Posted: Nov 05, 2013 1:52 PM EST

Updated: Nov 05, 2013 5:43 PM EST

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Tim Bowers got to decide for himself whether he wanted to live or die.

When the avid outdoorsman was badly hurt Saturday in a hunting accident, doctors said he would be paralyzed and could be on a ventilator for life. His family had a unique request: Could he be brought out of sedation to hear his prognosis and decide what he wanted to do?

Doctors said yes, and Bowers chose to take no extra measures to stay alive. He died Sunday, hours after his breathing tube was removed.

“We just asked him, ‘Do you want this?’ And he shook his head emphatically no,” his sister, Jenny Shultz, said of her brother, who was often found hunting, camping or helping his father on his northeastern Indiana farm.

The 32-year-old was deer hunting when he fell 16 feet from a tree and suffered a severe spinal injury that paralyzed him from the shoulders down. Doctors thought he might never breathe on his own again.

Courts have long upheld the rights of patients to refuse life support. But Bowers’ case was unusual because it’s often family members or surrogates, not the patient, who make end-of-life decisions.



Read more at ABC 2 WBAY


(Folks – BE SAFE!  Harnesses are NOT expensive compared to the kind of damage you can do to yourself if you fall.  I’ve fallen 16 feet HUNDREDS of times (I used to do live theater stunts in college. Hey, ‘young and dumb,’ as they say, ask me how many straight fingers I have left sometime) but that was when I was 20 years old – I’m more than double that now, and instead of a snappy rolling fall and jump up at the end, these days I expect there would be a loud thump followed by a groan, if I was even conscious.  Most tree stands now COME WITH a basic safety harness, however if you bought your treestand second hand, or if you’re using a home made stand or elevated box blind, that doesn’t mean skip the safety harness.  In an elevated box stand, a safety line off of the ladder works the same as a safety line from a ladder stand. USE IT. )

My condolences to the Bowers family.  32 is far too young.


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