Marion took her own life a few days ago after being told she had throat cancer last month. I understand the treatment was first surgery on the throat that would render her mute and then a slow descent through other degrading cancer treatments into final death.
It seems to me she made the logical and brave choice to end her life now rather than extend it for a few agonising months during which time her quality of life would have deteriorated makedly. The agony was likely to be as much mental as physical because it can be agony for those who have taken responsibility for themselves all their lives to have others determine their final days and be a burden to them.
I wrote last week about the death of Lecretia Searles, a young woman in the prime of life, who sought to have the law changed so that those assisting suicide would not be subject to imprisonment.
Eventually the law will be changed because, as I said, it is a question of freedom of choice. This was articulated well yesterday by Kerry McIvor (Woodham) quoted on Kiwiblog
But if the law doesn’t change, if Lecretia Seales’ fight has been for nought, then people will continue to take their own lives when they feel they have no other option. Others will continue to help a person begging them for relief. And they will continue to risk a prison term for committing the ultimate kindness.
If you believe life is sacred as long as you have breath in your body, I accept that. But as far as I’m concerned, my life is over when I no longer have the ability to appreciate life around me.
Once I’ve lost joy and wonder in the world, then I want to be able to quit my place and make room for someone else. And surely that’s my right to decide.