What's missing in the end of life counseling

Don Parker
Taken out of the classroom/off the bureaucrat's desk, this is just the step down the slippery slope of government defining what is and what isn't a worthwhile life.

It's very different to ask me "end of life" questions when I'm 65 and in reasonably good health as opposed to when I'm 85, in a nursing home, confined to bed and in manageable pain. Let's add a few more questions to the list of choices.

Would I like to see my spouse again?

would I like to see my children again?

Would I like to see my grandchildren again?

Would any of them like to see me again?

How about a beautiful spring or fall day?

What about that crab louie that I brought to my mother a  every day that I visited her when she was confined to a nursing home. The look on her face didn't fit with the Do Not Resuscitate order that had to be signed every six months. Her eyes spoke of happiness and love, not what do you think, is today the day? 

This entire debate over health care lacks any attention to the human factor in these decisions. These decisions need to be and should be made by individuals or someone that cares about them, not by a set of academic, antiseptic, bureaucratic guide lines that are designed to assist the government in controlling health care costs.

How is it that prisoners of war, like Senator John McCain, tortured and mistreated, managed to survive when to have said you're right, I should give up and die because my life isn't worth living would have been for the greater good. It is because of the human condition. He care about himself and others and others cared about him. None of his fellow prisoners encouraged him to make end of life decisions. Certainly his wife and family didn't encourage him to make decisions that would take him forever from their lives. He survived that pain, confinement and isolation because he didn't want take the alternative. 

I fear that our President, while a gifted orator and charismatic leader, is, at his core, a cold calculating  manager who is comfortable in making abstract decisions about anyone not in his immediate view. 
Taken out of the classroom/off the bureaucrat's desk, this is just the step down the slippery slope of government defining what is and what isn't a worthwhile life.

It's very different to ask me "end of life" questions when I'm 65 and in reasonably good health as opposed to when I'm 85, in a nursing home, confined to bed and in manageable pain. Let's add a few more questions to the list of choices.

Would I like to see my spouse again?

would I like to see my children again?

Would I like to see my grandchildren again?

Would any of them like to see me again?

How about a beautiful spring or fall day?

What about that crab louie that I brought to my mother a  every day that I visited her when she was confined to a nursing home. The look on her face didn't fit with the Do Not Resuscitate order that had to be signed every six months. Her eyes spoke of happiness and love, not what do you think, is today the day? 

This entire debate over health care lacks any attention to the human factor in these decisions. These decisions need to be and should be made by individuals or someone that cares about them, not by a set of academic, antiseptic, bureaucratic guide lines that are designed to assist the government in controlling health care costs.

How is it that prisoners of war, like Senator John McCain, tortured and mistreated, managed to survive when to have said you're right, I should give up and die because my life isn't worth living would have been for the greater good. It is because of the human condition. He care about himself and others and others cared about him. None of his fellow prisoners encouraged him to make end of life decisions. Certainly his wife and family didn't encourage him to make decisions that would take him forever from their lives. He survived that pain, confinement and isolation because he didn't want take the alternative. 

I fear that our President, while a gifted orator and charismatic leader, is, at his core, a cold calculating  manager who is comfortable in making abstract decisions about anyone not in his immediate view.