Again… I am flummoxed! I’m beginning to like this word. 🙂
Did anyone read in the papers? Now they are talking about assisted suicide. I know it’s been done in some European countries but having news about it here, somehow signals to me, that it has reached our shores… hoping to land and take root.
We know the fabric and tapestry of the human condition is a meandering and complex one, bound by accepted legal, cultural, religious and social rules. So what’s driving this now?
Is it about being ageist? With an ageing society, has it become too difficult? There are more old than young and the old are more costly to upkeep. And we have less young. I think that’s a fact. But as many of my friends have heard me say, ad nauseam, those old hands used to contribute to society in their hey day. They were not old then. And not costly.
Why were there not as many stories about caregivers then? Or the need for AMD and now some people proposing assisted suicide?
Regardless of the disproportionate young to the displaced old, like it or not, caregiving normally falls on the shoulders of the one person in the family.
So why was it different then? Was it because our parents and their parents’ generation were more filial? It was not a matter of choice but children take care of their parents. In sickness and in health. No ifs and buts.
So what does it say about us now that makes AMD a law? Why look at assisted suicide? Is the life of the old and infirmed less valuable? Who’s to say that anyway? Who’s playing God?
Don’t forget. The big wheels keep on turning and before we know it, it’s our turn to be up there for consideration for new policies about where to hide the old. And if you are sick, better that you choose to die than be a burden to others.
I guess the proponents of “assisted suicide” might speak about quality of life. And yes there are sacrifices both ways for the dependents and the caregivers but I grew up with grandparents in my household. We were not rich. We shared one piece of sliced fish among eight. But we were the richer for the experience to have gleaned the wisdom of age from people worth their salt.
Yes you are lucky if your dependents are relatively healthy till the end. Does it change if they get sick? Is it not worth caring for them till the end? What if the infirmed dependents in question are your children and not the old parents? Would you allow them to consider assisted suicide? Or would you do all you can to revive them, even if it seemed like a lost cause? Will you have the same response to both situations? If not, why not? Is the value of life only considered in the potential of it? If that’s really it, then be very afraid. Rags in shreds cannot be easily mended.
We can say we love them so we want to let them go….. we could…. but I don’t know, with our fast-paced, self-centred lifestyle, can anyone say that such decisions can be altogether altruistic? What if there is money and a will involved?
The Eskimos send their old out in the cold, on their own, to die alone. I’m not questioning another’s tradition, as they believe that they are sending them to a better afterlife. My question is do the old really accept such a thing or are they doing this because at the back of their heads they know that they are helping to take away that burden of a decision from their children?…..
Net, net… the old seem to lose. They give when they are young to their children and their parents. And when they grow old, they are left out in the cold.
Call it by any other name but what would “assisted suicide” be tantamount to? It is still taking someone else’s life. If in the eyes of the law, someone taking their own life is wrong, then what is the difference with someone asking another to take away his or her life? And what does that make the person doing it?
I know that death is a part of life. But what is the sum of life, if death can be summoned at will?….