Saturday, October 5, 2013

Death And Privilege

When I say it's a privilege I see your eyes go cross. You think I'm daft. You reason that you are to young too talk about such things, or old but healthy, or that the cancer has spread but you want to remain optimistic. And I shake my head and think of my father.

He never had the luxury.

At the age of forty, he left early one morning to round at the hospital and never came back. A small blood vessel burst in his brain causing irreparable havoc. By the time we arrived, he was connected to all the appropriate machines. Back then, there was no talk of such things as preexisting wishes. The neurosurgeon, my father's colleague, told us he was gone and the ventilator was removed. His body quickly caught up with his severely damaged brain. He died.

You see, my father passed way before he was afforded the privilege we are discussing today; the privilege of seeing death as a shimmery mirage somewhere in the distant future.

The privilege of having a modicum of control over that which you fear the most is a gift. I humbly offer this to you.

Please take some time to think about your code status and advanced directives.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry about your DAD. We all should have the right to die the way we want to! TY for sharing!

Marge said...

I am so sorry about your Father. We all should have the right to die the way we want to! TY for sharing!

Roxanne Crisman said...

This is one thing that we all need to make clear before a crisis happens, and you get placed on a Ventilator. It is the patient's choice and if they say I have had enough, it's time to let them go. It hurts like crazy I know, but there are things in life that are a lot worse than death, and one of them is medical torture.