Monday, February 01, 2010

Assisted suicide: just fuck off

There has been quite a lot of talk recently about assisted suicide and suchlike. I would just like to set out my opinion in the laziest of fashions—by quoting The Daily Mash's article on the subject, which is so spot on that it's barely satire.
PEOPLE who are opposed to assisted suicide are still absolutely convinced that it is any of their business, according to a new survey.

Meanwhile almost a third continue to believe it is more their business than the person who is actually trying to kill themselves.

The poll asked, 'Someone you don't know with a horrible disease wants a close friend or relative to help them end their lives - what the fuck has it got to do with you?'.

According to the survey 22% said 'a bit the fuck to do with me', 46% said 'a lot the fuck to do with me' and the remaining 32% said that absolutely everything was their business all the time.

Professor Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, said: "While there is always the risk of someone using it as a cover for actual homicide, in the vast majority of cases it really is none of your business, so just shut up.

Terminal illness sufferer Julian Cook, from Grantham, added: "If they're so sure that the number of days I choose to be alive has got something to do with them then perhaps they could give my wife the afternoon off and help me wipe my bum while telling me lots of fascinating things about Jesus."

There really isn't much more to say, except that the person who wrote this article—his name is Francis Davies and he believes that "assisted suicide is "liberty" run riot"—is an absolute, inexcusable, Grade A cunt and I hope to be in charge of the morphine button when he is dying inch by excruciatingly painful inch.

This bastard's argument is, essentially, that society benefits from your pain because you might write an inspiring novel all about your brave recovery. The man is, without doubt, a weapons-grade bell-end.

Let me make this absolutely fucking clear: the single most important liberty that you have is over your own life—and if you want to end your life then you should be able to do so.

Anyone who says different is a screamingly illiberal fucknuts and, probably, a fucking god-botherer who needs the law in order to curb the secret desire that they have to murder the mother that they still live with.

You might also call them "a cunt". As you like, really.


Vicola said...

We watched my grandmother die of cancer while begging us to kill her and to be honest, it was really genuinely unpleasant but given that she was incapable of ending it herself, there was fuck all we could do. If Francis Davies wants to spout his opinion he should first try nursing someone with terminal cancer, or late stage dementia/ Parkinsons/MS etc for a year. If he feels that he could live like that person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and still feel the same way then fine, fair enough, but just to spout that bile from a position of reasonable health and independance is pig ignorant. Weapons grade bell-end is about right.

Roger Thornhill said...

It irritates the 'ck out of me that even people like Terry Pratchett use terms like "permission", as if it is to take a leak or something.


What one should be free to do is register intent so that those around one will not face criminal charges. Not "permission", not "be allowed". The State does not own us, though it is making every attempt to embed that meme into the minds of the population/cattle.

Until then, yes, we need court cases, Coroners inquests etc to protect the innocent, which includes the departed.

Polaris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Polaris said...

An important point well made DK - but what the fuck is to do with the State? We don't need laws, guidance, legislation or permission - my life, my decision.

Tomrat said...


As a Christian this does indeed pose many ethical questions but you are right in your musings as is the Mash (am I the only saddened that satire usurps accepted wisdoms so often these days?): that ultimately control rests with the individual.

What is needed as Master Thornill said is a robust system or registering intent to die; I would combine this with the abolition of medically-led opt for the liverpool care pathway; over-riding personal decisions as to when someone should die is as repugnant as when they should live (incidentally this same logic I believe applies to abortion).

Suicide is the ultimate act of vanity; to believe that somehow God cannot make use of his gift of life to you even in your suffering is silly- but as Christians many of us have yet to learn that we don't get a say in such things simply because they don't fit in our little box of likeable things; we've simply got to be wise advocates for the alternatives.

Julian H said...

Good post, I'll make a note of the name "Francis Davies". What an absolutely appalling waste of a soul.

JuliaM said...

"...and the remaining 32% said that absolutely everything was their business all the time."

I know the 'Daily Mash' is satire, but that one really rings true, doesn't it?

JuliaM said...

"...and, probably, a fucking god-botherer who needs the law in order to curb the secret desire that they have to murder the mother that they still live with."

Oh, right on cue, here's MR 'Suffering is noble' Hall...

Ian E said...

I see that biased-bbc is not of your view, but states that

(those in favour of assisted suicide) 'love death like we love life....'

I'm not fully decided on this issue because of practical difficulties (when for instance does assisted suicide become assisted murder?), but I believe those on both sides of the argument do, in general, want to do the best for others. It's just that some on the biased-bbc side seem to have a compassion-bypass.

