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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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ethics by jaime on 11 July 2006 4:03am
If someone you knew was dying and their family had to decide what to do with their life...what would you want them to do? Would you repsect their decision no matter what?
Re: ethics by Ken Dunn on 11 July 2006 9:02am
It would depend on the wishes of the dying person but if the dying person hasn't told their wishes, or been asked, then depending on their medical condition the doctor(s) looking after the dying person can advise on their quality of life.
Re: ethics by perfectbitch on 11 July 2006 9:41am
I am assuming that you are touching on the difficult issue of euthanasia here. I believe that the patients wishes be repected. Some people will fight on regardless and others will want to spare themselves and their families a great deal of pain. I would imagine that the worst scenario for anyone would be to be trapped in a body, fully aware but without any ability to communicate. To continue like this would be torture for anyone.

Re: ethics by Spursfan on 11 July 2006 11:25am
I'm going to tell my family to keep me going for ever!!!
Re: ethics by jaime on 11 July 2006 7:32pm
well not exactly euthanasia but like taking someone off life support and like letting them dehydrate or starve
Re: ethics by perfectbitch on 11 July 2006 8:01pm
If they were dependent on life support with no hope of recovery, then I would turn it off. But I would want to be as sure as I could that they were free from pain. Death happens to us all and it is as much of a process as birth. If the drugs that my husband was on before he died had not prevented him from the insane despair that the brain tumours had caused, I would have given him an overdose and accepted the consequences.

Re: ethics by pandab on 12 July 2006 2:27am
Soapbox alert!

While my mother was ill, my father tried discuss her wishes should she become unable to speak and decide for herself, but she resisted. She was terrified of dying and hated to talk about it. He finally had to get her doctor to talk to her. That was the only way she would discuss it.

The experience left a mark on my father and I, so shortly after her death, he, my brother and I had a long talk. My dad and I made wills and living wills, so our wishes are in writing. If I ever have to make that decision for my dad, it will be the most gut-wrenching one of my life, but at least I'll have the solace of knowing I'm doing what he wants.

However you feel about it, for heaven's sake, don't keep it to yourself! Talk to your nearest and dearest to make sure they understand and are prepared to carry through. Then get your decision enshrined in writing and give a copy to your doctor. Believe me, that piece of legalese can spare your family a huge amount of agony, especially if (like my family) there is major disagreement over what to do.

End of soapbox. :)

For myself ... Once a terminal condition is confirmed, I've elected to let myself go. Since I'm single, and since my dad may predecease me, I've made sure my wishes are as iron-clad legal as possible.

Re: ethics by tucsonmike on 12 July 2006 2:36am
Wow! now here is an issue to discuss! I would not want to be a burden and non functional. We don't have kids, but we have 14 nieces and nephews.

My mother asked us to kill her if she became out of it. We refused. Elaine used to be a nurse and went pale when my mother first approached her. My Mom's mother was out of it the last year and a half of her life. So Mom is scared of not being able to take care of herself.

Elaine and I already agreed to be organ donors. We are not Egyptian Pharaohs and cannot take it and other stuff to a giant tomb! LOL! Now that we own the house, we need to have real wills made up.

Anne, you are planning to be like the Energizer Bunny? Around forever and just keep on ticking. (I am mixing my American TV Commercials now).

Re: ethics by jaime on 12 July 2006 10:31am
wow 14 nieces and nephews! well thanks for your opinions :)

the reason why I brought up this topic is because my uncle has a brain tumour and when they operated he had a stroke. This is the first time I've gone to visit someone in hospital knowing they were dying....but my parents being who they are didn't tell me his family decided to take him off life support. so when I went there I assumed my uncle was recovering well cause there were no machines about.
Nothing prepared me for this, I learnt about ethics during GCSE but seeing it in action scares me. I mean i know its his family's decision but isn't he going to be in more pain dehydrating and starving to death? I mean, if they kept him going there would still be a chance of him recovering even though the doctors say nothing else can be done...you sometimes read that ppl in comas have gotten better after 20 years (CNN recently had this story) because their brain recovred over time...ok yes I sound desperate and I have such awe for my cousins who are younger than me and are able to sit by their father and have the ability to smile but deep down knowing that he'll be gone sometime very soon but seriously...wouldnt you just want to wait and hope?
As I sit here I keep imagining myself as my cousins and one day waking up to realise he's gone or worse being woken up by someone telling you he's gone and then once they're gone you can't reverse your decision.
writing this makes it seem so final
Re: ethics by perfectbitch on 12 July 2006 11:43am
Oh Jaime, that must have been quite a shock for you. I have long believed that quality of life is the important factor in these tragic cases. When I was a nurse, I witnessed a 38 year old woman dying in agony because the doctor would not prescribe enough analgesia to relieve her pain in case it killed her!!
I also witnessed a baby being resucitated 7 times before they gave up on her. The baby suffered dmaged bones and bruising and I thought it was such a violent way for her to spend her last few hours.
But I have also witnessed people who have made miraculous recoveries from terminal condidtions. Each case has to be dealt with individually as people are individual in their suffering.
My husband was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumours 6 months before he died. We took all the treatment available and made the very most of those last precious months knowing all the time that he was not going to beat this. It is sad Jaime but something that is completely outside our control. Anyone in your uncle's position is unlikely to be aware enough to feel the effects of starvation and dehydration and maybe it is kinder to let him go with your love and support.

If you want to talk about this any more, please feel free to mail me, details are on vitals.

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