ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Death & Loss of Life

Decisions are not all equal opportunities

Updated on April 1, 2015

We all have different views or opinions. Even when we seem to agree, there are some differences, so where does this difference of opinion leave us? These differences are not as troubling when they are about what’s for dinner, when to wash laundry and so forth. However, what happens when the differences are about what kind of medical attention and how long to continue providing life-sustaining measure, when there is little or no medical standing for recovery.

Let’s start with an active early sixties female discovers she has a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Among her immediate family is a son whose profession is Medical Doctor. The female patient does not want treatment for the terminal cancer. The son strongly disagrees with this and is willing to arrange whatever means necessary to help facilitate this care. Families and medical providers face this situation everyday.

This scenario of an older adult and her son, who is a doctor, is seen frequently, especially when the adult child is a well-educated professional whom the older adult has deferred to in the past for other decisions. Please note we are not discussing a person (the mother) who has any diminished capacity, per her medical doctors. And this is perhaps why it is best to have family discussions earlier than later regarding the eldercare and medical decisions. This situation has many emotional entanglements and the shock of a devastating diagnosis.

This is not the time for the discussion, although better late than not at all. Adult children are living in a world of new medical breakthroughs and technology far beyond expectations of elders. Human emotions and decisions are based on life experience and education. This patient had been diagnosed with a disease that was incurable and debilitating a number of years prior to the diagnosis of terminal cancer. Her life had been spent in great productivity raising a family, having a career, an advocate within her community and more. She had been independent, self-sufficient and traveled for a number of years.

Her children (her children three sons all professionals in various arenas) are lobbying because they want to have just a little more time with her. They were aware of the decision being her wishes and that she had the cognitive ability to make this decision, but still in disbelieve and some confusion could not fathom the decision of no intervention. Now the adult children will need to play catch-up. Decisions, such as this do not have to be open for discussion down to the last period on a piece of paper; however a discussion among adults prior to a diagnosis would be better. Certainly, the adult children are being bombarded by emotions well above any they have experienced before. The lost of the being held so close, nurtured, educated and loved them no matter what is akin to having been abandoned in a world without humans.

The same situation when her husband was brought to the table was different. He is (a medical professional) confused also, but because he is still not in total realization of the illness. He hears the words ‘terminal cancer’ but can’t equate it to his wife, a woman he has been with for a great number of years and only in the last years has separated and remarried. This is the woman who gave him children, stepped up and ran the household, met all the qualification of a CEO within their marriage. How could she now abandon him to pull all together and expect him to meet the needs of their grown children?

As we can see a conversation earlier in life, perhaps around a living room while having some hot chocolate and catching up on family business with all present, would have planted a seed of knowledge. There is no need for graphic conversation, but perhaps a discussion surround end-of-life issues and care would have help make this somewhat easier for the adult children. Knowing their mother had thought through the consequences of her actions, the possible new break thoughts in medicine and the developments of her other disease process which is life limiting.

Each one of us needs to look at our own life and the perimeters surrounding it, then give some thought to what we would do and share this with family. This scenario is taking place everyday in our country. When set in motion the emotions are so overwhelming it is most difficult for families to make a well thought out decision. In the above case, the woman asked for a Medical Power Attorney rather than to leave this most difficult decision to any of her family members. And all family members were told who was the medical decision maker and who was the Executor of the Estate.

Next week, the topic is driving. Who makes the decision to take away the driving privilege and when.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Marsha 3 years ago

      I am so sorry to hear of the anguish your family has had. I know that having these documents in place does not remove all the pain and fear, however it certainly can help take the bite out of it. Just some preparation, goes such a long way.

      Thank you for sharing Denise.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      We have had several deaths in our family that got us started thinking about what we need to do. I also work for an estate planning agent that helps farmer and ranchers with these types of issues so I have seen firsthand what happens when people don't have these documents.

      It is tough for families to deal with these types of issues when there has been no conversation beforehand. My husband's grandmother had breast cancer, to the point of open sores, before her children found out about it and insisted that she get treatment. She was healed of the breast cancer, but ended up with bone cancer following an accident that shattered her pelvic bone.

    • MGWriter profile image
      Author

      Marsha Caldwell 3 years ago from Western Washington State

      Have you begun thinking about end-of-life decisions. If not, it is never too late, if so, would you like to share some thoughts after reading this article?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)