I have noted in the past that the death of Pierre Trudeau in 2000 was one of the seminal events which caused me to take an interest in politics. It is therefore with some fascination that I note that recent details about the former Prime Minister’s last days have recently come to light.
More particularly, I was surprised by this:
Pierre Trudeau chose not to be treated for metastasized prostate cancer after he was diagnosed with dementia, a new Huffington Post Canada ebook reveals. The cancer could have been treated, but the former prime minister wanted the disease to claim him before he lost his mind.
I must admit, at first, I honestly was not sure what to make of this. In some ways, I feel that this is sadly reflective of society’s disregard for the disabled: that is to say, deciding that it’s better to be dead than senile. That said, however, I ultimately came to the realization that this is a matter of personal choice. Pierre Trudeau, in this case, made a decision for himself, and not for anyone else. He was a man who based so much of his self-identity on an admittedly razor sharp intellect that the idea of living without it seemed quite untenable. And frankly, I think I probably would have made the exact same decision in his place.