61 7 mins 7 yrs

abucketbaby

 

 

Before posting on a subject which is worthy of at least some discussion, before being cast into the cess-pool from which it has arisen, I thought I would lighten the atmosphere by posting a photo of what must be the most enchanting small child’s smile published this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A long-awaited bill being published by the former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer has parallels with the 1967 Abortion Act by placing responsibility for authorising the action in the hands of two doctors.

legalise assisted dying

upholding the sanctity of human life without regard to suffering caused in the process

“ethical turning point”

be promoting anguish and pain, the very opposite of a Christian message of hope.”

the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” should not mean prolonging suffering.

in the face of the reality of needless suffering.”

In writing about this pernicious, dangerous and illiberal Assisted Dying Bill, I would attempt to explain my thoughts. The quotations, taken from people who support this Bill, do not state the truth about what is proposed. The Bill is written and introduced to change the Law. Ignore all the emotional rubbish held within those quotations, the supporters of this Bill want, wish and work towards one thing, and one thing only :-

 

Euthanasia!

I knew the girl I met was for me some ten seconds after we first saw each other, but, upon my return after my last trip to sea, I laid siege until she agreed to marry me.  We were gloriously, blissfully happy, our family grew and blossomed; until I was finally made aware that my beloved wife was seriously ill, and I had to have her committed. My wife of now some forty-seven years has been suffering from the effects of schizophrenia for some forty-three of those years. For many years, after she was released to me from the mental hospital where she was treated, she was back to some 95-97.5% of the woman whom I fell in love with, all those years ago in one chance evening at the Empire Ballroom in Leicester Square; but things went downhill some ten or twelve-odd years ago.

She now sits upstairs on her bedside, anxiously awaiting my help for even the slightest move to swivel across to her commode. She depends upon me for everything, and I would be a strange caricature of a man if I ever deserted her. My philosophy of life is now, and has been for many years; ‘you play the hand you are dealt’, and this is what I do for the woman I love. But what might happen to my love if I should die before her? Being totally dependent upon others for everything, and I do mean everything; more than likely she would be headed straight for a care facility, would she not be a prime target for these do-gooders who believe firmly that they know what is best for one who cannot articulate her needs and wishes?

I once visited an old-aged people’s home/complex in Islington to help a mate of mine who was compiling an electrical tender document, and I will be honest when I state that I have never witnessed anything more dispiriting in my entire life. I entered the main room/hall of the home, and there must have been at least seventy or eighty elderly people seated there, but the strange thing was the fact that they were all seated at seventy or eighty different angles to one another; there were two televisions blaring away at opposite corners of the room, no-one was watching either, and this was the first time that I had ever witnessed what is called the ‘Thousand-mile-stare’, where the person’s eyes are focussed over a huge distance away. The staff could safely be described as uniformly useless, as I gathered when talking to the one helpful staff member, a maintenance bloke, who simply sniffed when asked his opinion of his fellow workers, then replied, ‘when they aren’t in ever-extended meetings discussing how much they would not be doing, they are forever looking after themselves; with not much time left for the poor sods in the armchairs and beds’! I spotted one lady, seated in a wheelchair, trapped in the space between a wall and a folding door. She had been left by the ‘caring’ staff member, and forgotten as breakfast had been served, and no-one missed her, until an outsider arrived and gently wheeled her out of her confinement. She was so pathetically grateful to me, a stranger for helping her. Needless to state, I made my own feelings pretty plain to the management, but I don’t believe that my anger even registered!

Reference is made in one of the earlier quotations to the Abortion Act of 1967. I would simply remind ATW readers that one of the ruling guidelines in 1967 was that two doctors should examine and confer with the pregnant woman before agreeing and signing to that abortion procedure. Those guidelines are now so loose that a NURSE can authorise an abortion.  I would remind ATW readers that, in just four years, there have been 731801 babies, foetuses; call them what you will, killed quite legally in this so-called civilised country of ours! Just consider what a bunch of politicians and their fellow bottom-feeding compatriots could do once the Euthanasia Bill becomes Law?

