A Matter of Life and Death

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Despite being a rather odd thing to consider, it’s actually now true that a tattoo can mean more to a person when they are dead than when they are alive.  At least that’s sort of the hope that 81-year-old Joy Tomkins of Norfolk, England has.

Tomkins has recently had two tattoos done that she feels will be sufficient enough to end her life should she ever have an accident that renders her unconscious.  On her back, the letters “P.T.O.” along with an arrow, and on her chest, the words “Do Not Resuscitate”.

Joy Tomkins, woman with

‘”If I’m found lying about and can’t say something, I want [medics] to accept that,” she said.

“I’m 81 and don’t need any more use. What do you think I’m going to do with the frightful thought of getting to 100? I hate it.

“My mother-in-law lived to be 106 and in the last six years of her life she’d have been much better dead. She was miserable.”

The widow said that had the age of 81 she did not have the “stamina” to enjoy all of her hobbies any more, such as playing the piano and gardening.

“I’ve had 80 good, interesting years of marriage and children and grandchildren and plenty of friends,” she said.

“I’m quite happy if I wake up in the morning, but if I don’t I’m just as happy.”‘

If you ask me, this is all some seriously depressing shit.  But, if she doesn’t want to be resuscitated, I guess that’s her prerogative.  The thing is, I don’t care how big your tattoo is or how obvious it is, no paramedic or doctor in the world is going to pay attention to it.  Ms. Tomkins should know better than to believe that paramedics would actually just let her die based on a tattoo on her chest requesting that they do as much.  Whatever does happen with this case, it has created a bit of an interesting jump for tattoo into the realm of euthanasia.  Is getting a tattoo all it takes to demand that you be left to die how you wish to die?  We’ll see.

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