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A serious question... - Nobody wears a white coat any more...
...a tribute to becoming a doctor.
ayradyss
ayradyss
A serious question...
Let's talk about two different early-twenties young men, O Best Beloved.

The first one, B, is the son of one of our most-loved faculty members. He was involved in the non-medicinal use of prescription narcotics. He went out partying with some friends, took some recreational prescription narcotics, crashed around 3 AM with everyone else and never woke up again.
I attended his funeral. Almost the entire residency did. His father is back at work and we are nervously awaiting the time when he gets called in in the middle of the night to do an ICU admission on a patient like S.

S is a staff medicine patient. He was involved in the non-medicinal use of prescription narcotics. He went out partying with some friends, took some recreational prescription narcotics, got dropped off at home, and was found twelve hours later barely breathing in a pool of his own vomit. He spent days in the ICU on a ventilator and now has anoxic encephalopathy. We didn't anticipate he would ever do anything; he now responds to simple commands and smiles when music is played to him on an iPod. He doesn't talk or do much else. He'll require 24 hour care, suctioning, turning, and therapy to keep him from getting bedsores. We don't know if anything is left of his frontal lobes and personality. His family lives at his bedside, announcing every tiny motion and change, agonizing over fevers and the days when he doesn't respond to anything.

I can't decide, O Best Beloved...if it were my child, which would I choose? Either is a future too painful to contemplate.

now feeling:: thoughtful thoughtful

12 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word
Comments
meran12345 From: meran12345 Date: September 9th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
i sure do know which i would choose if i were the patient. or if it were my kid.
zecular From: zecular Date: September 9th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)

Decisions

Vita-marie, it's been awhile.

I thought I had the answer to this question several times in my life, usually founded on what some church was telling me. And, eventhough I do have strong convictions about the right to live, if it were my child, I would do everything in my power to see that s/he lives. But if the outlook was grim and a vent was required, sometimes it's just time to go.

Kids are special that way. A child may have an additional consideration when an person who has lived his or her life may not.

I feel terrible for both families.
missysedai From: missysedai Date: September 10th, 2007 01:46 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Those poor families.
tyomniye From: tyomniye Date: September 10th, 2007 02:31 am (UTC) (etched in stone)

what a terrible dilemna

is life really life when you don't realize you're living?

sometimes death can be a blessing.. but it's so difficult to let go..

*sorrow for those left behind*

pwwka From: pwwka Date: September 10th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)

Re: what a terrible dilemna

Not sure I agree. It's easy to decide a life is non-life when we can't see out of another's eyes. I'd rather just get behind life in general, lest in my "mercy" I blot out something of worth.
tyomniye From: tyomniye Date: September 10th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)

Re: what a terrible dilemna

I tend to be biased b/c I know I wouldn't want to "live" like that.. I also have a grandmother who's been wanting to die for years but can't..
pwwka From: pwwka Date: September 10th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)

Re: what a terrible dilemna

Eugenics happened in part because there were those who arbitrarily imposed standards of living with "dignity." You wouldn't want to live as a vegetable. Another person may not want to live with panic disorder. Or, to be flippant, with blond hair. The world isn't going to play fair: life will always be undignified.

It's a very slippery slope, to decide what's worth living and what isn't.
tyomniye From: tyomniye Date: September 10th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)

Re: what a terrible dilemna

I was hardly suggesting a standard. You seem to take things beyond reasonable argument, of course when my intention was not to begin anything such as this & I feel like shit today.. let's just drop it & agree to disagree.

My opinions remain mine, yours remain yours, it's not like either of us will change our mind.
From: broken_onewon1 Date: September 10th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
The first. Ditto if I were stupid enough to over dose in the first place, pull the plug and hand any organs I had left out to people who hopefully wouldn't make as poor a decision as I had.
gipsieee From: gipsieee Date: October 24th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Would it make any difference if the cause were not "stupidity"? What if it were an accidental drowning? Or a bad outcome from a medically necessary surgery? Or something else that you had no hand in bringing down upon yourself?
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: October 24th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
It's a good question, isn't it? Does it make a difference how things came about?
From: broken_onewon1 Date: October 25th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
It doesn't much matter matter to me in any case I plan to donate my organs reguardless of how I die anyway it's not like there's a spot on the drivers lisence that says only take the organs if the guy pulled a (hey watch this moment) if I'm dead I don't need them anyway and I see no reason to deprive someone else of their use. Hope fully the liver will be salavageable but that's beside the point I'm more of the mind that you should have to opt out to not donate your organs not the other way around...I'm going to get off the soap box now sorry about the rant.
12 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word