Sentenced to live

Imagine you are a hard-working person, happy and glad to do all kinds of things. And you get a stroke that leaves you paralysed from neck to feet, so the only life signs you can give is blinking your eyes. Okay, this might not be appealing.

Now imagine that this happened to you 7 years ago, and since then you have not been able to do anything but lie somewhere and blink your eyes. I challenge you, do it for an hour. Just lie somewhere and let someone read your blinking eyes. Just an hour. Not 24, a whole day. Now imagine doing this for 7 years. 2555 days.

This happened to Tony Nicklinson in 2005. His life is a nightmare and asked doctors to end his life. He is paralysed so he cannot take something lethal himself, even if someone buys those for him. He has to be helped dying in an active way. We call this euthanasia. A judge ruled that they cannot allow someone to help Tony die, as this is murder, and only the politicians can change this. Tony has decided to fight this ruling.

“It is not what I had hoped for, but it is not unexpected,” Mr. Nicklinson made known. “Judges, as politicians, are happiest when they can evade real problems. This means another year of physical discomfort and misery to find out who owns my life: me or the government.”

See the BBC post.

There is the human approach for you. I really wonder what is in the mind of people who condemn others to such unhappiness, and disrespect someone’s personal wishes…

(On August 22nd, Mr. Nicklinson’s battle ended. He died.)

One thought on “Sentenced to live”

  1. This is both an interesting article and also a rather complicated topic.
    Yes, I think someone should have the right to end his or her own life. I mean, we put seriously injured animals out of their misery and feel that this is an act of kindness, yet we have many people like Mr. Nicklinson or intensive care patents suffering, without any hope of getting better.
    The problem with fellow human beings is of course were to draw the line, and the possibility that this line is moved to some other point later on. Which means, with euthanasia we could open the box of pandora.
    At first only seriously handicapped people are allowed to end their own lives, or ask for help to do so. Other cases might follow, steadily decreasing the boundary at which euthanasia becomes acceptable for society. In the end, we might end up where it is a rather normal way to end your life. You’re poor? Go on, kill yourself. You’re old and unable to care for yourself? Kill yourself. We might end up in a system where you work as long as you can, and instead of receiving a rent you make sure that you die.
    Which basically means that there’s not only ones free will, but a responsibility of society to look and care for you.
    That being said, lets have a look at greece: Many people commit suicide because they are so poor that they can’t afford living, especially not caring for their own families. Parents abandon their children because they can’t afford to care for them any longer and hope that they are better of in state driven children homes.
    Yet I would expect that a society and state taking care of its citizen would not allow those things to happen. I guess there’s something very, very wrong…

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