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Cheers - AE

Monday, 1 February 2010

Time to die.

Very interesting piece in the Times about assisted suicide, the right to die and the views of the author and Alzheimer's sufferer Terry Pratchett.
The debate over assisted suicide will be reopened tomorrow when Sir Terry Pratchett uses the annual Dimbleby Lecture to call for a radical overhaul of the law.

The best-selling author, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, will say that the “time is really coming” for assisted death to be legalised.


Sir Terry said that if he knew he could end his life at a time of his choosing, without the fear of incriminating a friend or family member, he would enjoy the rest of his life far more.

“If I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly every day would be as precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice,” he will say in the lecture.

“I certainly do not expect or assume that every GP or hospital practitioner would be prepared to assist death by arrangement, even in the face of overwhelming medical evidence. That is their choice. Choice is very important in this matter. But there will be some, probably older, probably wiser, who will understand.”
Couldn't have put it better.

And then, as Penn and Teller say, there's this asshole (via the Ambush Predator).
But what about the sufferers, don't they have a right to escape their pain? No, not if we believe that life is sacred.
So because of your belief that you have a 13 billion year old invisible friend and that all life belongs to him we all have to suffer through whatever diseases life - or your god if you prefer - throw at us. Well, I have to say that if you're right and it's your god doing it then that's pretty fucked up of him. And if you're wrong then our lives don't belong either to ourselves or a non-existent god but to you and your beliefs, and that's pretty fucked up of you. I'll offer you another possibility though: what if God is still choosing when everyone dies but he's directing people's wills so that some off themselves and some do so with help from others? I'd still say that's fucked up and the implied lack of true free will offends me as much as some three way man love during a Sunday service would probably offend you, but you can believe what you want whether it offends me or anyone else. And it's still less fucked up than a 'loving' god who goes round cancering people to death on purpose.


JuliaM said...

BBC Radio news keeps announcing this morning, in sonorous tones 'The rerspected author Terry Pratchett..' and I keep thinking she's about to say '...has died'.

Very disconcerting.

Angry Exile said...

Yeah, it's one of those conditions where people are sometimes talked about in what might be called the semi-past tense. "Is' and 'will' and 'has' but in sombre tones that suggest bad news. If I was TP I'd be using my name to get on talk radio and tell everybody to fucking stop it.

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