Thursday 12 April 2012

Listen to wonderful BBC World Service interview on euthanasia

Alison Davis (pictured), organiser of No Less Human a division of SPUC, has been interviewed by Mark Dowd of the BBC World Service in the first episode of a series Heart And Soul: Choosing Life. The interview is available to listen to on iPlayer and will be played live on the radio several more times.

The interview is a comprehensive account of Alison's story, from wishing to die for ten years to being a powerful campaigner against euthanasia and assisted suicide and the inalienable right to life of all. Alison is among the most eloquent and compelling of the many defenders of this right and this interview is essential listening for all those involved in the pro-life movement.

I have been blessed to know and work with Alison for many years, but I still found hearing her story again in her own words very powerful. I was particularly moved by the section of the interview in which Alison explains that after a failed suicide attempt medics took the life saving action of pumping her stomach while she unconscious, despite her having asked them not to while she was still conscious. Alison says:
"When I woke up I was really angry that I was still alive and I remember berating them [the medical staff] and saying 'how dare you go against my wishes?' Now of course I am eternally grateful. Thank God, literally, that they did not do what I asked them to do. I would have missed so much - the best years of my life funnily enough, even though the pain is worse. But it took me quite a while to get from a point of extreme anger to extreme gratefulness."
I too am eternally grateful that Alison got the life-saving care she needed and that she continues to defend and to enrich the lives of so many people.

It is even more vital that Alison's message of hope is heard by others who feel that they may be better off dead.

Alison expresses what is no doubt a common thought among those contemplating suicide, when she says:
"When I wanted to die I thought I'd be doing my friends and family a favour. I thought, well they'll go back to their normal lives and don't have to be burdened with me. It's only looking back that I realise what a horrible trick of the mind that is."
Later in the interview Alison is asked to give a message directly to those who might be contemplating suicide or wishing for somebody else to help to kill them. Alison says:

"What one person does impacts on what everyone else does. And if we say to one eighty year old lady who thinks her life is not worth having anymore...then we start to say that being tired of living is a good enough reason to have your life ended. And then what happens to other eighty year old ladies who are starting to think maybe I'm a burden to my family - shouldn't I do the same thing? And just looking on it from a purely basic point of view, if we start to allow it there will be no end because we [will] have said that this is an appropriate answer to this problem, and I say it isn't."

Do listen to this wonderful interview today and pass it on to others.

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