Friday, August 24, 2012


I am in need of comfort activity and comfort food. Why? There have been two severely disabled men, with conditions known as Locked In Syndrome, which, looks like it does what it says. I have been trying to imagine what that might feel like. I cannot tolerate the thought of what my life could become if it happened to me. If I was lucky, my eyes might communicate, would I be left with a finger working perhaps...who knows. Who would understand my communication?

Tony Nicklinson who died last weekend, having had any remaining stuffing knocked out of him by the High Courts, was asking for the right to be allowed to opt for euthanasia; the request was refused. The man was in a wheel chair, no independent physical ability; he had a marvellous wife who could generate his communications to the world at large. How likely would it have been that anyone else could have fulfilled this vital task for Tony? In the end, he opted for starvation. He had no physical resources to resist pneumonia, and died. The family are now requiring a period of privacy and peace.

We hear that there is another locked in syndrome case where euthanasia is being sought, with the agreement of the legal system of the U.K. in order to protect loved ones and the medical profession from any litigation for formally assisting someone to die.


Rebb said...

That’s very sad, ZACL. I hope that one day people are allowed to choose to die if they suffer from a serious illness that compromises their ability to live and die with dignity and peace of mind for all involved.

ZACL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZACL said...

Hello Rebb,

For those who are willing to put their heads over the parapet, there is a debate about what is choice and what is dignity.

There are conflicting views about the right to choose, fronted by the 'right to life' campaign. They will, of course, focus on a narrow, if not quite single, issue.

The discussion about dignity does not seem to me to be an honest one; it is a useful smokescreen against making hard emotional decisions on an individual and case by case basis.

Ethics come in to play and so does the fear of what setting a precedent might do. Aspects of protection from unscrupulous intentions also come into consideration. Choice is a special commodity, not one easily, openly allowed or given.

Saturday, 25 August, 2012

snowbird said...

This is such a difficult area and fraught with problems. My heart bled for this poor man and his family.
I know that if I was trapped in an unresponsive body I would like to have the right to die, especially if there was no glimmer of hope. Terribly sad.

Flighty said...

An extremely emotive subject but one I wish could be resolved so that people like that don't have to go to court only to have their case rejected.
It annoys me that we treat our pets better in this respect, which in some ways doesn't say much for us does it.
Flighty xx

ZACL said...

Hello Snowbird,

I feel as you do. Perhaps a medical directive should become a necessity. A case like like Tony N's probably required more than a directive in the end, which, I guess, is why he fought, with help from his magnificent wife, to seek an end he wished to permit, while protecting his loved ones.

ZACL said...

Hello Mr F,

I made a similar comment to friends elsewhere. There are ethics in veterinary work that are applied every day with seriously ill animals, the majority of whom are pets who have been given every care and consideration...even some have been held onto a bit too long on occasion. Their suffering is kindly ended. We would not be so inhuman to allow an animal to suffer in the manner that was thrown up in the case in question, and no doubt, the one in the pipeline.

I fully endorse your sentiments.

Al Lezvousf said...

I think it's necessary to obey to a request for euthanasia expressed by the concerned person

ZACL said...

Hello Al Lezvousf,

There are a lot of people who would agree with you.