Is it morally acceptable

@p1kef1sh (45642)
July 15, 2009 7:25am CST
To kill yourself together with your partner because they are terminally ill and you are failing too? Sir Christopher Downes and his wife, he was a famous British conductor, travelled to Switzerland with his wife and children to commit suicide legally. He was in his 80s and she somewhat younger, but both had poor health. It is illegal to help someone commit suicide in the UK but not in Switzerland and there is a company there, Dignitas, that will help you end your days painlessly and with dignity. I don't have a proble, with suicide for those that are in extreme pain and who are terminal anyway, but Sir Christopher was neither of those things, although he was almost blind and was far from a picture of health. Do you think that his act was acceptable, or his wife's even?
8 people like this
13 responses
@James72 (26832)
• Australia
15 Jul 09
Tough call! It's a decision he made freely, he was in his 80's and his children were all grown and self sufficient. Who are we to judge him for making this decision? Does it truly impact us personally in any way? He was obviously devoted to his Wife and was of sound mind when he planned this, so in this instance, it was acceptable and righteous in his own mind and heart and that's what matters. Having his children travel there with him speaks volumes as well. He was clearly a much loved man and his family respected his right to die with dignity at his Wife's side. May he and his Wife rest in peace.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45642)
15 Jul 09
I agree James. Provided that it was a decision made freely then I see no reason the object.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jul 09
I think when a person has such a disease, or health related problem, then they should be able to choose for themselves what is best for them, without the law or government interfereing in their desisions. What i don't understand is why Dinitas, and lifeexit are run primarily by atheists. I just did a quick look, and that is one part, that i have a difficult time in understanding.
• United States
16 Jul 09
I think that too many faiths feel that it is God (or their god's) will to decide when life ends, and not ours. I am a Catholic although I differ from the church on a few subjects, and this is one of them. Prayer can help, but sometimes it's too late to be of help.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jul 09
In the Bible, it clearly tells us many things. One of those things, tells us that our days are numbered. God knows exactly when each of us will die. Just read it for yourself.
@p1kef1sh (45642)
17 Jul 09
On the other hand Shirley. How do we know that God's decision that your time is up is that it should be by your own hand. The Bible is full of contradictions why shouldn't this be another of them?
@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
17 Jul 09
I have a lot of pain. Getting up and down off chairs, the loo, my bed or in and out of the car is awkward and painful. My wrists are becoming bad so that getting dressed is hard and I cannot clean myself properly sometimes. I don't know what's wrong with me as all the doctors say is I need to lose weight. Yeah, that will fix the pain in my wrists for sure. I didn't start to gain bloody weight till my knees packed it in and I lost my mobility. Now I know I should be grateful that I'm not blind or deaf or don't have some sort of incurable disease, but all I can "see" is the chores I can't do and how grotty my home is becoming, the gardening that is not getting done, not playing with and caring for my animals, and my hopes and dreams of going on a cruise one day and travelling round the country in a motor home dashed to the ground. What sort of life do I have to look forward to? I'm quite young and I can do so little. Living alone means there is no help....my thoughts lately are dwelling on the indignities I will soon have to face as a result of not being able to look after myself and then my thoughts have been turning to being very understanding of people just wanting it all to end because the life you have is worthless and pain filled and just too hard.
• United States
17 Jul 09
There is not a Home Health Care or Hospice to help take care of you in that area? Looks like some of your family would try to help you out some.
@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
17 Jul 09
Obviously, if there were family or some home care available I would not be in this predicament. I live alone (as I said) in a remote village. And the Internet connection is lousy...sorry for the double post Pikie.
@p1kef1sh (45642)
17 Jul 09
I hadn't realised that you were suffering so much. I'll send you a message elsewhere.
• United States
15 Jul 09
Everyone has ownership of their own body, and it is no one else's decision what you can do with it. As long as the person is mentally competent in every other aspect of themselves, no one should stop them. It's different when the person is too young, or mentally damaged. Though even this is a grey area for me. I think, too, that there is a huge difference between healthy and unhealthy. An otherwise healthy person that wants to kill themselves really should receive some other help. With this guy, I think being 80 and nearly blind and deaf is a perfectly legit reason. The quality of life has to always be considered. My grandmother was not diagnosed with anything terminal, but she had been in and out of hospitals so long that when she was told she'd need a kidney replaced she told them, thanks by no thanks, I've had enough. I could not be that brave. But then again, I'm not a grandma who has lived a satisfying life.
@p1kef1sh (45642)
15 Jul 09
I think that there does come a point when you are able to make that choice. I heard about a guy in St Louis who was over 100 and drove out to a bridge and jumped off. Who knows what we can do when we feel the time is right and is it anyone else's business what we do so long as we leave our affairs in order and don't hurt anyone else.
• United States
16 Jul 09
I think you made a great point when you stated that your grandma, when faced with the possibility of having a kidney replaced (which still is considered major surgery) and all that goes along with that was incredibly brave to make the decision she did. And again you offer justication--not being 'a grama who has lived a satisfying life', although you will never know the entire story of her life. I think the biggest grey area is everyone's definition of what is healthy or unhealthy for them...I have multiple sclerosis, a pinched nerve in my back and something wrong with my teeth. There are days where I'm just to a point of giving up because of the pain, but then there's other days where I'm just so blessed to be alive! But if you knew me twenty years ago, you would understand my frustration--I used to run between 3 and 5 miles a day (sometimes competitively); 50 or more stomach crunches; weight lifting; ran high hurdles....and I cannot do nearly this now (back problems prevent the stomach crunches; my balance is off so I can't run the high hurdles), but each time I can do something, I treat it as a new achievement and I'm so excited and proud!
