Choosing to Die

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Choosing to Die

Hi I have had a bit of a look around on the forum and I can't see a thread started on the documentary "Choosing to Die" shown on Monday even though at the News on Dying Matters there is a bit about it and it says "talk about this on our forum". If you missed the documentary or the discussion afterwards you can catch it here: I was very moved by it; it was very well filmed but for me, disturbing, so I was pleased that Sir Terry and his friend / assistant/ colleague/ right hand man (not sure what to call him) expressed the same concerns regarding what I found disturbing. I feel people have a right to choose but much of what I saw on the documentary didn't feel quite right, the files of people in different colours, the business aspect of it, the little house in the midst of an Industrial estate, the matter of factness. It felt a bit like a death factory and was I the only one that felt I wouldn't want to drink a cup of tea there? I am not sure when this was filmed but I found this yesterday (see link below) from the Telegraph in 2009 which seems to conflict with what was said in the documentary about it costing £10000 and certainly nobody in the documentary received 3 months of counselling, or have Dignitas moved to somewhere else in Switzerland, not sure without going back to the documentary. The Telegraph article says it costs 6000 euros in 2009, so that has gone up quite a bit in 2 years, where the article says Dignitas had to limit payment to $561 and that helpers could only assist a maximum of 12 people. Even having this discussion brings up issues that are difficult, death at what price? But equally assisted life at what cost? For me I felt I would like to make my choice to die in my own home if ever I felt I had to make this choice. Certainly in my own country. I think the documentary was good keeping spiritual beliefs away from the content but I felt if I had been the one about to die I would have wanted music, to share some time with my loved ones and I would certainly have sat out looking over the Alps and snow to drink the potion and die. It felt a bit clinical even though the house was lovely and homely. I don't like vets and I certainly don't like vets anti rooms which feel full of fear, going to a house where people die I think I would pick up on the atmosphere. Hospitals to me always feel like they are easy to die in because that is what people do, I am a bit sensitive like that, I wouldn't want to die in a hospital I want to die in the open with a big sky. As for the ethical and moral issues how can we doubt that this is OK if that is what we want? What is the difference between helping someone over the threshold or keeping them drugged up on increasing levels of painkillers and drugs? Spiritually, if this is going to be made into a spiritual issue of right and wrong and taking life, neither of the above options are natural, both are assisting life; one assisting life in the beyond and one assisting life to continue here, but without intervention the person would want to die sooner or would die of the pain or complications etc.. I cannot imagine any God or any spiritual understanding that would feel it was more right to assist life to continue here to the end than to help someone over the threshold. The ethics of this are complex but I would like to see a time when being helped over when we are ready will be a very real option and one that can we leave until we are ready not as in the documentary, being forced to end our lives a bit before so that we can still make that choice and lift the glass.

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