This issue of a fight for life, to keep someone alive hads always interested me. But the only yardstick I have is my own experience – I cannot speak for anyone else; know their wishes; truly know what they would want. And of course what I believe now may be completely different to what I may want at the moment that life might be slipping away – or rather, my soul slipping gracefully elsewhere.
Very recently I was confronted by a father wanting to keep his daughter alive even though she has neither spoken, eaten orally, moved unaided or been in any way independent for many years. I felt such compassion for his desire for her not to die… but I also thought , ‘What would I want if I were the daughter?’ ‘What would I want if I were the parent?’
How are we to know? We can only use our own judgement to decide tht perhaps yet another heroic measure may not be the right action… Or maybe it is… That Divine order will decree in the end, and if the next heroic measure doesn’t succeed then we have our answer… But do we have a responsibility to make some decision? Whether we switch off a ventilator, or refuse yet another course of antibiotics, or another surgery… What yardstick can we use? For me, I think only how I might feel. But then I may suffer regret at the action taken or not taken… So my last question is, at whose expense are heroic measures taken? Financially, personal or health care system or insurance I guess. But what of the expense incurred for the one who may be just wanting permission to be free now, to rest, to go home?, and of course to those who pause their lives yet again…
This topic is being discussed on the forum. See Brenda Online. Meet me there.