Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Ugliness of Modern Death

Craig Bowron's The Dying of the Light was a sobering glimpse into the state of dying in America. As he says:
To be clear: Everyone dies. There are no life-saving medications, only life-prolonging ones. To say that anyone chooses to die is, in most situations, a misstatement of the facts.
And later...
If we can be honest and admit that we have no choice about dying, then the only thing we do have a say in are the circumstances.
Don't get me wrong: I want to watch Mrs. Kid grow older (though she will forever be my child bride). I want to see my kids grow older. Maybe someday I will have grandchildren. Regardless, every day is precious. On the other hand, Quality of life is important.

I don't want to live a life that is so full of indignity and pain that death would be better. I don't think it makes sense for society to spend tons of money prolonging the lives of people who are ready to have nature take its course, while kids are going hungry. As modern medicine keeps on getting better at prolonging life, we are losing touch with natural patterns of life and death and that has its price.

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