It takes a lot of guts to end your life, irrespective of what any one says. To throw yourself under a train, hang yourself, take an overdose or whatever other method of suicide a person chooses, it takes courage. The mind is a complex piece of machinery and sometimes there are factors in a person’s life where death is seen as the only way out. For those families that are left behind, well their ordeal just begins. The guilt that they could have done more, the guilt that they didn’t see the warning signs.
But, there are also people who live in a situation through illness, where death seems the only alternative left, due to the quality of life that they are living. It is an awful position for any person to be in or any family to have to live through. Watching someone you love living a life that you know they don’t want to live.
In September the judgement in the appeal for Tony Nicklinson to take his life will be ruled upon. Will it be the end? Unfortunately I don’t think so, if Tony wins I suspect the Government will appeal, if Tony loses he will appeal against the decision.
But this case isn’t about suicide, it is about asking doctors to end someone’s life, which can be seen as murder and a case that is challenges the law on murder. Tony Nicklinson can’t, due to the severity of his disability, commit suicide even with someone’s assistance. The only alternative he has is to refuse food and drink, which will be an awful and agonising death for him and for his family to witness.
I have just sat through the dispatches programme aired on Channel 4.
And I am asking myself, one simple question? If we allowed an animal to live an existence where they could not move, where they could not feed themselves, where they choked on some of the mouthfuls of food that were being, in effect forcibly fed to them, would the RSPCA not step in and call this cruelty to an animal and charge us with animal cruelty?
Most definitely they would?
But no matter what the outcome in September’s judgement, Beth, Tony’s daughter summed up the sadness in this whole case when she said:
‘And whatever happens, we’ll still lose our dad.’
And Tony’s wife will lose her husband. A family are living through the ordeal of fighting for what their loved one wants, knowing full well that should they win they will lose the person they are fighting for…. That is what I call love.
Sometimes loving someone too much is having to know when to do the right thing by them and when to say goodbye.