Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Dying With Dignity?
The phrase "death with dignity" has over time become synonymous with the right to die - the belief that one should have some say on how one exits one's own life. It is a phrase regurgitated over and over - accepted - repeated so often that one doesn't question the intent. But the more I think about it, I wonder if anybody really dies with dignity. I can't quite equate the helplessness that I anticipate at the end with that notion - nothing about relenting to someone else's hands seems all that dignified to me. Quite the opposite, in fact. I suppose the packaging for something like this is critical - every cause needs a good hook - something to elevate death from the negative and turn it into a positive - something that makes the whole campaign sing. It is not that I don't support an individual's right to choose - I just think the pain of those choices - the messiness of the whole business - is lost somehow. I don't suspect most people meet the end with their heads held high - though anything is possible. It seems the whole business is about handing over your will to others. One hopes the "others" don't hinder the process - but watching some of the court activity on this topic I am not so sure. Who trumps who - the people providing care - the family - the patient? I hope I know the answer to that question.