With care I believe it should be possible to set up a proper system for assisted suicide (and I would then be in favour) - but imagine the consequences if politicians get to control the process!

Nurse Anne said...

As a nurse I see terminally ill patients in agony daily.

The nurses and doctors do not manage their pain properly out of fear. They are afraid to give them the maximum safe dosage of pain killers because the maximum safe dosage (safe for you and me) might send these poor folks into the light so to speak.

Sometimes even just a little diamorphine (such a small dose that you wouldn't even notice it) might relax a dying patient enough to allow them to let go. No nurse or doctor wants to be the person who gets accused by the godfearing do gooders of "putting patients down because they don't want to look after them".

So patients suffer agonizing deaths that are drawn out over days and days. They will repeatedly pull out their venflons and fluids only for the family to demand that they are inserted right back in. If they don't get their way they accuse the medical staff of being murderers.

Who wants to be stabbed with a long needle 100 times a day in the days before they die?

The fluid infusion won't stop them from dying, but it gives the appearance that the nurses and doctors are doing something. The dying patients' veins cannot even handle the drips and their arms become very painful and swollen from repeated IV infilltration and new venflons. Sub cut fluids are a joke and do nothing. They are hanging their merely for the families benefit, much to the physical discomfort of the patient.

If you don't keep sticking the patient with new venflons and infusing more pointless fluids the families call you a murderer who is trying to dehydrate their loved ones to death.

IF you give screaming patient in pain a very small amount of diamorphine ( so small that it wouldn't even touch a healthy adult) that the doctor has prescribed, the patient may very well just let go a few minutes later. Then the family runs around saying that "the nurse gave dad an injection that killed him".

No the cancer all over his body invading every organ killed him. We were just trying to control the pain.

So docs and nurses are too hesitant to manage these people properly.

El Draque said...

You own your life, so suicide is not - never has been, so far as I know - illegal.
Let's not be dogmatic here.
Dignitas makes money from death, that stinks to me.
If my wife were terminally ill, in agony and with no hope, I would consider helping her in any way I could.
But there are also rumours of children being killed in Holland without their consent. Maybe just rumours.
And the father of a friend in Holland announced his intentions to his family, invited them to a farewell meal, and at the end the doctors came in white coats to take him away to die.
I believe he was the only one who enjoyed the meal.
That is not an edifying spectacle.

There is a risk of the slippery slope being traversed, and we will probably have to do that until we see what really lies beneath.

Until then, the coroners and courts will have to decide.

Vladimir said...

The Daily Mash article is pretty disingenuous about the argument being made here. The objectors are simply saying that they don't think people should be allowed to kill each other. The argument goes that if you change the law so that one person can kill another in some circumstances, then those circumstances will inevitably get wider and wider, until you can kill people simply for being inconvenient to you. (Which is, after all, already legal in the case of abortion.)

I think it's quite understandable that people would be concerned about this, and DK, I'm genuinely surprised that you've taken the Establishment viewpoint on this matter.

The Disgruntled CC said...

a fucking god-botherer who needs the law in order to curb the secret desire that they have to murder the mother that they still live with.

The nail has been hit entirely on the head with this comment. Some nutter a couple thousand years back decided it should be illegal and as a result, society continues to be held back on the ramblings of what probably was the equivalent of a meth addict.

BenS said...

Agree with your whole-heartedly. I've always found the euthanasia problem to be a bit pointless. Thanks to the religious lobby, it's become obfuscated with abortion, which is a far more complex and, dare i say it, more interesting problem to talk about. To me euthanasia really is as simple as 'it's none of your business, go away and stop moralising'.

Budgie said...

The first task of the innovator is to try to change the definitions of English words. There is no such thing as 'assisted' suicide - if it's 'assisted' it ain't suicide. The purpose of the law against euthanasia is to curtail the assistant's enthusiasm.

Still, I can see your point - these old and sick people are such nuisances, aren't they? So they must be 'assisted'. Obviously. Oh, so you are concerned about their pain, not your convenience. How touching. Pity you seem so unconcerned for their life.

Mr Rob said...

A thoughtful and considered article that rationally discusses an emotive subject and fully explores the consequences of any change in legislation.

DocBud said...


It is "assisted suicide" because there is only one person with the desire and intent to die. The person assisting is not doing so because they have decided the other person should die, they are doing so because the other person has decided they wish to die and out of love, respect, whatever, they are helping that person carry out their wish.

Your second paragraph is a silly strawman. The point of the article and most people here is that it is not my business, your business or anyone else's business. The decision should be solely that of the individual concerned. Their body, their decision. It is not about getting rid of inconvenient people or the sanctity of god given life.

