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View Diary: Fox's "death book" lie (245 comments)

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  •  I DESPISE these people! (1+ / 0-)
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    Cali Scribe

    Both of my parents are now deceased.  My father died about 25 years ago, in a community without hospice care, at a time when I don't think I'd ever heard of a living will or health care power of attorney.  On the last day of his life, when he was clearly close to death from cancer, with his blood pressure rapidly dropping and nurses having trouble getting blood for routine blood work, I had to threaten to physically prevent them from causing him any more pain to get a doctor to cancel the "routine" order to draw blood every 6 number of hours.  When the nurse came back to tell me the doctor on duty had changed the order, she said, "I hope that if I'm ever in your father's condition, a member of my family will do for me what you just did for your father."

    It shouldn't be NECESSARY for any family member to do that, and in my mother's case, who died much more recently and who had an advance directive, a health care power of attorney, and had thoroughly discussed her wishes with me when she was still able to do so, it was still a painful decision to say no more hospitalizations for IV antibiotics, but I KNEW it was what she wanted, and none of her health care providers gave me any static about honoring my instructions on her behalf.

    I've done hospice volunteer work, and I've seen the tragic consequences when a person is no longer able to convey their wishes concerning treatment, and when family members disagree about what should be done.  It tears families apart, and it frequently means that decisions get made that the patient might well not have wanted if they had clearly communicated their wishes and who they wanted to speak on their behalf.

    There is nothing AT ALL inappropriate about this book.  I might quibble with the wording in a couple of places, but I desperately wish something like this had been available, and that my mother and I had held these conversations with my father before he became too ill to speak for himself.

    It would be only just if Chris Wallace finds himself in a position where someone in his family is seriously ill and unable to communicate their own wishes, decisions need to be made about their care, and he and the other potential decision-makers in the family find their family being torn about by these issues.  Then he might wish that he had actually read this "death book," rather than just repeating propaganda about it.

    •  We're in the process right now (0+ / 0-)

      of going over with my in-laws what they have on file as far as advance directives. It's especially important with my dad-in-law, who has been diagnosed with mild dementia (mostly limited to short-term memory issues), so he's been working hard on getting everything in order.

      When my father had his heart attack in 1970, there was no such thing as "living will" or advanced directive; he was technically "dead" but the ambulance crew revived him, putting him in a coma for three months.

      My mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2000, and sat down with her medical team and set up her own advanced directives with what she wanted done and what she didn't want done, and made sure we all knew it. All of us kids were on the same page when she hit her final illness in late 2004, and when she died in hospice in 2005 it was without machines, the main thing she was concerned about.

      Advanced directives make it easy for the patient, the family, the medical staff...but difficult for the politicians who want to make political hay out of someone's suffering and death.

      Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

      by Cali Scribe on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 01:52:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, and forgot to add (0+ / 0-)

      that it's important to LET PEOPLE KNOW what your wishes are; my spouse's step-grandmother came across a piece of paper stuck in a book about three weeks after her husband's death, and on it was his "advance directive" for what he didn't want done if he became incapacitated. She was filled with guilt because many of the things he had specified as not wanting done, she had done, including putting him on a respirator (he had severe emphysema from years of smoking). My in-laws had to tell her that it wasn't her fault; she didn't know any better. If you're going to set up advance directives, make sure your family and doctor knows what's in them; if possible, set up someone as a "go-to" for if the medical staff needs clarifications.

      Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

      by Cali Scribe on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 01:55:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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