How to die with dignity after your last wish.
As is well known, the Netherlands is one of the most liberal countries in the world when it concerns human issues, like Gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia. Last weekend there was one touching case in which an 80-year old man was given his dying wish before he’s about to die…. next Wednesday. Translated from an article in the Sports pages of the Dutch newspaper Telegraaf.
The intensity with which 30-year old Erwin Kuipers underwent the Dutch premier league match Ajax Amsterdam against FC Utrecht will stay with him for the rest of his life. Knowing that his gravely ill grandfather Cor Leibbrand (80) will be ending his life next Wednesday. His last wish was to see his favorite team Ajax play once more before the inevitable .
“I’m immensely grateful to the Ajax foundation”, said a very emotional Kuipers. “The fact that the club was willing to make this event possible was great and I was counting on some random tickets for the match. Instead we were given two tickets for the Royal suite in the stadium! It was a wonderful day and a perfect way to remember my grandfather”.
It seems unreal. Seeing the 80-year old walk like there nothing wrong with him but underneath there’s a whole other picture and no one could believe it the next Wednesday there will be no more days left to count in his life. He showed strength and many would thought he was much younger than his real age. ” But I’m in pain. My intestines, bladder and liver are full of cancer. I’m standing with my back against the wall. If the doctors would have said I have about 5 percent chance to recover, I would have fought for it, but instead I was given 0,0000 percent. With the perspective of ending it all in grave pain in the coming months. In accordance with my physician and family we decided to take matters in my own hands. No, it’s really not an easy step but I have to accept it”.
Even though the end is rapidly approaching, through this quick action by his grandson he will now have another great memory of his grandfather, who in his youth also played for Ajax Amsterdam in the 40’s and 50’s. “That’s why I found it very important to go to the club for the very last time with his grandfather. I’ve had a season ticket for about six years with a cousin of mine and if one of us could not attend a match, grandfather was there so the ticket would not be wasted. I will miss my grandfather immensely.”
The man in the middle of all attention wouldn’t have missed this match for all the gold in the world.” My physician asked me if I had a last wish, and I said; “yes, seeing Ajax one more time and after that Euthanasia.”
See. How simple. And then there are people who speak about death panels and so on. Extending life against the will of the patient no matter what. “I’t God’s task to end life”. Bull! If I face the same test, I’ll take the same exit. Why would I want to extend my life against the odds? Why would I need to stay alive even though my body wants to die? Why should I have to live my life in agonizing pain? And why should I be a burden on health care costs even though the result will be the same?
go out with dignity! Go out with a bang!