March 23, 2005

Write to Life

Right to Life?
Life isn't so bad. Its a matter of degree that depends on your outlook. The emphasis here is important. Your outlook - not someone else's. Some folks would drink poison before they would live in an iron lung. Others figure they can squeeze enough joy, or at least enough moral consistency out of iron lung living to make the indignity of it all worth while. It is a choice. Such are the natural trials and tribulations of life that some of us will be faced with making a real time live or die choice for ourselves.

The Doc tells you news of your impending, painful slide into a permanent vegetative state. You stop off on your way home and visit with your lawyer. Back home, you write a few notes and call the cops before going into the back yard to eat your pistol. I think this is a reasonable reaction. It might not be a good reaction, in the eyes of God and everyone else. But it is your reaction, your plan, and you effectuate it. You don't want to live with the tubes, maybe only half there. It is your choice.

I think any person, even if they aren't in their right mind, has a God given right to make that choice, and if it be in their power, to give effect to their decision. If you find yourself not in your right mind, as Ms. Schiavo finds herself now, you face an ugly problem. You must depend upon either having communicated your wishes effectively beforehand, or upon your ability to blink and wink and gurgle your desires to whomever is at hand. And they might not be friends. They might want you to suffer when you would rather be dead or, vice-versa, to finish you off just when you were getting used to it.

If this prospect concerns you, by all means join the Write to Life movement and get yourself a living will or durable power of attorney or whatever it takes in your state to give effect to your wishes after you are incapacitated. If you don't have a lawyer, go ask your state bar association for help. Get their advice and take it! Then, hope and pray and live your life so that you don't fall helpless in a strange land or among enemies. Or in Florida.
What happens if you change your mind? Say you become a vegetable and find out it really suits you. You didn't think you'd like being vegetative when your signed that living will. But now that you've tried it you are thinking, "Life isn't so bad. Its a matter of degree. Now, where's my feeding tube?" Wink Wink

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