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7 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2008 - 3:36PM #1
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
When someone is elderly or terminally ill, is it selfish for them to choose to die as opposed to choose treatment? For example, if someone is terminally ill and they have children, is it selfish for them to choose to die without treatment in order to quicken their children's suffering and healing? Or is it more unselfish to choose quantity of life so they can be there longer for their children? If you were in this situation, what would be your preference, and would you consider it a selfish decision?
An
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2008 - 6:36PM #2
NothingButLove
Posts: 715

Anesis wrote:

When someone is elderly or terminally ill, is it selfish for them to choose to die as opposed to choose treatment? For example, if someone is terminally ill and they have children, is it selfish for them to choose to die without treatment in order to quicken their children's suffering and healing? Or is it more unselfish to choose quantity of life so they can be there longer for their children? If you were in this situation, what would be your preference, and would you consider it a selfish decision?
An



This is a decision each would make, and I don't think it is anyone's place to criticise what another does. I think it would be hard for me to even tell you what I might do, because I don't know. I might want to survive another 3 months to see a grandchild, that sort of thing. But as I do not fear death, I don't think there is any value in the notion of hanging on a few more months, just for the few more months.

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7 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2008 - 7:58PM #3
mountain_man
Posts: 39,756

Anesis wrote:

When someone is elderly or terminally ill, is it selfish for them to choose to die as opposed to choose treatment? For example, if someone is terminally ill and they have children, is it selfish for them to choose to die without treatment in order to quicken their children's suffering and healing? Or is it more unselfish to choose quantity of life so they can be there longer for their children? If you were in this situation, what would be your preference, and would you consider it a selfish decision?


Absolutely not! What good is "being there for your children" if you are in a coma or unresponsive from pain meds? What good does it do to make those children see a parent or loved one suffer needlessly?

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 10, 2008 - 9:41AM #4
spiritalk
Posts: 1,165
The quality of life for as long as we live is important.  When we die there is so much to handle for those left behind.  Making the experience of death prolonged and/or painful, will not aid any grieving process.

We all die alone.  No one else can take our hand on this one - except, of course, our own understanding of God.  When our time is here, we must answer the call.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2008 - 2:38AM #5
emi19
Posts: 14
I have lived through this situation with my father. Over several years he slowly started to loose mental and physical function. I think that it is selfish for us to ask someone to stay alive to make us happy. It's selfish for us to ask someone we love to live in pain so that we can have a few more days with them.  If you really love something or someone you have to be willing to let it go.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2008 - 3:28AM #6
Devona
Posts: 230
is it selfish for them to choose to die as opposed to choose treatment?

As someone else mentioned, it's really a personal choice. 

But what's the point of someone lingering, in intense pain, just to 'be around' for a few more months?  It's actually more UN selfish not to do that.  I've watched several people die from Cancer and frankly the treatments NEVER really worked or did much after a while - other than make the sufferers suffer more - from nausea, bone pain, 'breakthru' pain etc.  The only people who benefited from the treatment were the providers who made a ton of money for every extra treatment they could squeeze into them!

I know that probably sounds harsh and am not saying patients should not get treatment - but there comes a time when the treatments are really not helping much - and actually decease the quality of a person's life.  Better to have a few really good weeks than months of suffering.......

Blessings,
Devona
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2008 - 3:46PM #7
boodlebear
Posts: 1,053
This is an interesting post as I am literally going through this with my mother. We are 3 adult children. My sister lost her daughter of thirteen to a rare form of cancer. They did treatments. In the end though it was the morphine pump to the rescue. My mother is 84. She chose not to do any treatments and that is her right. It is her body and we all supported her descision. Why are we more willing to put our pets out of their misery and yet make our loved ones feel gulity for wanting to die? Today we 3 had to decide to put mother into a nursing home because she has become combative and we are untrained to handle said behavior. She will have crisis care provided by hospice until Monday AM when she is admitted. She is a danger to herself as she nearly OD'd on her meds. She fell out of her bed and broke her collarbone. She did not remember doing that. Last night she fought the volunteer and my brother until 3 AM today, arguing about the television and what time of day it was. She is frightened. And often times confused. She has instant mood swings and she is aware of when she is nasty and calm and feels guilty for being nasty and swings to being nasty.
Mother has outlived the projections the doctors made by nearly a year. Maybe longer.
No, if anyone refuses treatment, swallow your words, and stand by him/her in love and acceptance. boodlebear.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2008 - 4:05PM #8
Karma_yeshe_dorje
Posts: 12,767
I recently got a flurry of e-mail correspondence from someone about whom I had thought fondly, but who rarely contacted me. Anyhow she is in a cancer hospital with a condition that from what I read, is a death sentence. Yet she said that if I could not be positive (about her almost non-existent chance of survival), I should not write back! This strikes me as an evilly nasty trip. :(
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2008 - 11:51PM #9
Devona
Posts: 230
Karma,
Yet she said that if I could not be positive (about her almost non-existent chance of survival), I should not write back! This strikes me as an evilly nasty trip.

Why write about her chance of survival at all?  I'm sure she's aware of what's happening.  A letter telling her what her friendship means to you might be more appropriate

..........and who knows, she just might recover. Miracles do happen.

Blessings,
Devona
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2008 - 11:59PM #10
Devona
Posts: 230
Boodlebear,

I'm sorry about your mom........it's such a difficult situation that you're in.  I know she refused treatment and in all honesty, she's probably being very wise to do that.  My mom had chemo (4 different kinds) over a two year period and the only quality of life she experienced was when she decided to stop the treatment two months before she died.

Is your mom, at least, getting medication for the pain?   No one should have to be in pain, not when the medication to prevent it is available. 

Sending love and light to your mom and your family.

Blessings,
Devona
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