Monday, 13 June 2011

Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die

Alzheimer's is one of the scariest things ever, up there with getting trampled to death and rape. To see a respected writer struck down with it is particularly cruel. Minds are all we've got, really. I'd rather lose my body than my mind.
I say 'fuck you' to all those against assisted dying. I will choose the manner of my death, if at all possible. It is a luxury to be able to. Most people don't get the chance.
It's such an obvious thing, too obvious to even be discussed, in a way. If we can put down pets, why shouldn't we put down people? Life is not worth living in all it's forms. Most of the time life is barely worth living in full health, youth and vitality. Life is hard. Why shouldn't people be able to pack it in when they want? People commit suicide every day. So people who don't have the strength shouldn't be able to? Isn't that a bit unfair?
I like the thought of going at the time of your choosing to protect your partner. Why should they have to miserably look after you for ten years longer than they should, seeing 90% of the person you were disintegrate? What benefit is it to anybody? Watching someone die slowly must be agony. I can't even imagine it.
As for the argument people will abuse it and kill people; well people kill people every single day for all sorts of stupid reasons. It's not a good enough counter-argument.
Plus, who doesn't want a peaceful death in a bed with the person they love at the time of their choosing? Isn't that the absolute ideal?
People against it are idiots, in my opinion. Life is not worth preserving past a certain point; death is kinder. Plus who are you to tell someone else what to so with their body? It's like the anti-abortion lobby; just mind your own fucking business, why don't you?
Dignitas doesn't look as sexy as I expected, I kind of wanted it to look a bit Gattaca like, all chrome and fancy buttons. Instead it looks like the cosmetic surgery clinic I used to work at. The garden doesn't look like a 'very peaceful place'; it looks like a community centre.
Interesting the guy who went to Dignitas said he wasn't depressed, yet he was choosing to die.
It does seem quite voyeuristic watching someone die on TV. It will probably be commonplace in a few years time. Scary to hear that speech about what happens when you drink the poison. Don't sip it. Down it in one. Oh my God, it's like Romeo and Juliet all over again. It's weirdly creepy and foreboding. I like the way he made a 'cheers' motion afterwards when he did the practice. God, he looks too young to die. This is tugging on my heartstrings, now.
It's weird hearing about 'the day you're due to die' (I wrote a story about that recently and it was only partly successful).
Terry Pratchett asks the guy: 'How are you?' He replies not with, 'I'm fine', but 'One day'. One day to go. Fuck.
This guy looks almost healthy. He's only 42 and enjoyed the beauty of Zurich. Oh fucking hell. This is going to get grim.
It seems super brave to look death in the face and go for it, in a way. And I don't mean that about suicides in general (utter cowardice) but THIS way, that's something different. It's defiant.
And again, what a privilege to choose your last words, to eat your last meal, what song you'll die to; to have everything as you want it (except your life).
Oh God, the poor wife watching her husband of 40 years die. Imagine going home alone after that. Shit.
I want to die holding the hand of the person I love. In some ways, there's nothing sad about that. I'm always jealous of those couple's who die a couple of hours apart 'of a broken heart'. That's how I want to go. But either way, once you're dead, you're dead. It's only the people who are left behind who suffer then.
Terry's right, you have to choose to die earlier than you want in that situation, because if you leave it too long, you can't drink the poison. So you have to go before you really should because of some bullshit faux 'morality'. Real morality would be putting people down who have no quality of life (who've agreed upfront, I'm not advocating mass slaughter of OAPs).
How callous of these anti-suicide boneheads to cast aspersions on another person's free choice.
Oh God, I'm gonna crack up, this is too much. This calm, super-polite English gent filling in the paperwork (signing his own death warrant). It does feel quite wrong to watch this. 'I've had my drink now, that'll do me.' FUCK. This is serious.
You have to drink two drinks to kill you. OMG this feels like it should be such a private moment. When they kissed it was so sad.
I feel for Terry watching this; so many things must be going through his head.
Jesus: that did me in. OMG, I proper heard his death rattle. I heard that from my cat once, when we put her down. That was bad enough.
That was horrendous to watch. Absolutely horrific. I think I'll remember that for a very long time.
I'm pro-choice. That is not a decision to take lightly, and not one people take lightly. Let people get on with it.

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