Launch of Report on Assisted Dying

Baroness Murphy

Ah, a half hour pause in front of the computer after doing 16 local radio interviews this morning about the launch today of our report from the Commission on Assisted Dying, on which I served.  A very sympathetic response overall but we’ve also had the predictable  responses from two ends of the debate from individuals and organisations who would rather not be troubled by the evidence.   Over the last twelve months the Commission has held extensive public evidence hearings and consultations, conducted international research visits and commissioned expert briefing papers to produce the most comprehensive study to date of how a change in the law on assisted dying might affect English and Welsh citizens. Read it at www.commissiononassisteddying.co.uk.

The Commission finds there is a strong case to provide the choice of assisted dying to people who are suffering at the end of life and likely to die within twelve months, provided that they satisfy the eligibility criteria. People who might not have the mental capacity to make such a choice, who might be clinically depressed or experiencing pressure from friends or relatives, would be protected by a comprehensive set of safeguards.

The Commission also finds that the provision of high quality end of life care must be a priority for Government, independent of the issue of assisted dying. It recommends that in parallel with any change in the law, the Government should also take action to tackle inequalities in end of life care and ensure that good quality end of life care is available to every person approaching the end of their life.

Under the proposed framework, a dying person who met the legal criteria would be able to ask their doctor to prescribe them a dose of medication that would end their life. The person would need to be able to take the medication themselves, as a clear expression of the voluntariness of their choice. Appropriate practical support to take the medication should be provided if it is required by a terminally ill person with physically impairments but this could not take the form of another person administering the medication on their behalf (euthanasia).  The Commission does not propose that any form of euthanasia might be allowed if the law were to be changed.

I want to stress how limited our proposals were, the criteria only includes those who are already quite near death and excludes many groups who might be thought to be suitable. We decided there must be more debate and more time for Society to assess how a limited provision works before going further.

 

 

 

 

 

31 comments for “Launch of Report on Assisted Dying

  1. Twm O'r Nant
    05/01/2012 at 3:32 pm

    Such a difficult subject, when the angels gather in their white raiment.

    Dying with dignity is surely the first and last consideration. If you can not rely on your relatives whom can you trust?

    for those who are able to organize their own funerals, but who are poor, making the claim from local authority for Cardboard coffin and basic services, is not sufficiently clear.

    Claimants, without being a macabre wit of any sort, have to make the claim before they die and not after it! Being able to predict one’s end is probably not an easy thing to do, and choosing one’s own hymns must be wiser than asking somebody else to choose them for you.

    My reading of the local authority responsibility suggests that they should make it clearer at what point claims may be submitted, and by whom.

    It is not pleasant to consider, even amongst friends, what large hospital procedures are, for those who have taken no responsibility at all, for the disposal of their own bodily remains.

    The euphemism “Medical research” is not a suitable one, but a great many people use it.

    The coop has been informed.

  2. Tony Sandy
    06/01/2012 at 10:22 am

    I personally think the turn towards this angle on death is a monitor of the direction society is taking over all. Care in care homes and hospitals is on the decline, crime is becoming more mindless (the Indian boy shot in Salford recently and the young lad stabbed in the heart by a passing stranger in London a few years back). I don’t think we’re really going through a financial crisis but a moral and ‘morale’ one. This society is becoming more morally bankrupt and shallow – celebrity and materialism, replacing the spirituality and sheer spirit to achieve something worthwhile before you die, not die ‘financially’ richer than others. This is a society that has been turned on its head, so that good is seen as bad and bad as good (Look at some of the adverts, honest enough to even state it). It is our society that is assisting it’s own demise by protecting the guilty and throwing the innocent in prison for trying to protect themselves from the bullies, who pick on the weak, the alone. Are these people evil? More misguided in their values and what matters, what is important. They kill people important to this society in the present and future, and get a cushy time in prison as a reward or let off because they come from a broken home (and what of the homes they break by their acts?). Then there are our old people, who we should be rewarding for their service to this country and what do we do instead? Toss them in homes where they are abused or leave them to fend for themselves on a pittance. Britain you should be ashamed of yourself!

