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HollyTheColliegirl

Life Support

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A relative of mine is in the hospital, and it looks like we'll be faced with the ever horrible question: Life support vs pulling the plug.

 

If you were in that situation, where your life was dependent on a machine, what would you choose? What are your opinions on such machines in general?

 

I'm just curious as to what the average DCer would choose for their own life. I searched, didn't find anything like this. Just general debate about life support machines.

Edited by HollyTheColliegirl

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Depends on the mental state of the person. If I were a vegetable, I would want the plug pulled.

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Honestly, I think this should be indicated by each person's drivers license or other ID. There is already a way to indicate being an organ donor and I think there should be an indication of what you would have done with your life if an accident left you alive but unable to communicate your feelings. Unfortunately the card would have to be much bigger because each situation is different. Maybe a separate card? Even then it would be impossible to list all the possibilities of what could happen to someone in an accident.

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I'd want to pull the plug if it was me. I'd just keep going for a week or so before saying it, so i can ask for organ donor ect ect.....

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It depends on the situation for me, if I had a chance of getting better, then I would want to be on life support. But, if I was completely gone and was basically a vegetable, I would want the plug to be pulled.

 

This actually happened with a relative of mine a few years back. He had been suffering from a disease most of his life, and when things got really bad, he was put on life support. We knew that he wouldn't have wanted to live like that, though. So once he was basically a vegetable in a table, the plug was pulled, and he was no longer in pain.

 

I know it's a hard thing to do, but would you rather your relative no longer be in pain, or have them sitting in a bed not able to do anything?

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Since I was a little girl, both of my moms have discussed the importance of life support versus pulling the plug. Both of them are nurses, and one of them works in the ICU, where she's confronted with those situations a lot. All of us agreed that if it were an end-of-life treatment just to keep up alive, we would definitely want the plug pulled. There's no reason to keep someone alive just for the sake of having them alive. If they're in pain, or not even conscious and won't be- then it's cruel to force them to continue "living".

 

My moms have talked a lot about families who keep their patients on life support even against the patient's wishes, just so that they don't have to say goodbye just yet. It makes me incredibly sad.

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the whol veg vs not veg thing..

if their not a vetable, and don't want to die then keep them on it!

if their a Vegtable , and they didn't leave instructions to do otherwise pull the plug.

 

you wouldn't keep a 15 year old dog who's blind in both eyes and can hardly eat or walk on it's own alive just so you don't have to say goodbye to your pet.

why should you treat a human the same way even though you can't hear them suffering?

 

 

 

of course if it's vetable state or close to while waiting for a organ donation that could reverse it *heart's the only thing I can think of becaue the blood flow controls if your concious or not* then keep them on for a while, and if they can speak still ask them if they want to keep going or not.

 

 

personally if I was in a vegetable state it'd be up to one person if I lived (literal term not figurative quality of life one) or died or not.

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If I was a vegetable with no chance of getting better then yes I would want the plug pulled. But if I had reasonable chance at getting better I would want to live. Also I'd probably want a week or so because of organ donors.

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I'd want them to pull the plug.

 

 

edit: I actually have it in my Will that I'd want the plug pulled rather than life support.

Edited by rubyshoes

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My personal viewpoint is that when a person is already braindead, there is no longer a reason to keep the rest of their bodies going. From the moment the brain will never function again onward, there is no longer a thinking person in there somewhere.

 

If the brain works still, then I'd say keep then on life support, unless they are indeed suffering from something which is definitely terminal (or they are already very old and their bodies are failing from this alone, or they themselves have expressed the wish of not being kept alive past a certain point).

 

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I personally never want to be in a situation where my life isn't in my own hands, but if it comes to it, I'd rather the plug be pulled.

 

I think what it really comes down to is the definition of a vegetable. Does the patient have quality of life, or are they just a body performing basic functions?

 

This is a very interesting article if you want to read it. It deals with machines that help detect brainwaves in patients that could be considered comatose or a vegetable state.

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I'd probably want them to pull the plug and allow me to passively die from my illness. The financial aspect plays a big role in my choice to die. Also, the pain of everyone around me and giving them false hope would be a big factor. The doctors, nurses and my family would be /sadface seeing me in that state. I wouldn't want to rack up that bill and leave it to my family especially since my death would be inevitable. Prolong my life for a couple months only to have people suffer and pay for it. I'd be totally selfish and I couldn't live with that guilt knowing I left my family with a burden like that. I'd accept death willingly if that was the situation.

 

If I was in a coma or brain dead, I would leave it up to my family to decide whether or not I have a shot at recovering. They would be allowed to determine to unplug vs plug. I'd trust their judgement 100% and in the event I died, well they probably knew what was best for me. As I previously mentioned, I wouldn't want to rack up a bill.

Edited by renton

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Also, the pain of everyone around me and giving them false hope would be a big factor.
Unless you're already braindead (absolutely no chance of recovery of any kind, since technically you're already dead as a person), there is always the opposite aspect of 'what if s/he would have recovered if we had not pulled the plug?' This kind of thing can plague people for the rest of their lives, and is what makes pulling the plug such a hard decision.

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Unless you're already braindead (absolutely no chance of recovery of any kind, since technically you're already dead as a person), there is always the opposite aspect of 'what if s/he would have recovered if we had not pulled the plug?' This kind of thing can plague people for the rest of their lives, and is what makes pulling the plug such a hard decision.

