What Dignity there be in Death? (Reposted from Old Blog)

What dignity is there in Death?

Hyppocrates, the father of modern medicine, stated in 400 B.C., “I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel”.

I could get really graphic here and tell you what happens to the human body when people decide to go the death route voluntarily. No different or less gross than when by accident or eventual death, but it might take away the veneer of romanticized ideas. Oh and the injections they give prisoners to kill them? Please remember these guys (and one woman) are pretty much paralyzed so any reactions is not going to be seen. Frankly getting your life snuffed out of you is neither dignified nor pretty, no matter how they packaged it.

Death with dignity.
One of the main books on self suicide.

His book was ground breaking on trying to change the Hyppocrates oath from almost 3000 years ago. For all of our advances in our technological knowledge and even our medical knowledge. Frankly the more we have learn, we have learn how little we know. Those who are truly wise, have learn they are much further from God than they ever imagined themselves.

I do advocate a natural death in place of kept alive by any means possible for those who do not wish it. Sometimes, enough IS enough. Some argue that for those who linger and life has no dignity left, they should be allowed to have that natural death denied them. I will not debate the extreme cases here, those who have pain that can not be stilled, or nightmares they can not awake from after decades of suffering from them. In those cases, I feel inadequate to argue anything. But for those who are not in undue pain, who lives are seemingly marginal, and maybe look to have no function left, on these topics, I have some experience I can speak of.

I grew up next to a “rest home” which to me always seem to be a weird name for a place. Granted the places I saw in the late 60’s and early 70’s were hell holes when my Nanny was in them (Great Granny), and restful was not the word I use at all. Wheel chairs tied to walls and people slumped in them wailing or drooling, or with buckets underneath. (I was around 9 when it was the last time I went to one). My Mother swore she never let her own Mom into one, even though the two fought like cats when together. She kept her promise. I also remember peering through the cracks in the fence or sneaking into my brothers room to look down from his window to look into their “Yards”. They had yards, but no flowers, and no one was ever out there as far as I could see. Out front however, you see them smiling at us kids as we walk by and I would learn how much they love my white cat (Prince) whom they named Angel because he would take turn sitting on each of their laps. I also remember the Christmas Caroling as girl scouts in those homes. None of them ever had the word “Rest” in action as far as I could see, more like restless.

So if their life was restless and they could no longer fuction or go anywhere, why not let them die with dignity? Because as things did change, so did the elder care. Life became more precious for a while, now it is threatening to become cheap. Not only because of abortion which started by killing the basis of our lives (creation of new humans). But Eutthanasia is also becoming a form of “perfecting” the human race “The Weekend Clean Up” Writes on this most bluntly. This points out what happens when life become cheaper. As long as you are able and healthy, what do you have to worry about? If your Mom or Dad get too expensive for you to care for, or cut too much into your inheritance, well, all they are doing is drooling and pooping in their pants right, so lets say they are suffering and get it done and over with. Think that only happens on T.V. or other places. Don’t be so naive. It happened in my own family against others who were elder. It shaped the growing up of my sister and I to the point where we have active distaste for elder abuse and inheritance in-law fighting. Frankly it seems as if as soon as grandma become a dotty dotard, its time to push her over the cliffs because she can’t bake you cookies anymore?

Then of course, with the aging Baby Boomers, all of a sudden that old argument “Well it has nothing to do with me” sudden come to bite many of my elders in the butt. (Technically I am a boomer, but at the bottom rung, so I don’t really count myself there, yet…)

All the nitty gritty details
Nothing left out on how the body "goes".

I know (or perhaps knew, since I am no longer able to access what has happened to her), her family has pretty much left her in Mexico in a nursing home, very much like those in the 70’s, except for the excesses of cats and dogs allowed to run around and the profusion of flowers that grow in the tropical climate and all that goes with the tropics. While she could still speak, she begged to be removed from there. My family did indeed try to do just that. But laws worked against us, and it finally got to the point where even her own brother gave up, when she no longer could speak sentences or even recognized him over the phone. My sister and I were horified by what happened to her but helpless to do anything. We had no legal recourse, we are not her legal family, only a friend. Today I still grieve for her, I wonder what has happened. If I had the money, I would go down there and seek her out. I can not legally take her out of Mexico (she is a US citizen but someone else is holding her passport). Thing is, she is not alone. I wonder, if euthanasia is legal, would they have simply (they being anyone who has the power) injected her and be done with the care of her?

Is this what you want for yourself? Because unless you die young, you will most likely die old. How you are treated then, does depend on what laws we have now and are passed. What is more, what kind of culture about death are we building here? Is it one where death is a thing that happens and so what? Life is a mass of cells that walk around, pollutes the planet and if lucky does a couple of nice things then die? Then we are a even sorrier excuse for life than when babies were regularly BBQed sacrificed, as a birth control method of controlling enemies, (they said it was for feeding the gods, but come on, it really was to keep them from having more soldiers and farmers).

So you see, it really does impact you, even if you are only 22. So what you gonna do about it? Sit there, read, then shrug it off till too late you are 72 and stroke makes YOU drool and poop in your pants. What do you want if you can still think then? Or, here’s another, what if its your child in your arms, hit by a car, crippled. Now what? Bit different huh? You might hear “let her go, she deserves to go into the light.” A load of crap if you ask me, she still got a lot of living to do first, I would growl back. A disabled child is hell to raise, but they can raise hell right back on what needs to be done to treat people right too. Maybe that what it takes, more of us Disabled bending the stupid needle where it belongs, in the healthy ass of politicians who want to vote for this as a way to cut health care…

Not a pretty thought, but one you might want to figure out a bit, oh and make that living will thing, it might help…. Mine?
Keep me alive for at least 1 year after declared “brain dead” just to be sure, then you can pull the plug. Yep, I am that sure.

Nancy Louise.

Next Week, the “other” death by choice, someone else’s.