Pornography of death


Thinking of death makes you nostalgic. What great times when you went to the other world minding your own business. The only certain thing about the only certain thing in life was that it would happen ‘at its own time’.
But everything has evolved. Not only have we got mobile phones with the TV and the backside of your nephew on them, not only have we got the 4 wheel drive and the utility Mercedes but we can add reanimations. They are born and we can no longer die in peace.
They make you breathe, stabilise your vital functions and they keep you alive when you would have been dead: a fourth dimension of staying in this world. At times this makes the doctors big-headed. When these things are discussed, God jumps out.
He’s involved to make conversation. Precision is reassuring. Intelligent bombs. Fridges that allow you to shop via the internet. Cars that watch out for you while you are turning round. Toilet seats that warm up and greet you. What has God got to do with all this? This new man who gets emotional about his toaster gets imprisoned in nothingness, in a technological limbo, when he should be meeting his Maker!
And here are the Italians considering the ethical problem of death: a desperate person is in a desperate situation. He asks Napolitano to be allowed to die. It would be enough if someone would stand on the tube: and in his own home. But he writes to the President. Who replies basically that it’s up to him.
That man is in an extreme situation but he wants to think of the others. How does the country answer?
It replies with the fetishism of death. The tragedy creates a video, a soft video… little more than a soap bubble. We too enter the Intensive Care Unit.
We get familiar with the respirators, the infusion pumps, the aortic counterpulsators, the tubes, the aspirators and the special mattresses costing twenty thousand euros.
It’s great to see the monitors with the coloured traces that go with the TV cameras into the operating theatre. We’ll not be selling our own bodies to the universities, we’ll sell them to a reality show so that when we die, they’ll do a live autopsy.
After a crash course about reanimation techniques and all sorts of declarations, finally, the country decides nothing.
We are not the ones who have to turn off the machines for the dying person. Once the voyeurism has terminated we can start an ethical discussion respecting death. A private fact. I don’t want to die thinking of the cost/benefit analysis. Let’s turn everything off before the birth of the fitness of the corpse. Pannella has offered to turn off the machines if Piergiorgio Welby should ask.
But his relatives can already do it at any time. I’m going beyond that. I’m offering to Piergiorgio, straight away, to throw out of his house the TV, the journalists and all the pornographers of death.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:21 AM in | Comments (13)
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Messiah, yes, sure.

The magic flute, rather!

Posted by: Ciulina Giacomini Ndocazzèlitalia | October 5, 2006 01:11 PM

I have recently ordered and received the two Beppe grillo's dvds.Having watched them both,
i suddenly realised that someone should notify
the Jewish people the world over about the fact
that the Messiah they've been waiting for thousands of years has actually arrived and is
here with us. Only problem is, he is'nt a Jew
but a Genovese!!!!

Posted by: Vanni Zanella | October 4, 2006 06:51 PM

Spare them the pain: Kill'em while they're healthy!

Posted by: Mike Triggerhappy | October 4, 2006 01:45 AM

In Canada no politician want to touch the euthanasia hot potatoe. A very large majority of Canadians are in favour, but our politicians refuse to even discuss the issue in fear of alienating the powerful churches and their followers. We are still being persecuted by these outdated institutions that are mainly concerned in making our lives miserable.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | October 3, 2006 11:19 PM

I agree with Maria Consuelo, a petition would be a good idea, maybe without practical results, but with a great impact on the public opinion.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 3, 2006 10:02 PM

As Raffaella said i firmly believe in one's right to choose.
But i have a huge question
Some time ago i decided to be cremated .
I therefore asked a few people and although i wish to donate my organs , it seems that ill have to pay for being burnt .
No matter how much money is spent i think that dying is becoming too much of a business.
A few months back my cousin's aunt died and it took them a whole month plus an article in the local newspaper to find her a place where her coffin could be put.
the problem was : too many young corpses were found in the burial place where she should have been placed.
As far as Mr. Welby's faith is concerned i heard that they basically want to avoid any sort of refendum on the subject, but if we rely on politicians Mr. Welby might be waiting another a hundred years before a decision is taken.
Mr. Grillo what do you think about setting up a petition on you website? Would it be of any help?

Posted by: Maria Consuelo Spera | October 3, 2006 09:39 PM

Since euthanasia will continue to take place, even though it's illegal, it would surely be better to make it legal and regulate it so as to minimize the type of abuse Beppe is talking about, as well as any potential abuse from family members who may have something to gain from the patient's death. However, this must be done by ensuring that appropriate safeguards are put in place. And for such safeguards to be meaningful and effective, they have to involve investigations of the patient's psyche, his/her family dynamics and the financial implications of his/her death, along with the more obvious such as the patient's medical condition, and the likely course of the disease/condition.

In order to ensure that requests are properly considered, by the patient, the family, and the authorities, these regulations would also need to build in a time-period for reconsideration.

Proper regulation must also make sure that a patient was receiving good palliative care before a request for euthanasia is considered.

Although the procedures outlined above are time-consuming and expensive, that does not mean that they are impractical. After all, abortion is not that far removed from euthanasia, and that is now legally and effectively controlled.

Posted by: Aidan Smyth | October 3, 2006 07:39 PM

Sosteniamo tutti la mamma di Aldro perchè certe cose non accadano piu'!!!!

Posted by: gustavo marongiu | October 3, 2006 04:59 PM

True again Raffa!!
We need to teach our children to think ahead about these issues along with donating organs, (all taboos up until recently).
The problems we see discussed nowadays concern persons of older age who have never thought of such things and whose judgment is almost definitely effected by religion and ethics,
and as Enrico said many have forgotten Hippocrates oath...

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 3, 2006 02:52 PM

Paola, in those cases the decision is very hard to take.
For this reason I think it's important the possibility to dictate the own last will and biological testament, when you are in good healt, about this extreme eventuality.
In case of incapability this testament would be authoritative.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 3, 2006 02:40 PM

We cannot consider our societies civilized unless euthanasia is accepted as a fundamental right of the individual. Doctors have long forgotten the Hippocratic oath of doing "no harm" and we are now faced with nightmarish scenarios of many years spent either in agony or as living dead.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | October 3, 2006 12:32 PM

I am with you Raffa.
Only one exception, what if the patient is also mentally ill and cannot decide for himself, what then?? Whose decision will prevail??

Posted by: paola filinesi | October 3, 2006 12:18 PM

I'm 100% for the individual right to decide if the own life must be continued or not, when the individual conditions of life are intolerable or undignified. Only the patient himself can decide if he want going on with persistent clinical nterventions, and nobody can say a world against this decision.
Nobody will forced to practise euthanasia or to pull the plug out if he doesn't want to do it.
Everyone has own opinions about life and death, according with religious and moral convictions, but nobody can decide for anybody else to remain alive under individually intolerable conditions.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | October 3, 2006 11:43 AM

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