Assisted suicide.

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The whole notion of assisted suicide challenges me.

This may be informed by my upbringing as a catholic.

What weighs however more heavily on my thinking is a personal experience.

An old family friend was very ill though lucid in Belfast’s city hospital.

She was clearly in a state of considerable discomfort.

I recall in my presence a discussion of something being administered with the approval of a relative to bring the evident discomfort to a close. My direct instinct told me there was only one outcome.

Treatment was accessed medically followed by a narrative by the relative that she was ‘surprised’ the anticipated result hadn’t yet realised itself.

I left the hospital uneasy to learn shortly my old friend was no longer with us.

This was not assisted suicide.

This was probably an outworking of balanced medical ethics when a person is suffering and inevitably close to death. ‘Humane’ treatment is probably the correct description.

That said —-To witness what I saw was far too close for my personal make-up.

I am not being judgemental. This is a personal point of view.

One wonders if I had to watch a member of my family writhing in lingering agony how I would react.

This debate on
‘ assisted suicide ‘ leaves me emotionally cold without probing it too philosophically.


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About Author

Eamonn Mallie

I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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