Wednesday, August 26, 2015

PAD and Progressive Christianity

At a birthday nibbles and drinks last night I got into conversation with yet another person nearer my age (we don't talk about "old people" around here!). She asked me, "How are you?" and, as usual, I answered.
Most people don't actually want to know. "Too much information," they say to themselves. But if you ask me that question I am likely to answer it. And last night we got quickly around to end of life and medical care issues. She is another advocate for what she calls "euthanasia". The topic is quite close to home around here. Yet you couldn't find a more active bunch of oldies doing stuff. A black and white formal dinner dance planned by the management for this Friday night has been cancelled for lack of registrations - but I hear that a bunch of us are organising an unofficial "bring a plate" BYO "knees-up" in the Village lounge instead and we'll probably enjoy it just as much as the official dine and dance. That's the spirit of our age...

Someone said we're living in "God's Waiting Room" around here. Well, that's not quite how I would put it but I know exactly that feeling. Nobody knows better than us that we do not know what the next day will bring. When you have a terminal illness you're so much more conscious of the impermance of life. But, heck, meanwhile there's a lot of living to be done. There's a sense of urgency about how you fit in all the things you'd like to do in a day. For the first time for years, I've been working on formatting no less than three books at once. I thought I'd given up publishing. I've got caught up in our Parish's review of its badly neglected giving programme and we're experiencing a very encouraging response that is pushing us to do even better things. And today some of us from the Village are squeezing in a trip to the movies half an hour away and then rushing back to Barbershop chorus practice just before dinner. Oh, it's all Go around here...

And at the end....  What I hope for is something like this definition of PAD that I received in an email today:
There is a type of Physician Assisted Death where, at the request of the patient, the physician prescribes the drug, and the patient takes it to end their life. This is often called ‘physician assisted suicide’.  This type of PAD is beneficial to the patient, prevents suffering, is a compassionate act from the doctor, can be regarded as an extension of treatment at End-of-Life, is respectful of the patient’s autonomy, and allows the relatives and friends to say goodbye before the ravages of disease and intense sedation make this impossible. It also allows some ceremony and spiritual and religious involvement.

Members of Parliament, hear me: 
I have terminal prostate cancer. I am likely to refuse further medication next Tuesday. I believe it is a human right for me choose to die a dignified, planned death when I feel the time is right. Make it legal!

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