Three years ago today, my younger sister was involved in a serious car accident. Longtime readers know the details, but the short version is that we spent four days on a roller coaster of emotion as she lay in a coma suffering from traumatic brain injuries. She was 26 and had likely never given a single thought to her own mortality. When the doctors told us that there was no brain activity, we were left with the painful decision of whether or not to disconnect her from life support. I’ve no doubt that we made the right choice–the one she would have wanted and the only one that was morally conscionable. Her mom and dad, though, will always question if they did what was right and what she would have wanted. So I urge each of you today to give the issue some thought. Institute a living will, talk to your spouses, your children, your parents. Make your wishes known.
And for the record, if a machine is all that’s keeping me alive, unplug it. “Living” in a vegetative state isn’t living at all. And then cremate what’s left…the expense of even a basic funeral with casket, embalming, etc. is something that would be a burden to even financially comfortable families…whatever is cheapest is fine with me, and the idea of people parading past my airbrushed corpse is, frankly, nauseating.