How do you feel about your end of life scenario? The reason I am asking is because things I have seen with my own eyes. I work in an ICU, and I see people kept alive when they have conditions that would end in death if not for medical science. And I'm not talking about a temporary condition that will resolve. I'm talking about someone who has cancer in every system in the body. Or end stage respiratory problems, kidneys, etc. I have also done this in my personal life, kept someone on life support when I KNEW better.
More Americans are living with chronic diseases than ever before, due to advancements in medical science. From app. 90 million in 1995 to 120 million today. Conditions that will not get better. Do you want everything done to "not go gently into that good night"? Or are you willing to let nature take its course?
This is not talking about euthansia, death committes, or such. Just how you feel about it for yourself. And if you've made a promise to a loved one. Can you stand strong, or let your fear hold onto you? Thanks.
You're supposed to be a freethinker and able to trust science. Even given that science is incomplete, there is abundant evidence from all over the world that early humans were meat eaters. We were evolved to eat meat. Why do you think there are pictures of animals all over the Lascaux caves and elsewhere?
The people who tell you that meat and dairy cause cancer are not taking into account that perhaps there are pollutants in ALL our foods, including vegetable foods (ever hear of pesticides?) and in our air, and changes in our lifestyles (do YOU walk to work?) that may be contributing to the diseases you mention. You are trying to take complex problems and looking for simple answers, and it just doesn't work. No, the scientists have not found all the answers, but at least they're looking for them in an honest way. And some of what they're saying now will be proved wrong (remember "healthy" margarine?). But I'm willing to wait for their answers, and meanwhile operate on incomplete information, rather than accepting snake-oil screeds from people who merely want to get rich.
Interesting question, Tony. I haven't looked at the question from your perspective before.
For myself, I prefer that for as long as my mind is viable, I would like to live as long as there is quality of life. If, however, my mind is gone, I don't care. I won't be there either way.
But if I were to experience a "long good-bye", I would want quality of life to prevail in my decision-making process. If I know that the end will be ugly and difficult, I won't wait for natural causes. If the choice is taken away from me before I know it, I have no choice but to rely on my loved ones to carry out my wishes, which are explicit. My husband (theist) knows what I prefer and will carry out my wishes for me, despite his theism. He, fortunately, feels the same way as I do about end of life decisions. Its almost funny that his theist upbringing and "survival of the fittest" mentality just happen to fall into line with my preferences on this subject.
The unfortunate thing for others not so prepared is that their families often disregard "living wills" because they can't take the emotional pain of letting go. This, to me, is selfish. I certainly understand it, but in my mind, my loved ones count on me to do as they have asked. Letting go is ultimately for the benefit of the loved one. How can we withhold that final truth of love?
Thanks, Ivy. I agree with you. But as the saying goes, reality bites. And sometimes painfully so in a situation such as this. Yes, they are being selfish. But as you said, it is understandible. Most ultimately come around for the benefit of their loved ones, but I have seen it turn out that family members have not spoken afterwards. Period. Never again. Very sad, and upsetting to all. It truly diminishes all it touches.