Thursday, 12 June 2014

The hypocrisy over euthanasia and assisted suicide

The UK’s Government, the National Health Service and the legal system and its enforcers are hypocrites when it comes to euthanasia and assisted suicide because if an individual makes a conscious and reasoned choice to wish to end their life but cannot do so without help, the person who assists in the suicide is deemed a murderer.  How can this be the case when the assisted suicide is a voluntary act by and for the individual?

The hypocrisy of the aforementioned agencies becomes clear when, as I mentioned in the addendum to my article, The Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Debate[1], they allow and even encourage involuntary euthanasia via the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).  The LCP is supposed to be an end-of-life care pathway for terminally ill patients but reported incidents have shown that older non-terminal patients have been put on the pathway involuntarily without their knowledge or consent or that of their family.  While this may not be acknowledged as Governmental consent, the fact that it goes on and must, at some point, be reported in briefings for the Secretary of State for Health, it does indicate tacit official Governmental consent.

So, the Government allows involuntary euthanasia of terminally and non-terminally ill patients by members of the National Health Service yet these acts are not considered murder by the legal system (if they are even reported at all) so why are people who help someone commit suicide considered murderers?  It is not as though governments all over the world legally sanction murder as a matter of course anyway.  In fact, they not only officially sanction murder, they also train murderers to kill; the only differences between an unsanctioned murderer and a sanctioned one is they name they are given – murderer or soldier – and the fact that the former is hated for their crime and the latter is hailed as a hero for their acts of bravery.

The only reason that soldiers get to kill, usually without criminal prosecution, although there have been some prosecutions, is because, in the law of England and Wales, provision is made in the legal definition of murder to absolve soldiers in times of war.  This provision states that murder ‘under the Queen’s peace’ is a crime; therefore, in times of war, the crime of murder does not exist for soldiers although it still exists for civilians because they are technically still living ‘under the Queen’s peace’.

I’m not trying to blacken the reputations of our armed forces because they do a fine job but we also have to acknowledge that, whether they do a necessary job or not, they are trained to kill.  Our armed forces take human life which is the very definition of a murderer.  They are just officially sanctioned and just following the orders given to them by their superiors who likewise get their orders from the Government of the day.  The murders that they commit are usually not on home soil either so that is another mitigating factor.

Some might say at this point that a murderer kills for some kind of personal gain but I would counter that a soldier kills for gain too; it’s just not a personal one.  The war in Iraq was fought not because of some vague possibility of that country holding weapons of mass destruction, although that was the reason given by both the UK and US Governments, it was to guarantee the supply of oil from that country – a gain for the countries involved.  War is a game played by politicians for personal glory and national gain.  Soldiers are the pawns used to play the game and officially sanctioned murder is the method.

It would be neglectful to fail to mention that the current UK Government is also guilty of acts of officially sanctioned involuntary euthanasia and assisted suicide through the horrific welfare ‘reforms’ that have been responsible for 10.600 premature deaths and suicides in one year alone [2] and many more since[3] [4].

So, with all this officially sanctioned involuntary euthanasia, assisted suicide and murder, why is it still a crime to help someone voluntarily commit suicide?  Yes, there should be safeguards in place but if someone wishes to have help to commit suicide, why shouldn’t they be allowed that help without their assistant getting prosecuted?  If a person can provide a well-thought out and cogent argument for an act of voluntary assisted suicide, shouldn’t they be allowed that option?

I am currently being seen by the Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team due to my current mental health crisis.  On the last four or five visits I have asked for the visitor to help me find a healthcare professional to help me die but they have refused on the grounds that it’s not their job to help someone die but rather help an individual carry on.  I countered with the fact that the Hippocratic Oath states “First, do no harm” and that prolonging my suffering is doing me harm.  I have lived in darkness now for 36 years, suffering the tortures of the damned every single day and I have had enough.  I can provide a well-thought out and cogent argument for my wishes and it would be a voluntary act for my part so why can’t someone have the guts to help me end my life the way I wish it to be ended?  With all the officially sanctioned involuntary euthanasia, assisted suicides and murders going on, why can’t the Government allow me the luxury of an officially sanctioned voluntary assisted suicide?

Friday, 6 June 2014

The latest instalment of “My Life Sucks”

I’m finding it very hard to even drag myself out of bed at the moment (and by ‘bed’ I mean the folded over duvet on my sofa).  Life seems to have very little meaning for me, having no money, no income, no job, no voluntary work and no one to talk to (and I mean really talk to).  I don’t want to inconvenience my friend because I no longer do the work we used to do together and we don’t really have any mutual interests as we tend to fall back into talking about the work I used to do with him which does nothing but depress me further.

I’ve been seen by the Crisis Resolution Home Treatment team every couple of days for the past two or three weeks (time really doesn’t mean a lot to me right now) but all they have done is upset me each time they’ve visited and the last three times I’ve ended up in tears.  I know they are trying their best but I’ve kind of given up now.  I’ve asked them to find a doctor who will help me die because I know I’m not going to be able to kill myself.

