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Iszofia
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 6:08:25 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/26/2010
Posts: 534
Location: Cloudland, AUSTRALIA
When diagnosed with a terminal illness a patient might have just weeks or months to live.

Should they fight on or accept the inevitable?

Should their doctors hold out hope, however slim, or deliver the hard medical reality?

These decisions are much tougher as medicine and medical technology becomes increasingly sophisticated .

Patients , families and doctors wrestle with these ethical and moral dilemmas at the end of life.

How much are we willing to pay personally and as a society to prolong a life when there is little hope?

On a different note:
How do you feel about Euthanasia? Should it be legalised?

~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~
I believe everyone has a right to fight for their lives, but at the same time, if the medical condition of the patient is so dire, that it is beyond recovery, then the person should have a choice of whether they want to continue fighting or accept the inevitable. I think the ethical and morality lines become blurry when the individual is no longer capable of decision making and the choice is place on the family to fight or not.
Ultimately it is a tough, tough decision based on many factors specific to the individual. I'm interested to know what you all think. What are you personal experiences if you would like to share.



Guest
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 6:27:01 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 688,700
Euthanasia issue already has a thread, but as for what to do:

Have a living will so that others will not have to assert their ethics on your choice one way or another.
Iszofia
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 6:40:00 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/26/2010
Posts: 534
Location: Cloudland, AUSTRALIA
Ok, I figured Euthanasia would have its on thread, but it's bound to be mentioned on this topic. It's really up to the person if they wish to comment on it or not.

Cheers icon_smile
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 6:50:00 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 688,700
eviotis wrote:
Euthanasia issue already has a thread, but as for what to do:

Have a living will so that others will not have to assert their ethics on your choice one way or another.


sadly a living will doesnt really protect as we'd like. if you are dying and loved ones call 911, living will or not, EMTs will do what is necessary to recover you...including intubation.
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 7:28:11 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 688,700
"sadly a living will doesnt really protect as we'd like. if you are dying and loved ones call 911, living will or not, EMTs will do what is necessary to recover you...including intubation."

True, however, after initial response teams, and when you have been unresponsive for a length of time noted in a will, then the call can be yours, if your family will respect your wishes.
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 11:57:51 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 688,700
sadly a living will doesnt really protect as we'd like. if you are dying and loved ones call 911, living will or not, EMTs will do what is necessary to recover you...including intubation.




I will have to Disagree with you on this little tidbit. Living wills are arranged for a reason and if presented with a living will I, as a paramedic, must fulfill those wishes. Unless the family member can present a compelling argument (and the argument needs to be completely overwhelming)as to why I should not follow the living will directives, I would get in some serious trouble for disregarding the living will. Living wills, when completed properly, are legal documents.

Now on to the more pertinent issue here. I find that family members hold out hope long past when it is reasonable to think that the person will recover from the illness or injuries. I have, on more than one occasion, taken people to the hospital or treatment centers long after it was apparent that hope was all but gone. I am sure it is hard to realize a love one is going to die but when quality of life is so far compromised it makes me sick to see them suffer.

I feel that everyone should have to have a living will and it should, in great detail, specify what you want and don't want. That would prevent cruel and very costly procedures that only prolong the inevitable and compromise that quality of life we all want and deserve.
mercianknight
Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2010 5:48:36 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,027
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
All one can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. A 'Living Will' is a good start.

I lean to the thinking that 'quality of life' far out-weighs the 'prolonging of life' based on a hypocratic oath (or, cynically, accumulating medical fees). In some cases the treatment can be so much worse than the actual illness and in those cases one should be allowed to let go.

These calls are always much harder, however, when you are asked to make this call for a loved one. Dealing with your own doubts when deciding the fate of a terminally ill loved one is often made worse by the contrary input of others. Now THAT is a dilemma I would not like to face.

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
Guest
Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2010 5:52:30 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 688,700
terd_furgeson wrote:
sadly a living will doesnt really protect as we'd like. if you are dying and loved ones call 911, living will or not, EMTs will do what is necessary to recover you...including intubation.




I will have to Disagree with you on this little tidbit. Living wills are arranged for a reason and if presented with a living will I, as a paramedic, must fulfill those wishes. Unless the family member can present a compelling argument (and the argument needs to be completely overwhelming)as to why I should not follow the living will directives, I would get in some serious trouble for disregarding the living will. Living wills, when completed properly, are legal documents.

Now on to the more pertinent issue here. I find that family members hold out hope long past when it is reasonable to think that the person will recover from the illness or injuries. I have, on more than one occasion, taken people to the hospital or treatment centers long after it was apparent that hope was all but gone. I am sure it is hard to realize a love one is going to die but when quality of life is so far compromised it makes me sick to see them suffer.

I feel that everyone should have to have a living will and it should, in great detail, specify what you want and don't want. That would prevent cruel and very costly procedures that only prolong the inevitable and compromise that quality of life we all want and deserve.



actually, i thought you might. was sort of hoping you might even. and really? i thought it was the other way around. when you are called you do everything to save the patient and get them to the ER or up to the MICU. when my dad was dying my brother freaked out and called EMTs and they came and intubated him against his wishes. after he was intubated tho it was near impossible to get them to pull the tube. days of us arguing. my husband gets mannny people come thru his MICU intubated against their living will. He jokes that it doesnt matter if you have DO NOT INTUBATE tatooed on your chest, if the paramedics are called and you are dying they will fix you. and its no offense to you guys. you are the first defense in critical care...CCRNs depend on you to get the patients stable and up to them.

and i applaud you Terd if you and yours follow those directive because you are dead on about it preventing cruelty and keep costs down. I have known two brave women in my life that chose hospice over useless treatments. One of them is my aunt, who is passing now, i know my mother and my aunts daughters are around her to be with her has she goes. i wish so much i was there too :(
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