life and death

Tonight I got completely sucked in by Al Pacino’s character in You Don’t Know Jack. I’d wanted to watch this movie for a long time and NetFlix finally obliged. I knew few details about Dr. Kevorkian and his practices before watching this, but after working as a hospice volunteer a few years ago, I’ve always been curious to learn more.

One of the reasons I chose to volunteer with hospice is my strong belief that people deserve to die comfortably and with dignity. Nothing in the world could possibly be more valuable than a human life – that’s indisputable – but my experience exposed me to people who suffered immensely at the end of their lives.

A lot of people I’m close to read this blog, and I certainly don’t want to offend anyone with this post or my thoughts. But regardless of your current beliefs or past experiences, I implore you to watch this movie with an open mind. Even if you know you’ll remain resolutely in favor of or opposed to Kevorkian’s methods, at least take the time to understand the opposing arguments. Holding strong to your beliefs is important, but making informed decisions is even more critical.

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2 thoughts on “life and death

  1. The willingness to consider the other side of the story. A nearly extinct beast.

    I have not seen the movie in question, but I will be adding it to my queue as soon as I log out of my blog. I remember when I was in high school and Kevorkian first gained notoriety, and my family (good Christians that we were) automatically screamed bloody murder (literally) without really knowing anything about the man or his motivations. It wasn’t until years later that I began to put two and two together and realize the connection between the “right to life” rhetoric I’d been exposed to as a teenager, and the “right to die” narrative that Kevorkian was largely responsible for bringing into the public debate: that they were essentially the same right viewed from two different angles. Since then, I have been trying to live according to a more consistent “ethic of life” that takes all the implications of the issue into account. Hopefully your recommendation helps others to make this effort as well…

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