Imagine a world where we get what we all deserve—a good death.
[A vision by Nigel Warburton, philosopher.]
Nothing seems much different.
The world is much the same as it is now.
People do the same sorts of things, have much the same joys and pains.
They're born, they grow up, they work, they play, have families, love, argue, enjoy their brief time on Earth.
It's just that if you go to the outskirts of any town, there's a new facility there.
It looks like a medical center.
It is, in a way.
A well-designed building with nice landscaping and a free car park.
If you go inside you'll discover what's going on.
The receptionist can explain.
There are leaflets too.
Everything is well ordered and calm.
Doctors, psychologists, counsellors and nurses work here.
But so too do specialists lawyers.
This is the "Good Death Centre", provided on the National Health Service.
Those who don't want to descend into the indignity of extreme dementia, or doubt the ability of palliative care to ease their exit from life, will come here when the time is right.
They'll choose the moments of their own deaths.
Most of us have a death plan and a living will now.
It's a great comfort to know that the option exists if the going gets too tough.
We've had euthanasia for pets for a very long time, but before the Good Death Centres, we forced our friends and relatives to endure months and sometimes years of agony and indignity against their will.
It now seems so cruel, so unnecessary, so pointless.
Of course there are safeguards.
No one gets to use the facility without thorough psychological examination and counselling.
This choice is only for the sound of mind and those who have demonstrated a genuine desire to die by these means.
You need a good reason such as a painful terminal illness or the first signs of dementia.
Consent has to be informed.
Life is much better now.
It's reassuring to know you don't have to endure it even when you've lost the power to take your own life.
I have my own death plan.
If I don't die my sleep, I expect to die in a Good Death Centre.