By Shirley Edwards
July 29, 2013
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The Value of Life
[These are my views as a woman living in England, on how the culture and spirit of my country has changed over 50 years. Why the country does not feel protected or strong any more, how it has lost, and is losing it values and decency, and how we are daily losing our free speech.]
It’s been some years since I watched the film Soylent Green, (1973) but it’s always stuck in my mind. As a young teenager it was not really the type of film I would watch, for my view of the world at that time was optimistic, fun and exciting. Solent Green was a bit sci-fi, not my cup of tea. But when you’re on your first date, and the boy of your dreams is taking you to the pictures, well you’ll go along with anything, when you’re not in your right mind!
Set in the future in the year 2022, it was a world so far removed from the present day at that time. It was a very depressing film. A dark view of life; a life which was governed by the military. A police state. The overcrowded population moved around in a mist of green. The diet of people was sustained by a wafer like substance made up of the corpses of the deceased. The wafer was called Soylent Green. People would do anything to get it.
It was a pretty dismal, eerie start to a new romance, and after going in from the warmth of a hot summer’s day, and then coming out into the cold evening air from the cinema; a real chill ran through my body. And a sense of foreboding. There was something that remained from the film, a scene I could not forget, of an old man.
Tired of living, he had checked himself into a clinic, a clinic where voluntary death was as simple as checking in for a dental appointment. The scene sent shivers down my spine and it disturbed me greatly. It was the most poignant and saddest part of the film. As he lay on the couch, waiting for the final injection he watched films depicting of how life had once been on planet earth. He believed by opting out he would travel to the world of his dreams, his imagination, his memory.
It was viewed as an act of compassion. There are people who believe euthanasia is act of love.
In our present day, what people believe to be an act of love is still considered to be illegal. Suicide is an act of murder, and anyone assisting someone to commit suicide is an accomplice to that, even when they are terminally ill. The after effects of someone taking their own life have terrible consequences on those left behind. Yet still, we have a minority of people, with a very big voice, who believe that, not only the terminally ill, but anyone who cannot cope with life, should have the option of taking their own life legally. It opens up all the wrong doors.
In the late 1990’s, The Liverpool Care Pathways, (LCP) was set up by the Royal Hospital, Liverpool, England, together with the Marie Curie Hospice. It was considered by some to be a very encouraging programme and meant there was a standard to follow, a set of guidelines, where medical staff, together with the patient and their family could put a legal and compassionate plan in place to ensure a ‘palliative’ care patient did not suffer, when it had been determined, without doubt, that the patient was terminally ill. In effect it meant that they could ‘assist’ them.
It was later extended to all patients that the medical profession could consider dying.
It did receive a lot of criticism over the years, as more and more people complained that the LCP was being used as a back door to legally killing someone, who may have had the possibility of recovering. It was also reported that there had been many examples of patients who had been left without adequate nutrition, hydration and had been inappropriately sedated. It created a great amount of distress and many legally actions have been taken against hospitals across the country. I can testify myself to a family member who I believe was inappropriately sedated, and the distress and confusion that causes.
Indeed, it was also found that in many cases, patients who had been admitted to hospital were not aware that a member of the medical profession had put an LCP plan, Do Not Resuscitate rule on their files. In December 2012 it was reported 57,000 patients in NHS hospitals did not know that no effort to resuscitate them would be made if they fell into unconsciousness or suffered a heart attack through distress.
So, at last, over the course of 13 years, it has at last been decided that the Liverpool Care Pathways is to be scrapped for a more individual end of life plan. The mounting evidence, the numerous complaints of poor care, the petitioning, and the overall hard work of those who have highlighted its flaws, have been noted. The LCP led to very ‘undignified’ deaths.
This will offer no real consolation to the relatives of those who have suffered under its inadequacies.
And so, as the battle goes on, the promotion, and the growing and vocal voice of death still calls to the vulnerable and the confused.
Philip Nitschke, an Australian, who promotes his ‘peaceful pill’ and other ways of promoting how to kill yourself, was recently granted entry in to the UK by Home Secretary, Theresa May. He came to deliver a workshop on how to kill yourself successfully and also his ‘pill’ he has developed to do it very serenely, thank you. A bit like the death in Soylent Green. Mr Nitschke from Exit International would like his peaceful pill to be available in all supermarkets!
The Home Secretary, it's worth noting, is the person in the UK who also recently banned Michael Savage and Pamela Geller from the USA, labelling them as ‘terrorists’, and a danger to British citizens.
I honestly can’t think of how much damage Philip Nitschke promotes in relation to harming people. He most certainly did not come to the UK to heal people.
As I thought of Philip Nitschke in my country, I also thought of all of the people who have died without hope here, along with those who have died through the mis-use of the Liverpool Care Pathways. The false message of a better life by ending it all and escaping pain leaves us with a Soylent Green world.
I believe it is God and not man, who decides when it is time to leave the physical body. Our life is not ours to decide when it wants to leave the world. We did not create the life and breath that lives in us. Mankind cannot create the force, the energy, and the essence that flows through every single being on the planet. It is created by an intelligent being. Science may well create a replica, but it cannot breathe in the actual life-force.
When mankind suffers, there is a way to find peace and even complete healing. We need the encouraging words of hope, not death, like the thief on the cross. Who are we, who would ever want to sever that final breakthrough for someone, those moments, when we surrender to someone far greater than we could every imagine. We cannot see the soul of man, only God can do that. We cannot interfere with the relationship between man and his creator. It is imperative we do not.
Our destiny, our life, is in his hands, all we have to do is Trust, Surrender, Love and Forgive. Our suffering ends. Hope survives. I believe we are helped far more that we can ever realize. All is never lost.
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We need to fight euthanasia, and Doctor Death. I don’t want him in the UK.
I want to return to the young hopeful and optimistic young girl who went to the cinema all that time ago. I don’t want to live in Solent Green. I want my hope to be everyone else’s. I choose Life.
The final words of Christ on the cross should be all we need to live by in a Christian country. Thy will – not mine
Who is silencing that voice and will we stand up for it. Will we learn enough from the past mistakes of the Liverpool Care Pathways, to decide that suicide no matter how much we package it up and deliver it as compassion and caring; or dying with dignity, is really a pill we should never fall for or swallow. For part one click below.
© 2013 Shirley Edwards - All Rights Reserve
Shirley Edwards was born and lives in Great Britain. She has always worked in administration, but have also taught and studied complimentary health. In administrative roles, she has worked within The Church of England. She also worked for some years as a volunteer within the hospice movement.
Shirley has an interest in all health issues, loves the British countryside, and enjoys writing. She is thankful for talk radio and loves listening.
Shirley has always been concerned about the loss of freedoms in her country, also the demise of America, a country she loves for the original reasons on which it was founded. She believe in the Pursuit of Genuine Happiness.