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No-name
14-01-06, 09:21
How do you guys feel about end of life issues- "Death with dignity", Physician assisted suicide, DNR's, Extraordinary care measures and quality of life issues? What moral, ethical or religious concerns or views do you have?

Are you the kind that fights for every second of life, or would you have your family pull the plug if the circumstances were grim?

I'm facing some decisions right now and I just wanted to hear what you guys have to say.

Tsuyoiko
14-01-06, 12:12
I don't believe in the sanctity of life, I'm more concerned with quality of life. I have a student who suffered a serious accident nearly 20 years ago, leaving him paralysed from the neck down. He has some very limited use of his arms, and all his mental faculties are intact. He wishes he had died in the accident, even though he's still able to do a lot that an able-bodied person can do - like feed himself and use a computer. But there is so much he can't do, and it has put such a strain on himself and his family, that he would rather not be here. I have another student who has spina bifida. He has a bit more mobility, but is partially sighted. But he is much more positive and lives life to the full, perhaps because he has never known any different.

My point is that it should be up to the individual. If they feel they can't go on, let them die with dignity. If they want to fight on, let them do so. If they can't decide for themselves, their loved ones and doctors should make the decision based on what they know about the person. Perhaps we should all make a living will so our families wouldn't have to decide for us.

Whatever decision you and your family make, it will be the right one, since you are thinking enough about it, and that is all anyone can do.

strongvoicesforward
03-02-06, 18:55
Great post Tsuyoiko. I can`t believe I missed it or that it didn't garner much attention.

I agree with you. In situations like you described, when going on seems so unbearable to the person that they seem to be trapped in a body that robs them of freedom, making their life a hell of frustration and sorrow, they should be allowed to make the decision to part in a way they feel is dignified.

btw, did you ever see that Michael Keaton movie, "My Life?" In that movie he is playing a father with terminal cancer who is video taping his words for his unborn child so that his last year will be a present of commentaries and advice for the child when he is gone. I know it is a little off from your opening para, but the thread is titeled: "End of Life," so I thought similar situations, ones in which death is just about to wisk us away are also worthy of comment.

When the end comes, I think we had better be ready to know how to say a meaningful goodbye to those who have been a part of our lives. I think it is that goodbye which will allow them to let go of us so we can set sail on whatever journey, if one is waiting, that is in store for us.

I sometimes go to bed after my wife, and when I climb into bed with her, it is just so nice to hear her breathing peacefully next to me. Sometimes I just relish my insomnia listening to her. It is hard to imagine saying a goodbye to those rythems of her breath that put me to sleep and send me to the dream world every night. If I go before her 30 or 40 years later, I hope she is there to say a peaceful goodbye to send me into my next sleep.

strongvoicesforward
03-02-06, 18:58
Oh sorry. My mistake. It was Sabro who started this thread.

Good one, Sabro. Hope it gets more action and people sharing their thoughts on it.

mad pierrot
04-02-06, 03:09
I'm inclined to believe a person has a right to do what they want with their life; including throwing it away if that's what they want. So, of course I am loathe to let someone else decide what should be done with my life. However, I realize if I was in a coma, or stuck on life support and unable to make the choice myself someone would have to make one for me.
So... I would just hope who ever is making that choice for me knows me well enought to know what I would do. Aside from that, there is not much else I could wish for.
Death scares me the most when I think about things I'll never have if I die now. So really, I'm not scared of death, I'm just greedy, ha ha. I used to think I would never die young, because that would make my life too short and sweet. I always got the feeling I was meant to suffer more before dying first...

nurizeko
04-02-06, 05:34
Tsu and SVF have basically covered my feelings on the subject.

I agree, when the end comes, i hope my girlfriend is there to see me off, i would be more saddened by having to leave her, then actually dying when my rightful time comes....of course i wish a long-life on my girlfriend, but i hope that despite how extremely unlikely it will be, we can die together in our sleep at a nice ripe old age, i couldnt bear the thought of being so completely and utterly seperated from her.

No-name
04-02-06, 07:49
Now that I have to deal with this first hand- I really don't want any extraordinary measures taken to animate my body. When it is time to let go-- I would like to go...not hang out in some hospital bed with tubes running out of me.

Frank D. White
04-02-06, 16:03
make out a living will and see a lawyer to make sure your wishes are carried out the way you want for the area you are living in. It might be cheaper to do things youself, but the legal issues are very complex and vary on where you live. If you have already done your paperwork, have it checked about every 5 years to make sure it is still up to date, laws change every so often and you don't want outdated forms you have to mess things up for "your end".
I see death all the time in my job and the hurt , pain, and expence$ of people not being prepared or finding out what they thought had been taken care of, was not.
Like most people, I don't want to suffer AND, the "Quality" of my life at the end is important. I went with DNR and no extrodinary measures with an eye to the enormous cost first in my mind. I don't want my loved ones paying for my death years after I am gone. At my age I love a good nap, death is just a longer form of sleep to me.

Frank

:souka:

No-name
04-02-06, 17:02
Frank, do you think the free online ones will suffice?

