Euthanasia booths

joanlawson
joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
edited 31. Jan 2010, 16:58 in Community Chit-chat archive
Hi

THE novelist Martin Amis has called for euthanasia booths on street corners, where elderly people can end their lives with “a martini and a medal”.

The author of Time’s Arrow and London Fields even predicts a Britain torn by internal strife in the 2020s if the demographic timebomb of the ageing population is not tackled head-on.

“How is society going to support this silver tsunami?” he asks in an interview in The Sunday Times Magazine.

“There’ll be a population of demented very old people, like an invasion of terrible immigrants, stinking out the restaurants and cafes and shops. I can imagine a sort of civil war between the old and the young in 10 or 15 years’ time.”

Amis, himself 60 and a grandfather, added: “There should be a booth on every corner where you could get a martini and a medal.''

Martin Amis is being intentionally provocative, but his idea has some appeal to me, ( not yet for a while though!) What do you think?

Joan
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Comments

  • bobbid
    bobbid Member Posts: 85
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Joan

    I have always been too scared to go into one of those stainless steel booths on street corners - I knew they were public toilets but I always imagined Doctor Who taking me off on time travels to distant galaxies. Or more mundanely, getting locked in and never emerging ever again.

    If I go in one now and press the button to flush the loo, who knows what will happen? Will I find myself transported to a distant star? Or will a dose of cyanide gas exterminate me and a quick flush dispose of my body down an extra large toilet bowl? Or will I emerge into the sunshine leaving behind just an unpleasant odour?

    One thing is for certain - I don't intend to find out the answer any time soon!

    BobbiD
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Bobbi

    I know what you mean about those toilet booths. I have always been too scared to use them in case I got locked in for ever.

    You are much too young to even consider death, but it will be your generation which will carry the financial and other burdens of an elderly population. Then you might be glad to see euthanasia booths around the place.

    I watched my father die a long slow death with dementia. He went from a very intelligent man, who was well-read and worked as a newspaper editor, to a shell of his former self. Given the option of a martini and a medal in a booth, I know he would have preferred it.

    Joan
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  • annie_mial
    annie_mial Member Posts: 5,818
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Doubt if it would work for me, I'd get halfway through and then think of another book I wanted to read................or simply change my mind!

    I don't think I'm ready yet..........I love waking in the mornings too much..........and I'm with Del, I can outsmart my juniors any day!

    He's never been one of my favourite authors, anyway.............but it's fascinating, has he any detailed plans? Do I just wake up on a Tuesday and think 'that's it'? Or do we have to pick a day in three months time and draw up a schedule?

    Annie
  • moonseed
    moonseed Member Posts: 289
    edited 31. Jan 2010, 03:39
    A very good morning to you,
    I have been sitting here in my chair since 4.30 this morning trying to thaw out (boiler on the blink again!)
    With hat and blanket I grabbed my laptop to have a look at what is going on here.
    No bl---y signal (I'm with Virgin and has been mucking about now for over a month).
    It is now ten past eight, and have finally managed to get on and get to read these most fantastic posts.
    From a miserable existence to one of joy and laughter in a matter of moments.
    What would I do without you!
    I will certainly NOT be locking myself into a booth and getting a dose of some lethal gas anytime soon that's for sure.
    Thank you again SO much.
    Stephanie xx
  • mellman01
    mellman01 Member Posts: 5,303
    edited 31. Jan 2010, 07:44
    What a great idea!, wow just think how much fun the drunks on a Saturday night could have with one.
    But what you really need is an age Inebriation and IQ detector in them, if you match 2 out of 3 it's the big sniff for the poor worn out old person or the drunk numpty.
    It could be called the Darwinator what do you think!??,it's got a ring to it don't u think?. :shock:
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    annie_mial wrote:
    Doubt if it would work for me, I'd get halfway through and then think of another book I wanted to read................or simply change my mind!

