Would You Want To Be.........

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Cosima___J
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Would You Want To Be.........

Post by Cosima___J » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:43 pm

....kept alive IN A COMA FOR EIGHT YEARS? I just read that Ariel Sharon has died after being in a coma for eight years. This is a travesty in my opinion. Would Sharon have wanted that to happen? Who did this to him? If you don't have a written document stating that you don't want this to happen to you, would such a thing occur here?

I have never given a thought to worrying about that. Can't loved ones "pull the plug" when doctors say there is no hope?

jbuck919
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Re: Would You Want To Be.........

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:07 pm

Cosima___J wrote:....kept alive IN A COMA FOR EIGHT YEARS? I just read that Ariel Sharon has died after being in a coma for eight years. This is a travesty in my opinion. Would Sharon have wanted that to happen? Who did this to him? If you don't have a written document stating that you don't want this to happen to you, would such a thing occur here?

I have never given a thought to worrying about that. Can't loved ones "pull the plug" when doctors say there is no hope?
Who knows what the individual situation was with Sharon? We'll never know, because it is private. In the US, of course, a person can make a living will and designate a health care proxy so that such a thing could not happen. Israel is at least as advanced as we are in medical care, so I can't imagine it is different there. But many people don't think to do that, just as many people die without leaving a will. I once read an astute observation that Americans think death is optional. (I just looked that phrase up on Google and it returns several different hits.) My mother, bless her, took care of this a very long time ago so that her nursing care, etc., is a straightforward matter for me.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: Would You Want To Be.........

Post by John F » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:18 pm

I've made a living will, not that it will benefit me personally but it may make things easier for my family.

However, it seems that such instructions aren't necessarily binding. In Texas, a brain-dead woman is being kept alive, despite her living will and the wishes of her family, because she is pregnant, and removing her from life support would be tantamount to abortion. This case is in the courts and by the time it's resolved, the baby may already have been born or miscarried.
John Francis

piston
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Re: Would You Want To Be.........

Post by piston » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:54 pm

It's an extremely painful decision. I speak from experience, as a person who took care of vegetative patients in the "brain" surgery department. There is nothing easy about ending a breathing life. Back then, we let nature take its course, even if it meant numerous months of pain-ridden residence because of a motorcycle accident or a brain tumor. Oddly, even in a vegetative state, patients appreciate little comforts, such as a good bath and a clean bed. They sleep well.

I do not know if they live in their dreams but their bodies can be relatively comfortable and at peace....
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

lennygoran
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Re: Would You Want To Be.........

Post by lennygoran » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:52 pm

Cosima___J wrote:.... Can't loved ones "pull the plug" when doctors say there is no hope?
The laws were very difficult when we went through this for my mother--I hope things have gotten better in that respect--my mother was kept alive as a vegetable for nearly a year because of a decision my father made in the hospital--that was maybe 20 years ago in NYC. Regards, Len :(

jbuck919
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Re: Would You Want To Be.........

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:31 am

This has suddenly become a very real issue for me, because my mother had a major heart attack at the nursing home on Thursday, which threw a blood clot into her leg, cutting off circulation to her foot, which quickly began to undergo tissue necrosis. (She was still recovering from a broken hip after a fall about three weeks ago, which required an operation to pin the fracture.) Of course she was sent to the hospital, where, after consulting my sister, I ordered comfort care only, because pain management is paramount and there is nothing for her after this. Now we are just waiting.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: Would You Want To Be.........

Post by lennygoran » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:10 am

jbuck919 wrote:This has suddenly become a very real issue for me, because my mother had a major heart attack at the nursing home on Thursday, which threw a blood clot into her leg, cutting off circulation to her foot, which quickly began to undergo tissue necrosis. (She was still recovering from a broken hip after a fall about three weeks ago, which required an operation to pin the fracture.) Of course she was sent to the hospital, where, after consulting my sister, I ordered comfort care only, because pain management is paramount and there is nothing for her after this. Now we are just waiting.
So sad--wishing you the best--are there any treatments--I hadn't heard the term tissue necrosis but it sounds very bad. Regards, Len :(

jbuck919
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Re: Would You Want To Be.........

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:31 am

lennygoran wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:This has suddenly become a very real issue for me, because my mother had a major heart attack at the nursing home on Thursday, which threw a blood clot into her leg, cutting off circulation to her foot, which quickly began to undergo tissue necrosis. (She was still recovering from a broken hip after a fall about three weeks ago, which required an operation to pin the fracture.) Of course she was sent to the hospital, where, after consulting my sister, I ordered comfort care only, because pain management is paramount and there is nothing for her after this. Now we are just waiting.
So sad--wishing you the best--are there any treatments--I hadn't heard the term tissue necrosis but it sounds very bad. Regards, Len :(
Thanks, Len. They're sending my mother back to the nursing home today; it is a better place for her.

I didn't want to say gangrene because that evokes images of amputated limbs and smelling festering sores, but this is the "dry" non-septic version of gangrene, and in fact if this were not the end she would be facing an amputation.

Comfort care only means no medical treatment at all except for pain medication. It is a difficult decision to make even when it is clearly the best one, and I can see why so many next of kin continue to insist that "everything" still be done at this stage. Counseling on this was something addressed by the original version of the ACA before the Republicans cried out "death panels." I'm just lucky that my sister and I were able to figure it out for ourselves.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Chalkperson
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Re: Would You Want To Be.........

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:05 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
lennygoran wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:This has suddenly become a very real issue for me, because my mother had a major heart attack at the nursing home on Thursday, which threw a blood clot into her leg, cutting off circulation to her foot, which quickly began to undergo tissue necrosis. (She was still recovering from a broken hip after a fall about three weeks ago, which required an operation to pin the fracture.) Of course she was sent to the hospital, where, after consulting my sister, I ordered comfort care only, because pain management is paramount and there is nothing for her after this. Now we are just waiting.
So sad--wishing you the best--are there any treatments--I hadn't heard the term tissue necrosis but it sounds very bad. Regards, Len :(
Thanks, Len. They're sending my mother back to the nursing home today; it is a better place for her.

I didn't want to say gangrene because that evokes images of amputated limbs and smelling festering sores, but this is the "dry" non-septic version of gangrene, and in fact if this were not the end she would be facing an amputation.

Comfort care only means no medical treatment at all except for pain medication. It is a difficult decision to make even when it is clearly the best one, and I can see why so many next of kin continue to insist that "everything" still be done at this stage. Counseling on this was something addressed by the original version of the ACA before the Republicans cried out "death panels." I'm just lucky that my sister and I were able to figure it out for ourselves.
I'm so sorry to read this, John, my thoughts are with you, your sister, and of course your mother at this very difficult time...cd
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