A woman chooses suicide in a way that will play into the hands of those who plan to impose involuntary euthanasia (i.e. murder).
Extreme aging is the final trial that some of us will face in this life, if we are blessed in that way.
Because medical care is so complicated now and two-income families rely on institutions to outsource much of what used to be normal family life, old age can be a very difficult time. It isn’t that way for everyone, but it can be.
Naturally, a palliative care nurse would see more of the bad cases than the good ones. So now we have a healthy, 75-year-old woman, who used to work in that profession, commit suicide. According to the Telegraph, “Healthy retired nurse ends her life because old age ‘is awful’”
A leading palliative care nurse with no serious health problems has ended her life at a Swiss suicide clinic because she did not want to end up as a “hobbling old lady”.
Gill Pharaoh, 75, who wrote two books giving advice on how to care for the elderly, was not suffering from a terminal disease.
She said she had seen enough of old age to know that she was “going over the hill” and wanted to take action to end her life while she was able to do so.
What kind of advice did she give? Based on her life and chosen death, it would seem she should have written: “Encourage your suffering loved one to agree to suicide as soon as possible.” What kind of care do you give to the aging if you have decided they are better off dead?
Speaking before her death in Basel, the mother of two said her experience as a nurse, including working in nursing homes, had shown her that the reality of old age was “awful.”
One might ask if the problem was that she worked in “awful” nursing homes.
She told The Sunday Times: “I have looked after people who are old, on and off, all my life. I have always said, ‘I am not getting old. I do not think old age is fun.’ I know that I have gone just over the hill now. It is not going to start getting better. I do not want people to remember me as a sort of old lady hobbling up the road with a trolley.
I’ve known young people who can’t walk. Should they die too? Do they have no dignity?
But it gets worse:
“I have got so many friends with partners who, plainly, are a liability. I know you shouldn’t say that but I have this mental picture in my head of all you need to do, at my age, is break a hip and you are likely to go very much downhill from that.”
I guess by “partner” she means what we used to call a husband or a wife back when people would get married. Could she not see what kind of selfishness and coldness she was encouraging? If she should commit suicide to avoid becoming a liability to her “partner” then her “partner” has every reason to demand that he be freed of the burden of caring for her. “Till death do us part” in the marriage vows should be replaced with “Until medical issues make you burdensome to me,” according to this woman’s statement. “In sickness and in health” is no longer applicable.
If you have lost a parent, and remember the grief, think about what gets glossed over in the Telegraph story:
She said her partner and children had supported her wishes, though it would not have been their choice.
In the interview before her death on July 21, she said her daughter, Caron, a nurse, had struggled particularly with the decision.
No one should support a death wish—for anyone but especially not for a healthy person who is simply speculating about the future.
The Telegraph refers to Gill Pharaoh as a “pensioner” and says that an increasing number are going to Sweden to kill themselves. Obviously, that helps the British government’s “public” medical system avoid bankruptcy a little longer. The sooner people die the less financial burden weighs on the government. How long before they start actively encouraging these suicides?
Reading this story, I can’t help but think of Mark’s post on Ezekiel Emanuel’s essay saying he didn’t want to live to be more than 75. The Obamacare architect and Rahm Emanuel’s brother claims he is against assisted suicide, but does he not realize that what he is advocating is leading to premature death?
One of the things that Mark pointed out in that post is that Emanuel claimed that the quality of life for people 75 and older was getting worse but he showed no curiosity about what could be causing it. He just hoped to not live that long.
So right there you begin to get a hint of what a society would be like under this regime. Continually improved longevity is out. It is assumed this decrepitude is “natural” even though there was a time when a much younger age seemed to be a natural limit on human life.
This applies to Pharaoh’s reasoning too. Life used to get worse earlier than seventy-five. It still is for some people, but not for as many. While some of the differences may be protection from disease and better nutrition, others involve improvements in care for people at those ages.
So here is the question: what kind of society is more likely to improve the quality of life for people in their late seventies, eighties and nineties? Obviously, a society that encourages people to kill themselves at the age of seventy-five is not going to work on improving the conditions of eighty-year-olds. If we go down this road, we are cutting ourselves off from making any progress.
And besides all that: it is just wrong. You are not supposed to kill people, not even if you are the person you want to kill. God says not to do it. Any deviation from his commandments in society will lead to slavery and hell on earth—a place where others will effectively decide when and how you live and die.