    I don't think I'm ready yet..........I love waking in the mornings too much..........and I'm with Del, I can outsmart my juniors any day!

    He's never been one of my favourite authors, anyway.............but it's fascinating, has he any detailed plans? Do I just wake up on a Tuesday and think 'that's it'? Or do we have to pick a day in three months time and draw up a schedule?

    Annie

    Hi Annie

    No, I'm definitely not ready yet, as my life is amazing and wonderful. I've got a million things I want to do before I leave this life, just like you.

    However, what happens when you want to read a book, but you find that the words don't make sense to you any more :?: This happened to my Dad, and it caused him great distress. And what happens when you want to go for a walk in the morning, but you can't remember who you are or how to find the way home :?:

    Heaven forbid that this would happen to you or me, but if it did, would you really want to carry on for years more, gradually declining until you couldn't hold a conversation with anyone :?:

    It took my Dad three years to die, and during that time, when I was caring for him, I almost forgot who I was because the strain was so great. I wouldn't want to inflict that on my children.
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  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    mellman01 wrote:
    What a grat idea!, wow just think how much fun the drunks on a Saturday night could have with one.
    But what you really need is an age Inebriation and IQ detector in them, if you match 2 out of 3 it's the big sniff for the poor worn out old person or the drunk numpty.
    It could be called the Darwinator what do you think!??,it's got a ring to it don't u think?. :shock:

    Hi Mell

    Your idea for the Darwinator is excellent, but I'm afraid that if it had an IQ detector in it, half the population would be wiped out in one go. Still, that might not be such a bad thing because we are over-populated anyway. You might need quite a lot of Darwinators around Didcot ( Deadcat) from what I hear :!: :lol:
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  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    delboy wrote:
    Any war between young and old would be settled in favour of us GOG's, guile would win the day.

    Hi Delboy

    I'm not sure what GOG stands for, but I hope you are right about guile winning the day.

    Sorry to hear about your struggles with the CRB brigade. I had a really stupid incident with them. I left a teaching job, which I had been doing for many years, but after some time out to regain my sanity, I decided to return as a supply teacher. It was with the same education authority, but I was told that I would have to be vetted by the CRB before I could return. It made no difference that I had worked for them for so many years previously that I had become part of the furniture, and had only had a very short break. I suppose it is only right where children are concerned, but it did seem like a waste of money.
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  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Steph

    I'm sorry to hear about your boiler, and your problems with Virgin. After all that, you finally manage to log in, and you find my very cheerful thread to lighten your day :!: :shock: Sorry about that :!: :roll:

    Anyway, I'm happy to hear that you aren't thinking of leaving us any time in the near future :!: :D
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  • annie_mial
    annie_mial Member Posts: 5,818
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Take your point, Joan, but in that state I wouldn't be able to find a Darwinator, much less use it. Have already told my daughters that if I get to the rocking and dribbling stage that they should shoot first and ask me after.

    Love Mell's Darwinator, too...........it would wipe out the idiots first and the drunks next.

    Annie
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've got a better idea than Martin Amis. I think there could be Excessive machines dotted around, as in the film Barbarella, with Jane Fonda. You enter, and then.............. in the words of the film:

    Dazzle me with rainbow colour;
    Fade away the duller shade of living.

    A good way to go :!: :?:
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  • fester
    fester Member Posts: 98
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    joanlawson wrote:
    I've got a better idea than Martin Amis. I think there could be Excessive machines dotted around, as in the film Barbarella, with Jane Fonda. You enter, and then.............. in the words of the film:

    Dazzle me with rainbow colour;
    Fade away the duller shade of living.

