Thu | Jan 17, 2019

How would you want to die?

Published:Saturday | January 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dr. Douglas Street, Contributor

Many of us are afraid to think about dying, but some embrace our mortality as we all know that death is inevitable. Only persons who commit suicide get to choose how they go, but what if we could all could choose what would be your choice?

A former British Medical Journal editor created quite a stir recently when he suggested that cancer was the best way to exit this life.

He based this on a number of factors. He thought the idea of dying from cancer was quite 'romantic'. You could 'put your house in order', complete your 'bucket list' and say goodbye to family and friends.

He also said that you should not be overly aggressive about cancer treatment as this will worsen one's quality of life without curing it. In addition, he said that the pain of cancer can be controlled with medication. However, there were many who disagreed with him as many suffered greatly from cancer before dying.

I don't think there would be many who would want to die from a traumatic event such as a motor vehicle accident or violent murder. Most persons who die this way are in the prime of their lives and are quite unprepared for death.

Dying from AIDS

This would also apply to their families. They may be the breadwinner and their death may leave their families in a precarious financial position. There are also probably very few persons who would want to die from AIDS.

This is probably due to the stigma which is still attached to the condition. Persons may think you were homosexual or sexually promiscuous and are being punished for your sins, so to speak. Probably, most persons would choose to die in their sleep from 'acceptable' illness.

Acceptable illness

This could be a heart attack or stroke. The problem with dying in this manner is that it is usually sudden and you, friends and family would be unprepared. But, the upside is that there would be no pain or suffering.

Dying by suicide is probably the most traumatic for the family and friends and can leave them with long-term emotional scars, which at times, may even encourage others in their circle to follow the same path. So how would you prefer to go? Would you like to know ahead of time? Would you tell your family? When all is said and done, it's best to be prepared at all times.