The Assisted Dying Bill, which in reality should be renamed the ‘Euthanasia Bill’ or the even more explanatory The Inconvenience Bill’ or the  ‘Let us get rid of the Old, the Ill, the Insane, the Sufferers from incurable and painful Diseases, those who alarm us by their very longevity, and the Memories of what faces us all Bill’ is a shameful and destructive piece of legislation, and we, along with the dangerous do-gooder Clowns who propose and back this tawdry attempt to change, by euphemism alone, the settled Law, should be ashamed that Legislation as bad, corrupt and disgraceful as this Bill undoubtedly is, even passes across the threshold of the House of Lords in these troubled times.

 

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61 thoughts on “…in sickness, and in health…..

  1. Mike,
    (If you can get LBC on digital radio, Shelagh Fogarty will be discussing George Carey’s change of view after the one oclock news..)
    What an excellent post.
    No one can care for an elderly person like the person or people that love them. The problem is the stress this puts on the carer, and somehow we have to find ways in which the carer can be supported by people the carer can trust.
    I remember that the housing assocation I worked for was moving into the “whole of life” caring system, and thee were pluses to it.
    Anyway, in case you get this and want to listen to the debate on now, I’ll finish.

  2. Excellent post Mike!

    I know several folk who are going through or have gone through a similar experience to yourself, i.e. caring for a much loved companion.

    It seems that whatever the potential outcome makes little difference to the degree of love that a majority of ‘carers’ show to their companions. Surely such care is the ultimate expression of true love for another!

    Partners in life and death, – now that really is a commitment, and no, by saying that I don’t mean that when one dies the other should literally follow suit, but that the demise of such a commitment to another is most certainly ‘a death of the spirit’.

    Another aspect of such a tragedy is when the sufferer is alone in this world and has to rely on institutionalised help. Now that might well truly be called a ‘fate worse than death itself’. The Liverpool Pathway is an example, along with the ever more frequent stories of nursing home abuse, such as the instance Mike writes of.

    That this topic should be raised, at a time like this, by the likes of Carey and others, when there is so little faith or trust in almost every aspect of State or government, demonstrates the gap in the perception of reality between ‘them’ and ‘us’.

    And I have yet to mention the always present and inevitable likelihood of the ‘unintended consequence’, and the use of it as an excuse for indolence and malpractice and in the holy writ of ‘protecting the system’.

  3. Mike
    the thousand mile stare is a way of coping with the situation. To come from the comfort of your own surroundings into a large lounge filled with old people you don’t know and more pertinently don’t want to know, is quite traumatic.
    To be avoided if at all possible.
    I think George Carey’s got this assisted suicide wrong. My wife and I have often discussed the dilemma of a person in terrible pain, waiting/wanting to die. You wouldn’t let a pet carry on in similar discomfort; you’d have it put down.
    But a person is not a pet, and there is a great unwillingness to take the irrevocable step of terminating a life.
    I think the law should stay as is, and any decision to end the suffering be taken by the family with the doctor’s guidance.
    I agree about abortion too. All these changes dehumanise us, and turn our world a darker shade of grey..
    Lovely picture of the little child stuck in the mop bucket.

  4. What is dehumanising is expecting terminally ill people to suffer weeks or months of great pain and helplessness, and to inflict this on their families. Sure, if thy want a death like that then fine. But there should be the option of a more dignified end, with appropriate safeguards.

  5. Peter.
    The problem is that if you make it law then we take a further step towards getting shot of people old and young who are ‘an inconvenience.’ Funny that we fought against Nazism in part because of some of the policies we are now advocating.
    This proposal would go the same way as abortion has.
    Better to keep these decisions discretional with the family’s consent.

