Archive for November 3rd, 2013|Daily archive page

A test of conviction

I will try not to cheat on NaBloPoMo by citing articles every day. But while I’m thinking about the New York Times, I’m reminded of a story that I think is relevant to caregivers of all kinds. This story, titled “A Life-or-Death Situation,” ran in the Times magazine in July. I was drawn to it right away because of the cutline on the lead photo: “As a bioethicist, Peggy Battin fought for the right of people to end their own lives. After her husband’s cycling accident, her field of study turned unbearably personal.”

I have complicated emotions about Mom’s slow decline. I just remain thankful that her existence is punctuated by hearty laughter and the consistent joy of consuming a good meal. But what I’m experiencing, I imagine, is minimally painful compared to what spouses of Alzheimer’s patients endure. What do they wish for? The comforting presence of their constant companion, or a merciful end to the suffering?

In this story, a man is critically injured in a bicycle accident. His wife, an academic who has long been a very public proponent of the right to die, finds herself wanting her husband to live – and wanting him to want to live. It’s a moving story. The follow-up was published a month later.

The cover story is a long read, but worth it if the subject is of interest to you.

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