ARE YOU UP FOR SNUFF? by Donal Kennedy


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I ask the question because John Halligan, TD, has moved a Private Member’s Bill in Dail Eireann which would   recognise “the right of clearly consenting adults who are enduring intolerable physical suffering to seek medical help  to end their lives.”   (IRISH TIMES 16 December

If the Bill becomes law doctors and nurses will be under pressure, perhaps enforceable by law to snuff out the lives of their patients and to renounce the principle that they should seek to reduce suffering but not to accelerate death. Mr Halligan says that various opinion polls (unspecified) estimated that about seven-in-ten people would be in favour of assisted suicide for people suffering with a terminal illness.  Opinion polls are exact about responses from those who respond to them and Mr Halligan’s reported remarks seem vague to me.  He is also quoted as saying -“We are talking about people who, in their most desperate moment in life, are being deprived of their humanitarian rights.”  Human rights begin with the right to life. Perhaps somewhere someone has drawn up a list of “Humanitarian Rights,” including the ‘Right’ to have one’s life snuffed out.

Mr Halligan is clearly Up For Snuff. So tell me, Dear Reader, are you, too?

It’s one thing to support the wish of an adult who wishes their life snuffed out, but another to support the snuffing out of the lives of young humans who have not been polled. You’ll probably recall “Tara” from Cork, a healthy woman with a healthy pregnancy, who “couldn’t be arsed” to let her child live and travelled to London to have its life snuffed out and told her story on BBC TV, the IRISH TIMES. She was treated as a Heroine and a Martyr by those media and her child’s (“humanitarian?) rights considerd equal to that of of an ulcer or an ingrown toenail.  The Snuff Movement’s film didn’t show a Snuff Movie showing the snuffing. Snuff said?

The Snuff Movement is a serial abuser of language.In one instant they attempt to bury opposition in a fusillade of “F” words which have no validity. “Fatal foetal impairment” is much touted as a condition denying the right of a child in the womb to the protection of the rest of the human race.

The Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland had a very articulate letter in THE IRISH TIMES on December 15 which almost persuaded me. Luckily on December 16 one Barry Walsh quoted he British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology which convincingly established the fact that Amnesty International was spouting rubbish.

So I ask you, cross your heart and hope to die – Are You Up For Snuff?




17 Responses to ARE YOU UP FOR SNUFF? by Donal Kennedy

  1. Mary Jo December 19, 2015 at 11:56 am #

    Apart from the pressure on doctors and nurses to “snuff” lives, some sick and elderly people will find themselves under pressure from unprincipled heirs and relatives to chose euthanasia. I’m on the no side on this issue.

  2. Brian Patterson. December 19, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    I do not propose to re-ignite the abortion debate other than to say that legalised abortion will come to Ireland sooner or later
    . As regards the right to euthanasia and what Donal refers to so elegantly as ‘the Snuff Movement’ I would wish to make my own choice in this matter. If ever my health deteriorated to the extent that I was terminally ill, in severe chronic pain with no hope of recovery I would wish to have extended to me at least the same right I extended to my beloved 18 year old cat last summer. No amount of moralising or Jesuitical sophistry can take that right from me. My choice Donal, not yours.

    • Jude Collins December 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

      But you’re not a cat, Brian. Are you?

      • Brian Patterson December 19, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

        No Jude, I am not a cat, I am a (largely) rational human being. Unlike Oscar (my cat) I am able to express a wish as to my destiny. So, if I rationally decide that life has become unendurable through pain and sufffering and that I wish to exit freely, with dignity and humanity, how has Donal or anyone else the right the right to tell me that I must suffer on? It is my life, not his.

        • Jude Collins December 19, 2015 at 10:11 pm #

          I’m sure your life is yours, Brian – no question about that. But you were the one raised the cat comparison. I mean…

        • jessica December 20, 2015 at 11:02 am #

          “So, if I rationally decide that life has become unendurable through pain and sufffering and that I wish to exit freely, with dignity and humanity, how has Donal or anyone else the right the right to tell me that I must suffer on? It is my life, not his.”

          You are missing the point Brian.
          What about the doctors right not to have someone’s death on their conscience for the rest of their lives?
          If someone wants to end their lives, perhaps they should just do it themselves and leave the doctors out of it.

    • jessica December 20, 2015 at 11:01 am #

      “I do not propose to re-ignite the abortion debate other than to say that legalised abortion will come to Ireland sooner or later”

      Oh no it wont.

  3. Donal Kennedy December 19, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

    Brian Patterson flatters me with his reference to Jesuitical sophistry. I’m a Christian Brothers
    Boy and I deliberately use crude English terminology. SNUFF is not, so fat as I know Greek,
    Latin or Hebrew in origin.

    I asked readers a direct question -“ARE YOU UP FOR SNUFF? every word of it English
    and each word of one syllable only.

