Life is better than death. But death comes eventually to everyone. It is something which many in their prime may prefer not to think about. But at 89, I see no point in avoiding the question. What concerns me is: How do I go? Will the end come swiftly, with a stroke in one of the coronary arteries? Or will it be a stroke in the mind that lays me out in bed for months, semi-comatose? Of the two, I prefer the quick one.
Some time back, I had an Advanced Medical Directive (AMD)) done which says that if I have to be fed by a tube, and it is unlikely that I would ever be able to recover and walk about, my doctors are to remove the tube and allow me to make a quick exit. I had it signed by a lawyer friend and a doctor.
If you do not sign one, they do everything possible to prevent the inevitable. I have seen this in so many cases. My brother-in-law on my wife’s side, Yong Nyuk Lin, had a tube. He was at home, and his wife was lying in bed, also in a poor shape. His mind was becoming blank. He is dead now. But they kept him going for a few years. What is the point of that? Quite often, the doctors and relatives of the patient believe they should keep life going. I do not agree. There is an end to everything and I want mine to come as quickly and painlessly as possible, not with me incapacitated, half in coma in bed and with a tube going into my nostrils and down to my stomach. In such cases, one is little more than a body.
I am not given to making sense out of life — or coming up with some grand narrative on it —other than to measure it by what you think you want to do in life. As for me, I have done what I had wanted to, to the best of my ability. I am satisfied