‘I want to live, not exist’

‘I want to live, not exist’

Death is an uncomfortable subject for most. It’s one of those “unknowns” which we just cannot deal with. So we turn towards faith to tell us that there is an afterlife, or that we’ll be reborn. Or we can turn to science which tells us that we’ll just be part of that circle of life, becoming food for insects and fertilizer for plants. Cool.


But since it’s an uncomfortable topic it stops us from discussing things we REALLY should be talking about. Like suicide. And euthanasia.


In simple terms, euthanasia is also known as ‘mercy killing’. It’s when someone decides to end to their own life due to a debilitating disease or chronic condition, causing the person to want to die, with the help of medical professionals, instead of living like that for the rest of their (however long) life.


Malta is finally being forced to discuss this topic, thanks to an ALS sufferer who wants to have the option of euthanasia when he becomes completely dependent and paralysed due to his condition.


Recently I was having a discussion with someone, which made me realise that I’m still stuck on this topic. While I’m a firm believer in choices, euthanasia is effectively assisted suicide, so if I’m in favour of assisted suicide, then aren’t I saying that I wouldn’t do my utmost to help a patient or a client who comes to me with problems ? Would I just help them get the paperwork signed for assisted suicide the second they mention it? And with that reasoning, would I do my utmost to stop someone from committing suicide?


I mean the reasons for assisted suicide and suicide are effectively the same – one sees a terrible future/present with no way out of it. In the case of euthanasia the reason is medical – ex. parkinsons, ALS, terminal cancer. In suicide’s case the reason is usually social or psychological – falling into debt, the end of a relationship, mental illness.


So why is it ok for someone to end their life for a medical reason, which is usually visible, but if it’s a psychosocial reason then that’s wrong? It’s like saying that being depressed isn’t a real thing because you can just smile it away, but breaking a leg is a real problem.


It’s like saying that people with terminal or chronic illness feel more pain and suffering than people with severe depression, or someone who has lost their job and have no idea how they’re going to support their family.


I guess my generic opinion is this: I would do everything I can to help that person have a better life, to help them see that they have a future. But at the end of the day the choice is theirs. So no, I won’t help them get the paperwork signed the second they mention the words “assisted suicide”, I would help them process this decision, give them the counselling they need. And then, if they want to go through with it, then I’ll be there, holding their hand.


And while I can’t hold the hand of someone who is committing suicide, I would wish I had. Because I would have done my best to help them have a reason to live, but if that fails, at least they wouldn’t be alone in their final moments.



Black Lives Matter: A Reading List — Longreads Blog

Do you want to amp up your reading list? Then take a look at this post!


This week’s reading list has three parts. Part One features Black authors writing explicitly about anti-Black police brutality. Part Two features Black authors writing about subjects other than police brutality, because maybe it’s in your best interest not to subject yourself to more mental anguish than is necessary, and because Black people deserve to write about […]

via Black Lives Matter: A Reading List — Longreads Blog

I support women having options

I support women having options

Yeah, you’d think that would be an obvious statement. I mean, who wouldn’t want women to have options and choices? Well, bigots wouldn’t. Oppressors wouldn’t. Abusers wouldn’t.


And what is one of the choices which I think women should have? Sorry to quote something legal but: “the timing, number and spacing of their children” is something I strongly advocate for. For those who are interested in reading more, this quote is taken from CEDAW – The convention on the elimination of discrimination against women. It’s a human right’s convention which the majority of the world has actually signed. Including places you’ve probably never heard of.


There are many ways in which a woman can have control over the timing, number and spacing of her children. The first one to come to mind would be contraception – you know, the pill, condoms, that kind of stuff. So in that regard, we’re good.


The second option which would come to mind is abortion. This is a heavy debate, with the world split between the pro-lifers (ie. those who are against abortion because they see it as the murder of a human life), and the pro-choice (some of whom see it as the ending of a potential human life for the benefit of a grown person, or as an option women should have, regardless if the fetus is a human life or not – especially since that is a philosophical debate and not a scientific one).


Since abortion is such a heavy topic, one which most people cannot discuss without going into a rabid rage, we need to find something which has more efficacy than regular contraception (or say, the condom broke, or a woman was raped), but not the same heatedness as abortion.


Nothing comes to mind?


Well….emegency contraception. Ie. The morning after pill, like EllaOne or Levonelle (I’m not advertising anything here).



But wait…isn’t emergency contraception also abortive?


Well, no. It’s really not.


First off, what the Morning After Pill (or, MAP) does is delay ovulation. Sperm can live inside the female for up to 5 days, so by delaying the follicular rupture, and thus delay the release of an egg, one would hope that the egg and sperm never meet, never fertilise, and a zygote (or life, if you’re pro-life) is never formed. If this fails, the MAP has mechanisms in place to avoid the sperm and ovum from fertilising, but of course this isn’t fool proof.


Should the woman have ovulated and the sperm and egg fuse, then nothing happens. The MAP is effectively useless, and the woman will most probably become pregnant once the fertilised egg implants.


So you’re pro-choice? Then the MAP is a great choice for women to have, especially if their first method for protection has failed.


So you’re pro-life? Well the MAP is perfect then. The MAP, if successful, removes the need for abortion of an unwanted pregnancy, because there is no pregnancy to abort.


Pretty awesome, isn’t it ?



Back to the Grind

Back to the Grind

The majority of my classmates started working in their respective agencies a while ago – but right as soon as we got the call to start work, I was on a plane, jet setting to a foreign land for 2 weeks.


Ok it wasn’t as exotic as that. But 2 weeks in Ireland, travelling by bus across cities is quite an adventure, I’ll let you know!


And that holiday was utterly amazing. I saw so many beautiful places, and made friends with so many animals (have any of you held a red fox, have you?!). But following this holiday I was more than ready to start at my new full-time job, doing the work I was trained to do for four years.


So how are things going so far? Pretty awesome. I have a bunch of interesting cases, all with their own very diverse and specific needs. And I couldn’t be happier. Of course, the waking up at ungodly hours is not a favourite of mine, but hey, at least I’m getting paid.