27 January 2010
I had my lycra gloves fitted atÂ Addenbrookes Hospital today. My initial impression is that whilstÂ givingÂ a certain amount of support to the wrist, at least, the downside is that they restricts what little grasp I have left. In other words, Â it is more difficult for me to curl my fingers towards the palm. However, what the gloves do is to straighten out the fingers and I will probably sleep in them for a week or two rather than trying to wear them during the day. I believe it is a well-known medical fact that the more fingers are curled the less likely it is that one can straighten them. So it seems logical to me that if I can stretch them, say over night, in a virtually horizontal position, that could give them a slightly longer useful life, although no one seems to know whether that will actually be the case.
This week has seen two landmark cases in the â€˜assisted suicideâ€™ debate.Â Kay Gilderdale, who was by all accounts, a devoted mother, assisted her daughter to end her life with tablets and morphine. This, after the sick daughter had attempted suicide and failed. This loving parent could not bear to see her daughter suffer any longer and she walked free from the court with a suspended sentence after being charged with, not just attempted assisted suicide but also Â attempted murder.
Compare this with the case of the woman who injected her brain-damaged son with a lethal dose of heroine as she could not bear to think of her son suffering any longer, this despite some encouraging medical prognosis. This devoted mother was sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison for murder.
These cases have opened up the whole issue of the â€˜right to dieâ€™ and â€˜assisted suicideâ€™.
The reason for the seemingly harsh sentence, handed down by the court forÂ the mother of the brain-damaged son, was that he was not in a position to indicate that he had an intention to die. These cases together with the more recent cases in the High Court on assisted suicide make it even more imperative for the government to consider a change in the law.
[…] A BBC survey of over 1000 people found that 73% of them were in favour of assisted suicide in a case where a relative or friend was terminally ill and suffering. However, only 48%, of those surveyed, thought that assisted suicide was acceptable in cases where the patient was not fatally ill even if that person is in severe pain. This survey was a prelude to the BBC Panorama programme, scheduled for Monday night, which will highlight the case of the Kay Gilderdale who assisted her daughter to commit suicide byÂ injected her Â but who Â was cleared of a murder charge. (see 27 January entry). […]