Monday, March 16, 2009

Pain Management in the UK: Good for Sir Liam and a Propaganda Prediction

As I’ve repeatedly noted on this blog, the UK seems to be ground zero in the international push for legalizing assisted suicide.

The eagle-eyed pro-death crowd is expert in looking for spin and angles that will bolster their case, even from circumstances that would suggest the opposite.

For example, many Britons have gone to Dignitas in Switzerland over the past few years to legally commit assisted suicide. Rather than focus on the macabre Swiss and their dark practices (for a price, of course), the pro-death lobby turns the argument this way:

"Assisted suicide is dignified death. Those progressive Swiss understand this, as do the intelligent Dutch, and the ever-so urbane Belgians, so they have made assisted suicide legal. Assisted suicide in the UK is illegal. How unsophisticated we Brits seem to be!! We must work to change these Neanderthal notions in the UK!! Our poor fellow Brits have to die in a strange country, bereft of their familiar surroundings, family, and friends. They should be allowed to die with dignity at home, in the UK, surrounded by their loved ones, their friends, and Spot, their loyal dog, preferably on a sunny warm day with a nice breeze……"

Oh, sorry, I’m getting a little carried away with the propaganda…..

You get the picture.

A related issue surfaced in the UK’s Guardian last Saturday, when the issue of pain management at the end of life took center stage on the news that the UK’s chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, was about to release his annual state of the health system report blasting the lack of pain management experts and care.

A part of the story caught my eye, the issue of severe pain at the end of life:

Asked whether better pain relief could, as some anti-euthanasia supporters argue, reduce the demand for doctor-assisted suicide from people with terminal conditions, Donaldson said: "I think this concept of a good death is very bound up with the lack of pain and the sort of serene quality that people enter when they are free of pain, so I guess all of the feelings that surround that are bound up to a large extent with pain.

Good for you, mate.

You see, the pro-death crowd play on peoples’ fears – like the fear that in your last days nobody will be able to control your pain and you’ll go screaming in unspeakable agony into the world beyond. 

They don’t want you to know that almost all pain, in almost every case, can be very, very effectively controlled. Medically, there is no reason for people to suffer excruciating pain at the end of their lives. It can be managed. Period.

That’s what the good doctor was saying.

But. BUT: That’s not the way the assisted suicide and euthanasia extremists will twist it.


The pro-assisted suicide and euthanasia bloodlust will not call for better education in pain management, or for reducing the ignorance that pain can’t be managed.

They’ll spin it by saying, Look, there is no need to suffer such terrible pain at the end of your life. Horrible pain is, well, very painful, and undignified! We can help!!! Wouldn’t you like to put your mind at rest, knowing that before your pain gets too bad, we have a solution that you control!! Don’t worry, you don’t have to use it, but won’t it be great to have that option if you ever need it? The health system doesn’t have the wherwithall to help you with your pain – we can!!!

And that’s the real agenda, folks.

Making you dead by first making you frightened.

1 comment:

Claire said...

Excellent piece, as always. I am learning so much.