Sunday, 7 February 2010

What is it with the English?

OK Second attempt (first was more confrontational than I meant it to be)...

I appriciate that I am also English and so it's an odd question for me to ask but...

Mrs Stace and I were watching 'The Big Questions' this morning on BBC1, well some of it anyway, during which they discussed assisted suicide.

I live in a country where assisted suicide is allowed, there are many forms that you have to sign, and the doctors have to have very good reasons for allowing it.

In the program most of the people against were using two arguments:

1) It's against my religion

Fine don't do it, problem solved

2) Doctors will be trying to force people to go for the suicide, or families will make the decision for the person in order to save time / money

Do people really beleive this? Do they think that just because it's an option that doctors are going to be queueing up trying to get people to take it?

It is there as an option for the person. Nothing more, nothing less.

I know of people who have been through the process of getting the paper work in order. It means that when the person involed reaches the point in their illness where they cannot procede she can stop the pain. I can't imagine how terrible a decision that must be to make, and hope that I never find out - but at least she now knows that when the medication is not enough to take away the pain she has an option

Should the situation change with our friend and the person involved decides not to use it nobody is going to come back with the signed papers saying you have to. It is a choice.

Surely is says more about the people concerend about families forcing it on the people than the people asking for the choice. What does it say about a person when the first thing they think about with assisted suicide is killing off relatives who do not want to die?

We do not put our pets through the long and painful process of dying by invasive diseases, so why do we inflict it on loved ones? When my Grandfather died 12 years ago I didn't shed a tear for years. The reson was I visited him a week or two before he died in hospital. The body in the bed was not my grandfather. I cried a lot when I left that visit, when he did die I was pleased that he was no longer in that amount of pain.

Should I need the choice I hope I have the option of taking it. not forced upon me, but the option of taking it.

Sorry for the rant, but those against it this morning offended me by implying people would use the law to get rid of people they thought a nuisance.


  1. My attitude about this and anything concerning our own bodies, is that we are the owners of our own bodies, and it should be our decision, regardless of what others want. Religion only matters, when it's your own body and your own religion. The idea that doctors would shepherd patients into medically assisted suicide is absurd on its face. The people who said that, must be pretty dumb. It's not just the Brits though, Americans are equally unenlightened. Remember Dr. Kavorkian? After several publicized suicides that he assisted, they finally put him in jail, where he served 8 years of a 25 year sentence.

    I lost a twin sister last October, and like you, seeing her suffer and wither away is what made me cry. When she died, I was relieved, because I knew she was no longer in pain.

    Melissa XX

  2. I'd never heard about about Dr. Kavorkian - just checked him out on Wikipedia.


  3. Such "Scare tactics" are very usual here, Stace.

    They rarely work, of course. It's just the usual reactionary twits who appear on the media. Most Brits have a common sense attitude towards life and death.


  4. BTW, although it's not "official" here, assisted suicide is often practiced in the medical profession, in the case of terminally ill patients.


  5. Chrissie, I didn't know that it was practiced there (even un-officially).

    As to the reactionary twits (very restrained of you there) I guess the problem is that they are also the loudest.