Frank D. White
04-02-06, 22:52
Frank, do you think the free online ones will suffice?

If you have a regular doctor you see, he may have some free forms he can give you. If they aren't legal, you might as well make them out on toilet paper. A laywer may be expensive, but you are talking about an area you should not skimp on money, especially if you have a family or a lot of property value.
Another area people forget is copies. Your regular doctor should have a copy for medical records. Your lawyer, if you have one, should have a copy. Give you parents a copy, won't hurt. Call your local rescue and find out if they have a location program. If the meat wagon shows up at your home to take you to the hospital, they will need a copy; we have a program here where you put a copy in your refridgerator freezer(sealed against moisture) and the rescue knows to look there for it.
Remember, once the hospital hooks you up to all those million dollar machines; it takes an act of God(and the courts) to get you off. Might be worth discussing your plans & feelings with your loved ones, don't want them getting a court order that goes against your wishes.

Frank

:souka:

Sensuikan San
05-02-06, 05:16
I don't believe in the sanctity of life, I'm more concerned with quality of life. I have a student who suffered a serious accident nearly 20 years ago, leaving him paralysed from the neck down. He has some very limited use of his arms, and all his mental faculties are intact. He wishes he had died in the accident, even though he's still able to do a lot that an able-bodied person can do - like feed himself and use a computer. But there is so much he can't do, and it has put such a strain on himself and his family, that he would rather not be here. I have another student who has spina bifida. He has a bit more mobility, but is partially sighted. But he is much more positive and lives life to the full, perhaps because he has never known any different.
My point is that it should be up to the individual. If they feel they can't go on, let them die with dignity. If they want to fight on, let them do so. If they can't decide for themselves, their loved ones and doctors should make the decision based on what they know about the person. Perhaps we should all make a living will so our families wouldn't have to decide for us.
Whatever decision you and your family make, it will be the right one, since you are thinking enough about it, and that is all anyone can do.

Is it possible to add anything to an eloquent post like that?

I think not.

W

Gaijinian
05-02-06, 05:22
Michael Keaton
"Crichton," I do believe. (Cry-ton)

strongvoicesforward
05-02-06, 06:02
I have heard that the internet forms, and even the "do it yourself" packets you can buy at book stores are in fact legal. But, I guess a lawyer would give one more peace of mind on the issue.

About being hooked up to the million dollar machines: It probably would take a lot to get you off once you are on. If they wouldn`t take you off because your wife insists against the wishes of your other family members, I guess they would once your insurance or funding for it all runs out.

The more and more funds that keep going into prolonging our life through research and treatment, and not improving "quality of life (i.e. optimal health with mobility)," the more likely we are all headed on a path to meet the machines. I am wondering at what age I would be checked into a hospitol and right from the beginning ask for a "Do Not Resucitate" order to sign. ???

----------------------------------
* Gaijin-san, it is not Mickael "Crichton," -- It is Michael Keaton. I recommend it for anyone; either healthy or those facing death in the near future. Here it is for a closer look: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107630/

Clawn
05-02-06, 06:30
I'd want to live, no matter what. I'd rather live life on earth as long as I can.

Frank D. White
05-02-06, 16:10
I'd want to live, no matter what. I'd rather live life on earth as long as I can.

go to a nursing home with a critical care unit. Look at a body with tubes going into the stomach to feed it. Tubes coming out of the bladder and diapers to catch what comes out. A ventalator tube cut into the neck to pump air to the lungs. Getting constant infections and bedsores. Would you like to visit that "person?" for years in such a state? I sure wouldn't want to see my loved one go through that; or a friend like you either. I can see a few weeks to see if there is a possibility of a normal life coming back, or to have time to say goodbye and get used to the idea of the persons death.
The threat of huge debt for those left behind scare me. Even with insurance and government help, there are probably going to be bills that trickle down to your loved ones. I don't want to see my wife living in poverty to keep my "dead" body alive by machines.
I guess this is a real personal issue on many levels for people. The best thing is to talk to those around you and maybe your doctor about it before it possibly happens.

Frank

:souka:

Kinsao
05-02-06, 19:44
I think that people should not be kept alive indefinitely on a respirator or heart-lung machine or some such thing.

I think that people should be given as much pain relief as is necessary so they are not in pain, even if that makes their death quicker (this is currently legal in the UK).

I don't think people should be given a lethal injection.

Nor do I consider food and fluids as 'treatment'.

People should be given whatever it takes to make them comfortable.

I can very well see people's point when they say they wouldn't want to live with under a certain quality of life. But when you give other people the power to make judgements about people's 'quality of life', you are treading on very dangerous ground.

It's natural not to want people to suffer, either physically or mentally because of their condition. But once you start to get it ingrained into the psyche that some people are better off dead....... I don't like where that leads, at all.

Clawn
05-02-06, 20:40
Frank, I meant, in my post, that I would live as long as I am truly alive, a temporary coma is what I was talking about. But if I were to be kept alive permanently by machines, then that wouldn't be living, would it? I would live as long as there is a hope of living an actual life, not sitting in a wheelchair with tubes hooked up to my body and two machines to every one organ.