It’s long overdue. We’re hearing about people who want to die on their own terms. Ezekiel Emmanuel’s article, Why I Hope To Die At 75, should be required reading for everyone.
I get totally frustrated when I read (or hear) people say, “Suicide is selfish.” The survivors are the ones who are selfish. They’re asking their “loved one” to hang around long enough to be stuck in a nursing home, where it’s not considered abuse to tie someone to a chair in diapers in front of a television set. Even if they visit every day for an hour, which is extremely rare, they’re asking the relative to put up with 23 hours of misery so they can have a single hour, not to mention the “feel good” emotions of saying, “My mom…” or, “My dad…”
We also forget that more and more of us are single and living alone. We’re used to solitude. We’re not used to sharing. Just adding a caretaker to our lives removes all possibility of a decent quality of life.
Emmanuel’s article gets it right. The people who chug along into their 90s are outliers. Getting pneumonia is a blessing. The idea is to die before you become disabled. Ironically, if we knew we could pull the plug anytime on demand, many of us would choose to live longer.
I’m going to print out his article to share if I have to see a doctor again. They probably won’t listen but it might shorten the conversation.