  6. Peter,

    I read elsewhere that pain, with modern techniques, can almost invariably be controlled. That still leaves instances of a person with a zero quality of life, and in cases where there is no hope of a reprieve, poses the problem of making a a moral and humanitarian decision.

    Under such circumstances it is much more likely that the correct decision will be made, and the balance between the ‘quality of life’ and the ‘quality of death’, will be the sole factor, rather than being clouded by matters related to financial or convenience matters.

  7. EP,

    That a decision on this matter is seen as so crucial at this time when trust in authority is at a bare minimum, would suggest that their motive owes more to financial than humanitarian concerns.

  8. I read elsewhere that pain, with modern techniques, can almost invariably be controlled

    Dream on. That assumes the best possible medical attention which is usually only available to the rich. I saw a neighbour die a horrible protracted death over many months. They assured him he would feel nothing. They lied.

  9. It’s interesting that the people who argue against the option of dignified death are also 100% against an opt-in system for organ donation on death. They would miuch prefer to see needless suffering and death among the living waiting for organs than relieve that suffering by a pragmatic reform. Totally heartless in the name of dogma.

  10. Another ‘slippery slope’ yet some claim that there is no such thing. The reality is that the ‘activists’ will lie about and conceal their true intentions until we are on not just a ‘slippery slope’, but a ski-jump. This has happened on all questions of morality and the result has been an evident and progressive degeneration of the moral fibre of our societies. Whenthe fibre breaks, our countries will collapse.

  11. Peter – I’ve no problem with organ donation. What concerns me is how a reasonable position on determining one’s own end-of-life will be perverted in the same way as abortion. For example, if I am unable to maintain a quality of life which would cause me to prefer to end it myself, then I’ll decide and I’ll deal with and not somebody else. You mentioned “appropriate safeguards” – as in abortion which is now abortion-on-demand?

    On another thread I wrote this:

    Allan@Aberdeen, on July 11th, 2014 at 10:41 PM Said:
    There is a very distinct similarity between the ‘slippery slope’ of sexual depravity, for that’s what it is, and the ‘slippery slope’ of abortion. Abortion was proposed in order to end cases such as pregnancy by rape and incest but this was simply a ploy used to provide effective abortion on demand. I don’t want this to be a debate on abortion as we have many of them, but it’s more to highlight the modus operandi of the political activists who attack what may be described as morality, as in the ‘slippery slope’ before us.

    ‘Roe’ files to overturn high-court ruling

    The woman known as “Roe” in the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down all state laws restricting abortion is filing a motion in federal court today to overturn the 1973 decision.

    The Roe v. Wade ruling should be set aside because of changes in law and new research that make the prior decision “no longer just,” argues Allan E. Parker, Jr., lead attorney for the San Antonio, Texas-based Justice Foundation.

    Parker is representing the former “Jane Roe,” Norma McCorvey, who has the right to petition for reopening the case because she was party to the original litigation.

    McCorvey announced in 1995 she had become a Christian and now has a pro-life ministry called Roe No More.

    “I long for the day that justice will be done and the burden from all of these deaths will be removed from my shoulders,” McCorvey said in a statement. “I want to do everything in my power to help women and their children. The issue is justice for women, justice for the unborn, and justice for what is right.”

    In an interview with WorldNetDaily two years ago, McCorvey said she was “used” by pro-abortion attorneys in their quest to legalize the procedure.

    Seeking an abortion at the age of 21, McCorvey made up a story that she had been raped. She was put in touch with two attorneys who aimed to challenge the Texas abortion statute.

    “Plain and simple, I was used,” she said. “I was a nobody to them. They only needed a pregnant woman to use for their case, and that is it. They cared, not about me, but only about legalizing abortion. Even after the case, I was never respected – probably because I was not an Ivy League-educated, liberal feminist like they were.”

    A ‘slippery slope’ indeed.