    A good way to go :!: :?:

    hehe the orgasmatron created by duran duran, yea i remember the film well. Agreed what a way to go :lol:

    Martin Amis might be onto something though, i know some days i'd be in like a shot as would a few other members on this forum i imagine.
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi fester

    The only trouble was that Barbarella broke the machine, if I remember rightly, so she didn't go at all. Just the opposite :!:
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  • moonseed
    moonseed Member Posts: 289
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    joanlawson wrote:
    Hi Steph

    I'm sorry to hear about your boiler, and your problems with Virgin. After all that, you finally manage to log in, and you find my very cheerful thread to lighten your day :!: :shock: Sorry about that :!: :roll:

    Anyway, I'm happy to hear that you aren't thinking of leaving us any time in the near future :!: :D

    Your thread made my day! I couldn't stop laughing and still am. But, on a serious note, I would definitely do SOMETHING to end it all if I were terminally ill and in a high level of pain. Life would Not be worth living like that and I wouldn't want to be a burden to ANYONE. I feel bad enough now my OH has to do the shopping!

    I am in the process of preparing a "Living Will" actually which should take care of such things. (Not the shopping!)

    As for the "exterminator" on each street corner, I suppose with the way that disablement payments etc are NOT GIVEN, and people living longer and being ill for longer, it opens the door for the Government to step in and to take up the idea!!
    My father is 100 years old in May so I might just see such a thing if longevity is hereditary.

    It is very interesting and controversial subject altogether.
    Steph.
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Steph

    I'm glad it made you laugh. I was worried that I had depressed you.

    The Living Will idea is very good, I think. Most people don't like to think about things like terminal illness or death, but really we should put our houses in order long before anything arises. This makes it much easier for relatives too.

    How marvellous that your father is nearly 100 :!: Longevity is in my family too, so I have high hopes.
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  • oneday
    oneday Member Posts: 1,650
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What was that film called with....forgotten his name now..malcom something or other and people were killed at a certain age but only the rulers knew....the people just thought something magical would happen.......bit science fiction like made in the 60s or 70s.........
  • livinglegend
    livinglegend Member Posts: 1,425
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    joanlawson wrote:
    The novelist Martin Amis has called for euthanasia booths on street corners, where elderly people can end their lives with “a martini and a medal”.
    Joan
    There should be just one booth made, Martin Amis should be the first to use it and then it could be destroyed, having achieved his wishes.

    Joseph 8)
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  • oneday
    oneday Member Posts: 1,650
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    joanlawson wrote:
    Hi

    THE novelist Martin Amis has called for euthanasia booths on street corners, where elderly people can end their lives with “a martini and a medal”.

    The author of Time’s Arrow and London Fields even predicts a Britain torn by internal strife in the 2020s if the demographic timebomb of the ageing population is not tackled head-on.

    “How is society going to support this silver tsunami?” he asks in an interview in The Sunday Times Magazine.

    “There’ll be a population of demented very old people, like an invasion of terrible immigrants, stinking out the restaurants and cafes and shops. I can imagine a sort of civil war between the old and the young in 10 or 15 years’ time.”

    Amis, himself 60 and a grandfather, added: “There should be a booth on every corner where you could get a martini and a medal.''

    Martin Amis is being intentionally provocative, but his idea has some appeal to me, ( not yet for a while though!) What do you think?

    Joan
    There should be just one booth made, Martin Amis should be the first to use it and then it could be destroyed, having achieved its aim.

    Joseph 8)

