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.

7 Responses to “Dying With Dignity” | Filed Under: Movies/TVs, Political/Philosophical

  1. Kim on September 18, 2009 @ 5:04 pm #

    I’ve never really given Euthanasia a real thought, but it should really be up to the person. Euthanasia really eliminates the agony of having to wait, and it really allows for a set time of preparing for the death. I’ll have to start thinking about this more!

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  2. Stephanie on September 18, 2009 @ 11:34 pm #

    Well, your government needs to believe it, in order to give you the right to decide over your own death.

    P.S. I agree.

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  3. Morgan on September 19, 2009 @ 4:36 am #

    Hm! I’ve never heard of this movie before, but that’s pretty remarkable that they took such touchy subjects and portrayed it so that it really tugs on your heart strings and offers a perspective that could possibly be different to your own.

    My feelings are somewhat the same, but the issue lies with assisted euthanasia because the court of law has a hard time proving that it was the wishes of the ill patient and not a blanket to cover an ulterior motive (which maybe could be avoided by mandating a clause in a written living will).

    With all things, there are going to be differencing opinions and snags in the legal system, but I can see in the future allowing this for certain patients (much like the case of Terri Schiavo when the issue of euthanasia and living wills really erupted into the media). Perhaps the option will be made available to a patient in dire circumstances, but with strict guidelines to avoid misuse of it’s availability.

    Kudos for sharing your opinion on such sensitive subject matter!
    -M

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  4. Georgina on September 19, 2009 @ 9:09 am #

    Thank you! :)

    Haha, I always have to think long and hard when I get a domain. I want to make sure I know what to use it for and everything, before I register it. I don’t like things collecting dust myself. :P

    I haven’t heard of that movie nor have I heard of Julia Roberts’ brother (surprise). My whole opinion on euthanasia is similar to yours. I’m not sure if it’s legal in Australia, but people should be allowed to make their own choice, whatever that may be. I watched a movie in which a girl was bedridden and could barely move – but her choice was to keep on living. Everyone saw her in pain but she lived on. She wanted to share her story with the world and still do things she could not do.

    I don’t see it as a suicide. If you are diagnosed with an incurable disease, I don’t see why you would want to live in pain, knowing it will end.

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  5. Senyth on September 19, 2009 @ 10:44 pm #

    I also do not like Jun Pyo that much. I’d still prefer Ji Hoo, but hearing Jan Di say that Ji Hoo is her soulmate is enough for me to get settled. <3 He's such a selfless guy. *sigh*

    I haven't heard of that movie but I'll be sure to watch it. I love Julia Roberts, so seeing her brother act is pretty interesting for me. :P

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  6. Gillian on September 20, 2009 @ 1:49 am #

    Aw thanks, so glad you liked it. :) Yeah I know it’s a little bright, but then I just got too lazy to do anything about it haha.
    Whoa that would have been really creepy if they drew it in the middle of the night because then they would have had to break into the school. D:
    But yeah, it was absolutely hilarious.
    OMG DAYUM, that movie’s plot was REALLY interesting. My face was like glued to the screen in awe when I was reading that paragraph LOL.
    It seems like a lot of drama and I really hope that I get to see that movie someday.
    It also seems to have great morals. :3
    I agree with you as well. I don’t think it’s suicide, there’s no joy in living a life where you’re just suffering anyways. Some even say that it’s worse than death itself.

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  7. Georgina on September 20, 2009 @ 12:40 pm #

    Thank you, thank you! :) Just saying thanks for your comment on my layout. :’)

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