  12. And by way of example of the ‘slippery slope’:

    Last year Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, came under fire for arguing a woman who did not want a girl should have the same right to an abortion as one who is pregnant due to rape or failed contraception.

    Now the service, which carries out 55,000 abortions a year, 96 per cent of them on the NHS, is advising women that gender abortions are not illegal.

    In a pamphlet entitled Britain’s Abortion Law, What it Says and Why, it asks: “Is abortion for reasons of sex illegal under the Abortion Act?”

    Shockingly, the answer is: “No. The law is silent on the matter.”

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/487040/Abortion-British-Pregnancy-Advisory-Service-Rape-Gender-Baby-Termination-Pregnancy

    Note that the chief executive of BPAS (the UK’s largest independent abortion provider), Ann Furedi, is married to Frank Furedi, founder of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

  13. Peter,

    You refer to organ donation ‘on death’, – a contentious topic on its own. The basic argument against it is the fear that death may be ‘bought forward’ in the quest for specific organs, as and when a doctor decides. A decision that may well be made using criteria that are somewhat less than ethical.

    However, both of the problems under discussion here might well be solved by having a universal ‘sell by date’, an age when healthy or otherwise, we all have ‘a ticket to ride’, to a far distant place, never to be seen again.

    If the age when this might happen was strictly universal and applied to everyone, and not just the hoi-polloi, it just might find acceptance, even if reluctantly.

    Of course this is all pure eugenics, a verboten philosophy, and the basis of many sci-fi tales, but which sometimes seems to be inevitable.

    Either way, on such vital matters it seems the public have such little faith or trust in those who govern us that these topics will always be controversial. That lack of trust might itself be considered a terminal illness!

  14. Peter is correct. Pain cannot always be controlled. And if it can only be controlled with powerful drugs every day over a long time, that is no life either.

    Conditions like a worsening paralysis,are as bad as being in pain.

    The loved ones who want to fight for the last breath of the terminally ill one often do them no favor. The terminally ill person often is ready to go. It can be a great cruelty to force them to stay, at any cost. I have seen it and it pains me still to think of it.

    This really has little to do with any politicians or any of that. It has to do with a poor understanding of death, in the context of extended life spans and modern medicine, a benefit but which can be a curse too.

  15. Phantom,
    if you love someone you don’t want them to suffer anyway. A tacit understanding between doctor and family should be enough to allow the patient to be freed from their suffering.
    Of course knowing a person’s thinking on the issue beforehand lessens any sense of guilt an individual may feel at taking part in that decision. Interestingly the breakdown in the traditional family means family ties are weakened, the breakdown in morality and living for ourselves means that caring and compassion are weakened too.

  16. Now the service, which carries out 55,000 abortions a year, 96 per cent of them on the NHS, is advising women that gender abortions are not illegal.

    In a pamphlet entitled Britain’s Abortion Law, What it Says and Why, it asks: “Is abortion for reasons of sex illegal under the Abortion Act?”
    Shockingly, the answer is: “No. The law is silent on the matter.”

    As part of the commitment to multiculturalism, diversity and inclusivity, all faiths and cultures should be of equal worth. So the death of faith in our traditional Christian values means that other values come in to fill the vacuum. So for e.g. gender abortion was never acceptable when a Christian influence remained. A baby was a blessing regardless of its sex, but in some cultures a girl baby is not a blessing and it is okay to dispose of them or exploit them.
    All the things we are touching on here are happening because we as a culture are abandoning those religious values which enabled us to build a free, compassionate and just society.

  17. Agit – I’m not seeking a debate on abortion but I brought this in to show how the ‘slippery slope’ becomes a ski-jump. We were told back in 1967 that the purpose of the Abortion Act was to allow pregnancies which endangered the health of the mother to be terminated. As we see, it has gone well beyond that, as the advocates of abortion knew all along. On morality, the same with paedophilia and incest being allowed in using homosexual ‘rights’ as the wedge. Now, with ‘assisted dying’, it will become the case that anybody who claims a pension for ‘too long’ shall be assisted to die whether he/she wants to or not. This is how it goes.

