8 2 mins 8 yrs

A few months ago, some English bloke who had been hit with some mortal illness or debilitating disease or other decided that he wanted to die, but wanted legal cover for his wife to assist him in dying. He went to the High Court and duly lost his case, or Review, or whatever it was. He celebrated by refusing all food, and speedily died of, I think, pneumonia. His attempt at changing the law was quickly followed by another; and while personally not knowing or caring too much about either, I formed the opinion that they were both probably partly one slice short of a loaf, but eager for the publicity. The point is, that at least in Great Britain, whilst suicide is now not illegal, to procure someone to help you dying is still something just short of murder, or manslaughter, or both; and long may it continue.

Just imagine, if the Law was changed, the queues of eager relatives reaching for the pills, or the gas, or the powders, to ‘ease’ their elderly and troublesome, and sometimes wealthy relatives onto the easy, painless road towards the morgue and the crematorium!

We still have some standards left, even if they are under constant threat. As long as we don’t approach things like they are doing in Belgium, which is, incidentally, going in for a name-change  along the lines of Auschwitz-lite. It is completely understandable of course, because if you are going to act like a Nazi towards tiny children, you may as well be known as one as well!



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8 thoughts on “Arbeit not only Macht Frei!

  1. I must admit that the whole assisted suicide and going to Switzerland and all that has always confused me?
    Surely if someone wants to kill themselves they will just do it?
    I mean it’s not difficult there are probably millions of ways to do it.
    Why go to court and all that nonsense. Just walk out in front of a bus. Job done.

  2. “Just walk out in front of a bus..

    Pretty difficult if you’re a quadriplegic or severely immobilised in many other ways. The whole point of the legally assisted euthanasia debate is about allowing people to remain alive even past the point when they can no longer take their own life but to allow them to still choose with help to end it.

  3. Yep but surely even if you are a quadriplegic there are ways? I remember reading somewhere that the body can only last a few days without water so just refuse to drink?
    I know it’s not always that simple but i really just fail to understand why anyone going through something like that feels it necessary to publicise it.
    Going to court, having it in the papers etc would only add to the stress of it all.
    Thankfully i’m not in that position and hope i never will be but i can’t figure out the logic behind it?

  4. JM

    I sort of can understand what you’re saying. I suppose if people feel strongly enough about it they should just quietly continue with their lives and at the time when asked should do what they feel to be right and if necessary defend themselves in court after the event if a prosecution occurs.

  5. I once read of a French man who

    – with a gun in his pocket, walked up to the top of a building,
    – took an overdose of sleeping pills
    – quickly tied a rope around his neck and to the top of the window
    – jumped out the window, and
    – when falling shot himself.

    I’m not sure if he also cut his wrists before jumping, but I think he did.

    Now if it had been an Irishman, he would probably have survived. 🙂

  6. One of the problems is that the person who may wish their life to be ended may be relying on someone else to do it – a relative, or a doctor/nurse etc. If they do assist, under UK law, they can be arrested for murder, so the Dignitas clinic offers a way for the person to take responsibility themselves and remain in control of the decision.

    Dignitas have very strict rules on who they accept. You must be able to travel to their clinic unaided, for example (i.e.. you have to be able to walk in, rather than be stretchered in), and you must be able to sign your own consent forms etc.

    I’m not defending it, by the way. It doesn’t sit too easily with me, although I wouldn’t be against anyone wanting to investigate the possibility and, should they decide to do so, carrying through with it. I’m not too sure how I would feel if it was someone I knew though, or, gods forbid, a family member.

  7. I know that we are in the throes of one of the most depressing of winters, when even penguins in some zoos are being given ‘spirit boosters’ to help them through each depressing day, – but really do we need such a topic for discussion on such a ‘lighweight’ blog as ATW. Isn’t the prospect of yet another of Troll’s dreaded music nights enough to tempt many of us to consider self-harm, if not self-destruction?

    However, back to the topic, – I would suggest that to introduce the ‘legality’ element into making such a personal decision might be the ultimate insanity. As mentioned above it is easy enough to commit suicide without involving others and introducing matters of conscience for loved ones to have to live with thereafter.

    Quite apart from the faux inheritance greed based decisions, that are abound to arise, – perhaps not in every case, but certainly far too often for society to be entirely comfortable should the practice become generaly accepted.

    I get the impression that some of those who would like to avail themselves of legalised suicide might really be seeking something beyond relief from the excruciating mental torment and physical pain they are sufferring, – surely that could not be so? – but why else and in so many cases is such public mention made of their act? – is it seen as a form of martydom?

    As with so many of these philosophical questions – we seem to raise more questions than answers.

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