Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Right to Die.

Marie Fleming has been fighting with the courts over the past number of months for her right to die via assisted suicide. Marie has MS (find more info here) and at present has no motor function. This means that Marie will not be able to take her own life without assistance. What she has been looking for is essentially that her partner Tom will not be prosecuted when it comes to the time that she decides it’s time to go.

Why does Marie not go to Switzerland to avail of Dignitas?
Dignitas is an association in Switzerland who if you are a member you can avail of assisted/accompanied suicide ~ “DIGNITAS – To live with dignity - to die with dignity”

Taken from www.dignitas.ch here are the prerequisites for preparation of assisted suicide:
"In order to access the service of an accompanied suicide, someone has to:
  • be a member of DIGNITAS, and
  • be of sound judgement, and
  • possess a minimum level of physical mobility (sufficient to self-administer the drug).
Because the co-operation of a Swiss medical doctor (physician) is absolutely vital in ob- taining the required drug, further prerequisites mean that the person must have:
  • a disease which will lead to death (terminal illness), and/or
  • an unendurable incapacitating disability, and/or
  • unbearable and uncontrollable pain."
As you can see above, the person must be able to self-administer. Marie has passed this point, therefore can not avail of this 'service'. Tom explained on The Late Late Show that Marie was not ready to die when she would have been able to avail of Dignitas.

I, as an able bodied individual, have the ability to end my life as and when I want. When then does Marie not have this right just because her hands are failing her? She is of sound mind, there is no malice in Tom wanting to help her, why not let him assist her and let her pass with some dignity.

I am writing this from a very passionate place. I have worked in various places with people who have debilitating diseases, or have been in accidents that has left them with very little function. Many of these people have expressed that when it gets to a certain point they no longer wish to live. That is their choice, who the hell is anyone to take that away from them.

If anyone who I love needed my help in a situation like this, there is no doubt that I would do whatever I could. I could not stand by and allow them to suffer, cause that is what is happening when they reach that point. 

I would love for those that disagree to put themselves in this position; you can't get yourself out of bed in the morning, you can't wash yourself, you can't feed yourself, you can't take a drink, you can’t brush your hair, you can't wash your teeth, you can't dress yourself, you can't turn the page of a book yourself... The list goes on and on and on. You get to the point that you have had enough and are fed up with life. But your disability/disease has gotten to the point that you can't do this on your own. You need help, but you are worried that if you get help, that person will be sent to jail. 

How the hell is this democratic society. 

'it will open the floodgates to assisted suicide' 

 'where will it stop' 

'sure you will have people killing off their relations to get their money'

Jesus is this not the reason we pay legislators a lot of money to put the proper and appropriate barriers and safeguards in place so that people who are in a vulnerable position are not taken advantage of etc. 

This is an issue that really frustrates me. I really feel that people who are in the same position as Marie should be given the choice to end their lives as and when they see fit, and if this means allowing them some assistance so be it. 

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