    haa haa :lol:
  • mellman01
    mellman01 Member Posts: 5,303
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It’s bizarre you can’t decide you own fate, a loved one can’t assist you in any way or they will be under threat of prosecution, yet the very system that enforces this rule is quite happy to let people sit on waiting lists for life saving operations and allow NICE to withhold desperately needed drugs due to cost causing misery and death to those who need them.
    The government is quite happy to let you smoke or drink yourself into an early grave just so long as they get a cut of the cash you spend doing it, the supporters of the anti side of this argument are predominately followers of religion, these people feel they need to impose their views and wishes on those around them as they can’t abide anyone going against gods will(if he exists that is), that’s ok if you’re a believer but not much comfort if your not, now not all followers see none believers views as heresy but a sizable majority do, and theoretically under criminal law in the past it was possible to be hung if you failed in a suicide attempt you can’t win can you!.
    It’s very odd if not perverse that doctors can stop giving you food or water so you die a slow and horrible death or turn off your life support so you suffocate yet if you ask for a way out you can’t have it, nope you sit there and suffer like a good little heretic I’ll tell you when how dare you even ask for assistants..
    As far as I am concerned no one has the right to tell me what I can or can’t do with my life I want and will have that choice regardless of any law or the view of those around me I will decide my fate, not the state and not the god squad but me and me alone.
    Mind you I wouldn’t mind clocking off in the orgasmatron, WOW what a way to go!
    Oh Joan your right about Deadcat 90% of those who live there would qualify for a free go.
  • chile168
    chile168 Member Posts: 384
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    mellman01 wrote:
    What a great idea!, wow just think how much fun the drunks on a Saturday night could have with one.
    But what you really need is an age Inebriation and IQ detector in them, if you match 2 out of 3 it's the big sniff for the poor worn out old person or the drunk numpty.
    It could be called the Darwinator what do you think!??,it's got a ring to it don't u think?. :shock:

    :lol: Mellman01, Darwinator? Are you saying only the fittest pensioner would survive it??????

    Eve
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Rehab

    Thank you for the link. It makes interesting reading, especially coming from Terry Pratchett, who is suffering from Alzheimer's.

    When my father was first diagnosed, I will never forget the look of fear and despair on his face. Although I tried to reassure him, he knew the full implications of the disease, and he was anxious to shield me and my mother from the trials and tribulations which he knew would inevitably follow. The first 18 months of the illness were torture to him, because he was aware of his steady decline.

    He had been a newspaper editor who always prided himself on his knowledge of current affairs. He was well respected for his command of the English language, and he set many others along the road to a career in journalism. He was responsible for giving Jeremy Clarkson his first job in journalism. ( whether that was a good thing or not I will leave you to decide! )

    As the disease progressed, I was actually relieved in some ways, because he was no longer aware of his situation, although the burden of caring for him became intolerable.

    If assisted suicide had been available to him, would he have accepted it at the beginning? I don't know, but I feel that he probably would have. It would have spared him the mental agony of observing his own decline, and it would have been kinder to us, his family.

    Sorry if this is all rather depressing, but with an ageing population, it is something which is likely to affect more families in the future. I salute Terry Pratchett for opening up the debate.
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  • chile168
    chile168 Member Posts: 384
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Joanlawson,

    So sorry to hear the news of your father's illness, and from reading what you and your family went through it was obviously heartbreaking. I must admit that I don't know about the subject other than it a degenerative disease and unfortunately no cure and my heart goes out to families who have to watch their loved one deteriorate.

    I have not read the link but I strongly believe any topic whether taboo or not deserves to be brought forward.

    Love xxxxx
    Eve
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you, Eve. I agree that subjects like this should not be taboo, even though we don't like to think about them too often.

    Perhaps people like Martin Amis and Terry Pratchett are trying to make us confront our fears.
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  • mellman01
    mellman01 Member Posts: 5,303
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    chile168 wrote:
    mellman01 wrote:
    What a great idea!, wow just think how much fun the drunks on a Saturday night could have with one.
    But what you really need is an age Inebriation and IQ detector in them, if you match 2 out of 3 it's the big sniff for the poor worn out old person or the drunk numpty.
    It could be called the Darwinator what do you think!??,it's got a ring to it don't u think?. :shock:

    :lol: Mellman01, Darwinator? Are you saying only the fittest pensioner would survive it??????

    Eve

    Sadly Yes, we are now so controlled by “health and safety” we positively encourage numpties to breed and teach their off spring to be as or if not more stupid than their so called parents, many years ago we had wars to control the turnips but toady we have the DHSS, think of it as fuel for a numpty reactor such as Didcot, just 5 minutes on the high street there will prove the point.!