Robert Langs distinguishes three types of death anxiety:
The author came to his own conclusion when his ailing mother decided that she had had enough. Carolyn Bower Solomon and Andrew Solomon In our family, discussions about euthanasia began long before my mother developed ovarian cancer.
We all signed living wills in the early eighties, and talked at that time about how uncivilized it was that the euthanasia option accepted in the Netherlands was not available to Americans. We all thought that a quiet death was the best kind — in your sleep, at home, when you were very old.
Young and optimistic, I assumed we would all die that way at some point in the very remote future.
The matter remained wholly abstract until my maternal grandmother had cataract surgery. She went in for this procedure in her late eighties, possessed of that acerbic intelligence I had known in her since my childhood. It took five days for her to regain consciousness, and when she did she was a rather tedious little old lady without much of a sense of humor and with no real opinions.
For the remainder of her life, my grandmother read no books or newspapers, formed no opinions, and called none of the people who had been her friends. She ceased to show the slightest interest in going out with the family and refused even to come to our house for Christmas Day.
She griped about the shortcomings of her food and catalogued endless small aches and pains. That was the extent of her conversation.
She was not, however, plagued by agonizing disease, and she did not show the real incoherence of senility. And so there was now something disconcerting about the energy with which my mother talked about euthanasia. And my mother retreated into a kind of angry sadness: It is clear to me in retrospect that my grandmother hung on for those eighteen months only because she thought that it was expected of her — that she had to wait until one of her durable organs gave up.
Reconciling individual experience and universal principle is bound to be problematic, but the gap yawns particularly wide here; nor does it narrow as the right-to-die movement gains momentum.
Final Exita best-seller with do-it-yourself instructions for people who have had enough of life, was not yet in broad circulation; and though Dr. Jack Kevorkianthe inventor of a suicide machine for suffering patients, had stumbled across the television screen, his slouchy figure and taste for theatrics seemed tangential to our isolatingly private experience.
By the time the book came out, I had become accustomed to the idea that I was participating in the great American euthanasia debate, and I checked to see whose side I was on.
I was alarmed to discover how little connection there was between the experiences that had led to the point where I, with my father and my brother, watched my mother kill herself and the public controversy into which I had been plunged.
There is a divide in the current discourse on euthanasia between, on the one hand, the emotional arguments put forward by people who have participated in the euthanasia process and, on the other, the libertarian rationales for legislative support of euthanasia as a civil right.Yet the view persists that to wish for one’s own death, in any form, is crazy, and that the person who holds such a wish must be cured of his or her “depression” or “distorted view.” Social convention says you must always protect the suicidal from themselves.
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A Death of One's Own; A Death of One’s Own.
10 October I believe from what I observed in the documentary that Jim died a “good death. ” He died in a peaceful way with the people that he loved near him and in the comfort of his own home.
We will write a custom essay sample on. Start studying A Death of One's Own. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Yet the view persists that to wish for one’s own death, in any form, is crazy, and that the person who holds such a wish must be cured of his or her “depression” or “distorted view.” Social convention says you must always protect the suicidal from themselves.
A Death of One's Own [Gerda Lerner] on iridis-photo-restoration.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Gerda Lerner's search to extract meaning from death's violent mystery glows with the humanist energy of an honest yet consoling and inspiring vision.-Helen Yglesias New York Times Book Review A 5/5(1).