Death or paralysis?

You’re out for a little deer hunting and when you start climbing the deer stand ladder, you fall to the ground. You wake up in the hospital and they tell you that you will never walk again.

You’re paralyzed. You won’t be able to hold the baby that is still in your young wife’s womb. Your quality of life, they say, won’t be very good. You might not even have a long life.

You have a choice, the doctors say. They can remove the tube that’s been helping you breathe and you’ll die.

Which do you choose?

An Indiana man had to make the decision on Sunday.

  • MrE85

    I’m frankly surprised the doctors let the man decide — which I agree is his right. What would I do? I hope I never have to find out, or make the call for someone else.

  • Dave

    We had to make a similar call for my mom when she died, which was about 48 hours after we learned my wife was pregnant.

    Obviously there’s no good option. I don’t know if Tim made the right decision, but it’s probably the one I’d have made. I feel badly for his wife and future child.

  • John Peschken

    It’s an easy one for me. No sense in hanging around living a very limited life to see a baby you will never hold. You probably won’t live long enough that she or he will remember you. Then, you have a good chance of draining the savings of the mother and child. I’m out, just like Tim.

  • KTFoley

    In contrast to Joy Johnson from yesterday, here is a story of a man who could no longer live as he would have wished and so preferred to die.

    What a tragic reminder of why we each need a medical directive/living will. No matter how healthy or invincible we are this minute, it all can change in an instant.

  • Bose

    This also strikes me as the choice to live as fully as possible for whatever time remained, conscious and engaged with loved ones, as opposed to living via turning one’s body over to a high risk, excruciating gamble for meaningful consciousness later.

  • Kassie

    While I believe in the right for people to make decisions for themselves, I also hate that so many feel living with a disability is worse than death. I have friends and co-workers who are paraplegic and quadriplegic, one is even reliant on a ventilator to breathe, but their lives are full and productive. Just because you can’t hold your child, doesn’t mean you can’t have a full and wonderful relationship with your child. And when we see, and possibly celebrate, stories like these, it just increases people feeling pity for those who live their lives with similar disabilities. They don’t need pity.

  • kevinfromminneapolis

    The only thing that would tip me toward choosing death is the prospect of draining my family’s finances. I wouldn’t feel right doing that to them, but I’d have to be pretty miserable to get to that point.