Is there a fate worth than death for you?

Some years ago, one of my best friends and I were discussing, of all things, whether we could remain friends with a (hypothetical) friend who had committed a murder or rape of someone we didn’t know. We were of two minds there: I said no, she said yes, which surprised me. But what surprised me more was her statement that, if she were ever violently raped, she’d prefer to be killed afterwards; she felt that living with such a memory would be worse than death.

I didn’t argue with her on that issue, of course; she wasn’t recommending that rape survivors be executed, but rather stating what her own greatest fear was. That said, her attitude struck me as an unhealthy one: it is certainly possible to survive such an assault, and to heal and proper afterwards. My private musings promptly struck me as hypocritical–because there are certainly things I would rather die than endure that others might say, Nah, I can take it–bring it on! Life is sweet!

For me it’s blindness. In the year or so since I was diagnosed with diabetes, that’s been a real issue for me: by which I mean that I am extremely concerned about it, not that my doctors think I am in any imminent danger. But the notion of losing my sight–the attendant loss of autonomy it would entail–simply terrifies me. I know that others may disagree, and they’re probably right to do so–but to me, blindness is a fate worse than death.

What about the rest of you?

I agree, actually.

Any condition where I was dependent on someone else for daily care and was never going to get better would be worse than death for me. My personality is such (and I’m worse when I’m sick- I’m a bad patient) that I would probably manage to antagonize a long-term caregiver in a fairly short amount of time, anyway. You certainly wouldn’t want to be around me if I couldn’t read or play computer games- I’d be nasty just because I was so bored.

Not being able to communicate. I could live, grudgingly, without being able to talk. But take away every form of communication: no writing, no typing, nothing…that’s a fate worse than death for me. One of my friends cannot speak (CP), she can only look up to indicate “yes”. So to “talk”, she has to have someone recite the alphabet for her until she gets to the letter she wants, where she signals “yes”. Then the next letter. It’s laborious and horrible. It takes her three minutes to get out a sentance, by which time the conversation has drifted to other things. I wouldn’t be able to stand that.

My living will states that if I become unable to communicate for more than 30 days and three doctors agree my chances of regaining that ability within another 30 days are less than 70%, life preserving measures (including food and water, if I can’t eat by myself) are to be withheld.

Hard to say, because I feel sometimes you never know what you’re capable of coping with until it actually happens to you.
Blindness is very frightening to me too, and if I had to choose I’d pick going deaf over going blind any day…but if blindness did strike me, I think that eventually I’d learn to cope with it.
The idea of becoming almost completely paralyzed like Christopher Reeve scares me a lot too, and from my current perspective I think maybe it wouldn’t be worth living like that…but if it actually happened, I probably would learn to make the best of it.

I think the only situation where I can confidently say I’d truly prefer death would be unrelenting severe pain, like what some cancer patients endure in their final months.

Debilitating thickness?

Actually, the worst thing I can imagine would be having to go on knowing I’d been responsible in a reckless way for the death of someone I loved. I could handle most anything… except for that.

Yes. Or else being trapped for all eternity in a room full of screaming children and babies. I’d definitely slit my throat to escape that.

Yep. Typing with a lisp. :wink:

:smack: :smack: :smack: :smack:

Meddle not in the typos of Rhymers, for they are subtle and swift to anger, whereas you crunchy and taste good with mayonnaise. :mad:

I can’t imagine wanting to live if I were a quadraplegic. Paraplegic, OK, I’ll scream and cry but I could adjust. But not being able to move ANYTHING below my neck? It’s like my worst claustrophobic nightmare…tied up and unable to move. Horrifying.

I suppose severe brain damage would be another, but not so much. I’d rather die than be severely brain damaged. But if that brain damage did occur, I wouldn’t be able to understand why being brain damaged was so horrible. The brain damage would take away my ability to fear and hate my brain damage.

The same thing lieu said.

Or knowing my son was being hurt/tortured/etc.

Amputation of anything more than a toe. I have a really severe fear of amputation and, sadly, amputees, and could not live like that. I would rather be blind than lose one of my limbs. Not that blindness is appealing, per se, but I don’t think it’d be a suiciding condition.

Also probably quadraplegia, or anything else requiring constant care. I don’t want to need other people to help me live my life.

Being sent to prison, especially if it were a life sentence with no possibility for parole. What would be left to live for at that point?

Plotting your escape ala The Shawshank Redemption, and making the other prisoners yoru bitches in the meantime, of course. :smiley:

Of course, not being a fictional character, you might have some problems there. :frowning:

Yes, there is a fate worse than death for me, but I’m not going to tell anyone, lest this little post comes back to haunt me when I get thrown in Room 101.

Very wise of you, vibrotronica. Pity you neglected to enable the anti-mindreading option on your computer before logging on this morning. I already know all your secrets.

::grinning even more evilly than usual::

Two I can think of

-Being like Terry Schiavo. If my parents did that to me, when I did eventually die, I’d come back and haunt their asses into the loony bin.
-You know that big movie that’s coming out in August, Snakes on a Plane? (Who doesn’t know about it by now!) If I were on that plane, I’d jump to my death before I’d stay on a plane with all those snakes. That’s how phobic I am.

Maybe I’m just a big baby, but I’m tempted to say “any of the above.” I can’t imagine being blind (I’m an artist) or deaf (never hearing music again) or paraplegic (totally dependent on others) or imprisoned (no freedom) or in constant excruciating pain (pain hurts). And the idea of living in a chronic vegetative state just scares the bejesus out of me.

I’ve often thought that barring some kind of accident, I’ll probably die by my own hand (assuming I still have one). My greatest fear is being in a position in which I no longer have that option.

Seriously speaking, being a quadraplegic would be close, but I can definitely say that being stricken with the loss of my sight, hearing, and being totally paralyzed would definitely do it for me.

Some (but not all) seriousness aside, I am thinking of being on a little-bitty regional jet (which has seats about ten inches wide), with an NFL linebacker as my seat mate, on a non-stop trip from Florida to Diego Garcia. :eek:

A fate worse than death?

Being forced to watch my sons die. I’m not sure I could recover from that. If it was intentional, I’m pretty sure someone else wouldn’t recover from it either.

If my daughter ever disappeared and was never found, I think I might be able to hold on for a few years out of hope. After that, though…

I hate even thinking about that.