How long would you wait for a loved one to be removed from life support systems ?
Doctors have given up on your loved one in the ICU of a hospital. All indications show that without the life supporting tubes, there would be no life ? Will you take the courage to say yes to the doctors removing the tubes? If so, how long after you come to know will you give the nod?
I would say yes right away because I beleive the person has made a choice to move on . We choose when we die and I would not stand in their way.
This is a very difficult question to answer and I think it will come under Medical Ethics. Usually, if a patient had a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, where he/she wanted the plugs to be pulled in this situation, then the family and the doctors should do so. However, sometimes there is a dispute between families and the families do not want to pull the plug.
In this case that you have mentioned, I think if the patient had a DNR then definitely I would pull the plug as soon as I found out about the loved one. If he did not then I would wait until the rest of the family came in and discussed it. Hopefully we could all come to an agreement and pull the plug sooner than later to avoid too much pain.
A very practical question on a very sensitive subject and very tough for me to decide an answer. Logic and emotion, they never intersect each other. Still, I would say 'yes' after a certain period of observation time but with an expectation of a miracle to take place.
There is another side to it that may be after I say 'yes' and when the result of such a decision will take place then may be I won't be able to forgive myself. This will remain as a trauma and will create a vacuum in me.
My siblings and I had to make this choice regarding our father many years ago and we decided to remove him from the tubes immediately after his doctor told us that he was not coming back. It was a very difficult choice to make and is bringing tears to my eyes as I write about this even now and that was in 1990.
Consider all things that the doctors are saying and then pray to God for direction. That is a very difficult decision to have to make and you don't want to spend years second-guessing your decision. When you seek God, He will give you peace.
My mother passed away on October 26th, 2011, and my sisters and I had to make this very decision. It is not easy, but given the options, I knew my mother would not want to live like that. She lived with me and my husband for the last 10 years, and we talked about this, so I knew her wishes. She had a massive stroke that was complicated by pneumonia. She was in the hospital for a week before we were given her prognosis, which wasn't good. We decided to say goodbye to her the next day. That was the hardest decision I ever made.
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