And If I Die

I’ve stipulated it in my will. I have completed and filed my medical directives. I’ve done what I have been advised to do to tell my family and the medical professionals who might be present in what could be my last hours: do not keep me alive by artificial means. If the likelihood is high that I will not regain my ability to interact with and enjoy my family, let me go. If I would require attachment to a machine to keep me alive, let me die. If my quality of life would suffer dramatically, let me die. Or, if you’re truly a humanitarian and I refuse to die on my own, kill me as painlessly as possible and don’t get caught.

Tonight, I watched a documentary called Extremis. It made me sad to realize, while thinking through the film and the people who are NOT allowed to die with dignity, that some people are forced to live through unspeakable physical and/or mental pain to satisfy their survivors’ craving for closure or their delusion that God will step in to address the obviously erroneous circumstances surrounding a loved-one’s imminent demise.

If I Die. What an absurd comment! Of course I will. I hope that moment will be a while in coming. A long while.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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