writ and anger

Terry Pratchett isn’t happy about Britain’s new guidelines concerning assisted suicide:

Pratchett, who revealed in 2007 he was suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s, said yesterday the new guidelines had him “a little more angry”. “No one is really happy with them,” he told the BBC Politics Show West. “It would appear they are suggesting that people could help you kill yourself, and then the police would investigate as an act of murder and decide whether or not this was really the case, which seems a very lame way of doing things.”

The bestselling fantasy author suggested instead “that there should be possibly some kind of non-aggressive tribunal system where someone who, for whatever reasons, wishes to end their life – and I would only really accept medical reasons, I must say – can make their points to a magistrate or a coroner, along with the medical evidence on which they wish to end their life”. This, Pratchett felt, would “protect the vulnerable”, and “could weed out the hypothetical granny who is being urged by her heirs to commit suicide, so they can get their hands on her money”.

• Alison Flood at guardian.co.uk

As muddy as the waters are in and about this issue, I’m with Terry: the question of quality of life needs to be considered against the ability of medical science to prolong that life, and there are some cases where there aught to be an option for those who do not wish to degrade past the point of being recognizable as the full human being they once were.

I’m still anguished by his diagnoses.

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~ by A Mundi on September 28, 2009.

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