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Honored Social Butterfly

THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE

STATNews - 12.14.2017 - When death is imminent, end-of-life care decisions sometimes go out the wind...

 

I read about this happening a lot and it breaks my heart but also makes me mad.

 

What I mean by that is that we should be given the right to choose -  we give a woman this right to disrupt a pregnancy if she determines it is not right for her and her body.  How about giving everybody this same right when they are in declining health and are losing quality of life.

 

Choose our own compassionate demise when we feel quality of life is slipping away and plan it in advance - just like a health care directive with certain markers or direct permission from the person at deaths door.

 

I do not want anybody else to have to make this decision for me because sometimes they just cannot do it - or don't know how or what to do.  But that is all that is available to us right now even if you live in one of the states that has a Right to Die law on their books.  Because even then it can only be accomplished if you are coherent enough to make the decision then; no planning too far in advance.

We all know that is often not the case. 

 

Hospice needs to do a better job of explaining how it works to those who are in charge and give them contact info so this does not happen. Hospice needs to do a better job and make sure the whole involved family is up to it after explaining it.   To avoid even more ER problems!

Honored Social Butterfly

The Republicans always contradict their mantra of keeping the government out of our lives. Remember the Terry Schivao case? Republicans cannot stay out of our personal lives.

Honored Social Butterfly


@CriticalThinking wrote:

The Republicans always contradict their mantra of keeping the government out of our lives. Remember the Terry Schivao case? Republicans cannot stay out of our personal lives.


If I am remembering correctly, Terri did not have a say in the matter - which is the problem which Is the subject of this thread - we are not abled to preplan out death based on circumstances in the future using perhaps quality of life measures.

 

Edited to add - Terri, in her predicament, wouldn't even be allowed to choose death even in those states that have a death with dignity law because you have to be coherent at the time you make the decision for help in dying.

 

We need to be able to pre-plan for all kinds of situations.

 

phyllis is right, a living will or a healthcare directive has a whole lot of holes depending on the situation - especially, like OlderScout said, you are not in your own home and other are called by somebody to "help" you.

 

The stories I could tell . . . . . . .

 

Honored Social Butterfly

I used to be in favor of assisted  suicide many years ago. I even voted for it. and then one day. I changed my mind.

I felt, that I had no right to impose that kind of responsibility on anyone.. If I wanted to die. that should be my only choice and not delegate that responsibility.
In a way, a living will sort of provides me with that option. It is different if I already have stated how long I want things to be done for me. 
I don't feel that I put my life and the responsibility to end it on anyone. 
I have chosen what I want to be done.
To follow the directive of a living will, is what I want to happen. So my husband will simply do what I have chosen to do.

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Honored Social Butterfly

I believe it was on NPR recently that a survey of ER physicians revealed that virtually ALL of those asked said they did NOT want anyone using "extreme measures" to prolong their lives, with several admitting they had "DO NOT CODE" tattooed on their chests, "code" being shorthand for the emergency cardiopulmonary arrest "crisis" team, (called a "code team").

 

UNFORTUNATELY, if a loved one calls the EMTs for you, they WILL do everything they can to resuscitate you, and take you to the hospital ER, no matter how many DNR notices you have posted around the house. Another unfortunate aspect is the quality of hospice care varies greatly, and there don't seem to be any "standards" for how you're to be treated as you finish your race.

 

Since the solution seems to be better laws and enforcement of those laws, Republicans cannot provide an answer. People who would like to die with dignity under the terms THEY set must never vote Republican, or they risk becoming another corpse the family plays with for years, like Terri Schiavo who consumed life support services for FIFTEEN YEARS after she had died.

Honored Social Butterfly

Having a living will can address some of the issues I think you are bringing up.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Esteemed Social Butterfly

 One quick and painful comment: I had to withdraw life-support from my husband, and I don’t think I will ever recover from having to make that decision. 

 He had a living will, but it did not cover his situation – – no where close. 

 There are some things that cannot be planned for. Somethings that are so horrific they cannot be imagined. 

 

 

Gee, I miss having a real president! 

Trusted Social Butterfly


@phyllisc6781 wrote:

 One quick and painful comment: I had to withdraw life-support from my husband, and I don’t think I will ever recover from having to make that decision. 

 He had a living will, but it did not cover his situation – – no where close. 

 There are some things that cannot be planned for. Somethings that are so horrific they cannot be imagined. 

 

 

Gee, I miss having a real president! 


I am truly sorry for your loss and that it had to occur this way.  

Esteemed Social Butterfly

@umbarch64– people think that the living will is the answer, and, I suppose if the system runs correctly,  and the person dies appropriately – – with no extenuating circumstances – –  that it is. However, this is not  Situation all cases.

