Back when I was in college, I was in a class discussing, no, it's more like debating, about euthanasia. I was a proponent of euthanasia rights, still am. I think it would be cruel for us to let someone we love who is in excruciating pain and have no chance in surviving is in life support. I believe if he or she can say something, he or she will ask us to let him or her go. Who wants to live in that way, anyway? When you're in a coma, you're in persistent vegetative state (PVS) or your brain is already dead, there's no way you're gonna get your cognitive function working again, and you're put in life support, with all of those tube feeding you. Or you know you're getting sick, Alzheimer's disease, advanced stage cancer, or any other diseases that will lead you to death eventually.
Why suddenly I come up with this idea and write about it? Actually, I already thought about this such a long time ago, but after reading Decisions Making Near End-of-Life, I put into more serious thought about it. I become aware with Terry Schiavo's case. The case was a dispute between Terry's family and Terry's husband, Michael Schiavo. The Schindlers (Terry's parents) insisted their daughter should be put in life support, while her husband insisted to remove the feeding tube. The case lasted in 15 years (1990 - 2005) before finally the court granted Michael's appeal. 15 years to put Terry in suffering? Geez, I can't imagine how suffered she must be.
From the book that I've read, there are definitely differences between America and Indonesia. In America it's common and open to talk about decisions to make near end-of-life, while here I don't often see it. I know in Indonesia we're not familiar with what to decide in near end-of-life. We're so religious and we leave every thing in God's hands. We grovel and pray to God may God cure our loved ones, even though we know deep in our hearts that's more unlikely. We're in false hope, yet we keep it. Unfortunately, euthanasia isn't allowed here.
If that happens to me (please, Heaven forbids that!), I would ask my family or my surrogate to act in behalf of my name to remove the life support and let me die with dignity. I'm not playing God, but what's the point of living if I can't properly use my brain? The thought I don't longer have cognitive function terrifies me. I can't think, read, write? No, I don't want that. It pains me. It's the same thing if I had to undergo another disease that had me lying in bed all the time, losing my consciousness, in miserable physical pain, or any other thing that made me lose my dignity. Definitely I would beg my family to let me die with the last thing that I have: my dignity. If Oregon already has Death with Dignity Act, when will Indonesia follow the same route?
By the way, I'm planning to discuss about this with my family. So, by the time that I don't have capacity to decide for my own sake, they'll know what to do.