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Being sentient/functional at an old age and the fear of death within the individual (EDITED). Previously "How old is too old really?".

(EDIT: DISREGARD THE AGE FACTOR, THIS IS ABOUT BEING FUNCTIONAL AND HAVING A "LIFE" WORTH LIVING. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS) I'm not screaming, I'm just making sure that everyone gets it.

This question has been in my thoughts for quite some time now. I always wondered, at which point in a human being's life does he or she realizes that it's time to leave this plane of existence?

Say for example you reach 60, you're seasoned alright. Throughout your life, you performed very poor physical maintenance, you've been out of shape since forever and as a result you now suffer all types of diseases and physical illnesses. You're at a point where life, to you, consists of waking up and getting taken care of like a infant on daily basis. You're under many different types of medications, you can't perform any simple physical activity like walking and most of your needs must be tended to by someone else. Then suddenly, your condition gets worse and surgery is needed, or specialized help is needed in order to keep you alive.

Aside from your loved ones wanting to keep you alive, Isn't it selfish to put other people in tight financial situations just so you can almost mirror the life of a vegetable?

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    Apr 29 2013: I see you're having a hard time getting a clear answer to what you asked. You're probably wondering why that is. My take on this must start with my own answer to your question:

    "I don't know." There's a clear answer. And I think it also suggests the reason why you're not getting clear answers.

    I'm not in the situation of your infirm 60-year old. (I'm only 72 and in great health, as long as we're sharing ages.) And because I'm not in his situation I can't know what I would do if I were in that situation. When I was 21, I would have known what do do if I were a 60-year old near-vegetable. But not anymore. When you have lived a goodly number of decades and are at all reflective, you recognize the impossibility of determining well ahead of time what your sense of your present, past, and future will be at a later age. You only know that it will have changed.

    I appreciate your recognition below (if you weren't being ironic) that experience with life does bring some understanding with the years. Many 20-somethings seem to lack that recognition, though they all think they're smarter than they were five years ago.

    Hope the discussion has given you something to chew on.
    Cheers,
    Paul L.
    • Apr 30 2013: I know you're not in the situation of my infirm 60 year old... But say you were is what I'm asking. What would the individual inside YOU do? Would he make a conscious decision or?

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