The ebb and flow of the life force

In an earlier post regarding hints that the government would like to (and will eventually) stop treating people who are terminally ill or badly injured, I pointed out that even those who think, in the cold, clinical light of good health that they’d want to pull the plug if they found themselves in extremis don’t actually feel that way when they’re suddenly facing death.  That is, just because the government doesn’t think your life is worthwhile doesn’t mean you don’t think your life is worthwhile.

Chuck, who was seriously wounded during the Iraq War, provides the flip side to this fact.  With serious illness or injury comes depression.  (I can corroborate this one myself, having become deeply depressed a few decades ago after a major and debilitating surgery.)  Some might temporarily have that desire for life sucked out of them, and a government that capitalizes on that transient weakness is a government that kills its citizens.

No matter how you slice it, whether the government is deciding that the sick don’t deserve to get well, or that the depressed should be allowed to give in to their temporary state, the bottom line is very, very bad.  I’d rather be at the mercy of a million doctors and insurance companies than have to place my life in the hands of a monolithic, non-religious, non-profit driven (because dead people don’t buy insurance or pay bills) government system.

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  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    These are only some of the concerns that I have had about the legalization of euthanasia.

    Additionally, there are also the family (or primary group) dynamics. My father used to quip that he would hate to die with a lot of money in the bank. His idea of inheritance was you’re ready to go out into the world on your own and here’s your slice of the family pie to get you started. He cautioned me that when he died what he left would go to my mother and/or the Church.

    I have come across several situations of friends and associates being involved in potential inheritance situations and it can be a less than pretty picture as family members start to jockey for financial position. I guess the recent Michael Jackson fiasco would be a case in point. The man wasn’t/isn’t in the ground yet and his family members were running around going, “The Will, the Will, whose got the will?” Not a pretty sight in my eyes.

    Extended illnesses or infirmities also can and do deplete the emotional and psychological resources of families. The patients can see the drain that they put on their families and can be susceptible of subtle and not so subtle pressures to remove or end that burden.

    I guess that I have always thought that my gift of life was something that I didn’t cause or earn and that I was entitled to live it but not end it. Or let others end it.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    One disturbing thing about the apparent Democratic position on healthcare (I say “apparent” because it is so ill-defined and slippery) is the “what have you done for me lately?” attitude.

    That is, an 80-year-old may have worked very hard all his life, served in the military, and made great contributions to society…but an operation to save his life or protect him from great pain will be judged to be of less “value to society” than giving free psychological counseling to some neurotic 25-year-old who is having some kind of existential difficulties.

    Use ‘em up and throw ‘em away, seems to be the idea.

  • Bill Smith

    David,

    That’s easy! People will stop contributing to society as the 80 year old man did. What’s the point? Keep it for yourself, every man/woman for themselves!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    The Dems like preying on the weak. It’s easier than doing it the other way around.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Here’s something I read on a blog several years ago…wish I’d linked it, because now I can’t find it…but here’s the essence:

    An elderly gentleman in a British nursing home fell and couldn’t get up. The (male) attendant refused to help him, because his conditions of employment provided that he didn’t have to lift a weight of more than X pounds. (The man who fell was not obese–maybe 150 pounds or so, IIRC)

    The patient had been an RAF pilot in WWII, and the plane that he had flown was one of those quasi-obsolete aircraft that really shouldn’t have been in a WWII air battle at all and was being used only because of dire necessity. I believe the plane was a Gloster Gladiator, which was an actual biplane–for a period in 1940, the air defense of Malta was conducted by a squadron of Gladiators)

    So, here is someone who defended Britain by flying a plane he shouldn’t have had to fly in 1940 air combat–and 60 years later, some guy refuses to help him up because he doesn’t have to, according to the literal reading of a rulebook.