The Living Will

Today there is a story in the papers about a man who while believed to be in a coma communicated his desire to live by blinking in his proverbial eleventh hour. A lucky escape from being allowed to slip away as the machines maintaining his life were switched off. His family had taken the heart-wrenching decision to cut off his lifeline due to his privately expressed wish to avoid being kept alive in a vegetative state. A wish which he clearly changed his mind about. So I have to wonder, given how rightfully afraid we are of living a life of near non-existence dependant on machines, just how much our fear adversely effects our decisions. Should we find ourselves in this gentleman's condition, almost totally unable to express our existence to the world would our assessment of the situation be more philosophical and in the acceptance of the situation would we be less terrified and more willing to give potential recovery some time? Should we then consider the living will or the do not resuscitate order to be an irrational fear-based decision? Can we really be of sound mind when faced with not only our mortality but a fate that many would consider worse than death for it's potential drain on family members and personal mental torture?

How do you lay out the conditions of your own death? Without clear judgement and experience I don't think I could make that choice ahead of time.


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