This question was included in a recent myspace survey circulating:
Think of the last person who you know that died. You have the chance to give them 1 hour of life back, but you have to give one year of your life. do you do it?
And my answer is NO.
Why? Isn't my life just as fulfilling one year shorter for one hour of life of the last person I knew that died? Yes.
But that hour of life isn't the kind of life I'd like to be able to gift someone.
My father's life was a morphine-induced catatonic state, where time knew no passing and communication was beyond reach. No, that it no way to give a gift.
But most people will automatically and emphatically answer "YES" to the above question, because as humanitarians and all-around good people, we're supposed to be so self-sacrificing.
Would an AIDS patient, dying painfully, wish for one more hour? Would a sufferer of Alzheimer's want another hour of confusion and disorientation? How about a coma patient? A burn victim? An accient victim suffering internal injuries or head trauma? My father was a cancer patient, and I wouldn't wish another minute of that existence on anyone.
I'm not arguing that the question deserves a "no", and am only partially arguing that it is worth careful consideration before spouting off at the mouth all the resounding "yes's" you want before thinking about the consequenses.
I'm arguing that it's a stupid question.
Who in their right mind ponders this stuff? (other than me, of course....) One hour of their life for one year of yours? And of what real value are either? What can they possibly accomplish in that hour that the preceding years failed to accomplish? (realistically speaking here, not Hollywood ending....) And your last year of life? What if you're an AIDS/cancer/alzheimer's/coma patient that would love for one year less.... It would be like pre-gifting yourself! Only it's more like pre-gifting a crap shoot, but that's another argument altogether.
All said, it's a stupid hypothetical and rhetorical question that shouldn't be answered because even the warm and fuzzies it might create in you or those you know are shallow and vapid. But for you to agree with me, you might actually have to think about it first. Don't hurt yourself.