What can a person do if a family member refuses chemotherapy and is mentally com

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  1. brakel2 profile image78
    brakel2posted 10 years ago

    What can a person do if a family member refuses chemotherapy and is mentally competent?

  2. nochance profile image90
    nochanceposted 10 years ago

    Accept their decision.

    Chemotherapy is a complicated painful process. Though it is important to see what the success rate of the chemotherapy would be. Some forms of cancer can be easily eradicated. But if there is a low chance of the chemo working I totally understand them not wanting to do it.

    If they aren't in pain it makes sense that they wouldn't want to put themselves in more pain. It all depends on the situation. Talk to a doctor to understand the benefits and risks.

    1. lone77star profile image78
      lone77starposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      And yet doctors don't know about the cures that are available. They frequently only know what Big Pharma tells them. Medicine is a big business and hates big competition. That's why America has outlawed cures, demonizing them

    2. profile image0
      Larry Wallposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I have been hearing this argument for years and no one has come up with any proof of a particular disease that can be cured but has not been. You said Medicine is big business but hates big competition. How is that different from other businesses?

  3. innerspin profile image87
    innerspinposted 10 years ago

    I'm with nochance here. If they are sure of their decision, it must be for a reason. Chemo isn't right for everyone. My auntie refused surgical intervention and chemo, she did have radiotherapy. She outlived all the patients on her ward by a few years. Sadly, sometimes the effects of the chemo aren't worth what little benefit it offers.

  4. duffsmom profile image59
    duffsmomposted 10 years ago

    If they are mentally competent, then it is their choice and should not be intervened upon.  As nochance says, chemo can be a very painful process and cause great illness.  I would not want someone who "loved" to me force me into that treatment.

    Tell them you love them and wish they would reconsider because you would love for them to be around for a while longer - then hug them and accept their decision.  No one knows the agony they are going thru knowing they are likely dying.  We can only be there and support them with love and prayer.

  5. strkngfang profile image80
    strkngfangposted 10 years ago

    I would definitely respect their decision and I'm right with them.  Chemo is pure poison to the body, completely destroying your immune system.  How does one expect to fight something with no defenses left.  There are many natural ways now to beat cancer without drugs.  Sadly, chemo is a huge moneymaker and it will always be pushed onto patients, with no proof that it actually saved them.  I know survivors that healed themselves with changing the way they eat and starving the cancer cells.  But there is no money for the drug companies doing that???

  6. profile image0
    Larry Wallposted 10 years ago

    A mentally competent person has the right to refuse any medical treatment, as long as they competency is not compromised by some outside factor, such as a prior treatment.

    People need to respect that right. We had a Catholic bishop in our city who developed liver Cancer. At first he said he was not going to take Chemo, as was his right. Later he changed his mind, which was his right, but resulted in public criticism for going back on what he had said. He was a good, kind and gentle man. He knew the Chemo would not extend his life much longer, but I am sure he had a reason for changing his mind.

    Each adult should have a medical directive prepared by an attorney stating what measures are to be taken and who is to act in your behalf if you are not mentally competent. My wife and I both have such directives. As Catholics we do not believe in just pulling the plug. But stopping artificial respiration is not against the church. We no not allow nutrition or hydration (food and water to be stopped). Some would disagree. I agree a person could end up in a coma, but in most cases if the artificial respiration is removed soon enough, death with dignity will follow. If it doesn't then we have to accept there is a reason why it did not. People do wake up from comas. Neither of us want to go through unnecessary chemo nor do we want to go through transplant surgery. We will donate our organs for those they might be helped. But, being in out 60s, we do not want to deal with the onset of age and a host of anti-rejection drugs.
    Chemo can be used in appropriate cases. My sister had breast Cancer. She had chemo. She lost the breast but is now a six year survivor and she is glad to be here.

    1. JayeWisdom profile image89
      JayeWisdomposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Every adult needs a legal advance directive for health and trusted representative to ensure the wishes are respected. If I had a terminal illness and chemo "might" extend my life a few weeks or months, I'd likely think the "cost" too high.

  7. lburmaster profile image77
    lburmasterposted 10 years ago

    Accept their decision. For some reason, that is what they want. Their decision should be respected and the best you can do is be there if they need you.

  8. Diana Lee profile image80
    Diana Leeposted 10 years ago

    It's their rights to refuse any treatment they feel uncomfortable about.  Chemotherapy is experimental. Some people benefit from it, but I've seen people die sooner than they would have to because of it.

    1. peachpower profile image60
      peachpowerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I disagree with the statement about chemo being experimental. There are certain cancers that respond to certain drugs. That's why we have protocols in place; to bring the best possible result to the patient. Sometimes, people just don't make it. sad

    2. Diana Lee profile image80
      Diana Leeposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Chemo has saved  lives.  Not all drugs work for all. I saw my brother go into cardiac arrest over one drop of a certain drug. They tried another.  I saw my Aunt die from her insides being burned by chemo drugs. 
      Neither were given a longer life.

    3. peachpower profile image60
      peachpowerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Diana Lee, I am sorry for both losses you have endured. Those are very tough situations. There are indeed some very cardiotoxic drugs out there. Since ppl aren't like snowflakes, there's no concrete way to tell prior to admin what a reaction will be.

  9. peachpower profile image60
    peachpowerposted 10 years ago

    Legally, nothing. The key phrase here is 'mentally competent', and as a fully informed patient, the right to proceed with or to deny further treatment is theirs and theirs alone.