  18. Phantom,

    When I read comments such as yours, among others, it would be so easy to get the impression you have but minimal contact with older generations, i.e the 70+’s. – a common enough occurrence these days of transient families and a reliance on communal care of the elderly.

    Pain and disability are just a few of the reasons that anyone would wish for ‘early termination’.

    Having experience of living in SW Florida – a well recognised retirement area, and of living in the Dorset area of southern UK, I feel competent enough to suggest a few other reasons for having a ‘death wish’, mainly psychological, including depression and loneliness. others being dementia and plain overall senility. None of which cause physical pain but still decrease the quality of life, – as we know it.

    Suffice to say that in the UK depression is a major problem, not just because of the weather, but also by what amounts to the ultimate betrayal of the most senior generations by government, due mainly to bureaucratic meddling, and incompetence, not to mention a more general, but none-the-less still prevalent overall negative attitude, where pensioners are seen in a similar light to welfare recipients.

    Somehow that doesn’t seem to be the case in the US, not that they are more competent, just that there is less of it. The general communal environment for seniors is also more user friendly than in most UK areas.

    Dementia is of course an ageing problem, most eventually succumb to it, I gather that drugs are the answer.

    Depression is very different, and while drugs may help, from folk I have met who are long term sufferers, is practically incurable the older one gets, it being caused as much by circumstance as by failing health.

    Would you consider an ‘early release’ for such folk as a moral and reasonable answer for them?

    .

  19. Agit – I’m not seeking a debate…

    You!
    Not seek a debate? 🙂

    I actually agree with your post and it is interesting because my personal belief is that as we abandon our Christian values (and I’m not talking about any kind of Church, just the basics of the faith) I believe we will see more of this downward slide into moral chaos which will indeed eventually lead to the death of Western freedoms.
    It happens to all great civilisations, and Rome was the last example.

  20. I have seen this up close and personally, and very recently.

    Here I am going to stay away from the economic interests of governments, private insurers ( who always get a pass on this site but who have the same motivation as govt to pull the plug )Those are good discussions to have.

    I only say that the best meaning of relations keep people alive in awful and hopeless situations, for religious or other other reasons, and they often prolong great pain by this.

    I was asked in a ” joking ” way by a paralyzed relative to help him die. I did not do it, not because it would have been wrong – I would not see it as wrong in any way – but because it was illegal, because of the family, because I could not deal with it

    He suffered more than he should have.

    This issue deserves serious thought. I think that we let a lot of people down,

  21. Phantom,
    Thanks for sharing a personal and painful experience.
    I think one of the things that has changed in (especially) US/UK western culture is the growth in the cult of youth and the death of the consideration of death.
    We started ignoring death after ww2, especially as people lost confidence in the traditional values. So the idea is to enjoy life as much as possible because tomorrow we become old, unloved and waiting to die.
    The cult of youth meant that we wanted to express ourselves, discover ourselves and have the right “to be me” wherever that may lead. So anything that hindered that search had to get out of the way!
    That included unwanted pregnancies, terminal illness, being old and being unrecognized..

    The more as a culture we explore these issues in relation to what does it mean to be truly human, the more the situations you and Mike Cunningham describe can find a resolution. My concern is that by passing laws for this, that and the other we actually make things worse, we destroy freedoms and we dehumanise ourselves.

  22. You can’t make it worse

    In some situations, I think that actively assisting death is the most moral thing obe could do. It would be an act of love.

    As the law stands now, that act of love would lead to a murder charge.

    There are no intentional bad actors here, but law and custom and religion lead to great cruelty to the very sick

  23. “I think one of the things that has changed in (especially) US/UK western culture is the growth in the cult of youth and the death of the consideration of death.”

