Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Living Wills.

I was watching a Frontline special on ICU's, and people becoming ill or injured, to the point where their loved ones have to decide what type of care they need and how much. It featured a couple of families of different types, all with ill family members who were either not able to decide about their care, or needed assistance to decide.

For years now, ever since we had to slog our way through our father's completely disorganized affairs and decide what kind of decisions and care he would want, I've been campaigning to everyone I meet practically, to talk to loved ones now! Find out what type of arrangements they want. Find out whether they want to be kept alive by machines far after the natural ability of their body to live. Families don't talk about this, and then the worst happens and you're left trying to decide what would be best for someone not yourself. And let me tell you, that kind of decision is incredibly hard.

During the special, a group of sisters was forced to decide whether to remove their mother, who suffered from dementia, from a breathing machine. As often happens in end stage dementia, their mother had essentially forgotten how to swallow, and aspirated on her own fluid. They had to decide whether to remove her from the machine knowing that chances were good it would happen again and they would be faced with the same decision.

I found myself yelling at the television at these poor families, disliking the choices some of they were making for their family members. TBC


  1. I find, most are too scared to talk about their life, the possible end of life.

    I find those more willing to discuss it openly are more connected to land, animals (as food source) and are faced with a complete circle everyday.

    I do hope to follow you, and I carry your passion discussing ALL matters of life and death.

  2. Thank you so much, Amber, I appreciate your comment!