Wednesday, May 06, 2009

End of life

Why do we do everything we can to keep people alive? I know this is controversial- but it is something I really struggle with. There are many times I understand- but there are others I do not. Our elderly is case in point. Now that we can surgery and chemo almost anything- we often do. Why is medical science more important than just letting go? Don't we trust that there is a time that God is calling us home?
Part of this is a free will thing. If a person chooses to fight on- then good. If the same person is only choosing to fight on because someone else chooses for them to- is that selfish or helpful? If someone outside is fighting without the person's consent than- OW! If they choose not to fight - then it is "suicide" or "euthanasia" or choosing to go home? Why do we fight this so much? So the person we love can sit in a nursing home? They can have bed sores? Is it the "suffering is good for the soul" thing?
If we believe that the end of life is the beginning of life with in God- why do we prolong it here? For own gratification? To say that we did everything? How about God doing everything? I just do not get it. I sure hope I die in my sleep before these questions come for my children.

7 comments:

Carrie said...

I'm with you, Janette. I don't believe in doing anything to "hurry" things along, but to live at any cost isn't right either. I want to die gracefully, without being connected to tubes and machines to keep me alive longer than I need to be.

ancient one said...

So what are you suggesting... after a certain age... you never go to the doctor... after a certain age you help someone end their life? I don't get it...

Renee said...

I have no problem with not taking heroic measures to keep someone alive... I do have an issue with starving/dehydrating a person into death.

Janette said...

Ancient one
I am not suggesting much for others. I am thinking about the decisions we make for others and I would like to make for myself.
My father begged not to be put on feeding tube- on it came. Stopping eating is a stage of the death process. My aunt had serious cancer- did not want another operation- but complied with her children's wishes.
God gives us the opportunity to "go home. We can take that opportunity or keep going. I think when the time is right the person should make their decision without hinderance. Sometimes we will things on others- or the system gets paid more if you stay around....
I hardly go to the doctor now. My feeling is that most things can be figured out without that "help". I cannot see increasing my doctor time significantly just because it is finally on Medicare and I "could" live until I am 100. It is my judgement call. Make me comfortable and let me go in the end. Between 70 and 80 is my family cycle right now. No way do I want to be 100 in a nursing home. Worked there- never going there.

ancient one said...

Okay... I understand...( a lady in our town just turned 95..still has her perfect memory...still drives.. and intends to keep on living...) I guess when you said elderly it hit a nerve...

Janette said...

Lots of witty 90 year olds in Kansas! Most of them act like they are 60!

ancient one said...

And tonight I understand even more. I have a friend in the hospital. She has several things wrong with her and her doctors told the family she was dying four weeks ago and they would keep her comfortable. (so I'm thinking hospice)... in my mind she will just get pain meds and food, etc. as long as she wants to eat and gently leave us when the time comes...

Even though the doctors have said she is dying and she is suppose to have a team to keep her comfortable.... they are still running test? What for? So today they did a sigmoidcolonoscopy... they foud something they biopsied... why? and in a few days when she is stronger they want to do a full colonoscopy.. why? And they have found a tomur in her mouth that they want to take care of out of the hospital... why?... this woman has heart trouble... diabetes...kidney problems... enough to kill her ... yet they are still looking for more ... (not that this person has any money... but someone (taxpayers perhaps?) will get charged with these bills...)

I can finally see what you were talking about... this woman is tied to her bed. She spoke two sentences to me on the phone this week... she said,"I am not doing good." "They are killing me."

When the doctors ask the family if they are prepared to continue to look at their mom in this condition... What are they Really asking? Permission to go ahead and send her out of here? This is my friend... I cannot stand to hear this...

The hospitals have said no one can visit anyone in the hospital except family because of the swine flu. I'm praying that she will go to the nursing home so I can go to see her...

She only has 2 daughters who are having to make these hard decisions... I will be Praying for God's Will To Be Done....

sorry for going on so... and even though you had said elderly when you mentioned your blog... there are young people also that have these same problems...

My heart is heavy tonight!