    What you can do as a PERSON, on the other hand, is vastly different:

    You can be supportive of their decision. You can reserve your judgment. You can hold their hand. You can be there for them, be their ally, be their friend. You can make sure that they are fully informed (if they want to be) about the type of chemo they will be receiving and the various side effects that accompany it, as there are quite a few drugs that are used in treatment of cancer/autoimmune disorders.

    I understand that this is your family member, but as a nurse I can tell you that sometimes the greatest good we do for people is simply being present. Be assured that this decision is not made in haste. Sometimes, fear is the single most motivating factor in a person's choice.

    I'll be thinking of you. I hope it goes well, whatever direction it goes.

    1. lone77star profile image78
      lone77starposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      And there are proven cures. Medicine is a business and business hates competition of that magnitude. Big Pharma thrives on maintenance of disease (not health).

    2. peachpower profile image60
      peachpowerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      @lone77star, I agree that there are proven cures. We will have to agree to disagree on how they come about though. My father is currently in complete remission, thanks to "Big Pharma", since the natural stuff my mom was shoving on him totally failed.

    3. profile image0
      Larry Wallposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Cures are not that easy. There never will be one cancer cure--too many types. Preventing diseases usually involves vaccines--measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus and shingles come to mind.  What works for men may not work for women.

  10. melbelle profile image59
    melbelleposted 10 years ago

    If the person is mentally competent then I don't think you can do too much.  They must have a reason for choosing this option.  I would probably not choose to have chemo either, but I am not in that situation so I cannot say for sure.  You could talk to them and see why this is their decision, but then you would have to respect their choice.

  11. lone77star profile image78
    lone77starposted 10 years ago

    Praise them for their sanity.

    Chemotherapy is a poison and some doctors have been amazed that we still use this, because so many people die from the treatment instead of the disease.

    There are cures, but they've been outlawed. Why? Because they are not profitable to the big Pharmaceutical giants.


    The scandals in recent years with Big Pharma are only the tip of a very large and evil iceberg of greed, suffering and death.

    A corporation has a fiduciary duty to be as profitable as it can be. That makes it inherently selfish -- a powerful extension of ego. They are duty-bound to do everything in their power to strengthen the bottom line. Cures run contrary to that mandate. Cures are bad for profits. The real money comes from disease maintenance. Look at that carefully -- "disease maintenance." Yes, maintaining diseases -- not health. That's the big money maker.

    As smart as doctors are, many (most?) are really very dumb. Why? Because they go along with what Big Pharma says and cluelessly do not realize that they are being duped. I was told by my doctor that I would be on several medications for the rest of my life. One was for acid-reflux. There are some simple cures for this and I was immediately able to stop taking the unnatural drug.

    Big Pharma (including radiation and chemo) is big business. There are good caring people working for them. There are good caring doctors. But the industry as a whole is trapped by the greed of those at the top.

    Just look what happened in the financial industry when bankers regulated themselves after Glass-Stegall was repealed. We had one of the biggest bubbles in America's history go bust in 2008. And then bankers turned around, begged for bailouts for their criminal acts, and then gave themselves bonuses. This slapstick comedy would be funny if it weren't for the fact that people's lives are ruined by this kind of relentless, unfettered selfishness.

    Help your family member find a natural cure that fits their needs. Great things seem to have been accomplished by increasing the alkalinity of the cancerous tissues. Cancer thrives in an acidic environment. Cancer also hates oxygen.

    One noted playwright fought his cancer with laughter. Laughter changes the body's pH. And he was cured.

    1. strkngfang profile image80
      strkngfangposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with you 100% and it is sad that so many people still buy into the fact that their doctors really want to "cure" you.  They only treat symptoms and not the disease. You are so right in that there is no money in curing people.

    2. profile image0
      Larry Wallposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      My sister had breast cancer. She had chemo after the surgery. She is a seven year survivor and doing well.  The Aids death rate is down because of treatment. Maybe we can cure some diseases--but will the side affects be worse than the disease.

  12. jlpark profile image74
    jlparkposted 10 years ago

    Respect their decision.
    And, if you have an issue with it - look at yourself for the answer, not them.  They have come to terms with what declining chemo etc will do for them and made their decision.  It is you (hypothetical you = anyone struggling with this) who has the issue - you don't want them to die, you don't want to hurt with grief, lose a loved one, etc.

    However you (again, hypothetical) are not the one suffering through the treatments which may not prolong anything for them, except make them miserable.

    Respect their decision, and talk to them about how you feel, but listen when they tell you how they feel as well.

  13. nightwork4 profile image61
    nightwork4posted 10 years ago

    nothing and you shouldn't try to do anything. it is completely up to the person who is ill, not up to others.

  14. profile image0
    Garifaliaposted 10 years ago

    Abide by his wishes. I have made up my mind that if ever (God forbid) I must face such a question, I will opt not to do chemotherapy. I have lived through cancer with my mother and chemotherapy with my mother-in-law and I've decided to live every day as if it were my last but let my end come when and how it may.

  15. Miranda Birt profile image67
    Miranda Birtposted 10 years ago

    You can support them emotionally, mentally, and spirtually until they either pass on or go into remission. You can still be their family member. You can talk to them and listen to them the same way you would if they were experiencing a chemotherapy treatment. YOU cannot force your wish on others.

    Chemotherapy is a painful, personal process. But people survived long before its invention, and people with cancer still survive and thrive today without it. If you genuinely support your family member, you can help them research alternatives and actually invest yourself in their decision. Being a shoulder to cry on may be all that is required of you.

    1. brakel2 profile image78
      brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for your excellent comment.  Being there for the person is very important. Listening and being supportive are important to the patient and to their quality of life.


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