, Gloucester, MA

November 6, 2012

Letter: Imposing will, judgements on others

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

Until you have been so depressed you have had to be hospitalized against your will and against your desire, you have no idea what that experience is like.

Working as a professional with a dozen, a score, or a hundred, or even far more such people does not qualify you to impose your will, your values, or your religious philosophy on anyone. You might have more than a glimmer of understanding of such pain, but that does give you the right to decide how someone else must live just to make you happy. That is the attitude of a slave owner to people held in captivity.

There will be a few who say, thank you for saving me from my self, but not all will. Yet to be resolved is this question. Who put you in charge of deciding the fate of others when your permission was not needed, justified, or sought? Has your arrogance no end?

What seems to be ignored is the situation of having to live with a pronouncement of imminent death. Until you know you are about to die, you cannot comprehend the impact of that knowledge. It changes you in ways that are surprising and is damn near impossible to talk with others about.

There are so many who mindlessly blather about their rights but they ignore their responsibilities. One responsibility we have as civilized people is that we honor the right of others to decide for themselves how their life is conducted and lived. While I want my friends to have the best of life they can achieve, I am not qualified to define what that means for them. As a friend I can only hope they are satisfied with their choices.

The means to death can be far simpler, quicker, easier, and more pleasant than what has been luridly portrayed on TV. Before you opine, get informed. Please.