    Spot on! – and that the ‘cult of youth’ now includes those in their fifties and early sixties, and I don’t think it is especially down to any lack of war, per se, – but perhaps more to a lack of war on our own doorstep.

    Is it just coincidence that since we have had a relative ‘peace in our neighbourhood’, that our national atheism has grown and with it a lack of just what death and dying mean.

    It seems that without such graphic examples as having bombs dropping on our heads, or having a buddy shot dead while standing beside you, that consideration of death and dying fades in significance. certainly on a national basis, if not a personal. one. Somehow pics of rows of coffins, while invoking sympathy, do not invoke thoughts of ‘what if that was me!’.

    It is a rare religion that doesn’t use the consideration of the ‘after life’ as some sort of spur to believe in heaven and hell.

    Don’t they say that in the last minutes of life, everyone becomes a believer!

  24. Ernest,
    As I have gotten older and returned to my faith, I see life as a wonderful experience, the beauty of our world, the innocent joy of children, the deep love between a husband and wife, the storms they have weathered together. The people we have met along the way, people who have inspired or served as a warning, the mistakes we have made, the fools we have made of ourselves, the love and forgiveness of our spouse, the sudden onset of fears as we realise that we ourselves are visibly ageing..

    It’s a journey either to total termination or something more. When my time comes I hope to have my wife by my side holding my hand. I hope I will have the strength left to smile and maybe make her laugh, to thank her for sharing her life with me.
    Then slowly slip away to meet my Maker
    That’s what I’d like,
    but it might turn out to be a bus…. 😉

  25. Agit8ed,

    Strange how during our lives we have such a wide variety of experiences and opinions, and as we grow older, and maybe wiser, – how all these fragments of experience coalesce into a few remarkably similar thoughts, – by no means all the same, but much fewer than when younger.

    As I mentioned above, – they do say that in the last minutes of life, everyone becomes a believer! so prepared to believe, to hope, now that’s what you call ‘faith’.

    I wish you all the best! and may your dreams be fulfilled.

  26. Ernest

    Don’t they say that in the last minutes of life, everyone becomes a believer!

    Some might say it. But it’s been proven untrue time and time again.
    When I was in an ambulance thinking I might die at any moment, I never became a believer. The only thing on my mind, was the devastating effect my demise would have on those closest to me.

    On the subject of this thread, people should have the right to die if they decide to end their suffering. It’s inhumane to keep a human being in pain alive against their wishes.

  27. On the subject of this thread, people should have the right to die if they decide to end their suffering. It’s inhumane to keep a human being in pain alive against their wishes.

    We’ve already discussed that Dave.
    Time for a tangent perhaps?

  28. Sorry to witter so..
    You are of the opinion that I go off on tangents.
    Seeing as we have covered the topic of people dying in pain and distress and shared our thoughts on the issue..
    I wondered if it was time for another?

  29. Agit. Wow. I can’t believe you’ve hung onto my tangent comment untill I posted again. It must have rally got to you.
    My post isn’t off on a tangent, it’s on topic in case you failed to notice.

  30. My post isn’t off on a tangent, it’s on topic in case you failed to notice.

    I didn’t think it was Davey Baby,
    only that we had talked about the issue earlier and I said that we should talk about these things more with those we love or care about.

  31. Phantom,

    I was not trying to be either condescending, and in no way clueless.

    Our thoughts on life and death change continually throughout our lifetimes, and depend on our experiences as much as anything. I used to think as you and many others do, but I assure you although you think you have the question of the value of life, and the thought of dying sussed, it changes considerably. You will find, as I did, that your valuation changes somewhat.

  32. Agit

    I didn’t think it was Davey Baby,
    only that we had talked about the issue earlier and I said that we should talk about these things more with those we love or care about.

    Davey Baby!?