This is why the slippery slope argument is such bollocks, we are not talking about anyone deciding for others, we are talking about the affected person deciding for themself.

Hrothgar said...

I'm most disgusted by the argument that painful deaths are good for the rest of society.

Are we and every action we take for the benefit of society? Even a long painful death?

Frankly, I don't give a damn what's good for society if it means encroaching on my liberties or demanding my slow public death.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Devil - you have approached a complex area with the simplicity of a later day Jim Jones;,29307,1859872_1799879,00.html

For those hell bent on killing themselves then this is a good a starting point as any;

Blinkered adherence to ANY system of political thought (socialism, libertarianism, etc) is simply a compensating mechanism to avoid the messiness of life.

Think on young, Devil.

Mr Rob said...

But to be so certain that one is right - always - that must be so comforting.

DocBud said...

"But to be so certain that one is right - always - that must be so comforting."

I find it so, although it annoys the hell out of MrsBud.

Vladimir said...

Have to say, there's some very anti-individualist, pro-statist thinking going on here.

If you are completely convinced that killing your terminally ill relative is not only the right thing to do but also the only option that is moral and decent, you will do it anyway and live with the consequences. If it truly was justifiable homicide, a judge and jury should acquit you, and if they do not, you can still go to prison with a clear conscience.

To all you libertarians out there - why do you need the State to back you up when your relative asks you to help them die? If you're convinced it's morally right, then do it. If it's not right, then no amount of approval from the State is ever going to change that.

the a&e charge nurse said...

"If you are completely convinced that killing your terminally ill relative is not only the right thing to do but also the only option that is moral and decent, you will do it anyway".

Interesting, Vladimir - what method of dispatch do you recommend?

Do you see ANY role for the state, for example in cases where there has been a teensy-weensy mix up - such as a relative mistaking a period of short lived nihilism for a genuine request to be euthanised?

Incidentally should such irrevocable decisions be made over hours, days, weeks or months?

Vladimir said...

I don't recommend it at all. I think you may have misunderstood what I wrote.

People here are arguing that there should be a right to assisted suicide, what I am saying is (1) I don't think there should be such a right, and (2) there doesn't need to be. The law isn't the arbiter of right and wrong and nor should it be. If you need to break the law in order to do the right thing, then so be it.

Dr Kevin said...

I’m all for individual liberty -

But i remain to be convinced that the legalisation of assisted suicide would not be abused and constantly extended to the point where people who didn’t want to die would be pushed or persuaded to 'do the right thing'. Not to mention governments looking to save money by helping people on their way.

Its like the abortion debate - the whole moral question is reduced to an individuals choices. But like the abortion argument it only takes into account the rights of one half of the equation.

So we have rights for those that want to die - but what about the rights for those that don’t want to die. Who looks after their rights?

The argument here is those like that are against the legalisation of assisted suicide are 'statist'. But who is going to make decisions on who can and can’t die? You can’t leave it to just the patients/relatives. That will end up in a free for all. So the whole thing will need to be policed. So the decision will be farmed out to the great and the good - the very state and establishment the libertines hate.

A curious argument for liberty that extends the rights of life and death to the state. In effect. Sarah Palin’s ‘Death Panels.’And I am wary of any argument where Polly Toynbee thinks it’s is a good idea.

Also the intensity of some of the comments almost feels like they verge on bullying those who disagree.

Mr Rob said...

"I find it so, although it annoys the hell out of MrsBud."

There is a MrsBud? You surprise me...

Budgie said...

DocBud said: "Budgie, It is "assisted suicide" because there is only one person with the desire and intent to die. The person assisting is not doing so ..."

Oh, you know this for a fact, do you? When you can provide me with proof that what you claim is absolutely the case in every circumstance, then I will agree with suicide.

Until then people's lives must be protected - even at the expense of pain.

Junius said...

"a fucking god-botherer who needs the law in order to curb the secret desire that they have to murder the mother that they still live with."

God Botherers - if they have any ability to rational thought - have a problem.

What is suicide? - surely it is taking an action, full knowing that it will lead to your own death?

Jesus - according to the gospels, knew that going to Jerusalem would lead to his death. He told his followers that; and yet he went willingly.

I call that suicide.

Anonymous said...

I’ve held the hand of a dying relative (terminal cancer) 24/7 on an NHS ward, and the experience was to opposite of what others have posted. There was unacceptable pressure from the nursing staff to move the process along. Immediate family, we knew his wishes and character. He went, helped over with a large morphine dose, when he was ready. But only as the result of a very firm stance from us.

Prior to this experience, I would have agreed with liberalisation of assisted suicide. Now I am now very much against it.

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