Terry Pratchett on Alzheimer’s and Assisted Death

This is a hard video to post. I was looking up more videos based on Terry Pratchett’s stories like Hogfather and it seems he has a particularly aggressive form of Alzheimer’s and is contemplating assisted suicide sometime in the near or far future. He can’t have this done in England but only in Switzerland in one private clinic called Dignitas and here is their website. It is about an hour long story as he tags along with two men who appear to be in relative good mind but have degenerative physical conditions that will soon make them invalids. I will warn you that Terry does witness one of their deaths and though i have seen death many times it was difficult for me and for Terry. Goddess bless him as from what i can surf he is still with us.

I won’t say “enjoy” but rather “learn and think”……

6 thoughts on “Terry Pratchett on Alzheimer’s and Assisted Death

  1. Yes, as far as I know Terry is still with us. Knowing the things his mind has created makes his dementia all the more poignant and I greatly respect his efforts to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s. As for Dignitas, while I think assisted suicide must always be subject to strict regulation, but for some people it will be the most dignified and peaceful way to leave the world. I wish Dignitas was not restricted to Switzerland.

    • That’s great and I hope his mind has remained relatively clear as for a writer this must be a slow torture. Yes Dignitas seems to be doing good work, and i am sure it is a constant legal battle to stay alive (no pun intended) but i don’t quite agree with their helping people who just feel life is not worth living anymore, which is more a form of deep depression, but then i am not in their shoes. I always agreed with the late Dr Jack Kevorkian here in the US and his technique of using an IV barbituate to induce unconsciousness, then pavulon to stop all muscle activity including the diaphragm, then potassium to stop the heart seemed even smoother. Terry was very brave going along with those two gentlemen and their families and being with the one at the end. You know with my illness, which has somewhat stabilized and not deteriorated farther, i have thought of the 20 cent externally applied “led poisoning” solution, but then my spiritual concerns and the pain it would cause friends and relatives stops me. But if i had one of the really bad continuously deteriorating neurological diseases i believe in the right of self termination and would be on a flight to Switzerland, but of course i would meet you for a drink on the way, lol.

  2. Terry Pratchett is an amazingly creative and comic writer, I remember hearing about his having early onset Alzheimers a few years ago and thinking how awful it must be for anyone, but especially someone so very creative – to have his brain ‘betray’ him in such a way. However since then he has done so much to raise awareness – and funds for Alzeihimers research – that his own personal tragedy may help to address this terrible disease and the issues surrounding assisted suicide. I think statistics say that about 1 in four people will end up with dementia yet compared to cancer research or heart disease research into it is woefully underfunded – possibly due to prejudice against the main demographic – most sufferers being very elderly and perhaps being perceived to be ‘on the way out’ anyway.

    On the topic of assisted suicide I certainly think that in the right circumstances, and with strict regulation and counselling, it can be a dignified way for a person to choose end their life when medical science can no longer help them.

    • Yes he is a brave man for facing his illness in public and especially for going along with those gentlemen for their end. I too think much more research should go into this disease or our countries will end up paying for so many who will spend their last days not knowing even their relatives. It is very sad. My 85 year old mom is fairly clear in mind, though forgetful at times, but aren’t we all, but i wish her doctor would start her on some of the expensive meds available now.

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