  3. baronessmurphy
    06/01/2012 at 1:18 pm

    Tony Sandy, Society worse than ever? Read Dickens.

    • Tony Sandy
      09/01/2012 at 10:45 am

      Yes, I know things could be worse. I’m on about making them better. we are slipping back into that state in my opinion. I know we should count our blessings and all that but there is such a thing as turning a blind eye to what is going on, such as extraditing British citizens to America and their third world prisons but that is another argument.

    • Tony Sandy
      09/01/2012 at 12:25 pm

      Lady Murphy, in a nutshell you seem to be saying we could be worse off than we are and I’m saying we could be better. By this I don’t mean necessarily materially but morally and intellectually through effort and diligence. The argument made by David Cameron about money for nothing from the top dogs is a case in point and it is not just a case of class as we see working class parents overindulging their kids by giving them everything they ask for materially. We are creating a world where nobody wants to struggle, get their hands dirty or take any responsibility for their actions. My point is that this will return us to Dickensian standards because society will collapse under this ennui.

      Perhaps you want to maintain the status quo – I don’t. To me the problems of this world are down to wallowing in the past, instead of looking to the future. The future has no identity, it has no side. It is just liquid, undefined potential. The past though is a series of camps, reeling from failures and blaming them on others. A united world, a united planet wouldn’t be moaning about such trivia because it would be getting on with the act of living, not licking its wounds. The past is dead. It is just layers (separate facets) of what was. Only the future is alive because it offers us hope of change, not wallowing in sameness.

      Tough times never last but tough people do (Lagos ghetto person on TV series about the city).

      Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable (JFK)

      Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle (Robert Kennedy)

      It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who spends himself in a worthy cause (Teddy Roosevelt – abbreviated speech)

  4. 06/01/2012 at 7:52 pm

    When a jury is packed, there is little doubt what the verdict will be.
    Using money mainly provided by pro-euthanasia Terry Pratchett, and backed by the group which has changed its name (but not its nature) from the Voluntary Euthanasia Society to Dignity in Dying, Lord Falconer gathered a dozen people of whom nine were known pro-euthanasia campaigners, and called them a commission. Is anyone surprised that they suggested that the law which at present protects the sick, elderly, disabled and vulnerable should be changed?

    Ignoring the fact that the dangers of this are so obvious that three recent attempts in the UK and countless others worldwide have been defeated in the last few years, not caring that the disabled and handicapped, as well as the doctors who care for them, are overwhelmingly against any weakening in the law, glossing over the well-documented abuses in the few countries where the law allows such killings, the “commission” suggested what they consider just a tiny change, to let doctors kill terminally ill patients, with the usual mention of risibly weak “safeguards”.
    All these campaigners admit this is just the start and that they intend to extend their pro-death proposals.
    There is a clear bright line which no doctor should cross, in deliberately killing a patient.
    There is a clear principle that no one’s life should be thought unworthy of protection.

  5. maude elwes
    06/01/2012 at 8:51 pm

    And do we really want a return to Dickens era in it’s entirety?

    This desire to meddle further in the deaths of an individual is not only ‘fishy’ it’s macabre. It is totally unnecessary for a change in the law and those who are in the medical profession know it. Other than relatives requesting the ‘right’ to put down those who they feel, for whatever reason, time is up for them, it has long been known that a medic can and does intervene when all else is lost.

    Recent example. And if any death can be viewed as a ‘good’ death, last summer I experienced just that. The nearest you could get to a peaceful death was mine to witness.

    My dear, long term, friend, who had been diagnosed with aggressive and rampant cancer, died, as predicted, within two months of the medical opinion given.

    He wanted to die at home. Arrangements were made to do this, he wanted no treatment. This was respected by all. There was no point, it would only have worsened his situation. So, with his entire family and friends aware of his demise, he was taken care of at home. Until, the cancer had invaded his bones from his chest to his arm and it was unable to be attended to there.

    At ‘his’ request an ambulance took him to the hospital he had been treated at and they were exemplary. His condition could not be assisted, and the amount of medication he needed to relieve his suffering could not be addressed at his home in time for his return.

