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Old 07-31-2008, 01:09 PM   #41
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boise
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Therein lies the rub. While no physician would ethically force treatment in a situation of utter futility, we are very, very bad at knowing who will be the 1 in 10 or one in 1000 who will make a meaningful recovery. Add to that the unknown quality of life after such a near-death expeirence, and you get real humble real fast.
Exactly. I think the best I can do is:

1. Review their living will and durable health care POA and then have discussions and Q&A sessions with Mom and Dad about what they want. (done)
2. If/when something happens, consult with the doctors and get the clearest and best diagnosis and best estimate of a prognosis.
3. Consult with my two sisters.
4. Make the best decision I can based on their document, their wishes, the doctors' information, and my sisters input.

I don't like that it's inexact and uncertain, but there doesn't seem to be any other option.

2Cor521
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:51 PM   #42
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Therein lies the rub. While no physician would ethically force treatment in a situation of utter futility, we are very, very bad at knowing who will be the 1 in 10 or one in 1000 who will make a meaningful recovery. Add to that the unknown quality of life after such a near-death expeirence, and you get real humble real fast.
That's why this kind of decision should be shared between doctor and patient/patient's family. Certainly having a living will makes it easier. And if the patient is elderly, that makes the quality of life outcome easier to predict, doesn't it?

My father has a DNR order in his living will. He gave it to me about 5 years ago but I lost it when I moved after divorce. Thanks for this thread, I will make sure I get another copy. And I will probably make a living will for myself pretty soon. It's one of those documents that I really dislike thinking about.
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