Kramer is discussing with Elaine and Shellbach when he would want them to “pull the plug” on him in different situations. He appoints Elaine to be in charge of the decision-making when things stop working, for example, if he couldn’t eat but could breathe.
It’s a kind of conversation that can happen between you and those you love.
The discussion is what matters ……..because it’s not just about choices but fighting for the things that matter most and that you value — being with family or walking or talking or simply enjoying ice cream.
I share a part of the script because it may serve as a way for you to start a conversation with loved ones about how you want to die long before that event happens. It may be the something you’ve been looking for to feel comfortable to approach others and begin preparing a plan to face the end in your own way.
There are crucial questions you can ask yourself. Questions like: If your heart stops, do you want to be resuscitated? If you can’t eat on your own, would you want a feeding tube or intravenous feeding? Instead of having others guess at what you want and how you want to spend your last days, you can tell them, so those you love can be there for you the way you want.
Seinfeld, The Comeback, Season 8, Episode 13
Kramer and Elaine sit before a desk, behind which sits Shellbach the lawyer, who has a large list in front of him, from which he’s reading. Krammer looks nervous, while Elaine is tapping at a soda can, looking bored.
Shellbach: Situation number four. You’re breathing on your own, you’re conscious, but with no muscular function.
KRAMER: Well, would I be able to communicate?
SHELLBACH: I don’t see how.
ELAINE: Ach, I don’t like the sound of this one.
KRAMER: Huhh, yeah, let’s pull the cord.
ELAINE: Yank it like (pops open soda can) you’re starting a mower.
SHELLBACH: Moving on. You have liver, kidneys and gall bladder, but no central nervous system.
Kramer looks at Elaine, who gives a double thumbs-down.
KRAMER: Well, I gotta have a central nervous system.
SHELLBACH: Okay. One lung, blind and you’re eating through a tube.
KRAMER: naw, that’s not my style.
SHELLBACH: Alright, you can eat. But machine do everything else.
KRAMER: (hesitant) Uhm…
Kramer looks to Elaine, who nods.
ELAINE: I’d stick.
KRAMER: Yeah, yeah. Stick. (to Elaine) ‘Cos I could still go to the coffee shop.
ELAINE: (points to Kramer and smiles in agreement) That’s right.