What would you do?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by sealybobo, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Diamond Member

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    Hi everyone. My 90 year old grandmother just died. They had a ventalator tube down her throat for 14 days. They said they can't keep the tube in any longer than 14 days, so our options were to go to a Trakeotomy tube in her neck, or just let her go in piece.

    Every doctor and nurse said to let her go in piece. BUT, one doctor who's a friend of the family said that the trake procedure isn't that bad and that she could possibly one day get better and go back to just oxygen.

    But more likely she'd go to a really crappy old folks home and live her last days with a tube connected to her neck. Unable to speak, walk, eat, etc.

    Anyways, I had one relative who wanted to do the trake procedure. He's mad at us for not trying everything, and we can't believe he doesn't see our side of it.

    What would you guys do? Would you keep them alive and try even though its probably pointless and you would just prolong their suffering? Or would you take the tube out of their throat and just let them go in piece, with lots of morphine to take away the pain?

    You should all let your families know what you want for yourselves. Now we know that none of us want the trake in the throat, unless we are young enough that we will recover. But if we only have a 20% chance of getting better and having a good quality of life, we all said NO, let us go in piece.

    I'm assuming religious people might say do everything you can, no matter what. I'm curious to hear what others have to say.
     
  2. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    Sorry for your situation.

    If it was me, I would do whatever I felt was in her best interests. Hopefully, assuming someone knows her well, it would be easy to know what she would want her family to do.

    Actually, you're wrong about those of us who are religious thinking we should do everything we can.... We believe in Heaven, so letting someone go is doing the right thing for them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  3. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Difficult to decide for someone else.
    For myself I plan on taking myself out when things get too bad.
    And I have a living will incase someting makes me a vegetable before then.

    Everyone should have a living will to take the pressure off of the family.
     
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  4. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    It sounds like the most merciful thing to do was to let go. You didn't say if your grandmother left a livign will, instructions, or a do not resuscitate order. As most of the family was unified, I'd be at peace with the decision.
     
  5. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    I don't think it sounds merciful. I think it sounds easy. I know a lot of people who live good lives for years with a trach.

    But it depends on the reason for the tube in the first place. Did she have cancer...a stroke, what?
    And if she wound up in a nursing home it would be because her family put her there. People can and do take care of their elderly relatives at home...none of my grandparents spent any time in nursing homes, and my mother won't either. I don't expect I will, either.

    I'm of the opinion that if one person holds out against killing someone, then for the sake of that one person, the rest should hold off. We all die eventually, why create a rift in the family over it?
     
  6. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    No one was killed. She died.
     
  7. xotoxi
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    xotoxi Platinum Member

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    I'm sorry to hear this.

    The first question is not what you or your family wants, but what would SHE want. Did she ever tell anyone? Did she say that she did not want artificial means to keep her alive?

    If you do not know the answer to that, then the family needs to make the choice. This does not need to unanimous, but it would be nice if everyone could be on the same page.

    But in the situation you outline, it would not be unreasonable to withdraw support. Trachs are no piece of cake and can lead to future complications and repeated hospitalizations.
     
  8. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    No, she was killed when the ventilator was removed.

    One assumes because she had a blockage but was able to breathe on her own, if a trache would have allowed her to breathe.

    So in opting not to perform a tracheotomy, which is a simple procedure which allows people with blockages or damaged throats to breathe, the family opted to kill her.

    Pretty simple.

    Perhaps you'd like to argue she wasn't a human yet?
     
  9. xotoxi
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    xotoxi Platinum Member

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    It is not killing someone to withdraw support.

    It is allowing nature to take over.
     
  10. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    Sorry to hear that, Bobo. What a hard decision.
     

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