Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘terminally ill

The right to end your terminally miserable life out of constant pains?

Feasting on Gore (Written in 1999)

1.   X-rays don’t hurt: no pain.

Chemo is different: You lose your mane.

Cancer, hospital appointment, hospital confinement, terminal.

Convicted criminal, prison, delayed execution, terminus.

2.   Dressed in apron, back naked, abandoned, and forgotten;

Robbed of your money, robbed of dignity, and robbed of life.

A case study you are, for all to learn from experiments.

The more cases the better the knowledge.

3.   You lived; lived enough.

Let others learn and live, a while longer.

The “right to live folks” need to hang the Kevorkian’s,

Every single one of them:

Those who aid the terminally ill to die with his own choice.

4.   Pain, constant pains, no end in sight, no cure.

Wait till the healthy, spineless soul of the “right to live” maniacs

Needs a Kevorkian,

But will be surrounded with pale faces feasting on gore.

5.   I have the power to predict the end.  I know the odds:

You either die instantly or you live,

In the mind of all you know,

half-man. Abandoned.

6.   You may listen to the pillars of moral characters,

You may nod to the Talking Heads:  They talk well.

I have decided on my destiny.

It shall be quick.

Part Two: “When we befriend death”; (Mar. 23, 2010)

In part one, Sylvie, the wife of Pierre Garoche, learned that her husband has an incurable bone cancer.

A treatment was supposed to remiss his disease from developing for an average of two years, but Pierre discovered that his case extended his normal life for only three months.

Within these 3 months, Pierre managed to quit work as physicist researcher and arranged to be free from all social responsibilities in order to tackle his new life conditions.

Pierre had a year to experience the denuding process from all attachments: material, mental, and emotional. He also had to witness during the short periods of relative painless physical well-being the kinds of close friendship with his friends and members of his family, total openness, joy, and laughter.

A few friends had to face death in Pierre and they initially felt relieved that death is not so scary after all.

The example of Pierre’s family cool approach to death was a catalyst for visitors to talk freely and discuss openly on topics they cared about.

The number of cancer markers doubled every 15 days and eventually, the doses of pain-killer had to be changed in quality and in quantity.

Sudden pains, in various parts of Pierre’s body were like knives inserted in these locations. Pierre began to sleep more frequently and for longer duration.  Natural bodily functions degraded.

Soon, morphine was king. When well controlled, morphine does not provoke hallucinations or addiction until it saturates the blood after prolonged constant usage.

As long as he was in his mental capacity, Pierre followed the medical procedures methodically and in details:  he kept statistics and tried to forecast the next phase in his sickness. He wanted to figure out from data the exact date of his death. They redecorated the rooms: “I want to die in a pretty room” said Pierre.

Soon, Pierre needed a specialized hospital bed installed in his room at home. When asked “Why are you in such a hurry to pass away?” Pierre would reply: “Yes, I am in a hurry. It is becoming too difficult to resume living.”

His wife Sylvie once said: “at least you experienced how it is to live in old age, one step of the staircase at a time

There were periods when Pierre could no longer eat or drink.  Pierre wanted to die at home; his wife at first refused to play the nurse because she was untrained for that job.  Then they discovered mobile group care facilities that were associated with a palliative hospital (specialized in focusing on pain and suffering of terminally ill patients).

This 24 by 24 seven days on the job call mobile facility made Sylvie task easier to handle.  Sylvie learned to administer the medicines on time as Pierre gradually relinquished his control and management over details.  Pierre had stopped counting and anticipating.

Once, as Pierre could no longer suffer being among the living, the entire family prayed in the presence of Pierre: “Lord, we ask you to come and fetch Pierre in June, if it is possible…” This prayer reassured Pierre that his family had given him authorization to passing away.

By the by, Pierre reached a phase where dreaming and reality were confounded.  Higher doses of morphine increased secondary deleterious effects.  The palliative hospital was the proper place for a few days to changing his blood and recalibrating the variety of pain killers. Pierre would return home in better state mentally and physically for shorter and shorter durations.  Nurses were hired for the morning washing.

