Interesting Story on – What's your take?


There was an interesting story on today about terminally ill cancer patients and end-of-life care. The story discussed a recent federally funded study that showed only 1/3 of the participants had discussed end-of-life care with their doctors and looked at what happens to patients if they are or are not asked what kind of care they’d like to receive if they were dying.

You can read the whole story here. We’d be interested to hear what you think so give it a read and leave us your comments.


  1. Jennifer says:

    I wish I had the opportunity to have had a more frank discussion with my dad about the “what if’s?”. He always told my sister and I that he didn’t want to live in a vegetative state so we thought “ok” not realizing that there was way more to that question than any of us realized.

    My dad went in for esophageal cancer surgery and after 14 hrs and a mistake made by the doc he was left in a coma due to lack of oxygen from the surgery.

    We never anticipated a medical error let alone having to decide “when do you make the decision to pull the plug?”

    We stayed by my dad’s side 24/7 for 37 days. He was in ICU, in critical condition and on life support the whole time. Some days were good, some days were scary. Because he was in ICU and on life support for so long he started contracting different medical issues. He’d battle one and win and then another would show up the next day. It was never ending. My dad fought hard to live, he moved his head, blinked his eyes and we just didn’t know if he knew we were there and if he could understand us. He couldn’t survive going into a full body scan because he needed all his life support machines and it was too risky for him.

    Twice during his 37 days in a coma we forced the docs to take him off all medications to see if he’d come out of his coma. The first time he didn’t and it took nearly 2 painful days of watching him in pain. The 2nd time we tried he came out within 4 hours and he could see us and we think he understood but it was so hard to tell because he still required medication.

    We made the decision after 3 doc conferences with the surgery/ICU team to let him go on his own terms. It was the most difficult decision and most painful time of my life. I had to make the decision for my dad and watch him pass before my eyes. He left us after 3 hrs and thankfully he wasn’t in pain.

    If it was my decision alone I would have taken him home to be with me and be on a machine – I didn’t care, I selfishly wanted my dad not to die and I didn’t want to make that decision. Unfortunately we have a large family and it was a very very difficult decision. Some family members (ie his new wife) never spent time with him and wanted to pull the plug, my sister and I were with him 24/7 and ended up being the ones that didn’t want to pull the plug but chose to be by his side when he passed.

    Seconds before my dad passed, I kissed him, thanked him for being such a wonderful dad and opened the hospital drapes and told him he could be free. The lifesupport machine sounded as if he died and I kissed him one more time. Then a few seconds later, he came back to life for another few minutes and I just held him and kissed him on his forehead.

    There are so many things I would have liked to ask him but I am comforted to know that my sister and I loved him unconditionally and he knew that as he loved us just as much. As hard of a decision as this I’ve learned there is never a “good time” to decide as it requires many factors in the decision making and each situation is different.

    I hope no one ever has to lose a loved one through a decision like this.

  2. Wendy Wilkie says:

    I am currently battling Stage IV breast cancer in my liver and bones. I am 51 yrs old. I think everyone needs to know more about Hospice, what it is and what it can do both for the patient and the family. However, I don’t believe the Doctors should be “forced” by a government ruling. They (the Doctors and medical community) need to be educated regarding the findings in the article.

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