Euthanasia/Spirituality - page 7

I am a member of this board, but rarely post. I have a few questions that I would like to ask. How many of you believe in Physician Assisted Suicide? I believe that a patient should have that right... Read More

  1. by   JailRN
    Renee....Agree totally with you.. Mom had a minor surgery 30 years ago-she stopped breathing in the middle of surgery. The docs were able to "Bring her back" , but wanted to tell her themselves. When I saw her in recovery, she said,"I died in there." I was a young student nurse and didn't know WHAT to say, She told me "I know I did, I heard the angels singing"> I almost crapped!!! She's now about to turn 82 and fine.

    As for assisted suicide, We take better care of our animals than our humans. When it's time for me to go, I want to go. If I need some help, so be it. I think if someone is determined to die, they will find a way. (Like me son's best friend did). It's really hard, especially on the ones left, though, and people will argue that it's a selfish thing to do. I think that if I'm in pain, and no hope, I want to go. BBBUUUTTT, the same can be said for young suicides, they are in mental pain and think ther's no hope.

    I don' t have all of the answers.
  2. by   ohbet
    ;No one knows how they will die.Some will go peacefully,some in agony.For those whose life has become intolerable physician assisted suicide should be a right.
  3. by   Dr. Kate
    One thing I don't recall having seen mentioned here is the all to frequent failure of physicians to accurately present the patient's prognosis to them and their family. Without honesty about what is going on and realistic potential for improvement, families and patients make decisions that seem unrealistic to those of us on the outside.
    It is all well and good to talk about quality of life but without defining according to whose criteria, we're talking past one another. What I consider an acceptable quality of life may not be what someone else considers acceptable. There have to be laws to protect those who are doing the assisting from accusation of being just an angel of death killing those who "need to die" Once you start making laws what looks, to most nurses, as a pretty obvious thing gets really, really muddy. (Remember health care reform according to the lawyers?)

    Commenting on something a little different. One of the great strengths of Catholic teaching on the matter of end of life is that they do not require life extension at all costs. Indeed, the provision of prolonged, futile care is not condoned, much less required. Accroding to Catholic doctrine and practice it is not necessary to "prolong life by artifical means."
  4. by   micro
    Originally posted by ohbet
    ;No one knows how they will die.Some will go peacefully,some in agony.For those whose life has become intolerable physician assisted suicide should be a right.

    Dr. Kate you make such valid points also.....
    Physicians often do not give the factual prognosis to the family.........or the plan of care with continued or discontinued treatment.........

    is it legalistic......is it "that slippery slope", muddied......

    ohbet.....your points are very valid.........

    micro and out(for now)
  5. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heat of texas

    Yall are right, some MDs have trouble discussing that issue with pts and families. This is not new by any means. And will continue to be so.
    Comes down to the basics, let the patient and the family choose their path according to their beliefs.

    Meanwhile go play a round of golf


    doo wah ditty
  6. by   deb2460
    I just had to comment on something that Barb wrote about what sounded like angels singing at the time of a patient's death.

    It's about my grandfather who passed away in 1999. I titled it "DID POPPAW SEE HEAVEN?" on my website, where I also tell this story.

    Poppaw had been admitted to the hospital after having suffered a heart attack. Once he was moved from ICU into a private room, he was never alone, there was always family there with him. During his stay at the hospital he had another heart attack. Some days were good, some bad. He wanted to go home and we couldn't seem to make him understand he needed to stay at the hospital a while longer.

    I had been staying with him for several days, me and my grandmother. Mommaw would not leave the room. The night before I had to leave was not a very good night. Poppaw was very agitated and confused. Bless his heart, but he totally exhausted me and Mommaw that night.

    The next morning, a calm came over him. He was so peaceful and in a good mood. Two of my aunts were there in the room with us. We were all talking to Poppaw about this and that, nothing important, when all of a sudden he got very quiet and stared up at the ceiling.

    Tears began flowing ever so gently from his eyes and running down his cheeks. I asked him what was wrong, but he shook his head slightly and said nothing was wrong. So I asked him was he hurting, but he said no. Then I asked why was he crying, what was making him so sad. This really bothered me to see him cry because during my whole life I had never seen this man cry.

