This is a scene from the movie " If you are the one（非诚勿扰）" : "Li Xiangshan is diagnosed with incurable disease, his good friend Qin Fen helps him to die with dignity. Qin pushes Li in the wheelchair to the bow of a boat. When Li pats Qin’s hand, Qin gets the message, goes back into the cabin and leaves Li there. Later, Li drops himself in the sea to end his life.
In the movie, Qin helps his good friend with his wish of "euthanasia" and everybody ends happy. But an old man from Jiangxi province, who in real life helped his good friend "die with dignity" finds himself in a great trouble when he’s accused of murder.
Zeng Qingxiang’s body was found buried in the orchard of his friend, Zhong Yichun. "On Oct 19th, Zeng came to my house and told me he had bought sleeping pills to kill himself… He begged me to bury him and promised to give me 200 yuan for that… I know he’s suffering from disease, now that he was so determined to end his life, I can only say yes." Later that day, around 3pm, the two good friends searched around the village, looking for a good place as Zeng’s tomb.
After finding the tomb, Zeng dug a pit in the ground, took the sleeping pills and lay in the pit. Ten minutes later, Zhong called Zeng’s name with no answer, so he filled the pit and Zeng’s body with soil as they planned.
The police said, the pit is only 50 cm in depth and the soil on top of Zeng’s body is only 30 cm layer of loose soil, which means if Zeng was alive when buried, he could easily get out. The posture of the dead is also quite peaceful and natural with no signs of struggle. A few empty bottles of sleeping pills were also found at the scene. All these suggest, Zeng was willing to be buried.
Zeng was a victim of recurrent insanity. He shouted at his wife, and got violent sometimes. More than once, he has revealed to his friends about his thought of suicide. "He always said, his children were grown up and it was time he ended his life. If he died and was buried in the village, he could at least keep a whole body and save money."
"He was very thrifty. He knew if he passed away later, his children have to spend almost 5,000 yuan for the funeral and everything. He would rather died somewhere else and get buried in the ground, which can save his children a big sum of money." says, Zeng’s neighbor, Mr Zeng Xianting.
The court is still investigating to find out whether it is the sleeping pills or the burial that exactly killed Zeng. This will directly influence the result of Zhong Yichun’s sentence. But according to the presiding judge, because euthanasia is not legal in China, whatever motivation Zhong has to help his friend to commit suicide, he has already violated the law.
The Sea Inside (El mar dentro) is a real-life story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 30 year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die.
"Euthanasia conducted with the consent of the patient is termed voluntary euthanasia. Active voluntary euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Passive voluntary euthanasia is legal throughout the U.S. per Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health."
Should euthanasia be made legal in China? This question is not to be avoided.