Terminal careYes, every individual has the right to reach as old an age as possible. But everyperson nearing the end of their life should also have the right to decide how theywant to go. Most do not fear the end. As the time approaches, people becomeincreasingly detached and willing to embark on their last journey.When we hear talk about the “older people” and we are told that it is ourmoral duty to protect them, many picture sprightly seniors who are enjoyingtheir time on ocean liners. In reality, the endangered elderly are multi-morbidindividuals at the end of their lives. People who have not been able to leave theirbeds for days, weeks or months. People whose tumours have spread throughouttheir bodies and are in constant pain. People who cannot go on anymore and
maybe do not want to go on. People who sometimes just wait for a kind fate torelieve them of their suffering.Amidst all the protective measures for the high-risk groups in retirement andnursing homes, at the end the individual decision should have the highestpriority. Most no longer care whether their loved ones bring the coronavirus tothem, as long as someone is there to hold their hand, to talk about the past, andto whisper I love you and farewell(186).Innocent and vulnerable: our childrenChildren – like the elderly – are the most vulnerable in our society and it is ourduty to care for them. Millions of children in the world are suffering acutelyfrom the coronavirus measures. “The coronavirus strikes more children and theirfamilies than those who are actually gripped by the infections,” says CorneliusWilliams, Head of the UNICEF Child Protection League(187).Mental/psychological stressChildren cannot thrive without social contacts. Separation from key people likegrandma and grandpa, auntie and uncle, their best friends – the closed schools,inaccessible playgrounds and barred sports fields disrupt their lives. Socialethicists point out how vital it is for children to be in contact with their peers(188).Educational deficitsChildren have a right to education. Since the schools have been closed, millionsof students are lagging behind according to an estimate of the German TeacherAssociation. Their president, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, sees educational deficitsfor approximately 3 million children, especially in students from difficult socialbackgrounds and from impoverished families(189).Physical violenceTens of thousands of children in Germany become victims of violence and abuseevery year(190). Crime statistics from 2018 show that3 children die in the aftermath of physical violence every week
10 children are physically or mentally abused every day40 children are sexually abused every dayAnd these, of course, are only the known cases. Can you imagine the situation incoronavirus times?