Yeah, this could be you or your loved one! Are you ready to be put out to “pasture” or put someone else there? I think the author has a good point. Having dealt with these same issues in my parents and parent-in-laws I have to agree that there is a trade off in increasing someone’s lifespan and your own selfish interests. Yes, you don’t want your loved one to die. Yes, you don’t want them to suffer. No, you don’t want to break the bank doing it!
Seems like the medical profession (but they aren’t the only group of professionals that may provide unnecessary products), and many times thankfully so, is able to provide advances in medicine unheard of to previous generations. This is a good thing most of the time. But what about the seemingly hoards of unsuspecting families that are given false hope (sometimes by omission of the facts) that a certain treatment or procedure will provide a cure. We shouldn’t strip hope from these people because hope is important to our being and our ability to persevere. However, who will decide when enough is enough? Sending someone to a nursing facility or long-term facility is much like setting your loved one adrift on a ice flow. Caring for them out of your home is more compassionate but takes a toll physically and mentally. Not doing anything is terrible or is it? Some choose to take the path of least resistance, to let nature take its course. There is humility with death and dying. Doctors (and perhaps other professionals should) take courses of ethics, attend grand rounds on death and dying (and the moral, ethical, and religious aspects). By the nature of our nation’s spirit to explore, learn, and become the best we our provided with some of the best medical care and research in the world. We certainly don’t want to waste this new found knowledge but we, as individuals or as families, must decide when enough is enough. This is the purpose of medical directives and living wills…to avoid this conundrum in times of extreme emotion (and shock for some).
I for one do not want to drift away on an ice flow but neither do I want to stay tethered to land. At some point we must decide when to cut that lifeline.