Live And Let Die
Live and Let Die
By Linda and Paul McCartney
When you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live
(you know you did, you know you did, you know you did)
But if this ever-changing world in which we live in makes you give in and cry
Say live and let die
Aruna Shanbaug is a woman in India who was raped and brutalized at 25 years of age. She has been in a semi vegetative state for the last 37 years. She was a nurse working in a hospital soon to be married when a hospital sweeper raped and choked her with a dog chain cutting off her supply of oxygen.
Aruna cannot see, she cannot get out of bed, she cannot feed herself. But she is not brain-dead. She expresses her likes and dislikes by making sounds and movement. She smiles when she is given her favorite foods. She is not on life support. However, a certain group of people in India decided that her life was not worth living. They decided to determine the quality of her life. So what exactly does that mean? She can’t speak or get out of bed. Does that determine the quality of life? If that is the case then perhaps we ought to consider ending the life of Stephen Hawking. After all he is totally paralyzed and can’t speak except through a very unique and expensive machine. Mr. Hawking has ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Since 1974 he has not been able to feed himself or get out of bed, however he has had a very productive life with the help of many. He has been married twice and has three children. You might say, well Mr. Hawking has made no request for assisted suicide but neither has Aruna.
Fortunately a year ago the Indian Supreme Court rejected the plea to euthanize Aruna Shanbaug. “We have no indication of Aruna Shanbaug’s views or wishes” the judges said. I have to agree with Dr. Devi Shetty, a renowned cardiologist with the distinction of being Mother Teresa’s doctor, when he says that to euthanize Aruna would be wrong. The medical profession is making incredible strides every day and if we did euthanize her and discovered a way to reverse her condition in a few years, what then?
What say you? What determines the quality of your life?