A Trial of Death— Story’s graduation film project 2016-11-19
Nov.19,2016, Story Chen’s studio
The protagonist of the film is Marina.
Life is vulnerable though beautiful.
Story’s graduation film is about to shoot. The film will focus on how human deal with death. The protagonist of the film is Marina who is suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She is almost impossible to be cured. Her brother loves her so much but can do nothing to save her life instead of witnessing her suffering. Ultimately, as her health condition has been worsened, the issue is brought onto the stage—to persist or to give up?
When witnessing that our relatives are struggling on the edge of death, what should people do –to encourage him to persist and wait for the development of technology or to respect their will and to terminate their lives? This is a trial of death conducted by human. Not only the patients and their relatives, but also government and the outsiders are involved in this controversial discussion–do people have the right to decide on others’ life even if they are the most intimate person of those patients?
How will people make choices when they desire to live but they might not be able to? Every time we think about this, we, as humans, are conducting a trial of death.
On July,17 in 1997, the supreme court overturned the verdict, announcing that the Regulation of private policy could not be applied to this case. What should be prevented is that people could not suicide with the assistance of others. The authority and the integrity of medical treatment have to be protected. Twenty years ago, AIDS means death. Twenty years later, the lives of the HIV patients could be as long as the lives of the common people.
In 2005, a similar cases once again triggered the public attention to death and free will.
Terri Schiavo lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA. In February 25, 1990, she suddenly got heart arrest. After remaining in coma for two and a half month, she was diagnosed with a persistent vegetative state(PVS). In the following years, the doctor tried to wake her up by all means but failed. In 1998, Terri’s husband requested that Florida sixth circuit court put her life to an end while this has been strongly against by Terri’s parents who stated that Terri was still alive.
This case triggered the wide argument of Bioethics, Euthanasia, the guardian system, the federalism and human rights among the entire society.
The case had been investigating and judging for more than ten years. The wars had been continuing between parents of Terri who stated that their daughter’s life should be sustained and the husband of Terri who stated to terminate the life of his wife peacefully. President Bush even returned from his holiday on Sunday to make amendment to the law in legislative in order to sustain her life.
In the heated discussion, people mainly focus on whether Terri is still alive or not. Some of the people propose that sustaining her life would making her suffering since she have can’t think and have no emotions while others insists that Terri’s husband do not have the right to terminate her life even if he is her first guardian. In the spring of 2005, Terri’s feeding tube was removed. After this, her life continued for thirteen days. I have no idea how Terri was able to live for thirteen days but maybe she would rather honorably leaves the world than persists for her relatives.
Some people say the patients could probably be cured if they persist until to the development of new medical. However, we, as outsiders, never know how those patients actually feel. They have to struggle with all his forces to survive for the impossible possibility of 0.01 percent. However, when they gradually lose hope and become desperate, what should we do if they’d rather die?
Should we encourage them? Indeed, we could discuss about whether we should encourage the patients to struggle for survival. However, when they are actually lying in front of you with desperate look, it is hard for us not to encourage them. Love as deep as we have, we are still not able to keep them alive, why?
We have been told how to cherish the present and how to embrace the lives. However, no one has ever teach us how to face death.
However, in Story’s film, she portraits a lovely girl Marina, full of hope, who considers death in a different perspective. In her eyes, death more like a heaven than a body filled with drugs, syringes and tubes. However, every time she see her parents sobbing and hear the apologies and encouragement from them, she doesn’t want to leave them behind.
Probably the story of Julianna Snow, a five-year-old girl could tell us more on this topic. As a child who also suffers from chronic disease, and who also feel their body deteriorating everyday, both Marina and Julianna are facing with the same choice-should we struggle to survive?
Julianna Snow, a five-year-old girls, was diagnosed with peroneal muscular atrophy which is a chronic disease that cannot be cured currently. When the situation get worse, she told her parents that she would rather die than receive the struggling treatment in the hospital. Finally, she died with calm at home on Jun.14,2016.
Which should we tend to choose, the quality of life or the free will? Story will bring up a deep discussion on this issue in her film.
During the shooting process, our program will update the latest news about Marina. We will keep discussing about death with you. If you have anything to share about right-to-die and end-of-life, feel free to send us comments which might provide insights to us and change Marina’s life.