Addison Smith | Opinions Editor
Pulling the plug on a loved one is a choice that destroys and stresses out many. The likelihood of a person in a comatose state waking up is typically slim, but choosing to end that chance is a toll many of us are lucky not to face.
On July 11, 2011 Matthew Davis was severely injured when he rode his motorcycle into a parked car while merging onto the highway in Georgia, according to an article from Global News. His official diagnosis came in full of negatives; he had a 10 percent chance of waking up and only a five percent chance of full recovery.
But, his wife Danielle Davis refused to pull the plug on her husband and miraculously Matthew woke up, but he didn’t remember much of his prior life, Danielle included.
However, she stuck by his side and they’ve gradually been refalling in love, while Matthew learns to walk and regain basic movement.
Often not recognized is the struggle that comes with pulling the plug on a loved one, or choosing to go through with assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is only legal in Vermont, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico in the United States. It is also decriminalized in Montana based on a lack of precedent and policy, but no cases have come up to make it fully legal.
However, in assisted suicide situations, many times it is the patient’s choice to end his or her life. When it comes to pulling the plug, it is the choice of another person, unless the patient in the coma says he or she would want the plug pulled ahead of time.
The choice to end another life can be tricky to grapple with, especially if you are deciding for a loved one. The choice to end your own life due to medical circumstances is a different beast.
Javier Bardem once starred in a movie Mar Adentro, detailing the true tale of Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 28 year battle to end his own life in Spain. Sampedro jumped into the ocean off a cliff, without realizing how shallow the water was at the base. He hit his head, paralyzing himself from the neck down.
To communicate, Sampedro writes with a pen between his teeth, but he can also speak. He argues that life is not worth living if he can do nothing, fighting an uphill battle with the Spanish judicial system to participate in assisted suicide.
While assisted suicide is looked down upon by many, it is this Academy Award winning film that opens eyes to the possibility of it being okay. To see Bardem portray a man in that much pain and to experience the pain while watching the film, one’s opinion on assisted suicide may change.
But, what the Davis miracle story proves is that pulling the plug on your life isn’t always the best idea, as you can rebound and wake up. Or, as many argue in Mar Adentro, you must learn to live a different life than you’ve lived before, but you should still desire to live.
There is no easy solution to medically assisted suicides, nor is there one solution to this phenomena. The fact that Matthew Davis had a five percent chance to pull off a miracle, and did, is astounding.
This story may jade some, but it also provides a valuable lesson to others. While many situations arise regarding medically assisted death and pulling the plug, each case is a case-by-case basis.
A miracle for one person won’t happen for all, but the likelihood of waking up is different for each person. There is no right way to handle these situations collectively, but one should also not compromise his or her morals when making a decision.
Life is worth living, typically. You can have good days. You can have bad days, you can have just plain awful days, but it’s always worth it to fight through the rough times. The next day, you could find a $20 bill crumpled on the ground, or something even more amazing could happen