Friday, November 19, 2010

What happened to Tony Nicklinson....

There is no update for quite a while. I read about this man sometime back.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jul/19/locked-in-syndrome-die-dpp

Tony Nicklinson of the United Kingdom is 'locked in' after suffering a stroke and can move only his head and eyes. He is fed up with his life and wishes to die but is worried that his wife would be prosecuted if she administers the lethal injection. He does not want to suffer indignities and wants to die and his wife understands him - but then his state is such that he cannot do anything about it himself short of starving himself to death which he does not want to do. The last I heard about it, he had requested guidance from the Director of Public Prosecution as to whether his wife would be proceeded against if she acted as per his wish.

What a quandary he finds himself in. Imagine a state when you are fully conscious but unable to move and need help even for your basic upkeep - somebody has to turn him in bed once or twice every night, somebody has to wash him, dress him, feed him and wipe the dribbling saliva. How painful it would be. He feels the task of communicating by blinking at alphabets tiresome. And he has been that way for the past five years and with no hope of getting any better. I would want to die too given the same situation.

So what could be done to tell my family that in the eventuality of such or similar situation happening to me, be it known that I would want to die peacefully - quietly slip into the night as it were, without any fuss - just taking care that if it would be possible to harvest any of my organs it might be done .... and don't forget to donate my eyes..... and also donate my body to some medical college to be cut and viewed by the students instead of consigning to the incinerator straight away. Well I considered writing a living will ...but how valid is it in India? My attempts to discuss it with my family members has been met with jest and humor ...maybe it is a gruesome subject. But not saying it and later rotting away would be worse. So I should think of some legal way to do it.

Anyway I proceed to record my wish here...

In the event of me being unconscious or unable to communicate after being diagnosed with a terminal disease or a condition from which there is no hope of recovery to a meaningful quality of life or in a vegetative state or in a state of extreme mental deterioration I may be allowed to die peacefully either by withdrawing life support or by administering a lethal injection. Any of my organs may be harvested and my body may be donated to a medical college for academic purpose.

Oh ...good. I feel so much at peace and happy. And yeah that reminds me .... I should set out to complete my Bucket list...there are quite a few places to see and things to do before that final act of 'kicking the bucket.'


4 comments:

Balu said...

Let me not appreciate you for the last but one paragraph of this post. Not because I am against that but I don’t feel anything extraordinary in it. It’s a simple human gesture which has been made extraordinary by our own kind. Anyway, if a situation like that comes to you and people around you feel guilty or have fear of sin. I pledge to volunteer and administer the drug for you without any fear. In return you pledge the same for me.

Now, a different angle. Look at the power of knowledge that creates a necessity for the self and society to continue living even in a vegetative state. Communicating the subjects considered to be most incomprehensible to many with just a cheek muscle, Stephen Hawking.

Vaishnavi said...

I feel gutted to see the plight of the man and the family. I was moved by the way Mrs Nicklinson goes on to speak with so much conviction and you dont see a hint of self pity or the grief of a conventional wife who has to put up with all that she has been. I assume it is the pain and depression she has endured that leaves her bereft of any cliches and emotions. Being pragmatic is the only way she could possibly bring about some change in Tony's life. Or should I say the change lies in Tony's death?! Boy, doesnt he look like a charming individual otherwise? I second your opinion on the right of choice to live.

ELANCHEZHIAN said...

gud indeed. let ur tribe increase.allow me 2 join ur army.

prema -just sharing my thoughts said...

hai, read your blog... yet to see about Nicklinson. However, I fully understand, appreciate and wish the same for me. 3 years back , I happened to experience (partially) what it is to be dependent on another being. I would be grateful to anyone who would relieve me of such misery as you suggest, in case i am in such vegetative state. Though people around us may jest, humor or dismiss the thought, I personally feel that anybody who should suffer undue pain and hardship and be totally dependent on another and wish to end their life should be respected and may be allowed to die in peace and with dignity.