The quadriplegic Iraq War veteran who wrote an open letter to President George W. Bush before announcing he would choose to end his life amid unbearable physical and emotional pain has changed his mind, NPR reports.
“I just came to the conclusion that I wanted some more time with my wife,” Tomas Young told NPR’s Arun Rath. “And I decided that I really don’t have the chutzpah to go ahead and do away with myself.”
Young, 34, was paralysed from the chest down by a sniper’s bullet just five days into his deployment to Iraq in 2004. Since then, he’s endured painful circumstances and frustration with medical care.
In one of those medical setbacks, Mr. Young’s arm puffed up from a blood clot. He was rushed to the hospital, given oxycontin, and sent home. That night, he lapsed into a coma due to a pulmonary embolism. Although he recovered from the coma, he was left with limited mobility in his arm.
A prominent anti-war activist and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Young wrote an open letter to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney at TruthDig in April.
“I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done,” he wrote. “You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans — my fellow veterans — whose future you stole.”
Soon after he published his “last letter,” Young explained to Democracy Now that he was “sick and tired of being sick and tired” and would refuse his feeding tube and medication until he died.
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