Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Caring Not Killing - Support the needs of the living.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

BBC News published a story, by Beth Rose, that confirms what disability leaders and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition have been saying. We need a caring society not a society that kills people when they have become personally vulnerable.

The BBC story is titled: What's it like to wake up the day after you planned to die?

Colin Campbell
The story concerns Colin Campbell and Rona Tynan from Inverness. Colin, who was diagnosed with M.S. in 1995, decided earlier this year to die by assisted suicide in Switzerland.

Colin said that he felt that he couldn't cope any longer. The article states:
Colin's mobility started to decline and as the MS progressed over the following months he had no choice but to leave his job as an IT consultant.
He became more vulnerable to illnesses and, as a single man in a second-floor flat with no lift, he felt like a "prisoner" in his own home, unable to get in and out easily. Over time, he slowly lost contact with friends.
"I decided I couldn't cope with another winter after I was hospitalised twice within three months," he says.
In April, Colin applied to the assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland and was approved.

Colin participated in a TV programme as a person who wanted assisted suicide legalized. Rona Tynan, who also has MS and lives in Inverness, was watching the show and decided to contact Colin. Rona stated:
"My big concern was whether Colin had in place all the correct back-up to give him a better quality of life and I really wanted to try and see if I could help him," she says.

"I didn't want him to think that I was disrespecting his decision, but I didn't want to think that a man had gone to his death because he hadn't got proper help."
Colin Campbell with Rona Tynan
When they met, a few weeks later, Rona's concerns were accurate. Colin didn't know about the assistance that was available to him, including the availability of a mobility scooter:
"I'm a girl that likes to get about town and a scooter basically gave me my life back. I wanted Colin to try this so he's not stuck and isolated," she says.
"Sometimes you think you haven't got a lot going for you, but I feel fresh air, people and friends would make a big difference in Colin's life.

Rona secured a scooter trial for Colin which he found helpful, but despite her knowledge of the system, she says she has found it difficult to get all the necessary support even for herself.
Rona was surprised that even though Colin had publicly stated that he was going to Switzerland for assisted suicide, that no one contacted him to inquire about disability supports.

Mik Scarlett
The article continues by interviewing Mik Scarlett, who was paralysed at the age of 15, attempted suicide two years later and is now a member of Not Dead Yet UK. Scarlett stated:
"I understand that fear and that black future," he says. "A lot of it is lack of support, lack of knowledge, and Colin's story encapsulates why we're worried.
Rona has recently gone to Mexico for an experimental stem cell treatment for MS while Colin has settled into a new life and new ground-floor flat in Greenock, nearly 200 miles (322km) from Inverness.

We believe in a society that cares for its citizens and does not kill its citizens.

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