Letter: Care for the dying

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The Independent Culture
Letter: Care for the dying

Sir: In the 1970s I nursed a man who had had a stroke. He was an Austrian doctor of psychology, a colleague of Carl Jung, a deeply spiritual man born in the 1880s.

He pleaded with me: "If I have another one, don't let them get at me. I want to go to my maker. The time is right." When he had a second stroke, I was powerless to protect him, and my last memory is of the abject terror in his eyes. He died a few days later covered in blood and with broken bones.

Euthanasia will become inevitable because medical intervention at the time of death is compulsory in hospitals. Only a "not for resuscitation" order can avert aggressive procedures. But such orders are uncommon, and can be overlooked.

Most of us fear death or terminal illness, or pain and suffering; this is only natural. But far more, I suspect, fear the mindless medical procedures which prolong life by a few days or weeks, or even just hours, and turn a natural, peaceful death into an obscenity.

Medical scientists are playing into the hands of the euthanasia lobby.

JENNIFER WRITH SRN SCM

Boxmore, Hertfordshire

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