Dying With Dignity
September 18, 2009 @ 4:32 pm (Permalink)
Around Labour Day weekend, I ended up watching a movie called It’s My Party, starring Eric Roberts (Huh, I didn’t know he was Julia Roberts’ brother!) and actresses like Margaret Cho, Oliva Newton-John, and people I’ve never known. The plot is pretty simple:
Nick (Roberts) discovers he’s HIV positive, but his lover Brandon cannot cope with the reality, and the two separates with a nasty breakup. But then a year later, Nick’s health deteriorates into Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML), and he is told he has only a few days before the disease will take over his conscious thinking. Having already seen what that disease will do from his friends who passed away, he decides to have one last shindig with his friends and family and then ends his life. The party ends up being two days, and the film focuses on Nick’s relationships with his friends and families. Even Brandon comes, and things sort of turns ugly as Nick’s family members and closest friends wants to kick Brandon out, but eventually things predictably works out, and film ends with Nick’s own death.
Despite its rocky (and confusing) beginning, I really enjoyed this film. The way Roberts portrayed his character with dignity and with humour was brilliant. The way the film progressed through the two days showed just how everyone’s different and how we all handle crises and situations differently. But I feel that this film really nailed in the fact of my belief that euthanasia should be legal. Nick chose to end his life prematurely because he didn’t want his loved ones to see him in a state that will bring them pain, and eventually he would not even have recognised them, and he hated the mere idea of that.
I agree. If I were diagnosed with an incurable disease that will render me into a vegetable, incapable of thinking, moving, talking, and acting on my own, I’d want to save everyone the trouble, the pain, the money, and my own dignity by dying of my own choice.1
That’s my choice. Many people sees it as suicide, but I don’t think so. It may seem like an easy way out, but how is it an easy way out for a veggie-state lifestyle or a pain-filled lifestyle? I like to think realistically. Living like that will be very costly and will only bring suffering to the ones around the victim. It’s better to end it when we are capable of saying we can. And if you’re religious, you can say it’s God’s will for you to be like that, but I am not religious, so therefore, I will be the one to determine my own demise, thank you very much.
But these are just my own opinions that nobody else needs to believe.
1ETA: And when I wrote this entry, I wasn’t thinking about going through euthanasia with AIDS. I’m aware that AIDS alone does not warrant euthanasia, but it does if one comes down with a disease that’s caused by one of the many opportunist viral diseases out there, like PML. In fact, I was thinking more along the lines of dying from some terminal brain tumour to resort to euthanasia.