I listened to a talk by Ken Dychtwald, an important thinker on aging and author of many books on that subject. An engaging speaker, he’s been all over this topic for many years, and he asks the above question regularly of his audiences.
As you might suspect, almost everyone raises their hands to indicate “of course”. His follow up question, “No matter what?” dramatically changed the response.
My current thought is that if my life is so diminished that I am a burden to society, if I can’t communicate or think rationally, I don’t want to be here. And I think many people would agree with me, but not everyone. In the session I watched, a few people indicated they wanted to be here no matter what their situation was.
But what we don’t know now is how we will feel then. Maybe our quality of life will be sufficient to sustain us. Who makes that decision? Will we be able to?
It’s hard to say.