Paralyzed Accident Victim Fights For Right To Die

December 4, 2010

Jean Paul Sartre once said that the essence of liberty is the power to say “No.” To say no to whatever you do not want to be imposed upon you and the basic liberty is the power to say no to life. This existential viewpoint has stuck with me through the years and I still to a large extent believe in it.

Of course living as a member of society, we give up some liberties so as to benefit from that which the collective provides, e.g., I give up the right to say No to taxes so as to be able to benefit from road, bridges, and other amenities that the Collective provides for my and others’ benefit.

But, my life is mine. The basic freedom to say no to it is mine to say. Aside from religious aspects of the concept, one that I am not going to be concerned with here, in the case exemplified below, the exercise of that basic and fundamental freedom to say no to life requires the active participation of others. Someone will have to actively, consciously and deliberately, turn off the machines knowing full well the resulting death.

I have been going over this issue in my mind and I an easy solution is not one to be found here.

Dan Crews wants to die, but he cant.The 27-year-old Antioch, Ill., resident has been a quadriplegic since he was in a car accident at age 3. Paralyzed from the neck down, he can speak and eat, but his diaphragm muscles cannot move air through his lungs.

A mechanical respirator, a clear box filled with pumps and tubes, connects to his throat and breathes for him.Every day, Crews lies in bed for hours, staring at posters of cheerleaders, watching sports he will never play. When he wants to make a call or use the computer, he asks his nurses to bring him the telephone, which he pecks at with a stick he holds in his mouth. When he is thirsty, he calls for a nurse, or for his mom, Cheryl Crews, who lives with him. They bring a drink and hold the straw up to his mouth for him as he sips.

“I have no friends. I have no education. No education prospects. No job prospects. I have no love prospects,” he said. “All I want is to no longer live like this.”He is physically incapable of ending his life.”I feel like I’m the only person in the country who does not have a way or an option to kill myself,” he said.

via Paralyzed accident victim fights for right to die

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  1. July Macdonnell says:

    Thanks for this post. I am trying to fathom to see if I can ever even come close to figuring out how this man feels-I just do not think that it is possible to be so dependent on others and I can, at least, theoretically see what he would not want to continue his life the way it is. I would love to discuss the matter further with you, if you give me an email address. Thanks.

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