I witnessed an event yesterday that reminded me of CATCH 22. A psychiatrist asked a patient if she would consider a life-extending but invasive process. She at first said no. He asked why and she said it was prolonging an inevitable decline and she didn't want that. He talked with her for some time and then asked again if she would consider the treatment. She said she would consider it. He then informed her that she was competent, since she'd given the "right" answer. His word.

So, Catch 22: if you give the right answer, you're sane and you have to live longer than you would have chosen to. If you give the wrong answer, you're crazy, and they can override your decision. Hmmm. Something just doesn't feel right about that.

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Comment by Peg Herring on April 17, 2009 at 12:38pm
Yup. The kicker is it makes me crazy, too.
Comment by Jon Loomis on April 17, 2009 at 2:23am
If she considers it and still says no, is she crazy again? That would be Catch-22.
Comment by Peg Herring on April 17, 2009 at 1:54am
It isn't as funny when it's real, though.
Comment by Dana King on April 17, 2009 at 1:10am
This is what has made Catch-22 such an important novel. Not only is it a funny satire, it's true, and we know it. That makes it scary, too, but Heller's ability to make us laugh at this fear is what makes the book special.

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