Sara’s story is one we all truly fear. A sickness which doesn’t care if you eat healthy, maintain physical fitness or avoid bad habits is always lurking, cancer. As anyone would do, she decided to fight the cancer against all odds; was it worth it? She travelled down the path of heavy medication, refusing to let go as her condition worsened and terrible reactions took place. In the end, it couldn’t save her life; what should medicine do when it can’t save your life?
In circumstances where medicine can no longer save someone’s life, I still believe it is an important tool for easing pain and allowing for smoother final days. In a case such as Sara’s, I feel that medicine should have been limited to assisting her comfort needs instead of being used as a last ditch effort while tearing her body apart. With terminal cases, it’s wrong to watch a patient become sicker as they fight a hopeless battle, instead of having let them live their final days at peace. Of course it’s very easy to say I wouldn’t commit the same mistake in using medication past its limits if I were in such a situation; it all comes down to deciding between quality vs. quantity of life. Some people may value their final short days feeling happy, while others would suggest sacrifices to elongate life as long as possible in worsened conditions. Just as the title, her situation was simply about letting go. She was afraid, not ready to accept death and let go of her life and newborn baby. It’s true that we live in a death denying culture; always dodging death and fearing it when it’s all around and inevitable. I can’t imagine refusing medication and facing death without fear, but one day we’ll surely all have to make the call.