Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I’m grateful I wasn’t allowed to end it all!

Alison Davis the Co-orinator of No Less Human in the UK commented on the case of Tony Nicklinson, a man who has locked-in syndrome, who is pressing the courts to override the law to give his doctor the right to kill him by euthanasia.

Davis, who was born with spina bifida and lives with extreme pain on a daily basis stated that for many years she wanted to "end it all". She stated:
“If euthanasia had been legal, I would certainly have requested it and I wouldn’t be here now,”

But after several serious suicide attempts, blocked by the intervention of Alison’s friends, she began to change her mind.

Alison met the children with disabilities in India that she had been sponsoring through a charity that she founded. The experience led her to think, for the first time in over ten years, “I think I want to live”.

Alison stated:
“I’ll always be grateful to the friends who saved my life (though I wasn’t at the time). And I’m especially thankful there was no possibility of persuading my doctors to legally help me die.”

She believes that people with disabilities “deserve the same kind of help routinely given to those who do not have a physical condition but who feel suicidal”.

Further testimony about the Will to Live was given by Richard Rudd, a man who was paralysed in a motorcyle accident and who almost died after the family had decided to turn off his ventilator. Rudd changed the doctors minds about his condition when he began to move his eyes. Rudd indicated by responding to questions by blinking that he wanted to live.

Kate Wilson, Rudd's girlfriend stated:
“He’s a fighter and he wants to live, so I am praying for a miracle. I just want my boyfriend back and I still can’t believe how close I came to losing him.”

The euthanasia lobby will suggest that people who oppose euthanasia, which is legally giving the right to a physician to intentionally and directly cause the death of a patient, are heartless.

My heart goes out to Tony Nicklinson and Alison Davis equally, but I recognize that when you legalize euthanasia the collateral damate is that a woman like Alison Davis would now be dead, and not enjoying life. I also recognize that society does not have the right to kill its citizens, but it does have the obligation to care.

The real question is: Why does Tony Nicklinson want to die? Once that is established then the answer is what can be done to make a difference in his life.

Link to a video news report on Locked-in Syndrome: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/paralyzed-man-locked-syndrome-blinks-doctors-pull-plug/story?id=11164809

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