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dignity not death
On Tony Nicklinson.

I am glad that the High Court has denied another depressed disabled person (Tony Nicklinson) a special right to be killed.

Know what it isn't easy for some of us crips. To sympathise, I mean - Tony's attitude is quite offensive.

I am tired of the pitiful debates. I am exasperated with this dishonest man who admits denying himself a better life but blames it on his body.  I agree Tony needs to see his doctor - not for a lethal injection, for some anti depression support and a kick up the proverbial about how life can get much better if he puts down his fear and self loathing and lets it.

Come on Tony! Give life a go  - almost all of the rest of us manage without suicide. Try living before you throw your life away dude!

I've been asked today again to explain my position on 'assisted death' and 'assisted suicide', so here's the short version:

Nobody needs *assisting* to die - we die when our time's up.

Anyone 'assisting' someone to die (except where it is a welcome side effect of genuine medical  treatment) - is helping kill someone - is breaking the law - whether the suicidal person is disabled or not

I support the campaign against having one law permitting the killing / assisted suicides of disabled people and another law criminalizing it for everyone else.  This would be an unfair and unrepresentative valuation of our lives - making us legally of much less value than anyone else.  Anyone else who is suicidal gets HELP from their doctors, not a lethal injection! How would that be 'more equal'?

I respect that some people (a tiny minority of humans, mostly non-disabled) choose to end it all. Almost anyone can have a suicide if they have their independent living needs met. Almost all disabled people choose not to, although the newer ones may need to get over some grief and many of us have lived with depression. More of us are fighting for our lives than have ever killed ourselves.

The reasons for 'helping' disabled people to kill themselves are flawed and rooted in prejudice, internalised oppression, lack of independent living and scare mongering / fear about the future.

I don't want the state to sanction, action, permit or ignore the killing of disabled people, (including those experiencing mental distress and dissent) more than they already do.

For more on what I believe and why read the article here in The Independent.

And for a much more detailed piece, see here  on Heresy Corner.


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 17th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
Mean and nasty.
I am giving up on the Indy. It is quite right that after consultation with doctors etc Mr Nicklinson or anyone in a terminal state ought to be able to end their "life". If I were a member of his family I'd do it under medical supervision if possible and God help the first plod who came after me.
Aug. 17th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Mean and nasty.
Hiya :)

He's not terminal.. he's well. That's part of what's irking him. He is deeply depressed and hates himself, and the rest of us.

Still absolutely no sympathy here (he's got bucket loads already, done nuthin for him except justify his deathly self pity which keeps him in misery).

A serious change to law would put many other disabled people in danger. Let him sort his own murderous stuff without involving the rest of us, like everyone else has to.

And yup family members do what you suggest and get away with it, some don't. It's still illegal and it's still killing someone. It's not suddenly ok if it's severely disabled people.

Thousands of disabled people fight every day for life and we get the occasional person feeling differently who thinks the entire world should change for them, despite the dangers to everyone else. If he wants to die -fine by me, but no thanks to the hateful murderous legacy he wants to leave for us. That's real nasty.

If This dude stopped resisting rehab and support he'd be able to go off and top himself without selfishly bringing someone else into it to do his dirty work. Nobody else gets that, why should he. If neat tidy self terminating is to be brought in - bring it for everyone.

Funny how unbearable and nasty the reflected disgust seems to the onlooker who thinks killing is a kindness(!) Theres been a glut of hideous offensive reports and commentary and debates from people who think disabled people's lives are worth less than everyone else's and love the opportunity to spread such hatred. It's directly harmful to our lives.

Not enough people are opposing with their views because the whole world thinks everyone is as pitiful and hopeless as this poor dude they know they will be attacked.

There has been not enough robust opposition from anyone other than religious campaigners. Some has to be seen because a lot of us feel it ferociously. And for speaking up for the right of severely disabled people - ourselves in many cases - we get told we're mean! We're speaking up for our right to preserve our own lives later on.


Quality of life cannot get better by being dead :(

Hope to see more people speaking up about it. Or blinking up, down, wherever required.
Aug. 17th, 2012 06:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Mean and nasty.
Did you see "The best of men" last night? Young guys injured in WW2 pleading to be killed?
Aug. 17th, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
no, but awwww
it would be so nice if people's views on how terrible it is to be a disabled person had improved since WWII :D

Disabled people don't have the exclusive on suffering so why should legalising killing disabled people in particular be acceptable? (by family member? by the State? By private service providers?)