    The hospital took over. The ward was an amazing force in action. They did what they could to keep him comfortable. His massive amount of visitors were allowed on the ward filling the room almost day and night. The priest gave him the last rights as he had wanted, and my friend then indicated his readiness to move on.

    The Father told us the time he would be leaving this world and that he would return for his passing. The nursing staff did all they could for the families comfort. Even as far as allowing the ward phone to be used for calls from abroad to his ear, an hour or two ahead of time.

    And his sons sat holding his hands as he left us. He was at peace and as painless as it could be made for him. We were, to a one, deeply grateful to all the medical staff on that ward that night.

    How could a ‘new’ law make that stage in life ‘easier?’

    Not one friend or relative felt he could have had better treatment, or, that any other method should have been used.

    This push for a ‘new law’ could be suspected as the State looking for license to put down the infirm indiscriminately, and that is worse than Dickensian.

    Recently it was revealed that for decades death certificates have given inaccurate information on the cause. Autopsies are not carried out on nine out of ten people, and now they want to bring in a law to cover the actions of those who may have little or no compunction when it comes to relieving their own dilemma and not a jot of thought for those at their end.

    This would be a very foolish move for all of us to make. I trusted what I saw last year.

  6. MilesJSD
    06/01/2012 at 9:59 pm

    “Euthanasia” does at least state “beautiful-death/killing”
    whereas “assisted dying” and “assisted lawful sujicide” do not overtly require such “beautiful” or “painless” termination.
    ———
    The main argument I subscribe (if it yet has been established & published for democratic-discussion and scrutiny) holds that a disinterested & holistic panel of experts, operating and sitting in-public, should be a sufficiently reliable Judgement-Body of a victim’s state-of-suffering & life-maiming/disabling effect, to permit appropriately effective remediation, say in the form of ever increasing pain-killer dosages even unto ‘collateral death’ thereby,
    such terminal administration to be supervised by the Judging Body augmented by disinterested Medical, Social, and Spiritual experts;
    who in turn might allow participation by Family or established-Friends.
    —————–
    I am not so sure about the essentiality of a “dying at home” clause, because the main aim is to fully-effectively relieve the unbearable suffering and irreversible maiming.
    Nonetheless it might help the victim if s/he has moments of environment-appreciation;
    and might help family, friends, and even some of the implementing and supervising authirities,
    to have such terminal care placed in the victim’s accustomed home;
    and for reasons of privacy, quiet, and dignity as well;

    with which I would resonate and agree.

  7. ladytizzy
    06/01/2012 at 10:47 pm

    I haven’t been able to read the report – combination of bad links and a duff hard disk – so apologies if my comments have already been covered.

    It is common knowledge that assisted dying has happened in the UK. What do doctor’s state as the cause of death on the certificate?

    If, as I suspect, the terminal illness is all that is recorded, how do researchers know when someone has been helped to die?

    Continuing the assumption above, are national health statistics being skewed?

    Has any insurance company refused to pay out on a life insurance policy if there is a suspicion of assisted dying?

    Which data is made available (or will be available) to insurance companies for use in calculating risk – real or cleaned? Or both?

    Thanks.

  8. Gar
    07/01/2012 at 2:09 pm

    “This society is becoming more morally bankrupt and shallow – celebrity and materialism,”

    Perhaps it is just different and more sophisticated from Dickens’ times.
    Perhaps we have enjoyed times of less superficiality, just going back now to the normal cheapness of life experienced in the 19th Century.

    It is brave and it is new and it is all the science fiction come to true, and fact; the NHS is so appallingly bad, that it is as banale as concentration camps to talk about it.

    Organ transplants;assisted dying …. and so on. How about both at the same time eh? It would not be new.Grave robbers of the 19thC.

  9. Tony Sandy
    09/01/2012 at 10:50 am

    On this subject of assisted dying, here as some quotes from Helen Keller – someone who would have probably have been bumped off by the Nazis:-

    All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.

    Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

    Life is either a great adventure or nothing.

    Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

    No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.

    Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.

    Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.

    We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.

