Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Catch 22

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Acidman is dying, or at least he believes he is dying. He's got pretty good reason to believe that, and so he's making ready for the end of his life. Rob has been very sick, for a very long time, and life has been more than unkind to him; he's ready to go.

Rob has made the decision that he is not going to seek treatment. He is ready to die. He doesn't particularly want to die, but he isn't going to fight against dying; he's just going to live until he doesn't anymore.

For some reason, a lot of folks seem to have a problem with that.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

We're talking about this over at the River Dogs place, and a commenter came up with the standard Catch 22 about the right to die:


What people are failing to realize is that Rob does not have a terminal illness. His only illness is depression and alcoholism. Those illnesses prevent him from being of "sound mind."

If a person has a terminal medical condition, I'm all for the right to die. Hell I've been involved in more than a few. I do Home Health Care and Hospice.

If he was truly wishing to die, he would not have told everyone he was drinking himself to death. That is a cry for help. I understand that people don't understand depression.

Even people who are not of sound mind can seem like it. Alcoholics are not of sound mind. Neither are people suffering from depression.

All I asked is for his friends and family to get him to a doctor, find out what is wrong with him and if he is dying, than so be it. But drinking yourself to death just because you don't want to live anymore is just wrong.

Religion has nothing to do with it. It's a illness that can be treated.

If you are not crazy you do not want to die, therefore if you want to die, you must be crazy.

Except that is, excuse my language, utter bullshit.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
My mother is ready to die. She is in excruciating pain every moment, waking and asleep, in those rare few moments she is able to sleep at all.

My mother is ready to die, her illness is terminal, she will no longer seek theraputic treatment,though she continues palliative treatment. It is her desire to no longer fight the forces of nature.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
My mother is ready to die, and she is not insane. She is ready to die, and it is her right to choose as she has.

It is not your right to save someone from themselves. If someone wishes to die, they have the absolute right to do so. To force someone to live when they do not wish to is no different than slavery.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

"But what about the mentally ill, they can't decide for themselves"...

There are many things that the mentally ill should not be able to decide. This is not one of them. If they decide they want to die, then they should be allowed to die. It is the only decision they have left.

Not only that, but one could simply go one step further and say, as the commenter above, that anyone who has decided to die is, by definition; mentally ill.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Rob is ready to die.
My mother is ready to die.
We can stop them.
We should not.