Though wabout WWII.... Having special rules that severely disabled people can be euthanised ... families sending their disabled people away to their death...... is how the Nazi holocaust started. See first bit of this
Aug. 17th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC)
Re: no, but awwww
Part of my history degree was Germany 1848-1945. You have a point but Hitler's ideas on eugenics are not the same as R v Nicklinson. It is legal in Holland.
Aug. 18th, 2012 10:45 am (UTC)
Re: no, but awwww
Indeed, it's legal in Holland. Holland is a good example of what will happen if it becomes legal here. Lots of people are being euthanised without having requested it, or indeed without it being reported, as it's required to be (safeguards not fit for purpose).
Aug. 19th, 2012 01:02 am (UTC)
Re: no, but awwww
yup -
Aug. 18th, 2012 06:37 pm (UTC)
Re: no, but awwww
And in the Netherlands 'feeling like a burden' is a often included on their reasons for wanting to die. In an able-bodied person this would be called depression and treated!
Aug. 19th, 2012 01:05 am (UTC)
Re: no, but awwww
Yes so true. I just think while the state supports helping suicidal people, it should help everyone. Disabled people experience massive amounts of neglect. Being suicidal at times is pretty normal.most of those who can still don;t choose to die. this dude tony is really depressed -I think he needs help/

But I think if he allows himself some independent living support when he is over the shock ofbeing in his position he probably could find a way to kill himself.
Aug. 19th, 2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
I agree with you completely on this (am just writing an entry which references this post). The media are pushing the myth that he has locked-in syndrome (he doesn't) and that he can't do the job himself (he can). He could also make something of his life, but his wife and two daughters insist on indulging his death wish rather than telling him to get a grip. He's been moping in an outhouse in front of the TV and internet for the past seven years when he could have taken a college course or something, done a PhD and made a serious contribution to the body of human knowledge, even if he couldn't work at a "real job" (although I suspect he probably could - not at every job, I admit).

Also it makes me laugh that people call his existence a "life sentence". Like Stephen Downing and the Guildford Four got to have their wives/girlfriends and kids around them while they served theirs.
Aug. 22nd, 2012 10:49 am (UTC)
this is an awesome post jo thanks so much for contributing to this piece by commetning. I can;t think of anything more unloving to do to ones family and children then what this man is doing.
Aug. 22nd, 2012 10:58 am (UTC)
and He's died anyway.. this is what happened to Diane Pretty too
Aug. 22nd, 2012 02:57 pm (UTC)
Great discussion. The critical comments highlight exactly how ignorant most people are when it comes to disability and end of life issues. Assisted suicide is simply not needed legislation. Ironically Nicklinson proved that with his death. He got what he wanted. You might want to read my blog Bad Cripple where I quoted you. Really great writing.
Aug. 23rd, 2012 09:51 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'd love to read your blog, please post link!
Aug. 23rd, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
The Bad Cripple article on Nicklinson is here:
Aug. 23rd, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
thanks Jo great blog. have shared yours too
Aug. 22nd, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC)
Disgusting post. You obviously have no knowledge whatsoever about depression, and your comments reinforce attitudes which fuel stigma and bigotry. I assume you would claim to hold progressive, critical views on disability. To anyone who knows anything at all about severe mental distress, this post gives the lie,to that. Quite vile.
Aug. 23rd, 2012 09:50 am (UTC)
Dear anonymous. Sorry you seem to have aproblem with an alternative viewpoint to the prejudiced crap filling the media. no individual has the 'know' of all on everything to do with distress. yes I have been there though which is part of the lack of sympathy., this dude is being killed with sympathy.. kind? what bull.
Aug. 23rd, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
Not sure if my previous comment was posted. See my blog Bad Cripple. Here is link:
I was supportive anonymous above Aug. 22, 11:28pm
Keep up the good fight.
Aug. 23rd, 2012 07:57 pm (UTC)
thanks for sharing this awesome blog have just shared the link :) Brilliant comments too. thank you! In solidarity xx Dennis
Aug. 25th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
Get off of your high horse!
Dear Miss Dennis Queen, I find your words to be self-righteous and judgemental. Who do you think you are? I am disgusted by this article.
Aug. 25th, 2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
can;t get up there! :P
Dear Anonymous

I am disgusted at the way the press in general deals with this issue - also self righteous and judgemental, just in a different way, a prejudiced,deathly discriminatory way.

it is important other points of view are aired. this blog is supposed to be blunt and unappreciative. so thanks for reading and confirming it's on message and upsetting the bigots who are think some of us are lives unworthy of life.


Edited at 2012-08-25 03:50 pm (UTC)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
assisted suicide
This is a great blog and this post is wonderfully honest and so true, thank you! I too have a disability and when life saving measures were needed my mother(who caused my disability)was the first person doctors turned to on how to proceed, if she had had her way I would have died thankfully a friend of mine stepped in with lawyers etc. and saved my life. "Assisted suicide" is not mercy, I wish people would understand this. I wonder if they would feel differently if this "merciful death" was offered to their depressed child? The women who started this nonsense here in Canada died as well, so she is dead and we get to live in fear, nice eh? Killing is not caring, is not mercy, is not compassion it is just wrong!
Feb. 4th, 2013 12:32 pm (UTC)
Re: assisted suicide
thank yu for saying this and adding your story here. I wonder if you have ever written about it so I could share a link? If you do ever want to and have nowhere to post it I would be very happy to share it on my blog. thank you and in solidarity!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )



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