Thursday, July 22, 2010

Any last requests?

My father was rather fortunate in his last months of cancer. He was only on morphine for the last few months. He didn't lose his dignity, like losing his marbles or crapping in the bed. Better than some.

I heartily support terminally ill Auckland doctor Dr John Pollock, who is raising the issue of euthanasia in the media:
"The law won't be changed in time for me and the only way that I can legally end my life before it is due to end is suicide and that's the cruelty of it - not only suicide but suicide alone because if I top myself with my family present then I put them at risk and I think that's hideous. It's very cruel."

NZ has a hell of a way to go in palliative care for the terminally ill. It's not about price either. The rest home boom puts paid to that excuse. It's a matter of outlook. It's the mindset. Abortion laws written by men are just as ludicrous as the presumptions of the healthy telling the dying how to die.

Hospice dwellers should be given supervised access to marijuana, Ecstacy and LSD. Some may find a peace that fills a gap that Jesus, Mohammed or Shiva never has. Dagg knows, many of the poor bastards are loaded up already on anti-psychotics or what-have-you. For the reasonably lucid others, why the hell not? I say this with the demises of Martin Hames and Bevan Burgess in mind as well.

But for the moments when there are no more good days, just a slow painful ebb into oblivion, we should reserve the right to end it on our own terms. Maybe my end will be a good one. But just the thought of having the choice to make a decision beyond reasonable doubt when the time comes, that would be some consolation.

I think that's one of the reasons my father had guns. It's certainly one of the attractions Hunter S Thompson had with guns. It is why I'm particularly concerned with WhaleOil's love of guns. And it's why I live in Wellington. There are many places to leave from around here, and you don't need a gun to do it.

No-one chooses to be born. At least allow the humans the freedom to leave, and be comforted with that knowledge.