Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Assisted suicide



My opinion on suicide has turned a 180 degrees since I was in my teens. My mother kept talking about euthanasia. I hated it. Her desire for death, after many years of suffering, seemed to be an infringement of my rights to feel rosy about life. It was adolescent self-centredness. That's how it seems now anyway. Everything at that age is an attempt to construct the world as one would wish it to be. An adolescent has so little control over anything and has such an insecure sense of self that other people's actions often constitute a threat. As Harry Enfield's teenager Kevin on the TV show used to repeat time and again: It's so-o-o unfair!

No, it isn't. I can see why she yearned for it. I can see I was a prig to feel as I did.

Now I am for it. Especially since the Scottish clergyman insisted that it is God's right to make us suffer and that we have no right not to suffer or to save other's suffering by ending our own. Not my kind of God then, vicar. That one can get lost.

In the current brouhaha about the televising of the death of one man who wished to be shown dying, whose surviving wife also wished it to be shown, I am wholly with the couple. I don't think it is sensationalist TV. It is reality, and it is about time death was shown as something real rather than acting and shoot-em-up. Someone pro-life on radio was saying there was no counter-argument to be heard on the programme. It's not argument. It is an event. No one has to watch it. People know it's there. It has been fully signposted. It is not glamorous. It is not youthful death wish. The man would have wanted to go on living if living had been possible. He would soon not have been able even to swallow. Would God have been satisfied then? As it was, from what I read, it was a loving leave taking.

I don't intend watching it myself. Can't, as we're out anyway. But I know it's there and am not sorry it is. The Roman route in such things seems far superior to the later model.

*

A footnote

See comments but this one is mine and I want it here, where it belongs. As below:

What annoys me are those people who keep repeating:

Your life doesn't belong to you. Not even to those who love you. It belongs to us. To God, to the community, to anybody but yourself.

And then they have the gall to say:

We fully sympathise and it isn't aimed at you, but those who choose this method are cowards and bad citizens and will fry in hell (not meaning you, of course, because we have full sympathy for you.)

I've heard several like that these last two days. Go fuck your sympathy, is what I think. You don't have to do anything about it, you patronising bastard.



7 comments:

Mark Granier said...

"Not my kind of God then, vicar. That one can get lost."

Not my kind either.

As for a "counter-argument"... Good god!

Poet in Residence said...

My dear old dad suffered terribly for 4 years. My poor mother wore herself to a complete standstill running back and forth to visit him in various hospitals. She passed out more than once from sheer exhaustion and ended up in hospital herself.
Where's the man with the needle? dad would often ask, pleadingly.
Was there any sense in it, I ask you?

George S said...

What annoys me are those people who keep repeating:

'Your life doesn't belong to you. `Not even to those who love you. It belongs to us. To God, to the community, to anybody but yourself. And then they have the gall to say we fully sympathise and it isn't aimed at you, but those who choose this method are cowards and bad citizens and will fry in hell (not meaning you, of course, because we have full sympathy for you.)'

I've heard several like that these last two days. Go fuck your sympathy, is what I think. You don't have to do anything about it, you patronising bastard.

Billy C. said...

George, in a later life, I had to care for my wife who suffered from chronic rheumatoid arthritis. 15 years I did it. During the last five years it was 24/7. Fingers like talons she had, and feet like balloons. Useless and painful as most women know painful. Both knees, both hips, both shoulders and one elbow were replaced. And she was about to have the other replaced when MY God took her swiftly away from the awful pain, from the ever increasing doses of morphine and from the unending love and care that was administered. And what did 'they' do? Well, her doctors and specialists did what they could, but the one thing she cried out for constantly towards the end, death, the only peace that could have been really meaningful, was denied to her. Why? Because of those who say...

"Your life doesn't belong to you. Not even to those who love you. It belongs to us. To God, to the community, to anybody but yourself."

"We fully sympathise and it isn't aimed at you, but those who choose this method are cowards and bad citizens and will fry in hell (not meaning you, of course, because we have full sympathy for you.)"

Cowards! My darling wife had more bravery in her little finger than these pontificating sods have throughout their whole bodies. I think of her now. One loving smile from her pain filled eyes was reward enough for me to go the extra mile whatever the consequences for myself. It's what we do, us cowards.

And now it's over, eight years over, and I'm almost happy meandering back to my own and my dear wife's true place measuring my/our worth under the old elderberry tree. As against that of those who think they are god. [I use a small 'g' deliberately for them.]

Back to the bread oven. It's cold over here. Maybe Foster Boy will give me a *new book for Christmas and Stoke will beat Man U on Boxing day. So make sure you see the boy. It's good to laugh. I'm sending you a little 'something' which might make you do that while you're thrashing him at ping pong. ;)

*Ahem, he said 'leave it to me' when I asked for a signed copy of GS's New and Collected Poems.

*Have a good day y'all.*

*Adopt deep south accent.

George S said...

Yes, that's exactly what I mean, Billy. I hope to see Stevie F over the next two or three weeks.

Michelle said...

Your life belongs to you - and no one else. I support euthanasia.

My seventy-eight year old dad has been desperately ill - and still is - in hospital the past month. One of his favourite sayings is: "Grant that I may not criticise my neighbour until I have walked a mile in his moccasins".

I've watched my father catatonic, delirious and rigid with fear. And all I've wanted is for his suffering to end. I don't think most people who have witnessed the slow, painful decline of someone they love are against euthanasia.

Poet in Residence said...

http://bardontherun.blogspot.com for a Hamlet's-eye view on all this