Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quality of Life/Death

Much is written about "quality of life", e.g. as a prerequisite for having available the myriad of life support systems and personal assistance we ALL require to survive.

Certain so-called ethicists assume responsibility for deciding which members of our multi-diverse species is allowed to be furnished these systems from the resources of the commons.

When we attend any gathering most of us need (or at least want) to have seating available.

Venues for conferences, dining, meetings of all sorts henceforth are assumed to have, as an inherent part of their equipage various forms of chairs/stools.

This is considered as a "right" - an entitlement for simply being human.

To those of us using wheel chairs, the furnishing of such items could well be thought of as "special accommodation" because, after all, we bring our own chairs - why should we be paying from the commons for millions of chairs used by those who don't bring their own?

Often we think of those with "crippling diseases" as pitiable objects without entitlements.

A diagnosis of polio instantly puts one into a world that is often feared ("if I couldn't run any more I'd rather be dead").

Then there's FDR who actually successfully hid the fact that he was almost always in a wheel chair else his "quality of life" would have been judged sub-par, but in fact he had one of the great "qualities of life" lives ever!

He also achieved a remarkable near-sainthood which is a "quality of death" even though he may not have gotten to experience that part.

Just like FDR, we are all "entitled" and being kept alive (as we all are by others) is a foremost entitltement.

The next time you hear someone complain about the enormous cost of keeping me alive (already hundreds of thousands of dollars just in the last few years), tell them how such efforts take almost none of the resources of our commons and it was better that "me and FDR" got "special accommodation".


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