Sunday, August 02, 2009

Terry Pratchett and assisted suicide

Terry Pratchett, a British fantasy author and one of my favorites, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's just days after my dad died.   He has given loads of money to research and been extremely outspoken with what is happening to him.   Now he says he wants to die in his garden, listening to his I-pod, on his own terms.
He says, "I live in hope - hope that before the disease in my brain finally wipes it clean, I can jump before I am pushed and drag my evil Nemesis to its doom, like Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty locked in combat as they go over the waterfall.
When we put Nutter to sleep last September, I cried there at the vet's, my hand on his back, as the life went out of him.  But he was suffering and we loved him and it was the last gift we could give him.  How horrible to be denied that when it's a human you love and who is suffering.
Sir Terry says that 'right-to-die' campaigners trying to change the law on suicide are acting with 'furious sanity'. He calls for the creation of special tribunals run by coroners to establish that terminally ill patients who request assisted deaths are acting voluntarily.
Evidently they are trying to pass laws regulating assisted suicide (so it's not prosecuted as murder) and 75% of people polled agree that it's the right thing to do.
It's obvious to me, reading this long article by Sir Terry, that he still has wit and imagination plenty.
We would not walk away from a man being attacked by a monster, and if we couldn't get the ravening beast off him we might well conclude that some instant means of less painful death would be preferable before the monster ate him alive.
Terry Pratchett on assisted suicide
Screenprint of original article

1 comment:

Maddy said...

REally! Terry Pratchet. Clearly I am a lot older than I feel. I've been following the 'right to die' and 'Dignitas' debate on my own ipod but I completely missed that.
Best wishes