The Conversation Everyone Should Have

A story on the news last night was trying to get America to talk to their families about end of life decisions. Apparently nobody talks about this stuff and it’s causing issue when people are dying and the family doesn’t know their final wishes. This makes sense and it’s an important conversation to have.

There was a case last week where the parents of a woman who has terminal brain cancer and no hope for recovery. She wants to be removed from life support, she’s had enough and wants to die but the parents took her to court to stop it because they are waiting for a miracle and think she is just depressed. Believing she is trying to suicide and will go to hell. In the article, the parents are devout in their religious beliefs and strongly believe she is just depressed and will get better. Now that is just denial.
When it comes to this stuff you have to be realistic, sure miracles happen but more often than not they don’t and the person will die.Why would you spend your last time with your dying daughter fighting against her wishes?

As it turned out a court ruled against the parents and the woman has the right to die. How very selfish of the parents. How very sad for the woman, spending the last weeks of life having to fight for what you want.

I feel it is very important to discuss with your older family members what their wishes are, whether they want life support or if they want to let nature take it’s course.
In my opinion if the dying person has seen everyone and said what they wanted to say then let them go, ease the suffering. It’s not about the loved ones this time. Their time will come but when a terminal patient is at the end then let them die with dignity, let them know it’s ok to go, if they’re ready. Everyone dies and the sooner we accept and honour it as the final part of life the better these situations will be.

Have the conversation, include your children, they may have thoughts to express.

What if something tragic happens to a younger member, you need to know what they want.

If you have an honest conversation, then I believe not many people would want to linger on, brain dead or totally paralysed, having a machine breathing for them. Everyone wants to die with dignity, we can’t chose when we shuffle off this mortal coil but we should be able to chose how and everyone should inform their families of their wishes. It’s so important.

If you think there will be problems and family members are a little unrealistic then put it in a living will. They are easy to make. State legally what you what, who would have medical and financial power of attorney over those decisions if you can’t make them. Families go through this every day. They second guess, they wonder what the right thing is, they don’t want to lose their loved one but want that person to be treated in the best way possible and sometimes the best way possible is to flick the switch.

Medical science is brilliant, there have been many advances and they have prolonged life expectancies but we still don’t treat end of life the right way. Filling cancer patients with drugs and putting them on life support is cruel, making them wither away painfully.

We would NEVER do that to an animal, our pets are truly loved and become part of the family but when they are terminally ill and it’s time to go, we do the right thing. No one puts their dog on life support for decades. Why do we do it to people? I have never understood that. Nature knows.

If they are done, they’re done. Keeping people in comas and vegetated states for years on end. Would they wish for that? Is that how they would want to live their life?

And THAT is what we must honour. If there is nothing left then they must be allowed to go.

I’m so glad the courts in the woman’s case saw the reality of the situation and did what was right. I haven’t seen if this woman passed on yet or not but it must be relieving for her to know that now she can.

How do you feel? Would you want to be on life support, prolonging your life if it’s no longer meaningfully functional?

There’s something to be said for euthanasia, I know it has the scope to be widely abused and therefore has remained illegal but in the countries where it is legal is there really the abuse that is feared? Or are people more comfortable knowing that they are still in control of their lives when it comes to making the ultimate life decision.

Comments 4

  1. I told my husband years ago, that should anything happen to me, he should do whatever would make the transition easiest on our children. They’re older now, so I guess I could come up with an actual plan. My mom has a living will.

    1. Post

      We have to review our wills too, our kids would be shipped back to OZ if we expired and that might not be what’s in their best interests anymore. I think my family already know that I wouldn’t want prolonged life. We’re all pretty pragmatic about that stuff. 🙂 Just keeping it real.

  2. This is a great reminder for me. We have an extremely detailed will and trust, but we still haven’t filled out the health directive. I keep putting it off, but you never know, right? My husband knows what I want, but what if we’re at the same wrong place at the same wrong time.

  3. This is such great advice, everyone should know what their loved ones expect and want after they pass. We recently spread my grandparents ashes into the ocean together.. it was such a beautiful ceremony and so great to know that they are back together.

    Thanks for sharing.

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