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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-13, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Default Pulling the Plug

Not too long ago my mother was in a coma and there was doubt for a while as to whether she would wake up.

The good news is she made a full recovery eventually. There were other issues more recently but on the whole she's fine. I was thinking back on this now and it got me wondering if the choice had to be made would we have been able to pull the plug?

Before this happened when the question arose in conversation I would have thought yes. But being put on the spot, where the situation could become a reality at any moment made me suddenly completely unsure.


Have any of you ever felt like this? Have you been in a situation like me, or worse have you actually been forced to make the call?

And on a related note, what do you think of the moral implications of this kind of decision?


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-13, 10:41 AM
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Me and the wife both have living wills that call for plug pulls if there is no higher brain functions.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-13, 10:48 AM
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The way I see it, I apply the 'what would I want to happen if I were in that situation' logic.

Chance of recovery? You pull that plug and I'm coming back to haunt you exorcist style.

No chance of recovery and/or spending the rest of my 'life' as a vegetable? I'll pull the thing myself thanks.

Really you need to ask yourself what would they want, and is it really right to let them live on if they are suffering? It all boils down to what is the greater kindness in the end, and sometimes the end is the best thing you can offer.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-13, 10:54 AM
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I think there is no better way to die than having your closest loved one decide that you, and by extension they, have suffered enough.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-13, 07:25 PM
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Not quite the same, but: I had a buddy who was diagnosed with a particularly virulent cancer and given 3 months to live, he asked me to help take care of him and help him sort stuff out before he died. He wanted to die quickly and with dignity, so I got in touch with a clinic in Switzerland that helps with voluntary euthanasia and started the paperwork for him to be admitted. Before they got back to me I had a visit from 2 detectives (this was when I lived in the UK) who told me I would face charges if the trip went ahead. I was still up for it, but my buddy wanted to avoid getting me a 7 year prison sentance, so he backed out of the scheme. I had to watch him lose 30% of his body mass, have new tumors appear and double in size in just a few days, lose control of his bladder, his bowels, bleed from the nose, eyes, ears, rectum and lose his fingernails before he died, crying blood and shitting himself. Anyone who thinks that euthanasia is wrong should be forced to watch something like that, nice and close where you can smell the fear, shit and blood...... I'd be amazed if they still felt it was wrong.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-13, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal Punishment 69 View Post
Not quite the same, but: I had a buddy who was diagnosed with a particularly virulent cancer and given 3 months to live, he asked me to help take care of him and help him sort stuff out before he died. He wanted to die quickly and with dignity, so I got in touch with a clinic in Switzerland that helps with voluntary euthanasia and started the paperwork for him to be admitted. Before they got back to me I had a visit from 2 detectives (this was when I lived in the UK) who told me I would face charges if the trip went ahead. I was still up for it, but my buddy wanted to avoid getting me a 7 year prison sentance, so he backed out of the scheme. I had to watch him lose 30% of his body mass, have new tumors appear and double in size in just a few days, lose control of his bladder, his bowels, bleed from the nose, eyes, ears, rectum and lose his fingernails before he died, crying blood and shitting himself. Anyone who thinks that euthanasia is wrong should be forced to watch something like that, nice and close where you can smell the fear, shit and blood...... I'd be amazed if they still felt it was wrong.
Absolutely agree.
It's disgraceful that they'd threaten criminal charges for going somewhere else to do it.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-13, 10:37 PM
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If it was my mother in a coma I would pull the plug without a second thought, then strangle the bitch with the cord!

God I hate that woman...

I should probably look into counselling at some point.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-13, 11:50 PM
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I went through this less than three months ago with my brother. He was a perfectionist, critical on himself in all things and always talked about how if he suffered any massive brain damage to pull the plug. Even knowing his wishes it's not an easy thing to do but we did it considering his entire right hemisphere was pulped by a car. It's an awful experience to have to go through. Happy yours worked out for you with your mother.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-08-13, 06:34 PM
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Really, it's all case-by-case, but the relatives' decision in the end. If there's a chance of recovery into a life that would be worth living without huge amounts of pain and problems, leave it for a while. If it goes on long enough with no improvement, it's best to pull the plug. Saves money and stress, if nothing else.

If it's basically 0% chance of recovery, or needing a miracle? Miracles don't exist, so let them go painlessly. So yes, euthanasia is good.

However, my one concern is early plug-pulling, when there's a good chance, or for something minor. I mean, I wouldn't want to keep living as a vegetable, but I wouldn't like to be exterminatused if I could keep going after whatever the hell got me down just because of a stupid doctor/relative/etc making a shoddy decision. It is manslaughter, so care needs to be taken.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-08-13, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normtheunsavoury View Post
If it was my mother in a coma I would pull the plug without a second thought, then strangle the bitch with the cord!
Woah A little blood lust there don't cha think buddy? Even you cannot hate your mother that bad (I know the feeling too)?

Being a Catholic my faith and beliefs call for me to wait as long as humanly possible before deciding to pull the plug. Personally I believe in giving the person a chance, giving them some time. However if it turns into a 5+ year thing and the bills are dragging on the family then it should be voted by the family members in my opinion; or the spouse if he/she is still alive.

I found myself in a similar situation when a buddy of mine came back from Afghanistan in a coma after having been blasted from behind a wall by an RPG-7. He was in a coma for roughly 7 months, but towards the end his family was thinking of pulling the plug on his life support system. Me and a few of his buddies kept asking his mother to wait just a little longer; and I remember feeling depressed because it "was only a matter of time" thing. Luckily he did recover, though he struggles today to keep his motor function functioning.

Again, it's a sticky situation that no one wants; ever. But like battlefield traige sometimes you must make the hard choice and live with it.



"Walk Softely, and Carry a Big Gun!"
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