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tirsdag den 22. oktober 2013

Gamles værste fjender er unge læger

Den republikanske amerikanske forfatter og kommentator William F. Buckley var heldig da han døde i en alder af 83 år. Han blev fundet på gulvet i sit hjem, efter et hjerteanfald. Med diabetes og emfysem (KOL/rygerlunger) kunne det være gået meget værre, en langsommelig dødsproces på hospitaler og deres intensiv-afdelinger. Netop dette frygtede han, da han i et interview talte om sit forhold til døden.

Do you wish you were twenty?

No. Absolutely not! No I would, I would not, if I had a pill which would reduce my age by twenty-five years I wouldn't take it.

Why not?

Because I'm tired of life.

Are you really?

Yeah. I really am. I'm utterly prepared to stop living on. There're no enticements to me that justify the weariness, the repetition, the ... my hours of exercise


In the end you just view that the essence of life is, 'I've done it and I'm ready ... to end it.'

Well, irrespective of whether you have done it, you reach a desire, you reach a certain age in your life where you don't think there's much point in continuing to live. One, at a certain age predicts there will be continuing attrition of your body and your muscles and so on and so forth. There'll be a slight memory loss, like when we couldn't remember the word for the Charlie McCarthy. And, so you feel, 'What am I hanging on for?

Now, to the extent I may give pleasure to my family, that's an important consideration. But it's going to happen sometime. Like the magazine having a new editor, so why not go ahead and do it? I'm not going to commit suicide, I think that's wrong to do. But I ...

But you're ready?

Absolutely. Sherwin Nuland, who wrote the book How We Die, said, 'The greatest enemy of older people is young doctors'. Cause you go into a hospital, and you have seven doctors who are determined to keep you alive, irrespective of what you want to do. And there isn't a living will written in such a language so commandeeringly that you can deny them their resources. So that's something which I think one thinks fruitfully about. If you reach the point in your life where you simply don't want any exertions in order to prolong it.


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