Terry Pratchett and Euthanasia

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:53 am

The Guardian has published an edited extract of UK author Terry Pratchett’s lecture Shaking Hands with Death, which discusses euthanasia through the lens of his father’s death and his own battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

I don’t wish, at this time, to start a discussion about euthanasia/assisted suicide, nor do I intend to write a living eulogy or hagiography of Pratchett, who has been one of my favourite authors for more than half my life (and whose work, I am proud to say, is now enjoyed by no less than three generations of my own family).

I simply wanted to highlight this article, which I think is remarkable for Pratchett’s humour (although hardly surprising in a way given his novels, but welcome given the subject matter) and grace in talking about his disease, and his level-headedness in discussing an issue that has the tendency to instantly raise tempers and exclude rationality.  I think he’s an amazing man.  I’ve thought that for a long time, but things like this make me believe it even more fervently.

Health permitting, Pratchett will be attending the next Nullus Anxietus convention, which is in Sydney in 2011.  I’ve been slack about getting to a convention so far, even though they’ve always been in Melbourne, but perhaps I will have to make the effort this time around.  Road trip, anyone?