I agree that could be a problem but majority of these cases people never recover. If they do it takes many years and by then the bill is +$$. You basically wouldn't want to be alive lol. Hmm, anyways I don't deny there are extremely rare cases where people recover in months and I can see the families hoping for that 'chance'. It's just very unlikely especially with my luck lol.

Edited by renton

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you wouldn't keep a 15 year old dog who's blind in both eyes and can hardly eat or walk on it's own alive just so you don't have to say goodbye to your pet.

why should you treat a human the same way even though you can't hear them suffering?

My grandparents actually did this. They had a blind, deaf, diabetic, arthritic old dog with hardly any teeth left who could barely keep any food down. And they kept him alive for two years. Horrifyingly enough, that's no exaggeration. I firmly believe that people become so selfish and wrapped up in their own emotions that they neglect to think about the very life they have been put in charge of. There's no doubt it happens with human beings just as it does with beloved companions.

 

For me, I'd want to be examined for Locked-in-syndrome before any decisions were made. If I did end up having it and was capable of communication in one way or the other, I'd want to publish a book, sell the rights to the movie, and then donate all proceeds to charity/family. Then I would offer to help physicians and scientists develop their electro-brain-communication device, patent it, then donate all future royalties to charity/family/restoring Pluto's previous title of a 'planet'. Then you could talk to me about plug pulling. Why not make the best of a bad situation... and then profit off it =)

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I have a DNR, for critical injury, and for the "plugged" in idea, I would want my wife and my Rabbi to make that decision.

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My grandparents actually did this. They had a blind, deaf, diabetic, arthritic old dog with hardly any teeth left who could barely keep any food down. And they kept him alive for two years. Horrifyingly enough, that's no exaggeration. I firmly believe that people become so selfish and wrapped up in their own emotions that they neglect to think about the very life they have been put in charge of. There's no doubt it happens with human beings just as it does with beloved companions.

/nods

One of our cats died last Thursday. She had mammary cancer with apparent lung metastases (pedigree cat, so she wasn't spayed early on), was breathing heavily even when sleeping and during the last months the tumour had burst out of her chest, bleeding and ulcerating. My father, who was responsible for her, couldn't bear to have her put down and forbid anyone else to do it. To me, she had already been written off as "dead" months ago when I understood how the disease would progress months. I don't understand how was watching her lose weight, lie on the floor (but not sleeping) for most of the time, breathing heavily and bleeding all over the place better than putting her down.

 

That said, I am more in favour of terminating life support either when the patient wishes so AND when it is clear that there will be no recovery, OR when there is proof of brain death.

Admittedly, I support shutting off life support in the latter case (or after the harvesting of organs, if the patient had indicated that they'd be a donor) also because I think the resources spent on that could have been tunneled into patients who actually have some hope.

But then I remember that some people are unable to let go off empty shells that looks like someone they knew, although I think that this only prolongs the bystander's suffering.

 

/awaits bricks

Edited by lightbird

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i agree with most everyone here. vegetable=pull the plug. if they're "not there" then whats the point of keeping around a lifeless body with a heartbeat? if it were temporary, then life support would be fine for me. of course, all this would be up to the patients themselves if they are conscious.

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/nods

One of our cats died last Thursday. She had mammary cancer with apparent lung metastases (pedigree cat, so she wasn't spayed early on), was breathing heavily even when sleeping and during the last months the tumour had burst out of her chest, bleeding and ulcerating. My father, who was responsible for her, couldn't bear to have her put down and forbid anyone else to do it. To me, she had already been written off as "dead" months ago when I understood how the disease would progress months. I don't understand how was watching her lose weight, lie on the floor (but not sleeping) for most of the time, breathing heavily and bleeding all over the place better than putting her down.

 

My cat died similar to yours. He lost a lot of weight and was much less active, physically and mentally, finally to a point where we had to have him put down. His quality of life was virtually nothing by the end.

 

Don't worry, bricks won't be thrown for your opinion, at least hopefully not in this thread...

 

if they're "not there" then whats the point of keeping around a lifeless body with a heartbeat?

 

That's part of the issue. How do you know if they're completely "there?" What qualifies as a vegetable state? I think a lot of people have trouble defining these terms just because you don't really know what's going on inside that person's head. If they had locked-in syndrome (as mentioned previously), they can function mentally just fine, but they cannot survive without some type of breathing machine or life support.

Edited by HollyTheColliegirl

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Someone with locked-in syndrome isn't a vegetable: they're mentally aware and active.

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If I were in an accident and left a vegetable, I'd want the plug pulled.

Nothing more to say. :c

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Someone with locked-in syndrome isn't a vegetable: they're mentally aware and active.

The problem is being able to tell the difference. Somebody might be able to see and hear everything that happens around them, but be unable to so much as blink or even move their eyes.

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The problem is being able to tell the difference. Somebody might be able to see and hear everything that happens around them, but be unable to so much as blink or even move their eyes.

Detecting brainwaves is usually the most feasible solution.

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I already have written into my will that if I'm ever braindead, I'd like my organs donated and the rest of my carcass donated to science. No life support for me. Gotta make room for the new.

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