A very different, often difficult, but just as precious life

By Dave Andrusko

There is so much—positive and negative—to write about that inevitably as the day’s deadline for National Right to Life News Today approaches, there  is a story that I only have time to allude to and provide you with a link.

Terry Pratchett

Today’s story is written by Barbara Ellen. “Who is to judge which lives are worth living? The able bodied should never dictate the fates of the ill and weak” appears in the British publication the Guardian. I don’t agree with some of what she writes—too much talk of “death with dignity” for the “able-bodied.” But in defending the powerless against those who think they ‘know best’—death—you are grateful for help in what is a very uneven battle.

The context for her column is one we’ve carried stories on yesterday  and previously: the growing boldness of the pro-assisted suicide lobby in Great Britain and Canada. And what they are doing is really ugly, including a BBC Documentary that actually shows a man who had traveled to a Swizz assisted suicide clinic (Dignitas) dying on screen, and British school children seeing a video in which  notorious assisted suicide campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke “demonstrates how to help people kill themselves…”

Barbara Ellen is not as upset with this as, for example, I am. “There are bigger issues at stake,” she writes, “not least the arrogance of the pro-euthanasia able bodied towards the profoundly ill – the unseemly rush to pronounce the lives of others ‘not worth living.’”

And she cites really tough examples to prove a point that those of us who are more or less completely able-bodied often miss. She cites a recent study that “discovered that some sufferers of locked-in syndrome – as many as three out of four of the main sample – were happy and did not want to die,” which should “give us pause for thought before blasting off about ‘lives not worth living.’”

As good a place to end is with the very next paragraph: “Likewise the knee-jerk: “They wouldn’t have wanted to end up like this.” Of course not – who would? – but that might not be the end of the story. How individuals feel when they are fit may change considerably when their health fails. Like those with locked-in syndrome, they may adjust to a life that is very different, often difficult, but just as precious. Who are we to judge?”

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