Wasting Death 1Imagine one s self-being 65 years old and diagnosed with a fatal disease. This person has lived a very full life and has very little to frown upon. The disease will take 6 months to be fatal and after five months the disease s effects such as pain will set in. A couple of months pass and this person has tried everything to prolong their life and nothing has seemed to work. That person starts to feel slight pain and knows more will come. He/she becomes depressed and decides to take one s own life before it gets worse. This decision for most would be understandable, but for Dr. M. Scott Peck, this is the wrong one to make. In his book, Denial of the Soul, he describes the horrible effects this type of suicide has on one s self, family, and the rest of society. In Denial of the Soul, Dr. M. Scott Peck ponders the topics of euthanasia and suicide as psychiatric and spiritual issues in our lives. This work is filled with the meaning and medicine that will bring one s self closer to a greater spiritual understanding. This brilliant psychiatrist and theologian has developed a critical study of the medical, ethical, and spiritual issues of euthanasia and a profound examination on the nature of the soul and the meaning of life, offering a set of guidelines for the proper use of euthanasia. Peck has created a deeply moving reflection on what euthanasia reveals about the status of the soul in our age. Dr. Peck’s reflections were definitely interesting and full of wisdom. This topic of euthanasia, the right to die, is shown to be explosive issue. He poses the questions we should all ask ourselves and helps us determine the spiritual lessons that dying is meant to teach. He grapples with the deeper meanings of life, death, suicide and euthanasia and asks whether we have the ethical right to kill ourselves even though we have the power. Wasting Death 2Using gripping stories from his own experience as a physician, he explores the core issues that should arise when people face the question of euthanasia for themselves, their loved ones, or society. This book is about death and the choice to die. In this discussion, Peck states that we should not play God. This means taking or sustaining life unnaturally in any way. Just like you should not kill yourself before God deems, Peck believes that you should not keep a person alive unnaturally. This may be through life support or other drugs. In this Peck believes you should pull the plug when someone is at the point of death. Peck believes that there cannot be a formula or system which we choose people for death, but rather that we should do it on an individual basis and that is what differs us from robots. In this book, we as humans are shown to be in constant learning or developable. When he states developable, he means that we go through a kind of warm-up before we are placed into the next life. To kill yourself would cancel your journey and in Peck s mind, you would be trying to defy God. He says that on your deathbed, you learn most of yourself. This is your final adventure and more than ever you are not sure as to what will come out the other side of it, so to speak. In this time you come to peace with those things which you have been dealing with for so long. In this time you also receive a spiritual awakening and a rebirth before you die.Secularism is an overwhelming part of this discussion. Those who support Euthanasia take God and an afterlife completely out of the picture and focussing in on the removal of their immediate pain. He believes that the soul is the real person and the body just a way for the soul to express one s self. In this book, the Kubler-Ross Stage Theory
Wasting Death 3was discussed in which the five stages of death actually bring us closer to God and our humanity. The five stages outlined explain how the last stage of acceptance leads us toward realizing our real being and bringing us closer to a co-existence with God and a better life to come, where ever it may be. When a person chooses Euthanasia as a way out of life, that person is thought by Peck to miss an opportunity of learning in their death. The final level of acceptance is one in, which grows enormously learning a great amount about yourself. A person taking their own life damages himself or herself by preventing such a spiritual matter to happen and also defy God and nature. The subject does not end there because it greatly affects those around them by breaking up families over the issue and making life after that person s death just as hard or harder. Society is also affected because it brings the subjects of suicide and the soul so much closer to unimportance, by making the ending of life a mundane occurrence.Pecks goal in writing this book was open people s eyes up about the problems with euthanasia and our growing secular attitude. If we are not to realize the importance of our own souls and mankind s regard for another, then we shall surely become less of humans and more of machines. That is what Peck is to prevent; the dehumanizing of society, by awakening the fact that life is precious and we should strive for it and not allow ourselves to give up. This book taught me that life is precious, but death is also precious. We learn many things in our lives and if we allow it, also in our days of dying. This is not a time to be feared, but rather to be embraced by everyone because it is a spiritual awakening. Wasting Death 4Through this novel, I have come to the realization that death is nothing but a great journey. My fears of this journey have been somewhat alleviated through reading this and I think that is very beneficial.I have come to discover how much my continued growth is to my future and how I should embrace a learning experience. I have been taught much about how dying works and what euthanasia is and is not. I have found that life s most difficult situations are choices and the most difficult choices that I can see are ones about my family s life and my own. No formula can answer the abstract questions about life and the value thereof. I can identify with this and I really like the position Peck takes on this. To be premature, means to take a shortcut and that will only lead to a dead end. I think that every thing I do makes me have to learn a little more about myself. The hurt and pain along with the joy help us to be more complete beings and allow us to develop. To believe in a life after death, to me is the only option because even if there isn t, you won t know until your not there. I would rather believe something possibly fictional to help myself cope in this huge universe. The belief that all of the power resides in the soul is the same feeling I have about the subject. I think that our bodies are just an illusion and an obstacle that we must overcome to find the true capabilities that we possess. I also have come to believe that I must try to cooperate with the being shadowing over my life, because if not, I am driving without headlights on a dark rainy night. I find that if there is a God out there (probably), then he/she resides within the hearts and souls of us people and that is where decisions Wasting Death 5should be made. Therefore I have learned that Euthanasia is not my choice and I choose to die when my god and nature destine this so, not out my own selfish wants.