Thank you for your comments on a very interesting but difficult topic. I have to say that for the first time since I started doing this blog, I have completely changed my mind about something based on the comments you wrote.
When I wrote the original entry, I was very strongly in favour of people like Tony Nicklinson having the right to ask a doctor to end their life, but after reading your stories, I can see a real danger in changing the law. In Britain, there is currently a big debate about who should pay for the care of older people. The problem is that the government is going to ask people who have money to contribute to their own care, whereas people who have no money will get it for free. Naturally, people who have worked hard and saved money all their lives are angry about this.
Anyway, if the law were to be changed, I can imagine a lot of situations where sick people would not really want to die, but would worry so much about not being able to leave anything for their children that they would ask the doctors to end their lives. As soon as doing that becomes a legal possibility, the pressure will become enormous for a lot of old people to take that option. Even if no one else puts pressure on them, many will put it on themselves.
As I mentioned before, some people in the UK take the option of going to a place called “Dignitas” in Switzerland, where they can be helped to take their own lives. I used to think this was a good idea until I watched a documentary about it on the BBC. The cameras followed a man with motor neurone disease who had decided to take his life before the illness turned him into a dribbling vegetable. He was incredibly brave, and so was his wife. She accompanied him to Switzerland and sat next to him while he drank a cup of poison. Just before he drank it, he turned to his wife and said, “See you on the other side.” It was one of the most moving things I have ever seen. The reason it turned me against the idea, though, was that after he drank the poison, he seemed to be in a huge amount of pain, and he started begging for a drink of water. It didn’t look like a very peaceful way to die to me. I don’t know what the answer is, but with more people living longer and longer, this is a problem that our societies are going to have to deal with at some point.
Here is some feedback on your comments:
I didn’t expect that you put new entry today.
I didn’t expect you to do a new entry today.
About 17 years ago, my mother collapsed from an acute myocardial infraction(心筋梗塞) and was taken to hospital in a coma.
That must have been very difficult for you. I guess you were still quite young at the time.
but it must be done very very rigidly if it were allowed,
but if it were allowed, it would have to be controlled very strictly
The doctor said to us that there was no chance to return her place in society,
The doctor told us that she had no chance of recovering sufficiently to return to a normal life.
I can’t deny the idea of “euthanasia” because…
I can’t reject the idea of euthanasia because…
Hi, Mr.Barker. Welcome back.
When I read this comment, I couldn’t understand why you were writing a comment to my father! Please feel free to call me David.
In my opinion, I think that the active euthanasia should be legalized under certain circumstances.
You don’t need the first “the,” but apart from that, it is a very good sentence.
The feeding tube prolonged his life for a whole year.
That must have been a very difficult time for your family.
He was extraordinarily brave man.
Don’t forget that even when you put an adverb and an adjective before a countable noun, it still needs a determiner, so it should be “an extraordinarily brave man.”
My heart goes with Mr Nicklinson and his family.
There is a set phrase for this: my heart goes out to Mr Nicklinson and his family.
Visiting him who couldn’t speak anything was really sad and made me feel down.
It seems almost every family has a story like this. It must have been really tough for you.
In my opinion, people should be allowed to decide whether he/she choose to live or end one’s life if they had no chance to recover.
In my opinion, people should be allowed to decide whether they want to live or end their life if they have a terminal illness. [“They” is often used to mean “he or she” in modern English because we do not have an appropriate pronoun for that. Some people say it is “incorrect,” but I think it has become almost standard now.]
I found religion-related comments in there, but I don’t want to consider this from this point of view.
Me neither! It always annoys me when religious leaders are asked for their opinions on these matters. These are people who believe that they have an imaginary friend in the sky who looks after them, so I’m afraid I don’t think they are qualified to comment on serious issues like this that affect both believers and non-believers. They are welcome to have their own beliefs and follow them as they wish, but they should have no influence in deciding laws that the rest of us have to live by.
Am sorry to say this but I don’t think I can have time to comments on this week topic, becourse I am in Okinawa now.
I hope you are having a nice time with your family.
If she had known she could have had assistance with dying, I’m pretty sure she would have felt selfish if she had chosen to try and live on.
This was one of the comments that made me change my mind. I can imagine that my mother would be exactly the same. She has already instructed us to shoot her if there is any danger of her having to go into a care home, and I don’t think she is joking.
In Japan more than 30000 people commit suicide yearly, and the most frequent reason is “health problem”(48%).
I have a Japanese friend whose father committed suicide because he was sick. I think another big difference between Japan and the UK is that Japanese insurance companies will pay out even in the case of suicide. I don’t think that is the case in the UK.
That’s it for today. Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back with a more light-hearted topic on Monday. As always, please feel free to ask if you have any questions about things I didn’t pick up in my comments.