Hello all my lovelies.
Today I am going to do a blog about something completely different to what I normally write about. I will warn you now that it is upsetting and will pull on your heartstrings.
I’m only 23 years old. When I’m not writing my blogs or taking pictures of my daft pooch, I’m caring for people in a hospital. I have been a Health Care Assistant (Nursing assistant/Auxiliary nurse) for 3 and a bit years. Being a HCA has made me mature way before my time. I’ve looked after so many different people, ranging in ages from a couple of months to some over 100.I have been in life and death situations before and have had to hold my tears back while supporting people whose relative has passed. Every situation where someone has died is hard. It’s hard watching them taking their last breath. Hard watching their families crumble in front of your eyes and I want to join them as I have grown to love them all, but having to hold back and be professional. What’s even more difficult is when the patient asks you to help take their pain away and help them die and there’s nothing I can do about it, apart from give them some more painkillers. I have changed jobs lately where, thankfully, the chances of people dying on my department are very very low.
It is illegal in Britain to assist someone to die. Last year a bill was raised in the Houses of Parliament that would allow assisted dying. However, this bill was rejected by MPs. 330 MPs were against and a small 118 were for.
I thought I would watch a documentary tonight about someone called Simon Binner on BBC. Simon was diagnosed with aggressive Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and right from day one he knew exactly what he wanted to do. Simon wanted to travel to Switzerland to die. I will give you a little background about this documentary. Simon’s life is filmed in just a short few months from him recently being diagnosed to the very last moment of his life. It shows a lot of happy times with friends and family, as well as some upsetting, personal times as he battles the disease. Watching this documentary broke my heart. I saw how upset his wife was to lose him before his time, as well as how he was trying to cope with day to day life, even though he wasn’t happy. That also broke my heart.
I have never thought about dying. Some people would say I’m only 23, I have years left, but you never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. As I write this, I think about what I would want if I was diagnosed with something that could end my life. If I was diagnosed with something that has even a small chance of recovery, then I would do my utmost to grab that chance, but if it was terminal, then I wouldn’t want to live to the end.
The only problem is, if I were to be diagnosed with a terminal illness, I would have to travel to a country that would allow my close friends and family to be around me. If I stayed in the UK and my family and friends were present they could all be arrested, charged and could serve years in prison. We live in a world where if an animal is in pain, then we put them to sleep. An animal can’t ask you, can’t beg, or even try to take their own lives but we help them die anyway. However a human can ask, can beg and even in some cases attempt suicide alone, but we as a country are still saying no to assisted dying. I live in a country where we have palliative care pathways where people beg over and over every day to end their life. They pray harder and harder, but all we can do is listen and comfort. We can’t give them their wishes. I understand it is a difficult situation, but talking to professionals from countries that allow assisted dying will help us understand and grow. My country is so strong in helping people be comfortable at the end of their lives and most people like to be at home. Why is it then that we can give them everything they need, apart from the one thing they want. A peaceful, dignified death at home. I surely wouldn’t want to be in a strange house, let alone a different country. I would want to be in my own home, in my own bed.
It’s a difficult subject. Even though it’s the person who wants to die who has asked for help, someone still has to draw the fluids up and leave it for you, knowing that they have helped you die. It could leave friends and family with different views which in turn could lead to arguments. It would give you the ability to plan the rest of your days/weeks/months, however long you have left, right up to your last few minutes.
I’m not 100% sure why I’m writing this blog anymore. I guess I’m interested in what others think and if anyone is in a situation where assisted dying might affect them.
I do apologise for the sad and depressing blog I have decided to write. I just think is a subject that we should talk about. I’m not even sure if I’ll publish it.
If you are interested in watching the documentary about Simon Binner, I’ll add the link in my sources below. Bear in mind that some countries may not be able to view this.