In the play “Whose life is it anyway?” the man who has lost the will to live is most prominently someone suffering from some form of hindrance. The author Brian Clark puts forward an indefinite idea of uncertainty for the man’s future. Throughout the play it continues to make us contemplate on the issues of quality of life, personal choice, authority and relationships. It is for these reasons that the play is more than simply the idea of a man’s will of life.
A man who had a substantial quality to perform what he lives for would have the urge to live on. However, if he deteriorated to a quadriplegic like Ken (the main character in the play) yet before, experienced a life with all the passion, freedom, love and creation he wanted then what would the effect have on him? After Ken realises he has no chance to survive without dependency on hospitals for the rest of his life he chooses to be discharged.
“I will spend most of life in hospital not able to move. As far as I can see, that is a act of deliberate cruelty”.”I don’t wish to die, nor do I wish to live at any price. Of course I want to live but as far as I am concerned, I’m dead already. I merely require the doctors to recognize the fact. I cannot accept this condition constitutes life in any real sense at all”.Personal choice is valuable to everyone.
Those who have it should cherish it as it keeps us intact in what we want. Yet, Ken’s choice of life is hindered when Dr. Emerson deliberately injects a Valium needle into him when he knew Ken refused it initially. “Doctor, I didn’t give you permission to stick that needle in me. Why did you do it?” The choice to die structures a belief that you are incapable, depressed, and fearful etc. Mr. Hill (Ken’s solicitor) explains to Ken after his request in being discharged what is occurring. “Mr. Harrison, I will be perfectly plain. Dr. Emerson claims that you are not in a sufficiently healthy mental state to make a rational decision…” Despite this outlook Mr. Hill decides to help grant Ken’s wishes to die as he believes Ken mentally stable by talking to him. Mr. Hill is not forced to and deep down he does not enjoy the idea to justify his client to die. “Can anyone prove that they are sane?” Both these examples show that personal choice is very important as it can be taken away or used for good pretenses.Authority over others becomes a dilemma when we are actually questioning the law of control over human lives. Whether it is crossing boundaries of mankind to decide what is the justification of another man’s life. Resulting in not serving the truthful purpose it once was as a basis of keeping humans rectified. “…resides in the fact that choice is removed from the man concerned”. This statement meaning Ken’s request of euthanasia was contradicted and he has limited power over those around him.Examining the hierarchy of society, the control over others in a pyramidal imaginative diagram is situated where positions decide the fate of others. For example a judge measures the truthfulness from deceiving lips of mankind and how innocent one really is where as citizens rely on the doctor’s profession to rescue their lives.”A doctor cannot accept the choice for death; he’s committed to life. When a patient is brought into my unit, he’s in a bad way. I don’t stand about thinking whether or not it’s worth saving his life, I haven’t time for doubts. I get in there and do whatever I can to save life”.Relationships in this play revolve in a web of interchanging roles. Professionalism becomes personal, as people believe that a medical or psychological opinion is usually better than what an unstable individual feels. “He may be unqualified but he is the one affected”. Dr. Scott argues with Dr. Emerson Ken’s case. Although other medical professionals working around him for a long time become aware of their feelings for a man wanting to die is stronger than imagined. When Ken goes to court, Sister Anderson who had been seeing Ken for the last couple of months and attending him showed concern for him. “I thought this morning, when he was talking about the compensation, he was beginning to plan for the future”. Therefore, this proves the play does not only include the man who has lost the will to live but others play an important part in the play to contribute emotion and feedback.Evidently, “Whose life is it anyway” is not just a play explaining a man who has lost the will to live. This is due to the main themes of quality of life, personal choice, authority and relationships, which adds to the complex nature of the play. Ken repeatedly emphasizes the point that “It is not undignified if the man wants to stay alive, but I must restate that the dignity starts with his choice. He chooses a dignified death”. After all these conflicts for someone to finally emerge to resulting in death it is still an extensive revelation given the chance to continue life.