    By this time, we were all either standing by his bed or sitting on the side of the bed looking at him and holding his hands as he lay there looking at the ceiling softly crying. He then said he'd been here at this place a long time, but he wouldn't be seeing it anymore. When asked what he meant by that, he offered no explanation. He kept staring at the ceiling and then in a few minutes he asked us could we see the beautiful harp, then after that he asked us could we hear the pretty music. Of course, by this time we were all crying as we looked at him and listened to his precious words. Still looking up at the ceiling from his hospital bed, he mentioned seeing a waterfall and a temple.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Poppaw was seeing Heaven. I had to leave to go home later on that day. Three days later, he died peacefully with the family sitting nearby. They never even realized he was gone until the nurses came running into the room. They tell me the last thing they remember him doing was closing his eyes to rest. So everyone in the room was quiet and let him sleep. They told me that just before the nurses came into the room, Poppaw, appearing to be asleep, his eyes closed, stretched both arms out and upward to the ceiling, then slowly lowered them and placed them on his chest. I believe at that moment he left this world and held out his arms as he went away with the angels.
  7. by   ohbet
    Dr. Kate,
    What you say about the Catholics may be true,but what the Church wont support is active euthanasia,and thats the issue we are dealing with. If you had unrelieved,intolerable pain and didnt want to go on,the church would say,"sorry,cant help you,buck up ,its gods will" The church would not support your plea's to the doctors to let your die with a morphine overdose,although I believe Jesus would support that intervention.
  8. by   ohbet
    Jenny P,we cant always relieve the mental and emotional pain because we cant always relieve the physical pain,technology isnt god,it cant do everything,it has limits, and human beings suffer needlessly because we cant legally grant their wishes,there plea's and requests for the Dr. to intervene actively so that will they can depart from this life and pass on to where ever folks pass onto. Thats why the issue of Active Euthanasia is here to stay,that is until it becomes a legal and moral right for all-Death with Dignity, that includes the right not to suffer needlessly. Its a no brainer to me,but I realize others dont see it that way.
  9. by   BBelle
    I have to agree with ohbet.
    The Catholic church does not believe in active euthanasia. The Catholic church does not believe in a lot of things. That is whay I am no longer a Catholic. Too much dogma!
    I honestly do not think that God would mind if a person decided to end their life if they were terminal and the situation is hopeless. If you think about it they are (unfortunatley) going to pass on anyhow, right?
  10. by   ruth obregon
    Hi,
    I believe in the "other side". I do not believe that there should be an option for physician assisted suicide. On the other hand, I donot think that advanced life support should occur if the patient has requested not to and other agreed upon variables are present. Advanced life support and withdrawal of futile treatment is much different then assisted suicide.

    In addition, there is much work that has to occur for a peaceful passing. Cutting that short is a problem. Hospice care is another piece and they have written much about end of life care.

    Hopefully there we will not move too fast on these issues. Historically, we have not handeled this kind of power very well,....
  11. by   micro
    Historically, no we haven't handled this kind of power very well..............humankind.........
  12. by   nurse deb
    What bothers me is when they remove a person's G-tube. I feel that intentionally starving a person to death is cruel. I have less trouble with taking a pt off a ventilator. I think in some cases we prolong suffering with our medical advances.....I wouldn't call Dr. Kevorkian, but I believe in letting a person die naturally.

    The many near-death experiences I've read about on here were heartwarming. I remember working in a nursing home taking care of a lady who swore that Michael Landon was her husband. I figured that she was delusional, especially when she stated that there were "angels on her ceiling". I documented everything like I was supposed to and a short time later the pt died. Later I thought, maybe this pt did see angels. Who am I to say that she was hallucinating?

    My Grandmother, who I was very close to my entire life was diagnosed late in life with acute leukemia. Toward the end she said she saw her late husband and angels at her window!! Now, I believe that they probably both saw angels before they died. I hope I do too when it's my time to go. That must be an awesome vision!

    Deb
  13. by   micro
    Originally posted by micro
    Historically, no we haven't handled this kind of power very well..............humankind.........


    Just a bit of thought and ramblin' from micro's nursing mind........
    I just heard yesterday of a former patient's *demise* ..............
    This patient had left where I was at and went onto another facility...........

    This patient I had spoken here of before........of her eyes,the only part of her that spoke clearly.......and with some slight movement of her mouth..........

    This person had spoken at one time strongly and in legal form of advanced directives and what she wanted and did not want done..............
    but then others got in the way.......
    both very estranged family and the medical system.............

    and she was "brought back too many times"

    she would cry with me and laugh with me......and almost "fight the ventilator" from all the outright hysteria that she and I could get into just "chillin' for the whole two extra minutes that I had to give her in my care.........
    ya'all know telling that dirty joke......
    trashing men..............(forgive me, guys, but she was a woman)
    or just talking about something stupid or silly in my day.........

    ya'all see there was not a lot that I could do for her except what the law and the medical mandates had to say..........

    she had such a pleasant smile..........
    and yes, between the tears, I believed that she smiled all the way in this life.....even in its worse.............

    *if micro had but one dream........only......it would be.......that no matter......that between the tears.......that micro could always smile and love............*

    (and this above post to pat, i dedicate)

    micro and out.................

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