Friday, February 13, 2009

The Choice of Dying

If I asked how many of you had ever considered initiaing your own death, most of you would deny it. However, the facts are that most of do contemplate the choice between living and dying at some point in our lives. We may not call it "thoughts of suicide", but we do at least consider what life would be like for our loved ones if we were no longer living and/or we consider the pain and problems with which we would no longer have to deal.

I would venture to say that contemplating the choice between life and death is actually a sign of sanity. Those who have not considered the possibilities are either not grounded in reality, thus never getting depressed or frustrated by the trials of life, or are gluttons for punishment. Life, for the most part, is good. Corny, I know - but true nonetheless. But it has its moments of despair that many think will not end or that they will not survive. The strong persist, but is it becuase they are strong or is it because they are afraid?

Depression, which can lead to suicidal thoughts, is a treatable disease. Knwoing that should be the hope that pushes that person forward into life - but often that hope is not strong enough to perservere or the person refuses the treatment that could change their lives. Terminal diseases, on the other hand, offer little hope but for a downward spiral into pain and difficulty. Yet, as a society, we feel pity and sorrow for those who commit suicide and declare those who choose euthanasia (or assist it) as criminals. Twisted logic, in my way of thinking.

The issue of choice between life and death will continue to exist for as long as people are of different minds. Who truly has the right to say which is "right"?

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