Friday, January 11, 2013

Assisted suicide: a way must be found

Marie Fleming lost her case for assisted suicide. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
Sad but not surprised to see that Marie Fleming has lost her case in the Irish high court clamming her right to assisted suicide so that she can be spared a horrible death and die lawfully and with dignity with her family present. 

RTÉ radio reported that the judges were deeply impressed with Marie Fleming as a witness. President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, said: "Her courage in adversity is both humbling and inspiring … She was in many ways the most remarkable witness which any member of this court has ever been privileged to encounter."

Even though she lost her case she has been awarded costs. According to The Irish Times, an appeal is almost certain, and the Supreme Court is likely to facilitate an urgent hearing, possibly within weeks.

It seems it was the “Pandora’s box” argument which won the day ...  “unforeseeable and perhaps uncontrollable” changes in attitude and behaviour regarding assisted suicide ... even with the most rigorous safeguards it “would be impossible to ensure the aged, the disabled, the poor, the unwanted, the rejected, the lonely, the impulsive, the financially compromised and emotionally vulnerable would not avail of this option in order to avoid a sense of being a burden on their family and society” ...  “deeply worrying” evidence of “a strikingly high” increase in involuntary deaths in countries where assisted suicide is legal.

Those issues are crucial, yes, but I'll just say that in my bones a way must be found. If it was me I would want it. I find it hard to believe there's anyone who wouldn't.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's got a name! I feel better already!

It seems the malady I suffer from is called research rapture.  This is defined as: A state of enthusiasm or exaltation arising from the exhaustive study of a topic or period of history; the delightful but dangerous condition of becoming repeatedly sidetracked in following intriguing threads of information, or constantly searching for one more elusive fact.  Otherwise known as addicted to looking things up.

I found this out from an opinion piece in the New York Times by Sean Pidgeon, a publisher of reference books.

Thanks to Tom for diagnosing me.