Often when I speak to medical professionals about my views on death they are very surprised and exclaim ‘you are very black and white about that.’ I realise my views on the subject differ to that of many other people, and they have done since I was a young child. I don’t know if this is partly due to my autism, or just my own weird take on things, so I thought I’d ask on here what other people’s views on death/dying are. To give you a flavour of my views, here are some of my comments on the matter:
I think that we all die so we should get used to the idea sooner rather than later and that’s it’s not worth worrying about as it is inevitable. I wouldn’t care if I died tomorrow. Further, if I was to fall terminally ill I would refuse treatment as I believe in letting nature take it’s course - after all, natural selection has worked well for thousands of years, so why mess with it? If I died prematurely due to illness I would just see it that this was meant to be. This is why, despite being in my early 20s, I have already requested a do not resuscitate to be in place (also, I kind of view CPR as a form of physical assault - having seen it done to others, I certainly wouldn’t want it done to me!) and I said I wouldn’t want a blood transfusion when I had surgery. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one to refuse all medical input and I am very thankful for some of it, but I do draw a distinct line between what I consider acceptable and not.
My grandma is currently in a nursing home with dementia. She literally asked my mum and me to smother her, and she just wants to die because she is no longer able to live at home and do what she enjoyed. The home said she was depressed and tried to medicate her for it. They gave her a medication they new would increase her appetite as she was refusing food. I ended up arguing with them over it, explaining that my grandma wasn’t mentally ill - her thinking was perfectly logical and if I was in her position I would feel the same way. My grandma is very like me, and is very pragmatic about death also, and she hid the tablets rather than taking them, so that demonstrates what she thought about it! Maybe I was wrong to argue with the home, but I honestly couldn’t understand why they were trying to get her to feel different and eat more, as this would only prolong her suffering (aka life) and she just wanted to die! I think that keeping people alive at all cost is truly immoral and if they didn’t ask for it personally, it is selfish of those who did.
Disclaimer: I don’t mean to offend anyone with my views, and I certainly don’t expect others to comply with them. I respect everyone’s views and I know this is a difficult subject for some. I’m just wondering if anyone else thinks like me about death, or if I’m being obscure on my own here! Some may put it down to my current depression, but as mentioned I’ve thought like this from a very young age, so it appears intrinsic (maybe inherited from my grandma!).
My views are almost identical to yours and I do't consider myself to suffer from depression. Those of us on the spectrum have a far clearer view or at least an alternative view of what constitutes reality and this includes most areas of experience and belief, amongst which is death.
I held power of attorney for three different elderly relatives over the last three years. In each case their conditions deteriorated to the point where they weren't going to recover and they didn't know who or where they were. I still had to give explicit directions to the Doctors in charge to stop trying to make them better with antibiotics that weren't working, and to settle for pain relief and allowing them to die with dignity. One of them was my own father. It never gets easier though it didn't upset me in the way that I get upset when one of my cats dies.
Like you I have given instructions that I am not to be revived nor kept alive artificially. This is totally different from the Eugenics argument as it is a "sane" (whatever that means) adult giving instructions about their own life.
Be strong and persevere in what you believe, at least one other person agrees with you and I am 65 and living with Congestive Heart Failure (as well as being on the Spectrum) which will kill me sooner rather than later. People don't believe me when I say that I am not worried about the prospect but I'm not. I see it as a strength not as a weakness and I would encourage you to do so as well.
It’s good to know I’m not alone in my views. I agree - I think it’s a good thing to not be worried about dying, though it does conjure up some interesting responses in others who just can’t seem to understand why you’re not utterly desperate to remain alive!