Thursday, August 20, 2015

On Jimmy Carter's Cancer

I need some advice, friends, because I think I may be on the wrong side of this one, and there may be a character fault at issue.  Like the rest of the country, I received the news this week that former President Jimmy Carter has cancer, first of the liver, and now of the brain.  This is of course, terrible news for him, for his family, and for anyone who loves him. He has lived a remarkable life, and he has influenced the lives of countless others.

And yes, I realize that much of the coverage of this event stems from the fact that he was our President, that he is a public figure.  But nowhere--nowhere--in the coverage, have I heard anyone bring up the fact that this man is 90 YEARS OLD!  And while I certainly would not want the man to be in any pain or distress, I find myself wondering what people's reactions would be if he were to pass away tomorrow.  I read also of the experimental treatment he'll be undergoing--and wonder--not because he is a Democrat, but because he is 90 YEARS OLD-- whether this isn't just another example of the degree to which our medical system is out of whack, where a huge percentage of what gets spent on people's medical care in their lives is spent in the last year--just trying to keep them alive a little longer.  

I know, I know.  There is something cold and unloving about even raising the issue.  But I am.  Because I think that if I were in Mr. Carter's position, I'd find a way to quietly check out.  Surrounded by those I love and perhaps imbued with palliative medicines--but I don't think that there is a whole lot of good to be done here.  I don't know where the cutoff is--this is a good question.  At 50, I am not ready to die just yet, but I've talked this over many times with the Kitten and tried to convince her that I'd not want to sacrifice the quality of my life in order to extend it.  She says I feel that way because I am healthy, and that if I found myself terminally ill, I'd feel differently.  I guess the best I can say is, I hope not. 


Tom de Plume said...

I would respect this loser if he took the advice of Zeke Emanuel and spared us the expense of his treatment. 90 years old. Cancer. Time to die.

"The Hammer" said...

At this point in a man's life, when he's near the goal, it's appropriate to consider his intentions rather than his actually accomplishments. I remember Jimmy Carter well. He was a good man with a good intellect, unfortunately he was NOT suited to the job.
I wish him a speedy recovery.

Vero said...

CW -- You are correct in your assertions in the first sentence. Personally I would rather shell out money for President Carter's healthcare than for any number of fatso, on-welfare, drug addicted, heavy smokers with heart disease - even if they are half his age. In a civilized, wealthy country like ours we don't discriminate. By age, merit, station in life, disability or anything else. A life is a life.

If you heard the Carter Press conference you have to have been impressed with the man. He was sharp, engaged, in control, humble, humorous and, in my view, worthy of any health care expenditures we bestow upon him. Like the Hammer, I wish him a speedy recovery...

FNU LNU said...

I believe Jimmy mentioned the fact he has lived a long life. Personally, and this isn't nice but I hope it's painful. The guy was/is a bag of vinegar and water.

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