It depends on what you're protecting.
A very wise teacher said about 2000 years years ago that those who try to save their lives will surely die, but those who lose their lives for his sake will gain everlasting life.
The life -- the "self" -- which has to die? Could it be ego, the heart of selfishness?
Look at every bad thing that's ever been done by humans; it comes from ego.
Save your physical life if at all possible, but don't resent any misfortune. Everything that happens has a silver lining and the real "you" is immortal, anyway.
A longer life, even if one enduring great suffering, is precious, because it gives you an opportunity to help others and to get rid of ego, once and for all.