COMMENT: McFadden, Michael J. (MC1973) “tubes everywhichwaybutup”


John, your closure this week was well-stated: “Death is a natural process. And, ‘we’ have made it an expensive and terrible process. So sad.”

It is increasingly common for people to fill out “Living Wills” that specify what measures hospitals should take to prolong their lives.  These directives focus mainly on intensive revival and sustaining of life at points where one would otherwise die very quickly.  But perhaps more thought should be given to advance planning for when one is simply gravely ill and all medical indications are that, no matter what measures are taken as you are in intensive care with tubes everywhichwaybutup you are still about 99% certain not to see another year as you lie there or perhaps even another month or week.  While it should certainly be an option to change one’s mind at such points, if one has previously thought about and discussed the option with family it’s possible that a good many people would say, “Just send me home, back to my own bedroom, with my loved ones near me in the place I’ve lived.”

It should certainly be a choice, and it’s an important enough choice that people should be encouraged to put some thought into it ahead of time.

McFadden, Michael J. (MC1973)

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