    I didn’t think it was Davey Baby’, is not an answer to me asking how my post was off topic.
    I’ll say it again, I responded to something Earnest had posted and I also put in my opinion on the subject of the thread. Just because I’m late to the discussion doesn’t make what I said off-topic.
    You should have waited until I actually said something off-topic Agit and then your post would have had some validity. Better luck next time aye.

  33. Dave Alton,

    “When I was in an ambulance thinking I might die at any moment, I never became a believer.”

    I bet you were but a youngster when that occurred, and just couldn’t really believe bad things were happening to you. As you get older you might find your thoughts changing.

  34. I’m not primarily speaking of my own opinion.

    I speak of an elder whose wishes were not respected. Not vis malice but not respected nontheless

    I don’t think that this a unique situation

  35. Phantom.

    Society at large has not properly discussed it at all

    Talk on Dave please

    Nice of you to ask Phantom, but I’m not sure what else I can say. I’m sort of in the same position as you, reading your posts on this thread. I’ve seen family members and friends dying painfully, and wishing (along with them), their suffering could end.
    I think it’s dishonest to bring euthanasia as a straw man into this, to try and cloud the issue. All the people I know who support assisted suicide are not in favour of bumping-off the elderly or disabled.

  36. Ernest Young

    I bet you were but a youngster when that occurred, and just couldn’t really believe bad things were happening to you. As you get older you might find your thoughts changing.

    It depends if you think 42 is young or not Earnest. 🙂
    Whilst I can’t rule out the very remote possibility, I really don’t think I’m going to find faith in my lifetime. And nothing that has happened to me in my interesting and eventful life so far has done anything to change that opinion.

  37. Dave Alton,

    While admitting to being twice your age, I think I can say with certainty that I have underwear as old or older than you! 🙂

    Live by the mantra of ‘Live and Learn!’ and you might find that you surprise yourself as how your attitudes and beliefs change.

  38. People should have the right to die if they decide to end their suffering. It’s inhumane to keep a human being in pain alive against their wishes

    Absolutely Dave. I’ve told my children that should the quality of my life be seriously affected, should I have a painful terminal illness or should I become a bured on anyone they are immediately to releve me of my mortal coil.

    Don’t they say that in the last minutes of life, everyone becomes a believer

    I’ve also told them that they are to incinerate me without any trace of bells ringing, Priests or any other religious paraphanelia.

    What you say may be true Ernest but it’s not true for me, at least not yet. If a God does exist I’ll give my own account with a clear conscience.

  39. Paul

    I’ve also told them that they are to incinerate me without any trace of bells ringing, Priests or any other religious paraphanelia.

    What you say may be true Ernest but it’s not true for me, at least not yet. If a God does exist I’ll give my own account with a clear conscience.

    You and I have the same wishes and opinions on this one Paul.

  40. Ernest.

    While admitting to being twice your age, I think I can say with certainty that I have underwear as old or older than you! 🙂

    I’d like to think I’d make it to your age Ernest, with a reasonable quality of life, but it’s I hate to say, it’s unlikely.

    Live by the mantra of ‘Live and Learn!’ and you might find that you surprise yourself as how your attitudes and beliefs change.

    What makes you think I don’t live by that Manta Earnest?
    Just because I’m an Atheist, doesn’t make me closed minded. (Quite the opposite, in fact.)

  41. Phantom,

    What of the many points we have discussed did they disagree with? so they disagree, I did mention earlier that attitudes to and in old age vary substantially between the UK an the US.

  42. Attitudes to and in old age vary substantially between the UK an the US

    That’s an interesting cultural difference Ernest. Could you elaborate and give some examples / comparatives?

  43. Dave Alton,

    I just mentioned it – more as reminder than as a criticism. You may well be an atheist, but surely you don’t dismiss it all as of no consequence? There are lessons to be learned in the most unlikely of places…

  44. Dave Alton,

    ‘but it’s I hate to say, it’s unlikely’

    Would your doubts be anything to do health or perhaps lifestyle? either way such a pessimistic outlook doesn’t bode well.

