If you are looking for a window into the human condition, but you do not have the time to read books, just look at a collection of book reviews. This can be done in bite-size morsels on your phone while you wait for a train. My first post on this blog is entitled ‘We are all dreaming…’ and it outlines my view that our personal experience is one long dream in which our mind creates a narrative to make sense of the constant steam of information that relentlessly washes over us. All these individual dreams weave together to form a collective dream that we call our culture, and this leads to the idea that we all live a shared life. Anyone who had read the rest of this blog, or my books, should be familiar with my outlook on this concept. So what does this have to do with book reviews?
When it comes to assisted dying, I believe there are four categories into which most people fall.
1. Fundamentally committed to legalised assisted dying as a matter of principle.
2. In favour of assisting people to die without undue suffering.
3. Concerned about the ramifications of the legalisation of assisted dying.
4. Fundamentally opposed to legalised assisted dying as a matter of principle.
People in the first and fourth categories are fixed in their views, but I think those in second and third categories are more flexible in their approach to the issue, and can have a foot on either the line that divides support from opposition. As I have mentioned in previous posts, the journey I embarked upon as I created the characters and plots for “The Sin of Choice” was one where I expanded the scope of my view, and this is reflected in a story that shows the problems that exist on both sides of the issue, from public policy to private pain. I started in the second category because I only looked at my own situation, but after widening my thinking, I took a step into the third category, but only with one foot. The distance moved was not great, but the implications were. I believe that most people are in these middle categories, and I think it is also likely that many people stradle the line between the two.