  10. Lord Blagger
    09/01/2012 at 10:51 am

    the NHS is so appallingly bad

    ===========

    Well its one way of covering up the 20-80,000 deaths a year where the NHS, kills, or contributes to people’s demise.

    No doubt you will get a discount if you top yourself in the appropriate manner, and the state gets to keep the organs it has already decided it owns.

    Couple that with the state stud book, for cattle and people, just like the slave owners in the past.

    Next it will be booking citizens as assets of the state in order to balance the books.

  11. Twm O'r Nant
    09/01/2012 at 11:23 am

    “People who might not have the mental capacity to make such a choice, who might be clinically depressed or experiencing pressure from friends or relatives, would be protected by a comprehensive set of safeguards.”

    Protected from whom? Themselves? Their executioners? Their relatives? The state?

  12. Tony Sandy
    09/01/2012 at 12:33 pm

    Twm O’r Nant / Lord Blagger, here is a Gandhi quote you might find appropriate:-

    Those who know how to think, need no teachers (or whatever post you can think of)

  13. Tony Sandy
    09/01/2012 at 12:48 pm

    A rational man can be talked into anything, an irrational man can’t. By this I mean we can be led into a disastrous course of action because we think it makes sense but not if you listen to your heart, not your head. I helped put our old Labrador down, just over a year ago because I allowed myself to be reasoned with, with regards to her condition. I’ve had a year of guilt because I thought I knew best about what to do about her and didn’t have the patience or tolerance to persevere with the lifestyle adapted around her. She didn’t want to go and fought to the end. It was only after I questioned my right to act on her behalf and that my assessment of her condition was right (She was diabetic, had bladder stones, fatty growths on her body and limped because of an accident when she was a puppy i.e. hit by a lorry). I thought she had kidney failure but questioned my diagnosis afterwards, when I fed the special diet food she was on, to the other two dogs and they couldn’t control their bladders either. I was tired because for the last month of her life she was too scared to sleep at night, which meant I didn’t sleep well either. When she finally relaxed at the first light of dawn, that was when she released her bladder contents but then the other two dogs were awake and needing walking. My point is that medical or care staff in the same predicament, could be so tired that their analysis of the situation might be as suspicious as mine and might equally (and rightly) play on their minds.

  14. Twm O'r Nant
    09/01/2012 at 2:08 pm

    Individual cases of dignity in death are a lesson to us all.

    Interesting to have a reply from The Blag in such a way, and I would take the analogy further; that promoting assisted dying of people who are assets OR LIABILITIES of the state in such a way, will only encourage more liberal regulations on the transplant of organs, and vice versa.

    We shall end up with a body analysis of any.. body who is not considered to be an asset, living, as to whether he would be an asset, ie of transplanted organs, in death.

    The methods of dying for those whose organs are transplanted to another, also has to be considered.

    Excuse me Sir, if all my organs are in good nick, what can they be sold for? Corneas, liver, kidneys,heart and so on………

    I did witness such an individual some years ago do precisely that with his own person (his older brother was a surgeon, and he was described as the most “generous person” they had ever known, which seems to me a travesty of the Christian faith or of the meaning of generous.

    Generous and insane, but then who cares about that?

    “Now whom shall we assist next in dying?”

    “I say! I say! He’s got very nice kidneys! Let’s help him to be generous shall we?”

    • maude elwes
      10/01/2012 at 2:43 pm

      @Twm:

      Yes, and it will be very similar to the poor on welfare. Those who are robbing from the rich by having endless children and living off the state benefit.

      We are told there are 190 families with ten kids or more, who live as disabled people who glean from the state a sum of money that is ‘too’ outrageous for us to support. They cited one family in the press, but, a good idea would be to put them all on display and then we could take eggs, tomatoes and raw foods to throw at them as they go about their daily business.

      Of course they don’t mention the other end of the spectrum, like Tony Blair, who made a 42% increase on his earnings to bring it to £12 million over 2010-2011 and out of this income he managed to pay a tax bill of £313 thousand, using outgoings to cover it. Extraordinary. Who does this man have under his thumb I wonder?

