Richard Carvath is a horrible, nasty little man. Here’s how he describes Tony Nicklinson in a post that he misleadingly calls “For the love of Tony Nicklinson“:
Tony certainly isn’t a human rights hero or a positive role model for the severely disabled either. Tony is selfish: he is concerned for no one other than himself. Tony is cowardly: he lacks the courage to live with dignity. Tony is dishonourable: he seeks murder and despises his own life. Make no mistake: however much Tony is being manipulated by the media, the pro-euthanasia lobby and even his own family, Tony is guilty of pursuing the legalisation of murder, which, if he ever achieves his aim, would inevitably lead to the murder by doctors of hundreds of vulnerable disabled, incapacitated or elderly patients in an NHS holocaust of involuntary euthanasia.
None of this — not one word of this — is true, and Richard Carvath is a horrible, nasty little man to say it. To start at the end, there is absolutely no evidence that assisted dying will lead inevitably “to murder by doctors of hundres of vulnerable disabled, incapacitated or elderly patients in a NHS [National Health Service] holocaust of involuntary euthanasia.” There is no evidence for this at all, unless, like Carvath, you take it that helping someone to die who wants to die is to murder him or her. But this is simply Christian propaganda of the worst sort. Carvath should be ashamed of himself to say deliver himself of this sort of emotionally uncontrolled nonsense. Again, there is no evidence for this claim at all.
Nor is there any reasonable standard by which you could say that Tony Nicklinson was a dishonorable man, or that he was a coward. Cowards don’t, in defence of principles, challenge laws, despite the emotional toll that this must have cost him. Tony, to my mind, was in fact a hero, someone who stood up for the right of people to say when they have had enough, when their quality of life is such as to make life no longer worth living. Nor was Tony selfish. Indeed, he was exceedingly generous. He could have done what in the end he did, and have asked to have food withdrawn so that he could die. But he didn’t. Instead, he fought in court for his right to die, and by doing so, stood up for the rights of others similarly placed. That took a lot of courage, and it was the obverse of selfishness. A man in desperate straits because of his illness, unable to communicate except by blinking his eye, was yet willing to go through the glaring publicity and emotional strain of a trial before the High Court in order to fight for the right, not only his, but others’ right, to be in control of their own dying, the right to say “Enough! I’ve had enough! Life is no longer of value to me!” But Carvath and other horrible, nasty people like him, are prepared to enslave people like Tony, and force them to live. Once you have done that, the person becomes a slave. He can only do what he is commanded to do, and everything that he does henceforth is done at the behest and command of those who have this proprietary control over his life. This is a horrible, nasty thing to do to anyone, and Carvath, who, I am told, wants to be an MP, and spread his poison more widely, and officially, should be ashamed of himself.
And yet, Carvath says, he loves Tony Nicklinson. Here’s what he says:
I love Tony Nicklinson and I recognise just how precious his life is, whereas my opponents have nothing but contempt for his life. I must disagree with those who say, “Tony Nicklinson’s life isn’t worth living… put him down like a dog.” To feel sorry for Tony is normal and understandable, but to want to kill him is inexcusable. To want to end this disabled man’s life rather than care for him is to hold his life in utter contempt.
As usual, Carvath, like all those who so self-righteously speak about the value of the lives of those who want to bring their suffering to an end, expresses things to suit himself, and not to reflect what such people are really saying. No one was saying that Tony Nicklinson’s life was not worth living. Tony was saying that. And he wasn’t whining and whingeing about it either. He was willing to stand up for his right to say it. Nor was he asking to be put down like a dog. He was asking for help to die like a human being, at his choice, and at a time of his choosing. Instead of valuing Tony’s life, which included the person that Tony was, with his values, hopes, fears, plans and purposes, Carvath thinks that valuing just the living body is sufficient. That’s all he has to value in order to value Tony’s life. But Tony was a person, not just a body, and if you will not value Tony’s values, for Tony, not for anyone else; if you won’t value his decisions, arrived at after careful and serious thought; if you will not accept that, for Tony, not for anyone else, his life had reached the point where he no longer felt that living a life locked into his body was consistent with what he thought of as a worthwhile life; then you have neither loved nor valued him at all.
Carvath falls into that group. He has nothing but contempt for Tony, or for anyone who thinks like him. He does not respect his thoughts, values, decisions or his sense of what would make for a worthwhile life. He has his own conception of life, and, no matter what, he thinks that his values, not Tony’s, should govern the lives of others. To this extent this Richard Carvath is a nasty, horrible little man, and should be dismissed with the contempt that he deserves. He is a contemptible theocrat, who thinks that everyone should be able to live out their lives in misery, casting all their cares on the Lord, or some such theological bull shit. I’m with Tony on this one. I don’t want to live according to someone else’s values, especially if they are informed by theological wish thinking. I want to live with a sense of my own dignity, according to a plan of life that I choose, and if that, at some point, includes asking for help to die, I do not want to be told by some jumped-up theocrat, how I must live and how I must die. A pox on the lot of them!