen (傅達仁) traveled to Switzerland in 2018 to end his life through physician-assisted suicide. Even celebrities with great access to resources are denied the right to a dignified death in Taiwan, so the public must face an even harder situation.
Those who oppose the legalization of assisted suicide emphasize two points: First, they worry that some families could pressure sick relatives to be euthanized to avoid caring for them, or that some people would choose to die so as not to burden their families. Second, it goes against some people’s religious beliefs.
However, both are hard to justify in law.
Euthanasia laws in many countries require professionals such as doctors to act as a “neutral third party” to assess a case, so it does not entirely depend on the will of the person seeking assistance or their family.
Ju’s and Fu’s cases show that the lack of regulations over assisted suicide can result in people taking their lives anyway, which is not a solution.
It is not a choice between pro-euthanasia and anti-euthanasia, as in reality it is the difference between regulated euthanasia and suicide.
As for religious beliefs, the separation of church and state is a fundamental principle of the Constitution. Religion cannot be used to deny people the right to make decisions about their lives.
If the government wants to restrict people’s power to make decisions about their own lives, it should bear the “burden of proof,” and should be reviewed based on constitutional standards.
Chen Chih-hsiung is dean of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University School of Law.
Translated by Eddy Chang
In the 74 years since its founding, the leaders of the People’s Republic of China have always seen the Republic of China in Taiwan as a thorn in their collective side. The Chinese Communist Party has wished for nothing more than to remove this thorn and fulfill its vision of communist revolution. During the Cold War, Beijing couched these ambitions in the language of “liberating” Taiwan. Now it strikes chords of national unity and sings the new propaganda line of unification of the motherland. But in those 74 years the Republic of China has undergone a revolution of its own: a
It is a good time to be in the air-conditioning business. As my colleagues at Bloomberg News write, an additional 1 billion cooling units are expected to be installed by the end of the decade. It is one of the main ways in which humans are adapting to more frequent and intense heatwaves. With a potentially strong El Nino on the horizon — a climate pattern that increases global temperatures — and greenhouse gas emissions still higher than ever, the world is facing another record-breaking summer, and another one, and another and so on. For many, owning an air conditioner has become a
National Taiwan University (NTU) has come under fire after an offensive set of proposals by two students running for president and vice president of the student council caused an uproar over the weekend. Among the proposals were requiring girls with “boobs smaller than an A cup” to take two national defense credits and boys with “dicks shorter than 10cm” to take home economics class, as well as banning people with a body mass index of more than 20 from taking elevators, and barring LGBTQ students and dogs from playing Arena of Valor during student council meetings. They also opposed admission
The controversial proposals by two candidates running for president and vice president of the student council at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) Economics Department have given society a glimpse of the “character” of NTU students. With sexist proposals like “small-breasted girls need to enroll in national defense class” or “boys with short dicks need to take home economics class,” the candidates might have thought they were being “creative,” but the proposals have only laid bare their childishness and vulgarity. The proposals should have entailed issues that NTU students wish to address. People are born the way they are, and their physical traits