Let us not forget the tragedy of suicide.
25th Jan 2009
BY A SEVERE ME SUFFERER
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
matter." (Martin Luther King)
Let us not forget the tragedy of suicide and the horror of it..
Let us not forget all the devastation people feel who know the person
who has committed such a desperate act.
Let us not forget the sanctity of life that is still enshrined in the
law of the Land.
Nor let us forget the illegality of helping someone commit suicide ,
nor the complexity of such relationships and the vulnerability of
those people who rely on carers for their every need and
interpretation of their meaning.
Surely a society that moves towards validating and accepting, even
welcoming and celebrating assisted suicide, no matter how emotional
the circumstances, is moving down a path potentially of validating
death rather than affirming life and seeing those in need of high
dependency care and advocacy as potentially less than equal in their
right to life, services, treatments, cures and hope.
If one person with ME reaches the point of wanting to commit suicide
then surely the time is very late and their need for support and
healing input and hope is paramount and absolute.
Surely we should always aim to seek life,to bring hope, to alleviate
suffering, without accepting despair and death as the only way. out.
To me as a severely disabled person with severe ME, on days when life
is impossible, desperate and I experience unimaginable and
indescribable pain and suffering, I need my carer to cling onto life
and hope for me. It would be wrong of me to ask someone else to commit
an illegal act, but more than this, I worry about the future , about
my future if I can be seen as someone who would naturally be accepted
by society as a burden with suicide as effectively valid , even a
I am concerned about my potential and actual vulnerability, about
someone else interpreting or responding to my despair, either with my
consent or without, at some future date. Or interpreting my desperate
physical situation as too painful for myself or others to bear .
Once you start interpreting the assistance of ending a life in
acceptable validating or celebratory language. you overlook the facts
– that a life was taken before its time and ended unnaturally.. It
then becomes easier to accept mercy killing and assisted suicide as
not just possible but maybe one day desirable. options
For those people who rely totally on another's help ,their position
has to be at greater risk in the future, as aiding suicide is treated
sympathetically, even heroic .
All I can say is that the well person who thinks that their life would
not be worth living, if they have to suffer with a chronic, disabling
illness, I say wait until it happens, before you so easily give
permission for someone else to end it. Or when you think in advance
that death would be the best option.
All those people who write their living wills, saying they don't want
their life to be saved, or think they would not want to live in
intolerable ongoing pain, or would want to commit suicide themselves
if suffering comes along, do not know until they get there, how
infinitely precious life becomes..