Sunday, January 28, 2007

[euthanasia] thou needst not strive, officiously …

I appreciate how Tony Sharp lightened the tone when he said:

It may seem shocking to some people, but after a lot of thought and soul searching I have come to the conclusion that in some extremely limited circumstances there is indeed a strong moral justification for euthanasia. More specifically I am thinking of one circumstance in particular. Namely any occasion when the draft EU constitution shows signs of life.

Of course he was referring to the EU but I misread that and wrote a comment about euthanasia itself and when that topic comes up, the question of my own mother comes up. I’ve stewed, many times, over whether to post on her and have always held back on the grounds that it’s a little close to the bone for most readers and it drags her story out of the family and into the public sphere.

It was not that ‘E’ word in her case but it was a case of there not being any point any longer. So, I believe it was with full knowledge that that which was supporting her … well, I think you understand. I’ve never ever thought that that was wrong. She was then and I am now quite pragmatic over such matters and I have no desire to prolong my stay when I’m quite clearly past my time, just as I have no desire to overstay my welcome in any situation now.

I just felt that Sunday was the appropriate day to write this thing, if at all.


Liz said...

A very brave decision and one that I hope I could make if the need arose, either for myself or a loved one.

Straight Christian thinking suggests I am supposed to be completely anti-euthanasia (and abortion) but I cannot say that I am. I honestly don't know what I would do (in either situation) if it were tragic/bad enough.

The action, I think you took, was honourable and loving, respectful and right.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I feel for you, James and I have been in that situation, too. My mother had helped me because she had made her wishes clear about what she wanted to happen if her "brain went". But the day I told the hospital that I wanted no "futile treatment" was still one of the most difficult of my life. Of course, not "bringing back" is different from active euthanasia and I can see the dilemma here. Sunday was an appropriate day for you to post on this, as you say, and you did it very sensitively. These things never leave one . There's a poem about real love sometimes being in the "letting go" but I can't remember it.

Tony said...

I was fortunate and spared a heartbreaking decision when I lost my mother. Despite having been in a coma for some time and developing pneumonia and still fighting, she eventually passed on quite suddenly giving the nurses no time to try to bring her back.

Although I was having a slap at the EU constitution, I'm glad, James, that you turned into something even more thought provoking.

p.s. James you have mail at your address. Might be an idea to check the junk mail as I sent it from