Deciding when to die

Death should not be trivialised, so it’s understandable that some of us are wary of legislation that allows for assisted suicide. But if it’s the dignity of life that we’re hoping to preserve, it’s unclear how denying suffering people their final choice promotes a sort of dignity worth preserving.

Tony Nicklinson and assisted dying

Tony Nicklinson is petitioning the British High Court for the opportunity to be allowed to choose to die. While many cases of assisted dying are problematic, the Nicklinson case demonstrates exactly why British – and South African – law should recognise that there are cases in which it is unethical to deny someone the right to die.

So what if prejudice is ‘natural’?

Making the distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’ might well have been useful at some point in human evolution, and might well still be now. But while all we had to go on in the past were the arbitrary markers of skin colour or gender, that’s no reason to keep using those crude categories. And besides, the fact that we (and other animals) keep making these distinctions is not evidence that we should do so.

Freedom and dignity, in life and in death

Sean Davison is awaiting trial in a case of attempted murder, after giving his dying mother a lethal dose of morphine. In New Zealand (where he will go on trial) as well as in South Africa, the legislation regarding active and passive euthanasia permits needless suffering, and denies us the chance to die at a time and in a manner of our choosing. This needs to change.

Darling Nikki

One member of the Resistential community cannot understand why the rest of us are so attached to our (or each others’) cats. Perhaps we do fall into the quite typical trap of anthropomorphism when interacting with our cats, but despite that, they remain wonderful companions. And they are undoubtedly resistential – they may in fact …