Loving Care Not Lethal Cocktails

Thank God compassion and common sense prevailed during the vote in the Commons on the Assisted Dying Bill.

Thank you to all those MPs who voted with compassion for the hundreds of people dying at this moment. Young as well as old know they only have a few more months to live, and yet can rejoice in every single day. They have been spared unimaginable worry and distress.

Try to imagine what it would be like for, say, a thirty five year old mother of three with inoperable breast cancer, if that Bill had become law. Already, you can’t help feeling anger, loneliness and despair. Your family assure you that you’ll never be a burden, that every moment you are with them is precious. But, if death were an immediate option, which, Heaven forbid, in those lowest hours before the dawn, you might begin to add guilt to your other miseries. You wrestle with thoughts of the cost to your family, in terms of money; even more in terms of stress, fatigue and anguish. They’re going to lose you in the end so . . . . maybe you should get it over and done with right away?

What about the cost to the NHS? Your drugs, your nursing care? If there’s no hope for you couldn’t the money be better spent on more doctors, more nurses, improving ambulance waiting times. Imagine, lying sleepless in the wee, small hours, worrying that perhaps you are being thoroughly selfish clinging to life. If the law allows it, perhaps you should just tidy yourself away for everyone’s benefit. No, never. The law must continue to make it impossible in such cases.

Thank you, too, to the MPs for their common sense in rejecting a bill as ill thought out as this road sign.          

IMG_0605

The Marris Bill was designed to help those with only six months to live. Actually, that is an extremely difficult thing to predict even for a highly trained and widely experienced palliative care team. And I’m confused by its limitations. Surely, if we truly need a bill like this every condition should be considered and catered for.

It wouldn’t help you if you suffered from locked in syndrome, for example, because you wouldn’t be able to administer the drugs yourself. You would need a professional to do it for you, and that would not be suicide but euthanasia. And what about people with mental health problems? They may feel desperate but they don’t have a terminal illness.

Nowadays, medicine and science seem to have the answers to almost everything. We manipulate procreation with gay abandon. We are learning how to  make the paralyzed walk, the deaf to hear and the blind to see. Just like Jesus Christ!

Politicians are not God, not even politicians with the initials JC. Nor are doctors gods, but surely, with so many skills, they can help people to peaceful and serene deaths with loving care, not lethal cocktails.

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