Signs it’s time to consider euthanasia

I don’t know if I’m the right person to ask this. I’ve already upset at least one loved one by saying that I want to find a pension scheme that’ll pay out on a shorter term basis on the notion that I don’t much want to live past 60 (I actually started at 50, and she started haggling). It’s not that I don’t think I’ll be able to live well after that point, its that I don’t understand why I’m mortgaging my present so that I can survive longer when I’m less flexible and more worn out.

It’s probably not something I find true at my centre, and I probably wouldn’t have the guts to actively kill myself just because my arbitrary timestamp has come, but I do think I want to make plans for various outcomes.

For me, I’m considering getting a not for threes or no code tattoo, and not because I’m a fan of Pearl Jam and Plaid. I don’t think I want a fortune to be spent on keeping me alive beyond whatever natural incident might harm me. But of course, predicting the outcome of a procedure is difficult, and if something terrible happened tomorrow, I’m not sure I’d be ready for it.

Will I ever be at peace enough to say I’ve given whatever this is my best shot?

And you can’t say what constitutes a good enough life. It’s patronising and bigoted to say that you wouldn’t be willing to live with a disability when millions do. At what point do the vicissitudes of life become too big a change to accept?

I think in general, the issues come down to physical pain and mental ability. In theory, I don’t want to go on if my mind is lost. In theory, I don’t want to live a life that’ll be nothing but pain, no matter how englightening.

But is that all just weakness? Am I just scared? Am I not willing to see the continuity of self between myself and a reconstructed me?

And what if the new me wants to live in a way that the old me didn’t. Is it okay for one version of myself to decide whether the other can survive?

As a human machine, I house a brain that houses a mind that I recognise as me. All three of those things could go dramatically wrong, and I could be unable to live as I do. Is that enough to give up on the whole project of me-ness?

And does that even constitute giving up?

Personally, I think it is right to acknowledge that we are finite, and I find it hard to argue against having a plan for that finality. I don’t want to be kept alive at great expense, but I want to leave room for miracles.

But maybe, by the time I’m willing to make that choice, it’ll be too late, and I’ll be someone different.

Also, when the question is framed differently, my response is quite different.

Illustration by Tomo


About Alex Ava

Joiner of Dots. Player of Games. Unreliable Narrator. Dancing Fool.
This entry was posted in Questions by Colewelle, Special Guest Illustrations. Bookmark the permalink.

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