Assisted Suicide - or at least having the right to choose when and where you want to die - is a subject most agree is long over due. With the vast majority of people saying they feel the same, isn't it about time the government got around to dealing with this all important topic. - Many fear death - then demand and insist everyone else see it their way and that usually means with a religious background full of hate and fear - as most religions are.
Many years ago we hosted a workshop for an Australian physician who was promoting Self Assisted Suicide for the terminally ill - not the depressed or any other reason but only the terminally ill who had no choices left.
It was a day filled with the worlds press as CNN - SKY/FOX - BBC1 & 2 / Channels 3-4-5 and numerous others from abroad as well as tons of newspaper people and the local press and the whole road was shut off outside as huge vans turned up with satellite dishes higher than the house and a women from BBC1 news went live from outside our front door.
Hamilton Hall was mentioned on the news in Australia , New Zealand, America, and all of Europe - so this small gay mens hotel in Bournemouth has been mentioned on telly around the world and must be one of the most talked about gay mens venues....
I have always supported 'Self Assisted Suicide' - or 'The Right To Die' movement as I have personal experience with exactly this - and if and when my life quality is so bad, and the hopes of recovery so low - ie: terminal not recoverable; - then I fully well intend to take control of my own destiny and no other fucker has the right to tell me otherwise.
I am of sound mind, and I have spent a lifetime making decisions and choices and if some doctor or do-gooder says I should not be allowed, or that I am unstable, or that there is always a miracle cure ( yer - for a few who live long enough ) or that life is the most important thing, or that it's a mortal sin in the eyes of God ( oh please - spare me the rhetoric ) then I would SCREAM at these fucking cowards to stop throwing their own fear of death and dying onto others and allow us to do what is right and correct for us and if they want to linger for years with a painful debilitating and crushing illness that only has one long and painful end - then they can - and they are welcome to it - but they have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT TO TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CANNOT DO TO AND WITH MY OWN BODY.
The workshop all those years ago was a huge success and a TV news team did a survey that showed that up to 80% of people asked in the UK agreed with euthonasia - under strict guidelines, to save those in torturous positions.
Yet the court still fight against and they still - loosely - prosecute partners who may have helped and serving jail time for helping a dying person die with a bit more dignity and less pain - AND YOU END UP IN JAIL - then there is something VERY WRONG with society and how it deals with death and dying.
When my 85 year old Mother wsas in hospital with Dementia and a Bladder Infection, she was away with the fairies and had no idea who or what was going on around her and when I told the doctor he was being cruel in keeping her alive as if this was my dog we would have had her put down a long time beforehand as what was happening to my Mother was cruety at the hands of the NHS / Government. There is no way on this good Earth that the UK government would allow an animal to suffer and people would be prosecuted for animal cruelty, yet they legally and claim it is morally, keep an old dementia patient with no clue as to WTF is going on - alive - and until the very last breath she is capable of taking on her own, they will push drugs and procedures to keep this carcass - this shell of her former self, this vesel - alive - long after the resident of the body has stopped having much of a use for it any longer.
Then they moan about the cost to the NHS.
Religion has a LOT to answer for.
She lived another 4 years in utter confusion, horror, loneliness and unable to even get out of bed - and unaware of anyone - always confusing me with my twin brother but not recognising or remembering my brothers wife of 30 years and she didn't have a clue who she was - yet godda keep her alive at all costs.
In a care home, in a room on her own, TV in the bavkground for noise and alone all day except the occasional visit from a nurse to change her daiper or make sure she was dry - and this was absolutely no life for an elegant top London fashion model - a professional singer who had sang with Mantovanni - a women with great style and anache. Now reduced to wetting the bed, and not having a clue where she was.
Far too much fear from far too many peole and I suppse we have religion to thank for that fear.
Hell or Heaven - is a hell ( excuse the punn ) of a challenge - eternal damnation in hell or eternal joy in Heaven.
What - No B&B in the middle somewhere...
Courts are still very anti so when I read in th Daily Express ( June 11th 2020) the title of an short piece
Judge lets colostomy man, 30, to die
I read with interest how a man of just 30 who had constant bowel and tummy troubles eventually had to have a colostomy which he felt would ruin his love life or his job opportunities and he made a calculation that life in these circumstances was not what he wanted - and the judge allowed his request saying :-
'This not a case about choosing to die, it is about an adult's capacity to shape and cotrol the end of his life.'
