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Old 03-14-2013, 03:45 PM   #81
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My Dr and my wife discussed whether I was going to blow my brains out. He thought I might and that she should be ready. She didn't know what to think. I would never do that.

I told every one I dealt with medically that I wanted to get better. They could tell by my attitude, too.

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Old 03-14-2013, 04:34 PM   #82
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Mike's point is valid. If the person wants all medical steps taken - then all medical steps should be taken.
My brother had a terminal, inoperable cancer. He wanted all steps taken, even though the steps were extreme with no hope of a "cure"... He had 5 major surgeries in his last 2 weeks of life... all in attempts to slow the progression, reduce the symptoms. It was his choice... so they did it. (Even the doctors thought it was crazy but his tumor was unusual, it was a teaching hospital, so he was used to teach the residency candidates.)

On the other hand - my mother had a DNR, that needed to be honored... she chose to ex-tubate an inflated vent to make sure her wishes were followed.

Both were valid choices.

I still wonder who brought this to the media attention. It has to violate some privacy rules.

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Old 03-14-2013, 04:54 PM   #83
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Throughout this thread I have been thinking....what if everyone was clear on what this lady wanted and just let her pass away with dignity? What would the headline have been?


Not so newsworthy, is it?
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:12 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
But were you 87 when you came back from the dead? I didn't see anyone suggesting that the average Joe should be treated as a DNR if he or she collapses on the street. But once people get into their mid to late 80s it is questionable that the default should be to take every possible action to prolong life.
Giving someone CPR who collapses is not the same thing as taking every possible action to prolong life. It is taking immediate action when you don't know what that persons wishes would be and if that person survives the CPR then a decision can be made on further actions depending on the situation.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:39 PM   #85
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My grandmother lived her last decades of life in a wonderful, very well respected and very well run progressive nursing care home that allowed residents to move from independent to assisted to medically assisted care. Suffering from two cancers, she had some small strokes and was moved to more intensive levels where they discussed her DNR options and started talking to the family about preparing for the inevitable. She started losing her memory and had trouble recognizing visitors. At 87, quality of life was not so good and prognosis looked grim. Doctors gave her 3 to 6 months to live. Her power of attorney kicked in as she was no longer capable to manage her own affairs.

At which point my Aunt, her child who lived nearest her, started calling in cousins to help better understand her medical options. Some very challenging doctor confrontations later, medications were changed, her cognition improved, she moved out of the intensive care and a few months later was back to independent living for another 10 years. She had a full decade of life before the cancer finally killed her, most of which she was the main party organizer in her community.

DNR is great for people who want that. But sometimes things are not what they seem, even if well respected doctors tell you so. Even the best doctors and institutions are not infallible or omniscient.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:39 AM   #86
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Good thread on an issue we all need to think about. The thing in this case I don't understand is why the 911 operator was even trying to get someone to do CPR. My understanding of the case was that the woman still had a faint heartbeat and shallow breathing. I could be wrong, but this is what I read in the original news reports. CPR was not even called for in this case.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:12 AM   #87
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I have wondered about the same thing. We used to learn mouth-to-mouth and for insufficient breathing I wonder if that would have been helpful. Certainly the concerns about "violent" CPR and causing injury are issues that I would expect never to arise if a bystander attempted mouth-to-mouth.

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