Craig Ewert committed suicide yesterday. His death was televised.

Mr Ewert, whose death was recorded by a film crew, said: “I am tired of the disease but I am not tired of living. I still enjoy life enough that I would like to continue, but the thing is that I really cannot. If I opt for life then that is choosing to be tortured rather than end this journey and start the next one. I cannot take the risk. Let’s face it, when you’re completely paralysed and cannot talk, how do you let somebody know you are suffering? This could be a complete and utter hell.

“You can watch only so much of yourself drain away before you look at what is left and say, ‘This is an empty shell’. Once I become completely paralysed, then I am nothing more than a living tomb that takes in nutrients through a tube in the stomach. It’s painful.”

We support the broadcast of assisted suicide on television because dying is an ordinary circumstance of life.

If we celebrate the birth of children on television, why are we fearful to allow the natural demise of the end of a life the same access to evaluating eyes?

We also believe state-sponsored executions should be broadcast on live television. If nothing is wrong with the punishment, then why must it be withheld from open analysis in the public square?

8 Comments

  1. I guess it’s a pretty far fetched what if, but what if a complete cure was discovered the following day? Would the decision to end it still have as wise?

  2. Hi David,
    I read the news this morning in Times Of India and my initial reaction was not very good. I thought it would be way too depressing to watch someone dying.
    Then I realised the message can actually be of relief…as a strong supporter of Euthansia, I am ok with the live telecast as long as the it stands strong.

  3. Good point, Katha. Suicide is a choice in a life filled with dirty options. It’s important to realize there are many forms of dying and de-stigmatizing them helps all of society cope with the realities. Watching a suicide on TV might just be enough to prevent someone from taking the same disarming path to an end.