SORRY - BUT THAT IS EUTHONASIA !
and yet when someone is seriously ill with a debilitating and deadly illness and the court REFUSE their partners request to end their life and even prosecute the partner and then we hear the court allows an otherwise ALMOST perfectly healthy man to take his life BECAUSE OF VANITY - BECAUSE HE HAS A COLOSTOMY ?
I have known a lot of people with colostomy bags and it was always rumoured the Queen Mother to have had one for years ( the joke was that it always matched her handgbag and shoes - and I don't mean full of shit... Oh How Vile... ) and their lives were transformed and re born and out of pain. They all agreed that the hassle ( it does not leak or smell and you would really never know ) and except for changing the bag when full ( disposable ) they didn't have to spend hours every day on the loo in pain.
SO to allow a man of just 30 years of age to kill himself rather than live with a colostomy bag is an appalling disregard for the law - the feelings of those who have been jailed for assisting a loved one out of pain and all those who have suffered in vane.
This is a way forward but NOT FOR JUST A COLOSTOMY and that - I have to say, is disgraceful of the state .
One rule for some.
One rule for others.
Clearly, the law is a mess and the government haven't a clue and until they do, people will suffer, but not if you have a colostomy...
How wrong is that.
I helped a friend to die many years ago.
In Florida many years ago I helped a friend to die. He was dying slowly of Aids and was at home with private nurses and medical care and the nurses were driving him nuts. He was an out gay man in his mid 60''s who was going insane with the mundane conversation offered by the nurses talking about their boyfriends, the car, the kids, all very boring for him.
So I moved in with him and gave up my own life for 5 months, fired the nurses, found a wonderful local male nurse who was gay, and took over his care package living in with him as a full time friend and carer. I knew at the time how important this was for him and how pleased he was not to be alone and he was genuinely thrilled, absolutely thrilled, as he had very few friends and no one close enough to care this much.
Even before all this he had told me he would kill himself if he became too ill and was not his journey to die a slow and painful death - he had his mind made up.
Very gently and with affection, I offered to be there with him if he wished, and he smiled and beamed at me with such joy that even now, decades later, I can still see the expression of relief - pleasure - deep down inside him - the joy of knowing he wasn't going to be alone and that a fiend and not some strange nurse would be there with him.
Two friends I told were horrified - scared that I might get into trouble. Both claiming they could never do such a thing for a friend and I found THAT appalling. If I was in serious need I would hope my friends would be kind enough, generous enough, thoughtful enough and compassionate enough to do what was right, and leaving me to suffer a slow and lingering death is cruel - it is not love - it is cruel - and I would hope my friends were mature enough to do what was right. ( There would probably be a queue...) I moved to Florida to live with him and for 5 months I witnessed his health go downwards very quickly. I only met his doctor a few times and he was full of praise for what we had planned - as he had been told, and he actually said to me -
' I think what you have agreed to help him with is wonderful. I really wish more people were as strong and as thoughtful as you.' and I was astounded. Coming from his doctor, but as he went on to say
' The law says we have to keep a patient alive even when it is clearly cruel. On a personal level, I agree with what you are doing but legally, I cannot know or be responsible.'
He told us he was gong to increase the dose of pain klllers to a higher strength but to save them - not to use them and save a couple of weeks worth so it won't look suspiciuos - and he even told us how to take them. ( There is a correct procedure to save throwing up and possibly choking to death - less pleasant ) and for a doctor - he was amazing.
Some time later, one evening, he looked up at me from his bed and mouthed - ' It is time.' - and I knew what he meant.
I followed the procedure with the tablets ( You DO NOT swallow handfulls of tablets at all - there is a propper way ) and I sat for about 8 hours holding his hand and he was still with me in the morning ... and it was only then when I left him alone and went to make a cuppa, that within a minute of me leaving - I felt - I knew - he had died in that short time.
