Saturday, February 16, 2013

Let her get on with it...

I am going to ask something that has been on my mind for many years now.  Why do we, as a society, prolong the lives of people like my mom?  Why do the doctors continue to prescribe medications that will only extend her misery?  And she is miserable.  She has no dignity left.  No quality of life.  There is no hope of a cure, or even a promising treatment, in her lifetime.  Why do we drag this on? 

Many years ago, Mom made me promise to do nothing that extends her life when there is no hope.  But, here I am giving her medications for her thyroid, her blood pressure and her heart.  A heart attack at this point would be merciful.  And why is she on a low salt diet?  Really?  The woman is dying and you want her to watch what she eats?  Her previous doctor was irritated when I told him that her last colonoscopy was her last.  There will be no more mammograms.

I am not suggesting that all medications be removed.  Anything that allows her to live out her remaining days  comfortably and free of pain should, and will, be given. But, prolonging her life, just to watch her sink further and  further into her own mind, is cruel.  I'm not even going to discuss the financial drain that long term care places on families and society.  Or the emotional and physical burden that family members face in trying to care for someone with Alzheimer's Disease.  I am just talking about a compassionate and realistic approach to this disease. 

There is no hope.  She is dying and she should be allowed to get on with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment