14 August 2015

Assisted Dying

Assisted Dying has been on the news again.  What do you think about it?  Is it wrong, should we let nature take its course.  I think in the world we live in we intervene in most things anyway.  Would we let nature take its course if a pregnant woman was unable to give birth naturally?  No, we wouldn’t, because we are a developed and modern country.  We don’t let animals suffer.  If the Vet said, “look it would be kinder to let them go”, we would usually take that advice.  So why are we comfortable to let our loved ones suffer when there’s another way.  Why should our loved ones have to travel to Dignitas in Switzerland ahead of time because of fear they will be too sick to travel.  It’s a very big debate.

I’ve spoken about this before with some close friends, friends that would choose this because of degenerative disease.  I fully support them in their decision. 

When I was younger, I used to think about my own situation and what route I would take.  This is before I knew about places like Dignitas.  You see, there will probably come a time in my life where I would need a double lung transplant and when I was younger the odds wasn’t that great on you surviving the operation.  I used to think, that’s not for me.  Waiting for a call to get new lungs, living your life waiting, to die on the operating table anyway.  Success rates are a bit better nowadays, but it’s still not great.  50% of people die waiting for a pair of lungs and 50% die afterwards due to complications.

I guess the main difference with my condition and someone that has something like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is that MS is never going to get better and there’s nothing that can be done to buy time once you are too sick to look after yourself.  This is the point where people want to press the ejection button before it gets too much to bare.  The people making these decisions are fully aware of what is to come.  Otherwise you slowly go downhill and that’s it, to the bitter end.  I think the people that disagree with Assisted Dying have never experienced what its like to be sick every day.  It’s hard going.  You have to fight for every thing.  Basic things that most take for granted.  It’s physically exhausting.  Life doesn’t give you an easy time because you are sick and people still hurt you.

However, Cystic Fibrosis is a different fish.  You may want to push the ejection button, but you need to hang on until the bitter end for a second chance at the controls.  I’m not saying CF sufferers have a harder time, but the rules of the game are different.  Some decide to eject.  It’s a very personal decision, one I think the person should have and be able to action, at home.

What are my personal thoughts, well, I have Daisy to think about now and I will hang on for as long as I can.  And it's not a cure, it just buys some time.  I’m trying to get better with remembering all my treatments and medication but it’s not easy on your own, especially with a life limiting condition like CF.  
If you would like to give people a second chance at the controls, if you feel that some people could be saved, why not think about joining the organ donor register.  You can do your bit, I’m even on it and I didn’t think they’d want anything of mine.  I think my eyes and my skin are the only bits worth having.