      Anyway, what he costs the country far outweighs these child bearing disabled families by a huge proportion. Yet, he is ferreted around by bodyguards at tax payers enormous expense, wined and dined and given fake jobs in order to fill his wallet further.

      Why is his worth seen as more valuable than the people on the lower end of our nation? He and his bowling ball carrying wife look just like cheap downtrodden individuals to me. Could it be because he has friends in high places who give him gifts in a similar way to Sophie Wessex. That other taker of hand outs.

      Soon the bodies of those who are vulnerable will be assessed as belonging to the wrong set and something must be done about it. Either hand over your kidneys, corneas, hearts or whatever else you have in good order otherwise we will be nasty to your family. They will be thrown out on the street as you have one bedroom too many and we have the rest of the world to house now, don’t we. They are the workers whilst you are the idle.

      Your worth is over, you are too many.

  15. 10/01/2012 at 9:00 am

    Tony has got some interesting quotes and ideas there, bless him!

    They do say that Vets are better at dealing with human medical problems than NHS Doctors, but it may only be because the vet is self employed! Local vet here even does alternative dog medicine!

    there were only joy in the world. There is joy in the world; post from Tony for a start!

    Science may have found a cure for most evils; And caused a good many more including the hypodermic question of assisted dying.

    some inspirational remarks from Tony, which are a pleasure to receive, but
    Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.

    Perhaps you should start a co-operative!
    The global justice movement hopes to achieve exactly that!

  16. Tony Sandy
    10/01/2012 at 1:24 pm

    Not another quote but a poem to look up
    ‘Death Shall Have No Dominion ‘by Dylan Thomas.

    After I’d conspired to have my old Lab put to death, that Christmas there was an advert by the RSPCA which cut me to the quick as they say. It was the mention of getting rid of unwanted pets because they were an ‘inconvenience.

    ‘My wife has an aunty, who so hated her new (care)’home’ that she jumped out of the first floor window and injured her leg. When we visited her she begged me to get her out of there and I intend to do my best to persuade her immediate family to move her to a better care home, when next we’re up. I personally witnessed an elderly lady hit by a wheelchair, manouevred by one of the homes staff (Not a deliberate act, just one of impatience).

    What I see in the world at the moment is a mad rush to do things and a scrimping on paying for them, which inevitably leads to angry action not patient and tolerant acts. Liz Jones in the Daily Mail, wrote about a cow having its legs cut off while still alive because of the pressure the slaughterhouse workers were under.

    Isn’t it insane that in an age of high unemployment, those that are employed at the bottom, are paid a pittance and are too few in number to achieve their work aims quietly and effectively?

    Baroness Murphy mentioned Dickensian London – isn’t this the same kind of conditions they worked under in Victorian times? (enforced poverty and limited employment by employers, to keep their overheads down and the poor in their place).

    Joseph Bazelgette finally got the tightfisted government of the times, to agree to a decent, sensible sewage system in the city, when even those in power couldn’t stand the smell anymore. As The I-Ching says “People do not change, until the pain of staying the same, outweighs the pain to alter.”

    Until I saw Baroness Jane Campbell on the news, I sided with the ‘reasonable’ voice of Terry Pratchett but no longer.

  17. Tony Sandy
    10/01/2012 at 1:42 pm

    Dominica, I’m not sure where I stand on the abortion issue but I see no reason why women shouldn’t go full term and then pass the baby on for adoption, unless there are health risks with the pregnancy, for the mother.

    One thing I am sure of is that things should be voluntary because that is the adult stance as force is childish, without dignity and doesn’t allow for any being to make up its own mind (informed choice).

    As for doctors killing patients, that changes their status doesn’t it? To kill deliberately turns you into a murderer as accidentally its manslaughter. Farmers rear animals and society turns a blind eye when they are killed because we need to eat to survive. How any of us are treated before death is the main thing as it not only degrades those being killed / treated but those doing the treating / killing.

    It is all a question of time and dignity, and goes back to what I was saying in a previous post about pressure and limits. An angry man is reacting to the feeling that he has no time to think or room to act. He feels he is being forced to do something that he hasn’t considered in depth or at all. Intelligence comes from quiet, considered thought on any subject – stupidity is always rushed.

