Advice and Consent

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Last week was a rough one, the deaths of 3 friends. One was 92 and had lived a wonderful productive life and the sadness was for those she left behind, her loving family and wide circle of friends.

    The other two were young (by my standards.) One woman, 51, had a massive heart attach and never reached the hospital. She left a husband and a grieving 16 year old daughter who will spend the rest of her days missing her mom. The loss of this woman was the saddest of the 3.

    The 3rd one was no less sad but somehow respectable. A 48 yr old friend suffered from the same pulmonary disease that took his own mother last year. He had a collapsed lung in December. The Dr performed surgery and he was home by Christmas only to have his other lung collapse last week. Another surgery was performed but he was then told that he would be on 100% oxygen and totally incapacitated for the rest of his life. This guy had spent his life on adventures, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, motorcycle trips with his wife and friends. He decided at noon one day last week that the life facing him was not how he wanted to live so he insisted all treatment be stopped. He died that afternoon at 5pm.

    Although the last left so many of us grieving for the loss of our friend, I couldn't help but respect the man who lived life and accepted death on his own terms. My friend Howie was quite a man.

    As you can imagine, Howie's death spurred a lot of conversation on when is enough enough? What would make you decide that simply breathing was not living and take control of your destiny.

    Not surprisingly, some of the young friends said they would do the same as Howie, choosing nothing over something. My first reaction was that I would never give up but as the week has gone by and I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, I may have come to a different conclusion. If the day arrives when I no longer have anything to say to the world, anything that matters anyway, or my life is devoid of meaning and intent, I might make the same decision. I don't know. My plan has always been to die in bed with a young lover at my side but just in case that doesn't pan out, it's worthwhile to consider options.

    How about you?
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  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I have a living will, and have made the decision that I do not want extra-ordinary procedures to extend my life if I will not be mobile and able to communicate, and be more than a vegetable. In Howie's situation I would probably do the same. I am not worried that even if I choose to speed the end, that I will cross some line with God. What will be will be.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Also have a health care proxy. No interest in a vegetative state. If such is approaching and I know it, I'll take other measures as appropriate.
  4. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Good topic,even though it can be difficult to talk about for some. Speaking for myself/wife, we feel it is irresponsible not to have wishes put to paper well in advance. Saves the surviving family having to make another decision at a difficult time. It's all planed out and payed for. The Nurse and I have an agreement, and should it come to that, all the necessary material is on hand.
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  5. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I am a great believer in choice, and the autonomy to select life choices as I feel best they should be exercised. I am in no great hurry to sprint forward on the conveyor belt of life to oblivion, but I don't shy away from the inevitability of ceasing to live. I am optimistic; and while I can enjoy life, and life is meaningful and free of excruciating pain, then I'll continue breathing and making the best use of the intellect that I have available to me.

    I am in good general health at present, with no significant chronic health problems, and have the reasonable expectation of another decade or three, before things fall apart in a major way. In the event that my health deteriorates to the extent that continuing to live has neither purpose nor value, then I expect that I would not seek heroic medical intervention to extend life marginally, at some considerable cost to my dignity and autonomy as a human being. In the event that there is no further purpose to living than to enrich the investors of a nursing home or hospital, I will probably be happy to pull the plug and check out: grateful that I have enjoyed a long and fruitful existence, and the great privelege of being able to pass on the gift of life to my children, and through them all those who follow.

    I have no belief in an afterlife: no heaven, nor hell; though Valhalla would probably be a cool place to hang around in for a while until Ragnarock.


    Via: chelloveck (Jose Gabriel) - DeviantArt
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    First off @RightHand they say deaths come in threes and my heart goes out to you as your mourn the loss of your friends. They are all sad losses in their own way. Just sad.

    I would be Howie. If I couldn't live my life as I am then I don't want to be. Quality over quantity. One thing people forget is medical procedures have consequences whether pain, sickness or loss of freedom it takes more then those standing beside the ill know. No one could ever truly know the pain an ill person is enduring. If you have never been sick and battled for your life then Howie's decision maybe hard to understand but those that have had to make choices and endured all the medical invasions- they know.
  7. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I lost a very good friend a year ago to cancer.... he was a year younger than myself in his mid-forties. They gave him six months and he went 1.5 years.... though the last 6 he degraded pretty quickly. It really gave me an opportunity to reflect on my life, where I have been and where I am going.... as well as the question of "what if something major happened". My wife and I both have living wills that allow for no extraordinary treatments to keep us alive if it means we are to be vegetated and so on. I could not fathom just sitting in a bed all day, being a drain on family and friends, watching till I die with no hope of recovery. I have been on the other side of that and would not want someone to have to do the same over me. Let me go and have a heck of a wake.... that is what I would want.... to be happy for the life lived... and not the sadness of the loss.

    But the bottom line is: I am a Christian.... and I will go when God say's it is time. Life is fleeting and it can be extinguished so fast by accidents, disease and so on....

    Till that time that I am called home, I think I will just try and squeeze out every drop of life this blue marble has to offer. :)
  8. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Like most of you, I have directives, a living will, and a health care power of attorney designee. I have had this discussion with my attorney who is also the administrator of my daughter's trust which will receive all my assets of value. It is my hope that such an arrangement will help not only her but my grandchildren as they go through life without putting large sums of money in their hands gratuitously.

    I have done my best to make my wishes know to my daughter but at 40 she approaches the subject in the same way she did the sex talk when she was a teenager.

    I'm in no hurry to reach the end of the road, having enjoyed the drive so much along the way but I am a realist if nothing else - all things must end or they would have a diminished value when they existed, Its really a macro-economics type issue, supply and demand. In youth, supply is endless but if we do it right, we consume every ounce of good life available to us leaving a greatly depleted well at the end.
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  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

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  10. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Yeah, its tough RH. I would want to hold on for all I have unless it was something terminal with no hope, just extension of time on support.

    You have my number, right?
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  11. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Oh I've got your number all right LOL and it dials right into Mrs melbo's phone
  12. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Hmmm... with a young (not too young!) lover sounds good.

    Or, maybe peacefully, in my sleep like my grandfather....
    and not in fear and terror like the passengers in his car.

    Or maybe quickly from the gunshot of a jealous husband.

  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I expect to be shot to death by a jealous husband the age of 110. ......
  14. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Life is a roller-coaster right up until the end. Sudden stops or a gentle glide are preferred but if it derails, then so be it. The end needs to be as exciting as the beginning.
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  15. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Roller coasters, la petite mort, leave my stomach getting hung up on my tonsils one minute then later tying to make a speedy exit from my alimentary canal, neither of which are particularly enjoyable. I prefer that my stomach remains in a reasonable proximity to my upper abdomen.
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  16. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Hmmm... you also expecting that 110 year old husband to still be married to his high school sweet heart?

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  17. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Good catch, voice texting, and didn't catch the ommision. Correct that to read "I expect to be shot by a jealous husband at the age of a hundred and ten" , not by a husband of that age....;)
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  18. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Concur, I mostly desire to not be a child again or require the care of an infant again at the end.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  19. Bug

    Bug Monkey+

    hope u find the right one
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2015
  20. Bug

    Bug Monkey+

    Not on my watch
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