Saturday, June 14, 2008

Right or Wrong ? and Could I Ask ?

Feeling a bit better tonight after a bad week, last night being the worst. A head cold, cramps , wicked headache, and sore neck, combined to make me feel like a miserable wretch. Every part of me hurt. I was too sick to die . This afternoon I crashed out on the couch and amazingly after an hour of rest I felt so much better, even managed to go for a walk. During the week I had tried to go out but had to turn back as I was just so weak and dizzy. Right now though sitting here at my desk I can say I feel almost normal.

An article today in the local paper about a Hamilton woman, Susan Forester, who died from MS at the age of 47 , only two days after receiving her university degree. I don't ever think of anyone dying from MS and not that young. I know it happens but it's a shock when it does.

Had a long think about assisted suicide which I mentioned in my last post.
I have always been against assisted suicide yet I wouldn't stop a person who wanted it.
I understand the feeling of not wanting to be a burden, not wanting heroic effort to stay alive.
I want someone to pull the plug on me if I end up a vegetable on a respirator, however:
Would I be able to ask a loved one to help me to die ? Wouldn't it be better to do it myself while I still had my faculties? Would I be doing it out of fear ? Fear of being left one day to rot in a dirty diaper ? Fear that I will still be aware mentally, but physically unable to do anything? Is it a rational choice ? or is it depression ? Maybe a loved one would agree to help but afterwards how do I know that they wouldn't feel guilt or regret ? That is one heck of a burden to put on another person. It would have to be someone very strong and most people aren't.

I think if we had better palliative care people would be less afraid of the final stages of an illness
That's the thing though. It's so hard to get any decent care and so many die an undignified death.

Hospitals terrified they'll get sued so they hook patients up to machines and feeding tubes .
Society's unrealistic definition of "life" . Doctors who paint unrealistic pictures of hope when there is none, pushing the sick and their families, to try every drug, every procedure, to prolong life. What about quality of life ?

I don't know. I never seem to be able to come up with adequate answers to help me decide if assisted suicide is right or not. I was raised Catholic and suicide is a sin so maybe that still has an influence .

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