Note 1: You may read part one:

Note 2: I described in two previous articles the denuding process of a terminally ill and how palliative hospital functions as a haven of dignity for these patients.

Total denuding process of terminally ill; (Book Review, Mar. 17, 2010)

The hardest part for an incurable dying person is not necessarily being reduced to nothing after death; it is to be consciously reduced to a totally dispossessed non-entity before his death.

Willingly or coerced to, an incurable dying person is forced to undergo total stripping of all his material belonging and his mental and physical potentials.

For example, in the article “Befriending death”, Pierre “the fix it all”, had to finally ask specialized companies to do home repairs and finish off works in progress; he had to desist doing research work at his physics research institution.

Pierre had to find capable replacement researchers to resume his projects; he had to give up positions in associations and organizations.

Pierre had to stop computing from statistics the exact date for his imminent death; he had to teach his wife and grown up children how to fix and repair things at home.

Pierre had to give up reading, listening to music, communicating, surfing the net; he had to forget what he accumulated in tools for home repairs.

Pierre had to accept loosing possession of part of his body, his strength, sensations, taking interminable time to getting out of bed, unable to eat, to talk, to walk.

Pierre had to be resigned to let go controlling and managing his family.

The last phase in dispossession is to let go of praying.

Come what come, the dying person is already “a prayer”.  It is not only totally useless to pray by the dying patient’s bed; it is also frankly infuriating to the patient and family members: the dying person is already in another dimension and care less of what’s going around him.  Pierre is entering a sort of “no man’s land of the mind” in silence.

It is entirely naïve and insane for friends to tell a dying person “You still can decide for life!”

People usually lack the burning pains of what the terminally ill is experiencing. There is a time when living and dying is same different.

Suppose a person has reached the final phases of total dispossession and then was told “Congratulation, you are cured. You can recapture your former job and get your previous activities back.”  

Do you think that this completely denuded person would still have the heart and energy to restart life from scratch like a newborn baby?

Note: this topic was extracted from “When befriending death” by Sylvie Garoche.

Relentless Therapeutic: Ariel Sharon’s case (January 26, 2009)

The topic of relentless medical attempts to keep a dying person physically alive, though technically brain dead, was exposed by Bernard Debre in his French book “Amorous dictionary of medicine“. 

The term relentless therapeutic is not appropriate because a therapy means hope to a healthy survival state of a patient, and the relentless endeavors connote a feasible resolution within a short limited duration.

            Keeping an individual artificially alive is generally for political reason. 

In 1970, the Spanish dictator Franco was kept alive for a month in order for the Spanish to resolve a peaceful transition of power. 

The case of Ariel Sharon, Israel ex-PM is past a political transition of power since he has been in coma for over three years; (I am under the impression that the Zionist State is expecting the emergence of another “Biblical Prophet” before they decide to put Sharon to rest). 

I don’t know what happens to a person artificially living; is he seeing nightmares of Hell? In that case Sharon has done his well deserved punishment. 

Is the person experiencing heavenly dreams?  In that case Sharon is not entitled to such recompense.  Either way, Ariel Sharon has to go morally and ethically.

            There are many kinds of “relentless therapies”. For example:

Therapies for the conscious terminally ills are interesting in their problematic.  The excuses for alleviating sufferings in euthanasia requests should be non-issues anymore: medicine has a wide gamut of pain killers for every kind of suffering. 

The choice for the conscious terminal patient is whether he prefers to abridge his life with massive doses of pain killers or lengthen life a while longer with suffering. 

Ultimately, it is a matter of dying in dignity; especially when excretions are no longer voluntary acts and the support system is totally lacking for caring to a person who is no longer functional. 

Patients on pain killers die suddenly and generally with high morale because, after a while, they forget that they are terminally ill and live a euphoric period.

The great breakthrough in these cases is that lines of communications are open among the family members, the patient, the physicians, and most importantly, the nurses who are in frequent touch with the patient.

Opinions are shared and the last decision is for the patient if he is still conscious.

What is most needed are specialized centers or “units for the terminally ills” where the patient can live in a “normal facility” and supported by skilled nurses and personnel.

What was not natural is a pretty common occurrence: Elderly children walking as slowly as their parents.




October 2020

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