The right-to-die debate as viewed from a rest home

I was going through the box of sympathy cards for my grandad after he died and there were two that remain with me. One was a generic card from the Labour Party thanking him for his life-long support and another was from a woman who remembered him as a 12-year-old carrying her home up Canongate in Dunedin after she fell off the Mackintosh Caley Phoenix building in MacLaggan St.

Finally a memory to replace the Larkinesque horror of adult experience, those times I saw him spit out antibiotics prescribed for UTIs or pneumonia because they were only extending his bed-ridden despair. These life prolonging measures were agreed to by my nana. She loved him too much to let him go to the heaven she so stridently believes in. I wonder if it’s not so much the right to life that religious people cling to, but the desire to keep degenerating bodies alive forever. In doing so we’re fiddling around the edges of the abyss.