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My Story

By Eli
Posted on

I wish I had the conversation.

As an 80 year old person I have made my peace with my maker. Last year I had a life saving operation where a large cancerous tumor was successfully removed from from my left kidney. This convinced me that I am not going to live forever. There are issues that concern me. It is not dying. It is about being stricken with something like Alzheimer’s which will turn me into a burden on my family and the society I live in. I am an Israeli and Jewish. As such Jewish doctors will certainly have nothing to do with doctor assisted suicide in any of the forms mentioned. They will go on fighting right until the end. I can make out a living will stating that it is my desire not to be placed on life support apparatus. Just drugs to ease pain if I am suffering. I am personally not sure if the doctors will accept this without some sort of mutual agreement by the relevant staff physicians. There is another aspect about cutting off life support where the decision is made by a close family member. More often than not such a request by the family must be approved by the court who must determine if the request is not driven by a desire to get the inheritance as quickly as possible. One positive aspect of dying slowly is that the dying person has an opportunity to make peace with those he hurt or hurt him. I gave this issue a lot of thought. Perhaps I will never know who is by my bedside when I am dying but I do know who was by my bedside when I had my brush with death and I find this comforting. Americans have made a fetish out of death. Here in Israel we leave the world as we entered it . Covered only in a shroud that is torn after we are placed in the grave so that we truly return to the earth. As I get older I fear death less and less. I would like to die quickly. Heart failure etc. so that my family is not burdened by having to watch me slowly die.
I have not really taken an active part in the course but as an auditor I have enjoyed it immensly. You have given a lot to think about. Thank you

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