I believe people should have the authority over themselves to refuse treatment. That doesn’t mean they are always or usually right to do so. In Britain it seems to be the law that you have to give your reasons for refusing to the authorities and they decide if your reasons are rational. This may seem more compassionate, but the result is the legitimization of suicide because a person’s life is determined to be of no value.
Recently, a woman’s right to die was justified an the grounds that she was shallow. The BBC reports, “Why a woman who lost her ‘sparkle’ is being allowed to die.”
Her life had revolved around “her looks, men, material possessions and living the high life”, the judgement said.
She had had four marriages and several affairs and “spent the money of her husbands and lovers recklessly before moving on when things got difficult or the money ran out”.
Last year, C had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but had refused treatment that would “make her fat”.
A long-term relationship had broken down, she had been plunged into debt, and she had tried to kill herself by washing down paracetamol tablets with Veuve Clicquot champagne.
She had later told her daughters – by whom, despite her quirks, she was held “dear” – she had “royally cocked it up”, the court heard.
The suicide attempt had badly damaged her liver – but with dialysis, her prognosis would be positive.
In a statement, C’s daughter told the court: “Put bluntly, her life has always revolved around her looks, men and material possessions.
“She understands that other people have failed relationships, feel sad and continue living, but for her, as she has said, she doesn’t want to ‘live in a council flat’, ‘be poor’ or ‘be ugly’, which she equates with being old.”
The story insists that recognizing this women’s right to die is not the same as assisted suicide. But she basically told them that her life is not worth living unless she is “pretty,” and they have agreed with her. What about those of us who have always been ugly. Should we fear the British government thinks we are better off dead?
Her own daughters were arguing for her reasoning.
In a statement, one said: “‘Recovery’ to her does not just relate to her kidney function, but to regaining her ‘sparkle’ (her expensive, material and looks-oriented social life), which she believes she is too old to regain.”
So if she is not able to continue having sex with men, life is not worth living?