• Canada
8 Aug 09
As long as nothing was done under durress, and all people are in consent to what is going on, then what they desire should be perfectly legal. It would be different if someone was trying to trick someone into killing her/himself, but the fact that these people are terminally ill, and WANT to end their lives should be enough to make it legal.
@p1kef1sh (45642)
8 Aug 09
My view too. Although he wasn't terminally ill. He was ill, but wanted to end his days with his wife.
@guybrush (4661)
• Australia
17 Jul 09
I don't have a problem with people choosing to end their own lives either, P1key. Extreme pain with no relief must be unbearable. Once the quality of life is gone (in my case, not being able to read or enjoy food), I don't think I'd see much point. Plus, I'm sure my family wouldn't want to see me in horrendous pain - they would suffer, having to watch it. Maybe Sir Christopher couldn't bear the thought of life without his wife - and maybe there were no other family members to care. Maybe he and his wife felt sure there would be an afterlife, where they could be together. We'll never know what they were thinking, but I'd never condemn another's choice until I'd walked in their shoes. Safe journey, Sir Christopher and wifey ...
@p1kef1sh (45642)
17 Jul 09
I think that provided that we each approach our demises in a responsible manner then I agree Guy. For reasons of extreme pain, terminal illness etc I have no issue either. I am surprised how many pro comments I have received here.
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
16 Jul 09
I really do think people have the right to choose to live or to die. alot of people live in misery during their lifetime and they just get tired of it. I think they should be able to choose what is best for them.
@p1kef1sh (45642)
16 Jul 09
I think that is my general view too Steph. Provided that the loose ends are gathered first.
@gabs8513 (48764)
• United Kingdom
16 Jul 09
No I don't think it was right, they need think of the People they leave behind with Pain and Memories of their Parents killing themselves, when I first got really bad with this and lost my Job, I have to be honest, I did not want to carry on, I was a horrible Person, because I did not want to be forced to stop being as active as I was, I had just managed to get out of a bad Marriage, managed to get through the H*ll that Ex put me through, to try to get me to have hm back, I was diagnosed with my Illness, which threw me yes, but as far as I was concerned my Job will take my mind of it, only to be bullied out of that Job because of my Illness, to go into deep depressions, which I was told was not just the Illness and that causing it, but that my mind and body has given up being strong with everything that has happened to me from the age of 5 to the age of 41 I just did not want to be here, I did not understand why, but my Children kept me going, to this Day I admire them how strong and supportive they where, still are, they put up with a change of a caring, calm Mum, to a B"tch from H"ll, but I always told them sorry and that I love them, they always held me and told me that everything would be ok, that is what kept me going, my Children and everyone that loved me. So unless People are at the stage of constant severe Pain, mindless, not able to live Life any more I do not agree with it at all, it is a selfish Gesture, it was selfish on my Part to even have the thought about it My Strength as such is back, I will fight until I can't any more, yes I am on Anti depressants and will be for the rest of my Life but I fight and I will stay for my Children and all the People that love me Sorry it is a bit long winded but to many People take the easy way out and do not think of the ones they leave behind xxxx
15 Jul 09
Hi p1key, This was a very sad case but in my opinion, you should not take your own life but who am I to say that when I don't know what its like in that situation, only that if I was in so much pain I would do myself in as there was no hope, but for Sir Christopher Downes, it was very wrong but then he did not want to live without her. I would never to that myself, I was born and only want to die naturally of old age thank you. Hugs. Tamara
@p1kef1sh (45642)
15 Jul 09
I think that until we are faced with it we really can't make that decision Tamara. I hope that we never will be! XXXX
@nancyrowina (3850)
15 Jul 09
As long as it really was their choice and decision then I have to say yes, everyone's personality is different some people see illness or failing health through to the bitter end, others can't cope and want it to be over sooner. Going blind to a conductor would have been very sad for him too as he no longer would have been able to read music or conduct properly, and in a way I think it's kind of touching they both decided to die together.
@p1kef1sh (45642)
15 Jul 09
I agree. Of course it is for each of us to know and decide when enough is enough.
@kprofgames (3018)
• United States
8 Aug 09
I guess it really doesn't matter what I think. Just saying, but it's their own wishes. Considering the children were there too, they even accepted it so I would have no call on what they did as being right or wrong. They didn't do anything illegal. It appears that it was both their wishes to go together so who am I to say that it isn't acceptable.
• Canada
8 Aug 09
As long as nothing was done under durress, and all people are in consent to what is going on, then what they desire should be perfectly legal. It would be different if someone was trying to trick someone into killing her/himself, but the fact that these people are terminally ill, and WANT to end their lives should be enough to make it legal.
@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
17 Jul 09
I have a lot of pain. Getting up and down off chairs, the loo, my bed or in and out of the car is awkward and painful. My wrists are becoming bad so that getting dressed is hard and I cannot clean myself properly sometimes. I don't know what's wrong with me as all the doctors say is I need to lose weight. Yeah, that will fix the pain in my wrists for sure. I didn't start to gain bloody weight till my knees packed it in and I lost my mobility. Now I know I should be grateful that I'm not blind or deaf or don't have some sort of incurable disease, but all I can "see" is the chores I can't do and how grotty my home is becoming, the gardening that is not getting done, not playing with and caring for my animals, and my hopes and dreams of going on a cruise one day and travelling round the country in a motor home dashed to the ground. What sort of life do I have to look forward to? I'm quite young and I can do so little. Living alone means there is no help....my thoughts lately are dwelling on the indignities I will soon have to face as a result of not being able to look after myself and then my thoughts have been turning to being very understanding of people just wanting it all to end because the life you have is worthless and pain filled and just too hard.