A few of my Rants

Zombie Bins

Recently there has been a great deal of discussion about the subject of euthanasia. Most of the population are in favour of making this fairly readily available, but there is strong opposition from the right-wing churches, and the Catholic Church in particular, and the discussions always start from the assumption that human life is sacred, immensely valuable, and to be preserved at all costs. But this is nonsense.

There are far more people on the earth than it can support, and the current plague of wars around the globe and the impending environmental crisis are both due in large part to this surplus. So it is obvious that there is a high environmental cost associated with every one of us, and our lives only become valuable if we can make some contribution which outweighs this cost.

Furthermore there is not one person on this globe who asked to come here - every one of us is here because of decisions made by our parents, and while we would like to hope they made these decisions on rational grounds, we know that all too often we are the accidental result of their yielding to an ill-considered moment of lust, with no thought for the potential consequences. So if we feel that we are here under duress, and would rather leave, our wishes should be respected and we should be enabled to leave gracefully.

The Catholic Church claims that our lives are valuable, but their actions make it clear that they value us only as a resource, and they don't want us to die prematurely because as long as we are alive they can continue to exploit us. The revelations of the current Royal commission into child abuse have made it abundantly clear that the needs of the clergy - natural or otherwise - are far more important to the church than the well-being of our children, and that if there is any conflict between the reputation of the church and its duty to it's congregation, its reputation will always win.

Perhaps nothing demonstrates this hypocrisy more clearly than the "Zombie Bins" into which so many of our elderly citizens are dumped. A majority of us have clearly indicated that we want to be able to have a dignified death when we decide that we have lived long enough, but the authorities - intimidated by the noise made by the churches - refuse to grant us this reasonable wish, and all too often we are dumped into these appalling places, which are run by businessmen interested only in making as much money as possible from their unfortunate "clients". The management doesn't want to waste money keeping the clients happy, or even comfortable, so they drug them into a zombielike state where they don't have to waste money entertaining them, or even looking after them, but they can continue to milk them as long as they are not legally dead.

Some years ago my brother made the mistake of being found unconscious by the Meals on Wheels lady on a hot day. He was admitted to hospital, and then to a temporary respite home. A social worker assessed him, and decreed that he was no longer capable of looking after himself at home, and I was told to arrange permanent accommodation for him. This was an absurd piece of logic - if he had been allowed to go home he would have lived in a mess, and would no doubt have been found dead before long, but he would have been happy, and he would not have been a cost to the state or to society.

We looked at a number of "old people's homes" with vacancies, but they were, without exception, zombie bins, containing endless rows of empty shells. These had once housed intelligent people, but had long since been vacated, leaving still breathing but otherwise lifeless bodies, kept "alive" only to provide the management of the home with a source of easy money.

My brother took the only way out that was open to him - he refused to eat, and after some weeks of misery he died.

Roger Riordan (25/3/2016)

 © Roger Riordan 2004-2017

Zombie Bins