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It's A Dog's Death - Why Can't It Also Be A Human's?

22/11/2016 11:39

Brexit continues to dominate the news with a host of unanswered questions. Will it really be triggered by the end of March? Will it happen sooner than that, thanks to a snap early general election? Will it now not occur at all, thereby returning everything to how it was before?

In the event it was off - highly unlikely - Theresa May could find herself in the unenviable position of having to scurry back to Donald Tusk like some brow-beaten housewife apologising for not having her husband's dinner on the table at the desired time.

I'm sure there's another political figure with the initials DT who we might also soon have to be beholden to, but his name briefly escapes me.

Anyway, despite the small and seemingly insignificant concept of democracy, who knows how things will pan out in the upcoming weeks and months.

So let's momentarily consider a different type of exit. Namely your exit, my exit, the exit even of the Brexit Plus Plus Plus, Donald Trump. I had a feeling his name would come back to me.

Ultimately, he too will some day find himself exiting stage left one last time.

Our eventual passing, whoever we are, was brought home to me in stark clarity this weekend gone by when I again visited my mother in her care home.

No matter how much the cost (I once worked out it would be cheaper to house her at the Four Seasons in Maui), no matter what's done to brighten up the surroundings and no matter the volume of Frosted Pine (why is it always Frosted Pine?) air freshener that's squirted into the sterilised atmosphere to disguise the inevitable smell, there's no escaping the fact that these are establishments with all the fun stripped out of functional.

Invariably staffed by a stream of temporary agency carers who never truly get to know the residents, care homes are dispiriting places to spend half an hour in, let alone the rest of one's bed-ridden life.

Worse still, those suffering from severe and incapacitating dementia are usually completely unaware of their surroundings, have no idea of what's going on around them and are oblivious to the era they're living in. "Lovely man that Mr. Churchill and doing such a good job as Prime Minister". I joke, but only to make a point.

Forget the election of an ego-maniacal ex-reality TV host across the Atlantic, this my protesting Democrat friends genuinely is some kind of hell.

I have previously stated to anyone who's patient enough to listen that my mother's condition is the equivalent to that of a terribly sick and beloved family pet which compassionately should be put out of its misery.

I became more convinced of this when at the same time as I was sitting there watching her throw up a meal which she had just taken over a hour to eat a few spoonfuls of, Walnut the 18 year old whippet was being taken for his very last earthly walk on the Cornish beach he adored so much. Poignantly, he was accompanied by his canine friends of old and many new ones, who had come out in force to support him after a post on social media went viral.

His walk completed, he was then taken back to his own home to die in a dignified and meticulously planned manner.

Isn't this the kind of end we all want for those we love the most? Not non-voluntary euthanasia or whatever term you wish to use, with all the moral dilemmas that throws up, but one final act of kindness shown to a once vibrant and vital family member who has long since ceased to be either.

Currently, the whole legal position couldn't possibly be more depressing and no matter how many times the Assisted Dying Bill, even in its most watered down form, comes before Parliament, it keeps on, well, dying.

Therefore, I would like to make a heartfelt plea to our elected representatives.

Ladies and gentlemen, instead of wasting your time tirelessly arguing over a decision that the great British public, in their infinite wisdom or stupidity, made way back in June, perhaps you'd be better off examining the lamentable state of elderly care in this country. Then desperately trying to see what you can do to make it more tolerable for all those involved.

In the meantime, whichever heavenly beach Walnut is now running along, I hope he's having a rare old time. He should count himself very lucky he wasn't born a human being.

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