  18. Tony Sandy
    10/01/2012 at 4:01 pm

    ‘My enemies have sweet voices, that whisper soft and low’ as Roy Harper sang. In other words if you can be persuaded by rhetoric that black is white, then you are lost. Use your eyes and don’t let the glib tongued sway your thoughts. Bill Hicks, the American comedian, hated the world of advertising because of this.

  19. baronessmurphy
    11/01/2012 at 11:31 am

    I suppose it’s not going to help if I mention I was talking about a person’s own choice of WHEN to die given that they are already terminally ill. What is so difficult?

    I’m NOT talking about killing of any kind; Tony Sandy I’m happy for you to make decisions for your dog even though you think you might have got it wrong, but not for me thanks. But anyone who thinks it’s Ok to encourage women to carry to full term and then have their baby adopted is as satisfactory as an early termination is clearly beyond my ken. Have you ever thought about the impact on the women concerned of your suggestion?
    Dominica Roberts: Why does the “Pro-Life” Movement want to punish everybody with their own beliefs. I don’t want to force mine on you, why do you want to force yours on me? Why do you want to prevent others making their own choices?
    Maud Elwes, we all want the kind of death you describe in a friend. To achieve that requires a huge change in the attitude to death and dying by the services since we know that it is all too rare. That’s an entirely different issue to the discussion about whether dying people should have more personal choice about their end, related but very different. All the evidence is that in jurisdictions where Assisted Dying is legal palliative care services have improved and have received better investment.

    • Tony Sandy
      12/01/2012 at 11:02 am

      Baroness Murphy you are talking of free choice and so am I. I’m not saying women should be forced to go full term but if there are reasons for wanting an abortion that are trivial (How it will affect their figure, marriage chances etc), then I think they should talk to a series of woman who have had terminations and either regretted it or were pleased with the result as both sides exist, don’t they? I believe in informed choice, not ignorance of the facts.

    • mause elwes
      12/01/2012 at 6:52 pm

      @Baroness Murphy:

      What I was trying to suggest was, this change you seek is not necessary.

      My friend did not go to a private doctor, he was cared for in an East London NHS hospital, not the Harley Clinic. And he was allowed to fade away just as he wanted to do, when he wanted to.

      His wishes were honoured in every way. Including the person from whom he received a last blessing. No pressure was put on him one way or the other.

      ‘License to kill’ is dangerous. And the public have no trust in ‘government’ or those who do their bidding, when they can and will be able to abuse their power, and very quickly, without having to be responsible for their actions. For goodness sake, they kill now without authority. Do you really feel this will make us all feel secure when we are ill?

      So I vote no to change. In order that the message here is clear.

  20. Tony Sandy
    12/01/2012 at 11:38 am

    On the question of transplants, accident victims are best most of the time, unless the cause was an illness as they are healthy donors. Disease victims are not because their illness could be passed onto the recipient. Likewise with organs from someone who has an inherited disease, probably. On the practical level, transplanting into an abused body (alcoholic / drug addict) is just as pointless in my opinion as there is a good chance of them then going on to ruin that liver or set of lungs / heart. Any transplant in these conditions would only have temporary value because of the condition.

    The state of the organs going in is as important as the body they are coming from. I worked in a blood bank once, around the time that haemophiliacs were going down with hepatitis from imported American blood, so have personal experience of this problem.

    Could we use comatose patients in a vegetative state? Fresh evidence is proving that this too may be problematic as some patients are proving to be paralysed but mentally alert (there have been medical theatre incidents, where the patient has been supposedly anaesthetised but is fully aware throughout the operation, so this aspect would need further investigation).

    Animal organs have been used, principally pigs as they seem to be the most compatible with humans. Then there is the growing interest in growing your own organs from harvested cells.

    If there is an angle here I don’t believe it is in wanting the genetically disabled or terminally ills organs but one of cost i.e. keeping people alive, no matter what or letting them die because it is more cost effective. Personally as I said earlier, I believe that the effort in keeping people alive who have inherited genetic weaknesses, will be rewarded by what we find out about these conditions as this will lead to better treatment and maybe eradication of them in future, where euthanasia means such conditions will never be solved as a problem.

