Here we go again with Parliamentarians being given the opportunity of deciding our lives for us – this time on a subject in which they have no right to intrude; not that they had any right to have intruded in the areas they have already.
Give politicians the embryo of an idea and not only will they ‘pile in’ wishing to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’, but so will the legal profession and every ‘charity’ who believes they have a ‘finger in the pie’ – all three believing they have the right to ‘protect us’ from what they consider to be our own misguided and ill-informed decisions; which is utter hogwash as all three are just attempting to make a name for themselves, to gain their 15 minutes of fame; and in so doing make our lives more complicated than they are already.
One often hears the phrase that the law is an ass; and so it would seem are those that practice it. Who, being of rational mind, could draft ‘Rights’ that contradict each other? Consider Articles 2 and 8 of the Human Rights Act – article 2 is one of the most fundamental provisions in the European Convention on Human Rights. With very limited exceptions, it cannot be derogated from, dictating as it does that the state must never arbitrarily take someone’s life and must also safeguard the lives of those in its care. Article 8 protects your rights in four areas: your private life, your family life, your home and correspondence. It is a qualified right, which means that your right to respect in these areas can be infringed in certain circumstances.
Immediately one is presented with a conundrum: what is the point in being granted a right if that right is subject to caveats? Our lives are just that: our lives and that of no-one else – they are inalienable; ie they cannot be taken away by anyone to whom they do not belong and thus can only be given away by those to whom they do belong.
To interject a personal note into this matter about the right to life and the inalienable right to end that life: my mother lived to the age of 101, but for the last five years of her life suffered from her anguish about the fact that she had to undergo the indignity of not being able to perform one bodily function without ‘help’; continually pleading that she just wished to die, that she had ‘had enough’. During that same period, on every weekly visit, I had to try and convince her that, being the religious woman she was, the decision was not hers but that of her God who, in his infinite wisdom, would decide when she could join him.
If one looks at the cases of Fleming, Nicholson or Martin – or even that of my mother – one can but repeat the question: whose life is it? To those Parliamentarians who enact laws about the right to and the preservation of life; to those of the legal profession who argue for such laws; and to those bodies that lobby for such laws, a question:
Will you not curse those laws when you too reach that stage in your life, which you undoubtedly will, when you feel you have ‘had enough’?