No one has the right to switch off a human life… I should know: One woman’s story of being locked inside her own body
A long but important comment from an absolutely outstanding article that is a “must read.” It’s a long article, so I have just copied the following:
Should you or I fall ill tonight and find ourselves, as I once did, unable to speak or move or cry, the danger of someone making the decision to end our lives for us would be greater than ever before. For death has been given a facelift. We are encouraged to think of it as a gentle walk down a white corridor to a beautiful place. We hear talk of dignity in death, as if there were no dignity to be had in a life that is not the one of an able and productive person. And while the law seems willing to bend and flex to this point of view, who speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves? Who considers whether the ‘options’ of life or death look rather different from a patient’s point of view?
I believe that every life that ends at Dignitas (assisted suicide facility), and every dependent patient who is ‘allowed to die’ by starvation, erodes my right to live. It normalises this kind of death, and it sanitises what is an abhorrent practice. In order to label this practice as something other than what it is — killing — the law has been fudged and euphemisms applied.
Death through the withdrawal of food and water is not a gentle walk down a white corridor. It is, according to a doctor friend, about as painful and unpleasant an end as one can imagine. We would not subject an animal to it.
It is possible that many of those who have died this way have suffered extreme anxiety, burning sensations all over their bodies, and searing pain in their kidneys that even the strongest medication can do nothing to ease. And yet, this is the death that more and more believe is the ‘dignified’ way to go.
And what about those who are left behind? Do we really believe that gradual desensitisation to killing has no impact on the rest of society?
By creating a world in which death happens whenever it is deemed convenient, are we not gradually erasing what was once an important part of our life experience? The experience of death itself: the natural loss of our loved ones, no matter how long and difficult the journey to the end may be.
A good and dignified death is not determined by schedules, budgets or the patience of a third party, it is one that teaches us the most about the realities of love and life.
Read more: No one has the right to switch off a human life… I should know: One woman’s story of being locked inside her own body and a further testimony from a long term sufferer opposing assisted suicide/ euthanasia, this time from Australia, No dignity in euthanasia.