Dr. Death

If people are suffering, they should have the right to decide if they want to die. By forcing them to continue, we are only torturing them. In this regard, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande is a very insightful book. He advocates not putting people on ventilator, rather on pain reducing drugs, and just letting them die peacefully, and not prolonging their lives artificially. Atul Gawande is a doctor and a prize-winning author. A reviewer wrote that Mr. Gwande writes with a scalpel. Mr. Gawnade advocates palliative care and asks more people to become geriatricians.

Many people love their professions. Some are highly committed to what they do. But there are only a few people who can stand for what they believe in, who have the courage the fight the system, not for a day or a week, but for so many years. And Mr. Jack was indeed one of those. Hats off to him for his unflinching convictions, and his courage to take on everybody to defend those convictions!

What differentiates such people from other? What do they do extra? What are the reasons that make them what they are? Perhaps, one thing is their self-confidence in their ways, their defiance in the ways of others, their uniqueness, their unconventional take on life. For one, Mr. Jack didn’t marry. Perhaps, it explains his undiluted devotion and love for his profession.

Another, he hadn’t watched the most talked about film of the times- The Shawshank Redemption. Does that explain his singular focus on his profession, and not worrying about the general trends? Perhaps, it does.

Since he was so cut off from the ways of general people, does that explain his naivety in challenging even the law? The last verdict by the judge was really apt- that, one can debate the law, but one can’t take it in one’s hand. And it is surprising that Mr.Jack didn’t think of that. Perhaps, if he had, he won’t have been one of the most revered people of America. All great people have defied law and changed the course of history.

I just hope Mr. Jack didn’t repent his terms in jail, and that he felt proud in whatever he did, and whatever its consequences were. I hope his actions continue serving as a reminder for all of us in our future endeavours. And I hope euthanasia (active/passive) be soon termed as legal in all the countries of the world.

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