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Wednesday 28 March 2012

There Is No Such Thing As Premature Death

Two questions I wish someone -- anyone -- would ask tobacco control advocates are:

  • What should I die of?
  • When should I die (i.e., at what age should we accept as having lived a full, complete life)?
These are, of course, unfair questions. They are unanswerable, particularly in a moral sense.  If you advocate for a particular acceptable age of death, then you are possibly saying that after that age, your life has no value.

Death comes in many forms, at any time.  Newborns sometimes die moments after birth.  Some people live to be over 100-years-old -- some of those people were... smokers.  I know, unbelievable.  So while the questions are unfair, they should nevertheless be posed.

Because there is no such thing as a premature death. It is, simply, the time of one's death.  You are not guaranteed any length of time here on this planet.  There is no guarantee that some crazed lunatic won't murder you while you sleep.  And if you do get murdered, as tragic as that is, it is still the time of your death.  It wasn't premature.  It may not even have been preventable, depending on the circumstances.  It may simply be fate.