Dignity in Death……

17 Jul

Dignity in death is the phrase mostly used by the supporters of assisted dying.  The dignity is less attached to the death than to the deterioration of function associated with terminal illness.  I fully support an individual’s right to choose to take their own life when they feel that the quality of their life has reached a point which they feel is undignified.  Only the individual directly affected is in a position to decide when that point has been reached.


There are a few countries which have legalised assisted dying. Oregonin theUSalso has a law which allows for this.  Whether you happen to live in one of these places or, have the means to go there to exercise the right to have an assisted death, the legal constraints are pretty much the same.  You need to have a degenerative and usually terminal illness, be of sound mind and able to administer the lethal dose of drugs yourself.  This is all very logical and makes sense in drawing up legislation to protect people.  It does not however address an individuals definition of dignity……


I am not terminally ill.  Nor do I have any form of degenerative disease.  However, in my view there is no dignity in my life.  If I were in a position to afford to go to an organisation such as Dignitas, they would simply assess me as being psychologically ill and therefore would not qualify for their service.  This, I see as an inequality in an individuals right to decide whether they want to continue to live.  The argument that I may at some point in the future feel differently is, it could be argued, the same as suggesting that by some miracle a person with terminal cancer could make an unexplained and dramatic recovery which does, albeit rarely happen……


I don’t want to live.  I do not see any miracle on the horizon that would change my point of view.  Dignity in death is a perfectly defendable argument when it comes to choosing when to end your life.  Dignity in life should hold the same value.  Living or dying is the only thing I hold any choice over.  Control of every other aspect of my life is dependent upon somebody else.  Given that the only choice that is mine and mine alone to take is that of whether to continue living.  Nobody can take that choice away from me.  The route to the end is the only dilemma for me……


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