Monday, March 28, 2005

And on a serious note...

...I have been reading with interest many blogs commenting on the situation in America regarding the life of Terri Schiavo. Undoubtedly is a tragedy and undoubtedly there are no simple answers. That's the downside of being 30, well over 30 but you can't see me let's call it 30, life is less clear-cut than it was a few years ago. Everything I'd read up to this point suggested that a) the husband was abusive and that b) the idea that she might no longer want to carry on living had come out of nowhere. I'm no longer sure that's true.

I don't have anything new or particularly innovative to add to the debate. I am anxious about euthanasia, because I'm anxious about what it says about the value of disabled people's lives, and provision of palliative care. The debate in the US makes me anxious, because it suggests that parents may be given powers to decide about our lives over partners, and that's bad news for a lot of people. The thing that particularly aerated me at the moment though, was pointed out to me by The Doctor, is that this death by starvation is a dreadful way to go. In this case I don't really know what I believe, I'm not sure a persistent vegetative state is much life, but people have actually said to me that living like I do wouldn't be something they'd want (I tell them dairy intolerance isn't such a bad thing) which goes to show as a society we don't really know what constitutes quality of life. I have no doubt that, however, that allowing someone to starve to death is degrading and dehumanises all of us.

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