A Life or Death Matter

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"Susie: There just isn't a good treatment for what you  have yet, for advanced ovarian.  I'm sorry.  They should have explained this --

Vivian: I knew

Susie: You did...  What you have to think about is your 'code status.'  What you want them to do if your heart stops


Vivian: Let it stop... Just let it stop" (Edson, 67-68)

I don't really know what to think of the play as a whole...  I kind of liked it, but then parts I didn't.  I just don't know.

But the quote...  I personally cannot imagine having to decide if I want someone to try to keep me alive or if I just want to let my heart stop beating.  I suppose that when you're battling terminal cancer, you know that the cancer is going to beat you and I guess you'd just get to the point where the pain is so intense you don't want to imagine having to spend another minute in that torture.  But your decision is going to affect everyone else you know.  It's just such an incredibly difficult decision that someone has to make, but Vivian was just very concise about it.  She said she didn't want to complicate matters and from what I know about her from the play, she doesn't like to complicate anything, so I guess it would make sense that she was very straightforward about it.  But it's interesting that during this exchange between Susie and Vivian, you don't really see any emotion from Vivian.  I would expect at least some emotion if you're deciding to be a DNR or not.  But that's not who Vivian is.


Jessie Farine said:

I really liked the character Vivian. She was such a stoic and wise person, almost Socratic in life and facing death. I really admired her ability (even though it is fiction) to cope with her terminal illness, suffer through the experimental research, and come out of it not only with sheer physical determination but with a good, deep reflection into her life and no bitterness towards the doctors that don't value her as a person or towards getting cancer and having to die sooner.

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