Family blog‎ > ‎

The assisted dying debate

posted 29 Oct 2016, 21:25 by Sandra Kirby   [ updated 10 Nov 2016, 23:30 ]
 have been in the midst of the debate over assisted dying in the past few weeks.   Has really brought home to me how the moral/ethical debates pale when compared with the human experience.

 Earlier this year a member of our church congregation died one weekend.  In some ways nothing unusual about that - she was nearly 80 and living in a retirement village.  She had made funeral arrangements and she was farewelled by our church community.  I helped with the after service function.  Pretty normal.  About a month ago the Minister rang  me to say she was about to be interviewed by Police over this death - and the purpose of the interview was to find out if the church had aided and abetted her suicide.  My role as Parish Council Convenor has me involved more than I might usually expect to be in such circumstances.  
The whole case has been the centre of media headlines this week - including naming Annemarie and reporting parts of the submission she had made on the proposed assisted dying legislation
Police have not come out of this well - while upholding the current law is undoubtedly their job - getting names and addresses of supporters of Exit International through a breath testing checkpoint and then using that information to question the people looks heavy handed at best, abuse of power at worst.

How do I feel about it?  At a totally intellectual level I support the right to end your own life rather than suffering.  I'd like to think that I could get the green needle when I was no longer had the life I wanted, just like we can for our pets.  Would I use it?  Who knows - Tony &I I watched our fathers lives deteriorate below what many would have considered a good quality of life - yet it was only in Pop's last 6 months he asked for no further treatment- the closest,legal step.  
When I think about Gran's last week - when not treating the tumour and not giving her food meant death was inevitable- we had precious days with her, she was surrounded by love and knew it.  We could support her and each other.  Annemarie had no-one with her, to protect her children and others she died alone.  That to me is a tragedy.  
I am a control freak, I want to have some control,at the end of my life, but I don't want to be alone.  

The flowers,are not at all related to the post - were a gift yesterday and are beautiful.  As they have no scent they can live - no assisted dying for them - despite them appearing to be lying on their side in the photo