! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

Euthanasia and mercy killings are back in the news again, largely thanks to my favourite author, Terry Pratchett.

Terry Pratchett has a rare form of Alzheimers and wants to shuffle off the mortal coil on his own terms, in a chair in his garden listening to music taking an overdose of painkillers with alcohol.  And why not?

He said he detests the idea that the government can choose whether you live or die but accepts that they have a duty to protect vulnerable people and so he proposes a tribunal that will decide on whether a person can choose to die or not.

My uncle died a few years ago after cruelly being kept alive for about a decade.  He had Huntington’s which is superficially similar to alzheimers and parkinsons but it doesn’t cause dementia, it just renders the body useless.  By the time my uncle died he couldn’t speak, couldn’t move, couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink, couldn’t control his bladder or bowels. He was kept alive for years in this state – his body didn’t work but his mind did.  He must have gone insane, there’s no way the human mind could cope.

If you kept an animal alive in that state you would probably be prosecuted by the RSPCA for animal cruelty so why is it not considered cruelty to do it to a human?

People should be allowed to make living wills while they are still of sound mind setting out the exact circumstances in which they would like to be put out of their misery.  The law needs to be changed to allow people to control their own ultimate destiny and to allow friends and relatives to help them do so.  The euthanasia tribunal idea is a good one and it should be coupled with a legal definition of quality of life, making it unequivocally clear when it is kinder to put someone down, to use the veterinary term.

My uncle shouldn’t have been kept alive for all those years with no quality of life and I would hope that someone would do the honourable thing and bump me off if ever I was in a similar position.

p.s. In case anyone is wondering, my dad didn’t get Huntingtons and it can’t skip a generation so I can’t get it.


  1. kesimmonds (2 comments) says:

    Totally agree with your sentiments Wonko. I believe Terry also made the point that thousands of innocent babies are aborted every year with barely a word said against it. Is their life somehow less precious than some poor soul suffering constant pain and/or humiliating madness for ten years or so?

  2. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Huntingtons Chorea? is that not what Woody Guthrie died of?

    I think all the pro old lifers should go down to their local hospice and watch what happens when you are dying slowly, the worst thing that ever happened to my dad was him surviving the heart attack he had 6 months before he died, it was brutal to watch him shrivel up and die by the day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.