Last week’s post on the fear of death got quite a discussion going, and I appreciated the perspectives that folks shared on the subject. One interesting issue that people raised involved the circumstances of dying itself – specifically dying within a traditional medical setting where interventions and technology to prolong life abound. It reminds me of the old Woody Allen quote, “I’m not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
As a whole we do, indeed, die differently these days compared to our ancestors – certainly Grok and his clan but perhaps even our grandparents/great-grandparents. Science, to its credit, has developed ways to save and even restore quality of life in situations that would’ve been our inevitable demise even a few decades ago. But it’s a different focus than efforts that simply prolong life in a technical sense. That leads me to today’s question: in a decidedly un-Primal medical world, what role can self-determination play in a “desirable” death as it does in a vibrant life?