  45. Paul, McMahon,

    I certainly will, but it will have to be later as we are about to go out to dinner. To a restaurant overlooking Christchurch Bay and the evening promises to be enjoyable.

    So later it will have to be…

  46. I didn’t think it was Davey Baby’, is not an answer to me asking how my post was off topic.

    I didn’t think your post was off topic. Where did you get that idea? I have said goodbye to four members of my immediate family, and only my elder brother’s death really upset me because I think he was on that Liverpool Care Pathway programme, but none of the family knew that. It was not the way to end a life imo.

  47. Ernest Young

    Would your doubts be anything to do health or perhaps lifestyle? either way such a pessimistic outlook doesn’t bode well.

    Congenital heart defect. You’re quite right, I shouldn’t have such a pessimistic outlook. After all Arne Larsson lived to a good age, (and it wasn’t his heart that got him in the end), and he had the same problem as myself. He certainly had an optimistic outlook.
    If my partner read my comment she’d agree with you and kick me.

  48. Ernest Young

    I just mentioned it – more as reminder than as a criticism. You may well be an atheist, but surely you don’t dismiss it all as of no consequence? There are lessons to be learned in the most unlikely of places…

    If you mean do I dismiss religious belief as of no consequence, then no I don’t. My partner has belief and I’ve never criticised her of tried to stop her believing.
    I just have no faith or see any evidence to believe there is a deity.
    I could be wrong. But so could every religion on the planet.
    Don’t forget, (I’m assuming), You only believe in one religion more than me. We both dismiss the other 1900 or so.

  49. Paul McMahon,

    My experiences of attitudes pertain mostly to Florida, where my wife and I lived and worked for some fifteen years. We met many people and made many good friends.

    One of the first things we noticed soon after arrival was the number of tri-generational groups dining out together, not just on the odd occasion, but frequent enough to cause comment. It seemed that such groups were nothing exceptional, with Americans seemingly more family conscious than us in the UK. These apparently were just normal dining out occasions, not just special birthday or anniversary events, all very inclusive.

    In general we soon recognised that there was more respect for ‘seniors’ there, than we had grown used to in the UK. No sneery name-calling such as being addressed as ‘Old geezers’, or worse, no derogatory ‘jokes’ – it was quite refreshing. I would point out that at that time we didn’t consider ourselves as ‘seniors’.

    Reasons for such different attitudes? – America is a very big place with plenty of room, unlike the UK where we have an occupancy rate in the hundreds per sq. Km. they have a rate in single figures, overcrowding has long been know to make folk more aggressive, hence the Brit attitude to the elederly, where it seems they are seen as an encumberance rather than as an asset. The recent attempt at, and the motives behind the ‘bedroom tax’, explains the thinking.

    That most Americans do not live in the ‘big cities’, might explain the rather more posiive general attitude to life than the generally negative attitude in the UK, overcrowding being the norm here and a quite depressing factor on its own.

    There are, of course, many other very real differences, such as a strong and quite resilient religious belief among many folk. I’m not too sure how their education system rates, each State having its own structure, but surely it must be more ‘relative to needs’, than our destructive comprehensive charade. Outside of the cities it does seem that there is still a strong belief in marriage and family, – very much contrary to what Hollywood and the media might have us believe.

    There are many more differences to explain that old cliche that we really are ‘Two nations seperated by a common language’, I would add ‘and by a different attitude’.

    Too many to list here, – books have been written on the very same topic.

  50. There are many more differences to explain that old cliche that we really are ‘Two nations seperated by a common language’, I would add ‘and by a different attitude’.

    And medication 😉

  51. Ernest,
    “That most Americans do not live in the ‘big cities’, might explain the rather more posiive general attitude to life …”

    I wonder too if that’s what is behind that “can do ” mentality, and “twelve easy steps to building your own business” etc. There is this (to me) wonderfully positive attitude still evident amongst some Americans.

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