Monday, 23 February 2009

Dying with Dignity.

There has been much coverage in the media of late of Jade Goodys terminal cancer diagnosis - and much comment on how she is dealing with it. I have read several requests for her to 'die with dignity'.
Why?
Why should we, those of us with terminal cancer, die with dignity?
Whats wrong with shouting and stamping your feet and complaining at the injustice of it all? Or whats wrong with wringing every single last bit of enjoyment out of life before we finally pop our clogs? And yes, fairly publicly if we want to. We're not dead yet after all.

Whats wrong with using your situation to highlight awareness of your particular disease? Or maybe even campaign to help others who, in the future, may be in the same position as you?

The truth ofcourse is that for many people seeing, or reading about, someone who is approaching the end of their lives is an uncomfortable experience. It reminds them of their own mortality. Especially if its a young person.

Death, it seems, is still the final taboo. Especially an impending one. Some would prefer us, once we have been given that final sentence, once that dreadful word 'terminal' has been used, to retire behind the sanitized walls of a hospital or hospice and die quietly. And unobtrusively.
That is supposed to be 'dignified'.

But what 'dignity' is there in that?
What dignity is there in simply giving up, accepting your fate, quietly acquiescing for fear of upsetting somone?

The true dignity in death is doing exactly what YOU want to in your final days with your family and loved ones. Maybe quietly, maybe going out with a bang - but it must be what YOU want and not what others expect of you.

12 comments:

Yasmin said...

I agree with your sentiments, if you only have a matter of weeks do exactly what you want if your able, I think Jade Goody has raised awareness, and that's a positive thing.

Take care

Yasmin

LYN said...

I TOTALLY AGREE...GO OUT WITH A BANG!! NOBODY SHOULD HAVE TO DIE A CERTAIN WAY!! DEATH SUCKS PERIOD!!

SUCH A SAD STORY ABOUT JADE GOODY MIND YOU....

FOR THE RECORD I WANT TO GO OUT IN STYLE WITH A NEW ORLEANS STYLE FUNERAL WITH PEOPLE PARTYING IN THE STREETS AND JAZZ MUSIC!!!

Donna said...

I had to go to Google to read about Jade Goody; I've never heard of her before.

At my age, the main thing that scares me is not the word "terminal", but the word "cancer". It's the suffering that I would be most concerned about. My dad suffered terrible for months.

Anyhow, I agree that it's up to the person dying to decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life.

ADB said...

Jane,
Completely agree with what you say. Death is the final and most personal experience we will all go through, and if it is brought forward because of illness, well, everybody should deal with that in their own way. Dignified, or in total disgrace.

Guido

Sugar said...

YOU GO GIRL!!! ROCK ON!!!
AGREE TOTALLY!
huggies...

Andy said...

NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE SAY, IF THE STORY OF JADE GOODY HELPS JUST ONE OTHER PERSON GE THE TREATMENT THAT THEY DESERVE AT A VERY EARLY STAGE-HER FIGHT WAS WORTHWHILE. ALSO IF IT ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO SUPPORT CANCER RESEARCH SO MUCH THE BETTER.

Andy

Sybil said...

Well said Jane...I agree completely with you. everyone copes in their own way and that is as it should be.
Keep smiling dear friend..
Much Love Sybil xx

pam said...

Hi Jane. I have been enveloped in the whole "Jade" story as I am a Palliative carer and I couldn't agree with you more. A podium IS there for this young lady to do things her way and who has the right to judge?. Phones have been ringing off the hook for smear test appointments, all thanks to her. Jade is a young woman and mother who will tragically be taken away at such a young age,and I,for one,will remember her with the greatest respect for demonstrating her courage, bravery, honesty and dignity. Love Pam xx

mortonlake said...

too true jane.im aware my MS may turn "nasty",( you mean its not now?lol) and i may end up paralised,etc.whatever,i dont dwell on it.jade deserves a bloody medal,never was a fan of her,but my god she knows what she wants.take care my friend,love mort xx

Deb said...

Amen to that!!! As you say, everyone has their own sugggestions as to what a patient should do when faced with terminal cancer. The decision should be totally up to the patient themselves....We've lived it and know that the patient "always" makes the right decisions!!!
Deb

Jan said...

Very well said Jane ,yes I ,agree,and you too are doing a fine job putting your thoughts and feelings here for us to share....love Jan xx

Ally Lifewithally said...

I do agree with what you say ~ Jade has not only raised awarness of Cancer ~ but she is doing her unmost to provide for her two young children she will be leaving behind her ~ Good for her I say ~ Ally x