Your life, your choice

SHOULD old people like I have the right to end their own lives humanely, even if they are not terminally ill? 

Should euthanasia be made available to those who decide they have lived enough and that their future is only going to go downhill, physically and mentally?

I will be 75 in October and I have been contemplating this for a few years, not because I am  depressed – the contrary. 

I am more content with my life in the last five years than during the previous 10 years. 

I have had a full, fantastic, adventurous and rewarding life. I am satisfied with what I achieved professionally and as a human being.

I have no desire to live on until my declining health will force me into an aged care facility or hospital, where I would lose most of my independence and my dignity. 

I do not want that! 

I do not want to become dependent on strangers feeding and washing me. 

I don’t want to get three meals a day, when strangers decide when and what I eat. 

I don’t want to be a burden on the taxpayers. 

I want my freedom and independence, but that is not going to be my future.

Even if I tattooed NO CPR on my chest, it would probably be ignored, because the medical profession’s duty is to keep people alive.


I believe we should be as pragmatic about human life as we are about that of animals. 

We euthanise pets and horses and wildlife, when they are severely ill or hurt. 

We  consider that a humane action, to prevent creatures from suffering, but when it comes to ourselves we believe that suffering till the end is acceptable. 

That might be so for those who believe they’ll end up in heaven, but for non-believers like I the Pearly Gates are not the finish line of life.

On our over-populated planet, where we don’t even have enough food to feed all, we try to keep  very old people alive with organ transplants and pacemakers, whilst those in third world countries can’t get basic medical care and kids are dying en masse from malnutrition.

There are many good aged care homes, but we have also seen the news of old people being treated badly in those facilities. 

Why would I want to go there when I no longer can be part of the Fremantle community I love, when I can no longer take photos and write stories, when I no longer can cook my own meals? 

What is there left worth living for? 

What would my quality of life be? 

I shudder when I see images of old ‘zombies’ who are barely aware of their surroundings, being herded into community rooms in the morning, to just sit there. 

I don’t ever want that to be me!

I don’t want to wait and see if I’ll become terminal ill. 

I want to end my life when I still feel absolutely OK mentally and physically, and when I still love people and life, when I know what I am doing and feel relaxed about letting go off life. 

Why is that wrong?! 

Do I have to wait until I become depressed? 

Why should fate and chance decide when my life comes to an end? 

Why am I powerless about my own future?

But that choice of taking one’s life, when one feels one has lived enough, is not available. 

That means that the only option is the violence of suicide. 

That is a very inhumane way to end life. 

Roel Loopers/Freoview

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