Sunday, November 23, 2008

Elderly 'vegtables' should be killed off

Briefing: this statement from the Governments 'czar' for the elderly defies parody. What is the 'normal' lifespan? Dame Joan has already outlived her 'three score years and ten'. Her remarks about 'enormous machinery' of lifesupport indicates a completely irrational approach to the question. What difference does the size of the machines make? In any case, she is not advocating switching them off when they are no longer doing any good - something which is entirely reasonable - but giving a lethal injection to people who can no longer refuse.

From the Daily Telegraph, in part: Labour's czar for the elderly said she had made a living will that will mean she is 'not kept alive if I'm a vegetable'. She added that people should not be helped to go on living by machinery if they had outlived their normal lifespan.

The 75-year-old television presenter also called for laws that would allow terminally ill patients to be given fatal doses of drugs. The controversial call for assisted dying and allowing people with dementia to die came a week after Dame Joan's appointment as the 'voice of older people'.

It comes at a time of growing pressure from supporters of euthanasia and assisted dying for legislation to allow the elderly and disabled to be helped to die when they become too sick to look after themselves.

Dame Joan told the Daily Telegraph: 'Everybody fears becoming unable to speak, unable to communicate. 'That's a really alarming prospect and I think it is quite a good idea to give thought to it now and to write a living will and to make provision, tell your nearest and dearest what you want.'

She added: 'I don't want people to be kept alive simply because there is a lot of enormous machinery that can keep them pumped up and with all the organs going, when in fact their identity has ceased to exist.'

She called for MPs and peers to 'revisit' the Bill put forward earlier this year by Lord Joffe that would have given doctors the right to give a fatal dose of drugs to a terminally sick patient.

Dame Joan said: 'The bill is very limited in scope and you have to have a terminal illness - you really have to be within sight of the pearly gates - before anything is possible. It is not a matter of saying "you are a bit old, can you pop off?".'

But Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: 'Dame Joan talks about enormous machinery keeping people alive, but there is a big difference between that and Lord Joffe's bill, that would mean people could be given injections to kill them off. Dame Joan ought to know the difference and it is disappointing that she doesn't. She runs the risk of giving the impression to people with dementia that they have a duty to die.'

See the full article here.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen