Saturday Ramble: Assisted Dying?
It’s the topic of the moment thanks to a new Bill going through Parliament. I believe, however, there’s a lot of it going on now … silently.
The present block on this practice is that anyone doing the assisting is liable to be charged with murder.
The current legal and moral discussions refer to medical professionals administering the fatal dose. It’s not yet clear how this would (or will) be done and what administrative procedures would be written into the law.
When my mother was 80 and in hospital after suffering a number of devastating strokes, she could only speak in gobbledygook, but was otherwise aware. Knowing how much she was suffering, I told the excellent head nurse that we all wished it could be over, by whatever means it took. She just nodded.
After we returned from lunch, she led me aside and said that our mother had just peacefully passed away. I was never more grateful for anything in my life.
We don’t need a bureaucratic law, just simple compassion and understanding. I hope if ever I’m in the same situation, such a nurse or doctor will be on hand, whatever the law may say.
The professionals should not be hampered by ill-considered laws made by sometimes ignorant politicians or religious fanatics, often of the Christian kind.
There is also the opposite case. We in England had Harold Shipman, a British Doctor who killed more than two hundred of his patients for money.
There have been a handful of those, but I believe the evidence shows that people requesting this service, whether for themselves or others, are acting out of overwhelming compassion and need.
I know. I’ve been there.
Coming soon to a bookseller near you: Practical Mysticism: A different way of looking at the world.