Wednesday, June 20, 2012

" as far as the mind could see "

A dying man can be saved by letting him die in peace; a compassionate death which can be planned by those trained to do so. That was the discussion about his care. A man with multi-system organ failure whose days were numbered. This was one reality, but the other reality was the denial of that fact by his family.

He always wanted to live, that was their argument, though none of them knew for how long. He was dying and that was totally unacceptable to them. 

One time I was asked about hope. Other times wishing for luck was talked about. I felt during those moments that hope was wishing for fruition, but none of them allowed it.

I was also asked quite frequently to keep chasing life on the crutches of a ventilator, drugs and drips, tubes and feeds. I saw pain and suffering; as far as the mind could see I saw no hope.

To some, reality never sinks in. It is those who never understand that it is not about them, and during the process everyone suffers; especially the one who dies.

Others know that when they follow the wishes of the one who trusted them to care for when they themselves could not, it is when hope can be seen working in sync with a wish. Llike it happens in fairy tales; a dying man can be saved by letting him die in peace. 


Anonymous said...

your writing touched my heart.

Dedicated Nurse said...

I've seen so many die. And this is true that a dying man can be saved by letting him die in peace! And so often we need to empathetically remove ourselves from the emotion of it all and be the patients advocate. For their families don't see the pain & suffering that we see! From your blogs I can tell that you are an empathetic, kind & realistic doctor!