I read an article that has left me in a state of, well to be honest I’ve no clue what state I’m in. The article is about choosing Heaven over the Hospital which can be found Here.
Now given my own health conditions I made a decision awhile ago that in the event anything should happen to me, I have no desire to be resuscitated. I’d sooner have a shorter life, that is more filled with living than a longer life that means spending most of my time in the hospital. These decisions are mine, based on my own wishes for my life. I’d never impose them upon another’s life.
And I guess this is why I’m in a strange state after reading the article, you see the person in the article who has decided to forgo hospital visits is a young girl.. Five years old to be exact. Is that too young?
Her parents seem sincere in wanting to honor her wishes. They have tried to get her to understand that this decision may result in the end of her life. But how much does she understand when it comes to death or dying? Can she really comprehend that her life will cease, she will not grow older or spend more time with her brother?
The flip side to all of this of course is that we have to consider e quality of her life. Is it fair to ask her to hang on for the rest of us? Because let’s face it, who is really comfortable with the idea of a five-year old opting to end her life? Then again what would that life be like? Sure she is loved, but is that enough?
Her parents anguish over this child’s decision is raw and easily felt as you read their story. And yet they indicate that they will honor her wishes, let her make the choice. And it’s clear that coming to this point hasn’t been easy for them, that their faith and beliefs are strength as they all wrestle with the finality of the decision. There is an honesty in how they explain how they’ve come to this point in their life as a family. They don’t sugar coat it as they share their pain. And they know that at some point somewhere, people will judge them.
Does any of us have a right to judge? Do we know, really know, what it’s like for this family? For this child? Why is it acceptable for adults to make a decision when it comes to dying with dignity and not a child? Do we fully understand what a child does or does not comprehend? Let’s face it, some of us adults struggle with death with dignity and if it is right. So when the decision is expressed by a child, a young child at that, it makes the wrestling and struggling with this topic that much worse.
And in the end I suspect a lot of us end up in a state of something we can’t express. I hate to see the hope that comes with a young child extinguished so quickly. But I also don’t think a child so young should be forced to a life without quality for however long that life is. And so I’m torn. But I do know, it is not my place, nor my right, to judge these people and heir choices. And I know, no matter what choice is made, this child’s life is not easy. Nor is the life of her family. But I also know there is something to be learned here, that even in the worst of moments there is beauty, love and humanness in each life. And that’s what we need to remember, to honor, cherish and hold onto.