Dad’s cancerous polypus has still not been removed.  Apparently the operation is going to be a larger affair than the doctor previously believed it would be because they cannot distinguish between the ‘gunk’ (obviously a technical medical term) and the polypus in the area of the growth so they are unable to find the root of the polypus without an MRI scan and another CT scan.  So, Dad has had to wait longer for the operation than was first thought which is worrying Mum so I can’t really burden her with my problems.

The MRI scan is being done today at some point so that’s some relief for my parents although Dad is having to take a tranquiliser because he felt claustrophobic last time he had an MRI.  If it’s successful, the CT scan should be done in the next few days followed soon after by the operation.

Merlin, my beloved cat, has had two seizures in the last two weeks so the stint in hospital I wanted isn’t going to happen because I need to be here for him.  I couldn’t be in hospital while he’s having seizures because I’d be too worried about him.  I’m not sure how long he’s got left and I can’t miss more time with him than I can help.

My applications for the part-time jobs at Lakeside have all gone unanswered and they have disappeared from the website so I know I haven’t got any of them.  I haven’t given up trying to get a job though as I put my CV into the local Cash Generator shop in town for a part-time job there.  It’s not the kind of job I’d really want to do but beggars can’t be choosers.

Last Friday was my 43rd birthday and I was more miserable than ever.  A lack of hope and prospects can do that for a person.  The only plus was that Diana managed to buy me a present – the sixth season box set of Bones – but even watching that didn’t raise my mood by much.

On Tuesday, our divorce went before the court.  We haven’t received any paperwork yet and neither of us could attend but I’m sure they will have granted it so I’m now officially a divorced, penniless depressive with no hope, no future and no one to share my life with.  All that needs to happen now is for my ex-wife and I to find separate accommodation and I’m officially the stereotypical old fart with no one except the characters that populate my mind from stories I can’t get written down.

My life sucks...

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Wednesday 14th May 2014

Today has been a horrid day and I can’t wait for it to be over.

After a spotty night’s sleep I was awoken by a phone call telling me that the psychiatrist’s appointment that I have been waiting for these last four weeks (and that was supposed to have been an emergency appointment to try to get access to some of the services that have been withdrawn from me) had been cancelled.  The consultant had phoned in sick, which I don’t have a problem with, but I was offered a slightly earlier appointment with a junior doctor on his team only to have that offer taken away from me within two hours.  The reason given was that the junior doctors aren’t allowed to see patients without a consultant being there which begs the question – why wasn’t there someone of consultant status ready to take over in such an emergency?

I had what I can only describe as an attack which was a mixture of a panic attack and an anxiety attack with a lot of anger thrown in.  I wept uncontrollably as I tried desperately to get an alternative to going to A&E which, in my heightened emotional state, I would have been unable to endure.  My anxiety around people in confined spaces would have been too much to handle in such a crowded environment and the prospect of sitting there for hours followed by God knows how long sitting in the room that they put mental health patients in alone, usually for long periods (based on previous experience), would have done me no favours either as there would be no distraction from my own thoughts.  At times of crisis, being alone with one’s own thoughts can be as distressing as being constantly hounded to tell your story of how you came to be in the crisis in the first place by a constant stream of doctors who fail to read your medical notes.

After a lot of panicked phone calls, getting me even more angry and worked up, I was given an appointment for next Tuesday after I impressed the urgent need to see the psychiatrist following an offer of a date in June (which would have meant that I would have had to wait almost two months for the emergency appointment I asked for during the period leading up to my aborted suicide attempt).

Despite my strained relationship with my parents, I felt compelled to call my mother to ask for her to be with me because I felt unsafe and she and my father arrived about an hour and a half later.  I needed someone to be with me and even my parents would do.

Dad went to the shops to get a jar of coffee after it transpired that there wasn’t any in the flat and, while he was gone, Mum told me that Dad’s nose problem was more serious than they had been letting on.  My Dad’s nose has been bleeding non-stop for about five months and, after two failed attempts at cauterisation, he had an operation to take a biopsy of the growth in his nose.  She didn’t tell me when they got the results but Mum said it has been diagnosed as a cancerous polypus that extends from the top of his nose, down the back and into the soft palate.

I may not have the best relationship with my parents but that news shook me and wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear given my emotional state at the time but listening to Mum relaying the full story, seemingly in real time, took my mind off my own thoughts which is what I needed even if the content of the distraction was upsetting.

Luckily, Dad is being rushed through for an operation in the next couple of weeks so we won’t have long to wait for any news for long.  The cancer hasn’t spread to the brain or the bone so it looks as though, if they can excise the affected growth and some of the surrounding area, he might make a full recovery.

Since they finally took a look at Dad’s nose with a camera, he has been rushed through tests and exploratory operations so quickly his head is still spinning and my parents have both said that the care Dad has received on the NHS has been first class.  I wonder what would have happened if, as the Tories seem to want, there was no healthcare free at the point of delivery in the UK?

I am calmer now but it has taken all day to become so and I’m scared about what will happen between now and next Tuesday as I wait for my postponed appointment.  With life looking so bleak at the moment, it will take a miracle for me to find the strength to carry on.