To be clear, I’m not there yet – not even close. I still find life eminently worth living. But this may not always be the case, and that’s why I’m addressing this controversial and sobering subject.
Death is not my greatest fear. Life is, or at least a certain type of life. Two examples:
1. The pain and mental anguish associated with a long, drawn out death.
2. Becoming a prisoner in a body that no longer allows me to interact with the world around me in a positive and meaningful way.
I don’t know how to define item 2, but I think I’ll know it if/when I get there.
These are the types of things I worry about. But they wouldn’t be as frightening if I had some say in the matter - if I had some control over the circumstances of my death, should I ever get to the point that I want to exercise such control.
If either of the two situations above were to occur today, I would have no legal recourse to choose when or how to end my suffering. Not only that, but at least in my case, I would have no practical recourse either. I would be in such compromised physical condition that I would be unable to end my life without assistance from others. I don’t have the strength of will that one of my fellow MS bloggers exhibited a couple of years ago when he made the conscious decision to starve himself to death. Nobody should have to resort to that.
In subsequent posts, I’ll present some of the perceived advantages and disadvantages of legalizing physician-assisted suicide. I’m sorry for those of you who visit this blog primarily for its uplifting posts. But frankly, reducing my current anxiety by giving me more control over my end-of-life decisions is an uplifting subject to me.
Click here for Physician-Assisted Dying – Part Two – The Arguments Against Legalization