Another tragic suicide

News this week of another tragic case of a man being forced to go abroad to end his own life because of the archaic laws of this country and the attitude of the Catholic lobby. How much longer must we be forced to put up with this?

Simon Binner, pictured above with his wife, was a victim of aggressive MND which progressively damages parts of the nervous system. In his own words : ‘My MND accelerated very rapidly. The sawbones initially thought I would last until 2017/2018, but they were mistaken – no worries, it’s an inexact science! I don’t recommend MND! Better to have one massive fatal stroke or be killed instantly by a drunk driver! There is nothing that I can say that’s positive about MND.’

His wife said she believed strongly in ‘the sanctity of life’, but finally accepted his decision after visiting the Eternal Spirit clinic with her husband and speaking to the woman that ran it. ‘She used the term, “Do you want Simon to stay alive so you can have a human pet?” That put me in a very difficult position. Because did I want Simon to stay alive just for me? It makes you really think about someone’s individual right to choose how they live and how they die.’

It’s bad enough that a family has to go through the ordeal of dealing with a terrifying and incurable condition and then facing up to the individual’s decision that he’d go quickly and painlessly than slowly and painfully, but on top of all that people like Simon and his famoly are forced to endure a one way trip to another country to exercise what I consider to be the ultimate human right : the right of self determination.

I think my views on this subject are well known and I hope I never have to face the choice, but if I do then I wholeheartedly condemn those who would take it away from me.

The fight goes on, but in the meantime I can only extend my heartfelt condolences to Simon’s family. They’ve lost a brave and principled man…


9 responses to “Another tragic suicide

  1. I'm in the process of watching my mother die from Parkinson's. Seeing what used to a capable, proud woman gradually declining to the point where she can no longer wash herself or dress herself, who has to be helped on and off a commode, who has great difficulty eating and drinking, and cannot communicate with the outside world either by writing or speech is heartbreaking. She has become nothing more than a living vegetable. Her quality of life is virtually nil.

    I know that she would like nothing more than to quietly go to sleep and not wake up. The option of assisted suicide is out of the question because she could not make her wishes known in any meaningful way. To me it seems verging on cruelty to keep her going via medication.

    My heart-felt sympathies go out to all the people like Simon Binner. The law is an ass. It should be changed, but so long as the decision remains in the hands of a few sanctimonious individuals it never will be changed. After all, if and when they are faced with this situation they will have the financial means to get the very best care available or go abroad for the alternative.

  2. This is a sensitive and important matter and this question is meant with all due respect to people in very difficult circumstances. The question is this; since suicide is not illegal, why wait until the disease has advanced to such an extent that the option of taking your life by your own hand is out of the question? Sooner rather than too late might have been the best option.

  3. I find it quite hard to answer that question. With some of these illnesses the decline comes in stages and (I think) by the time you need to do the deed you've gone past the point where you're capable of doing it. It maybe a tad easier in those cases where you're still reasonably compos mentis and can make your arrangements accordingly. In the first case the doctors can't (or won't) give you any idea of the length of time you've got left.

    In my mother's case, all I can say is that as far as I can tell she's not in any pain. I guess that's what people fear most – being in pain. Loss of quality of life and no dignity maybe aren't quite so bad. All I can say for sure is that I believe those that want to end their life should be allowed and assisted to do so.

  4. And yet to keep an animal in suffering is illegal?

  5. I find it interesting that nobody seems to be disagreeing with what I'm saying other than the politicians and the religious nuts

  6. Noting that Dioclese seeks contrary opinions, I will add my view.

    Though I am not totally against the concept of assisted suicide, I see the issue as fraught with the obvious dangers of involuntary termination and of guilt-tripping some of the elderly into it (or them guilt-tripping themselves). These, plus of course the usual issues as to true opinion and the effects of depression and of pain.

    Back on 12th September, I added criticism to a post on the ASI blog on this very issue. What the ASI posted and my and other comments can be found here.

    It is a very difficult issue. One with no good, let alone easy, solutions. My current view is that I think it is better left alone, at least as far as the UK is concerned.

    Best regards

  7. The big distinction is between “assisted death/suicide” and “euthanasia” or involuntary death where somebody else decides whether you should live or die.

    I support the former. The latter is called “murder”. The Catholic lobby, of course, make much by equating the two and referring to suicide as a 'mortal sin'. It serves their case and is, in my opinion, total bollocks!

    I read your comments at ASI and I was interested in abortion as a lifestyle choice. Again IMHO that's just immoral and irresponsible. There is no excuse for an unwanted pregnancy in the 21st century (in this country anyway)…

  8. As a human, I claim my animal rights. I'm an animal too!