euthanasia - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Euthanasia was Heidi's own choice. The alternative was a slow death, feeling her body break just a little more every day. With each new visit to the doctor her pain medications were increased and the prognosis ever more bleak. Another month and she'd loose the ability to drink the potion on her own, she didn't want that. Everyone she'd ever loved came from near and far to say farewell and tell her how much they loved her, how much her life had meant to them. In that respect she felt luckier than many, how quickly death can take folks. At least at her end she'd had the chance to say goodbye the right way before slipping away with dignity.
Quincy watched his mother in the bed, so deep in ten shades of agony that she would be unreachable until the morphine went in. Where was the doctor when you needed him? He pressed the call button and paced the room, then pressed it again. The nurse appeared, tired but still smiling. She took one look at her patient and paged the doctor. There was little she could say, at this stage upping the dose was likely fatal but it was the only option left. After ten minutes that felt like a lifetime Doctor Miller entered, his face without his usual smile. He called for the morphine. Looking at Quincy he spoke, "Mr Jones, this dose is the minimum that will take her out of pain, but there is a strong likelihood her heart will stop. Your mother has a DNR order, so if that happens, we must let her go. As her decision maker we need you to sign off on the treatment." Quincy let the tears flow and his hand shook.
"Yeah, Doc, just give me the pen. I wish I could have done this for her sooner."
The room was beautiful, the flowers fresh, perfumed. There was a view of the mountains and outside the garden was perfection. Cynthia eased herself into the soft chair while the nurse put on her favourite music, Joni Mitchell, starting with "All I Want." Her husband sat at her side, quietly holding her hand. The nurse sat at her side. "Cynthia, would you like some tea and cake?"
"Oh yes, carrot cake, I believe Todd asked you to have it." Todd nodded, but he couldn't speak. It was all he could do to hold back his tears. Thirty eight years of love and he would leave this scented room alone. But her pain was immense and the doctors could promise nothing but a morphine drip from here on in. Cynthia clasped his arm. "I love you now more than I ever did, darling, and I'll be waiting for you. You know that right?" Todd nodded again. The nurse was back with the cake and a tea pot of Earl Grey. Cynthia ate a small piece, Todd sipped at tea.
The nurse sat and explained how the poison worked, she'd feel no pain, just a moment of confusion and thirst. She asked Cynthia to explain what she understood, that she knew the potion would kill her. She did. Todd wrapped her in his arms and kissed her grey dashed hair. There is nothing that could prepare him for the pain of this farewell. Cynthia kissed him gently on his wet cheek and downed the fluid in one before putting a chocolate in her mouth to get rid of the bitter taste. Todd squeezed her tighter and to the sound of "Big Yellow Taxi" she slipped away to heaven.
Earnest lies in the bleach tinctured ward on the crisp but thinning sheets. A curtain hangs limply on the chrome railing, looking like it's been washed a thousand times. With eyes on the polystyrene tiles above he hears the door open and in comes Tara with a priest. He feels his chest tighten into a knot like a cramp and a quiet rage builds inside.
"Love, I know you said no priest, but darling, this is when everyone needs one." Tara rests her hand on his, feeling the coldness in his fingers. He pulls his hand away and turns toward the wall. The priest looks to Tara and smiles apologetically.
"Nobody has to see the priest, if he'd rather not talk to God that's OK." At his words Earnest turns over faster than he has done this past month that has seen him wane into a shadow of the powerful man he was.
"God? Don't want to talk to God? Actually, that's a fine idea. I want to meet him right now. I want to know why a man who's worked every God damn day to provide for his family, to be a good man, has to die like an animal. Worse than that, they get put down right? All I want is enough morphine to drop a cow and you can send me to Jesus with a smile on my face." Tara blanched.
"I'm so sorry, sorry. That's not like him at all. He goes to church every Sunday, he loves God."
"No Tara, no I don't. He can make a planet in six days but he can't put a loaf of bread in a starving child's hands? He can make mountains but he can't make a clear book of instructions everyone can follow? Damn it, Tara, even Lego does a better job than that. You want me to worship a God that leaves children to suffer? You just want a God that saves you your favourite parking spot and reminds you to put the trash out on Wednesdays. So yeah, I want to talk to him, I want to give a piece of my mind." Tara opened her mouth, but her tears were falling too thickly. The priest stepped forwards.
"Son, God is a spirit, he can only work through our spirits. He's in everyone, if they want his guidance..."
After sixty years of marriage it their health was failing fast. Sixty strong years of love and they wanted nothing more than to end their days in each others arms. Neither wanted to live without the other, neither wanted to enter a home for the elderly. Arthur pushed Nadia's wheel chair into their orangery where the nurse had laid out the cocktails that would end their lives. The Four Seasons were playing on the radio, "Can't Take my Eyes Off of You," and the room smelled of the same flowers she carried in her wedding bouquet. After a long hug and a kiss, they downed their drinks at the same time. Death came swiftly in the most kind and gentle manner two people could have.
Once the terminal illness was diagnosed the end of life was the sole choice of the patient, some opted for comfort care and others chose euthanasia. Jenny had once been opposed to it, swayed by the "slippery slope" argument, but after years on the geriatric wards and in hospices she'd changed her mind. Their ends had been truly barbaric, suffering as their bodies broke slowly in agonizing pain. Even under heavy morphine it was no way for any animal to die, let alone a human, the only one capable of understanding both the concept of death and the manner in which they would suffer before death. In the end she became the finest euthanasia nurse, sending her patients off to the Almighty with a clear conscience. Death comes to us all, there really is no need for it to be so nasty.
"Euthanasia" means good death, who wouldn't want that? I've seen the alternatives and they're not pretty. Men and women lie in their beds begging to be put out of their misery. Cancer renders them confused. Alzheimer's steals them a little more every day until they can't recall how to urinate let alone make it to the bathroom or remember any person they ever loved. We should be able to say in advance at what stage we want our lives to end and have it honoured. We should be given the credit of knowing our own minds in advance. Should I ever get Alzheimer's I'd want to go when I could no longer recognize those I love, why not? I'd be lonely and scared, but why go early? Why have to make the choice when there are still happy days ahead? I'd want my good death when my life was no longer good, however I chose to define "good."
In the dark days of the regime the concept of euthanasia had been barbarized. We were allowed to live sixty two years only, retire at sixty, check out two years later. Those last two were spent at a spa resort, two years of luxury was cheaper than paying pensions and health care. I think it lasted like that for a while, but word leaked out that the two years had been shortened to two weeks. No-one really knew for sure - it's not like anyone ever made it out alive, they weren't supposed to.