An Amazing read on end of life care

  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    Dec 29, 2011 7:21 PM GMT
    This is something that I've argued passionately for on this board before, but I think that this article sums it up better than I ever could. I know it's a bit of a lengthy read, but I promise you - it's very well worth it and will hopefully help you make more informed decisions and lead to quality conversations with your loved ones about end of life care.

    http://zocalopublicsquare.org/thepublicsquare/2011/11/30/how-doctors-die/read/nexus/
  • nadaquever_rm

    Posts: 139

    Dec 29, 2011 9:20 PM GMT
    Interesting read- thanks.
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Dec 29, 2011 11:05 PM GMT
    I would love to see an actual Living Will that explains in detail what "everything reasonable" is. 'Everything reasonalbe' is not a legal term and I don't think that doctor's are actual able to go by just that term.

    My best friend has a living will and I knew what he wanted but I did find out that the living will should have been in more detail. Doctor's want more detail to protect themselves. You need to do a little more than just fill in the blacks and check boxes. I still need to update mine. I think my best friend is still listed as the one in charge and he has been gone for over 6 years now.
  • nanidesukedo

    Posts: 1036

    Dec 30, 2011 12:23 AM GMT
    metta8 saidI would love to see an actual Living Will that explains in detail what "everything reasonable" is.

    My best friend has a living will and I knew what he wanted but I did find out that the living will should have been in more detail. Doctor's want more detail to protect themselves. You need to do a little more than just fill in the blacks and check boxes. I still need to update mine. I think my best friend is still listed as the one in charge and he has been gone for over 6 years now.


    It's not just this, however...The living will plays a large role, but a lot of it comes down to choices made by completely aware individuals...It's completely heartbreaking that the hope that people hold on to (and understandably so), even when it doesn't really exist, causes them so much more suffering by putting them through painful procedures that lower their quality of life in their last remaining days.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 31, 2011 5:44 PM GMT
    Excellent article.

    In a class I took last year in social work, we were discussing medical/end of life issues and this one young lady was adamant that were she to ever be in a coma, she'd want to be kept alive by all means possible.

    I understood from other things she said that she's a religious person who probably believes in miracles and I did not want to attack any of that but I asked her some simple questions: "How do you intend to pay for that? Have you already started budgeting for your coma? How much have you saves so far for being a vegetable later?"

    She looked at me in shock. I don't think she'd ever considered that aspect before. I told her that I have no problems whatsoever with her living her life the way she wanted. But I described some of the costs of keeping her housed, of keeping her fed, of the tubes going in and out, of treating infections. I said, "where's all that money coming from to keep you alive on a table, me?"

    Coma-movie-1.jpg

    But also, even if someone doesn't believe in miracles, often they believe in science. They hold out hope that if they can just stick around a little longer, that someone will find a cure. And so instead of using that window of opportunity to end their own lives with dignity and without suffering, they hold on until it is too late and wind up suffering through years of dementia or months of some delirium either from the pain of their infliction or the medications to reduce their pain.

    There is a lot of discussion about how to live a good life and yet so many fail or have much trouble with that. There is almost no discussion (at least in Western culture) on how to die a good death. So what are the odds of success with that?