Thursday, July 16, 2009
I was not required to discuss assisted dying on The Daily Politics, but I did discuss it in the corridor outside the studio with Frank Field and Lord Falconer. Field spoke of a woman planning suicide accompanied by a Dignitas man 'in a woolly hat'. The clothing detail was, somehow, devastating and convinced me I'd rather scoop out my own heart with a teaspoon than go to Switzerland to top myself - or have myself topped, as it were. Then there is this story, which is either a glorious affirmation of love or a horrific abuse depending on your perspective. Apart from the Swiss prejudice, I don't know what my perspective is. I use to be violently against this kind of thing - partly because of spending a couple of weeks in Holland researching a magazine article on euthanasia, which the Dutch then did with unattractive enthusiasm - but, these days, I am incapable of such certainties. This morning, however, I am all for assisted suicide at the first sign of any degenerative illness. This is because I watched Getting On on BBC4 - the best TV channel in the world - last night. Quite brilliant, very funny and utterly depressing, it will result in flights to Zurich packed with the only slightly unwell. Even death in Switzerland would seem to be preferable to life in a British hospital.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:21 am