What a horror.
Tony Nicklinson last week lost his court case to be allowed to have help in ending his life. He had a stroke in 2005 left him paralysed from the neck down.
So he stopped eating, and died. That’s a nasty way to die. If the court had ruled in his favor, he would have been able to relax, knowing he could have a less nasty way to die at a time of his choosing.
I have locked-in syndrome and it makes my life a living nightmare.
I cannot speak and I am also paralysed below the neck, which means I need someone to do everything for me.
For example, 90% of itches have to be endured because by the time someone comes to scratch it and I have laboriously explained where it is, the itch has gone. Now I just put up with them.
Or there is the screaming frustration of wanting to make a point but knowing that the only way I can express my opinion, by the board or computer, are useless in normal conversation…
However, all these things are physical and arguably one can learn to live with them. What I find impossible to live with is the knowledge that, unlike you, I have no way out – suicide – when this life gets too much to bear.
The reason for this mess is, apparently, adamant refusal to think.
Many opponents of assisted dying object because they think it is wrong to take your own or another’s life. Recently I asked such people if there was anything I could say to make them change their mind. They both replied there wasn’t.
I even suggested to one some safeguards for his approval or otherwise. He totally ignored the question. Clearly any discussion with them is a complete waste of time.
Much has been said about the part care plays in assisted dying and the argument is essentially that better care and more of it will expunge all thoughts of taking one’s own life.
This was said of me on a prestigious national radio programme back in February. I invited the speaker to visit so that she could tell me to my face what I am missing. So far all she has come up with is a number of excuses not to visit. Draw your own conclusions.
It’s a horror.