Tuesday, January 31, 2006

death becomes her....

...before moving onto the other post idea I had, I wanted to respond to Rhea and Zinnia's fantastic comments.

Also - a link to Not Dead Yet a US organisation of disabled people opposed to euthanasia. Obviously a US specific site, but presents some interesting thoughts.

Thank you both for your considered responses. This is what I love about blogging - getting to discuss the big issues with fabulous people. And these are sad, difficult issues.

Rhea writes regarding some private people "Perhaps even the best quality of care would seem for some people like an unacceptable intrusion in their lives?"

I can imagine that this would be difficult, I really can. I definitely feel it an intrusion myself, and me, well I'm the kind of person who keeps a diary on the internet ;) But I find it really hard to understand how someone could hate it so much, that despite it enabling them to live full lives, to see their friends and families that they would rather be dead. The personal care side of things is a relatively small part of life, after all.

It is hard to make that adjustment though, and I can see that.

Zinnia writes "Is it that someone else might think *your* life is not worth living, or that someone else might think *their* life is not worth living if they develop similar physical limitations to yours?"

I'm worried (justifiably so, according to press reports) at someone deciding my life isn't worth living but also feel that another person with similar limitations deciding theirs isn't worth living somehow bothers me. This may say more about me than you really needed to know! But its also about wanting to share the knowledge I have about living independently, and that I reject the idea that by getting on with my really fairly ordinary life that I am doing anything unusual or special.

More generally, I'm torn, as you’ve probably seen with this issue of having the right to take your own life. Does the desire to take your own life always mean the balance of your mind is disturbed unless you are disabled~? Should we let anyone who wants to commit suicide? I think what worries me is that it does seem like in a number of cases disability is the deciding factor - in which case if the person is depressed at the prospect of their diagnosis and you wouldn't assist in the suicide of a depressed person - or stop their suicide why is it acceptable to do so in the case of a person who has a not imminently terminal disability?

I think it is an issue of self determinism - but I struggle with suicide being an acceptable choice within that. I accept that that is for terribly personal reasons, relating to being very poorly at times myself, and a roman catholic childhood where the idea of the sanctity of human life was - and still is - important to me (although now for different reasons)

Another thing I'd love to know, which I haven't managed to find out is whether a majority of those who do survive suicide attempts go on to be pleased or to try again?

All comments welcome of course. If it wasn't for you lot, this'd be a lonely old place.....
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