In the past, nature resolved everything. Now, with the advent of modern medicine, man is overriding the will of Mother Nature, and herein lies the problem.
I read in horror about the former Seinfeld actor who tried to kill himself and failed at his attempt (to read the full story, click here). He wanted to die because another leg was scheduled to be amputated and he was getting tired…tired of struggling…tired of living a life that was becoming increasingly dependent on others. I understand why he wanted to move on to the next life. I just can’t understand his how. Shooting yourself is never a peaceful way to go. Now, he’s in critical condition. Imagine the mental anguish.
When animals break a leg or get sick, they go off to die. Nature takes care of itself. Humans used to be like this. Diseases like cancer or diabetes would take over the host, but death was rarely prolonged. Don’t get me wrong, modern medicine is good—sometimes a little too good. After reading about Don Cornelius and Daniel von Bargen, I’m beginning to wonder if assisted suicide isn’t such a bad option. Maybe Jack Kevorkian had it right. Assisted suicide would offer a peaceful way to go so people won’t be compelled to shoot themselves like Mr. von Bargen did.
Suffering never looks good. Losing my independence is one of my worst fears. I don’t want to be a burden on my little girl when I get old. If an illness struck me, I would fight it at first, but if it appears that my quality of life is going to suffer—that I won’t be able to fully recover—I would rather be put out of my misery.
My family and I were blessed. We didn’t have to watch my mother battle cancer for very long. After her health went downhill, it didn’t take long for her to release herself from this life, which is as it should have been. As my family and I were forced to talk with the doctors about what we would do if she had to be incubated, I prayed that it wouldn’t come to that. I didn’t want to have to make the decision of prolonging her life in such a disabled state. Thank God we didn’t have to. Nature took care of it and she passed on.
For those people who nature isn’t so kind to, I say: What about assisted suicide? People are allowed to decide whether or not they want to bring a life into this world. Why not be able to decide when (and how) you want to leave? Of course I’m not saying that people should be able to kill themselves at random or willy-nilly. No. Professional counseling should be involved. And it should only become an option if disease is ravaging your body or if your quality of life has become so poor that you can’t bear to live anymore.
My prayers are with Don and Daniel. May they find peace.