Man Chooses to Die Day After Accident
Tim Bowers was paralyzed from shoulders down while deer hunting
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2013 12:54 AM CST
Updated Nov 10, 2013 8:11 AM CST
Tim Bowers, 32, told his family he wanted to be taken off life support rather than be dependent on others for the rest of his life.    (AP Photo/Courtesy Jenny Schultz)

(Newser) – An Indiana man who loved the outdoors chose not to continue life support after learning that he would never walk again and might be on a ventilator for the rest of his life. Tim Bowers, 32, was left paralyzed from the shoulders down after falling 16 feet from a tree while deer hunting last Saturday, the AP reports. His family took the unusual step of having him brought out of sedation so he could be told the prognosis and asked what he wanted to do. He decided against being kept alive and died Sunday, hours after his breathing tube was removed. Medical ethicists say it is rare for someone to make such a decision so soon after the prognosis, but it is important for patients to have the right to self-determination.

Bowers—who got married in August and whose wife is pregnant with a child he would never be able to hold—never wavered from his decision, family members say. His spine had been crushed and surgery would only ever allow him to sit up, not walk. Dozens of friends and family members gathered to pray and sing in the hospital during his final hours. "I just remember him saying so many times that he loved us all and that he lived a great life," one of his three sisters says. "At one point, he was saying, 'I'm ready. I'm ready."

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Showing 3 of 210 comments
Nov 13, 2013 1:26 PM CST
Does the deer get to get the guy's head? I mean, he won it fair and square...
Nov 11, 2013 5:24 PM CST
Marriage where one partner has to care for another one due to disability, have a 70% chance of breakup. I doubt that he would have wanted to go on living for 5 years with a darth vader machine, and then have his wife dump him when the burden became too heavy. We will probably see many more decisions such as this in the future. Medicare was always good about sending advisors in to remind decision-makers that hospice is always an option (wink-wink), and my guess is that private insurance companies will perform a similar service of "awareness" in the future.
Nov 11, 2013 12:19 PM CST
Feeling like a burden is a top reason to kill yourself. Feel alone and capable to do it? You just completed the checklist, cya later.