Birth and death

(I know, right after posting my birthday post!)

None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master. While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants. Both in life and in death we are the Lord’s. That is why Christ died and came to life again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

–Romans 14:7-9

This story is sad, and disgusting.

In states across the country, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, graying baby boomers have been lobbying lawmakers in recent months at hearings, in letters and by phone, pushing to make it legal for doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients. Advocates and opponents say there is more support this year than in past attempts with five states considering such legislation…

“The baby boomers are aging, and we all have witnessed or are about to witness the death of our parents or people very close to us,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, who runs the advocacy group Compassion & Choices, which lobbies for so-called aid-in- dying laws. “There is an attitude difference about the boomer generation. There is an expectation that we can be empowered and we can impact our fate.”

Guess what. You’re not empowered. You know who decides when you die? God does. You don’t get to, darling. If you’re sick, and you’re terminally ill, and nothing more can be done for you, you can choose not to have life preserving measures, that really won’t help you (i.e., machinery in an ICU). You always have the right to refuse treatment and to enter into hospice, where yes, you can die peacefully, and without pain.

The most common reasons cited for ending life in Washington were a loss of autonomy, dignity and the ability to participate in the things that make life enjoyable.

“Most people we hear from are fairly well educated and they don’t like the choices available in the medical world,” said Judy Epstein, director of clinical services at Compassion & Choices, who oversees the Denver-based group’s volunteers and has been at several assisted deaths. “They are people who want to be proactive and want to ensure they will have a peaceful death on their own terms, that they won’t be in a hospital on a ventilator, that they won’t be knocked out on drugs or be in pain.”

Again,t his is lack of knowledge about how these things work. You do not have to be in a hospital or on a ventilator. And, um, if you don’t want to be in pain, well then, you will be sort of knocked out on drugs. It’s a choice. You can be present, or in pain. Pick. This is such an example of the selfishness of people, the way people want everything done the way they want it. It reminds me of Veruca Salt, in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”: “Don’t care how/ I want it now!”

They think they’re being noble. “Oh, I don’t want to be a burden on my family.” everyone is a burden on their family. That’s what family does–it takes care of each other. I am a TOTAL burden on my family, sometimes. My mom has had to change my dressings, administer IV drugs, bathe me. My dad has spent tons of nights in an ER, in an ICU, in a hospital ward, getting no sleep and taking showers in cramped hospital bathrooms and then going to work. Do I think that sometimes their lives would be easier if I wasn’t there? I guess I have. But I don’t think they’d think that.

If you are concerned about death with dignity, that can happen. Hospice. Palliative care. These are options. If you are afraid of pain, that can be dealt with. If you do not want machines or live saving measures, you can fill out a living will and invest someone with power of attorney, to make sure your wishes are fulfilled.

Death is a totally natural part of life. We are so afraid of it, so afraid of pain and things we can’t control. This attitude needs to be adjusted, post-haste.

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One thought on “Birth and death

  1. Pingback: Seven Quick Takes Vol. 16 | A Year of Living Adventurously

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