Eff's Rambles (Archive)

10/05/2005

Death with Dignity?

Well, I might look into the Oregon assisted suicide case later, but I can say right off hand that it's not easy to feel immediate empathy for the federal government's case against the law in Oregon, which, as I understand it, allows a doctor to prescribe drugs which can be taken in lethal doses to hasten death in a less or unpainful manner for those whom are terminally ill with 6 month or less to live. But the case is not my immediate interest right now, though I am curious about it.

What I am interested in at the moment is the phrase "death with dignity." I can imagine how some people would feel this way, especially if the disease that strikes them will effect them in terrible ways. But, and this speaks only for myself, were I that ill I am not sure, even with the most terrible last few weeks, days and hours I could imagine, if I would feel I died without dignity. And who knows, in some cases, if I could tell if I was without dignity? I also doubt I would feel dignified in dying by medication overdose. Still, I am not here to judge people, and my empathy is with Oregon, but I do find it interesting how people perceive dignity.

To me, though I might die horribly, so long as before that period I felt I was a dignified person, if I do have a spirit, I think it will forgive itself.

2 Comments:

  • Yea, I don't really know where/how the "death with dignity" came about, but I suppose it is just a slogan for the euthanasia cause.

    I don't see anyone who suffers a long and debilitating illness, even in the last weeks of horrible pain, whatever the situation, being undignified. I don't think it is the dignity we are looking for, it is the humanity. To have 6 months to live, knowing it will riddled with constant and excruciating pain, unable to think clearly, or live life with any kind of enjoyment. To be able to quietly die under that kind of circumstance is humane.

    I don't see where dignity enters into it at all, unless it is a way of saying "taking control of one's life", but that doesn't really work either.

    By Blogger melusina, at 10/06/2005 03:24:00 PM  

  • I think a lot of it has to do with appearance. Death without the tubes, IVs, hospital gown. I also believe it has to do with the lasting image they want leave to loved ones.

    By Blogger Eff, at 10/06/2005 03:27:00 PM  

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