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tea, vicar?

By ATWadmin On December 14th, 2008

Anyone read any of the hype about ‘Assisted Suicide’, heard the Death rattles emanating from the Swiss Dignitas clinic, or watch the Sky broadcast with Craig Ewart trying to ring all the right bells as he washed down his apple juice / cyanide as he died on prime time t.v.?

Don’t know about anyone else, but there seems to be a large slice of theatre with these guys, whether it’s some rugby player who paralysed himself by playing some stupid sport, and now cannot face the future; or else it’s some woman appealing to the Lords to help change the Law on helping a prospective suicide achieve their dreams, or nightmares.

For myself, I believe that life is far too precious to casually discard it. My beloved sister died at the age of sixteen from an illness which in those days was both incurable, and so rare that you read about it in the newspapers.; yet twenty years later, medical science had progressed so that a cure was possible, and these days it is just routine. I just cannot understand where these people get their ideals and ideas from, so that they just ‘give up’ or ‘take the speedy route out’a town. I accept that everyone has to determine their own paths, lives and ultimately fate; but when I hear or read such items as those above I just cringe inside. Maybe I am too hard and realistic in my approach to life, but I believe we do not quit, we do not give up; we persevere and ultimately, we succeed!


6 Responses to “tea, vicar?”

  1. I accept that everyone has to determine their own paths, lives and ultimately fate;

    Which is precisely why the law in Switzerland is both humane and morally right and the law in the UK is neither.

    We all have the right to choose a dignified death, but every day hundreds of (mostly) old people die horrible deaths, after months or years of needless suffering.

  2. >>For myself, I believe that life is far too precious to casually discard it.<<

    But let’s "demand a bombing campaign which would smash the whole place back into the Stone Age from which it had recently crept", what?

  3. It would be all too easy to give the standardised knee jerk opinion on this, whether you are ‘for it’, or ‘agin’ it’, either of which would be formed by what we assume would be how any of us would feel if faced with being in such a situation.

    This truly is one of those times when really you cannot, with any degree of certainty, say just how, or what you would decide, even among those interviewed there were those who changed their minds, almost hourly.

    I watched a programme with the Scottish MP who is pushing for this legislation, and she was talking to a doctor who has had many dealings with the terminally ill, – she said something that struck a chord with me when she quite definitively said, that ‘in her experience’ very few people ever really wished to die – because of their illness or disability, – but she was quite adamant that the main cause of their wish to die was the lack of any belief the patient had in their own worth. Their belief was that they were nothing more than a burden to those around them. It was as though they already considered themselves to be non-existent, and could see no validity in continuing to live.

    Whether this feeling was self-inflicted and triggered by self pity, which is entirely understandable, or by a lack of any affirmation of their worth by those closest to them, she didn’t say.

    This, as I said, struck a chord with me, as I have interviewed many ‘Old Timers’ for various reasons, and I have always been dismayed by the frequency that I hear them say, ‘Oh! I wish I was dead’, – or similar, and this from reasonably healthy folk who do not have the disabilities of those who wish to be clients of ‘that clinic’.

    When I ask why they feel that way, the reply usually follows along the lines of the feeling of ‘lack of worth’, or of being useless, or otherwise functionally redundant. Not from any lack of love from those closest to them, offspring are often the most attentive, and that is not often a cause for complaint, but just a general sense of pointlessness in it all.

    Naturally, this feeling is very predominant among those who have lost their life partners. A lifetime of caring and sharing is, of itself a worthwhile affirmation of self-worth, and to lose one’s partner must be devastating, particularly in the elderly. In all, a very sad situation.

    There is no doubt in my mind that, whatever one’s health or condition, we all need a reason for living.

    I think there is a lot more to be considered before declaring any decision to legalise euthanasia to be humane, or otherwise.

  4. Nice one Noel, nothing too trivial to make a point!…

    You’re as bad as that guy who had to ‘green’ every post and comment, no matter how unrelated it was…

  5. Ernest, your 11.28pm, is a wonderful thoughtful post.

    Thank you!

    I would fight with every fibre of my being- but when even that fight is not enough, then I would like to go with dignity.

    However, that dignity is provided these days, unannounced and without fuss, doctors do ease the terminally ill to their restful end.

  6. >>Don’t know about anyone else, but there seems to be a large slice of theatre with these guys….<<

    "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Andy Warhol.

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