Tuesday, August 22, 2006

This Woman
Is A
For Europe
As A Whole

I don't even know how to introduce this:

Jenni Murray, the presenter of BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, has made plans to end her life if she becomes a burden to her family.

She said: "When my time comes I want to be able to decide about my destiny."

The last thing she wanted, she said, was for her children to suffer from her being desperately ill.

She is sealing a pact with two friends that they will assist each other to die if any of them is diagnosed with a debilitating and incurable illness. Methods they might use include injections or smothering with a pillow.

This is despite a law outlawing assisted suicide, which Murray says is sustained by a religious minority.

She speaks of the pact tomorrow night on a Channel 5 documentary, Don't Get Me Started!, that produces statistics to back the theory that many people in the country share her views on euthanasia.

Her appearance is part of a "personal rant" series in which noted people are given the chance to sound off about a subject they feel strongly about.

Publicity material for the show says that Murray "does not want to look after her sick and aging mother, and plans to end her own life when she becomes a burden to those around her".

The network said: "Jenni is angry that, having fought so hard to become liberated and independent, women are now being trapped into caring for dependent parents."

That is painful to read. I guess this woman expects that the natural course of life is that government should take over the care and feeding of her "dependent parent."

I am so disheartened after reading this that all I can think to say is life is not about what we want, instead it is about what we give. It is not about figuring out how to shuffle our burdens off on someone else, it is about how we gracefully bear those burdens.

But, this woman has no feeling for such a life. Her "dependent parents" seem to be commodities with a shelf life. When their expiration date is up, it's time to send them off to the recycling center, I guess.

Jeez, forgive me. I don't know what to say.