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View Diary: Why End of Life Counseling is Imperative (256 comments)

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  •  Fear of Death (6+ / 0-)

    IMO there are 2 issues here:  One the RW who loudly talks their BS when what they are saying has nothing to do with what is really going on.  I'm in agreement with some of the excellent diarists here that most of the loud "concern" about all these issues is really about racism. They are scared and have no real idea what they're scared about.

    The second issue though is real:  Our society's fear of death.  A medical system whose main defensible goal is to keep people alive, so if someone dies on their watch, they have failed; if the person lives, even if on life support, well, at least it's not them that has failed.  

    We continue to believe that death is the worst possible outcome. Not true in fact.

    Here is one teeny tiny example of this problem:

    My dad's body and mind deteriorated to the point of needing to be placed in a nursing home 2 1/2 years ago.  Thankfully one of the best nursing homes.  His doctor had him sign a paper saying that he (my dad) requested that he NOT be taken to the hospital in the event of medical distress.  I will always be grateful for this doctor for that.  My dad signed it only because his doctor recommended it.

    The CONCEPT of not going to the hospital if he needed to go was far beyond my father's ability to get his mind around.  But here's the FACT of how our system functions:  Once the ambulance is called, that's it:  The goal becomes keeping a person alive.  At the stage of life that my father was, this was not in his best interest.

    Hospice was involved at the end, and I will always be grateful to be holding my dad's hand when he passed on.  And I personally experienced this "passing on" as a very apt term, rather than just a way of not saying the word "die".  His Spirit passed on--I don't know where--but the body was just that after about 10 minutes of being there following his last breath, it was what he left behind, but he was no longer in it.  

    His body just wore out.  It served him very well, in a life lived to the fullest and mostly deemed an outstanding life.  But it was his time to go, to pass on.  Keeping someone like that "alive" is a ghastly affront to the best the in human spirit.

    Bonddad, thank you for this diary.

    Often, truth is strange and deceptive; it has to be struggled for, against the flow of the everyday. Ian McEwan, Atonement

    by jaebone on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 06:43:47 AM PDT

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