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I'll die before the endgame, says Terry Pratchett in call for law to allow assisted suicides in UK

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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:55 AM
Original message
I'll die before the endgame, says Terry Pratchett in call for law to allow assisted suicides in UK
Sir Terry Pratchett has made an emotional plea for the right to take his own life, saying: 'I live in hope I can jump before I am pushed.'
<snip>
Point me to heaven when the final chapter comes... Terry Pratchett's deeply personal plea
<snip>
Now, however, 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.
In any case, such thinking bestows a wonderful feeling of power; the enemy might win but it won't triumph.
<snip>
I hate the term 'assisted suicide'. I have witnessed the aftermath of two suicides, and as a journalist I attended far too many coroners' inquests, where I was amazed and appalled at the many ways that desperate people find to end their lives.

Suicide is fear, shame, despair and grief. It is madness.

Those brave souls lately seeking death abroad seem to me, on the other hand, to be gifted with a furious sanity. They have seen their future, and they don't want to be part of it.

But for me, the scandal has not been solely that innocent people have had the threat of murder hanging over their heads for committing a clear act of mercy. It is that people are having to go to another country to die; it should be possible to die with benign assistance here.
<snip>
Let me make this very clear: I do not believe there is any such thing as a 'duty to die'; we should treasure great age as the tangible presence of the past, and honour it as such.

I know that last September Baroness Warnock was quoted, or possibly misquoted, as saying the very elderly sick had a 'duty to die', and I have seen people profess to fear that the existence of a formalised approach to assisted dying could lead to it somehow becoming part of national health policy.

I very much doubt this could be the case. We are a democracy and no democratic government is going to get anywhere with a policy of compulsory or even recommended euthanasia. If we were ever to end up with such a government, we would be in so much trouble that the problem would become the least of our worries.

But neither do I believe in a duty to suffer the worst ravages of terminal illness.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1203622/Ill-die...

Alzheimer's is in my family on my Mama's side. I don't dwell on the idea that I may get it, but I don't know what I will do if I am diagnosed with it.
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timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:10 PM
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1. I was surprised, and pleased, to see he has a new Discworld book coming out in October.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:27 PM
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2. Note that some people with incurable illnesses in the UK...
are still campaigning for the RIGHT to assisted suicide if they wish it. At present, it's illegal.

'We are a democracy and no democratic government is going to get anywhere with a policy of compulsory or even recommended euthanasia. If we were ever to end up with such a government, we would be in so much trouble that the problem would become the least of our worries.'

Quite so.

The UK has had a National Health Service for over 60 years. If 'socialized medicine' was associated with pressure for euthanasia, people would hardly still be needing to campaign for the 'right to die'.

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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:21 PM
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3. Nice article by Mr. Pratchett...
...and I am saddened to hear of his Alzheimer's diagnosis.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yes, that was really awful. Evern more so, as he is relatively young,
Very sad.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:26 PM
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5. One of my favorite authors, and just a brilliant man.
I hope he is able to finish his life as he sees fit. It will be a sad day either way.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:28 PM
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6. The news last year of Terry Pratchett's illness greatly saddened me. I hope he gets his wish...
For his sake I hope he does not wait until it is too late. Granny Weatherwax would understand, I think, and Death would greet him as an old friend, speaking in capital letters, as always. :cry:

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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:55 AM
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7. kick
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