Death isn’t a subject most people are eager to discuss, but death by one’s own hand fits the template of today’s “pro-choice” culture. Several states have adopted measures whereby terminally-ill individuals have the “right” to lawfully end their lives. One website says “death with dignity” offers “options for the dying to control their own end-of-life care.”
I’ve asked myself whether “dying with dignity” is even possible. If one means to control the way one dies or the setting in which it happens or seeks to promote the conceit that embracing death somehow makes it more palatable, these nuanced “dignity” claims are laughable!
We first need a definition of dignity. In my view, indignity is easier to define, but I’m not persuaded it’s the inverse of dignity. Attempting to avoid or bypass life’s indignities (by self-administering a lethal dose of drugs) suggests cowardice, inconsistent with dignity.
Death is indignity! It is the ultimate and final insult humanity delivers, a constant reminder of life’s temporality. No fountain of youth provides an antidote. Whatever our age or station, none of us is immune. Continue reading “Dignity / Humanity”