Right To Live or Die

Instead of debating suicide laws, why isn’t more done to find as cure for the awful diseases that so ruin people’s lives, they feel the need to kill themselves?
– Michael, Manchester, UK

That quote came from one of the comments left on an article that I just read. The article was titled “British TV viewers to be shown shocking moment terminally ill man ends his life at suicide clinic” and it was published on Mail Online, a British publication.

The article talks about a man named Craig Ewert who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease (MND), a group of progressive neurological disorders that affect the control over muscles. Craig Ewert has decided that he did not want to prolong his suffering as well as subject his family to his ordeal that he flew to Switzerland to die. Dignitas, a Swiss organization assists terminally ill people in performing assisted suicide. You can read the entire article here.

This story caught my attention and in a way pulled something in my heart because I know what it’s like to go through something similar, albeit not as bad.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, there’s a sense of dignity that is lost when you can’t fend for yourself. When you rely on someone else to do normal daily activities, it does get quite taxing. Not only on yourself but on the people around you.

Being paralyzed, not having control over your body is a very difficult thing. Physically and emotionally. It’s something you don’t wish another person, even an enemy.

I’m quite lucky that at least I still have some function over other parts of my body. I can still do other things such as type on a computer, text message, eat, speak, etc… Those things still make life worth living.

I do understand what went through Mr. Ewert’s head. I would be lying if I said that I’ve never thought about just ending my life and getting this over with. However those moments are very brief and fleeting. I’ve managed to think of reasons to keep on going. But I can empathize and understand his decision. It’s not an easy life…

The question begs to be asked “why aren’t we doing much more in terms of making sure that people who are in similar situations don’t have to make that decision?”.

We as a society should do more. We should spend more on healthcare, research for medicine and treatments that will cure illnesses such as this. We should provide programs that assist families in caring for sick members, we should be more compassionate as a society that decisions such as taking your own life should not be made. Life is precious, each life is important.

Like I said, I still manage to find a reason to keep fighting. My family is my main driver in doing so. I honestly wouldn’t know what to do if I lose them, they are the biggest reason why I continue to fight. Without them I don’t think I would have gotten this far. I honestly hope I never run out of reasons to go on and keep fighting.

While I can understand one persons wish to enforce his right to die and end his suffering, it is my sincerest wish that society gives everyone enough reason and assistance to not have to exercise that right.

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