Marie Fleming, Assisted Suicide (Euthanasia)

Today, the 10th of January, 2013, an Irish woman’s case to legalise assisted suicide failed in the Irish High Court.

A bit of background: Marie Fleming, an MS sufferer, wished to end her life because of the rapid deteriation of her health and mobility skills which would lead to her eventual death. Her husband and family want to help her (although saddened by the scenario) but they wanted the legal backing to do it first. Hence bringing this case to the High Court in Ireland.

Today, her case was rejected.

In my own humble opinion, it is a sad day. Not only to be Irish (here we had a chance to do something courageous and world leading, just like the actions of Mare Fleming have been) but to be human. In a world where wars are fought and countless innocent lives ended in the name of ‘democracy’ or ‘justice’ or even worse, in the name of God, the right to die with dignity and compassion in the comfort of your own home because your quality of life has been stripped from you by a cruel disease that might kill you by you choking on your own spit, it’s a disgrace. I can’t think of any other word. Inhumane might be another good one.

If an animal is injured to the point where it can’t live its life in comfort anymore we put the animal down because it is seen as the humane thing to do. Yet when it comes to another human being we are given all sorts of reasons as to why it shouldn’t be allowed.

I’m going to get into such reasons because that could open a floodgate of arguments that have nothing to do with the simple facts of this case, and many others like it.

When a human being, whose life is about to end because of a painful and debilitating, terminal illness, wants to end their life when they choose, because to go through such suffering will be unbearable to them and their families, should they be allowed to do so? Is it not humane to legally allow them to do so? I think they should be allowed. Unfortunately, the second highest court in Ireland says no. Perhaps on appeal to the Supreme Court the result might be difference. Although by then it might be too late for Marie Fleming.

4 responses to “Marie Fleming, Assisted Suicide (Euthanasia)

  1. I agree with you entirely, Jay. Won’t bore you with details, but I had to watch my father suffer for over 2 years, knowing that he wasn’t going to make it. I am still traumatised by the way people are treated in hospitals and nursing homes. I think each of us should have the right to choose what we do with our own lives when illness strikes us.

    Some years ago, when I had to put down a beloved pet, I got talking later to the vet about this very topic. He told me that most vets keep a little vial in their homes for just this purpose. If they become ill, they will use it. I shared this information with my doctor once, and he told me that the highest rate of suicide is found among vets and anesthetists. Interesting, isn’t it? Lucky are they that can have control over their destiny.

    It would be interesting how the court of each country would rule if it were the judges and decision makers who were touched by such illness that they wanted to die. Unfortunately, this is the only way these people would learn.

    I hope Marie Fleming is able to fulfill her wish. I know that in Switzerland, although euthanasia is not legal, they still do it. It seems a courageous bunch of doctors and other people out there believe in compassion.

  2. Here’s the thing that gets me most worked up in this entire “debate”. When a person finds themselves in a situation like Marie’s, they approach the courts, on bended knee, begging for their indulgence and blessing. What a load of old horse shit that is! Since when do the courts have the best interests of anyone in mind?

    For many years I worked in the medical field. My experiences there, and even before in my own family taught me that this is a question best worked out between the patient and his physician. When the agreed upon time comes just a bit extra of a certain pain-killer would ensure that the suffering ended, bringing blessed relief to the patient and the family.

    There was no big hullabaloo about it. It was just quietly discussed and then done. No lawyers or courts, no media or reporters and certainly no priests intoning “thou shalt not”. A very personal and very private decision was made and then carried out.

    Isn’t that far better than begging the (completely unnecessary) permission of the jackasses that fill our courts?

    • I agree completely. But in this case the reason she went to court was because she wanted her family involved and was fearful that they would be open to prosecution if they partook in anyway. Her appeal to the original outcome is ongoing at the moment.

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