The Elderly and Freedom To Choose

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. 

Mark Twain

The Rights of the Aged

  • It is only fair to come to grips with the situation that many of us will face as we move into our declining years
  • Time to admit that the too old, too frail and  slowly dying also have a bunch of rights 
  • And one of them must be the right to choose to die when we see fit, not when someone else decides for us 

The folks making such decisions for others have obviously not spent enough time walking down the halls of any nursing home in this country. 

No matter that the vast majority of nursing homes do all they can to make people clean and comfortable and employ some of the most noble caregivers in the health care industry. 

The fact is for many of us there comes a time when we know continuing the charade and sham of life is a pitiful struggle, which only extends the moment of truth that eventually comes to us all. 

Now for those of us who want to extend that time period until the body simply “gives up”, more power to them. They certainly have that right, and that choice is theirs and theirs alone to make. 

Trapped in a Useless Body

But there is no doubt that for anyone else trapped in a hopeless situation, knowing full well the only place left is the funeral home, it is simply immoral that we who are still younger and healthy have the power to decide life and death issues  for those that desire to control their own time of death.

If you have any doubts consider this.

  • You sitting there now reading this are most likely quite capable of making all the decisions in your life
  • You are at least relatively young and healthy, working everyday, providing for yourself and independent enough to make the major decisions in your life 
  • Now consider the idea that someone else or a government agency has the power to decide for you, when you are too frail to even manage your physical needs, or trapped by disease or misfortune, how you will live and when you will die 
  • You wouldn’t let anyone do that today, why would you let them do it when you have reached the point where life has become an insurmountable burden 

Think of it, the most crucial and relevant decision we have to make in our entire existence is going to be made by someone other than ourselves.  We should be outraged!

Freedom Must Extend to Dying

So isn’t it time to free the poor souls now trapped in life ending scenarios, doomed by rapidly failing health and maintained by technologies that barely sustain existences, much less give any hope of cure. 

And isn’t it time to also free all of us more fortunate who are able to live independently, to know when the moment of truth is upon us we will have the freedom, choice and opportunity to end the needless physical and emotional drudgery that may come to many of us.  

  • Jesus Christ had his last supper and we should all be able to have ours, if we so choose 
  • When the time is near, we should be able to reflect and say goodbye to a life that has provided both joy and pain, in a way that acknowledges our flawed existences, but allows us to determine the moment of our passing 
  • The angel of mercy should appear at our discretion, not at the whims and desires of other men and their beliefs. 
  • With the aid of powerful drugs we are now able to slip out of this existence, peacefully without regret, because we know we have escaped the horror of a meaningless extended life

That horror can only be a mockery of the life we both passionately lived and endured.


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