Quality vs. Quantity

What is this obsession that the human race has with keeping people alive for as long as possible? Is it worth it? Is it worth the time? Is it worth the medication, the oxygen tanks, the feeding tubes, the time, the money, and the sadness in a loved ones eyes of not being able to get closure? Is this not cruelty of the worst kind? I think it’s pretty close.

I’ve known her for 3 years. In those 3 years, she’s never said much to me, or anyone for that matter. On occasion she would mumble incoherently or randomly ask about a subway fare. Bound to a wheel chair, he limbs are stiff and her joints are locked like the Tin Mans was. Oil won’t help her. Nor will medication. It’s the nature of the beast, of her illness slowly taking over the beautiful woman she once was.

She’s  not eating much. She used to, sometimes two plates worth at lunch! Now we’re lucky if she even looks at the spoon full of puree meat. A delicacy where she lives.

She’s alive but only with the aid of an oxygen tank, a feeding tube and a relative who comes to see her once every blue moon.

She was sent to the hospital because she was refusing food. That’s a sign. A big, red, flourescent sign telling me that she wants to go. Her business on our planet is over. She can’t speak or let us know of her feelings in any way. She won’t eat. Other animals perform the same actions when they are about to die. Yet for some reason, either by her will or her POA’s, someone has made the decision to keep her going by all means necessary.

Why? Why is this done?  If there was any shred of hope to a healthy and happy recovery then by all means. But just for the sake of it? Are we waiting for a miracle cure to all of life’s ailments? Do we secretly enjoy suffering? Are we so desperately attached to our loved ones that we can’t let go?

I never want to be like that. I’ve taken care of far too many bodies who lost their souls well before the mechanics gave up. I want to live & die with dignity. Not tied to a bunch of machines.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s