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I've just added a new short story to my website on the topic of euthanasia. The certainty some are able to express either in favor of or against so called mercy killing escapes me. Assisted suicide is to me a solipsism which allows us to separate ourselves from the possible broader consequences for others of our desire for a termination.

My personal experience, as recounted in my short story, Killing Mother, tells me that our biological form will struggle for life long after our existential cognitive capabilities have left us.

Quality of life is such a subjective term as to be virtually meaningless and yet it is the central plank of most arguments in favor of allowing euthanasia or assisted suicide. The other side of the quality of life coin is of course the quality or dignity of death.

The dignity of death is just as subjective a judgement as is the quality of life and therein lies the great difficulty of knowing where individual freedom should end and collective responsibility begin.

I am not a religious person but I have seen enough casual discarding of life, young and old, to be wary of accepting the seemingly inevitable path towards killing off those around us who have become or threaten to become inconvenient, either to themselves or the people around them, by their continued existent.

When my mother, while still entirely sentient, asked me to ensure, by whatever means were necessary, that she would not be left in a vegetative state, her continued life made possible by insentient machines, it was easy to make that promise. Less easy to keep when the time came.

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