Wednesday, 22 October 2014

the case for death

Recently there has been a lot of coverage in my reading circles about Brittany Maynard, who made a video about her decision to 'die with dignity'.

Death is something I think about a lot. If I have a spare moment, I'm probably thinking about how much I want to die, how to die, who died, how much I don't want to die, how I don't want my loved ones to die etc.

When I first learned about euthanasia, I was of course unnerved by the concept of open mediated death. But mum said it can be a good thing - a way to alleviate additional suffering from terminal illness, as in Brittany's case. However, as with all things, the right to euthanise is accompanied by the risk of people abusing the system - to access inheritances etc. Still, between euthanasia and no euthanasia, having an option to chose death appeals more to me, despite the legal complexities which may arise from euthanasia.

Back to Brittany - I was all for her cause, but at the same time when I read her interview where she stressed that she was not suicidal, I felt that this negative connotation associated with suicide is uncalled for, and I had an epiphany of sorts.

One day we will live in a world where people can chose an assisted death even if they do not suffer from terminal illness of the body.

People who want to die should be free and able to do so, without causing train delays (by jumping in front of incoming train), scarring innocent bystanders (by letting people stumble upon your body - cut up / burnt / smashed into pieces / just hanging), taking away limited medical personnel from people who want to live (v stupid suicide attempts which they probably knew wouldn't work).

When you give people a legit way to die, my guess is majority of them will realise living is not so bad after all. Living things are usually born with an instinct, a need to live. (Plus death could be much, much worse.) And if these people really want to die, we may as well help them ease their suffering of the mind. Save the resources for people who want them.

And why are people of judgemental of people's lifestyle - deathstyle? - choices. Think of all the things people couldn't accept in the past - homosexuality, for example - but which are more okay with the general public now. They were born this way, you might think. Well, serious suicide contenders might be born that way, too.

I shared my - rudimentary - 'progressive crazy thinking' with K, who thought it was nonsensical and just crazy and said that I am the most idealistic person she has ever met.

On a personal note, I am recently really feeling the urge to cook! I have a bajillion recipes collected but I guess they would have to wait until November!

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