Friday, October 25, 2013

A Fate Worse Than Death?

There's an article in The Irish Times today regarding "end of life" issues, and a "forum of experts" who are calling for a "national strategy":

Am I the only person who detests this term, "end of life"? I see no reason why it should be preferred over those perfectly serviceable and blunt terms, death and dying. We hear so much about how the taboo on death and dying needs to be removed, but what is "end of life" but a euphemism?

I can see the argument that "end of life" might sound more positive and upbeat than "death". But I find it rather more chilling and sinister.

The word "death" has a certain grandeur to it. It makes us think of the Grim Reaper, coffins, gravestones, dramatic vigils over a death-bed, weeping relatives.

"End of life" sounds like a complete non-event, a bit like the GPS chirping: "You have reached your destination". It robs the event of all its momentousness.

I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but I can't help feeling that a term that downplays the awful dignity of dying is one that goes well with putting human beings down like animals-- quickly, efficiently, without fuss or drama. After all, it's the end of life-- there's no more to see here, folks.

1 comment:

  1. I think you may be right about to be honest.