Do medical interventions at the end of life make dying better or worse?
We seem to value prolonging life at any expense. Is this good or for people on their death beds?
I think we all have different outlooks at best and unfortunately to often the one who is dying did not make clarification of their wishes before their time came to pass. This is no ones fault it's just something we don't like talking about and it shouldn't be, because whether it be a teenager or senior it's a part of life that should be acknowledged, along with ones wishes when the time comes.
I personally have a living will on record at each local hospital in case there is not any of my loved ones close by at the time. I also (with much criticism from friends) usually have a DNR due to other medical issues I do not wish to have treated. I do not want to spend the last of my days hooked up to machines as others torture themselves trying to make the impossible choices given to them without feeling doubt, second guessing themselves, or remorse for a lifetime.
I believe that is in an individual choice and one that should be made known as soon as they are old enough and able to understand the process, along with knowing all the facts. I mean as soon as they are capable even if they are teenagers!
I'm not talking about getting into some gruesome conversation about death,etc. Just letting them know your wishes and asking if similar circumstances were to occur with them (tragic accident, etc) what would they want.
All to often we make emotional choices trying to hold on to someone for ourselves. It's just part of being human,. The problem is the one who is dying is being tortured themselves knowing the turmoil others are going through with the choices that should have been made earlier. Believe me they may not be able to show it, but they know!!
Again, great question!!!!
Some believe every intervention should be done. I have seen the results of "do whatever you have to" and the end is no different than when nature takes its' course. Neither person had the life they enjoyed. Neither would "heal" and be the loved ones we knew a few years back. One was being poked and proded by medical staff performing whatever resolved the problem of the day. The other was monitored and cared for until it was time. The medical care made no difference in the end. The end will always be the same....they will pass. Passing should be peaceful.
My take has long been that that God knew the moment of my demise before I was conceived, so I am content to leave that demise to Him completely and my proclamation has (since I understood that point) been:
"I want to live exactly the period of time allocated to me, not one second more, not one second less"
Going home has never been something I fear or did not want to happen, I would miss my family time, but I already travel a lot and it makes the reunion more enjoyable.
The 'bus-driver' determines when the bus leaves, I am just a passenger, content to know that the bus will get me to the destination in good timing, God's perfect timing.
I agree with Aguasilver, let the bus come to take me to the destination at the right time. No need of any more hazardous treatment to lengthen the time of departure. Time has come, get ready to surrender to Him.
I mirror aquasilver's response and would only add that the end of our life journey need not be one of pain or discomfort. There are pain medications to make ones transition as comfortable as possible.
As a past hospice nurse, i have seen what the "medical" treatments have done to people that have caused them more needless pain, discomfort and indignity than they should have endured. Those who chose to "let nature take its course" have enjoyed more of life with dignity than those who elected to put themselves through all those treatments and torture that only make the providers richer.
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