Thursday, 17 July 2014

Assisted death.

I have tried not to blog on this subject because my views were formed by watching my husband die earlier this year.
During my life it has never occurred to me that at some stage I might want to end either my life or anyone else's. I think my views have changed now though it's early days yet.....they might have   changed again after a few more years....
My father, an alcoholic committed suicide....whilst it shocked us all there was an unspoken feeling of relief. He had done us all a massive favour....life became bearable again for his nearest and dearest.
This obviously coloured my views. My then vicar gave him a Christian burial for which I was always grateful.
Believing in God does not prevent you from wanting to make a decision to terminate a life if it becomes unbearable. A loving God would surely not want us to suffer as He did on the cross.
I have now seen a hard death...up to this year the people I've been with at the moment of death have gone gently for the most part but I am now aware of what Dylan Thomas meant when he wrote
"Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
The whole assisted dying debate is good even if it fails in the detail....we are all mortal. We have no idea of either hour or the manner of our passing for the most part.
I just know that if I was diagnosed with something dreadful I would want to be able to make a choice....
I would want to pray, to talk to God, to reflect , to make a decision based on circumstances beyond my daily control.
I now know that the heart attacks that killed my first husband and my son were the kindest deaths..no pain and no fear....That's the one I would book for myself .
The whole debate is difficult....but we were born with free will, to make our mistakes as well as our joys...
To assist someone who asked for that help seems to be a kind act...but not one I could ever contemplate myself so you see the whole debate is fraught with double standards. I just know that if I thought at any point that my death would be as hard as my second husbands I would want to opt out a little early...
That's cowardly I know....but it is how I feel.

3 comments:

  1. I too have watched the daily, hourly deterioration, mentally and physically of someone, and like you, would not choose that for myself.
    While acknowledging that suicide and assisted suicide both go against basic Christian teaching, this is one area where I will always be at odds with that view.
    Because I have actual experience of a suicide attempt I can say with absolute certainty that it is not a decision taken lightly.
    My attempt failed (but only just, and after a week in a coma) so the aftermath of a failed attempt with all its condemnation is also something I have experienced.
    I would never let a pet suffer needless pain however much I loved it, could I do less for a human being? No, I could not.
    Every experience is different, every reaction to extreme pain or extreme situations is different, but the right to end our own or the suffering of others at their request is, I believe a basic human right.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for that reply Ray...it touched me and I am so glad you survived your suicide attempt.
      I too quoted what you said about not letting animals suffer when I called out a doctor in the middle of the night .
      We have a lot in common!

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  2. I know that my father suffered terribly for some years before his death. He had uncontrolled diabetes and suffered all of the possible complications, including amputations, without actually dying from them. In the end it was further gangrene in a lower limb, causing toxiemia and pneumonia that did for him.

    I would hate for someone to go through the same, but I don't believe that I would be able to assist someone with a suicide or death, legal or otherwise.

    Despite my fathers experience, I still hold life to be precious and that the decision on whether I live or die isn't mine to make, although, I would hope that God would take pity on me and relieve me of any suffering - not a forlorn hope, but the only one that I have.

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