You see, as much as we sit with someone who is dying, YOU NEED TO LEAVE THEM ALONE - as your living energy keeps them rooted here and as soon as you leave them alone - even if they are in a coma - something - somewhere - lets them know it's time to go - and this was exactly what he did.
Peacefully. In his own bed. Cat sitting with him. Best friend close by. In his own time and in his own manner.
Within seconds of listening to his heart and realising he was gone, his home changed - dramatically changed - as all the energy that was him - his cat - his things - his home and the atmosphere that went with all that - vansihed straight away - and while the cat and everything remained, the feeling in the house was cold and cheerless - like a house set ready for viewing - like a stage set that looks lovely but is cold and cheerless in atmosphere.
He had died.
Elvis had left the building.
I felt blessed to be there with him at that time. He had no one else. He had very few friends who would put up with him as he was never the easiest man, but as a friend, I stayed true - knowing that this could be me laying there and how would I feel all alone and lonely.
It was a long time ago and I remember it as if yesterday. I classify it as one of the moments I will never forget and it brings tears to my eyes, not because he died, but because at the end of his life the medical profession would have him suffer and be drugged up and ' out of it' and that would be so cruel whereas, he knew no one who would halp - and it was my IMMEDIATE thought as a loving friend. And I would do it again.
Jacob ((Sarasota )
Hi John: Read your bit abut helping ill people to die. I agree. Watched my Gran and Mum both die from breast cancer which is common in my family and they lingered in pain for so long. It tore us all apart. Gran died a long time ago and Mum on Xmas day along with George Michael. She was in such pain. The McMillans were wonderful but pain control was not as good as some think. She suffered. She would not have wanted to end her life like this. Eddie: ( London ) John:
Watched my lover die slowly from Throat Cancer and it was so fucking cruel John. He was less than half his normal body weight and one day the dietician at the hospital 'was too busy' to help him with his diet and I screamed - and was asked to leave the hospital - NOT A LOT OF HELP when someone is dying and the doctors are ' too busy ' or cannot be bothered. He eventually died from blood poisoning as the tube they put in his stomach - as he was NILL BY MOUTH - and was to be fed through a tube direct into his stomach, became infected within 24 hours and after 2 visits back to the hospital on the same day anf where they condescended and ignored - and I kept my mouth shut as Michael was upset enough - where the nurses re dressed the stomach wound APPALLINGLY - ABSOLUTELY APPALLINGLY - and when we got home I instantly re did it and this time, properly, and he was dead by the end of the weekend. The hospital had given him news that the cancer was in retreat and then killed him with a blood infection caused by the very tube in his stomach that I had taken him back twice in the same day to have taken care of and obviously, they couldn't be bothered - and the infection killed him. The hospital admitted fault and said it would be amin of 6 monthsd before they could release the body if we wantd an investigation and while I was all for it - his family wanted it over and asked for the body to bury and start their grieving. Another 6 months, which we all know with the NHS means years - wpould have killed his Mother and as upset as she was, she wanted it over. Sometimes, suicide when facilitated in a gentle and caring manner is so much more pleasant and kind. Dennis.
John: I wantched both my parents decline slowly over some years - Mum had Dementia and Dad Parkinsons and between them they struggled. Both were in their 70's and slipping. I was there a lot and helped and they had a home help, but it was still hard to see. One day they vanished and were found in the garage with the doors closed and the car engine going and they had - together - brought an end to things in their own way, in their own time and with no dramas. They left a note which explained how they knew they were going down hill and did not want to be parted - did not want to be a burden on us kids or a burden on the NHS - and how this was the best, the easiest for all.
I still have the letter and they were right. We remember them still able - sort of . Still functioning. Still enjoying things together. We do not have those torturous memories of them slipping further and further - as so many do. It was a shock and with time my sister grew to understand as at the time, oh she was anti and cross with them ' How could they do this to me' and as I pointed out,
'They had done nothing to you , don't be so damned selfish, it has nothing to do with you., They were in pain, They were unhappy, They wanted out - together.'
We didn't speak for a long time but she came around when her son was ill and dying from a car accident and she saw it more close up and - she did change her view. It brings tears to my eyes even all these years later, but tears of joy. Roger M. ( Milton Keynes ) TOP OF PAGE