In response to Rude Cactus’ recent post about this whole Terri Shiavo thing.
I hereby join in with other bloggers in making it public my intention (which my husband already knows):
If I ended up in a vegatative state, brain dead, or any other kind of ailment that left me incapable of making my own decision, remaining unconscious, and/or 100% dependable on mechanical assistance (i.e. breathing machine, feeding tubes) for a prolonged period of time without a realistic chance for recovery other than putting me in suspended animation or cryogenic freeze, please do me a favor and pull the fucking plug.
If I bonked my head and became sleeping beauty with no way of knowing if I ever come back, keep me a week just in case, and let me go. If I got hurt so badly I can’t survive on my own, keep me a few days–or as soon as my parents can get over here to say goodbye–and let me go.
And once I die, if I ever find out in the after life that I was kept alive more than I needed to be, I swear I would haunt whoever is involved in keeping my alive longer until they stop forcing their decisions down anyone else’s throat.
Being a Buddhist, I believe that we are born to suffer. Every time you are born as a human, it is your chance to do karma, to work at getting closer to nirvana. If you can’t do it in this life time, you do enough good karma that would enable you to come back again as a human next time so you can have another shot at it. When you die, it is for a reason. Your time is up. Your suffering ends here. You start all over again.
May be it is in Terri’s karma that she has to suffer this life on tubes. But who are we to hold on to her longer than she needs to be alive? It is definitely not the government’s place to make that call.
You have the right to live. And you have the right to die.
Another thing. I’m uneasy about letting her starve to death. If it is humane to ease the pain of a lethal injection, why can’t it be humane to ease Terri into her long-postponed death? Can’t they just mix in some morphine–okay, a lot of morphine–in her “last meal” and then remove her tubes? But then again, if starvation is the final thing she has to suffer to get to a well deserved death, so be it.
That’s my 2 cents.
P.S. 1. Speaking of living will and all of that legal+death stuff, if you need help setting up wills, dying or living, contact my good friend Lawyer Kate.
P.S. 2. When I die, I’d like to have any viable organs of me donated. Milk me for all I’ve got. I won’t need the body where I’m going. Besides, I will be cremated (according to Buddhist rites) anyway so let’s not waste perfectly good organs. My ashes should be scattered at a few places: over the forest of Red River, NM., over the USC painted grass at the end zones of the Coliseum, and off the beach at our old family vacation home in Bang Saen. If anyone wants to keep some, take some. The rest will get “sunk” into the Choa Phrya River where my grandmother’s ashes lies.