This morning I saw a news report on BBC about Debbie Purdy, a woman with progressive MS who has plans to eventually go to Switzerland for assisted suicide. She has asked the courts to rule on whether or not her husband will be prosecuted in England if he helps her. Although no one in Britain who has helped a person with suicide has been prosecuted, her husband could face 14 years in jail.
One thing that she said really struck a chord with me That she wasn't afraid of death, she was a afraid of the pain and the indignity of death. I'm not anywhere near Ms Purdy stage of MS, not even close, yet I know what indignity is. I think many of us who are caught in the health care system do, regardless of where we live or what kind of health care system we have.
How many times I've been hospitalized during my life and had to face indignities .To be tied in a bed in the hospital, have laxatives shoved down my throat, drugs pumped into my body not knowing what, too sick to care. To have my mother go and ask repeatedly for some towels for my hospital room . To have a nurse apologize to me after I gave birth to my son for being rude. Not just rude, down right hostile, because she didn't think I was " so far along" because I was"so so calm" and she thought I would be" around for hours", as if that should make a difference in treating a person with respect. To have a nurse slap me in the face and tell me to shut up. To be sick and left to clean up my own mess etc etc.
Now with MS I'm having to experience being either treated like: a child, a leper, a good cause, a fake. Having others make decisions about my life. Having to put up with all kinds of crap and I'm not even that sick. So I can just imagine what's going through Debbie Purdy's mind and why she wants death with dignity. Read about her here
I'll talk about my Health Canada experience tomorrow. I fell today and really hurt my foot so I'm not in the mood to write anymore.