Liz — living with advanced, incurable kidney cancer wants you to know:
“The moment we label suicide an act with dignity, we’ve implied that people like me are undignified for not ending our lives, or worse, we’re a costly burden for society. What a lonely, uncharitable and fake world we live in if we think it’s somehow undignified to let people see us suffer — to love us and care for us to the end.”
The last sentence above reminds me of something my good friend Mark Pickup wrote a few years ago:
“Autonomy is diametrically opposed to community. The natural conclusion to unfettered autonomy is the right to even self-destruction…Acceptance of the autonomy of suicide (assisted or otherwise) is to reject the interconnectedness of community. It proclaims with a final shout and sneer, “I am my own island!
A truly progressive and compassionate society is concerned about life with dignity – especially for those who do not have it. Death with dignity is not an event, it is the natural conclusion of having lived with dignity. Dignity is not achieved by withholding water and food or injecting poison into a person’s bloodstream when they are at their lowest point. That is not dignity: it is profound abandonment! We have a right to expect the best palliative care and pain management.”
Read more: The Eyeless “I” of Assisted Suicide.