Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cancer, Life, Death

Dan Treecraft, a local man, has decided to end his life on his terms before cancer can. I thought the article was moving.

"Sometimes he struggles with conversation. Droplets of spit, even blood, escape his mouth like wrong answers. He grimaces when swallowing.

He hates these moments, bringing a fist to his lips and looking away. He apologizes and then quickly leans close, eyes afire with a new thought, a new criticism of a medical system he sees as a greed-driven industry that is flipping off fate and getting rich doing it.

He frets over the idea of dying in a hospital, fed through a tube, dimmed by painkillers and hooked to machines. And the tests. Tests upon tests costing thousands of dollars that will confirm what he and everybody else already knows: Dan Treecraft, 61, is going to die."

You can read the rest here.

I'm tempted to write about my opinion on suicide, but don't wish to sully this story.

Here is an article of someone counseling Mr. Treecraft to rethink his position. It's the usual bullshit you see from the religiously inclined. Wait until someone is going through a rough spot in their life, or better yet, when their life is coming to an end and they possibly might be just weak enough to prey upon.

Mr. Treecraft responds in the Spokesman here. Impressive, a far more polite tone than I'm capable of achieving now, even in my healthy youth.

The one comment is well worth a read. I thought this was put forward expertly, it's an idea I've never had the ability to put into words.

"Do I suffer pain as a consequence of the loss of my brother? Of course I do. Do I have the right to elevate my suffering over his? Of course I do not. That is what my brother's chosen path to peace taught me."

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