A commenter came to This Site today, expressing a belief that the Department for Work and Pensions wants sick or disabled claimants to die – and that the government would have its way because people like him will become suicidal.
He wrote: “They just want us to die. They may get their wish when people like me feel suicidal and worrying for the future.”
That isn’t the answer. This Writer always tries to dissuade people who say they are considering suicide in response to government cruelty.
I wrote back: “Do not give in to suicidal thoughts.
“That is exactly what the Tories want because then you are off their books and they can claim the death is nothing to do with their policies.
“If you feel like a burden to them, be a burden to them! They are causing you enough trouble, aren’t they? I mean, if you’ve been pushed so far you might actually try to take your own life, I would say that is indicative of being caused more trouble than you deserve – and by people who should be helping you.
“Never let them have an easy time of it.
“Fight them, tooth and claw.
“I know it’s hard because I have done it. But defiance is the only way.”
Of course, direct DWP cruelty is slightly different from that suffered by Marie Lopez in the Sunday Mirror‘s story. She was saying she had been let down by Buckinghamshire Social Services.
But it is true that people with Crohn’s Disease are ill-served by Personal Independence Payment assessors. According to Crohn’s and Colitis UK, the PIP descriptors “include a much narrower range of activities than DLA, and focuses only on those activities required for the bare essentials of existing.
“Crohn’s and Colitis UK are concerned that the new system focuses on a much narrower range of activities is less sensitive to the complex needs of people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
“The PIP assessment fails to adequately recognise or measure the additional disability costs and barriers to participation encountered by people with little understood conditions such as IBD.”
From the account given by Ms Lopez, it is clear that she is not in receipt of PIP.
So, challenged by not one but two brutal bureaucracies, no wonder Ms Lopez is suicidal. But This Writer cannot condone her decision.
She needs somebody to fight for her – not to give up and let the Tories add another death to their already-horrifying tally.
Wracked with pain, and after eight years on morphine, Marie Lopez has finally chosen death over a life blighted by illness and cruel spending cuts.
This once vibrant businesswoman has spent her every last penny paying for her own care after social services left her to suffer in agony.
Now she is using her last £10,000 to buy an end to her ordeal at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, even though she is not dying.
And she blames Government cuts for her decision to die at the Lifecircle Clinic in Basel.
When he heard of Marie’s plight, [I, Daniel Blake film] director [Ken] Loach told the Sunday Mirror: “So many people have been treated with great cruelty by the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions), it’s not surprising to hear of one more.
“Everyone’s heart should go out to anyone contending with both a debilitating illness and a brutal bureaucracy”.
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