10 Dec 2008

To be or not to be

Suicide is usually a controversial topic, one where emotions run higher than an addict on a cocaine fix. Suicide is illegal in many countries, and while it is no longer a crime in England and Wales, aiding and abetting suicide is a criminal offence punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Why am I talking about suicide at 10 PM? Well, tonight there was a documentary on TV here in England, on Sky Real Lives. One Craig Ewert, 59, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, died in Switzerland, after swallowing a mixture of sedatives and using his teeth to turn off his ventilator. Mr Ewert suffered from motor neuron disease.

Now I have not seen this documentary/show myself. I had an appointment that prevented me from viewing it, plus, since I don't watch television myself (unless I happen to be by my friend's house) I might have not known about it anyway. Coincidently, I was at my neighbour's house when the program was on but I didn't watch more than a few minutes of it.

What perked my interest in this was the BBC article on the show.

I will say right off I do believe in suicide. I also believe it is MY right to choose whether I want to live or die. For all those who are religiously bent (I consider you mentally disturbed to say the least in this regard), remember I do not share, nor subscribe to your point of view so your opinion of what is going on in MY life has no bearing for me. The fact that people wish to use 'religion' to push ah head (so to speak) speaks volumes, but I get almighty pissed at someone using THEIR religious views to decide on MY fate.

I disagree that people should be forced to live in circumstances of indignity, pain, hopelessness, suffering, etc to satisfy the sensibilities of a few morally simplistic fools. There is no easy solution I agree, and there should and can be safeguards to prevent the depressed from using this as a way out.

For people who are genuinely in detrimental pain, with no hope of improvement over their medical condition, and who are afraid of the painful reality of future deteriorating medical conditions... this is definitely an option, in my view. The current suggestion of independent doctors assessing the mental and physical condition of the patient is a good one, to prevent the afore-mentioned abuse of process.

I find it atrocious that if an animal is beyond hope, the vet is allowed, nay often begged, to put it down in a humane manner, and yet we allow our fellow man to suffer the worst of ways, often in agony and wallowing in his own shit.

Pain management may not be enough. I know, having been independent since I was 12, that the indignity of having someone wipe my arse daily in the future may be a burden I do not wish to bear, not push onto Punks or any other loved one. It makes you less of a human being to be in indignity, whether that indignity is caused by pain or disease or whatever.

It is your right to protest my decision. It is your right to recommend alternative care that I can agree to. It is your right to bring forward any argument you wish to change my mind.

IT IS NOT YOUR RIGHT TO IMPOSE YOUR OPINIONS, YOUR VIEWS, YOUR BELIEFS ON ME such that my decisions are shunted aside! Your rights end where mine begin.

Thus a quasi-Christian state like Trinidad and Tobago or the UK, has no recognisable authority, in my view, to impose its own Christian codes on me, a non-Christian who believes in alleviating human misery.

My right to be or not to be should be my own, not anyone else's.