Sir Terry Pratchett has made an emotional plea for the right to take his own life, saying: ‘I live in hope I can jump before I am pushed.’,bed
The fantasy novelist gave his views following last week’s landmark House of Lords controversial judgment in the case of Debbie Purdy.
‘I believe that if the burden gets too great, those who wish should be allowed to be shown the door,’ he said. ‘In my case, in the fullness of time, I hope it will be in the garden under an English sky. Or, if wet, the library.’
Sir Terry, 61, author of the hugely successful Discworld books, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007.
He said that no one has a duty to suffer the extremes of terminal illness and set down his admiration for the sick and dying who have travelled to Switzerland to die in legal suicide clinics. They have displayed ‘ furious sanity’, he said.[reference]
Considering how much I have loved the Discworld series and his other books, it saddens me to find him a supporter of assisted suicide. The character of Death is in all but one of the Discworld novels as a guide to the next world. He has written brilliant satire in his novels and this advocacy just seems so out of step of his normal common sense.
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s must be terrifying to anybody and maybe more so for a writer. As Catholics we are blessed to have a deeper understanding of the mystery of suffering that we so need to share with the modern world. This understanding doesn’t make suffering go away. Offering it up seems like just another platitude until we look upon Jesus on the cross and then try to mouth the words “Why me?” I will be praying for Sir Pratchett and I hope that you join me in this. That he may once again show his furious sanity which in this case has gone astray.