Friday, September 26, 2014

Here's an extremely important comment on a touching story in the Times today about a woman trying to save her dying father (it's from MGdoc of Oklahoma City):

There's an extremely strong cognitive disconnect running through this story that the writer, Mr Andrey's daughter and most of the comments fail to realize. Mr. Andrey was ALWAYS dying. 90 year old Alzheimers patients falling from weakness and unable to care for themselves are terminally ill. No amount of physical therapy, rehab, nursing home care etc could change that. For this sort of patient, nursing homes are just warehouses holding them until they complete the dying process. While the bedsores, malnutrition etc alleged in the article are horrifying, repeatedly taking a terminally ill patient to the hospital, repeatedly treating sepsis, having emergency surgery for somebody who is about to die despite surgery is a CHOICE. Both the patient and his daughter wanted him to keep on living, but weren't willing to accept the consequences of that decision. Mr. Andrey could have gone home, and stayed home, and died at home. Instead, he kept going back to the hospital, over and over. THAT's the real tragedy here; that he was dying and a slow agonizing death was chosen instead of realizing that death was inevitable and that death at home, without medical intervention was an acceptable alternative.


Nick's Test Ground said...

i had an experience with a 19 year old cat. i gave him a chance but didn't want to torture him. obviously a human being is a very different matter.i think it is hard. it must be the wish of the patient i suppose.

Carolina said...

You are so right. It is hard.