    Mr Patterson chose not to answer it directly, but I infer if he had done so his answer would
    be a resounding “YES”

  4. Brian Patterson December 19, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

    I am flattered that Donal has conferred on me and my ilk – those who who take a more nuanced view than he on the abortion question as well as those (not necessarily the same people) who unequivocally reject the right of others to forbid them to end unendurable suffering from incurable illness with grace and dignity – with a monopoly on the promotion of ‘snuffery’. One might have thought he could have found a dark corner in the Pantheon of Snuffery for Isis, for NATO. For Western arms manufacturers.For right wing zealots like mass murdere Anders Behring Breivik. Or Timothy McVeigh. For mass shooters in the US and the NRA who defend the universal right to carry arms. For those who carried out 11 murders, 17 attempted murders by shooting, 41 bombings, all on abortion clinics.
    No save the term for women unable to cope with a pregnancy including victims of rape and/or incest. And of course the likes of MS sufferer Marie Fleming who sought to hasten the end of her life of unbearable suffering. And for me. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    • Gearoid December 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

      Abortion is intrinsically evil and a “nuanced” position is just another way of avoiding this reality…There are hard cases e.g. etopic pregnancies but these form a very minuscule percentage of referrals for abortion. The vast majority are for reasons of social convenience and not for any so-called threats to the mother. There is no good reason why this social evil should be legislated for in order to provide guidelines for surgical intervention in difficult pregnancies. The value of life has become very cheapened both at the beginning and near the end of human existence. People can be disposed of like throwaway thrash when their utilitarian/materialistic worth runs out. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are anything but “dying with dignity” as they are part of the dark pro-death ideology which has taken hold across western nations. The lobbyists who propose such solutions want us to believe that legislative safeguards would restrict any abuses but as in the examples of Holland and Belgium, hundreds perhaps thousands of cases of involuntary/non voluntary euthanasia of patients go unreported each year. The catchment area of eligible patients to put to death has been extended to minors, depressed patients and handicapped babies in Holland. In Belgium recently, two identical twin brothers, deaf from birth but going blind, were euthanized. Neither of them were suffering from a terminal illness and were not in any pain. This is a form of creeping eugenics and not unlike the attitude of a criminal regime which blighted the landscape of Europe and indeed the world during the middle of the last century. You mention the very small minority of extremists who use violence to act in the name of Christianity or the pro-life movement. Their acts have been rightly roundly condemned by religious and pro-life leaders who have repudiated their attempts to act in their name. But where is the thought given to the slaughter of countless millions of lives(at least 55 million alone in the US) in the womb over the last 40-50 years in western states by the abortion industry? Who dares speak up for them? Their advocates are contained not just in religious/pro-life circles but many humanitarians who do not claim to have a religious belief devote their energies to opposing this evil.
      As for your point concerning the solution of abortion to the pregnant victims of the terrible evil crimes of rape or incest, why should the innocent baby in the womb pay for the original crimes with their lives? Another evil can never rectify or compensate for the criminal acts of the rapist or committer of incest.

      • Jude Collins December 20, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

        That word ‘nuanced’ caught my eye too, Gearoid – I was wondering how it would work in the circs in question.

  5. Gearoid December 20, 2015 at 12:28 am #

    It looks like the Southern Free Stateen is being molded into just another cookie-cutter, homogeneous EU state with “gay” marriage, abortion and now the legalized killing of the vulnerable and seriously ill being proposed. Welcome to the new progressive and enlightened world order.

    • jessica December 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

      “It looks like the Southern Free Stateen is being molded into just another cookie-cutter, homogeneous EU state with “gay” marriage, abortion and now the legalized killing of the vulnerable and seriously ill being proposed. ”

      It is like some are attempting to re-join the UK via the back door. Perhaps not so much new Ireland as New Little England – at least wannabe.

  6. Donal Kennedy December 20, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    So far as I know nobody in RTE, the BBC, The Irish Times, the Labour Party or the
    “Technical Group” in Dail or Seanad wants Ireland to join ISIS nor is there an appreciable
    campaign for joining NATO.

    Perhaps I have missed some nuances picked up by Mr Patterson.

    But there is a massive and crude campaign pushing abortion and euthanasia.

    My language has been deliberately clear, rude and crude asking for clear answers.

    I did not say whether or not I supported abortion or euthanasia. I just used plain demotic
    English to describe what is involved.

    Mr Patterson would prefer I use more refined language. Perhaps he’d like me to use the
    term “premium penis” for a “Prize Pri———vate Member?”

  7. Brian Patterson December 20, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

    With regard to Jessica’s point about involving the doctor In euthanasia I would suggest an opt out clause for any doctor who finds it morally objectionable. Likewise with doctors and nurses in relation to abortion. The reality is that effective euthanasia is practiced in Irish hospitals day and daily, whereby food is withheld or a patient is so heavily sedated with morphine that death is hastened. As for Jessica’s suggestion that the patient do the job themselves, well many are so debilitated as to be incapable of suicide. And if they ask a friend to assist them the friend will likely face criminal proceedings. What constitutes a dignified death is a matter of perception. My perception is that it is more dignified to die from a simple controlled and requested medical procedure than in pain, distress and discomfort, even degredstion. And I’m afraid I don’t recognise the right of anyone to tell me how to lead. Or end, my life providing I hurt no-one else. Jessica says abortion will never happen in Ireland. Available evidence does not support her confidence. A red C poll conducted in 2015 found that 67 per cent of Irish people were in favour of decriminalising abortion. 81 per cent of Irish people favoured widening the grounds for abortion. 70 per cent agreed that women should have access to abotiin on the grounds of risk to their health, rape incest and fatal foetal abnormality. other polls and research have produced similar results. These are not evil people, they are the majority of the Irish population. They realise that the present situation is untenable leaving doctors and patients alike in an impossible position. And they will prevail.

  8. Brian Patterson December 21, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    If Donal does not recognise a drive to erode the Republic’s neutrality on the part of Fine Gae,much of Labour and a large section of Fianna Fail, then he is not as astute a commentator as I took him to be. And as I do not wish in this season of goodwill, to join a rush to the bottom in terms of crude verbal abuse I will conclude by respectfullly wishing you all a Nollaig Shona agus athbhlian faoi mhise dhibh go leir. Slan tamall.

    • Jude Collins December 22, 2015 at 10:46 am #

      Nollaig shona duit, Brian