Tony Nicklinson and Assisted Suicide: My Life, My Decision
A 58-year old businessman, Tony Nicklinson, had been suffering from the ‘locked-in syndrome’.
For those who are not familiar with this condition, imagine yourself being nothing more than a head floating in air. Your body is beyond your control. If you have to move your arm one inch to the right, you cannot. Does you left cheek feel a little itchy? Ask your nurse to itch it for you. Well, not “ask”. You may have to communicate by blinking or moving your eyes.
Imagine doing that for the rest of your life. Sounds pretty tolerable, doesn’t it? Don’t know what Mr.Nicklinson’s been complaining about!
Anyway, for reasons that I’ll never understand, Nicklinson wasn’t keen on living. Since assisted suicide is illegal in UK, the man begged the court to allow his doctor to kill him. He lost the case. The picture below shows his reaction to the verdict:
This is the face of a suffering man who’s been sentenced to life in prison. A prison of his own useless flesh and bones.
The pro-lifers, as always, did not give a gently-soaring fuck about the man’s agony. They were busy high-fiving one another over their continued dominion over other people’s lives. The government tightly regulates a man’s finances, his movements, the air he breathes, the water he drinks – you know, all the little things. How ludicrous would it be that the government should allow him, at the very least, the right to end his own life.
Not that the court achieved anything by doing this to Nicklinson. He simply continued to refuse food and medication, and died a week after the verdict from pneumonia-related complications. Instead of letting him die a quick, dignified death, the United Kingdom doomed this man to die by the process of slow, painful starvation, and the gnawing of bacteria at his body.
What a great, fucking surprise that we can’t force perfectly sane adults to want to live.
This is not a British disease. It’s a global menace. Of government who treat their citizens not as individuals who have the freedom to decide their own fate, but as “assets”. A nation is merely an orchard that produces fruit ripe for the government to pluck, and it’s not in the administration’s interest to allow consenting, adult trees to chop themselves down.
For a tree that is in no condition to bear fruit, as Mr. Nicklinson (pardon the callous analogy), the debate is held almost exclusively within the realm of ethics, morality or religion. It’s never about reality or pragmatism. It’s not about what’s right. It’s about what’s “moral”. And in this case, letting that man suffer for 7 years was the moral thing to do.
As a sane adult, I have a right to choose whether I breathe or not. Neither the priest nor the president has any authority over what I get to do with my body.