 

Thank you for your thoughts and your concern.

 

Gee, I miss having a real president!

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Honored Social Butterfly


@phyllisc6781 wrote:

 One quick and painful comment: I had to withdraw life-support from my husband, and I don’t think I will ever recover from having to make that decision. 

 He had a living will, but it did not cover his situation – – no where close. 

 There are some things that cannot be planned for. Somethings that are so horrific they cannot be imagined. 

 

 

Gee, I miss having a real president! 


I understand somewhat...

 

There was no one else available to make the decision for my mom and dad - I talked to my brothers and sisters on the phone, but it was up to me to say it.

 

Only the fact that nothing could be done, and in an earlier century without life support they would already have died made a difference...

 

I've left legally binding instructions that if nothing can be done and there's no hope, or I would end up being unaware and "no longer there" - that further life support is to be withdrawn.  That way, it's entirely my decision,  a done deal, and no one else has to make it.

 

44>dolt45
Esteemed Social Butterfly

@alferdpacker— here’s the thing. No one comes in and says it’s over there’s nothing else we can do. They tell you things don’t look good, a social worker comes in and says something about a nursing home, they tell you that if they move him he’ll die, but no one says it’s over. At least that was my case until I finally faced the truth and  asked. 

 Four years later – – I still wonder if I didn’t kill him.

 

And he had a living will. It’s said no nutrition no water should be given if it death was inevitable. But like I said, nobody came in and told me there is no chance until I asked—And even then,  you wonder if things would’ve been different if you had  just waited a little longer.

 

Gee, I miss having a real president!

Honored Social Butterfly

@phyllisc6781- Perhaps I was fortunate then.

The doctors said both times that their conditions were irreversible and deteriorating, and that continuing life support was futile...   I called my brothers and sisters a second time and told them what the doctors had told me - they said that they had asked their doctors, and were told that they agreed with what the doctors had told me...

 

What some later might call a "bad" decision was made on what was then Best Available Data...

 

 Sometimes all you have is to make your best guess...

 

 

44>dolt45
Honored Social Butterfly

phyllisc:

One quick and painful comment: I had to withdraw life-support from my husband, and I don’t think I will ever recover from having to make that decision. 

 He had a living will, but it did not cover his situation – – no where close. 

 There are some things that cannot be planned for. Somethings that are so horrific they cannot be imagined. 

 

 

Really sorry to hear that. It musy have been extremely hard and upsetting. All a person can do is search their heart and do what they think the other person would want. And you're right, not everything can be planned for in advance.

Esteemed Social Butterfly

@Panjandrum—Thank you!

 

At some point, we call in the doctors, beg them to tell us that there are still alternatives, and when they all shake their heads and say there is nothing more they can do, you either live in a fantasy and watch a living corpse or you end your loved one’s suffering.

But back to the original question—what do you do? What do you legally do ahead of time?

 

Gee, I miss having a real president!

Honored Social Butterfly


@phyllisc6781 wrote:

@Panjandrum—Thank you!

 

At some point, we call in the doctors, beg them to tell us that there are still alternatives, and when they all shake their heads and say there is nothing more they can do, you either live in a fantasy and watch a living corpse or you end your loved one’s suffering.

But back to the original question — what do you do? What do you legally do ahead of time?

 

Gee, I miss having a real president!


You have my warmest of thoughts and well wishes Phyllis.

 

This is a tough topic for many of us. What I can do legally ahead of time is in the hands of the state I live in. Where I live the best we have is a living will and no it does not cover or address everything, not close to everything. My wife and I have talked about this a lot. There is nothing more than a living will that I can do to keep her away from a situation where she may have to make a decision like you had to make. Nor can she keep me from perhaps having to do the same, even though (as you know) I do live with having a blood cancer and am 8 years older than her. We both tell each other that we can only make the best decision we can make based on what the doctors tell us. I am so afraid that she very well may have to make that decision some day.

 

I am just not sure what the answer is to keep our loved ones out of such a situation. I don't have the answers.  Like another poster said, there are so many strings attached to this ..................


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly


@ChasKy53 wrote:

Having a living will can address some of the issues I think you are bringing up.


PAD - Physician Assisted Aid in Dying - or assisted suicide is LEGAL in Washington DC, California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington - the Montana Supreme Court ruled that Physician Assisted Suicide is not illegal, but the legislature has not yet come up with any guidelines/laws for the Physician and person wishing to die defining what is lawful and what is not lawful.

 

44>dolt45
Honored Social Butterfly

Gail we agree for once. too many loose threads to get into this one.
So it begins.
Honored Social Butterfly

How do you define "a better job"?

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