Million Dollar Baby

Have any of you seen this movie?  If you haven’t, it stars Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank. Eastwood owns a place where guys learn to box and he used to be a boxing coach. Swank wants to learn how to box and wants Eastwood to be her coach.  Long story short, she’s so eager to learn and such a sweet kid (and also perhaps reminds Eastwood of the daughter he lost way back when), that he agrees to be her coach. Swank thrives and is winning matches, however there is a terribly unfortunate accident in the ring where she hits her head on a small stool and is paralyzed from the neck down.

Eastwood is the only person in her life and vice versa and they are very close.  Swank’s life has been reduced to sitting in a room looking out the window when Eastwood isn’t reading to her.  She tries to kill herself the only way she possibly can at this point and that’s by biting off her tongue (which she tries to do twice). Finally, she begs him to shoot her up with enough medicine to put her out of her emotional and physical misery because, in her mind, she’d rather be dead than live like that.

My question is:  what would you do in that circumstance?  Would you do that for a loved one, if they begged you?


Posted on May 4, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. I’d like to say I could because I’ve been taught all my life to be tough.

    When it was time for my little dog to be put to sleep, I held her while the vet administered the shot. I believed it was my job to be there for her so she’d never feel a second of fear or worry.

    Because I had made holding my dog while she died my duty, I bore it stoically and then went home and screamed and cried. I wouldn’t take back what I did. I still believe I did the right thing being there for her.

    However, could I have administered the shot myself? I just don’t know. I don’t know if I’m that tough and resolute.

    Not a great answer, huh?

  2. I’ve seen that movie, Patti, but I can’t answer your question. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it.

    • I thought it was a great movie although I never really thought how this is a perfect one to make people think about what they’d do in Clint’s situation. I don’t know whether it’s a book or not. I don’t think it is.

  3. This is maybe something no one could really answer unless they were in that situation. I can’t say since I haven’t experienced something like this, but I would try not to judge anyone for doing so.

  4. Christy Hayes

    I don’t think I could answer until I was in that situation and I hope never to be in that situation. Very thought provoking!

  5. Patti – I believe it’s our duty to have a ‘living will’ in place. This takes care of having our loved ones being burdened with having to make the decision for us. We are allowed to made the decision for ourselves.

    • Yes, Sheri, you are right. I have one and so does my husband. But what if somebody doesn’t have one?

      • You are right on the money with your comment, Patti. So many people don’t have ‘living wills.’ I’ve been through the process wherein someone I loved didn’t have a living will but they had told me over and over what they did and did not want. Yet – when the time came – and I wasn’t family – I didn’t have any say in the matter. It broke my heart to see this person kept alive by feeding tube and other artificial means when that wasn’t what they wanted. If an individual doesn’t have a ‘living will’ they are really at the mercy of the health care providers and their immediate family. I’ve seen hospitals keep individuals alive because the patient has full pay insurance and for each day the patient ‘lived’ that was certain money in the bank for them. This practice is prevalent in nursing homes. This is big business for nursing homes and the patients are not always elderly. This is a great discussion you’ve brought to the table.

  6. OMG, I bawled like a baby when I saw this movie. It was such a heartbreaking ending. And both Clint and Hilary did an outstanding job acting. Wasn’t there some Oscar nominations/wins for them or the movie?

    I believe I would be too chicken to take those actions, Patti, although as most of the others have stated, in those circumstances, pushed to the wall, I might think otherwise.

  7. Very thought provoking. I have no idea if I could do that. And I hope to never have to find out.

  8. Hey Patti darling! I did see the movie and I LOVE Clint Eastwood and Hillary. Great actors. I would never presume to judge anyone…at all. I’m just as firm on not judging as I am on pro-life.


    • I really didn’t think Clint was going to do it because he was so agonizingly against it. But then when he came through the hospital doors in the dead of night, I knew he’d changed his mind.

  9. I’m not sure. I’m coming close with my dog and I wish she could tell me more about the pain she’s in. But for a family member? I don’t know.

  10. OMG, Patti. Not just this movie but a play and movie called “Whose Life is This Anyway,” based on a true story of an artist who becomes paralyzed from the neck down and takes the hospital to court for the right to die.

    I think we might agree that someone has the right to end their life, but to have the courage to help them is something else. And yes, the living will often protects us from being kept alive long after we would have wanted to die … but I can tell you from personal experience that hospitals do not always honor living wills and continue with life support. Many families have had to take them to court over this issue. They also ignore DNR orders on charts and as a result they kept my mother on life support until her heart just gave out. The last two weeks she suffered could have been prevented if they had honored the “do not res.” order.

    This tugs at the heart and begs the question … do we have the right to end our own life?

  11. This is a very controversial subject and one for which t I have my own personal opinion, i.e. I believe that each person is in control of their own life/destiny. In this sort of case with Hillary as an example, I think she had the right to end her own life since it wasn’t really a life, in her opinion, anyway. The rub is “who’s going to pull the plug”? I think that there should be legal documents addressing her type of situation as well. She was lucid and able to make sound decisions. Had she been living alone and had a gun, for example, she would have been dead already. Her situation was unique because she could do nothing for herself, but that inherently turned her “helper” into a legal murderer.

  12. Very, very sad situations and up close and personal with my own mother more painful than I can go into here.

    However, I do know the only choice man-kind is allowed is death. Life isn’t in our control.

  13. So sorry about your mother, Karen. That’s so sad. As I’ve been saying, this is a highly controversial subject. People’s answers were pretty much the same, though.

  14. Couldn’t do it. Like a commenter above, I put my dog to sleep to end his suffering, but was torn afterward. Yes, he was old and hurting, but taking his life was hard on me.

    It’s God’s job to take lives, not mine. Definitely couldn’t end a life for paralysis. DNR patient? Tough. Very tough.

    In the end, I believe life is about lessons. We learn from adversity and it strengthens us. I have to trust there is something to be learned from difficult situations.

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