By Farman Nawaz
In August 2011, I was watching Hard Talk program on BBC World News. It was about a paralyzed person (Tony Nicklinson) in UK who wished to die but through a legal process. His argument was that for six years he was living this way and there was no hope of his recovery therefore he wanted to get rid of this dependent life which was not only a burden for him but for his family too. He described his life as a “living nightmare”. He died in 2012.
Only death was not a problem for that person because Swiss government had promised to assist him in killing himself but he argued that he wanted to die in his own home among his family members. But actually he had challenged the system of UK. It was a test for the UK parliament and judiciary to provide him solution. It was also a challenge for the medical world and scientists. This paralyzed person had trust in the legal system but he has lost trust in the medical world.
Today I read a news story about Beth Margetson –a 49 years old lady suffering from cancer. Her application for funding was turned down. She was told that she is not worth the money.
Isn’t it very strange that a paralyzed person had lost his faith in medical science and was consistently begging for death and this woman had a faith in the medical science and consistently begged for life but UK government failed to solve both these issues? One was not worth the money and the other was not worth the death. In one case the ruling could authorize murder and in the other case the decision authorized the murder. One started the campaign to save her life and the other started a legal battle to commit suicide.
Few years ago I asked Sam, who came here to Pakistan from UK to study Islamic society, why someone should prefer UK to live in? He replied “UK is a worth living place because courts provide justice to everyone”. But today I am thinking that is it justice to leave a desperate man to live in ‘living nightmare’ and to drive the sick woman to ‘Tyburn Tree’.
Today I have an unconditional offer of admission to MA International Journalism from Cardiff University UK. I have accepted the offer and hopefully will leave for UK in August. Here in Pakistan many people die because of poverty and lack of facilities. Education is provided free of cost at government schools but still many children are not going to school because their problem is not free education but livelihood.
The death of Beth Margetson reminded me mother who almost of the same age. She died in 1996. Her heart valves were not working rightly. Two months before her death I tried my best to arrange money for her operation but failed. How can I forget the words of the doctor, “take your mother, she is occupying a bed”.
Am I again going to a place where moms are left to die? Am I going to place where children see that money is more valuable than mothers? Am I going to a place where people are free to speak but not free to live and to end the living nightmare?