    Lastly, when it comes to looking at the problem as a whole, I saw a TV program last night which for me disclosed it in a nutshell. This crofter in The Western Isles of Scotland, was raking up cockles from the shore. He called them ‘food’ (a resource with no rights) as opposed to living beings that science would have kept alive to study and understand. We all need food and shelter but we also need something to interest our minds in life. To be just beasts of the field with no thought for others or about life, demeans us. Without conscience we become thugs and monsters as did the Nazis. Awareness is a mountain we build, based upon experience, just as suppression knocks it down and creates a crater, for us to hide in, burying our lightness of being.

  21. Tony Sandy
    12/01/2012 at 2:17 pm

    ‘To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing.’ This quote was on a site about the global economic crisis (One Vibration) but is appropriate to the discussion here in my opinion.

  22. Twm O'r Nant
    12/01/2012 at 7:03 pm

    “full term and then have their baby adopted is as satisfactory as an early termination is clearly beyond my ken.

    ” Cider House Rules OK?”
    (Michael Caine 1999)

    Tony Sandy makes some interesting remarks.

    “On the practical level, transplanting into an abused body (alcoholic / drug addict) is just as pointless in my opinion as there is a good chance of them then going on to ruin that liver or set of lungs / heart.”

    All depends on whether they are prepared to pay for it.

    Dominica
    “Why does the “Pro-Life” Movement want to punish everybody with their own beliefs. I don’t want to force mine on you, why do you want to force yours on me? Why do you want to prevent others making their own choices?”

    It may be that you think their opinions and choices are inadequately formed or wrongly formed, and if for example surgeons are going round touting for organs or buying them from otherwise healthy Bangla Deshis (bless all their holiness), then it is reasonable to think it.

    “demeans us. Without conscience we become thugs and monsters as did the Nazis.”

    And yet they were the ones who were condemned so much for vile experimentation in the first place?

    Assisted dying at any time during the otherwise natural course of a person’s life
    to say three score years and ten, or 80, is the subject. It excludes nobody, not even
    Organ donors on wheels (Motorbikers)at the age of 21.

    The enthusiasm with which the local hospital welcomes such people is remarkable.

    On my visit my kidneys were touched up by a nurse the moment I got to the hospital yard, and I was asked pointedly whether I was an organ donor, before anything else was done!!!

    The the question of generosity arose, which I may have mentioned above…….. Christian generosity….

    There was so… much…. more… they… could… do… for… me…

    If the noble baroness will pardon the asterisks, I did not want them to do a F****** thing, but the pen and contract were pushed repeatedly before me.

    They did not succeed in entering my pelvis to repair my ankle, although that would… have… been… doing… a… lot… more… for… me…

    The experience of nearly all motorbike injured is similar, if not the same.
    There is a standard procedure which if it were not the NHS would amount to serious crime.

    Aggravated grievous bodily harm. AGBH not Actual but Aggravated, by surgeons dedicated
    to professional malpractice and professional negligence over a long period of time.

    All you have got to do is sign for the hypodermic!

    I’ll keep a copy of this one in case you forget to publish it. I do understand the wish to give every newcomer a good airing, oh… and Welcome to Dominica and Tony Sandy, whom barring all pseudonym name changes are new, to some very useful discussions led by the Baroness Murphy

  23. MilesJSD
    12/01/2012 at 9:20 pm

    Tony Sandy speaks from a certain true- mindfulness, I think;
    yet like the rest of us may inadvertently leave a ‘gap’, such as could be easily self-corrected possibly within a very few hours or days.

    Tony’s second reply to Baroness Murphy 1225PM090112:
    “The past is dead”
    “Only the future is alive” –
    “because it offers us hope of change” –
    (‘change’ but in which direction ?)

    “not wallowing in sadness”
    ((some sadness is an essential and healthy component of any dignified human-life, isn’t it ?
    and for some, dying or only transiently ‘laid low’, Sadness may be the only decent and bearable feeling they have left,
    (now strike “to wallow in” and insert instead)
    “to find rest in” ));
    wouldn’t that be ok ?

