Would you buy cigarettes or alcohol for someone dying of a smoke or alcohol-related disease?
If someone is completely bed-ridden and immobilised, would you succumb to their desperate pleas to shop for cigarettes or booze, if they quite clearly have only days or weeks to live? Would you feel that it would make their last days more comfortable, or would your over-riding thoughts be of "tough love" and not adding to their predicament?
And, indeed, would it harm them at this late stage, or would it comfort them?
What are the ethics?
If the person was terminally ill, I would get them the cigarettes or alcohol. It's only going to make them feel worse by not having them. However, if there was ANY chance at saving them, I would not enable them by purchasing the cigarettes or alcohol. The ethics completely change when someone is terminally ill, at least in my opinion. Someone doesn't need to be going through withdrawal during their dying days.
I don't believe in presuming to have the right to exercise "tough love" on other adults. If that's what would make them feel better I'd give them whatever they wanted. When you have hospice people come in for someone, the whole idea is supposed to be to make people as comfortable as they can be. In view of that, I really can't see adding something like nicotine withdrawal or alcohol withdrawal to the mix of whatever else someone has going on.
I don't think I would. I don't want to ever feel responsible for contributing to the demise or death of another. I know you said the person is pretty much on their death bed; but I still don't think I would give in and provide them substances that are harmful. My ex-husband is a smoker and I refused to ever buy him cigarettes. He didn't like it at first, but eventually, he got over it when he realized I was not going to give in and buy them.
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