    So Tony’s self-correction task could be,
    to acquire the non-fiction 2011 publication “Mindfulness”, complete with eight reasonably short and do-able self-learning meditations, passed on to us, on the included CD, by Professor Mark Williams;
    and straightaway to spend enough private timeframes repeating meditations #1 and #2 until (Tony) you truly get both the feel of your own many body-parts and their various ‘sensations’;
    and also possibly find your cranial-mind’s latent ability to realise its alternative-potential, to becoming sometimes a more gainful ‘follower’ instead of, as with so many of us, being (hitherto) perhaps a little unawarely ‘habitually-the-leader’.
    —————-
    Dying; suffering; striving still to ‘live’.
    Mercy.
    If anyone finds theirself overcome by a discomfort, what is their first resort, if not to pause and move their body in such ways as to relieve and hopefully obviate that discomfort ?
    which is much the same thing as exploring your self-positioning abilities until you find a position, or some movement, or ‘place’, that you actually can enjoy, isn’t it ?
    ——————
    Our human-race’s 7-billions of such individually-present-and-still-learning- or-‘self-discovering’ bodies-and-minds, are probably the best insurance that any ‘better-future’ has, of ever coming into existence and being worthily ‘lived’ as you so rightly pro-test –

    surely ?

    • Tony Sandy
      13/01/2012 at 10:05 am

      Miles, thank you for pointing out the gaps (missing data which I can easily fill in within hours – by the way life is full of gaps, which is why you cannot pin it down – death however is final and certain). The future offers hope but in which direction you ask? Well how about remaining free to make your own choices, instead of caught up in consensus reality, which the past inevitably is. Depression leads to giving up your rights to fight off the vultures that would feed on you, by keeping you awake instead.

      I have nothing against sadness although i don’t like enforced jollity: Genuine emotion is like a musical scale, you run up and down it from happiness, through boredom, to downright misery. That is your choice and ability. Happiness means you want to be here – misery that you don’t, that’s all.

      I get your point about habitually being the leader, so here is one on the same subject: Doubt leads us to ask, certainty to act, experience to correct the beliefs that led us to act and back to doubt – this is the learning process of the blundering ego. The alternative is to say nothing and hope this will make you look smart but as they say progress is dependent on people asking idiotic questions.

      Are the last two points aimed at me or someone else as I cannot find a reference in anything I’ve written but could have missed it? I don’t disagree with the points though (Only by hammering out the various points, can we overcome the limits of language, that may create impressions that we mean things we don’t).

  24. Tony Sandy
    13/01/2012 at 10:26 am

    Twm, transplanting into an abused body is okay if you pay for it but in what way or are you only on about money?

    The Nazi quote – I hope I’ve got your point right but are you on about hypocrisy? In which case isn’t this about publicity rather than truth (how you want to appear to others i.e. the hero, rather than how you really are, a mixture of good and bad, just like everybody else). By the way all the bad Nazis were killed and the good ones now work for us, which is fantastic isn’t it!

    Still, I’d rather live in Europe than America which is full of more obvious gangsters than here and we shouldn’t be standing by while our citizens are being extradited to their prisons. Do we need genetic crops, that are essentially less productive than natural ones or mice that glow in the dark? Scientific experimentation is becoming trivial and pointless as companies and the individuals involved try to justify their existence. Hospitals are where people used to go to get well, now it’s where they go to get worse.

    Mause, my wife and I had a close friend taken into a hospice, who like your friend was allowed to go peacefully at his own rate too.

  25. Tony Sandy
    13/01/2012 at 10:37 am

    I’m not sure of this quote but it goes something like ‘When we treat people as things and things like people, then tyranny rules. This was the point of my cockle picking quote. The world is a market for ideas as well as products and once the audience changes its allegiance to another stall, then that idea / ideal fails. This is how consensus reality runs the world and why the financial market is in difficulty now – people are getting bored with the whole system and without support (believers) it will fail as has happened with previous civilizations.

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